Environmental Health & Safety

Working Alone Policy

Title: Working Alone Policy
Policy Owner: Division of Environmental Health and Safety
Applies to: University Students
Campus Applicability: Storrs, Regionals, Law School
Effective Date: January 2013
For More Information, Contact Environmental Health and Safety
Contact Information: (860) 486-3613
Official Website: http://www.ehs.uconn.edu/

POLICY STATEMENT

No student is permitted to Work Alone in an Immediately Hazardous Environment.

REASON FOR POLICY

This policy has been developed to minimize the risk of serious injury while Working Alone with materials, equipment or in areas that could result in serious injury or an immediate life-threatening hazard.

APPLIES TO

This policy applies to undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral students performing academic or research related work at the University of Connecticut Storrs, regional campuses and the Law School.

DEFINITIONS

Working Alone means an isolated student working with an immediately hazardous material, equipment or in an area that, if safety procedures fail, could reasonably result in incapacitation and serious life threatening injury for which immediate first aide assistance is not available.

Immediately Hazardous Environment describes any material, activity or circumstance that could cause instantaneous incapacitation rendering an individual unable to seek assistance.  Examples include but are not limited to: potential exposure to poisonous chemicals and gases at a level approaching the IDLH (Immediately Dangerous to Life & Health); work with pyrophoric and explosive chemicals; work with pressurized chemical systems; entering confined spaces; work near high voltage equipment; work with power equipment that could pinch or grab body parts and/or clothing; etc.

Unit Managers are managers, supervisors, principle investigators, faculty, Department Heads and others who are responsible for assigning work to students that involve potential exposure to immediately hazardous environments.

Safety Content Expert is a safety professional from the UConn Department of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS).  EHS provides guidance to Unit Managers and their designees regarding the proper classification of campus activities as Immediately Hazardous or not; and provides safety information regarding proper procedures and personal protective equipment needed.

Direct Observation means the assigned second person is in line of sight or close hearing range with the individual working in an Immediately Hazardous Environment.

ENFORCEMENT

Violations of this policy may result in appropriate disciplinary measures in accordance with University Laws and Bylaws, General Rules of Conduct for All University Employees, applicable collective bargaining agreements and the University of Connecticut Student Conduct Code.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Unit Managers are responsible for identifying the risks and conditions that may place a student in an Immediately Hazardous Environment.  If unsure about a specific task or location, Unit Managers are advised to contact EHS to assist in recognizing/evaluating risks, and to help in developing appropriate hazard controls. The Unit Manager is also responsible to see that personnel are properly trained, proper procedures are in place, and that proper personal protective equipment is readily available and use is mandatory. This is documented by means of the Workplace Hazard Assessment form.

If the task/area is deemed a Working Alone situation, the Unit Manager must either:

a) Assign a second person for the duration of the immediately hazardous task or for work in immediately hazardous locations (confined spaces, elevated work area, etc.); or

b) Reschedule the work to a time when others are available to help monitor the welfare of the assigned student.

All personnel are responsible for notifying the Unit Managers of situations that present the possibility of a student Working Alone in an immediately hazardous environment.

Personnel assigned to keep watch must provide Direct Observation at all times while students are in an Immediately Hazardous Environment to prevent a Working Alone situation.

Students are directly responsible for adhering to all safety procedures, wearing appropriate personal protective equipment and to be current in training requirements.  Students shall not Work Alone in an area or on tasks that have been recognized as an Immediately Hazardous Environment.

Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) personnel shall, upon request, assist in identifying Immediately Hazardous Environments and Working Alone situations.  EHS shall assist in the anticipation, recognition and evaluation of hazards and provide expertise in developing controls to prevent injuries to personnel.  EHS will verify submitted area Workplace Hazard Assessment during routine inspections.

Recommended Safety Information Resources

Refer to the EH&S website for additional workplace safety requirements:

Policies, programs and procedures

Training

Forms

Use Of Space Heaters in University Buildings

Title: Use Of Space Heaters in University Buildings
Policy Owner: Environmental Health & Safety/UConn Fire Department
Applies to: Faculty, Staff, Students, Others
Campus Applicability: Storrs and Regional Campuses, and the Law School
Effective Date: February 6, 2012
For More Information, Contact Division of Environmental Health and Safety
Contact Information: (860) 486-3413
Official Website: http://www.ehs.uconn.edu/

PURPOSE

As stated in the University’s Health and Safety Policy, the University of Connecticut is committed to providing a healthful and safe environment for all activities under its jurisdiction. In keeping with this commitment, the University has developed this policy to protect the University community and its visitors from the significant fire and workplace safety risks posed by the use of space heaters.  This policy is in keeping with the requirements of the Connecticut Life Safety and Building codes and ConnOSHA and CT Department of Public Health regulations.

SCOPE

This policy applies to the use of space heaters by faculty, staff, students, and others in University-owned buildings at the Storrs and regional campuses and at the Law School.

POLICY STATEMENT

Space heaters pose serious fire and electrical hazards, and are not efficient from an energy use standpoint; therefore, the use of space heaters at the University is strongly discouraged. Their use should be reserved for times of heating system failures rather than as a means for supplementing an existing heating system.

University building occupants should first contact Facilities Operations Work Order Control (6-3113) to request assistance in adjusting the temperature of an area.  If Facilities Operations personnel determine that the work area cannot be heated to the satisfaction of the occupant(s), the temporary use of space heaters will be allowed with the following exceptions:

Space heaters are not permitted in residential occupancies unless issued by permit through the UConn Fire Department in emergencies.  Space heaters are not permitted, under any circumstances, in laboratories, inpatient units, storage areas, or areas not actively occupied by people.  However, space heaters will be permitted in laboratory office spaces.

ENFORCEMENT

The University Fire Department and the Department of Environmental Health and Safety reserve the right to inspect and declare “unapproved” any space heater that creates a safety hazard or is inappropriate to a particular location, based on specific circumstances or legal requirements.  If warranted, space heaters may be removed from service and taken to a designated storage area for later collection by its owner and subsequent removal from the University.

Violations of this policy may result in appropriate disciplinary measures in accordance with University Laws and By-Laws, General Rules of Conduct for All University Employees, applicable collective bargaining agreements, and the University of Connecticut Student Conduct Code.

PROCEDURES

Approved Heaters

In order to ensure that all space heaters meet current safety guidelines, the University Fire Department and the Department of Environmental Health and Safety have approved a limited selection of space heaters for use within the University, which are available at Central Stores.
See approved space heaters here.

Effective Fall Semester 2003, all other space heaters currently in use must be taken out of service.  Department-owned heaters must be turned in as surplus to Central Storrs.  Privately owned heaters must be removed from the University.

Safe Use and Care

  • BEFORE OPERATING A HEATER, ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW THE MANUFACTURER’S OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS.
  • To prevent overloading an electrical circuit, a space heater must be plugged into a circuit that is rated for 15 amps or more.
  • Always turn off a heater and unplug it when you leave the office.  NEVER leave an operating heater unattended.
  • Before use, ensure that the heater is clean and not covered with dust.  The cord must be in good condition and not frayed.
  • NEVER use an extension cord or power strip with a space heater.  It should be plugged directly into a permanent wall outlet (receptacle). Exception: Radiant Panel heaters may be used with extension cords or power strips rated for 15 amps or more.
  • Never run a power cord under a carpet or floor mat.
  • NEVER use a heater where flammable materials or vapors may be present.
  • Do not use space heaters under desks or in other enclosed spaces.
  • Do not place a heater near combustible materials such as papers, fabric, plastics, or office furniture.
  • Do not place a heater in or near wet areas or in high traffic areas such as exit ways.
  • ALWAYS maintain safe distance clearances around space heaters, as directed by the manufacturers’ instructions.
  • Inspect space heaters at least annually and have them repaired, as needed, by a qualified electrician.
  • Heaters that cannot be repaired must be discarded with the plug cut off to prevent inadvertent use by others.
  • Avoid placing space heaters near room thermostats.

Health and Safety Policy

Title: Health and Safety Policy
Policy Owner: Division of Environmental Health and Safety
Applies to: Faculty, Staff, Students, Others
Campus Applicability: UConn Storrs, Regionals, and the Law School
Effective Date: October 24, 2014
For More Information, Contact Division of Environmental Health and Safety
Contact Information: (860) 486-3613
Official Website: http://www.ehs.uconn.edu/

 

Last Reviewed Date: 10/24/2014

Effective Date:  10/24/2014

Applies To: Employees, Faculty, Students, Others

For More Information contact: EHS at 860-486-3613

REASON FOR POLICY

The University of Connecticut is committed to providing a safe and healthful environment for all activities under the jurisdiction of the University.  Accordingly, the University has developed this top level over-arching health and safety policy to outline responsibilities and establish the framework of compliance with all applicable Federal, State and local regulations and University policies and procedures pertaining to worker safety and public health.* Compliance with this policy along with subordinate health and safety policies, programs and procedures linked at the end of this policy document is mandatory.

APPLIES TO 

This policy applies to all faculty, staff, students, researchers, and all other individuals working at the University of Connecticut Storrs, regional campuses and the Law School.

POLICY STATEMENT

The health and safety of all faculty, staff, students and visitors shall be a principal consideration in the planning and conduct of all University activities and programs, and in the design, construction, modification, or renovation of all University buildings and facilities.

This broad policy requires that health and safety regulations of Federal, State and local authorities, appropriate consensus standards of recognized organizations, and University specific policies are met. 

ENFORCEMENT

Violations of this policy including, subordinate health and safety policies, programs or procedures may result in disciplinary measures in accordance with University Laws and By-Laws, General Rules of Conduct for All University Employees, applicable collective bargaining agreements, and the University of Connecticut Student Conduct Code.

 PROCEDURES/FORMS

Building and Emergency Contact (BEC) list

Employee Safety Orientation (ESO)

Workplace Hazard Assessment (WHA)

RESPONSIBILITIES

Individuals – Safety is the responsibility of each and every person at the University of Connecticut. All members of the University community are individually and collectively the owners of safety and share the responsibility to provide and maintain a safe environment.  Each individual is expected to comply with health and safety regulations and University policies, programs and procedures; perform work in a safe and sensible manner and to act to ensure the health and safety of self, coworkers, fellow students and all others at the University.

Individuals working for the University (employees) are required within five days of employment, transfer or job change to discuss potential hazards that they may encounter during the course of their employment with their supervisor.  That discussion shall include identification of workplace hazards along with required controls, personal protective equipment (PPE) and requisite safety training.  Completion and submission of an employee specific Employee Safety Orientation (ESO) form documents that discussion and defines required safety training.  Individuals are responsible to comply with defined controls, wear the appropriate PPE and attend requisite safety training in a timely manner.

Principal Investigators/Unit Managers All personnel who assign and/or oversee work are responsible to ensure that compliant work controls and procedures consistent with Federal, State and local regulations and University policies are implemented to provide for the protection of all personnel and to safeguard the environment.   PIs/Unit Managers in consultation with EHS shall respond in a timely manner to address safety complaints, non-compliances and mitigate potentially unsafe conditions.  PIs/Unit Managers should set, by example, high standards for health and safety. These standards must be consistently applied and appropriate action taken when personnel fail to meet them.

PIs/Unit Managers (supervisors) are responsible to identify hazards in the work environment along with required controls and PPE using the Workplace Hazard Assessment (WHA) form. The WHA must be kept current and reviewed regularly.

The WHA and the ESO forms are generic tools that must be used by the PI/Unit Manager (or designee) to document discussion of hazards in the workplace along with appropriate controls, PPE and safety training.  The ESO must be discussed with the employee within five days of their arrival, transfer or job change.  Submission of the employee specific ESO documents that discussion. Failure to submit the completed ESO or to ensure that employees attend the required training may result in disciplinary action.

Deans, Directors and Department Heads – Each Dean, Director and Department Head is charged to ensure organizational compliance with regulations and University policies and with maintaining a healthful and safe environment for all personnel.  They are expected to take appropriate action to ensure all identified hazards are addressed and identified issues of non-compliance corrected in a timely manner.

Updates are requested from each Dean, Department Head and Director to the Building and Emergency Contact Listing (BEC List) to ensure the timely and effective communication of information to assigned contacts within each building, regarding emergencies, incidents, projects, and other activities that may impact the health and safety of building occupants.

Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) – EHS is charged by the University with implementing all University health and safety policies and procedures* in the Biological, Chemical, Occupational, Public Health and Radiation health and safety fields. EHS has been authorized by, and is accountable to the University President and Senior University Management to identify, assess and enforce this Health and Safety policy and subordinate health and safety regulations, policies and procedures.

EHS is responsible for maintaining a comprehensive program that combines training, consultation, control, and inspection to protect the health and safety of all personnel in the course of University sanctioned activities.  EHS staff provides professional services to measure and evaluate hazards to which the University community may be exposed and ensure compliance with regulations and University policies.  EHS’s responsibilities include:

  • Ensure that all written policies, procedures, and training materials for applicable health and safety regulatory standards are established, current, and available for delivery to appropriate campus groups;
  • Maintain an up-to-date webpage to enhance access to health and safety policies, procedures, technical guidance documents, and compliance assistance information;
  • Facilitate health and safety communications with the University community, and stress the importance of campus wide adherence to appropriate regulations, standards and policies;
  • Provide graded approach (risk based) inspection services to enhance campus health and safety; and facilitate timely correction  of identified non-compliances through escalating notification and enforcement;
  • Verify completion, adequacy and adherence to required health and safety tools (e.g., WHA, ESOs);
  • Promote EHS’s role as an environmental, health and safety information resource ready to meet the needs of the campus community; and
  • Take appropriate measures (including Stop Work Authority for imminent hazard situations) to maintain acceptable margins of safety and regulatory compliance over all University operations.

*Matters pertaining to the protection of the environment should be directed to the Office of Environmental Policy.  Matters pertaining to fire safety and building code compliance should be directed to the Office of the Fire Marshal and Building Inspector. Public safety issues should be directed to the Division of Public Safety.

Administrative Oversight – The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) and the Director of EHS review and approve health and safety policies for the University on behalf of the President and Board of Trustees.  The OVPR is the responsible Senior University Manager for EHS and oversees the implementation of these policies.

COMMITTEES

Environmental Health and Safety Committee

The Environmental Health and Safety Committee has a diverse membership appointed by the OVPR.  Members represent the administration, faculty and staff along with collective bargaining units, and students. The Committee meets quarterly, as mandated by CT General Statute 31-40v, “Establishment of Safety and Health Committees by Certain Employers,” to fulfill its functions and responsibilities. The committee is charged with but not limited to establishing procedures for sharing ideas with the employer concerning:

  1. Safety inspections;
  2. Investigating safety incidents, accidents, illnesses and deaths;
  3. Evaluating accident and illness prevention programs;
  4. Establishing training programs for the identification and reduction of hazards in the workplace which damage the reproductive system of employees; and
  5. Establishing training programs to assist committee members in understanding and identifying the effects of employee substance abuse on workplace accidents and safety.

Focused Subject Matter Safety Committees

A number of safety committees reporting to the Vice President of Research have been established that address aspects of health and safety specific to research activities or focused subject matter.   These committees serve as advisory boards and research protocol review boards working in partnership with EHS to fulfill University goals.  Committee and subject matter information is linked below.

Radiation Safety Committee

Chemical Hygiene Committee

Institutional Biosafety Committee

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

Institutional Review Board

Laser Safety Committee

 ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH and SAFETY POLICIES, PROGRAMS AND PROCEDURES

The University Health and Safety Policy is implemented through a series of policies, programs, procedures and other documents, as appropriate to the operations of UConn. These documents have been developed by EHS in response to regulatory requirements and/or University committee decisions.  These items, listed below, are mandatory in nature, and must be followed to ensure compliance.  They can also be found on the EHS website at:   http://www.ehs.uconn.edu/ppp/

Analytical X-Ray Safety Program

Arboricultural Operations Procedures

Asbestos Management Plan

Biological Safety Manual

Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan

Chemical Hygiene Plan

Chemical Waste Disposal Manual

Confined Spaced Program

Contractor EHS Manual

Electrical Safety Policy

Excavation and Trenching Procedures

Food Service Policies

General Workplace Health & Safety Inspection Program

Hazard Communication Program

Hearing Conservation Program

Laboratory Chemical Inventory Program

Laboratory Inspection Program

Laser Safety Manual

Lockout/Tagout Program

Occupational Health and Safety Program for Animal Handlers

Powered Industrial Truck Program

Radiation Exposure ALARA Program

Radiation Safety Committee Policy on Minor Modifications to an Existing Protocol

Radiation Safety Manual

Respirator Program

Rooftop Laboratory Exhaust Systems Maintenance Procedure

Space Heaters Policy

Transportation of Biological Materials

Working Alone Policy

Electrical Safety Policy

Title: Electrical Safety Policy
Policy Owner: Environmental Health & Safety
Applies to: Faculty, Staff, Students, Others
Campus Applicability:  All University Campuses except UConn Health
Effective Date: October 24, 2014
For More Information, Contact EHS, Occupational Health and Safety Manager
Contact Information: (860) 486-3613
Official Website: http://www.ehs.uconn.edu/

Last Reviewed Date: 10/24/2014

Effective Date:  10/24/2014

Applies To: Faculty, Staff, Students, Others

For More Information contact: EHS, Occupational Health and Safety Manager at 860-486-3613

   1. Reason for Policy

As documented in the University of Connecticut’s Health & Safety Policy, the University is committed to providing a safe and healthful environment for all activities under the jurisdiction of the University. This electrical safety policy has been published and safety programs developed to assure the safety of employees who may work in the vicinity of, or on, electrical systems; ensure that University employees and all applicable personnel understand and comply with the regulatory requirements and University policies related to electrical work; and ensure that all departments and divisions that perform electrical work on campus follow uniform work practices and regulatory requirements.

This policy mandates adherence with the University’s Electrical Safety Program document which complies with all applicable requirements of the OSHA Electrical Safety Regulations 29 CFR 1910 and 29 CFR 1926; NFPA 70, 70E; and other national consensus standards for electrical distribution work.  Research activities that involve electrical work shall comply with best management practices as outlined in the University’s Electrical Safety for Research document. This policy also establishes the University’s Electrical Safety Committee as the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) as defined in NFPA.

   2. Applies To

This policy applies to faculty, staff, students, researchers, and all other individuals performing electrical work at the University of Connecticut Storrs, regional campuses and the Law School.

   3. Definitions

There are three types of electrical work conducted at the University, each with its own risks and each with its own safety control documents. These three types of electrical work are defined below.

Electrical Distribution Work is any installation, testing or modification on or to systems and components from the point of power generation and transmission through distribution and delivery to electrical outlets (receptacles) or other hardwired electrical service.  Electrical distribution work is performed by trained and authorized electricians, line crew and approved contractors with strict adherence to appropriate standards such as the National Electric Code (NFPA 70), the National Electrical Safety Code and the University’s Electrical Safety Program.

Electrical Research Work is any activity, that could involve direct exposure to electrical energy, while operating, troubleshooting or servicing electrical or electronic equipment (utilization equipment) that is managed and maintained by a University Principal Investigators (PI) or their staff in the course of their scientific investigation. Electrical research work must be performed by “Authorized Electrical Workers” in compliance with the University’s Electrical Safety for Research Program.

Incidental Electrical Work is any subordinate activity involving electrical energy; and which does not directly expose personnel to electrical energy in the performance of their primary task.  Examples include plugging and unplugging cord powered devices into a receptacle.

Utilization Equipment is considered any apparatus (scientific or otherwise) that is powered by cord and plug to an electrical outlet; or is a hardwired piece of equipment with the sole purpose to further a scientific investigation.

   4. Policy Statement

According the University’s Health & Safety Policy, “The health and safety of all faculty, staff, students, researchers, contractors and visitors is a principal consideration in the planning and conduct of all University activities and programs, and in the design, construction, modification, or renovation of all University buildings and facilities.” Therefore, electrical work must comply with all requirements and best management practices as defined in the appropriate electrical safety program (Distribution or Research).  

 This broad policy requires that health and safety regulations of Federal, State and local authorities, appropriate consensus standards of recognized organizations, and University protocols are met.

 Enforcement

Violations of this policy may result in appropriate disciplinary measures in accordance with University Laws and By-Laws, General Rules of Conduct for All University Employees, applicable collective bargaining agreements, and the University of Connecticut Student Conduct Code.

   5. Procedures/Forms

Electrical Safety Program

Electrical Safety for Research Program