Carnegie Mellon University

Environmental Health and Safety Authorization 

POLICY TITLE: Environmental Health and Safety Authorization Policy
DATE OF ISSUANCE: November 10, 2003


Office of the Vice President for Operations. Questions on policy content should be directed to Environmental Health and Safety, ext. 8-8182, or to any other designated contact listed in this policy.


Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) is authorized to implement programs and plans designed to ensure compliance and maintain a safe and healthy environment for the campus community.


The Staff Handbook

The Word

Policy Statement

Carnegie Mellon University endeavors to maintain a safe and healthy environment for its students, faculty, staff, visitors and members of the general public by:

  1. Following established standards relating to environmental protection and personal safety. The objective will be to minimize the risk of injury or illness to people and minimize property damage at all locations where university operations and/or activities occur.
  2. Complying in all material aspects with applicable codes, standards and regulations. 

    Definition of Responsibility and Authority

    Administrative Responsibility

    The president has ultimate authority for Carnegie Mellon's compliance with environmental, health and safety standards and policies at all facilities under university control. The president has authorized the department of Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) and its director to coordinate the university's environmental health and safety programs and to monitor the university's compliance with appropriate standards and policies.

    Administrators who head all academic and administrative units of the university (colleges, schools, departments, institutes, centers, libraries, student affairs, etc.) as well as principal investigators of research programs, and supervisors of academic programs, are responsible for compliance with campus environmental health and safety standards and policies in the departments and centers under their authority. In carrying out their responsibilities for overall compliance, these administration and supervisors, or their representatives, will consult as needed with EH&S regarding compliance with university, environmental, health, and safety standards.

    Departmental Responsibility

    Administrators of all academic and administrative units of the university have the authority to see that their department members and affiliates receive compliance training regarding potential hazards associated with each person's employment with Carnegie Mellon University. These administrators will also assist EH&S periodically to update employee compliance training records.

    Principal investigators and supervisors are responsible for assessing the potential hazards associated with the tasks of the participants in the programs under their authority, and also for determining their ability to perform those tasks safely. Therefore, each principal investigator or supervisor is responsible for making sure that the participants in their programs are adequately trained. If participants' competence to perform assigned tasks safely is insufficient, as well as when a new job duty is assigned, or when new equipment or processes are introduced, they must be provided with compliance training.

    EH&S Authority

    Through technical assistance and oversight EH&S will direct the campus toward compliance with environmental health & safety practices that are required by laws or regulations. EH&S shall have the authority to audit and recommend appropriate corrective or planning strategies, including the development of safety programs. EH&S will consult with external agencies or regulatory bodies as necessary and appropriate, on behalf of the university.

    1. Corrective Action Reports and Citations

    EH&S is authorized to survey and monitor all areas of the campus to assess environmental risks, life safety exposures, and training requirements, and to recommend improvements. EH&S will submit written reports identifying hazards and recommending corrective action. In the presence of severe hazards or in the case of non-compliance with local, state, and federal regulations or university policies, improvements will be required.

    EH&S's director or designee has the authority to issue, following appropriate investigation, noncompliance citations to the appropriate individuals and administrators for lack of improvements in response to a formal report or recommendation.

    Copies of any formal reports and noncompliance citations associated with unsafe work practices will be provided to the individual, his or her immediate supervisor, and to other administrators with responsibility for the activity involved. Copies of reports and/or citations given to individual students or student organizations will be forwarded to the dean of Student Affairs. The dean or designee will determine an appropriate resolution utilizing the normal student disciplinary processes as outlined in The Word. Performance evaluations of all employees will include review of noncompliance citations, as they relate to their job duties.

    To appeal noncompliance citations:

    • Staff members are to use the grievance procedure that is outlined in the Staff Handbook.
    • Students are to use the disciplinary process outlined in the University Policy section of The Word. Students may contact the Coordinator for Community Standards in the Student Life Office at ext. 8-2142 for more information.
    • Union members may file a grievance through their union stewards.
    • Faculty members may meet to seek redress from their department head, and/or the dean of their school, or if appropriate, file a grievance with the Faculty Review Committee.

    2. Cessation of Hazardous Activities

    EH&S's director or designee has the authority to immediately suspend or restrict any operation that

    • presents a serious hazard (real or potential) associated with the health, life, safety, or welfare of campus personnel or the public, or
    • is found to be a violation of standards, or
    • is detrimental to the environment.

    If he or she is available, assistance from the relevant administrator, principal investigator or supervisor will be requested.

    In the event that EH&S orders cessation of an activity, EH&S will immediately communicate the problem(s) and violation(s) to the individual, to his or her direct supervisor, to other administrators with responsibility for the department or center involved and the appropriate regulatory agency when required by law.

    The activity may be resumed only with the approval of the EH&S director or designee in consultation with the provost or vice president as appropriate and the relevant administrators or supervisors.