The State of North Carolina mandates workplace safety programs for all state agencies, including universities. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill falls into the category of agencies required to have an agency-wide committee composed of senior administrators, and sub-committees composed of at least 50% non-supervisory personnel.

State regulations require each state agency (including universities) to create health and safety committees to perform workplace inspections, review injury and illness records, make advisory recommendations to the administration, and perform other functions determined by the State Personnel Commission to be necessary for the effective implementation of the State Workplace Requirement Program.

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The duties and responsibilities of these committees can be found below.

Hazards Management Safety Committee

Duties and responsibilities:

  • Review all safety and health policies and procedures established by the agency pertaining to hazards management.
  • Review incidents involving work-related fatalities, injuries, illnesses or near misses related to hazards management.
  • Review employee complaints regarding safety and health hazards related to hazards management.
  • Analyze the agency’s work injury and illness statistical records related to hazards management.
  • Conduct inspections of worksites at least annually and in response to complaints regarding safety or health hazards.
  • Conduct interviews with employees in conjunction with inspections of the workplace.
  • Review agency’s training records to ensure compliance with regulatory training requirements.
  • Conduct meetings at least once every three months. Maintain written minutes of such meeting and send copy to each committee member. Copy of minutes shall be posted in the appropriate workplace.
  • Designate Employee Safety and Health Representative(s) to accompany representatives from regulatory agencies (i.e. NCOSHA, NC Department of Insurance, NC Division of Environmental Management) during safety and health inspections of the workplace.
  • Make written recommendations on behalf of the committee to the agency head.
  • EHS issues in the support service, office, maintenance, construction, learning and campus living environments.
  • Other EHS issues that do not occur in laboratory or clinic environments, such as small shops.
  • Review EHS survey program findings for non-laboratories (HMP).
  • Other broad EHS issues such as slips, trips, falls and property risks.

Institutional Biosafety Committee

Additional duties:

  • Review the biological safety cabinet certification program.
  • Review the biohazardous and infectious waste management program.
  • Review laboratory EHS survey program (CLIP) findings pertaining to biological safety.
  • Review the program for shipment and receipt of biological materials.
  • Advise on the security of biological materials and select agents.
  • Advise on issues in research involving infectious agents and related biotechnologies.
  • Advise on safe laboratory design and engineering for biohazard containment.

Laboratory and Chemical Safety Committee

Duties and responsibilities:

  • Review safety and health policies and procedures established by the agency pertaining to laboratory and chemical safety.
  • Review incidents involving work-related fatalities, injuries, illnesses or near misses related to laboratory and chemical safety.
  • Review employee complaints regarding safety and health hazards related to laboratory and chemical safety.
  • Analyze the agency’s work injury and illness statistical records related to laboratory and chemical safety.
  • Conduct inspections of laboratories and worksites utilizing chemicals at least annually and in response to complaints regarding safety or health hazards.
  • Conduct interviews with employees in conjunction with inspections of the workplace.
  • Review agency’s training records related to laboratory and chemical safety to ensure compliance with regulatory training requirements.
  • Conduct meetings at least once every three months. Maintain written minutes of such meeting and send copy to each committee member. Copy of minutes shall be posted in the appropriate workplace.
  • Designate Employee Safety and Health Representative(s) to accompany representatives from regulatory agencies (i.e. NCOSHA, NC Department of Insurance, NC Division of Environmental Management) during safety and health inspections of the workplace.
  • Make written recommendations on behalf of the committee to the agency head.
  • Laboratory EHS issues not specifically pertaining to biosafety or radiation safety, and broad laboratory EHS issues.
  • OSHA laboratory standard compliance.
  • Shipment and receipt of laboratory chemicals.
  • Flammable liquids and other fire hazards in laboratories.
  • Safe laboratory design, ventilation and engineering.
  • Security of laboratory chemicals.
  • Carcinogens, reproductive toxins and pesticides.
  • Review laboratory EHS survey program (CLIP) findings not specifically pertaining to biosafety or radiation safety.

Occupational Health and Clinical Safety Committee

Duties and responsibilities:

  • Review safety and health policies and procedures established by the agency pertaining to occupational health and clinical safety.
  • Review incidents involving work-related fatalities, injuries, illnesses or near misses related to occupational health and clinical safety.
  • Review employee complaints regarding safety and health hazards related to occupational health and clinical safety.
  • Analyze the agency’s work injury and illness statistical records relating to occupational health and clinical safety.
  • Conduct inspections of clinical worksites at least annually and in response to complaints regarding safety or health hazards.
  • Conduct interviews with employees in conjunction with inspections of the workplace.
  • Review agency’s training records relating to occupational health and clinical safety to ensure compliance with regulatory training requirements.
  • Conduct meetings at least once every three months. Maintain written minutes of such meeting and send copy to each committee member. Copy of minutes shall be posted in the appropriate workplace.
  • Designate Employee Safety and Health Representative(s) to accompany representatives from regulatory agencies (i.e. NCOSHA, NC Department of Insurance, NC Division of Environmental Management) during safety and health inspections of the workplace.
  • Make written recommendations on behalf of the committee to the agency head.
  • Advise the Environment, Health, and Safety Department regarding issues in the clinic environment.
  • Address bloodborne pathogen safety and needlestick prevention issues not addressed by the unit infection control committees.
  • Advise on health surveillance and other occupational health issues.
  • Advise on campus health and sanitation.
  • As requested, advise the University Employee Occupational Health Clinic.
  • As requested, advise the workers’ compensation program.

Radiation Safety Committee

Additional duties:

  • Review the radioactive waste management program.
  • Review the findings of the laboratory EHS survey program (CLIP) pertaining to radiation safety.
  • Shipment and receipt of laboratory chemicals.
  • Advise on security of radioactive materials.
  • Review the laser safety program.

University Safety and Security Committee (Umbrella Committee)

In 1992, the North Carolina Legislature mandated formal workplace safety programs that included the writing of a workplace safety plan and the establishment of several safety-related committees. In response to the legislation, a University-wide policy committee composed of senior administrators has been established to recommend safety policies and procedures and funding priorities to the Chancellor.

The committee also focuses on crime prevention and security, making appropriate recommendations to the Chancellor to improve both the University’s physical security and the educational efforts provided for students and employees relating to security and to crime prevention.

Finally, the Committee serves as the central coordinating mechanism for those University committees concerned with aspects of safety and security, especially with respect to research and emergency preparedness, including Radiation Safety Committee, Institutional Biosafety Committee, the IACUC, and the Emergency Warning Committee.

Committee members are appointed by the Chancellor and the Committee reports to the Chancellor. The Committee meets quarterly. The minutes of the Committee and its subcommittee meetings are published and provided to all members of its subcommittees as well as to its own membership. Reports and recommendations of this Committee are forwarded to the Chancellor or to other appropriate administrators for consideration.

Members of the University Safety and Security Committee serve ex officio. Additional members are appointed by the Chancellor, as he deems appropriate. Committee membership is principally determined by the work responsibilities of the member. The chair of the committee shall be the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration, ex officio. Members of the committee ex officio are the Vice Chancellor and General Counsel, the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Studies, the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, the Director of Public Safety, the Director of the Department of Environment, Health and Safety, the Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, the Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities, the Associate Vice Chancellor for Campus Services, the Chair of the IACUC, the Radiation Safety Committee, the Institutional Biosafety Committee, and the chairs of the Committee’s subcommittees.

Several subcommittees of the University Safety and Security Committee have been established to deal with particular issues and functions, but all of them are charged with the responsibility of integrating their work with that of the other relevant subcommittees as well as the University Safety and Security Committee.

Three workplace safety subcommittees, each of which must be composed of at least 50% non-supervisory personnel, have been established to review safety and health policies and conditions and make recommendations for improvements. These three subcommittees address the following functions: Occupational Health and Clinical Safety; Laboratory and Chemical Safety; and Hazards Management. The charge for each of these subcommittees is attached. Each of these subcommittees meets quarterly. The minutes of subcommittee meetings are published and prominently displayed in all relevant work units. Reports and recommendations of the subcommittees are forwarded to the University Safety and Security Committee for consideration.

The Campus Security Subcommittee has been established to focus on crime prevention and security. It makes recommendations to the University Safety and Security Committee designed to improve both the University’s physical security and educational efforts related to crime prevention for the University community. The Campus Security Subcommittee’s efforts are augmented by other campus education and security programs. It meets at least quarterly and its minutes are also available to the public.

Members of the Workplace Safety Environment Subcommittees and the Campus Security Subcommittee are appointed by the Chancellor. The chair of each subcommittee is designated by the Chancellor. Half of the membership of each subcommittee dealing with workplace safety environment must consist of non-supervisory employees. A professional staff member of the Department of Environment, Health, and Safety with appropriate expertise serves as a non-voting staff support person to the subcommittees dealing with workplace safety environments. Subcommittee members, other than ex officio members, are normally appointed for three years. The Director of the Department of Environment, Health, and Safety, the Associate Vice Chancellor for Campus Services, and a representative from the Office of University Counsel may attend any subcommittee meeting in a non-voting capacity, to the extent not already on the subcommittee ex officio.