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Make, Frame, Reveal

Make, Frame and Reveal is the mission statement of the UNC-Chapel Hill Department of Art and Art History. In support of this simple but powerful mission statement, Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) assisted the Department in developing an online training module entitled Safety in the Department of Art and Art History for their faculty, students, and staff.

UNC-Chapel Hill is committed to providing a safe environment that supports the health and safety practices of its art community and empowers the community to be responsible for the safety of others. Through this training, the Department and EHS wanted to instill in the campus art community that safety is everyone’s responsibility. Developing and maintaining this Culture of Safety is a critical component of scholarly excellence as well as an important element of the teaching mission at UNC-Chapel Hill.

It is a common misconception that creating art is non-hazardous. However, artists encounter the same hazards as “high risk” occupations. The training provides a general overview of hazards and regulatory requirements associated with safely creating art in the department’s two main art studio facilities: the Hanes Art Center and the Art Lab. The Hanes Art Center includes a 300-seat auditorium, classrooms, libraries and faculty and graduate student studios. Artworks are exhibited in the Allcott Gallery and other exhibition spaces. The Art Lab houses most of the department’s sculpture facilities, including a fully-equipped tool room and complete metalworking, woodworking, and ceramic shops. The facility also includes 12 graduate and faculty studios, a critique room and a 615-square foot “clean room” for photographing and displaying artwork.

The training instructs the campus art community on general safety such as the steps to follow during a fire emergency or how to proceed in case of an injury. Also, it outlines methods implemented to control exposure to hazards experienced during activities such as painting, welding and carpentry. Exposure control methods include local exhaust ventilation, limiting exposure duration, and lastly, the use of personal protective equipment (i.e., gloves, respiratory protection, etc.). Proper chemical waste disposal procedures and the use of safer products are covered in the training. The training discusses the risk of improper body positioning and ways to prevent repetitive motion disorders while creating art.

Artists are passionate about their work, but the Department and EHS are just as passionate about creating a safe environment to foster their creativity. Our overall objective for this training is:

  • To encourage students to be responsible artists.
  • To know their materials and read product labels.
  • To follow the directions of the instructor and facility managers.
  • To report unsafe conditions or damaged equipment immediately.
  • Most of all, to work safely and be considerate of the health and safety of the people around them.
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 2018.

Components, Years and Level Completed
Education Customer Service Internal Processes
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 2 2 2 3 3


  • Trained 564 Maintenance, Housekeeping, and Design and Construction Services employees in asbestos awareness through online and in-class training.
  • Transitioned from predominantly in-class Asbestos Awareness training to online training module.
  • Trained 157 Maintenance and Design/Construction Services employees on OSHA Lead-in Construction Standard through in-class and online training.
  • Trained 386 employees enrolled in the Hearing Conservation Program on Occupational Noise Safety through in-class and online training.
  • Trained 83 employees from Facilities Services on confined space awareness via online training.
  • Trained 271 employees from Facilities Services, Energy Services and UNC Police on confined space via in-class and online training.
  • Trained 31 employees from Facilities Services, Energy Services and EHS on confined space job-specific protocols.
  • Trained 137 employees from Facilities Services and Energy Services on lockout/tagout through online training.
  • Trained 10 UNC-TV safety supervisors on the online Hazards Management Plan system.
  • Presented occupational noise exposure lecture to approximately 10 students in the School of Public Health Introduction to Industrial Hygiene class.
  • Assisted Workplace Safety in the development of silica awareness training for campus employees.
  • Trained approximately 25 Building Services supervisors on job safety analysis as part of the Hazards Management Plan (HMP) team.

Customer Service

  • Conducted 90 lead and asbestos inspections, including building and material testing, to support in-house maintenance and construction activity.
  • Conducted monitoring for asbestos during six internal small-scale removal and clean-up projects performed by the Insulation Shop.
  • Coordinated mobile hearing tests for 237 employees enrolled in the Hearing Conservation Program, saving $5,700 for the tested departments.
  • Assisted UNC-TV with the development of their health and safety program by training employees on the online Hazards Management Plan (HMP) system, updating work units and reviewing submitted HMPs.
  • Assisted the Department of Art and Art History with safety concern with deteriorating guards on exhaust fans Hanes Art Room 301.
  • Supported the Mary Ellen Jones renovation project by collecting approximately 120 water samples for lead testing prior to move-in.
  • Performed 22 indoor air quality investigations within various campus buildings and responded to 21 odor complaints and recommended response actions.
  • Responded to ten large flood events and eight black water events. Assisted Building Services in determining the extent of the water damage.
  • Investigated 35 instances of mold contamination and recommended remediation protocols.
  • Responded to question concerning the hazards of employees wearing ear buds in high noise areas for the Department of Comparative Medicine.
  • Industrial Hygiene monitoring during use of Rubber Renue product due to an employee concern in Parking Maintenance and monitoring for tetrachloroethylene during use of brake cleaner in the Grounds Garage.
  • Conducted monitoring for mercury while Facilities Services conducted the following activities on the Dental School vacuum system: vacuum pump repair, receiver tank maintenance, tank flushing and drain clearing. Revised PPE assessments for these activities based on results.

Internal Processes

  • Updated and relaunched the basic online confined space entry notification form for use by Facilities and Energy Services.
  • Collaborated with Energy Services and Facilities Services GIS specialists and IT to identify a GIS confined space list to use in conjunction with an online entry notification and tracking system. The system is in the development phase.
  • Provided mercury assessments and mercury cleanup guidance for six laboratory renovation projects and spill responses.
  • Updated the online asbestos building information documents to assist in planning of environmental remediation projects.
  • Conducted 48 Hazard Management Plan inspections for Facilities Services, Energy Services and departmental shops throughout campus.
  • Participated in OSHA inspections at the Art Lab and Med School Wing C and assisted in implementing corrective actions.
  • Participated as members of the Dental School Mercury Committee to address concerns associated with maintenance of the vacuum system.
  • Presented the OSHA Crystalline Silica Policy to the Hazards Management Committee for approval.
  • Coordinated the first annual EHS Safety Fair for Facilities and Energy Services as part of the Hazards Management Plan (HMP) team.