All workers, students and visitors have the right to work, visit and live in a safe and healthy environment. The department of Environmental Health and Safety promotes this concept through programs and services designed to prevent accidents and injuries on the job and as a general procedure around campus. Our department works proactively with employees to reduce occupational injuries and illnesses in the workplace by providing consultation, training and inspections on improving the safety culture on the campus by:

  • Conducting workplace inspections and safety audits for offices and observed work.
  • Consultation of unsafe construction projects and equipment.
  • Response to worker incidents about safe procedures during work hours.
  • Conducting accident investigations where the need for increased training can benefit all involved.
  • Holding necessary specific training that targets hazards like: fire extinguisher training, fall protection, ladder safety, and arc safety awareness.

To learn more, click on a topic below to jump to its section:

  1. Fall Protection
  2. Confined Space Entry
  3. Lockout / Tagout Policy
  4. Asbestos Oversight Program
  5. Compressed Gas Safety
  6. Emergency Shower and Eyewash
  7. Hazard Communication
  8. Hearing Protection
  9. Indoor Air Quality
  10. Ergonomics
  11. Training
  12. Resources
  13. External Links

Fall Protection

Background: “In 2004, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that 1,224 construction workers died on the job, with 36 percent of those fatalities resulting from falls. Events surrounding these types of accidents often involve a number of factors, including unstable working surfaces, misuse of fall protection equipment and human error. Studies have shown that the use of guardrails, fall arrest systems, safety nets, covers and travel-restriction systems can prevent many deaths and injuries from falls.” — OSHA

When Is Fall Protection Required?

Whenever a University employee engaged in construction/maintenance activities is exposed to a potential fall of 6 feet or greater from an unprotected side or edge, the OSHA Fall Protection Standard for Construction applies (29 CFR 1926.501). OSHA mandates that the University select either a guardrail system, safety net system or personal fall arrest system to protect the worker from a fall. Examples of common work tasks requiring fall protection equipment include: roofing, work from scaffolds and articulating boom trucks and work around holes — including skylights.

Other University operations involving fall hazards are covered under the OSHA General Industry Standard for Walking-Working Surfaces, Guarding Floor and Wall Openings and Holes (29 CFR 1910.23). Guardrails are required around any open-sided floor or work platform 4 feet or more above the adjacent floor. All floor holes and skylight openings must be guarded.

Confined Space Entry

Confined space has limited openings for entry or exit, is large enough for entering and working, and is not designed for continuous worker occupancy. Confined spaces include underground vaults, tanks, storage bins, manholes, pits, silos, underground utility vaults and pipelines (29 CFR 1910.146).

Permit-required confined spaces are confined spaces that:

  • May contain a hazardous or potentially hazardous atmosphere.
  • May contain a material which can engulf an entrant.
  • May contain walls that converge inward or floors that slope downward and taper into a smaller area which could trap or asphyxiate an entrant.
  • May contain other serious physical hazards such as unguarded machines or exposed live wires.
  • Must be identified by the employer who must inform exposed employees of the existence and location of such spaces and their hazards.

What to do when permit is required?

  • Do not enter permit-required confined spaces without being trained and without having a permit to enter.
  • Review, understand and follow employer’s procedures before entering permit-required confined spaces and know how and when to exit.
  • Before entry, identify any physical hazards.
  • Before and during entry, test and monitor for oxygen content, flammability, toxicity or explosive hazards as necessary.
  • Use employer’s fall protection, rescue, air-monitoring, ventilation, lighting and communication equipment according to entry procedures.
  • Maintain contact at all times with a trained attendant either visually, via phone, or by two-way radio. This monitoring system enables the attendant and entry supervisor to order you to evacuate and to alert appropriately trained rescue personnel to rescue entrants when needed.

Useful links:

Lockout / Tagout Policy

Through training, employees will be required to posses the knowledge and skills required for safe application, usage and removal of energy controls.

Scope

This program specifically outlines the purpose, procedures, and training to be utilized by UT Dallas employees, its contractors, and its agents on a daily basis to guard against the unexpected energizing, start-up, or release of stored energy, which could cause injury. It shall be the duty of each employee to become familiar with the contents of this program and ensure compliance with its procedures. Heads of departments shall ensure that employees under their supervision receive training in the contents of this program and ensure training records are maintained.

Purpose

The purpose of this program is to establish a method for the control of hazardous energy by minimizing the potential for inadvertent activation of equipment.

A wide variety of energy sources may need to be locked out during service or maintenance This includes but is not limited to:

  • Electrical equipment
  • Hydraulic
  • Pneumatic
  • Mechanical
  • Gravity
  • Thermal
  • Chemical
  • Fluids and Gases
  • Water under pressure
  • Steam

Asbestos Oversight Program

Asbestos is a versatile material with high tensile strength, flexibility; and resistance to heat, chemicals, and electricity. It was used widely in the United States since the early part of the last century, and any building constructed before 1980 could have asbestos containing material (ACM).

Our asbestos management program offers:

  • Collection of sample building materials to analyze for ACM through an external contractor.
  • Oversight for in-house Operations and Maintenance activities, serving as a project supervisor.
  • Oversight for renovation projects involving asbestos, as well as day-to-day operations and maintenance of ACM.
  • A liaison with state and regulatory agencies for asbestos management issues.
  • Retention of appropriate documentation.

File a Preliminary Asbestos Report >>

Compressed Gas Safety

Compressed gas cylinders (CGC) are under great pressures —often exceeding 2000 pounds per square inch or 136 atmospheres. To prevent any accidental uncontrolled release of energy, it is important to protect CGC from toppling over and rupturing their valve stems. All compressed gas cylinders, including lecture bottles, “empty” cylinders, and cylinders in transit, must be secured in protective structures such as racks, clamping devices, holders, and stands.

Emergency Shower and Eyewash

Chemical Safety Manual (pdf)

Emergency showers and eyewashes are an important part of any laboratory. In the event of gross chemical contamination, they can help save a life. You should have an eyewash and safety shower within 10 seconds clear travel of your workspace.

What You Can Do

If you are exposed to chemicals and need to use an emergency shower or eyewash, flush the affected area for at least fifteen minutes, to completely remove any chemicals. Seek appropriate medical attention if the situation warrants.

Periodically test your eyewashes for good water flow and water quality. This helps clean out any accumulated rust, scale deposits, or bacteria.

Keep the area around your safety equipment free of clutter —It’s impossible to get to a cluttered eyewash when your eyes are full of acid.

Keep the shower pull at a height that can be reached by everyone in your lab.

Protect the nozzles on your eyewashes with plastic end caps. These caps should be loose enough to get popped off by the flow of water, but secure enough to prevent dust and chemical contamination.
Don’t use portable squeeze bottles as substitutes for eyewashes.

Don’t depend on eyewashes and safety showers to act as substitutes for using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) in your lab.

What EHS Can Do For You

Inspect your eyewashes and emergency showers.

Advise you on the best locations in your lab for eyewashes and safety showers.

Provide laboratory safety training.

Provide training in the use of PPE.

Hazard Communication

Texas Hazard Communication Act (HS 502)

The University of Texas at Dallas recognizes that employees have a right and need to know the properties and potential safety and health hazards of substances to which you may be exposed in the course of performing your duties. Such knowledge is essential to maintaining the general health and welfare of faculty, staff, and students, and reducing the incidence and cost of occupational illness and injury.

It is the policy of UT Dallas to provide employees with appropriate training and information on the safe handling and work practices associated with hazardous chemicals, materials, and conditions to which employees may be exposed in the work place. This is accomplished by complying with the Texas Hazard Communication Act (HS 502) which is incorporated into our policy. Amendments to this standard become incorporated into our policy on the date they become effective.

Implementation of this policy is accomplished through the UTD Hazard Communication Program.

Texas Hazard Communication Act Handbook (pdf)

Hearing Protection

Hearing Safety Manual (pdf)

Work-related hearing loss is a critical workplace safety and health issue. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the occupational safety and health community named hearing loss one of the 21 priority areas for research in this century. Noise-induced hearing loss is preventable, but once acquired, is permanent and irreversible.

We must all take steps to protect our hearing.

Noise exposure levels at work should not exceed 85 dB over 8 working hours, or an 8-hour time weighted average (TWA). Supervisors should monitor all employees whose noise exposure is equivalent to, or greater than, a noise exposure received in 8 hours where the noise level is constantly 85 dB.

Wear hearing protection such as ear plugs or ear muffs if you work in an area with equipment that exposes you to more than 85 dB.

Contact us if you’re not sure whether the noise in your area, or from your equipment, exceeds 85 dB.

Indoor Air Quality

UT Dallas has created a guiding policy (pdf) to minimize indoor air quality (IAQ) issues in our new construction / remodeling / renovation projects. We have adopted relevant sections of the Texas Department of Health Voluntary Indoor Air Quality Guidelines for Government Buildings.

IAQ promotes practices that prevent or reduce the contamination of indoor air which contribute to a safe, healthy, productive, and comfortable environment inside our buildings.

Indoor Air Quality Policy (pdf)

Pollen Allergy Forecast

Ergonomics

Ergonomics is the applied science of equipment design, for the workplace, intended to maximize productivity by reducing operator fatigue, injury, and discomfort. Workspace assessments are scheduled upon request by contacting us.

Training

CPR / AED / First Aid

In the United States, sudden cardiac arrest claims more than 350,000 lives each year. As a leading cause of death in the world it is frequently caused by ventricular fibrillation, an abnormal, chaotic heart rhythm that prevents the heart from pumping blood. The most effective treatment for ventricular fibrillation is delivering an electrical shock to the heart with a machine called a defibrillator. Recent advances in defibrillator design now make it possible for rescuers with limited training to provide defibrillation earlier following sudden cardiac arrest using an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

CPR / AED Training teaches lay rescuers how to recognize and treat life-threatening emergencies, including cardiac arrest and choking for adult, child, and infant victims; and use of an AED for adult cardiac arrest victims. Students also learn to recognize the warning signs of heart attack and stroke in adults and breathing difficulties in children.

For more information or to schedule training please contact us.

Forklift Training

OSHA Standard 1910.178(2)-(7) for forklift training states, trainees may operate a powered industrial truck only:

Under the direct supervision of persons who have the knowledge, training, and experience to train operators and evaluate their competence; and

Where such operation does not endanger the trainee or other employees.

Training shall consist of a combination of formal instruction (lecture, discussion, video, and written material), practical training, and evaluation of the operators performance in the workplace.

All operator training and evaluation shall be conducted by persons who have the knowledge, training, and experience to train powered industrial truck operators and and evaluate their competence.

An evaluation of each powered industrial truck operator’s performance shall be conducted at least once every three years.

If you would like more information regarding this standard, please visit OSHA.gov.

Forklift Inspection Checklist (docx)

Resources (pdf)

  1. Administrative Safety Manual
  2. Crane Safety
  3. Custodial Safety
  4. Decorations Safety
  5. Electrical Safety
  6. Eye Protection
  7. Eye Washes and Showers
  8. Fall Protection
  9. Forklift Safety
  10. Hand and Power Tools Safety
  11. Ladder Safety
  12. Lock-Out/Tag-Out Policy
  13. Machine Guard Safety
  14. Needle-Stick Policy
  15. Occupational General Safety
  16. Personal Protective Equipment
  17. Procedures for Working Alone
  18. Respiratory Protection
  19. Safety Policies for Contractors and Subs
  20. Scaffolding Safety
  21. Shop Safety
  22. Trench and Shore Safety
  23. Welding Safety

External Links