8.0.1 Workplace Health & Safety

Policy Section: Workplace Health & Safety

Policy Number and Title: 8.0.1 Workplace Health & Safety Policies & Responsibilities
Applicable to: All Regular Employees
Effective Date: January 26, 2016
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Responsible Executive: Treby Williams

Responsible Office: Office of Environmental Health & Safety

Contacts: Greg Cantrell, Associate Director, Office of Environment Health & Safety

Last Update: October 27, 2010

Policy Description

Princeton University is committed to providing a safe and healthful environment for its employees.
This policy describes:
  • various specific health and safety policies applicable to employees at Princeton University;
  • responsibilities of staff, supervisors and departments in support of these policies;
  • procedures for raising safety concerns;
  • pocedures for reporting work-related accidents;
  • emergency response; and
  • contacts for health and safety services and resources.

Additional Policy Information

The following policies concerning health and safety at Princeton University have been adopted by various University bodies, such as the Environmental Safety and Risk Management (ESRM) Committee and the Radiation Safety Committee. The overarching policy is the University Environmental, Health and Safety Policy, stated here in its entirety. Other health and safety policies are available on the Office of Environmental Health and Safety EHS website.
Beyond these policies, there are regulatory requirements as well as recommended health and safety practices described in detail on the EHS website.
Environmental Health & Safety Policy
Princeton University is committed to providing a safe and healthful environment for its employees, students and visitors and managing the University in an environmentally sensitive and responsible manner. We further recognize an obligation to demonstrate safety and environmental leadership by maintaining the highest standards and serving as an example to our students as well as the community at large.
The University will strive to continuously improve our safety and environmental performance by adhering to the following policy objectives:
  • developing and improving programs and procedures to assure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations;
  • ensuring that personnel are properly trained and provided with appropriate safety and emergency equipment;
  • taking appropriate action to correct hazards or conditions that endanger health, safety, or the environment;
  • considering safety and environmental factors in all operating decisions including planning and acquisition;
  • engaging in sound reuse and recycling practices and exploring feasible opportunities to minimize the amount and toxicity of waste generated;
  • using energy efficiently throughout our operations;
  • encouraging personal accountability and emphasizing compliance with standards and conformance with University policies and best practices during employee training and in performance reviews;
  • communicating our desire to continuously improve our performance and fostering the expectation that every employee, student, and contractor on University premises will follow this policy and report any environmental, health, or safety concern to Princeton University management; and
  • monitoring our progress through periodic evaluations.
Health & Safety Policies Specifically Applicable to Science & Engineering Departments

Roles & Responsibilities

Department chairs, heads of offices, directors of programs, laboratory directors, principal investigators, managers, supervisors, foremen, etc. are responsible for the health and safety of employees engaged in activities under their direction or supervision.
They must ensure that their employees comply with all relevant regulations and accepted standards and that work activities are performed in a safe and considerate manner.
Supervisors are also responsible for taking corrective actions when employees fail to follow safety rules or standards. 
Each employee is responsible for complying with the applicable provisions of health and safety standards and regulations promulgated by regulatory agencies.
They also must adhere to all University and departmental or office safety policies and procedures and comply with safety directives issued by their individual supervisors. Further, each employee is responsible for reporting any environmental, health, or safety concern to their supervisor.
Departmental Safety Managers
Many University departments have appointed a departmental safety manager to act as a liaison between the department and EHS. In most academic departments, the department manager has taken on this role. Individuals may contact the department manager or their supervisor to determine whom acts in this role in their department.
The departmental safety manager has responsibility for oversight of health and safety within the department and is a principal contact for faculty, staff and students to address health and safety issues or concerns.
The departmental safety manager works with faculty, management and supervisory personnel in the department to identify potential hazards associated with their operations and activities. The main objective is to clearly identify and understand safety responsibilities while providing the means and authority necessary to carry out those responsibilities.
In some departments, the departmental safety manager has assembled a safety committee, consisting of representatives from a cross-section of the department. The safety committee may assist the departmental safety manager in developing and implementing action plans to address health and safety concerns.
Emergency Coordinators
Each building on campus that houses University employees has a designated emergency coordinator (EC). The emergency coordinator is expected to establish and update the building’s Emergency Action Plan, with assistance from EHS and the Department of Public Safety (DPS), to include emergency evacuation procedures; shelter-in-place areas within the building; facility-related topics, such as access management, life safety controls, utility shut-offs, etc.; and any other special emergency planning or shut-down procedures specific to the building.
The EC is encouraged to establish an emergency coordinator team or succession plan in order to reasonably ensure an EC is present during regular business hours.
Training for emergency coordinators is provided by EHS and DPS and is mandatory for ECs and members of the EC teams. The ECs are in turn responsible for training building occupants on the specific elements of the Emergency Action Plan. 
University Committees with Environmental Health & Safety Responsibilities
The following committees have been established by Princeton University to manage or to provide oversight of various aspects of environmental health and safety:
In addition to these University-wide Committees, various Departments have established safety committees to address health and safety concerns on a department-wide level.

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