Purpose and Responsibility
This section has been reviewed and updated as needed: April 2014
Each State agency is to have a written health and safety program for State employees, based on clearly stated goals or objectives, that promotes safe and healthful working conditions. The program is intended to provide managers, supervisors, and employees with a clear and firm understanding of the State’s and the University’s concern for protecting employees from job-related injuries and illnesses; preventing accidents and fires; planning for emergencies and emergency medical procedures; identifying and controlling physical, chemical, and biological hazards in the workplace; communicating potential hazards to employees; and maintaining a sanitary environment.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) is committed to providing a safe and healthful environment for all persons associated with the University, including faculty, staff, students, visitors, and members of the Chapel Hill community.
The University emphasizes an integrated systems approach, as well as safety education and training as the primary means of achieving this goal. The Environment, Health and Safety department is primarily responsible for environment, health and safety functions at the University, by developing EHS programs and performing various periodic inspections. Department heads, faculty members, and supervisors are considered directly responsible for maintaining full compliance with State and Federal regulations and University safety policies and procedures.
The University has established a written State Employee Workplace Requirements Program for Safety and Health that contains the following information:
- Methods to be used to identify, analyze, and control new or existing hazards, conditions, and operations.
- Responsibilities of managers, supervisors, and employees for implementing the program, controlling accident-related expenditures, and methods to establish, measure, and maintain continued participation of management and employees.
- Methods to communicate the plan to all affected employees so that they are informed of work-related physical, chemical, or biological hazards, and controls necessary to prevent injury or illness.
- Programs for training managers, supervisors, and employees in avoidance of job-related injuries and health impairments.
- Methods for reporting and investigating workplace accidents and implementing corrective actions.
- Methods to communicate and enforce safe work practices and rules.
- Types of safety and health training programs that will be made available to employees.
- Methods for employees to make complaints concerning safety and health problems without fear of retaliation.
- Methods for employees to receive medical attention following a work-related injury or illness.
- Establishment of Environment, Health and Safety Committees to perform workplace inspections, review injury and illness records, make advisory recommendations to the Chancellor, and perform other functions necessary for the effective implementation of the Employee Workplace Environment, Health and Safety Program.
Environment, Health and Safety Officer
The Director of the Environment, Health and Safety Office is responsible for implementation of the UNC-CH environment, health and safety program and the development of additional environment, health and/or safety procedures necessary to meet the special situations that are unique to UNC-CH.
Specific responsibilities include:
- Development of an EHS management system which utilizes risk assessment methodology for use in correcting workplace hazards on a priority basis throughout the University.
- Maintenance of an environment, health and safety documentation system for review of effectiveness.
- Establishment of long-range environment, health and safety goals. Submission of an annual report to the Vice Chancellor for Administration, with a copy to the Office of State Personnel, indicating achievements and annual goals and objectives.
Each supervisor is responsible for providing safe working conditions for those being supervised and for following up on reports of violations of safe working conditions. Each supervisor is also responsible for knowing the environment, health and safety guidelines, investigating accidents, reporting incidents, ensuring that employees attend safety training, reviewing and providing staff with personal protective equipment, provide job-specific safety training, and properly advising higher management of appropriate situations.
The environment, health and safety program is the responsibility of each employee, supervisor, and manager and should be an important factor in evaluating the work performance of each.
Each employee is to place environment, health and safety requirements as first in importance in the performance of his or her work duties for UNC-CH. The protection of fellow employees and the public on University property is a shared responsibility of every employee.
An employee is responsible for notifying his/her immediate supervisor of a violation or deficiency in safe and healthful working conditions and for recommending corrective measures, if possible. Additionally, the employee’s immediate supervisor is to be notified of every injury or accident regardless of how trivial such accident may appear at that time.
Specific responsibilities stated in the University’s Environment, Health and Safety Program which are included in the UNC Employee Environment, Health and Safety Handbook are:
- UNC-CH conducts an environment, health and safety program for the purpose of preventing injuries to employees, protecting the health of its employees and damage to property.
- Every employee is required to participate in the University’s program.
- Quality service with environment, health and safety is the cornerstone of the University’s program.
- Safety instructions and rules are to be obeyed. Safety devices installed and safety equipment provided are to be used. Defective tools and other equipment without proper guarding are not to be used.
- Unsafe conditions or practices are to be reported to the immediate supervisor.
- All injuries occurring on the job and any illness associated with the job are to be reported promptly and in writing to the supervisor. Questions concerning medical treatment of these injuries/illnesses should also be addressed to the supervisor.
- All employees or escorted visitors entering a designated hazardous, caution, or restricted area are required to use personal protective equipment and adhere to environment, health and safety procedures immediately upon access to the area.
- Good conduct is expected – “horseplay” or “fooling around” will not be tolerated.
- All fires, accidental damage to property, hazardous material spills and other emergency occurrences no matter how slight must be reported to the Environment, Health and Safety Office.
- All hazardous materials are to be disposed of according to University procedures, in compliance with State and federal regulations. Supervisors and/or the Environment, Health and Safety Office can provide advice regarding proper disposal method and practices.
- Working under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs is specifically forbidden. Use of prescription drugs, which may affect alertness or work abilities, must be reported to the supervisor.
- Failure to comply with or enforce environment, health and safety rules and regulations may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. Violation of work rules is a job performance issue and is to be dealt with through the job performance disciplinary process.
- All employees are required to attend New Employee Safety Orientation for their designated work environment within 30 days of employment.
- Employees subject to Joint Commission Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) and OSHA are to present immunization documentation to the University Employee Occupational Health Clinic (UEOHC) within 10 workdays of employment.