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ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH & SAFETY POLICY


Table of Contents

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NMSU ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH & SAFETY POLICY (from NMSU Policy Manual (2.60 current revision )(chpt 2, pg 47 of 68 as of 2022_0615))  EH&S Policy Ratified: Oct. 26, 2000 Revised: October 30, 2008

I. PURPOSE

The University encourages and supports all programs which promote safety, good health, and well being of the University community.  This policy endorses efforts which ensure the quality of occupational and community environments while participating in University sponsored and work related activities.

II. POLICY

It is the policy of New Mexico State University to promote good health, well being, and occupational safety for its faculty, employees, students, and visitors. This policy endorses programs which:

1.   Provide safe and healthful conditions and reduce injuries and illnesses to the lowest possible level. No task is so important and no service so urgent that it cannot be done safely.

2.   Assure compliance with federal, state, and local regulations providing for environmental health and occupational safety. 

3.   Provide information, training, and safeguards to faculty, staff, and students regarding health and safety hazards, and to the surrounding community regarding environmental health hazards arising from operations and events at the University.

4.   Install and maintain facilities and equipment in accordance with recognized and accepted standards essential to reduce or prevent exposure to hazards by faculty, staff, students, and visitors.

5.   Provide appropriate personal protective equipment to all employees at University expense when engineering controls are not adequate to minimize exposure.

6.   Provide medical services as required by law and as may be dictated by existing circumstances or programs.

7.   Environmental Health and Safety develops and executes comprehensive health and safety programs for the university. These programs comply with all federal, state, and municipal laws, codes, acts, regulations and standards relating to health, safety and the environment. This environmental health and safety policy along with current details of responsibility and accountability for various issues are on the NMSU Safety Office web page (http://safety.nmsu.edu)

III. RESPONSIBILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY FOR ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH AND OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY ISSUES (Non-inclusive list):

1.   University President

        has ultimate responsibility for establishing and maintaining health and safety programs and establishing a system for assessing safety performance for the University. 

2.   University Administration.  All Vice Presidents, Deans and Department Heads are  responsible for:

a.   Ensuring that facilities and equipment provided meet requirements for a safe work environment for activities being conducted or modify those activities accordingly to come into compliance with applicable rules, regulations and standards.

b.   Ensuring individuals under their management have the authority and support to implement environmental health and safety policies, practices and programs.

c.   Ensuring areas under their management are in compliance with University, state and federal environmental health and safety policies, practices and programs.

d.   Establishing priorities and committing resources for correction of  environmental health and safety deficiencies.

e.   Establishing procedures for dissemination of policies and other safety-related information (safety policies ).

f.    Establishing procedures to implement policies.

g.   Utilizing the system which will be established for assessing safety performance to evaluate their own areas of responsibility and report findings back to central administration.

h.   Immediately notifying Environmental Health & Safety when they become aware of a violation of any university, state or federal environmental health or occupational safety rule or regulation.  This includes any contact with the state and federal regulatory agencies.

3.   University Safety Committee is responsible for:

a.   Formulating, reviewing and/or recommending the adoption of environmental health and safety policies (committee defined (policy), adopted by NMSU regents, Safety Policies).

b.   Advising the Sr.Vice President for Planning, Physical Resources and University Relations on the status of University environmental, health and safety program needs.

c.   Providing appropriate staff and faculty expertise for development of tools to assess safety performance and risk management.

4.   Safety related (sub) committees

        may be established by individual organizational units and/or by the University Safety Committee as required to achieve the objectives of this policy. (other NMSU Committees)

5.   Environmental, Health & Safety (a.k.a. Safety Office) is responsible for:

a.   Providing staff support to safety committees.

b.   Assisting in the formulation of safety and health policies.

c.   Providing safety and health related technical services.

d.   Monitoring the effectiveness of safety and health programs .

e.    Investigating identified hazards .

f.    Recommending actions to correct safety deficiencies.

g.   Developing and assisting in implementation of safety programs.

h.   Providing training materials, assistance, and programs on safe and healthy work practices.

i.    Consulting with employees and supervisors about safety and health.

j.    Operating hazardous waste disposal services.

k.   Reviewing legislation, recommending policies, and monitoring compliance with environmental health and safety statutes and regulations and University health and safety policies and programs.

l.    Disseminating information to university community on legal requirements of appropriate federal, state and university rules and regulations.  (Examples include the following links - training, programs, news, policy, and employee handbook.)

m.  Providing guidance and technical assistance to supervisors and managers in schools, departments, and other work units in identifying, evaluating, and correcting health and safety hazards.

n.   Maintaining radioactive material license, permitting and registrations of x-ray devices for the University.

o.   Acting as the University’s official representative with OSHA, NMED, EPA, DOT and other regulatory agencies on those issues which are associated with environmental health and occupational safety.  The intent of this requirement is to protect the interests of NMSU in dealing with these agencies.  There are other University organizations which interact directly with these agencies on those areas which are clearly under their responsibility.  Examples are the role of Office of Facilities and Services in dealing with NMED and EPA on issues such as the Safe Water Drinking Act and Air Quality Permitting.  Those fall outside the scope of this policy.

p.   Authorized to stop any University related activity which is determined to present an unreasonable health and safety risk to University employees and students. 

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6.   University Health Services

        can provide, at expense of employees department, employee immunizations that are required because of potential occupational exposure as outlined by health and safety guidelines. 

7.  The University Health Services, Occupational Health Worker’s Compensation Coordinator is responsible for:

a.  Coordinating the delivery of high quality, timely, cost effective medical treatment and other health services as needed by an injured NMSU employee

b.  Filing first report of injury & illness claims.

c.  Facilitating communication between the employee, employee’s supervisor, health care provider, NMSU Human Resources, HR Services and State of New Mexico Worker’s Compensation Administration.

d. Maintaining accident and injury trend data for use by EH&S, safety committees and departments.   

e.  Disseminating reporting procedures to departments.

f.   Encouraging cost reduction activities such as case management, preferred medical providers, and early return to work programs such as light duty assignments.

8.   Procurement and Risk Management Office is responsible for:

a.   Maintaining non-occupational incident/accident forms.

b.   Recommending corrections to known hazardous conditions.

c.   Providing staff support to safety committees.

d.   Coordinating, reporting, managing and maintaining records of non-occupational liability, and property insurance claims.   

e.   Providing risk management information, education, and services to University departments.

f.    Integrating compliance with insurance provisions.

g.   Maintaining insurance and other risk financing programs.

h.   Reviewing University contracts and making recommendations to protect the University's interests.

9.   University Police has primary responsibility for:

a.   Providing traffic safety.

b.   Police services.

c.   Security.

d.   Administering the NMSU Emergency Response Plan.

10. University Fire Section is responsible for:

a.   Providing responses to fires and hazardous materials incidents and other life-threatening emergencies on campus per the All Hazard Emergency Operations Plan. 

b.   Providing emergency medical services.

c.   Inspecting and maintaining fire suppression systems, alarms and extinguishers in campus buildings.

d.   Providing fire extinguisher training to NMSU personnel.

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11. Supervisors, faculty, principal investigators, first line supervisors, and all other persons in authority are responsible for:

a.   Providing safe and healthy environments for those areas and personnel for whom they have supervisory or administrative responsibility, incorporating safety and health issues as an integral part of all activities at NMSU.

b.   Being continuously cognizant of the safety and health needs of all co-workers and employees for whom they are responsible.

c.   Initiating and enforcing necessary preventive measures to control hazards.

d.   Ensuring necessary support such as engineering and administrative controls, personal protective equipment and occupational medical examinations, local exhaust ventilation are in place and adequate for operations.

e.   Ensuring employees are trained prior to beginning new tasks. (Please see checklist of required training and employee safety handbook)

f.    Reporting injuries and illnesses to Worker's Compensation Office.

g.   Reviewing accident and injury reports for their area(s).

h.   Serving as a focal point for safety and health concerns.

i.    Immediately notifying Environmental Health & Safety when they become aware of a violation of any university, state or federal environmental health or occupational safety rule or regulation (safety policies ).  This includes any contact with the state and federal regulatory agencies.

12. All New Mexico State University faculty, staff, and students are responsible for:

a.   Participating in mandated training programs provided by Environmental Health & Safety, supervisors and other instructors.  (Please see checklist of required training (for lab areas) (for non-lab areas) and the employee safety handbook)

b.   Properly using university supplied materials and equipment.

c.   Using  good judgement in carrying out work assignments and following established procedures.

d.   Promptly reporting unsafe conditions, environmental health hazards as well as injuries and illnesses to the cognizant supervisor or program director. (Link to file report via EH&S suggestion form) (Link for confidential reporting via 3rd party - Ethicspoint)

e.   Giving due consideration to personal safety and the safety of others while performing assigned tasks.

f.    Strictly adhering to federal, state and university safety requirements and guidelines (safety policies ).

g.    Disregard or chronic negligence of established policies and procedures can result in disciplinary action.

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*** EH&S training requirements - new employees   
                                      by area - General/non-lab   Research/lab 

*** Other policies, requirements and guidance on Safety

For more information contact EH&S  saf_off_banner-brn2.gif (6670 bytes)


TABLE OF CONTENT

ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH & SAFETY AT NMSU

Effective Date: November 1, 2000; Revised: October 30, 2008

PURPOSE  

POLICY  

RESPONSIBILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY

University President
University Administration - Vice Presidents, Deans, Department Head
University Safety Committee
Environmental, Health & Safety (Safety Office)
Employee Health Service
Personnel Office Employee Benifits
Purchasing Office
University Police
University Fire Section
Supervisors, Faculty, Principle Investigators, First Line Supervisors, and All Others in Authority
General Faculty, Staff, and Students

Reference in NMSU Policy Manual (current revision)

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*** EH&S training requirements - new employees   
                                      by area - General/non-lab   Research/lab 

*** Other policies, requirements and guidance on Environmental Health & Safety


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