Chapter 2 - EH&S Safety Services


Emergency Response

Non-emergency Response

Laboratory Safety and Environmental Programgs


Safety Engineering

Industrial Hygiene

Fire Safety

Chemical Waste

Communications and Training

Health Physics


The main job of the Department of Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) is to help all employees of the University--faculty, staff, and students--in providing safe and healthy conditions for work, research, and study. EH&S alone cannot make Stanford a safe place. Safety begins in the workplace--in the labs, offices, shops, classrooms, and dorms where we work and live. So it is the responsibility of every employee and student at Stanford to use common sense and to look out for his or her safety and the safety of others. Supervisors especially, both by law and by university policy, have a clear responsibility for the health and safety of those employees or students whose work or study they direct.

Health and safety programs deal with risk. While there is no such thingas "zero risk," Stanford's health and safety programs are designed to minimize unreasonable risks through sound, common sense safety practices.

There are many federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and standards which have been promulgated to protect the health and safety of workers, students and, in the case of environmental laws, the populace at large. Part of the job of EH&S is to help schools, departments, and individuals at Stanford comply with those laws. EH&S keeps abreast of such laws and translates them into health and safety practices and programs which fit the unique requirements of Stanford as a large teaching and research institution.

This chapter describes other specific kinds of help which EH&S offers. EH&S' highest priority is responsiveness to your needs as you implement good health and safety practices where you work!


9-911 from SU phones
911 from non-SU phones
286 from School of Medicine

The Emergency Response Team responds to incidents involving hazardous materials releases at Stanford University and Stanford University Hospital. If you have a release that is health-threatening call 9-911 from Stanford University phones or 911 from non-Stanford University phones. In the School of Medicine dial 286.


(if off-hours, please call 725-9999)

If you have a release in your laboratory that is not health-threatening, call Environmental Health and Safety at 723-0448.



An unforeseen event that calls for immediate action to protect individuals, the environment, or property.

Health Threatening Emergency

An emergency in which there is a clear potential for serious injury to a person if immediate action is not taken. (If in doubt, consider the emergency health-threatening.)

Non-Health Threatening Emergency

An emergency in which there is not a clear potential for serious injury to any person.


The Laboratory Safety and Environmental Programs are responsible for a variety of hazardous materials safety issues and compliance matters at Stanford.

* Support laboratory and chemical safety groups in environmental compliance and reporting, with particular emphasis on air and water quality.

* Support laboratory Chemical Hygiene Plans.

* Review campus-wide environmental compliance.


725-4660 (for Chem Safety Database Help and Info)

* Manages regulatory compliance programs for chemical storage and use.

* Schedules county health inspections and accompanies inspectors. Assists labs and shops in following through on complaints and citations.

* Controls chemical hazards information management system (material safety data sheets and life safety boxes).

* Fills Life Safety Boxes with hazardous materials inventories.

* Maintains campus-wide hazardous materials inventory databases with information provided by labs and shops.

* Assists with design and operation of local hazardous materials databases.

* Assists on hazardous materials inventories and hazardous materials management plans.

* Answers questions regarding hazardous materials storage, classification, and compatibilities, and materials safety data sheets.

* Maintains EH&S' master set of material safety data sheets.

* Provides material safety data sheets upon request.



* Manages Industrial Wastewater Discharge Permit and National Pollution Discharge Elimination System Permit for storm water run-off.

* Responsible for environmental concerns regarding soil and groundwater contamination.

* Manages underground tank compliance program.

* Assures compliance with drinking water quality guidelines.

* Coordinates stationary source air quality management program.

BIOSAFETY 725-1473

The Biosafety Program represents EH&S on the Administrative Panel on Biosafety and provides liaison to the Administrative Panel on Laboratory Animal Care and the Administrative Panel on Radiological Safety for issues related to biosafety. The program also educates investigators, students, and staff on proper handling and management of infectious agents and recombinant DNA.

* Inspects facilities and reviews plans for conformance to biosafety level 1, 2, and 3 standards.

* Develops emergency plans dealing with accidental spills and personnel contamination and for investigating recombinant DNA research accidents.

* Publishes and disseminates the Biosafety Manual.


The Safety Engineer is responsible for the safety of buildings at Stanford University. All reports of unsafe conditions should be directed to 725-1472. In addition, the Safety Engineer investigates accidents, makes recommendations for corrective actions, and reviews plans for new construction projects and building renovations.

INDUSTRIAL HYGIENE 725-1474 or 725-3209

The Industrial Hygiene Program evaluates hazards in the work environment including chemical hazards, physical hazards, noise, air quality, and ergonomically-related problems and then prescribes methods to eliminate, control, or reduce such hazards. The Industrial Hygiene Program also administers Stanford's medical surveillance program.

FIRE SAFETY 723-0609

EH&S' Fire Safety Program plans and administers the University's fire prevention and life safety inspection programs. This includes reviewing all new building construction and renovations to ensure compliance with University fire protection standards and applicable state, local, and national fire and life safety standards. In addition, they investigate the causes of fires, explosions, chemical hazards, accidents, and related emergencies. They then recommend changes based on the investigations to effect better safety standards and to reduce reoccurrences of those accidents.


EH&S' Chemical Waste Program develops, implements, and monitors University policies and programs for managing chemical wastes in accordance with applicable local, state, and federal regulations. Specific areas of concern include source reduction (programs or actions which may cause a net reduction in the generated hazardous waste), waste minimization (including treatment/reduction and recycling of waste chemicals already generated), and chemical waste disposal.



The Chemical Waste Technicians collect waste chemicals from points of generation and transport the chemicals to the Environmental Safety Facility (ESF). The technicians maintain and inspect equipment and storage facilities. The technicians also provide procedures and guidelines and will explain the specific requirements of segregation, labeling, and storage.



These services translate into savings in avoided purchase/disposal costs, procurement, and taxes.

NOTE: Present permits do not allow for any in-lab treatment.

These programs are in compliance with federal and state regulations:

On-site solvent reclamation and chemical recycling at the Environmental Safety Facility (ESF).

- This program currently serves clients from the Medical Center and the Department of Chemistry.

- Waste solvents generated from laboratories are reclaimed, analyzed, and sold back at a lower cost to the respective principal investigators.

- Used/unused chemicals are analyzed and returned without charge to the laboratories of principal investigators.

Treatment for toxicity and volume reductions at ESF.


The Communications and Training Program publishes and distributes the Stanford Safety Manual and other health and safety publications. The Program also assists departments and schools with their health and safety training needs by disseminating training materials, organizing safety seminars and videos, and bringing in outside trainers.


The Health Physics Program is responsible for safety involving: ionizing radiation, lasers, and ultraviolet, microwave, and magnetic fields at Stanford University, Stanford University Hospital, and the Veterans Administration Hospital. If you would like additional information please call one of the numbers listed below. The Health Physics administrative office:

* Disseminates the Radiation Protection Manual and the Laser Safety Manual.

* Distributes all documentation related to radioactive material and radiation-producing machine authorizations/Controlled Radiation Authorizations (CRAs).

* Coordinates radiation safety training for unsealed radioisotope research project participants.



* Supervises applied radiation safety of sealed radioactive sources used in medicine.

* Reviews radioisotope research projects for the Departments of Pediatrics, Genetics, and Medicine.



* Orders, distributes, collects, and returns dosimeters and maintains records of exposures.



* Manages the medical machines compliance program at Stanford University Hospital, Stanford Childrens Hospital, and the Veterans Administration Hospital.

* Reviews radioisotope research projects at the Veterans Administration Hospital and on the ground and first floor of the Beckman center.

* Evaluates and inspects diagnostic x-ray, fluoroscopic, CAT scan, and therapy machines for compliance with federal and state code.



* Responsible for use of unsealed radionuclides in humans (nuclear medicine and research protocols).

* Reviews radioisotope research projects on the second, third, and fourth floors of the Beckman Center.



* Manages the radioactive waste program.

* Collects and processes radioactive waste from laboratories at Stanford University, Stanford University Hospital, and the Veterans Administration Hospital.

* Prepares and decontaminates Iodine-131 rooms.



* Oversees all incoming and outgoing radioactive material shipments.

* Reviews radioisotope research projects for the Departments of Pharmacology, Dermatology, Oncology, Pathology, Endocrinology, Cardiology, and Cardiovascular Surgery.

* Oversees the survey of instrument calibrations.

* Conducts laser survey inspections and consultations.

* Performs room surveys for all hospitalized patients with radioactive implants.



* Supervises evaluation and safety program for analytical machines (XRDs, electron microscopes, and cabinet x-ray machines), non-medical accelerators, and sealed sources in non-human use.

* Reviews radioisotope research projects for the Departments of Physics, Civil Engineering, Cancer Biological Research Laboratories, Geology, Psychology, and laboratories located on Welch Road.

* Conducts the sealed source leak test program.



* Manages the laboratory survey and compliance program.

* Manages the thyroid bioassay program.

* Reviews radioisotope projects for the Departments of Biological Sciences, Chemistry, and Chemical Engineering.

* Schedules and performs radiation surveys and inspections of laboratories where radioactive materials are used.

* Certifies that laboratories and equipment are free of radiation or contamination before release to general use.

* Performs routine audits to ensure regulation compliance.

Provider: Environmental Health and Safety, Stanford University

Last updated: February 2007

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