The University of Vermont is committed to providing a safe and productive working environment for all employees and students.  Risk Management & Safety staff work in cooperation with Physical Plant, Custodial Services, Residential Life, Athletics, and other departments to identify, evaluate, and minimize exposures to workplace hazards on campus with the goal of reducing work-related injuries and illnesses.

Bloodborne Pathogens and Occupational Exposure

Employees who may be exposed to human blood or other potentially infectious materials are covered by UVM's Exposure Control Plan. Information about defining "other potentially infectious materials," determining if a person is occupationally at-risk, and obtaining training and protections is found in the Bloodborne Pathogen Program.

Building-Related Safety

Non-Urgent Work Requests: Minor repairs that are not likely to cause immediate harm to personnel or damage to buildings should be scheduled through Physical Plant Department (PPD) FAMIS work order system.

Urgent Work Requests: Water releases, blocked egresses and other immediate maintenance needs should be reported to Service Operations Support by calling (802) 656-2560 and selecting "1" from the phone menu.

Personal Protective Equipment

UVM employees may be required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) to reduce exposures to chemicals or other hazards. Examples of PPE include hard hats, gloves, safety glasses, goggles, respirators, and gowns or other protective clothing. 

Indoor Air Quality and Odors

Managing indoor air quality problems, particularly transient odors, can be a significant challenge. Experience has shown that effective response to these concerns is based on a working partnership between the building occupants, who best understand the problem, Physical Plant staff with knowledge of mechanical systems specific to the building involved, and Risk Management & Safety staff with the expertise to evaluate any hazards present. Information from all three of these groups is necessary to identify and prioritize potential solutions.

Indoor Air Quality issues can often take time to resolve since there is a lot of investigative work that needs to be done. Please be patient with the process. Leave the area if you feel your health is in jeopardy.

If you have an Indoor Air Quality issue to report, do the following:

  • Call UVM Service Operations (SOS) at 802-656-2560.
  • Press 1 to speak to a dispatcher.
  • Explain your situation.

Service Operations will then page both Physical Plant building zone maintenance personnel and Risk Management and Safety staff to respond to you swiftly.

Physical Plant building zone maintenance personnel generally respond to the following:

  • Temperature or humidity problems,
  • Draftiness,
  • Lack of air or "stuffy" air, and
  • Dirt or particulates coming from your ventilation system.

Risk Management and Safety staff typically respond to complaints involving:

  • Unusual odors such as chemical odors and exhaust,
  • Sickness associated with occupancy of the building such as headache, nausea, drowsiness, dizziness, congestion, swelling, itching, dryness or irritation of eyes, nose or throat, cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills and fatigue. Remember that colds and the flu can have some of these same symptoms, but they will not be associated with your occupancy of the building.
  • Visible mold growth.

UVM Occupational Health Program

The UVM Occupational Health Program covers the cost of work-related medical services for UVM employees including physicals, respirator screenings, vaccinations, and medical monitoring.  The Program is administered by Risk Management & Safety staff, who can help supervisors and employees coordinate these services. 

For questions about the Occupational Health Program please email ohealth@uvm.edu

Workplace-related injuries and illnesses

Workplace-related injuries must be reported to your supervisor immediately.  Please visit our Incident Reporting page for more information about reporting procedures, forms, and Worker's Compensation information. 

 

Construction Safety

Construction Activities by Contracted Companies

UVM’s Physical Plant Department (PPD), Facilities, Design & Construction (FD&C), Athletics Department, Transportation & Parking Services (T&PS), and others may contract with non-UVM personnel (“Contractors”) to conduct construction or renovation activities. Contractors are responsible for the safety of their employees and compliance of their actions.

  • Contract documents hold the Contractor solely responsible for the safety and compliance of the construction activities and contracted personnel, including sub-contractors. These documents should also hold the contractor responsible for the safety of the public at and around their site.
  • FD&C, PPD and Risk Management & Safety are responsible for identifying UVM-owned hazards to contractors prior to construction activities. These may include existing confined spaces, asbestos containing materials, lead pain and laboratory chemicals.
  • Contractors are required to have a written safety plan that addresses all worksite hazards and associated regulatory standards that fall within the scope of the project. The safety plan must be made available to UVM upon request.  
  • UVM’s Hiring and Project Managers are required to hold current “30-hour” OSHA cards, signifying they have completed a review course of OSHA construction standards.
  • Risk Management & Safety and PPD’s Training & Compliance Office (TCO) are available to assist the Hiring and Project Managers assess the safety and compliance of the sites that they oversee.

Construction Activities by UVM Employees

PPD employees conduct construction activities directly. These activities include maintenance projects, roofing projects and smaller scale renovations.

  • All PPD employees receive the “10-hour” construction card signifying they have received awareness training on the recognition, avoidance, abatement and prevention of workplace hazards.
  • TCO oversees safety and compliance of PPD activities.

Other departments, such as Residential Life and Athletics, perform more limited construction/remediation activities and do not have dedicated safety staff.

  • Managers and supervisors in those departments are responsible to ensure hazards are assessed and controlled, employees are trained, and other compliance activities are completed.
  • TCO and RMS provide training and assistance as needed.

Interaction between UVM Community and Construction Activities

Construction activities on the UVM campus may generate noise, dust, odors and vibration. Construction traffic must travel through UVM campus and use UVM spaces for parking, storage and activities. These risks are jointly managed by all parties.

  • Contractors must delineate the boundaries of their work and control entry as appropriate.  This may involve chain-link fences, yellow tape, orange cones, signal personnel or signs. They also must control dust, odors, noise, vibration and traffic levels.
  • Project Managers are responsible for signs surrounding sites that direct campus personnel to detours or appropriate pathways. They also must communicate to the affected UVM community when excessive noise, dust, odors, vibrations, traffic, or utility disruptions will occur.
  • UVM Transportation & Parking manages the signage for on-campus roadways, shuttle paths, and parking areas. UVM Campus Planning Service oversees installation of new signs for campus way-finding and identification. UVM Grounds maintains the road surfaces and way-finding signs. Project Managers must coordinate with these groups when construction sites or traffic disruption has far-reaching impacts.
  • RMS personnel assess whether campus community is adequately informed and protected and assist as necessary.