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516 - Environment, Health & Safety

Section: 516-1
Effective: 12/01/2006
Supersedes: 11/19/1999
Next Review Date: TBD
Issuance Date: 12/01/2006
Issuing Office: Environment, Health & Safety

PPM 516-1 Policy [pdf format]


I.            POLICY


              The University of California, San Diego is committed to achieving excellence in providing a healthy and safe working environment, and to supporting environmentally sound practices in the conduct of University activities. It is UCSD policy to comply with all applicable health, safety, and environmental protection laws, regulations, and requirements.


              To meet this standard of excellence, UCSD implements management initiatives and best practices to systematically integrate health, safety, and environmental considerations and sustainable use of natural resources into all activities. All UCSD activities are to be conducted in a manner that ensures the protection of students, faculty, staff, visitors, the public, property, and the environment.


              The University’s goal is to prevent all workplace injuries and illnesses, environmental incidents, and property losses or damage. Achieving this goal is the responsibility of every member of the UCSD community.  Supervisors have particular responsibility for the activities of those people who report to them.




              Everyone at UCSD has responsibility for his or her occupational health and safety. Each individual is responsible and accountable for ensuring his or her own activities are performed safely and in accordance with current polices and guidelines.


              Supervisors have an especially important role in the UCSD health and safety program. Supervisors are responsible and accountable for ensuring all activities under their control are performed safety and in accordance with current policies and guidelines.


              A.       The Chancellor is responsible for implementing UCSD's Policy on Environment, Health and Safety at all UCSD facilities.


              B.       The Vice Chancellors are responsible for implementing and enforcing this policy in all facilities and operations within their respective jurisdictions.


              C.       Deans, Provosts, Directors and Department Chairs are responsible for safety performance in their areas and for ensuring departments and other units under their supervision have effective programs to meet their safety obligations. This includes reviewing matters such as space allocation and employee health and safety programs as they relate to research involving biohazards, chemical hazards, radiation safety, and fire and life safety issues. This also includes providing appropriate safety equipment and personal protective equipment for employees to do the work safely. The Administrative Official may designate a Department Safety Officer, Department Safety Coordinator, or departmental safety committee to carry out departmental health and safety responsibilities, but still remains accountable for providing effective health and safety programs.


              D.       Principal Investigators (PI), Managers, and Supervisors are responsible for implementing the health, safety, and environmental management program, as set forth in the Blink website (http://blink.ucsd.edu/ehs) and within the Administrative Responsibilities Handbook (http://blink.ucsd.edu/go/adminhandbook), as the program relates to operations under their control. This includes assuring completion of training required by the Injury and Illness Prevention Program for every employee, training required by any of the Chancellor's safety committees, and other training needed for each employee to perform their job safely. The PI, Manager or Supervisor may provide the training themselves or assure that employees attend appropriate health and safety classes provided by EH&S. All training must be acknowledged by the employee and documented by the PI, Manager, or Supervisor. A PI may designate an Area Safety Coordinator to carry out specific safety requirements, but still remains accountable for providing effective health and safety programs.


              E.       All faculty, staff, and students are responsible for complying with the health, safety, and environmental management program, as set forth in the Blink website (http://blink.ucsd.edu/ehs), as the program relates to activities under their control. All employees are encouraged to recommend improvements to UCSD's health, safety, and environmental management program and to work with their departments and the Environment, Health and Safety (EH&S) Department to improve safety performance.


              F.       EH&S is responsible for assisting the entire UCSD community in the evaluation, planning, development and execution of the health, safety, and environmental management program, and for establishing guidance to assure applicable health and safety standards, as well as university policies, are followed. In the absence of appropriate statutes and governmental regulations, the published standards of recognized professional health and safety organizations may serve as guides. EH&S also assists as necessary in the evaluation of the impact of UCSD activities on the local community. EH&S advises the UCSD community of its responsibilities, recommends actions or programs, and consults with external agencies and regulatory bodies on behalf of the university. EH&S conducts audits and makes recommendations for improvement to responsible Principal Investigators, Chairs, Directors and Deans.


              G.      In case of imminent danger to life or health, the Director of EH&S or his/her designee has the authority to order the cessation of the hazardous activity until adequate measures are taken to protect any affected personnel.




              Each department or unit must implement the UCSD "Injury and Illness Prevention Plan" (IIPP) that addresses general safety, accident prevention, fire/life safety, ergonomics and disaster preparedness for workers in that department or unit. Department Chairs are responsible for departmental safety obligations, including assuring adherence to the IIPP, and that their department develops and implements an Emergency Action Plan. An audit system should be established at the department level to assure an effective health and safety program remains in place. EH&S monitors and audits the management and performance of departmental health and safety programs. This system of safety management and compliance auditing, combined with the results from departmental inspections and other monitoring activities, provides an assessment of the quality of health and safety management and identifies areas where improvements are needed and how best to apply resources.


              Activities Requiring Advanced Authorization


              Certain activities require advanced authorization, consultation, and/or training at UCSD. EH&S administers several faculty-led committees that review and approve the use of hazardous materials in research and clinical activities. EH&S advises Managers and Supervisors on the safe performance of other activities that require advanced authorization, consultation, and/or training.


              Advanced authorization is required for the use of radioactive materials or radiation producing machines, lasers at or above Class 3b, biohazardous materials (including human blood and body fluid), recombinant DNA, and controlled substances. Advanced consultation is required for the use of known human carcinogens. Advanced authorization and/or training is required for the following: entry into a confined space, use of a respiratory protection device (respirator), work on high-voltage equipment, use of a forklift, use of a scissor lift or other personnel elevating device, use of scaffolding or work requiring fall-protection, research diving, and small boat operations.


              Advanced authorization is required for all construction and maintenance activities that may involve disturbance or removal of asbestos, lead paint, or other known hazards. Construction and maintenance activities that involve fire and life safety systems, such as fire alarms or fire sprinklers, require advanced approval by the UCSD Fire Marshal in EH&S.




              All employees are responsible for adherence to the UCSD health and safety standards.  Managers and Supervisors are responsible for assuring operations under their control are conducted in a safe manner, training is provided prior to start of work, and hazards are identified and mitigated. Safety performance will be monitored on an annual basis during the performance evaluation process. The Health and Safety Coordinating Council will review this health and safety policy annually in order to foster progressive improvement in safety performance.