Policies & Procedures


Section 1

Physical Environment and Properties

Environmental Health & Safety

Sec. 903-10: Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) Policy

Responsible Administrator: Assistant Vice Chancellor - Facilities Management and Environmental Health & Safety
June 2014

References / Resources

Contact: EH&S at (949) 824-6200 or safety@uci.edu

A. Policy

All University of California, Irvine employees have the right to a safe and healthful workplace. Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) ensures that UCI complies with applicable health, safety and environmental laws, regulations and requirements; and, that activities are conducted in a manner that protects students, faculty, staff, visitors, the public, property, and the environment. UCI is committed to excellence in health, safety and environmental performance and strives to achieve:

  • Zero injuries or illnesses
  • Zero environmental incidents
  • Zero property loss or damage

Achieving these goals is the responsibility of everyone at UCI and supervisors have particular responsibility for individuals reporting to them. The University implements best practices, and the Integrated Safety and Environmental Management System (ISEM) is used at UCI to manage health, safety, and environmental concerns, such as the sustainable use of natural resources, in all campus activities.

B. Responsibilities

The Chancellor is responsible for the allocation of appropriate resources and the implementation of UCI's EH&S policy at all facilities under campus authority. All faculty, staff and students are responsible for compliance with this policy as it relates to operations under their control, or activities in which they participate. Specific responsibilities follow:

  1. Vice Chancellors and Deans provide a safe teaching and research environment by:
    • Providing school/department oversight
    • Allocating appropriate resources
    • Fostering a climate that facilitates open discussion and resolution of potential risks and safety problems
    • Promoting required EH&S training to employees.
  2. Department Directors and Chairs provide a safe teaching and research environment for departmental activities by:
    • Providing department-wide oversight
    • Delegating authority and accountability to one person for developing, implementing, and overseeing the department-wide Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) / Safety On Site (S.O.S.).
    • Fostering a climate that facilitates open discussion and resolution of potential risks and safety problems.
    • Promoting required EH&S training to employees.
  3. Principal Investigators, Administrators and Supervisors provide safe working, teaching, and research environments by:
    • Identifying a Safety Representative to handle IIPP responsibilities specific to the work unit: a) hazard assessment and correction, b) training, and c) developing and implementing safe work practices
    • Reporting hazards, incidents, and injuries to EH&S. Go to Report an Injury, Incident or Safety Concern.
    • Discussing accidents or "near misses" with all staff and students.
  4. All Employees and Students will learn, practice, and keep up-to-date on UCI and departmental safety practices by:
    • Participating in safety training appropriate to the job or position
    • Reporting hazards, incidents, injuries, and safety concerns to a supervisor or manager
    • Implementing safe work practices
    • Reporting "near-misses" even though accidents did not occur. Email safety@uci.edu or go to Report an Injury, Incident or Safety Concern.
  5. Environmental Health & Safety provides campus-wide program direction, consultation, and liaison services by:
    • Suspending or terminating any activity that poses an imminent hazard deemed immediately dangerous to life or health, and then working with Deans, department heads, and other responsible individuals to abate the unsafe conditions and operations.
    • Defining and communicating a UCI Injury and Illness Prevention Program / Safety On Site (S.O.S.)
    • Evaluating potential hazards and coordinating campus programs to prevent injuries and work-related illnesses
    • Working with academic departments and administrative services to develop training, monitoring, and accident prevention programs
    • Providing health and safety program direction to all campus entities
    • Providing consultation and technical assistance in all areas of health, safety, and environmental protection
    • Acting as liaison with regulatory agencies on behalf of the campus
    • Providing emergency response assistance for hazardous materials
    • Performing health, safety, and environmental protection audits as needed to determine compliance with regulations, laws, and University policy
    • Escalating serious non-compliance issues and hazards (see Escalating Serious Non-Compliance and Hazardous Issues)
    • Seeking resolution, within the University structure, of health, safety, and environmental protection deficiencies.

C. EH&S School Coordinators

EH&S School Coordinators are representatives located in academic Schools who will answer health and safety questions, and explain state and federal regulatory requirements. They coordinate services with EH&S, identify and report unsafe conditions, and provide compliance assistance. Common activities include investigating accidents, inspecting and moving labs, orienting new faculty, and responding to odor concerns.

D. EH&S Programs

  1. Administration

    EH&S Administration provides support for departmental activities that directly impact campuswide programs, such as legislative analysis, regulatory agency liaison, and recharge administration.

  2. Training

    Specific training requirements are mandated by State and federal regulations. EH&S helps faculty, staff and students understand safety issues, identify individual training requirements, and recognize specific hazards that may be associated with their work or environment. EH&S offers a wide variety of training program formats that include regularly scheduled courses, online training, and customized training designed to meet special needs.

  3. Safety Management

    EH&S Safety Management is responsible for assessing and facilitating the University's compliance with applicable State and federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration safety regulations. Frequently requested services include ergonomics evaluations, safety training classes, Injury and Illness Prevention Program / S.O.S. implementation, motorized cart safety, and personal protective equipment assistance.

  4. Occupational Health

    The Occupational Health Program (OHP) is representative of UCI's commitment to providing a safe and healthy work environment for all employees. Federal and State laws require that certain services and medical monitoring be provided to employees who perform specific work. Eligibility to participate is discussed in the specific health service or medical monitoring program.

    Alcohol and drug testing of transportation employees
    Automated External Defibrillators (AED) Program
    Controlled substances
    Hepatitis B immunization and titers
    Laboratory Animal Occupational Health Program (LAOHP)
    Reproductive health
    Smoking Policy
    Tuberculosis screening for research environment
  5. Environmental Sanitation

    The California State Department of Health Services has designated EH&S as the Local Enforcement Agency (LEA) for all properties owned by The Regents of the University of California.

  6. Fire Safety

    EH&S is responsible for fire prevention activities on campus, and the Campus Fire Marshal (Designated State Fire Marshal representative) works to ensure reasonable and consistent protection for the campus community from injury, business interruption, and property damage resulting from fires and related perils. Responsibilities include evacuation plans; oversight of fire alarms, extinguishers, and sprinklers; State Fire Marshall plan reviews and construction inspections; welding permits; and Research Assistant training.

  7. Industrial Hygiene

    EH&S Industrial Hygiene is responsible for assessing and facilitating the University’s compliance with applicable state and federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration regulations designed to prevent occupational illness. Frequently requested services involve exposure assessment for chemicals and noise, asbestos and lead oversight during renovation projects, respiratory protection fit-testing and training, hazard communication, and provision of hazard identification and control recommendations.

  8. Biological Safety

    The Biological Safety Program provides safety oversight of research and clinical work involving infectious agents, bloodborne pathogens, select agents and other biohazardous materials. The Biosafety program administers the IBC program and is responsible for enforcing all policies and guidelines of University related biological material use.

  9. Environmental Management

    EH&S is responsible for assessing and facilitating UCI's compliance with environmental laws and regulations, and for ensuring the safe handling and storage of hazardous materials and waste. Program responsibilities include air quality, oil spill prevention, storm and waste water management, PCB and CFC waste management, and monitoring storage tanks.

  10. Radiation and Laser Safety

    Radiation and Laser Safety staff provide assistance to radiation and laser users on campus. They ensure safety procedures are followed and that exposures are reduced to levels that are As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA) for ionizing and non-ionizing radiation.