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:


Last Reviewed Date: 08/02/2018

Effective Date:  10/24/2014

Applies To: Employees, Faculty, Students, Others

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


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.


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.


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. 


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 Code.


Building and Emergency Contact (BEC) list

Employee Safety Training Assessment (ESTA)

Workplace Hazard Assessment (WHA)


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 Training Assessment 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 ESTA are generic tools that must be used by the PI/Unit Manager (or designee) to document review of hazards in the workplace along with appropriate controls, PPE and safety training.  The ESTA must be completed with the employee within five days of their arrival, transfer or job change.  Failure to complete an ESTA 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.

The Division of 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, ESTAs);
  • 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 Fire Marshal and Building Inspector’s Office. 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.


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.

Chemical Hygiene Committee

Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)

Institutional Review Board (IRB)

Laser Safety Committee

Radiation Safety Committee


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:

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

Controlled Substances Policy

Electrical Safety Program

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

PCB Management Plan

Powered Industrial Truck Program

Radiation Exposure/Radioactive Effluents ALARA Program

Radiation Safety Committee Policy on Minor Modifications to an Existing Protocol

Radiation Safety Manual

Respirator Program

Rooftop Laboratory Exhaust Systems Maintenance Procedure

Silica in Construction Exposure Plan

Space Heaters Policy

Transportation of Biological Materials

Working Alone Policy