UCR Policies and Procedures

Printer Friendly Version

Untitled Document

Campus Policy Number: 425-24

Environmental Health & Safety - Office Responsibilities and Services

Policy Owner: Environmental Health & Safety
Effective Date: 1/15/94

    1. Title 8, California Code of Regulations
    2. California Health and Safety Code, California Penal Code, Code of Federal Regulations, NFPA National Fire Codes, Uniform Fire Code, Uniform Building Code and other applicable campus, local, state and federal safety and health standards
    3. University Policy on Environmental Health and Safety, Office of the President (1987). (Currently under revision)
    4. UCR Environmental Health & Safety policies and procedures

  3. The University of California, Riverside shall maintain as safe and healthy an environment as is reasonably feasible for its students, academic appointees, faculty, staff, visitors and members of the general public by:

    1. Conducting all operations and activities according to established standards relating to environmental protection and occupational health and safety in order to minimize the risk of injury or illness to people and minimize property damage at all locations where University operations and/or activities occur.
    2. Complying with applicable codes, regulations, safety and health consensus standards, and practices generally accepted by experts in the field.

  5. The Chancellor is responsible for the implementation of the University's Environmental Health and Safety policies at all facilities under campus control and for establishing and supporting programs for environmental health and safety. The Vice Chancellors are responsible for ensuring that units under their authority comply with all campus environmental health and safety policies.

    Deans, Executive Officers, Directors, Department/Unit Heads, principal investigators, and supervisors are accountable for establishing and maintaining programs to ensure compliance within their areas which will provide a safe, health and environmentally protective working and living environment for staff, faculty, students, and visitors.

    All employees and students and other campus members are responsible through training, for knowing the applicable safety and health regulations governing the activities they perform and are accountable for complying with them. Performance evaluations of all employees will include review of safe work practices and safety compliance as they relate to their job duties. Persons in administrative,management and supervisory positions will also be assessed, during performance evaluations, with regards to the safety management of persons and units under their control.

    The Environmental Health and Safety Office (EH&S) is charged with advising the campus community of its responsibilities, and then, recommending appropriate remedial or planning strategies, including the development of safety programs, and consulting with external agencies or regulatory or legislative bodies as necessary and appropriate, on behalf of the campus.

    EH&S is authorized to inspect all areas of the campus to assess risk and life safety exposures and make recommendations for the correction of hazards, compliance with regulations and improvements in various procedures and/or protocols for safety.

    EH&S has the authority to immediately suspend or restrict any operation which in consultation with appropriate EH&S and campus representatives presents a significant (real or potential) imminent hazard associated with life safety, or the health and welfare of campus personnel or the public, as well as to halt any process which is deemed as criminally detrimental to the environment. (Notification of all impacted individuals will occur as identified in Section IV).

  7. To anticipate and respond to health and safety issues, EH&S will establish, coordinate, and maintain programs of community outreach which will be designed to educate and provide training to the campus community. EH&S training and information programs will address specialized areas, as well as more general topical issues. They will provide guidelines for compliance with regulations, and with the published standards of recognized professional health and safety organizations.

    EH&S will inspect and monitor environmental health and safety elements in all campus operations and activities. To oversee compliance with environmental, health, and safety laws and regulations, EH&S shall establish a compliance review program which includes regular audits.

    EH&S staff will also maintain competence, expertise and an on-going program of professional development to assure all health and safety issues are proactively addressed and that required certifications are maintained and current. Reports (verbal/written) on any hazardous condition that may result in serious exposure will be initiated by EH&S to the appropriate departmental chair and impacted individuals.

    Cessation of Activities

    In the event that the Director/designee orders cessation of an activity due to the serious nature of the hazard, EH&S will communicate the problem(s) and/or violation(s) to (1) the principal party; (2) the Executive Officer, Human Resources; (3) the Vice Chancellor, Administration; (4) the Executive Vice Chancellor; (5) the Chancellor; (6) the appropriate regulatory agency when required by law; (7) the appropriate Vice Chancellor to whom the unit ultimately reports; and (8) the appropriate dean, unit head, and impacted individuals. The activity may be resumed only with the approval of the EH&S Director/designee in consultation with the appropriate Vice Chancellor(s), Dean, and unit head.

  9. To achieve compliance with applicable health, safety and environmental standards promulgated by Federal, State and local agencies, EH&S operation shall include at least the following programs by professionals with expertise in various EH&S disciplines listed below. In the absences of appropriate environmental health and safety statutes and regulations, the published standards of nationally recognized professional health, safety and environmental protection organizations shall serve as guides for the maintenance of safe research, instruction and working environment.

    Biological Safety

    Regulations and accepted standards of the campus Biosafety Committee governing the use, storage, and disposal of hazardous biological agents and materials will be observed. The biological safety program includes facility surveillance, personnel training, and investigating new methods to handle and dispose of biohazardous materials in compliance with regulatory and University controls.

    Construction Safety

    The interface between campus public and construction and alteration project sites will be monitored by EH&S to ensure that potential hazards and disruptions have been minimized by using proper barricades, traffic controls (pedestrian, bicycle, vehicle), and noise and dust abatement measures. Contractors working on campus-owned or leased property will be held responsible for complying with the campus Environmental Health and Safety policy.

    Disaster Preparedness

    The development, dissemination, and maintenance of disaster preparedness plans will be coordinated by Environmental Health and Safety. Preparedness plans define appropriate responses to disasters and outline how diverse campus and non-campus emergency service units (defined in the Emergency Response Plan) will be coordinated. Departments will develop departmental emergency action plans, assisted by EH&S.

    Environmental Protection

    Evaluation and, when necessary, management of environmental issues will be undertaken in the areas of air quality, water quality, toxic emissions inventory and control, asbestos, PCBs, hazardous waste site remediation, due diligence assessment and underground storage tanks. EH&S will coordinate activities with government regulatory agencies, advise on necessary permits and represent University needs and interests.

    Fire Protection

    Facilities and equipment shall be inspected, maintained, occupied and operated in compliance with mandated regulations and accepted standards to protect life and minimize the risk of injury and property damage from fire. The design and construction of new University affiliated facilities or alterations to existing facilities shall, at a minimum, be reviewed and shall comply with State Fire Marshal and other safety regulations. Program elements include the monitoring and enforcement of safe occupant loads in classrooms, facilities, and at special events, project plan and specifications review.

    General Safety and Accident Prevention

    Campus and campus-leased facilities, transportation systems, grounds, equipment and fleet vehicles will be maintained to reduce the risk of accidental injury and minimize University exposure to liability. Programs will be developed to identify, evaluate, and correct factors to a reasonable degree which may contribute to accidental injury of members of the campus community. Accident/liability investigations, workers compensation activities, and risk management will be integrated into this program component.

    Hazardous Materials and Waste Management

    All University operations shall be conducted so that chemical, radioactive and biohazard/medical waste is minimized. All waste produced will be collected, stored, and disposed of in accordance with Federal, State, and local regulations. Use of hazardous materials will be minimized using microscale techniques, waste minimization and source reduction procedures, chemical sharing programs, alternative technologies, etc. Hazardous Materials Emergency response will be integrated into this program component.

    Industrial Hygiene and Laboratory Safety

    Occupational health and safety hazards will be identified, evaluated and controlled in all campus activities, including facilities maintenance, laboratory functions, office work and other areas as needed. Program priorities will focus on engineering controls, followed by administrative controls and then personnel protective equipment. Program elements include comprehensive, routine and emergency management of hazardous materials, laboratory analyses and occupational toxicology.

    Occupational Health

    The occupational health programs will include surveillance, identification, and the coordination of preventive measures to respond to occupational diseases and injury consistent with regulatory guidelines, accepted industry standards, and University policy.

    Radiation Safety

    Regulations shall be observed in the use of radioactive materials and radiation producing machines, including lasers and other sources of non-ionizing radiation. The provisions of our California radioactive materials license, the Radiation Safety Manual, and regulations established by the Radiation Safety Committee shall be observed and enforced. All exposure to ionizing radiation and all releases of radioactive materials to the environment shall be kept as low as reasonably achievable, but always below the applicable regulatory limits.

    Relations with Governmental Agencies

    EH&S will communicate, consult and liaison with official regulatory agencies on all environmental health and safety issues relating to campus compliance and audits.


    All University facilities and grounds, including swimming pools, construction sites, living quarters, and food service operations shall be maintained and operated in compliance with applicable regulations and accepted standards of sanitation. Activities shall include but not be limited to good housekeeping practices, water quality, insect and rodent control, and liquid and solid waste disposal.


    Training of UC Riverside employees with regards to Environmental Health & Safety issues, will be designed to comply with all Environmental Health & Safety regulatory requirements.

  11. Departmental Responsibility

    The department/unit head is responsible for assuring that all departmental employees are supported to receive effective safety training regarding all potential hazards associated with that person's employment with the University of California. This includes career, part-time, student and volunteer employees.

    The Department Safety Coordinator is responsible for coordinating employee safety training at the department level, through coordination with the Department of Environmental Health & Safety or through outside entities as necessary.

    Supervisors are responsible for assessing the tasks associated with the positions they supervise; the potential hazards associated with those tasks; and the ability of the employees they supervise to safely perform these tasks. If the employee's knowledge and/or skills to perform assigned tasks safely are questionable, or a new job duty is assigned, safety training must be provided. The supervisor is responsible for assuring that employees directly under his/her control attend safety training programs.

    Minimum Training Requirements

    At a minimum, all UCR employees will be trained in the following basic health and safety issues:

    1. Overview of OSHA laws (rights/responsibilities) and University and campus environmental, health and safety policies and procedures
    2. Hazard Communication or Chemical Hygiene (as applicable)
    3. Fire safety, evacuation and emergency procedures
    4. Earthquake preparedness and disaster response
    5. Safe lifting and back injury prevention
    6. Prevention of cumulative trauma disorders
    7. Radiation Safety

    In addition to this general training, all employees will be instructed on how to protect themselves from the hazards specific to their individual job duties (or with respect to jobs that they may be assigned).

    EH&S Responsibility

    EH&S will provide technical assistance and oversight to assure campus compliance with regulatory (environmental health & safety) training requirements.