General Responsibilities

UVM staffs departments & offices that provide central support for the interpretation of safety and environmental regulations, aid in developing programs to support training, hazard identification, risk assessment, exposure monitoring, and coordination of emergency response with outside agencies. These include:


Program Management

Risk Management & Safety (RMS) develops and manages programs to advance UVM's safety committments and meet legal requirements in the following areas.

General Safety

  • Emergency Response and Training: RMS and the Office of Emergency Management are responsible for coordinating the development of emergency response plans on campus, providing training in emergency preparedness, and liaising with external response agencies. RMS also provides for remediation of hazardous materials releases.
  • Health and Safety Consultation: Respond to calls regarding health and safety concerns in the workplace, with information, investigation, or other assistance.
  • Incident Investigation: Perform investigations of accidents, incidents, near-misses, and safety concerns on the campus.
  • Fire Prevention: Inspect campus buildings to identify and eliminate fire hazards.
  • Driver Certification: Provide training and certification to allow UVM personnel to operate University-owned/leased vehicles.
  • Ergonomic Risk Assessments: Review workplace equipment and tasks to determine whether ergonomic improvements are necessary.

Chemical Safety

  • Chemical Right-to-Know Program: Training in general chemical safety is offered by RMS staff upon request, 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 RMS staff.
  • Chemical Inventory: RMS staff has developed a system for compiling and reporting the annual inventory of chemicals required by state and local laws.
  • Hazardous Waste Management Program: RMS operates facilities for the collection, storage, packaging, and shipping of hazardous wastes. RMS also reports on hazardous waste management and minimization programs as required.
  • Environmental Compliance: RMS, in consultation with other departments, manages compliance with environmental requirements for protection of clean air, clean water, oil storage, and local emergency response planning.

Biological Safety

  • Exposure Control Plan: RMS has developed an Exposure Control Plan for compliance with OSHA's bloodborne pathogen standard and provides training to employees identified as at-risk by their supervisors.
  • Biosafety Consulting: RMS provides information about biosafety requirements for lab work on campus as outlined in NIH guidelines and best practices.
  • Recombinant DNA Use: RMS, the Office of Sponsored Programs and the Institutional Biosafety Committee monitor regulations affecting the use of recombinant DNA and infectious substances and review, approve and enforce related protocols.

Radiation Safety

  • Radiation Safety Program: The Radiation Safety Office within RMS administers the University radiation safety program which includes procedures and services to support use of radioactive materials and 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: RMS works with the campus community in tandem with the University's insurance providers, VOSHA, 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 RMS 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.