Photo courtesy of UNC-TV.

The University of North Carolina Center for Public Television (UNC-TV) provides statewide family-oriented educational television programming transmitted through 12 stations across the state, and in 2016 they asked EHS for assistance with enhancing their health and safety program. The UNC General Administration and the University signed a memorandum of understanding for UNC-TV to adopt the University’s policies and procedures for a shared vision of safety.

The first goal was to implement the UNC-CH Hazards Management Plan (HMP) program at the UNC-TV headquarters and stations. The HMP program requires each work unit to create a written safety and environmental plan outlining information such as required safety training, personal protective equipment, and hazardous equipment used by personnel. The plan is submitted and approved through an online application. EHS trained UNC-TV supervisors to utilize the online system and is in the process of assisting supervisors in submitting the plans.

The next goal was to conduct HMP inspections of the Chapel Hill and Concord stations to identify health and safety opportunities. The inspections also gave EHS insight into the unique work environment and specific hazards associated with broadcasting, including working with radio frequency sources.

This insight enabled EHS to provide advice and expertise to ensure the appropriate safety training and PPE as identified on the HMP plans. The inspection feedback identified items that could be addressed at all UNC-TV locations.

UNC-TV also organized an inaugural safety committee meeting with representatives from each of the EHS safety units. This committee offers an avenue for employees to express safety concerns and fosters collaboration on all safety issues. The inaugural meeting was attended by the UNC-TV Director and General Manager, Brian Sickora, demonstrating management’s commitment to create a positive safety culture.

The partnership between UNC-TV and UNC-CH EHS will be ongoing with the exchange of ideas over the coming months and years. UNC-TV understands the safety concerns of working near radio frequency sources and UNC-CH is in the process of implementing a campus radio frequency safety program. Together, the University and UNC-TV are working to keep our broadcasting community safe.

EHS developed a Roof Access policy to establish requirements for the safety of UNC employees when accessing roofs in various locations around campus. The purpose of this policy is to implement a set of guidelines and requirements to mitigate hazards associated with accessing campus roofs. Potential exposure to radio frequency sources is addressed in the policy due to rooftop network carrier antennas.

Currently, 13 roofs have antennas as part of the Neutral Hosting/Distributed Antenna System initiative which is an effort to provide cellular coverage across campus. EHS developed RF Safety Awareness Training to inform employees that they must obey all posted signs, assume antennas are transmitting and not enter the prohibited area around antennas.

Performance measurement is a critical part of the EHS management system. Education, customer service and internal processes are the three most essential components of our work. The chart below indicates the performance in these areas over a five-year period with Level Four representing optimum performance. The adjacent tab shows the specific performance activities and the level of that performance for 2016.

Level Education Customer Service Internal Processes
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Level Four Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level
Level Three Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level
Level Two Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level
Level One Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level
Compliance

Education

  • Trained 683 Maintenance, Housekeeping, and Design and Construction Services employees in asbestos awareness through online and in-class training. (Level Four)
  • Trained 157 Maintenance and Design/Construction Services employees on OSHA Lead-in Construction Standard through in-class and online training. (Level Four)
  • Trained 536 employees enrolled in the Hearing Conservation Program on Occupational Noise Safety through in-class and online training. (Level Four)
  • Trained 8 new hires and employees with standard threshold shifts in the Hearing Conservation Program on proper fit of ear plugs using the Veripro system. (Level Three)
  • Trained 240 employees from Facilities Services and Energy Services on confined space via in-class and online training. (Level Three)
  • Trained 33 employees from Facilities Services, Energy Services and EHS on confined space job-specific protocols. (Level Three)
  • Trained 117 employees from Facilities Services and Energy Services on lockout/tagout through online training. (Level Two)
  • Presented Laboratory Electrical Safety at NLAC seminar. (Level Two)
  • One EHS staff attended Asbestos Inspector, Management Planner and Designer refresher training provided by NC OSHERC. (Level Two)
  • Two EHS staff attended Asbestos Supervisor Refresher training along with 6 Facilities Services employees arranged by EHS and provided by AAA Environmental. (Level One)
  • One EHS staff attended Lead Inspector and Risk Assessor Refresher training course. (Level One)
  • Conducted training of Electrical, Plumbing and Carpentry shops on Blackwater Response. (Level One)

Customer Service

  • Conducted 98 lead and asbestos inspections, including building and material testing to support in-house maintenance and construction activity. (Level Four)
  • Performed personal and area noise-monitoring assessments for Davie Hall and Sheet Metal shop during noise generating work activities or in response to noise concerns. (Level Four)
  • Coordinated mobile hearing tests for 169 employees enrolled in Hearing Conservation Program, saving $5K for tested departments. (Level Four)
  • Participated in planning, review, and implementation of 47 environmental remediation projects involving asbestos, lead, and mercury abatement. Multiple projects involved mold remediation. As CIP representatives of EHS, participated in selection of architectural and engineering firms. (Level Three)
  • Provided support to confined space program by conducting atmospheric monitoring during four in-house confined space entries, reviewing contractor’s entry program for projects, and auditing entry forms. (Level Three)
  • Monitored for ultrafine particles and determined ventilation requirements in Makerspace hub at Kenan Science Library during 3D printing. (Level Three)
  • Assisted Workplace Safety with an inspection of fixed ladders and a trenching project at Eddie Smith Field House. (Level Two)
  • Assisted UNC TV by aiding in implementation of a hazards management inspection program and attending their inaugural safety committee meeting. (Level Two)
  • Met with Art Lab and Facilities Services to discuss monitoring for crystalline silica during classes involving molding of pottery/ceramics and eliminate ventilation concerns. (Level Two)
  • Performed 25 indoor air quality investigations within various campus buildings and responded to 17 odor complaints and recommended response actions. (Level One)
  • Responded to 8 flood events, 4 of which were black water events and assisted Building Services in determining extent of water damage. (Level One)
  • Investigated 15 instances of mold contamination and recommended remediation protocols. (Level One)

Internal Processes

  • Participated in PAT program to provide cost savings to EHS by conducting PCM asbestos analysis in-house. (Level Two)
  • Provided 14 mercury and asbestos abatement design specifications, including provision of a written scope of work, contractor pricing and hiring of an abatement contractor and consultant saving $10K for Facilities Services’ clients. (Level Two)
  • Provided mercury assessments and mercury cleanup guidance for 8 laboratory renovation projects and spill responses. (Level Two)
  • Conducted 37 Hazard Management Plan inspections for Facilities Services, Energy Services and departmental shops. Many inspections included development of JSAs. (Level One)
  • Developed a Roof Access Policy which included radio frequency safety approved by University Safety Security Committee. (Level One)
  • Developed an Asbestos Management Plan to compliment the Asbestos Control Program including an Asbestos and HazMat Flow Chart. (Level One)