Environmental Health and Safety

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University Policy Number 1406

Categorized:

Responsible Office:

Policy Procedure:

  • All environmental health and safety plans, policies and procedures, including but not limited to: the University Safety Plan, Fire Safety Plan, Exposure Control Plan, Laboratory Safety Manual, and Guides

Related Law & Policy:


I. SCOPE

This policy addresses safety as well as environmental health and safety compliance to include emergency preparedness, environmental compliance, fire safety, laboratory safety, occupational health and occupational safety at all George Mason University owned or controlled facilities.  This policy applies to all employees, students, visitors and volunteers.

II. POLICY STATEMENT

It is the responsibility of each employee, student, visitor and volunteer to conduct work, research, instructional courses, and activities in a manner that will not adversely impact themselves, others, the surrounding community, university property, or the environment.  In addition to personal conduct, it is expected that individuals will familiarize themselves with the relevant environmental health and safety policies and procedures related to their work or activities on campus.

III. DEFINITIONS

“Classroom activities” means any instructional or research activity engaged in by students.

“Classroom facilities” means any facility where instructional or research activities involving students are held.

“Employee” means a person who is hired and paid by George Mason University to perform certain duties.

“Faculty” means university employees who have full-time tenured or tenure-track appointments; who have term faculty appointments or serve as adjunct or affiliate faculty.

“Safety Liaison” means a Faculty member or employee with authority to direct personnel within the unit and to commit resources as needed to respond an emergency situation and resolve safety issues.

“Student” means a person who is enrolled in a course or program of study offered by the university.
“Supervisor” means a university employee that is responsible for supervising other person(s).

“Volunteer” means a non-paid person who performs a prescribed university function or responsibility that has been approved by the authorized university representative.

If a person is covered by more than one of these definitions, the applicable provisions of this policy are those that relate to the functions he or she performs.

IV. RESPONSIBILITIES

A. All employees, students, visitors and volunteers at George Mason University are responsible for adhering to and familiarizing themselves with environmental safety and health policies, plans, procedures, guides, directives, and manuals.

B. The President, as Chief Executive Officer of George Mason University, is ultimately responsible for the direction and supervision of the university’s academic and administrative units to include environmental health and safety.  The President also appoints members to the Emergency Management Executive Committee.

C. The Vice President for Research and Economic Development is responsible for appointing faculty and ex-officio members to the Institutional Biosafety Committee and Radiation Safety Committee.

D. Vice Presidents, Deans, Directors, Academic Heads, and Department Heads are responsible for understanding and implementing environmental health and safety plans, policies, and procedures applicable to employees, students, and classroom activities under their supervision, as well as work areas and classroom facilities in their unit.  In addition, they are responsible for appointing a Unit Safety Liaison(s) for the unit(s) that falls under their authority.

E. Supervisors are responsible for understanding and implementing environmental health and safety plans, policies, and procedures applicable to employees and work areas under their supervision.

F. Faculty and other employees who, as a part of their job responsibilities, work with students are responsible for understanding and implementing environmental health and safety plans, policies, and procedures applicable to students, classroom facilities and activities under their supervision.

G. Safety Liaisons serve as the central point of contact between EHS and oversee the development and implementation of environmental health and safety plans, policies, and procedures, to include Emergency Preparedness Guides which may involve the appointment unit personnel as Unit Building Coordinators, Unit Floor Coordinators, and Automated External Defibrillator Coordinators as needed to assist with emergency preparedness.

H. Responsibility for administration of this policy lies with EHS.  In addition, EHS is responsible for the administration and implementation of general university environmental health and safety programs.  Specific responsibilities of EHS include:

1. Develop and maintain general environmental health and safety plans, policies, and procedures related to emergency preparedness, environmental compliance, fire safety, laboratory safety, occupational health and occupational safety.

2. Provide technical assistance in all environmental health and safety matters related to emergency preparedness, environmental compliance, fire safety, laboratory safety, occupational health and occupational safety.

3. Provide general environmental health and safety training to employees, students, and visitors in accordance with applicable local, state, and federal regulations.

4. Serve as George Mason University’s primary point of contact with local, state, and federal officials regarding codes, regulations, and reporting requirements with regard to emergency preparedness, environmental compliance, fire safety, laboratory safety, occupational health and occupational safety.

5. Assist supervisors, employees, students, and volunteers with the assessment and management of specific risks upon request.

6. Provide administrative support and implement decisions of the various university safety and emergency management committees.

V. COMPLIANCE

A. EHS personnel may suspend or cease activities and operations that are not in full compliance with university environmental safety and health plans, policies, and procedures.

B. EHS may inspect and audit university facilities to monitor and assess safety and health conditions, as well as compliance with environmental health and safety plans, policies and procedures.

C. The Institutional Biological Safety and Radiation Safety Committees review instructional and research projects identified by Faculty involving biohazardous materials and sources of ionizing radiation, respectively.  As part of these reviews, the committees make safety-related recommendations and determine appropriate sanctions to deal with noncompliance.

D. Supervisors are responsible for implementing corrective and disciplinary actions for employees under their supervision when environmental health and safety plans, policies, and procedures are not followed.

E. Faculty and other employees who, as a part of their job responsibilities, work with students are responsible for implementing corrective and disciplinary actions for students under their supervision when environmental health and safety plans, policies, and procedures are not followed.

F. Safety Liaisons are responsible for the implementation of environmental health and safety plans, policies, and procedures in their unit as well as communicating unsafe work conditions and compliance issues to the authority that appointed them (Vice Presidents, Deans, Directors, Academic Heads, and Department Heads) and to EHS.
VII. EFFECTIVE DATE AND APPROVAL

This policy is effective upon date of signature below.  This policy shall be reviewed and revised, if necessary, annually to become effective at the beginning of the university’s fiscal year, unless otherwise noted.

Approved:

__/S_____________________
Maurice W. Scherrens
Senior Vice President

__/S______________________
Peter N. Stearns
Provost

Date approved: September 26, 2005

Revision approved: February 9, 2011