Enforcement of Training and Medical Surveillance
This section has been reviewed and updated as needed: June 2014
Many State and Federal regulations require employers to provide specific training programs and occupational medical surveillance to employees initially upon employment and in some cases, as shown in Appendix A, annually thereafter. Safety training is the mechanism used to inform employees on specific regulations and the safety procedures to follow while employed at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Medical Surveillance programs establish baselines of new employees hired to effectively monitor potential exposures and to provide employees with required immunizations for certain occupations or clearance to perform specific operations such as respiratory protection. With the excellent cooperation of Deans, Directors, and Department Heads, the University’s commitment in providing a safe and healthful work environment will be achieved.
Failure to comply with training and medical surveillance will jeopardize the University’s accredited programs, grants, and overall creditability. Additionally, non-enforcement will result in increased workers’ compensation cost and state/federal regulatory fines. The goal of this policy is to prevent any negative impact on the University, Research, Students, Employees or the surrounding Community.
This enforcement policy is designed to minimize risk to employees by emphasizing safety education and medical surveillance, while maintaining full compliance with State and federal regulations and University safety policies and procedures.
While the Department of Environment, Health and Safety performs various periodic inspections and communicates compliance, the ultimate responsibility lies with the Department Heads and the employees themselves.
Environment, Health and Safety
The Department of Environment, Health and Safety promotes maintaining compliance with University policy, North Carolina General Statutes, and other State and Federal regulations. Through a variety of methods, EHS promotes compliance to departments and employees as outlined below in the Notification Mechanisms of Compliance section. As the enforcing authority for the University, EHS function is to secure compliance with these regulations by taking appropriate measures to maintain a safe and healthy workplace.
Department Heads and Supervisors
The responsibility for maintaining safety compliance is placed upon Supervisors, Faculty Members, Department Heads, Directors, and Deans. Each one is responsible for ensuring that employees attend EHS Employee Orientation specific to the employee’s work environment, and any other occupational related safety training, along with receiving the required Medical Surveillance within the specified time period (see Appendix A). Supervisors are to keep abreast of Environment, Health and Safety requirements and communicate them effectively and in a timely manner to their staff.
Each employee is responsible for attending the required EHS Employee Orientation specific to the employee’s work environment and any other occupational related safety training within the specified time period. Where applicable, employees are also responsible for establishing a medical surveillance appointment with the University Employee Occupational Health Clinic within the first 10 days of employment. This is a condition of further employment with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Failure to Comply
Failure to comply with the required safety training and medical surveillance within the first 30 days of employment and/or on anniversary dates thereafter will result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. The action taken will be based on factors contributing to noncompliance.
When a Supervisor fails to notify staff of safety requirements or compel employee compliance, the Department Head will be notified by EHS of noncompliance and given thirty days to bring his/her staff into compliance. If after an additional thirty days compliance still has not been met, then the Department’s name will be submitted to the University Safety and Security Committee (USSC) for not complying with safety regulations. The USSC will review the noncompliance and decide what appropriate action needs to be taken against the department or supervisor.
If an employee fails to comply after receiving notification from the supervisor, then the employee will be given 10 days in which to become compliant or receive disciplinary action as determined by the supervisor. If after 10 days compliance has not been met, then further disciplinary action will be taken up to and including dismissal of the employee. University employees issued credentials by UNC Hospitals will be reported to the UNC Hospitals Credentials Committee for possible revocation.
Notification Mechanisms of Compliance
Environment, Health and Safety
The Department of Environment, Health and Safety has several mechanisms in place to inform Dean, Directors, Department Heads, and employees about compliance status.
- New Employee Safety Orientation notification emails are sent monthly via the EHS Compliance Portal until training has been completed. Employees without email addresses are sent letters once a month.
- EHS includes compliance with training and medical surveillance as part of the annual inspection program.
- Monthly Departmental compliance reports are sent to the Clinical Departments outlining current medical surveillance and training status.
- All employees receive email notifications via the EHS Compliance Portal whenever training or medical surveillance is due or out of compliance. Notifications continue until compliance is met.
- Principal Investigators can check the current training status of their staff in real time on the training compliance page of the Laboratory Safety Plan which is located on the EHS website.
- Employees working with Radiation receive notification letters for their particular training requirements.
EHS has a partnership with the Department of Human Resources in notifying new hires of safety compliance.
- For SPA, the UNC-Chapel Hill Human Resources Conditions of Employment and Job Offer Acceptance form, which states the condition of employment, includes safety training and medical surveillance requirements.
- For EPA employees, Human Resources will include EHS safety training and medical surveillance requirements as part of the EPA Orientation Program.
- For temporary employees, the Certification of Review of Relevant Employment Policies form, which states the conditions of employment, includes safety training and medical surveillance requirements.
Department Heads and Supervisors
Department Heads and Supervisors must include safety compliance as a component of the employee’s performance evaluation.