Environmental Health and Safety Policy

Last Reviewed Date: 03/19/2018

Effective Date:  03/19/2018

Applies To: Employees, Faculty, Students, Visitors, Others

For More Information Contact: EHS at (828) 251-6038



The University of North Carolina – Asheville is committed to providing a safe and healthful environment for all activities under the jurisdiction of the University.  Accordingly, the University has developed this policy to outline responsibilities and establish the framework of compliance with all applicable Federal, State and local regulations, NC University System, and University policies and procedures pertaining to worker safety and public health. Compliance with this policy along with subordinate health and safety policies, programs and procedures linked at the end of this policy document is mandatory.


This policy applies to all faculty, staff, students, researchers, and all other individuals working at the University of North Carolina – Asheville.


The health and safety of all faculty, staff, students and visitors shall be a principal consideration in the planning and conduct of all University operations including the design, construction, modification, or renovation of all University buildings and facilities, and activities, educational and work practicies, while on University property.

This broad policy requires that health and safety regulations of Federal, State and local authorities, appropriate consensus standards of recognized organizations, and University specific policies are met.


Violations of this policy including, subordinate health and safety policies, programs or procedures may result in disciplinary measures in accordance with University By-Laws, General Rules of Conduct for All University Employees, applicable collective bargaining agreements, and the University of North Carolina – Asheville Student Handbook.


Building Emergency Contacts (BEC)

Job Safety/Hazard Analysis (JSA)



Safety is the responsibility of each and every person at the University of North Carolina – Asheville. All members of the University community are individually and collectively the owners of safety and share the responsibility to provide and maintain a safe environment.  Each individual is expected to comply with health and safety regulations and University policies, programs and procedures; perform work in a safe and sensible manner and to act to ensure the health and safety of self, coworkers, fellow students and all others at the University.

Individuals working for the University (employees) are required within the first week of employment, transfer or job change to discuss potential hazards that they may encounter during the course of their employment with their supervisor.  That discussion shall include identification of workplace hazards along with required controls, personal protective equipment (PPE) and requisite safety training.  Completion of a Job Safety/Hazard Analysis by the supervisor defines the required safety training for that department.  Individuals are responsible to comply with defined controls, wear the appropriate PPE and attend requisite safety training in a timely manner.


All personnel who assign and/or oversee work are responsible to ensure that compliant work controls and procedures consistent with Federal, State and local regulations and University policies are implemented to provide for the protection of all personnel and to safeguard the environment.   Supervisors in consultation with EHS shall respond in a timely manner to address safety complaints, non-compliances and mitigate potentially unsafe conditions.  Supervisors should set, by example, high standards for health and safety. These standards must be consistently applied and appropriate action taken when personnel fail to meet them.

Supervisors will identify hazards in the work environment along with required controls and PPE using the Job Safety/Hazard Analysis. The JSA must be kept current and reviewed regularly.

The JSA must be used by the supervisor (or designee) to document discussion of hazards in the workplace along with appropriate controls, PPE and safety training.  The JSA must be discussed with the employee within the first week of their arrival, transfer or job change.  Submission of the JSA documents that discussion. Failure to submit the completed JSA or to ensure that employees attend the required training may result in disciplinary action.

Deans, Directors and Department Heads

Each Dean, Director and Department Head is charged to ensure organizational compliance with regulations and University policies and with maintaining a healthful and safe environment for all personnel.  They are expected to take appropriate action to ensure all identified hazards are addressed and identified issues of non-compliance corrected in a timely manner.

Updates are requested from each Dean, Department Head and Director to ensure the timely and effective communication of information to assigned contacts within each building, regarding emergencies, incidents, projects, and other activities that may impact the health and safety of building occupants.

Environmental Health and Safety (EHS)

EHS is charged by the University with implementing all University health and safety policies and procedures in the Biological, Chemical, Occupational, Public Health and Radiation health and safety fields. EHS has been authorized by, and is accountable to the Senior University Management to identify, assess and enforce this Policy and subordinate health and safety regulations, policies and procedures.

EHS is responsible for maintaining a comprehensive program that combines training, consultation, control, and inspection to protect the health and safety of all personnel in the course of University sanctioned activities.  The EHS staff provides professional services to measure and evaluate hazards to which the University community may be exposed and ensure compliance with regulations and University policies.

EHS’s responsibilities include:

  • Ensure that all written policies, procedures, and training materials for applicable health and safety regulatory standards are established, current, and available for delivery to appropriate campus groups;
  • Maintain an up-to-date webpage to enhance access to health and safety policies, procedures, technical guidance documents, and compliance assistance information;
  • Facilitate health and safety communications with the University community, and stress the importance of campus wide adherence to appropriate regulations, standards and policies;
  • Provide graded approach (risk based) inspection services to enhance campus health and safety; and facilitate timely correction of identified non-compliances through escalating notification and enforcement;
  • Verify completion, adequacy and adherence to required health and safety documentation;
  • Promote EHS’s role as an environmental, health and safety information resource ready to meet the needs of the campus community; and
  • Take appropriate measures (including Stop Work Authority for imminent danger hazardous situations) to maintain acceptable margins of safety and regulatory compliance over all University operations.

Operational Oversight

Matters pertaining to the protection of the environment should be directed to the Dean of Faculty.  Matters pertaining to workplace safety and fire prevention compliance should be directed to Emergency Management. Matters pertaining to building code compliance should be directed to Design and Construction. Public safety issues should be directed to the Department of Public Safety.

Administrative Oversight

The Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Safety and the Director of Emergency Management review and approve environmental health and safety policies for the University and oversees the implementation of these policies.


Environmental Health and Safety Committee

The Environmental Health and Safety Committee has a diverse membership appointed by the University.  Members represent the administration, faculty and staff. The Committee meets quarterly, as mandated by OSHR, to fulfill its functions and responsibilities. The committee is charged with but not limited to establishing procedures for sharing ideas with the University concerning:

  • Workplace inspections;
  • Investigating incidents, illnesses and deaths;
  • Evaluating incident and illness prevention programs;
  • Establishing training programs for the identification and reduction of hazards in the workplace; and
  • Focused “working groups” of subject matter experts.

A number of working groups have been established that address specific aspects of health and safety specific to research and workplace activities. These working groups serve as technical advisory groups working in partnership with EHS to fulfill University goals and federal/state regulations.

University Environmental Health and Safety Committee has representatives from the following working groups:

  • Laboratory Safety
  • Radiation Safety
  • Chemical Hygiene
  • Laser Safety
  • Workplace Safety


The University Health and Safety Policy is implemented through a series of policies, programs, procedures and other documents, as appropriate to the operations of the University of North Carolina – Asheville. These documents have been developed by EHS in response to regulatory requirements and/or University committee decisions.  These items, listed below, are mandatory in nature, and must be followed to ensure compliance.  They can also be found on the EHS website under Programs.

Biological Safety

Bloodborne Pathogens

Chemical Safety

Confined Spaces

Contractor Safety

Electrical Safety

Food Safety

Hazard Communication

Hazardous Waste

Hearing Conservation

Laboratory Safety

Laser Safety

Personal Protective Equipment

Portable and Powered Hand Tools

Powered Industrial Trucks and Equipment

Radiation Safety

Respiratory Protection

Workplace Health and Safety