IV:00:01 Environmental Health and Safety

I. PURPOSE

Middle Tennessee State University, through the exercise of this policy, declares it to be its purpose and policy to reasonably assure each member of the campus community, including employees, students, and guests, a safe and healthful campus environment. The University aims to identify and control safety, public health, and environmental hazards associated with its operations. This policy endorses efforts that ensure the quality of occupational and community environments while participating in University sponsored and work related activities.

In furtherance of this purpose, MTSU has created an Environmental Health and Safety Committee, which shall perform the functions and be composed in the manner set forth in MTSU Policy I:01:02 University Committees.

II. POLICY

A. Middle Tennessee State University will conduct its operations and construct and maintain its facilities in a manner conducive to the creation of a healthy and safe environment for the campus community. The University will comply with all safety laws, codes, regulations, and standards promulgated under the provisions of the Williams-Steiger Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1972, the Tennessee Code Annotated, and other applicable federal, state, local, and campus safety and health laws and standards. These safety laws and standards shall apply to each member of the campus community.

B. The MTSU Occupational Safety and Health Plan, as approved by the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration, defines the minimum acceptable safety program at Middle Tennessee State University. Updates and revisions to the plan will be effective ninety (90) days following review by the Environmental Health and Safety Committee and approval by the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

C. The MTSU Safety Handbook and related publications will provide general safety information and define specific practices and procedures relating to health, safety, environmental, fire protection, and emergency management issues. Updates and revisions to the MTSU Safety Handbook and related publications will be effective ninety (90) days following approval by the Environmental Health and Safety Committee.

III. RESPONSIBILITIES

The following is a non-inclusive list identifying responsibility and accountability for environmental health and safety issues:

A. University Responsibilities: The University is responsible for providing a campus environment that is free of recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to members of the campus community.

Each division of the University is responsible for the staffing and funding necessary to meet all applicable environmental, health and safety standards. Each division of the University is responsible for the designation of a coordinator in charge of reviewing and reporting division compliance, and interacting with Environmental Health and Safety Services Office for guidance. Each division is responsible for providing training to their employees to meet all applicable environmental health and safety standards. Each division's senior executive is ultimately responsible for compliance.

B. Student Responsibilities: Each member of the student body shall be responsible for knowing and complying with all safety laws, standards, and regulations that may apply to his or her own conduct while on campus whether in class, campus residence, or other campus activities.

C. Faculty Responsibilities: Each member of the faculty, in the performance of their duties in an instructional and research environment, has the responsibility to ensure that all students under his or her direction are aware of and comply with all safety requirements of the class or laboratory. This includes safe work practices and the use of personal protective equipment. Faculty members may enforce safety requirements through grading procedures or referral for disciplinary action. Each Faculty member is responsible for the prompt investigation of classroom or laboratory related injuries or illnesses. The faculty member will request a prompt investigation by the Division Safety Coordinator as soon as possible after an occurrence. This investigation will determine if there is an unsafe condition that requires correction and whether applicable safety requirements were followed at the time of the occurrence.

D. Employee Responsibilities: All employees, including faculty and student workers, whether full or part time, are responsible for knowing and complying with all safety standards that apply to their employment. It is also each employee's responsibility to report unsafe conditions, work-related injuries, and work-related illnesses to his or her immediate supervisor. This should be done as soon as possible or not later than the close of business the next working day. Each employee will comply with occupational safety and health standards and all rules and regulations referenced by this policy which are applicable to his or her own conduct.

E. Environmental Health and Safety Services Responsibilities:

1. The Environmental Health and Safety Services Office, in the Division of Business and Finance, will serve as the central reporting and record keeping unit responsible for University environmental health and safety.

2. The Environmental Health and Safety Services Office is responsible for providing guidance to all University departments in the formulation of sound safety practices and for providing technical expertise to meet the objective of compliance with all safety laws, codes, regulations, and standards.

3. The Environmental Health and Safety Services Office will provide staff assistance to all University departments in fire protection, fire prevention, and accident prevention.

4. The Environmental Health and Safety Services Office is responsible for the interpretation of environmental, health, and safety-related laws, codes, regulations, and standards. The Environmental Health and Safety Services Office will communicate with and coordinate activities with regulatory agencies on all environmental health and safety issues relating to the University.

5. The Environmental Health and Safety Services Office will prepare, maintain, and update the University Emergency Operations Plan and coordinate all related activities with government agencies as necessary.

6. The Environmental Health and Safety Services Office will determine appropriate avenues and standard operating procedures for the control of emergencies that do not involve criminal activity or violence but affect life safety or protection of buildings or other facilities. University Police will provide support services to the Environmental Health and Safety Services Office on request where police action is not required. The Environmental Health and Safety Services Office will provide support services to University Police on request where police action is required.

7. The Environmental Health and Safety Services Office will prepare, maintain, review, and update all appropriate plans, handbooks, and related publications annually. Environmental Health and Safety Services will obtain the appropriate approvals from the MTSU administration, regulatory agencies, and committees as required.

Revisions: March 28, 1983; October 26, 2005 (replaced IV:00:02 and III:00:03); January 1, 2010; January 30, 2012.

Cross-references:  MTSU Policy I:01:02 University Committees