The University is committed to providing a healthy and safe working environment for all members of the campus community. As a result of this commitment, the University is proposing three new systemwide Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) policies. The main focus of these policies is to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses for all academics, staff, students, volunteers, and visitors.

Summaries of the three proposed policies are included below; however, I encourage you to review these policies in full as they include specific responsibilities that would impact Principal Officers, Department Chairs, academic and staff supervisors and employees, instructors of record, and Principal Investigators.

The University invites your comments on these proposed policies during this formal review period. A summary of these comments will be provided to the Office of the President for consideration.

Non-represented academic employees who wish to provide comments on these proposed policies should direct their comments to Susan Fellows at sfellows@ucsc.edu by February 15, 2013.

Non-represented staff employees who wish to provide comments on these proposed policies should direct their comments to Cathy Schoenfeld at pafc@ucsc.edu by February 15, 2013.

For employees covered by collective bargaining agreements, comments on these proposed policies should be directed to your union representative for consideration. 

  •  Laboratory/Technical Area Safety Training – This policy identifies minimum safety training requirements applicable to all workers. For purposes of this policy, a “worker” may be an academic or staff employee (including students that are employed), visitor/visiting scholar, or volunteer provided the individual actively performs work functions in a laboratory and/or technical area. This definition of “worker” excludes students enrolled in a teaching laboratory as well as individuals who only passively participate in tours, lectures, conferences, etc. For purposes of this policy, a laboratory or technical area is any location where hazardous materials or equipment may be used or stored. Unless otherwise defined in writing, the proposed default “supervisor” in laboratory/technical areas is the Principal Investigator.

  •  Personal Protective Equipment – This policy and associated regulatory standards require supervisors to select personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers under their supervision based on an assessment of hazards in the workplace, which those workers are likely to encounter. For purposes of this policy, a “worker” is an individual who actively performs work functions with hazardous materials or equipment in a laboratory/ technical area and may be an academic or staff employee, student volunteer assisting in a non-academic class, or visitor/visiting scholar. This definition of “worker” excludes students enrolled in an academic course as well as individuals who only passively participate in tours, lectures, conferences, etc. Supervisors are required to inform workers of PPE selection decisions, and to ensure their workers follow those decisions when obtaining required PPE, which must be provided to workers at no cost.

Academic courses that include laboratory, shop or field work must indicate PPE requirements as part of the course syllabus.  These PPE items shall be the responsibility of the student to obtain and wear as part of the class. The instructor of record for a course is responsible for ensuring that students are familiar with and properly using required PPE.

  •  Minors in Laboratories and Shops – This policy governs the presence of minors in any University laboratory or shop that uses hazardous chemicals, biohazardous or infectious materials, radioactive materials or radiation-producing equipment, or where there are physical hazards including (but not limited to) compressed gases, high voltage, extreme temperatures, excessive noise, or lasers. This policy does not apply to UC students enrolled in courses listed in the course catalog with a laboratory component or to any of the University’s educational outreach programs, including students working on science fair projects. However, this policy does apply to all minors involved in summer internships, including those volunteering in research projects and participating in scheduled assignments in a laboratory setting.

This proposed policy also sets restrictions on minors’ participation based on age ranges. Minors under the age of 14 are not permitted in University of California laboratories or shops, except when participating in an approved and supervised tour. This prohibition extends to the minor children related to laboratory personnel.