General University Reference Utility
Policy SY01 ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICY
Policy Steward: Director of Environmental Health and Safety
The Pennsylvania State University is committed to protecting the health
and safety of its employees, students, visitors and the environment. The
purpose of this document is to establish an organizational structure to ensure
the effective implementation of this policy at all University locations.
All employees, students and visitors are expected to comply with the
statements that follow. Each department or unit shall supplement this policy
document with specific procedures about hazards in their workplace and the
precautions necessary to control and prevent these hazards. These supplements,
prepared in cooperation with the Office of Environmental Health and Safety, may
be in the form of, as examples, written procedures or training programs.
The responsibility for the administration of the University's health and
safety program is assigned to the Office of Environmental Health and Safety.
Implementation of this Policy is the responsibility of the entire University
community - staff, faculty and students.
The University Safety Council, with members representing the
University's academic colleges and administrative units, is responsible to
identify needs, develop procedures, and assist in the implementation of
environmental health and safety programs under the direction of the Office of
Environmental Health and Safety. (See
E.H.S. Tab for endorsements.)
Applicable federal and state laws and regulations, together with
policies and procedures issued by or through the office of Environmental Health
and Safety will provide the guidance under which the University will conduct
its safety program.
UNIVERSITY SAFETY COUNCIL:
The University Safety Council is comprised of members representing
academic colleges and administrative units, as appointed by their respective
budget executives. University Safety Council representatives are commonly
referred to as "Safety Officers."
The duties of the University Safety Council are to develop and
implement, under the guidance of the Office of Environmental Health and Safety,
a comprehensive and practical occupational health and safety program, and to
maintain an environment that is conducive to the safety, health and well-being
of the University community.
University Safety Council:
- Each member of the University Safety Council shall attend the
regularly scheduled meetings and special meetings of the University Safety
Council, and report Council activities to the appropriate budget executive.
- Establish and maintain, as chairperson, a Safety Committee within
the member's area of responsibility. The size and structure of this Committee
shall be dictated by the types of activities, the potential hazards inherent to
those activities, and the number of persons who may be exposed.
- Accompany insurance company loss prevention representatives on
inspections of areas under the Safety Officer's jurisdiction.
- Review all
Reports of Occupational Injury or Illness for employee accidents, or
the Incident Report for
non-employees or employees not engaged in normal employment activities,
whichever report is appropriate for the accident/illness, and any other
associated accident/illness reports.
- Assist in the investigation of all serious accidents, and all other
accidents when requested by the supervisor.
- Initiate proper follow-up measures and ensure corrective actions are
implemented when unsafe conditions, practices or equipment are reported or
Budget Executives and Budget Administrators:
- These functions have the primary responsibility to maintain a safe
work environment within their jurisdiction, by monitoring and exercising
control over their assigned areas.
- Assign a representative from each academic and administrative unit
to the University Safety Council. This representative must be selected to
ensure compliance with this policy and other appropriate University safety
policies, rules, procedures and practices. This is often the individual
designated to act on behalf of the budget executive or budget administrator.
- Communicate to all faculty, employees and students that health and
safety of persons in the workplace and environment are of the highest priority
at Penn State University.
- Ensure that health and safety responsibilities are carried out in
the academic departments or administrative units for which they are
- Ensure that environmental health and safety obligations established
by this program applicable to their areas of jurisdiction are carried out. This
includes assuring compliance with applicable state and federal health and
safety rules, regulations, standards and procedures. Included, for example, are
regulations of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP),
and Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and policies and procedures
established by the Office of Environmental Health and Safety.
- Monitor implementation of programs designed to protect the health
and safety of faculty, staff, students and visitors:
a. Consult with their University Safety Council representative and/or
the Office of Environmental Health and Safety with respect to new, existing or
planned facilities or equipment that may present a health or safety hazard to
determine specific measures that may need to be implemented to control these
hazards before exposure to these hazards may occur.
b. Support measures such as training, use of protective devices, and
resources to control and prevent hazards.
- All supervisors (department chairs, faculty, and other employees with
direct oversight of University activities and employees or students) have
specific responsibilities to provide for the health and safety of those
supervised. They are in a key position in the organizational structure to carry
out the department's safety policies and to prevent injuries to their
- Be thoroughly informed of appropriate University and Departmental
safety policies, rules and procedures and how they specifically apply to their
responsibilities and authority.
- Inform all new and current employees and students that safety and
health, and concern for the environment, are priorities at Penn State and to
inform them about safety and health policies, rules, regulations and
procedures, as well as their specific responsibilities (the next Section,
- Ensure that required safety equipment, devices and personal
protective equipment and apparel are provided and maintained, and are properly
used by individuals working in their operations.
- Provide employees and students with instruction and assistance in
the proper operation of equipment or materials involved in any operation which
may be potentially hazardous.
- Take prompt corrective action when unsafe conditions, practices or
equipment are reported or observed.
- Encourage prompt reporting of health and safety concerns.
- Promptly conduct a thorough investigation in all work-related
injuries, illnesses and accidents, submit appropriate recommendations on all
accident reports, including the Employer's
Reports of Occupational Injury or Illness or theIncident Report , as appropriate,
and follow through to ensure corrective measures have been implemented.
- Coordinate or conduct inspections to maintain safe and healthful
conditions, and address any deficiencies that are identified.
- Provide for health and safety training.
- Provide financial support for health and safety improvements, or
request assistance from the next higher level of supervision regarding these
Employees and Students:
- All University employees and students have specific responsibilities
to comply with established health and safety policies, standards, rules,
procedures and regulations. Compliance with these is essential to create and
maintain a healthy and safe environment at all University locations.
- Comply with applicable environmental health and safety policies,
standards, rules, regulations and procedures. These include safety-related
signs, posters, warnings and written/oral directions when performing tasks.
- Do not perform any function or operation which is considered
hazardous, or is known to be hazardous without proper instructions and
- Only use equipment and materials approved or provided by the
supervisor or instructor and for which instruction has been provided by this or
- Become thoroughly knowledgeable about potential hazards associated
with the work area; knowing where information on these hazards is maintained
and how to use this information when needed.
- Wear or use prescribed protective equipment.
- Report all unsafe conditions, practices, or equipment to the
supervisor, instructor or safety officer whenever deficiencies are observed.
- Inform the supervisor or instructor immediately of all work-related
injuries or accidents and obtain prompt medical attention when necessary.
- Provide information necessary for the supervisor or safety officer
to adequately and thoroughly complete the Employer's Report of Occupational
Injury and Illness and any other associated accident/illness reports.
For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this policy, please contact the Director of Environmental Health and Safety.
Other Policies in this Manual should also be referenced, especially the
AD01 - Policies and Procedures for Use
of University Auditoriums,
AD02 - Non-University Groups Using
AD21 - Use of the Agricultural Arena
and Agricultural Progress Days Facilities,
RA14 - The Use of Human Subjects in
and all of the SY (Safety) Policies.
Effective Date: July 24, 1998
Date Approved: July 14, 1998
Published: August 3, 1998 (Editorial changes- February 26, 2014)
Most Recent Changes:
- February 26, 2014 - Editorial changes. Addition of policy steward information, in the event that there are questions or requests for changes to the policy.
Revision History (and effective dates):
- April 22, 2005 - Editorial changes to eliminate "General Forms Usage
Guide" and correct links.
- July 24, 1998 - New policy.