University of Vermont

Department of Risk Management & Safety

Workplace Safety

Environmental Safety and Health Policy

Policy Responsibilities: Risk Management Department, Office of Sponsored Programs and Radiation Safety Office

General Responsibilities

The Risk Management Department, Office of Sponsored Programs, and the Radiation Safety Office provide support for safety efforts on campus. In this role, they track developments in environmental health and safety laws and regulations, and determine which of those requirements apply to campus activities. These offices, working in collaboration with faculty, staff and the University community, help the University meet these requirements by developing programs to be implemented by campus personnel, by direct services, or by a combination of these means.

Specific Responsibilities

A. Program Management:

Risk Management, Office of Sponsored Programs and Radiation Safety develop and manage programs to meet legal requirements and University environmental health and safety policies in the following areas.

General Safety

    Emergency Response and Training: Risk Management is responsible for coordinating the development of emergency response plans on campus.

Chemical Safety

  • Chemical Right-to-Know Program: Training in general chemical safety is offered by Risk Management Department (RM) staff upon demand, tailored to specific administrative and academic units.
  • Chemical Hygiene Program for Laboratories: Consultation and training concerning hazardous chemical exposures in the laboratory is available from RM staff.
  • Chemical Inventory: The RM staff has developed a form for compiling the annual inventory of chemicals required by state and local laws.
  • Hazardous Waste Management Program: The RM staff operates facilities for collection, storage and packaging of hazardous wastes to be shipped offsite. The RM staff has also developed a waste minimization program to assist campus hazardous material users to minimize hazardous wastes.

Biological Safety

  • Exposure Control Plan: Risk Management has developed an Exposure Control Plan for compliance with OSHA's bloodborne pathogen standard and provides training to at risk employees as identified by their supervisors.
  • Biosafety Consulting: Risk Management provides information about the biosafety requirements for lab work on campus as outlined in CDC guidelines.
  • Recombinant DNA Use: The Office of Sponsored Programs and the Institutional Biosafety Committee monitor regulations affecting the use of recombinant DNA and review research and class protocols to assure that the regulations are followed.

Radiation Safety

  • Radiation Safety Program: The Radiation Safety Office administers the University radiation safety plan which includes programs and services to monitor the workplace for radiological hazards and regulatory compliance.
  • Radiation Waste Disposal: The Radiation Safety Office manages disposal of radioactive wastes generated at the University.

Risk and Cost Control

  • Risk Control: The Department of Risk Management works with the campus community in tandem with the University's insurance providers, OSHA, Burlington Fire Department and others to identify risk exposures, implement measures to control those risks, and thereby reduce the frequency and severity of accident, injuries, damages and any associated liabilities.
  • Reducing the Cost of Risk: Through the coordinated efforts of the Department of Risk Management and the campus community in controlling risk, the University is able to minimize its cost of risk by reducing the financial cost of claims, insurance premiums, regulatory fines and downtime due to work interruption.

B. Direct Services:

The Risk Management Department, Office of Sponsored Programs and the Radiation Safety Office provide direct safety services in the following areas to the campus.For specific information about safety questions, contact the Risk Management Department at 656-3242 or Radiation Safety Office at 656-2570.

General Safety (Risk Management Department)

  • Health and Safety Consultation: Respond to calls regarding health and safety concerns in the workplace, with information, investigation, or other assistance.
  • Accident Investigation: Perform investigations of accidents on the campus.
  • Fire Prevention: Inspect campus buildings to identify and eliminate fire hazards.
  • Driver Training: Provide training upon request to employees who drive on University business.
  • Ergonomic Risk Assessments: Review workplace equipment and tasks to determine whether ergonomic improvements are necessary.
  • Hearing Conservation: Conduct noise surveys to determine exposures.

Chemical Safety (Risk Management Department

  • Laboratory Hood Certification: Laboratory hoods are certified annually.
  • Environmental and Medical Monitoring for Chemical Exposures: Provide these services for employees exposed to chemical levels greater than OSHA guidelines.
  • Hazardous Spill Response: Respond to requests for assistance in hazardous spill cleanup; responsible for notifying appropriate agencies about reportable spills.
  • Hazardous Waste Disposal: Collect and dispose of hazardous and biological waste.

Biological Safety

  • Biosafety Services: Risk Management staff and Office of Sponsored Programs monitor regulatory requirements applicable to biohazards and respond to questions for handling biohazards.
  • Recombinant DNA Use: The Office of Sponsored Programs provides staff support for the Institutional Biosafety Committee as it reviews research and classroom protocols involving the use of recombinant DNA, and inspects laboratories where rDNA is used.

Radiation Safety (Radiation Safety Office)

  • Radiation Use Authorizations: Reviews applications for and provides information about Radiation Use Authorizations to the Radiation Safety Committee.
  • Laboratory Surveys: Surveys laboratories that use radioisotopes or radiation-producing machines for contamination.
  • Training: Offers radiation safety training and consultation.
  • Dosimetry monitoring: Issue dosimetry monitors and track results.
  • Certification of Radiation Handlers: Certifies all users of radiation.
  • Waste Handling: Radioactive waste collection, packaging and arrange for off-campus disposal.
  • Radiation Inventory: keep current radioactive materials inventory.

C. Communicating with Campus:

The Risk Management Department and Radiation Safety Office are responsible for communicating with the campus about their programs and services. To this end, these departments produce a joint newsletter and are involved in the orientation process .

D. Regulatory Liaison:

The Risk Management Department, Office of Sponsored Programs and Radiation Safety Office are responsible for communicating with regulatory agencies in the environmental health and safety area on behalf of the campus. This is done with the help of University legal counsel when needed.

Last modified February 06 2009 03:08 PM

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