Section: Safety and Security
Policy Number: 7-02
Policy Name: Department Safety Committee Policy
Date: September 1, 1988
Revisions: June 5, 1989; December 18, 1991; November 1994; August 1999; January 9, 2006; February 10, 2014

  1. PURPOSE

    This policy is developed to provide guidance to Department Safety Committees by establishing uniform administrative procedures and minimum requirements. It is the Department Safety Committee's charge along with the Department of Environmental Health and Safety to provide the University Community with a safe and healthful work environment. It is also the intent of the Department Safety Committee to assure compliance with all University Safety Policies.

  2. DEFINITION

    Department as used in this policy is interpreted as any department, center, program institute, unit, station, school or office.

  3. POLICY

    1. Establishment of Committees

      While all departments are encouraged to have Safety Committees, departments designated by the Director of Environmental Health and Safety shall establish Department Safety Committees. A list of current department safety committees can be found at Environmental Health and Safety web site.

    2. Establishment of Contacts

      Department heads or his/her designee will serve as the Safety contact in all University departments who do not have safety committees. These contacts will receive communications from the Department of Environmental Health and Safety regarding safety issues and serve as the safety liaison for their department. A list of current department safety contacts can be found at Environmental Health and Safety web site.

    3. Membership

      Department heads shall appoint Safety Committee members and designate a Chairperson. The names of committee members shall be forwarded to the Director of Environmental Health and Safety each year by June 30. Terms shall be at the discretion of the Department Head.

      The Director of the Department of Environmental Health and Safety or their designee shall serve as an ex officio member on all Safety Committees.

      Department Safety Committee membership should, when applicable, include representatives of the professional staff, faculty, salaried staff, hourly employees and students.

    4. Meetings

      Department Safety Committees shall meet periodically at a frequency determined by the committee, but not less than four times per year. By June 30 each year Safety Committee Chairs shall communicate to the Director of Environmental Health and Safety the months in which meetings are planned for the next fiscal year. Minutes shall be recorded. Minutes should include members attending, members absent, disposition of old business and new business covering items identified under Minimum Requirements (section IV).

    5. Annual Report

      Individual departments shall submit an annual report of their committee's activities to the Department of Environmental Health and Safety. The reports are to be submitted using the forms developed by Environmental Health and Safety which can be found at Environmental Health and Safety web site. These reports are due by June 30 for the previous year. A summary of these reports is presented to the Risk Management Advisory Council annually.

      Annual reports shall include:

      1. List of committee members and chair

      2. Meeting dates

      3. Summary of committee activities including but not limited to:

        1. Summary reports of department accidents/ injuries and actions taken to prevent further accidents/injuries.

        2. Summary report of facility inspections completed.

        3. Status report on activities conducted by the departmental Chemical Hygiene Officer.

        4. Summary report on departmental safety training completed.

        5. List of any departmental policies established regarding safety.

        6. Status report on compliance with Personal Protective Equipment Policy.

        7. Summary report of all department training activities with regard to disaster planning.

    6. Recordkeeping

      All Safety Committee records shall be kept on file in the department for 36 months. Training certificates must be sent to the Department of Environmental Health and Safety within 5 days of the training session. Copies should be kept on file in the department for the current year and the previous year. The Department of Environmental Health and Safety is responsible for submitting the record copy of training certificates and annual reports to the University Archives.

  4. MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS

    EnvironmentalHealth and Safety has outlined the requirements for safety committees on the following web site: Environmental Health and Safety.

    1. Assure safety inspections of operations and facilities including shops, storage and storeroom areas, teaching and research laboratories, and offices, are conducted. Inspections shall be conducted quarterly. See Research and chemical laboratory inspection and facility inspection.

    2. Recommend and/or develop safe practices and procedures for department activities. Job Hazard Analyses need to be completed for all activities with personal protective equipment requirements specified. See Policy 7-40.

    3. Safety committee members should assist supervisors with enforcement of safety policies by educating fellow employees in proper procedures. See Policy 7-1.

    4. Address the safety concerns of fellow department members as well as those raised by the Department Chair and Environmental Health and Safety.

    5. Track and investigate trends in workplace accidents/ injuries. Conduct accident/injury investigations. File accident investigation reports and send copies to the Department of Environmental Health and Safety for review.

    6. Receive reports from the Chemical Hygiene Officer regarding annual training, review of purchase requisitions for chemicals, reviews of experimental protocols for hazard identification, review of any medical evaluation requests, exposure evaluation requests, and availability of facility safety equipment.

    7. Review Emergency Response information with the department annually. See Policy 7-6.

    8. Assure required safety training is provided to department members as indicated by applicable safety programs. See Environmental Health and Safety for applicable training requirements.

    9. Assure a copy of the Department Workplace Chemical List is updated and forwarded to the Department of Environmental Health and Safety annually.

    10. Monitor compliance with other safety programs that may be applicable within the department, i.e., Bloodborne Pathogens, Underground Storage Tank Management, Compressed Gas Safety, etc. See Section 7 of the University Policies and Procedures Manual.

    11. Maintain communications with department staff, the Department of Environmental Health and Safety and Facilities Management concerning the quality of the work environment. This includes indoor air quality, ergonomics, thermal comfort, etc.

    12. Perform other safety related functions as may be assigned by the Department Head or recommended by the Department of Environmental Health and Safety.

Additional questions or comments should be directed to the Director of Environmental Health and Safety.