Environmental Health and Safety

Policy number: 11.2

Policy section: Risk Management

Revised Date: January 2, 2019

1.  Definitions

Definitions of capitalized terms are set forth in Appendix A.

2.  Policy Statement

Southern Methodist University is committed to maintaining a safe campus for students, faculty, staff, volunteers, contractors, and visitors that will not adversely impact their health and safety, or that of the surrounding environment.

3.  Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to establish and maintain an Environmental Health and Safety (“EHS”) Management System within the Office of Risk Management (“ORM”) and reporting to the Vice President for Business and Finance, to ensure that University operations are conducted in compliance with accepted health, safety, and environmental regulations where appropriate. Where governmental regulations and codes may be absent, best practices employed by nationally recognized academic and industrial organizations shall serve as guides.

4.  Applicability

All faculty, staff, students, volunteers, contractors, and visitors are expected to comply with this policy. This policy applies to all campuses owned and operated by the SMU and all locations where SMU may be conducting programs of any kind including research, student programs, and engagement programs or other work or programs on behalf of SMU.

5.  Questions

Please contact the ORM, Environmental Health and Safety Department, with any questions.

6.  EHS Management System Goals and Objectives

This policy formally establishes the creation of an EHS Management System and establishes the following objectives:

  1. Establish environmental health and safety as a core value of the University.
  2. Encourage the value of safety as part of the overall SMU culture.
  3. Maintain a safe and healthy environment for all faculty, staff, students, volunteers, contractors, and visitors.
  4. Promote the use of appropriate work practices and properly implemented Engineering Controls to prevent accidents, manage risks, and control potential losses.
  5. Ensure that University operations do not adversely impact the environment or surrounding communities.
  6. Comply with federal, state, and municipal regulatory standards.
  7. Identify, assess, and manage health, safety, and environmental risks and impacts to existing and planned operations.
  8. Set targets that result in continuous improvement of our environmental health and safety programs.
  9. Develop and maintain a system that is proactive in its effort to prevent incidents and is in aligned with the University mission.
  10. Demonstrate leadership that engages the University body with a positive and unwavering approach to EHS.
  11. Communicate EHS programs throughout the University community effectively.
  12. Display our commitment to EHS through a continuous improvement process.
  13. Track and monitor appropriate safety metrics for annual review.
  14. Provide faculty, staff, students, and volunteers with the knowledge, resources, and capabilities to instill personal accountability for their safety.

7.  ORM and EHS Programs and Procedures

This policy encompasses all programs and detailed procedures outlined on the ORM and EHS website, and addresses the following:

  1. Research Safety Programs and Procedures, including, but not limited to: General Laboratory Safety, Chemical Safety, Biological Safety, Radiation Safety, Laser Safety, etc.
  2. Occupational Health and Safety Programs including, but not limited to: Bloodborne Pathogen, Hearing Conservation, Hazard Communication, Respiratory Protection, Control of Hazardous Energy, Fall Protection, Confined Space, Ladder Safety, Hot Work, Powered Industrial Vehicle Safety, Scaffolding, etc.
  3. Environmental Programs including, but not limited to: Hazardous Waste, Universal Waste, Environmental Cleanups, etc.
  4. This policy empowers EHS representatives to implement applicable program components including training requirements, Engineering Controls, Administrative Controls, and Personal Protective Equipment to promote a safe and healthy environment for all faculty, students, staff, and volunteers.
  5. This policy also ensures that EHS representatives may observe student, faculty, staff, or contractor work practices and, when necessary, require corrective action for work practices that are unsafe.

8.  Authority and Responsibilities

  1. The President, through the Board of Trustees, shall provide authority to the Vice President of Business and Finance, through the Associate Vice President and Chief Risk Officer for the Office of Risk Management, the responsibility for implementing the programs and procedures encompassed in the University’s EHS Management System. The Director of EHS will manage the day-to-day operation of the EHS Management System (“The System”). This System applies to the University and includes all faculty, staff, students, contractors, and visitors. The EHS Department within ORM is responsible for ensuring these programs meet applicable standards and are implemented appropriately.
  2. All faculty, staff, students, volunteers, and contractors are responsible for compliance with the programs and procedures implemented under the EHS Management System.
  3. The primary responsibility for establishing and maintaining a safe and healthy environment is assigned to each operating unit.
  4. EHS shall have the authority to request that academic deans and directors, department heads, managers, supervisors, and other responsible individuals abate any and all unsafe conditions and/or operations that present a hazard to personal safety and health and/or University property.
  5. The authority granted in this policy is subject to review by the President and the Vice President for Business and Finance.

9.  Enforcement

  1. This policy gives EHS the authority to curtail or shut down any University activity that constitutes clear and imminent danger.
  2. Failure to follow this policy and the supporting procedures established herein may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

Appendix A: Definitions

“Administrative Controls” are trainings, procedures, policies, or shift designs that lessen the threat of a hazard.

“Engineering Controls” protect workers by removing hazardous conditions or by placing a barrier between the worker and the hazard. Examples include local exhaust ventilation to capture and remove airborne emissions or machine guards to shield the worker.

“Environmental Health and Safety Management System” is a defined organizational approach to environmental health and safety that includes the policy, planning, implementation, metrics, and management review.

“Personal Protective Equipment refers to protective clothing, helmets, goggles, or other garments or equipment designed to protect the wearer's body from injury or infection.

“Procedure” means a fixed, step-by-step sequence of activities or course of action used to complete a task.

“Program” means a plan of action aimed at accomplishing a clear objective with clearly defined roles and responsibilities.

Revised: January 2, 2019

Adopted: September 28, 2001