Environment, Health & Safety Policy
To ensure that all educational, research, and campus activities are conducted safely and in a manner that protects the health of employees, students, and the public and the environment.
All faculty, staff, students, and the public on the Lawrence Campus and its reporting units.
- Roles and Responsibilities
- KU Department of Environment, Health and Safety (KU-EHS)
- Members of KU (Faculty, Staff, Students, Contractors and Visitors)
- Supervisors (Principal Investigator, Laboratory Supervisor, Instructor, or Administrative Supervisor/Manager)
- Compliance Office
- Deans, Department Chairs, and Program/Unit Directors
- Executive Administration (Chancellor, Vice-Chancellors, Assoc./Asst. Vice-Chancellors, Provost, and Assoc./Assist. Vice Provosts)
- Campus Environment, Health and Safety Management System
- University Standing EHS
Protection of safety, health, and environment is a core value, and this policy provides the strategy and framework for achieving positive environment, health, and safety performance.
The University of Kansas is committed to safety, health, and environment as evidence by the following principles:
- Empowering our faculty, staff, and students to demonstrate individual and institutional leadership in inculcating safety, health, and environmental protection into research, education, public service and work environments;
- Emphasizing open communication with our community regarding safety, health, and environmental issues;
- Instilling the values of safety, health, and environmental stewardship and conservation of resources in our future leaders.Members of the campus are required to uphold these values through the following requirements:
Members of the campus are required to uphold these values through the following requirements:
- Assuring compliance with applicable federal, state and local safety, health, and environmental requirements;
- Preventing and minimizing hazards, assessing and controlling risks, reducing pollution and continuously improving our practices regarding safety, health, and environmental protection;
- Protecting and maintaining safe and environmentally responsible facilities for teaching, research, public service, work and campus living.
2. Roles and Responsibilities
The roles and responsibilities of University units and constituents within this strategy are identified and described below:
KU Department of Environment, Health and Safety (KU-EHS)
KU Environment, Health and Safety (KU-EHS) department is an administrative support unit that reports to the Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor Office through the Associate Vice Provost for Operations. It is funded and supported by the Provost Office to serve as a central management resource and service center on matters related to environment, health and safety. KU-EHS provides a broad range of environment, health and safety services to the University community.
KU-EHS is authorized to:
- In the event of observed, discovered or reported imminent danger, take immediate action to stop work; protect University personnel, students, property, and the public; and require corrective action by responsible personnel to reduce hazards, minimize risk and control the danger.
- In the event of observed, discovered or reported regulatory non-compliance, take immediate action to stop work; protect University personnel, students, property, and the public; and require corrective action by responsible personnel to achieve regulatory compliance.
- Assist faculty, staff, and students with designing facilities that meet safety and environmental requirements and with inculcating and implementing safety and environmental practices in the conduct and operation of University programs, activities, and facilities;
- Monitor campus activities to enhance compliance with Federal, State, Local, and University environmental, health, and safety laws, regulations, ordinances, and policies.
- Develop and communicate campus EHS program manuals and documents to provide necessary procedural information and carry out the assigned management responsibilities associated with the following campus environment, health and safety programs:
- Air Quality (Outdoor & Indoor)
- Asbestos & Lead Based Paint Management
- Environmental Protection, Impact Assessments & Pollution Prevention
- Hazardous Materials: Use, Transportation, Disposal, Recycling & Waste Minimization
- Laboratory Safety: General, Biological, & Chemical
- Occupational Safety & Health/Industrial Hygiene Assistance
- Radiation & Laser Safety: Materials Procurement, Use & Disposal
- Water Quality, Storm Water & Wastewater Discharge.
KU-EHS serves as the primary liaison and coordinates the University’s response to matters pertaining to external EHS regulatory inspections, enforcement actions, investigations or employee complaints related to workplace safety or environmental compliance. KU-EHS will coordinate and confer with other appropriate University units as appropriate.
KU-EHS is the point of contact and coordinates the activities of the University Standing EHS Committees (described below) and assists in the selection and appointment of Chairs and members.
Members of KU (Faculty, Staff, Students, Contractors and Visitors)
It is the responsibility of all individuals at KU to conduct their activities in a safe manner and in compliance with all applicable policies, laws, and regulations. This responsibility includes participation in training, abiding by established environmental, health, and safety procedures, reporting environmental, health or safety hazards and/or potential violations of regulations to their supervisor (defined below) and KU-EHS.
All faculty members and others involved in instructional and/or research programs are responsible for seeing that the students in their courses and laboratories are properly trained and educated about applicable safety and health policies and practices prior to exposures to instructional or research hazards.
Each employee who manages or supervises the work of others is additionally responsible for seeing that employees and students for whom they are responsible are properly trained and educated about safety and health practices.
Each employee is responsible for maintaining a safe work place. Employees have a continuing responsibility to develop and follow practices that achieve these goals.
Supervisors (Principal Investigator, Laboratory Supervisor, Instructor, or Administrative Supervisor/Manager)
Supervisors are responsible for compliance with environment, health, and safety standards and policies as well as applicable local, state, and federal regulations under their authority. Supervisors are responsible for assessing the potential hazards associated with the tasks of the participants in the programs under their authority, reducing or eliminating identified hazards, communicating those hazards and protective measures to the participants in their programs, and for determining the ability of those participants to perform their tasks safely. Therefore, each supervisor is responsible for ensuring that participants in their programs are adequately trained. Supervisors are also responsible for facilitating internal and external EHS inspections and audits as well as taking prompt action when unsafe or non-compliant acts or conditions are discovered or reported to them. Supervisors must report unsafe acts or conditions, non-compliance, injuries, or incidents to the appropriate internal department.
KU has a designated Compliance Office. It is the responsibility of the Compliance Office to inform the University community about the Standards of Conduct and ethical obligations under the Compliance Program; to monitor compliance activities which include policies, procedures, training, and education programs; to serve as a resource to the University on matters of compliance; and to maintain a helpline for compliance matters.
Deans, Department Chairs, and Program/Unit Directors
It is the responsibility of Deans, Department Chairs, and Program/Unit Directors to assure that each academic, research, administrative or auxiliary unit under their authority conducts its operations in accordance with all applicable laws, regulations, and KU policies and procedures. This responsibility includes, but is not limited to, ensuring the use of appropriate safety practices, equipment, and facilities in activities under their authority; establishing safety programs (including safety committees) in their school, department or center; and implementing specific school, department, or center-level policies and procedures for safety and compliance.
Executive Administration (Chancellor, Vice-Chancellors, Assoc./Asst. Vice-Chancellors, Provost, and Assoc./Assist. Vice Provosts)
Executive Administration provides appropriate financial and organizational support to assure KU operations and activities are conducted safely and in compliance with applicable environmental, health, and safety laws and regulations. Executive Administration approves and authorizes the implementation of policies and programs for safety and compliance, including the establishment of consequences for non-compliance, unsafe acts, or creating unsafe working conditions.
3. Campus Environment, Health and Safety Management System
In order to manage the multitude of issues associated with environment, health, and safety laws, regulations, standards, policies and procedures, an Environment, Health and Safety Management System (EHS-MS) has been established. This management system includes: KU Environment, Health and Safety Department, the use of EHS-related University Standing Committees for oversight and policy development, and the Compliance Office. These constituents within this EHS-MS are identified and described in the University Standing EHS Committees section below.
4. University Standing EHS Committees
University Standing EHS Committees are chartered to assist in the management of environment, health, and safety issues. Members of these committees are appointed by the Provost or Vice Provost for Operations based on recommendations of KU-EHS and the Associate Vice Provost for Operations. Additional committees will be established as needs arise based on legal and policy requirements and best practices. To view a full listing of EHS committees, please visit the EHS Committee webpage.
University Safety & Health Committee (Employee Safety)
Role: The University Safety & Health Committee (USHC) serves as a resource to the campus on matters of occupational safety and health. It provides advice and support to KU-EHS in developing and implementing campus occupational safety and health programs. The USHC is comprised of a broad cross-section of employee representation from across campus.
Laboratory Safety Committee
Role: The Laboratory Safety Committee (LSC) serves as a resource to the campus on matters of laboratory safety. It is made up of four subcommittees as described below but can assemble as one overall lab safety committee as needed or warranted. The LSC and its subcommittees provide advice and support to KU-EHS in developing and implementing campus Lab safety programs. The LSC is comprised of a broad cross-section of laboratory personnel from across campus.
Biosafety/rDNA Subcommittee (IBC)
Role: An Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) is required at institutions that receive funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for research involving recombinant DNA molecules. All recombinant DNA research at KU-Lawrence Campus (KU-LC), regardless of funding source, must be conducted in accordance with the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules and must be registered with the KU-LC IBC. The IBC also serves as a resource to KU-EHS in the review and approval of research conducted with microorganisms pathogenic to humans, plants, or animals.
Chemical Hygiene/Safety Subcommittee (CHSC)
Role: The CHSC serves as a subcommittee of the Laboratory Safety Committee and as a resource for development and review of lab chemical safety policies and procedures, addresses chemical safety problems, and reviews and approves protocols involving hazardous chemicals where applicable and as forwarded from KU-EHS.
Laser Safety Subcommittee (LSSC)
Role: The Laser Safety subcommittee (LSSC) serves as a resource for development and review of laser safety policies and procedures, addresses laser safety problems, and reviews and approves the use of lasers based upon the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard where applicable and as forwarded from KU-EHS.
Radiation Safety Subcommittee (RSSC)
Role: The Radiation Safety Subcommittee (RSSC) serves as the University Radiation Safety Committee, as mandated by the University of Kansas (Lawrence campus) Broad Radioactive Materials License. As such, the composition and functions of this subcommittee shall meet the requirements of the License and Title 10 Code of Federal Regulations Part 20. The RSSC assures that radioactive material, licensed under the broad-scope radioactive material license, and ionizing radiation producing equipment (i.e. x-ray equipment, fluoroscopes, accelerators, etc.) are used safely, and in compliance with State of Kansas and federal regulations, license conditions, and certified registrations.
Regulatory non-compliance may be a violation of state and/or federal laws punishable by fines and/or imprisonment. A College, School or Department shall be held liable by the Provost Office for any fee or penalty imposed by a regulatory agency upon KU for regulatory non-compliance, to the extent that the fee or penalty imposed arises out of the activities of the College, School or Department.
All faculty, staff, and students shall be aware of their responsibilities as identified in this policy and EHS program manuals and comply with their requirements. Failure to do so shall be a violation of University Policy and subject to discipline through established procedures, which may be found in the KU-EHS manuals and as established in Faculty, Staff and Student Handbooks.
KU Department of Environment, Health & Safety
2330 Crowell Drive
Lawrence, KS 66047
04/24/2020: Revised to update titles and committees; formatting cleanup.
03/08/2019: Changed title VP for Administration and Finance to VP for Operations.
12/02/2016: Fixed typo.
06/27/2016: Policy formatting cleanup (e.g. underlining).
06/24/2016: Updated the committee structure for the Safety Leadership Committee and the university standing EHS committees.
06/26/2015: Added link to Institutional Biosafety Committee policy in the related policies section.
11/26/2014: Policy formatting cleanup (e.g., bolding, spacing).
07/28/2014: Published to the Policy Library after minor formatting changes to ensure optimum online display.
07/24/2014: Prior to this policy, KU had separate policies on Health & Safety and Environment. In 2013, the Vice Provost for Administration and Finance charged a Campus Safety Task Force with reviewing the policies and making recommendations for improvements. The combined policy above is the result of the work of that task force. This policy was revised by the department of Environment, Health, and Safety, reviewed and approved by Campus Operations and the Vice Provost for Administration & Finance before receiving final approval from the Provost.