1 The UNIVERSITY of VERMONT RISK MANAGEMENT HANDBOOK PEOPLE WORKING UVM 2004
2 EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBERS Other Important Phone Numbers University of Vermont and State Agricultural College. All rights reserved.
3 The UNIVERSITY of VERMONT RISK MANAGEMENT HANDBOOK Your resource guide for information related to: Occupational Health & Safety Environmental Health & Safety Fire and Life Safety Property Protection Vehicle Safety Liability Risk Management Insurance & Claims Management 2004 University of Vermont and State Agricultural College. All rights reserved. 3
4 The UNIVERSITY of VERMONT RISK MANAGEMENT HANDBOOK PRESIDENT S MESSAGE Safety is, and must be, a primary consideration in every campus activity. The University of Vermont is committed to reducing or eliminating risks to the health and safety of its students, employees, and visitors. Areas of increasing concern are illnesses, injuries and property damage resulting from unsafe practices and conditions. The University s commitment to health and safety can only be successful if the individual members of the University community do their part by accepting responsibility for developing and practicing safety awareness. Unsafe conditions should be reported and corrected. Procedures devised for handling hazardous situations and materials should be followed conscientiously. Directors, managers, and supervisors are responsible for the safety of their faculty, staff and students and should take appropriate precautions against hazards associated with the activities they oversee. Faculty members are similarly responsible for the safety of students while in their classes and should emphasize safe practices and conditions in courses that involve potentially hazardous situations. All University personnel and students are responsible for the safety of visitors to our campus and should always take appropriate and necessary steps to protect them from obvious hazards. All members of the University community must accept responsibility for their safety and the safety of those around them. The elimination or reduction of accident-related illness, injury and property damage is thus a cooperative effort and an important one. The University has a moral obligation to ensure the physical welfare of its students, employees, and visitors; a legal obligation to satisfy the everincreasing number of federal, state and local statutes relating to institutional health, safety and the environment; and a fi scal obligation to reduce expenditures resulting from accidents. Only if safety is practiced by all can the University meet these obligations and provide a safe and healthy environment for the members of this community. Sincerely, President TABLE OF CONTENTS TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE University of Vermont and State Agricultural College. All rights reserved.
5 2004 University of Vermont and State Agricultural College. All rights reserved. 5
6 University of Vermont and State Agricultural College. All rights reserved.
7 2004 University of Vermont and State Agricultural College. All rights reserved. 7
8 The UNIVERSITY of VERMONT RISK MANAGEMENT HANDBOOK THE DEPARTMENT OF RISK MANAGEMENT Mission Statement The mission of the University of Vermont s Risk Management Department is to promote safety and accident prevention; manage the protection of University assets, both human and fi nancial; minimize legal liabilities; and support compliance with environmental and safety regulations. What is Risk Management? Risk Management is the process of identifying and evaluating the risks associated with activities and operations of an organization; developing a means to control, reduce or eliminate those risks, as well as fi nance them. These risks include natural disasters, illness, injury, and loss of property resulting from unsafe practices or conditions as well as the fi nancial cost of these losses. The University attempts to eliminate or control these risks through hazard identifi cation and correction, accident prevention, training, installation of life safety systems in buildings, fi re protection systems, and other various measures. The University fi nances these risks through the transfer to commercial insurance carriers, or to others by contract, and the establishment of cash reserves to pay uninsured claims. On an individual level, risk management is the effort by each employee to make the fullest use of his or her personal capabilities to eliminate or reduce hazards in his or her working environment. Services Offered The UVM Department of Risk Management administers the University s risk management program by providing central coordination of exposure identifi cation, risk evaluation, risk control and risk fi nancing. Its web address is Risk Management staff evaluate risks to students, faculty, staff and visitors, and recommend alternatives for protection against or elimination of these risks. Risk Management also analyzes the costs involved with each risk and resulting liabilities. Specifi cally, the Risk Management Department exists: to identify and propose solutions to problems which pose risk in the area of occupational and environmental health and safety to identify and minimize the exposure to hazards in the area of fi re and life safety to investigate health and safety concerns of staff, faculty and students to administer and coordinate the University chemical waste disposal program to manage the University workers compensation program to procure liability, automobile, property, workers compensation and other insurance that protects University assets and manage all insurance claims in these areas to manage cash reserves to cover uninsured claims to assess the risk of new and existing programs or activities and suggest ways to minimize liabilities and accidents to conduct training on safety and health relating to driving, ergonomics, chemical use, exposure to blood borne pathogens, and environmental awareness to conduct campus inspections to assess fi re, chemical and other safety hazards, as well as non-compliance issues to advise campus safety committees including Institutional Radiation Safety, Institutional BioSafety Committee, Institutional Review Board, Students at Risk, and Emergency Operations Group to conduct annual fume hood and BioSafety cabinet inspections to review contracts with third parties, in tandem with the General Counsel s Offi ce, in order to obtain wording that is in the best interests of UVM to draft releases and waivers to serve as a University representative to regulatory agencies and insurance carriers University of Vermont and State Agricultural College. All rights reserved.
9 Safety Education & Regulatory Awareness The UVM workplace is regulated by an assortment of state and federal laws and regulations. Risk Management provides resources to help individual departments understand and abide by these regulations; for example, Risk Management can help design departmental safety training education programs. Since there are regulations that affect most operations at UVM, Risk Management is available to assist departments in gaining a better understanding of their regulatory obligations regarding safety and environmental issues. Supervisors are responsible for making sure their employees become familiar with the regulations that may affect his/her individual work place. For example, most OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Act) standards require at-hire training and annual re-training of employees. Departments must document these and all safety trainings in individual personnel employee fi les. The OSHA and EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) regulations that primarily affect UVM are listed in the Safety and Environmental Regulations section of this publication. Other Codes and Regulations The University is also required to comply with various codes concerning construction, electrical wiring and plumbing, federal regulations concerning animal care facilities, biohazards, and the use/handling of radiological materials. Employees and their supervisors are responsible for being aware of codes and regulations which apply to their work area and for abiding by them. Failure to comply with regulations can result in citations and/or fi nes imposed by the regulatory authority which has jurisdiction. The payment of fi nes imposed are the responsibility of the offending department. Accident Prevention Risk Management has an active accident prevention program that includes trainings, inspections, and surveys. A few examples of this program include: safety education and training regular inspections of laboratories regular Fire Department inspections of facilities surveys conducted by outside fi rms to assess risks The program aims to correct unsafe practices and conditions before they result in accidents. Every member of the University community contributes to accident prevention efforts by observing the safety policies and procedures of individual departments and the University as a whole. All employees report any unsafe practices or conditions to their immediate supervisor or to the Risk Management Department. Any work-related injury or illness, however insignifi cant it may seem, should also be reported fi rst to the employee s supervisor and then to Risk Management (see Workers Compensation). Remember that minor hazards can cause serious injury if left uncorrected. REGULATORY RESPONSIBILITIES Vermont Occupational Safety & Health Administration (VOSHA) The Occupational Safety & Health Act of 1970 (OSHA) sets standards for the purpose of providing a safe and healthy environment for all the nation s employees. Under this act, administered in Vermont by VOSHA, all University employees have certain rights and responsibilities University of Vermont and State Agricultural College. All rights reserved. 9
10 The UNIVERSITY of VERMONT RISK MANAGEMENT HANDBOOK UVM s Environmental Safety and Health Policy states that the University has an ethical obligation to ensure the physical welfare of its students, employees and visitors; a legal obligation to satisfy the ever increasing number of federal, state and local regulations relating to institutional health and safety; and a fi scal obligation to reduce accidents with their attendant high costs. It designates management responsibilities for faculty and chairs of departments and implementation policies for supervisors, employees and visitors. It also explains the policy responsibilities for UVM s Risk Management and Radiation Safety departments. To view this policy, go to: uvmehspolicy/index.html A portion of this policy is summarized below. Safety Responsibilities of Supervisors Any UVM employee who supervises University workers has certain responsibilities: to provide a work place free from recognized hazards that cause, or are likely to cause, injury or death to an employee to be familiar with mandatory VOSHA standards and have copies available for employees to review upon request to enforce University policies that are developed to comply with VOSHA standards, rules and regulations to inform employees about VOSHA to ensure that safety training occurs at hire and whenever a change in job responsibilities or hazards warrant it to inspect work place conditions to make sure they conform to applicable standards to minimize or reducing hazards to establish or update operating procedures and to communicate them to employees so that they can comply with safety and health requirements to make sure employees have and use safe tools and equipment (including appropriate personal protective equipment), and that such equipment is properly maintained to use appropriate color codes, posters, labels or signs when applicable to warn employees of potential hazards to investigate all work place accidents or illnesses and complete a First Report of Injury form when injuries or illnesses occur Safety Responsibilities of Employees All University employees are responsible for the following: to comply with applicable environmental health and safety laws and regulations, University policy, and accepted safe work practices to observe safety-related signs, posters, warning signals and written directions to be familiar with the emergency plan for the workplaces they frequent, the emergency assembly area, and emergency coordinators for their building; and to participate in emergency drills to learn about potential hazards associated with their work and work area; to know where information on these hazards is kept for their review; and to use this information when needed to follow safe operating procedures and guidance applicable to their work, especially when their work involves hazardous materials or processes to use personal protective equipment and engineering controls appropriate to their work to stop their work if they reasonably believe continuation of the work poses an imminent danger to health, safety, or the environment; and immediately to notify a supervisor to report any unsafe conditions to their supervisor or safety committee (such conditions include malfunctioning equipment, work-related fi res, accidents, incidents, injuries, illnesses, or property damage, as well as near misses ) University of Vermont and State Agricultural College. All rights reserved.
11 to warn coworkers about defective equipment and other hazards to participate in health and safety training applicable to their work situation to arrange for safe disposal of contaminated waste and hazardous chemicals If a hazard exists If an employee believes a hazard exists, that employee should report the hazard to their direct supervisor. If the supervisor takes no action to correct the situation, the employee should notify Risk Management directly. Legally, an employee may request a VOSHA inspection. However, before requesting a VOSHA inspection, an employee should make a good-faith effort to have the hazards corrected by a supervisor, fi rst by bringing it to the supervisor s attention. Risk Management personnel are available to help resolve any safety problems and to interpret VOSHA regulations for all departments. In case of an impending VOSHA inspection, an employee may accompany the VOSHA compliance offi cer during the inspection. Risk Management personnel should also accompany the inspector. An employee may also fi le a complaint with VOSHA if s/he believes s/he has been discriminated against because of exercising any of these rights. These and other stipulations are contained in the VOSHA regulations, copies of which can be obtained through the Department of Risk Management or at OSHA s web site: EPA and OSHA Inspection Protocol EPA and OSHA inspections are generally unannounced visits. If someone announces him/herself as either an EPA or OSHA inspector to you, please notify Risk Management s Environmental Safety Facility immediately at and ask the inspector to wait to begin the opening conference of the inspection, until a Risk Management representative is present. Workers Compensation The Risk Management department handles all workers compensation claims at UVM. The University insures all employees against medical expenses and lost work time (disability) that result from job-related injuries or illnesses through workers compensation insurance. University policy regarding workers compensation complies with and is governed by Vermont state law. Whenever a UVM employee suffers a job-related injury or illness, regardless of its severity, the employee should report the injury or illness to their supervisor. The supervisor should then complete an Employee s Claim and Employer s First Report of Injury form and submit it to UVM s Department of Risk Management. A PDF format of the form is available to download at A hard copy of the form is available in Appendix D of this handbook. A guide explaining how to correctly fi le a workers compensation claim is located at Risk Management must submit this form to the State Department of Labor and Industry within 72 hours of the accident. The form is also sent to the University s workers compensation insurer. Receipt of this form is necessary to pay for medical costs from a work-related injury. The law requires that the University maintain accurate records of job-related injuries and illnesses. The completed forms are also useful as a means of identifying and correcting hazards University of Vermont and State Agricultural College. All rights reserved. 11
12 Early Return To Work/Transitional Duty Program Risk Management coordinates an Early Return-to-Work/Transitional Duty Program designed to support employee recovery, protect employee income, reduce workers compensation costs, and promote employee good will. It can provide employees who are injured on the job with transitional duty positions, when available, for the purpose of returning employees to the job as quickly as possible. See: for more information. Occupational Health Care for work-related medical problems and occupational health assessments are available to UVM employees. Risk Management can help supervisors coordinate these services. These are examples of the services: evaluation and treatment of minor injuries and acute illnesses that occur on the job [Example: If an employee is injured on the job, they should fi rst seek treatment from their primary care provider or hospital emergency room, or occupational health provider with whom UVM contracts services, and be sure to indicate that the injury occurred while on the job. The supervisor should be notifi ed of this injury as soon as possible. (See Workers Compensation section.)] return-to-work assessments after medical leave to assist employees and their supervisor in defi ning any work restrictions periodic examinations required for employment in certain areas such as medical clearance for respirator use and health assessment of animal handlers drug and alcohol testing as required under the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991 for employees holding a commercial driver s license medical consultations for departments medical monitoring, as may be required by VOSHA regulations, including HAZMAT. preventative job-related programs such as immunizations University of Vermont and State Agricultural College. All rights reserved.
13 RISK MANAGEMENT HANDBOOK EMPLOYEE SAFETY: General Work Practices The UNIVERSITY of VERMONT Ergonomics Ergonomics is the science of fi tting the job and the work environment to the worker. Risk Management is available to do group ergonomic training and to advise employees about adjustments they can make to help reduce injury on the job. Ergonomic training is available at a department s request. There are also occasional trainings throughout the year (i.e.: Mastering The Maze). Call Risk Management at to request ergonomic training. Ergonomic training includes the evaluation of work areas and recommendations to help improve an uncomfortable work situation. For example, in an offi ce setting, simple adjustments to illumination, noise levels and workstations can result in improved ergonomic conditions. Illumination Lighting which is either too bright or too dim may cause eyestrain and headaches. Glare commonly found on video display terminal (VDT) screens can also cause eyestrain. By reducing contrasts in lighting, eyestrain can be minimized. Positioning VDT screens at right angles to windows and parallel to light fi xtures can help reduce lighting contrasts. Glare-resistant screens are also available for most VDTs. Employees should talk to their supervisor if they feel that the lighting provided is not adequate for their job. Noise and Hearing Conservation The noise level in any area should be low enough not to cause interference with communication or distraction from work. Environments in which excessive noise levels are present can result in the aggravation of hearing impairments and hearing loss. Adequate personal protective equipment should be available in all excessively noisy areas. Any areas that expose employees to noise levels of 85 decibels or higher for a constant 8 hour period require annual audiometric testing of the affected employees. If you need assistance in measuring noise levels in your workspace, call Risk Management at Work Station Work station evaluations can help ensure that an individual employee has enough fl exibility to ensure optimum comfort, mobility and organization. Three variables should be considered in the design of any work place: chair height, work surface height, and length of required reach. These should all be adjustable to accommodate variations in employee size and strength. The height of the chair should allow the hips and knees to be at right angles to the body with feet on the fl oor. The seat should be about two inches less than the distance from the crease of the knee to the fl oor. The backrest of the chair should support the small of the back. The height of the desk, table, typewriter or computer screen should be adjustable so the employee has plenty of leg space and can sit back in the chair with forearms parallel to the fl oor. If the chair is not adjustable, it can help to place a footrest (a telephone book works) for better support. Placing a book under the Video Display Terminal can also help correct the height of the computer screen. Organize paperwork so that reaching for it may be kept to a minimum. Take 10 to 15 minute breaks every 2 hours to help relieve eyestrain and fatigue associated with VDT use. Varying the work routine can minimize the chance of injury or strain. Information regarding ergonomic issues at UVM is located on the web at: University of Vermont and State Agricultural College. All rights reserved. 13
14 RISK MANAGEMENT HANDBOOK EMPLOYEE SAFETY: Tips for Protecting Workers continued. Repetitive Motion Injuries Risk Management s ergonomic training includes a discussion about repetitive motion. Many repetitive motion injuries such as tendonitis or carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrists are the result of performing repetitive tasks for long periods of time on a daily basis. This might include typing, hand scrubbing, bottle top removal and washing in animal care facilities, or the constant twisting motion in the use of hand tools. The most effective way to avoid these injuries is to vary daily tasks, take breaks, and establish engineering controls (such as automated bottle washers, wrist rests for typing). For more information about carpal tunnel syndrome, go to: The UNIVERSITY of VERMONT Lifting and Materials Handling Improper lifting and handling of equipment and materials are the most common causes of injury. Risk Management can include training to correct these during ergonomic seminars. Supervisors should work with employees to train them to use good footing, keep their back straight, and to bend at the knees when lifting. Supervisors should advise employees to lift with their legs (not with their back) and carry objects close to the body, allowing for better control. When moving objects, an employee should be sure to turn the entire body instead of twisting one s back. Employees should always use stepladders to lift objects above the head. Employees should always ask for help if they cannot move or lift an object by themselves. Hand trucks, handcarts, or dollies are available at loading ramps to move large or bulky items. A forklift requires special training and should not be used unless an employee has completed it. For help in moving bulky or heavy objects (furniture, fi le cabinets, etc..), contact Service Operations by submitting a work order form online: Slips, Trips and Falls Slipping and falling is a leading cause of injury. Falls can also be fatal; next to traffi c accidents, falls kill more people than any other kind of accident. Injuries from falls may include cuts, bruises, muscle sprains and strains, back injuries, and broken bones. Such injuries often cause lost time at work. Most accidents of this kind are preventable. Vermont weather conditions, surface composition, an individual s shoe type, fl oor cleaning materials, and/or liquid spills can all be factors affecting indoor and outdoor surfaces and the likelihood of slipping. Employees should notify Service Operations of any slippery spots or uneven work surfaces on campus in any work area. Risk Management can help follow up with repair requests, if necessary. For more safety tips regarding slips, trips and falls, go to: Ladder Safety Risk Management can provide ladder safety training to those departments that need it. Supervisors should be sure that all employees that are expected to use ladders in their work routine are trained to do so. Employees are responsible for using ladders safely. Correctly used ladders can prevent injuries. Ladder safety tips are located in Appendix B at the end of this handbook University of Vermont and State Agricultural College. All rights reserved.
15 Tools, Power Tools and Machinery Supervisors should train employees to keep tools in good condition (handles tightened, blades sharpened, etc..), free of grease, and properly stored when not in use. Supervisors should also be sure that employees are properly trained to use specifi c tools in order to keep employees safe and reduce injury on the job. Power tools and machinery may only be operated by employees who have been trained and authorized to use them. Supervisors can organize training as needed. Employees are required to use guards on equipment when available, and then ensuring it is in good working order and functioning properly before use. Personal protective equipment, like safety goggles, hard hats, and face guards must be worn as required. Employees should notify supervisors when equipment needs repair. Risk Management is available to evaluate work areas and to recommend solutions to make them safer. Electrical Equipment and Appliances The improper use of electrical equipment and appliances can cause fi res and electrical shock. These can result in property damage, injury, and even death. UVM policy toward the use of extension cords is that they should only be used temporarily. Temporary extension cords should never be placed in areas of foot travel because they can cause falls, injuries or damage to the equipment or an appliance. They should never be placed under rugs because wear and tear can fatigue the insulation, expose bare wires, and, in time, cause a fi re. Do not use octopus plugs at UVM at any time. These types of cords and plugs can overload a circuit and cause a fi re. Employees can use multiple outlet strips with built in circuit breakers. Electrical equipment should be equipped with grounded, 3-pronged plugs and matching receptacles. Never use adapter plugs. If an electrical system is not grounded, using an adapter can cause serious injury. If additional outlet receptacles are needed, submit an online work order to Physical Plant for installation. Heat-producing appliances like coffee pots, hot plates and toasters must be plugged directly into wall receptacles or outlet strips as mentioned above. Never use frayed cords, broken plugs, and defective electrical appliances. Hot plates, percolators, coffee makers and other appliances should only be operated on noncombustible surfaces and at least 18 inches away from any combustible surface or material. Be sure to turn off all appliances at the end of the day when leaving the work area. Personally-owned heaters and air conditioners are not permitted in University buildings. They present potential electrical and fi re hazards and often are not energy-effi cient. Employees or departments with heating or cooling problems should call Service Operations at , or submit a work order request at When working outside or near water or moisture, a ground fault interrupter (GFI) must be used to guard against electric shocks. Repairs or modifi cations to electrical circuits or equipment may only be performed by licensed electricians working under the direction of Physical Plant University of Vermont and State Agricultural College. All rights reserved. 15
16 The UNIVERSITY of VERMONT RISK MANAGEMENT HANDBOOK EMPLOYEE SAFETY: Tips for Protecting Workers continued. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) The most common types of personal protective equipment include safety glasses, earplugs or earmuffs, respirators, face shields, gloves, steel-toed safety shoes, coveralls, and hard hats. Personal protective equipment is designed to prevent or lessen injury but it does not prevent accidents. However, the severity of an accident is reduced, provided that the equipment is worn and used properly. Eye protection is required for all personnel and any visitors whose eyes may be exposed to chemical or physical hazards. Some UVM employees are required to wear specially designed personal protective equipment. For example, in laboratories, supervisors or Chemical Hygiene Offi cers should designate areas, activities, and tasks that require specifi c types of personal protective equipment. Protective equipment must not be worn in public areas, in order to prevent the spread of chemical or biological contamination from laboratory areas. Personal protective equipment is provided by individual departments and must be worn whenever there is a potential exposure to the type of dangers for which the equipment is designed. Failure to wear the required personal protective equipment can result in disciplinary action that could include termination of employment. All employees and supervisors are responsible for recognition of hazards. A written hazard analysis is required for every job category to determine what type of personal protective equipment is necessary. Supervisors should conduct this hazard analysis prior to the job and whenever the hazard changes. If an employee feels that there is an exposure to injury in his/her department that could be reduced or eliminated by the use of personal protective equipment, that employee must notify his or her supervisor immediately. An employee should notify his or her supervisor whenever the personal protective equipment seems inadequate or is no longer in good condition. LockOut/TagOut Physical Plant s Training and Compliance Offi ce provides training for LockOut/TagOut procedures for UVM personnel. The purpose of the training is to help ensure that any machinery or equipment will be rendered safe to work on by being locked/tagged out before an employee performs servicing or maintenance on that machinery or equipment. LockOut/TagOut procedures must be in place where the unexpected energizing, startup, or release of any type of energy could occur and cause injury. UVM s program is designed to satisfy the OSHA requirements outlined in 29 CFR Control of Hazardous Energy Sources located online at: The control of hazardous energy, otherwise known as the LockOut/TagOut system, is essential when working on machinery that would be dangerous if started. Check with Physical Plant s Offi ce of Compliance and Training at for LockOut/TagOut procedures. If these procedures are not in place, contact your supervisor or the Risk Management Department. Risk Management s Control of Hazardous Energy Sources and Electrical Hazards LockOut and TagOut Program is located at: Confined Space Physical Plant, Telecommunications and other UVM employees who enter confi ned spaces require training in proper confi ned space entry procedures. Physical Plant s Offi ce of Compliance University of Vermont and State Agricultural College. All rights reserved.
17 and Training provides Confi ned Space Training to employees who are required to enter confi ned spaces. There is also a UVM Confi ned Space Rescue Team from those who have attended the training. For more information, call them at Confi ned spaces are specially-designed areas: large enough to be entered by an individual to perform assigned work not designed for continuous human occupancy limited in terms of space for entry and exit If/when a confi ned space has the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere, to contain material with the potential for engulfment, to asphyxiate, or to present any other serious safety or health concerns, UVM is required to label these spaces as permitted. Such spaces do exist on campus and present unique hazards to those who must enter them to perform various tasks. A written confi ned space plan has certain requirements: defi ne procedures and practices of entry identify hazards associated with the space provide measures to prevent unauthorized access set conditions for acceptable entry and procedures for testing, monitoring and rescue UVM s confi ned space entry procedures, written in accordance with OSHA 29 CFR , may be obtained from Physical Plant or Risk Management, and is available online at: First Aid Training As a contribution to the safety and health of the community, the University encourages its employees to become skilled in fi rst aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) techniques. The American Red Cross ( ) and the Vermont Heart Association ( ) each offer this training. EMPLOYEE SAFETY: Hazardous Materials Hazard Communication/Community Right-to-Know (29 CFR ) OSHA s employee Right to Know regulation, offi cially known as the Hazard Communication Standard, requires employers to assure that employees have training and access to information about the hazards of chemicals with which they work. The regulation requires chemical manufacturers to provide Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) for hazardous chemicals and the employer to provide chemical safety training for employees who are expected to handle, or who could possibly be exposed to, these chemicals. Risk Management complies with OSHA s Hazard Communication standard by offering general chemical safety training sessions and by providing access on the web to an MSDS library and other chemical safety information. A Hazard Communication Program is required anywhere that hazardous materials are used or stored. Individual departments, laboratories, studios, offi ces, and trade shops are responsible for having MSDSs available for employees to reference as needed. For links to MSDS collections, go to: Prevention and/or Minimization of Hazards or Exposure Risk Management recommends that the fi rst and best protection an employee or supervisor can take before beginning any project or research is paying close attention to the following: Administrative Controls, which include decisions as to what chemicals will be used to complete a specifi c project or process University of Vermont and State Agricultural College. All rights reserved. 17
18 The UNIVERSITY of VERMONT RISK MANAGEMENT HANDBOOK EMPLOYEE SAFETY: HAZARDOUS MATERIALS continued. Work Practices include having a clean and uncluttered workspace, having emergency plans to control or contain an unexpected spill or release, and labeling hazards. Engineering Controls include mechanical and structural concerns, e.g. fume hoods and ventilation systems. UVM has adopted laboratory operating procedures for general use found in Prudent Practices in the Laboratory: Handling and Disposal of Chemicals (National Research Council, 1995). Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) should be used only when a potential occupational exposure remains after instituting these controls. Respirator Training The Physical Plant Training and Compliance Offi ce coordinates and implements the UVM Respiratory Protection Program. This program requires medical surveillance as well as training and fi t testing of any faculty and staff whose work requires the use of a respirator. Employees who are required to wear respirators in the workplace must fi rst be tested for physical fi tness and receive training in the proper use of the equipment. Risk Management covers the cost of medical evaluations while individual departments cover the cost of the respirator(s) and appropriate cartridges. For more information, call the Physical Plant Training and Compliance Offi ce at Shipping, Receiving or Transporting Hazardous Material The Department of Transportation (DOT) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) each require training for employees who deal with the shipping, receiving and/or transporting of hazardous materials. Risk Management s Environmental Safety Staff is trained to handle, ship, and receive UVM s hazardous waste. Employees from various UVM departments are required to receive DOT training as well and refresher training every 3 years, or IATA training every 2 years. Up-to-date certifi cations are kept in employee fi les. Any department with the need for DOT or IATA training should contact the Print and Mail Center for information on the next available training. Note: Training conducted by a previous employer or third party does not satisfy the UVM requirement unless it covers UVM specifi c procedures. See: BioSafety - (See Laboratory Safety section) Blood Borne Pathogens - (See Laboratory Safety section) Radiation Safety - (See Laboratory Safety section) EMPLOYEE SAFETY: Waste Management Chemical Waste Disposal Risk Management s Environmental Safety Facility staff manages the proper disposal of chemical wastes generated at the University. Chemical waste disposal is governed by federal and state laws. UVM has policies that govern the disposal of chemical waste from UVM laboratories and the disposal of hazardous wastes generated by other UVM locations on campus, such as the farms, food service locations, and the Physical Plant Department University of Vermont and State Agricultural College. All rights reserved.
19 Using Risk Management s Environmental Management Plan (EMP) procedures, the ESF staff coordinates the collection and disposal of chemical wastes generated by UVM laboratories. The EMP describes the specifi c measures that the University will take to protect human health and the environment from hazards associated with the management of laboratory wastes. Laboratory waste refers to the hazardous chemicals resulting from laboratory scale activities. See page 23 for full explanation of EMP. For all other hazardous waste generators on campus, the Risk Management Department has established a hazardous waste disposal program. This system requires three steps: Package the waste correctly Fill out the hazardous waste tag Send part of the tag to the ESF There is no charge to departments for this service. Instructions for Hazardous Waste Disposal are located at: There are general rules for packaging waste correctly for safe disposal. All waste should be packaged in leak proof containers with a screw top lid or other secure closure. Snap caps, such as those found on milk bottles, wrong-sized caps, parafi lm, or other loose fi tting lids are not acceptable. Solid debris can be packaged into sealed clear plastic bags. Never use red, orange or clear biohazard bags to store or dispose of chemically hazardous waste, as this is a separately managed waste stream. Please do not deliver any chemical waste to the ESF yourself. Direct any questions to Environmental Safety at Sink Disposal of Waste UVM s disposal policy makes it unacceptable and illegal to pour chemical, biohazardous, or radioactive waste down the drain, unless a request for regulatory determination is made through Risk Management. A request for Sink Disposal of Non-Hazardous Chemicals is part of UVM s Environmental Management Plan. More information about how to make a request is located at: ChemSource ChemSource is a chemical distribution program which makes new and recycled chemicals available to campus users quickly, easily and cheaply. ChemSource allows Risk Management to purchase large quantities of laboratory chemicals at bulk prices and store them safely at the ESF. Laboratory chemical users may purchase small amounts of chemicals from ChemSource and thereby reduce both the risk of storing large amounts of chemicals within their labs and the amounts of hazardous waste generated by the disposal of unused chemicals, without suffering the price disadvantage of small unit ordering. For more details about ChemSource, refer to: Mercury Thermometer Swap Environmental Safety Facility staff has instituted a program of replacing mercury-containing thermometers with less-hazardous organic liquid thermometers. This program s goal is to reduce the toxicity exposure and hazardous waste disposal associated with broken thermometers on campus. Mercury from the collected thermometers is sent with other mercury wastes for reclamation at a facility near Albany, NY. Find more information on this program at: University of Vermont and State Agricultural College. All rights reserved. 19
20 EMPLOYEE SAFETY: WASTE MANAGEMENT continued. Biohazardous Waste Disposal Biowaste is material from procedures involving microbes and tissue culture or samples. Much of this material poses only a slight hazard in itself, yet still is disposed of as biowaste because of the chain of contact with UVM s waste. Most biowaste disposal costs are paid by the Risk Management Department. Landfill About 95% of UVM s biowaste goes to a landfi ll following special state-approved procedures. Vermont s Regulated Medical Waste Regulations require all biowaste to be sterilized before it leaves UVM. Those on campus generating such waste must follow certain procedures: Ensure that all biowaste diverts from the regular trash. Put all tissue culture plates, fl asks, well trays, blood-soaked and other biohazardous materials into clearly marked orange or red bags and containers. Autoclave all biological waste. Indicate this by using special tape or bags that change color when autoclaved. Some biowaste may be sterilized through other chemical disinfectants (e.g. bleach, quaternary ammonium salts, formaldehyde, etc..). These processes need to be cleared with ESF personnel before this waste goes to the landfi ll. All autoclaves used to sterilize waste need certifi cation. Be certain that your autoclave is working properly via a regularly scheduled autoclave certifi cation program. ESF can instigate this program by supplying indicator vials (autoclave tape is not adequate for certifi cation). Fill out the biowaste logbook located at the autoclave or at the dumpster. Take any such material to the Disinfected Biological Material Only dumpster which are emptied every other week. Incineration Some biowaste does not go to a landfi ll. Consider having your biowaste incinerated if the following applies: You do not have access to an autoclave or sterilization method. You do not have access to a biowaste dumpster. It is suffi ciently dangerous or unpleasant so that it should not go to a landfi ll. Call the ESF to arrange for the delivery of a burn box. The burn box must be confi gured as follows: double lined with two red biohazard bags leak proof marked INCINERATE ONLY (stickers available) weigh less than 50 pounds Call for help with any part of this procedure or refer to the complete procedures at Environmental Safety is exploring the option of incinerating all biowaste on campus. Check the web site for updates. Universal Waste Disposal Universal wastes are wastes that are hazardous, but so common in society that streamlined management options have been developed for them. Universal wastes include fl uorescent lamps, light ballasts, batteries and cathode ray tubes (CRT s). The State of Vermont considers the following to be Universal Waste: University of Vermont and State Agricultural College. All rights reserved.
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