Chapter 1 - Health and Safety at Stanford



- Supervisory Responsibilities
- Managerial Responsibilities
- EH&S Responsibilities
- Other Departments with Health and Safety Responsibilities
- Employee and Student Responsibilities


- Providing a Safe Workplace

• Facilities Design
• Finding and Correcting Workplace Hazards
• Employee Reporting of Health and Safety Hazards
• Shutdown of Dangerous Activities
• Providing Medical Surveillance

- Emergency Response and Preparedness
- Communications and Training

• Systems of Communication
• Communication About Hazards
• Training

- Health and Safety Performance Standards

Documentation, Recordkeeping, and Compliance


Stanford University makes all reasonable efforts to:

* protect the health and safety of Stanford University faculty, staff, and students;

* provide safe workplaces--academic, research, and administrative--for faculty, staff, and students;

* provide information to faculty, staff, and students about health and safety hazards;

* identify and correct health and safety hazards and encourage faculty, staff, and students to report hazards;

* provide information and safeguards for those on campus and in the surrounding community regarding environmental hazards arising from operations at Stanford University.

Stanford University is committed to strong programs of accident and injury prevention and to complying with all relevant environmental and health and safety laws and regulations.


Good health and safety practices are a responsibility of each faculty member, staff member, and student.

Line responsibility for good health and safety practice begins with the supervisor in the workplace, laboratory, or classroom and proceeds upward through the levels of management. In academic areas, supervisors include the lab directors, class instructors, principal investigators,or others having direct supervisory authority. Academic levels of management are the department chairperson or Independent Lab director, the dean, the Dean of Research, and the Provost. Administrative levels of management include mid-management, directors, and vice presidents. Final responsibility for health and safety policy and programs rests with the President of the University.

The Director of Environmental Health and Safety is responsible for: recommending University-wide health and safety policies; ensuring overall institutional compliance with policies, statutes, and regulations; monitoring the effectiveness of the safety programs; and providing central health and safety services to all areas of the University.


All University supervisors, including faculty supervisors, are responsible for protecting the health and safety of employees and students under their supervision. This responsibility entails:

* implementing Stanford University health and safety policies, practices and programs;

* ensuring that workplaces and equipment are safe and well maintained;

* ensuring that workplaces or laboratories are in compliance with Stanford policies, programs, and practices.


All University managers, academic and administrative, are responsible for ensuring that:

* individuals under their management have the authority to implement appropriate health and safety policies, practices, and programs;

* areas under their management have support for health and safety programs, practices, and equipment;

* areas under their management are in compliance with Stanford University health and safety policies, practices, and programs.


The Department of Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) is responsible for:

* reviewing legislation, recommending policies, and monitoring compliance with environmental and health and safety statutes and regulations and University health and safety policies and programs;

* providing guidance and technical assistance to supervisors and managers in the schools, departments, and other work units in identifying, evaluating, and correcting health and safety hazards;

* developing programs for the safe use of hazardous radiological, biological, and chemical substances and lasers;

* providing training materials, assistance, and programs in safe and healthy work practices;

* providing emergency services for incidents involving hazardous materials;

* providing fire prevention services;

* operating hazardous waste disposal services.

While EH&S is responsible for developing and recommending policies, policy approval rests with other University bodies, e.g., Faculty Senate, University Cabinet, Operations Council, University Health and Safety Committee, Committee on Research, and Administrative Panels, depending on the content of the proposed policies.


The Department of Public Safety (Campus Police) has primary responsibility for traffic safety, earthquake and emergency planning, and police services (723-9633).

The Department of Risk Management administers Stanford's property, liability, and vehicle insurance policies (including Workers' Compensation), evaluates and identifies risks in order to protect the University's assets and resources, and provides risk consultation to departments (723-4554).

Fire suppression services are provided by the Palo Alto Fire Department (9-911) and fire inspection services by the Santa Clara County Fire Marshal's Office (725-7162). Other fire prevention and consultation services are provided by the Stanford Fire Marshal at EH&S (723-0609).

The Emergency Response Team at EH&S provides emergency services for incidents involving hazardous materials (723-0448 or, after working hours, 723-2281).

Other University departments such as Operations and Maintenance and Facilities Project Management also have important health and safety functions.

Stanford Hospital and the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) have separate environmental health and safety offices.


Employees and students are responsible for:

* keeping themselves informed of conditions affecting their health and safety;

* participating in training programs provided by their supervisors and instructors;

* adhering to healthy and safe practices in their workplaces, classrooms, laboratories, and student campus residences;

* advising their supervisors or instructors of serious hazards in the workplace, classroom, or laboratory.



Facilities Design
Facilities will be designed in a manner consistent with health and safety regulations and standards of good design. Those facilities departments charged with primary responsibility for the design, construction, and/or renovation of facilities, together with EH&S, shall ensure that there is appropriate health and safety review of facility concepts, designs, and plans.

In case of disagreement between EH&S and the cognizant facilities department, the conflict shall be resolved by the Vice President for Faculty and Staff Services in consultation with the cognizant vice president or dean and the Provost (or designate). The determination of the Vice President for Faculty and Staff Services may be stayed by the Director of EH&S pending a prompt appeal to the President.

Finding and Correcting Workplace Hazards
Supervisors, both faculty and staff, shall conduct regular, periodic inspections of workplaces to identify and evaluate workplace hazards and unsafe work practices.

* The frequency of inspections should be proportional to the magnitude of risk posed in the particular workplace.

* Inspections are also required whenever new substances, processes, procedures, or equipment presenting new categories of health and safety hazards are introduced into the workplace.

Means of correcting discovered hazards and/or protecting individuals from the hazards shall be determined and implemented promptly. Unsafe conditions which cannot be corrected by the supervisor or manager must be reported to the next higher level of management.

Employee Reporting of Health and Safety Hazards
Any supervisor or manager who becomes aware of a serious concealed danger to the health or safety of individuals shall report this danger promptly to EH&S and to the faculty, staff, and students who may be affected.

Stanford University encourages employees and students to report health and safety hazards to their supervisors, managers, or EH&S. Employees and students shall not be discharged or discriminated against in any manner for bona fide reporting of health and safety hazards to Stanford or to appropriate governmental agencies. Supervisors shall inform students and employees of this policy and encourage reporting of workplace hazards.

Shutdown of Dangerous Activities
The Director of EH&S has the authority to curtail or shut down any University activity considered to constitute a clear and present danger to health or safety. In the event of such curtailment or shutdown, the cognizant dean, director or vice president and the Provost (or designate) shall be immediately notified.

* In cases of dispute, an order to curtail or shut down will remain in effect until the Provost or the Vice President for Faculty and Staff Services (or their respective designees) determine in writing that the danger has passed or been mitigated or that theorder should be rescinded for other reasons.

* Should the Director of EH&S disagree with a determination to restore a curtailed or shutdown activity, the Director may promptly appeal the matter to the President. In the event of an appeal, the order to curtail or shutdown shall be in effect until the President determines otherwise.

Providing Medical Surveillance
Stanford University shall evaluate and monitor, through a program of medical surveillance, the health of Stanford University faculty, staff, and students who are exposed to certain hazardous materials and situations as defined by law or by University policy. Each supervisor is responsible for ensuring that employees and students under their supervision participate in the medical surveillance program as required by University policy. EH&S will monitor medical surveillance program participation. Each University department/school shall administer the program for those faculty, staff, and students covered by University policy.


The Departments of Public Safety and EH&S shall provide guidelines for emergency response plans. Every building shall have individual emergency response plans. Each plan shall include evacuation and assembly procedures, posted evacuation maps, reporting and communication practices, training, and drills. Exits shall remain free of obstructions and materials that could render the exit hazardous. In areas where hazardous materials are used, handled, or stored, the emergency response plan shall conform to the Emergency and Hazardous Material Release Response policy set forth in the Research Policy Handbook.


Systems of Communication
Supervisors, both faculty and staff, shall establish, implement and maintain a system for communicating with employees and students about health and safety matters. Information must be presented in a manner readily understood by the affected employees and students. Due attention must be paid to levels of literacy and language barriers. Verbal communications should be supplemented with written materials or postings. Whenever appropriate, statutes and policies affecting employees and students shall be available in the workplaces.

Communication About Hazards
Faculty, staff, and students who may come in contact with hazardous substances or practices either in the workplace or in laboratories shall be provided information concerning the particular hazards which may be posed, and the methods by which they may deal with such hazards in a safe and healthful manner. In areas where hazardous chemicals are used, handled, or stored, communications about these hazards shall conform to the Chemical Hazard Communication policy set forth in the Research Policy Handbook.

Supervisors shall be trained or knowledgeable in the safety and health hazards to which employees and students under their immediate direction and control may be exposed.

Faculty, staff, and students shall be trained to protect themselves from hazards in their working environments. Supervisors, both faculty and staff, shall train employees and students in:

* general health and safety practices;

* job-specific health and safety practices and hazards;

* recognition and assessment of health and safety risks;

* how to minimize risks through sound safety practices and use of protective equipment;

* regulations and statutes applicable to their work;

* Stanford University's health and safety policies, including: Policy on the Use of Biohazardous Agents; Policy on Emergency and Hazardous Material Release Response; Policy on Emergency and Hazardous Material Release Response for the School of Medicine; Chemical Hazard Communication Policy; Policy on Radiological Hazards; and Policy on Laser Safety.

Training shall occur:

* when an employee or student is hired;

* when an employee or student is given a new assignment for which training has not previously been received;

* whenever new categories of hazards are introduced by new substances, processes, or equipment

* whenever the supervisor is made aware of a new or previously unrecognized hazard.

Training shall be communicated in a manner readily understandable to faculty, staff, and students, in accordance with the communication policy outlined above.


Managers and supervisors shall establish and maintain systems of rewards and discipline to support good health and safety practices.


Required documentation and records shall be kept to demonstrate compliance with statutes, regulations, and standards.

Provider: Environmental Health and Safety, Stanford University

Last updated: April 2002

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