Environmental Health and Safety (EHS)

Safety, Health, and Environmental Policies

3.0 Safety, Health, and Environmental Policies

3.1 Government Regulations

Policy: Michigan Technological University will comply with all federal, state, and local safety, health, and environmental regulations.
Additional Information: Due to the large number of these regulations, it is not feasible to list or summarize them here. Environmental Health and Safety is responsible for communicating the requirements of these regulations to appropriate University departments and employees on behalf of the University administration and for making them available to students and employees as needed.

3.2 Children at Michigan Technological University

Policy: It is the policy of Michigan Technological University that children under the age of 12 are not permitted in work areas (e.g., such as labs, offices, classrooms, shops), except those spaces specifically intended for public use, without the written permission of the department chair or director. Children under the age of 12 who are not enrolled in a Michigan Tech class or program are not permitted in laboratories at any time. Children under the age of 16 must, at all times, be under the direct supervision of the laboratory supervisor while visiting or participating in University-sponsored activities in classrooms or laboratories containing hazardous chemicals or equipment.
Additional Information: It is the intent of this policy that the department chair or director will verify that a student or employee has a workable plan to provide age-appropriate supervision and protection from foreseeable safety and health hazards before allowing a child to be brought into a campus work area. Children must not be allowed to roam the building unsupervised. Permission may not be given for a child under 12 to enter a laboratory or other area with hazardous substances, machinery or tools—except as part of an organized event where special provisions have been made to prevent exposure to these hazards.

3.3 Employees and Graduate Students Leaving the University or Department Transfers

Policy:  Prior to leaving the University or transferring to another department, academic employees and graduate students must complete a workspace cleanout form.  Department Chairs and/or School Deans are responsible for ensuring that the form is completed correctly and that each employee or graduate student has properly disposed of all waste materials from their office, laboratory, shop and/or other work or storage areas.  Waste materials include but are not limited to chemical and hazardous waste, scrap, raw materials, product samples, and laboratory/research samples.  Any equipment, unused chemicals, laboratory/samples, etc., that are not disposed of must be transferred to another responsible member of the department as indicated on the cleanout form.  A digital copy of the completed and signed workspace cleanout form is submitted according to instruction provided on the form.  A hard copy of the completed and signed form will be kept on file with the department.

3.4 Donations of Chemicals and Waste Minimization

Policy: Donations of laboratory chemicals, or substances which would be subject to Michigan Hazardous Waste regulations at the time of disposal, shall not be accepted without approval by the Director of Environmental Health and Safety and shall not exceed the quantity necessary for use in an ongoing or funded project.
Additional Information: Minimization of chemical waste is in the best interest of the faculty and staff as well as the University. Excessive laboratory waste production diverts valuable funds away from more productive activities and increases the regulatory compliance burden on the University. Because there is a direct correlation between the total University chemical inventory and our total waste production, waste minimization must begin with chemical inventory minimization. Chemicals should be acquired in the amounts needed for a specific project and not simply to have on hand. Current purchase and delivery services make this practice unnecessary and waste disposal costs make the practice short sighted. Effective methods to minimize laboratory waste include micro- or reduced-scale experiments, just-in-time delivery for reagents, good housekeeping, proper labeling, prompt disposal, and ordering only what is needed for the project.

3.5 Building Construction and Renovation

Policy: All proposed projects involving changes in use, alterations, construction, or additions to buildings or spaces owned or operated by Michigan Technological University shall be approved in writing for adequacy of utilities and life safety by Facilities Management and Environmental Health and Safety prior to requesting a purchase order, funding, or construction bid proposal. Facilities Management and Environmental Health and Safety will also conduct a physical space review before a new or renovated space may be occupied.
Additional Information: Departments or individuals considering a potential building renovation or alteration should contact Facilities Management, which is responsible for the administration of these activities.

3.6 Headsets

Policy: All University employees are prohibited from wearing portable stereo headsets or any other devices that may limit the hearing capabilities of the employee while on the job. This does not include protective devices that are required for hearing safety.

3.7 Student Projects

Policy: A hazard analysis shall be completed for each student project.  Students working on projects shall complete a hazard analysis for the proposed project to identify hazards; evaluate the potential risks connected with the hazards and determine appropriate ways to eliminate the hazards and/or control the risks.  This shall be done during the early planning stages of the project and continually re-evaluated with the implementation of new procedures, tools, equipment, processes, materials, chemicals, etc.  Students shall also commit to following safe working procedures and sharing the responsibility for safety with other members of the project team. 

Advisors of student projects shall, oversee the hazard analysis process for evaluating the health, safety and environmental hazards associated with the project and ensure that appropriate methods are used to mitigate risks connected with these hazards.  Advisors are encouraged, as needed, to enlist the help and support of departmental or other University systems and personnel with knowledge and expertise related to the project.

This policy applies to projects where work is conducted without the immediate and direct supervision by University faculty or staff.  new or renovated space may be occupied.
Additional Information: See Student Projects

Chapter 4