Occupational Health and Safety

hazard comm stickers

The University of Louisville is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace for its faculty, staff, and students. Compliance with Kentucky Office of Occupational Safety and Health regulation is the basis for several OSH Programs administered at the University. To that end, the Occupational Health and Safety group of the Department of Environmental Health and Safety provides services and compliance guidance to the University community for many aspects of workplace health and safety. Contact the Department of Environmental Health and Safety at 502-852-6670 regarding questions about workplace health and safety at the University of Louisville.

Laboratory Safety Assessment

The Department of Environmental Health and Safety has developed a lab safety assessment program that will contribute to a collaborative safety culture at the University of Louisville. It is designed to encourage open communication between lab personnel and DEHS through a comprehensive approach to chemical, biological, and general lab safety.

Contact DEHS (502-852-6670) for questions regarding the lab safety assessment program.

Assessment Tools

Helpful Instructions

Resources

Workplace Safety

The Department of Environmental Health and Safety provides services and compliance guidance to the University community for many aspects of workplace safety.

Injury and Illness

Reporting Injury or Illness

  • Employees: Report all work-related injuries and illnesses to your supervisor immediately
  • Supervisor: Complete and submit Risk Management forms
  • Any work related fatality, amputation, or incident requiring hospitalization must be reported IMMEDIATELY to DPS (502-852-6111)

Risk Management Forms

IA-1 and IA-1 Supplemental Forms are available here:

Life-Threatening Injury or Illness

  • Call 911
  • Includes such injuries as severe lacerations, severe burns, fractures, loss of consciousness, and uncontrolled bleeding.

Severe Chemical Exposure

  • Inhalation: Take victim to fresh air.
  • Skin or eye contact: Immediately flush exposed areas with water for 15 minutes.
  • Call 911
  • Severe chemical exposures to the skin must be taken via EMS to University Hospital.
  • If possible, obtain Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for chemical and send to hospital with victim.

Non Life-Threatening Injury or Illness

Needle sticks or Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure

The Department of Environmental Health and Safety provides services and compliance guidance to the University community for many aspects of workplace safety.

Personal Protective Equipment

Hazards exist in every workplace, in many different forms. Controlling a hazard at its source by using engineering, administrative, or work practice controls is the best way to protect employees and is required by OSHA. When these controls are not feasible or do not provide sufficient protection, personal protective equipment (PPE) may be used as a last line of defense.

Supervisors are responsible for:

  • Performing a hazard assessment of the workplace to identify physical and health hazards
  • Identifying and providing appropriate PPE for employees
  • Training employees in the use and care of PPE
  • Maintaining PPE and replacing worn or damaged PPE

Employees contribute by:

  • Properly wearing PPE
  • Attending training on PPE
  • Caring for, cleaning, and maintaining PPE
  • Informing a supervisor of the need to repair or replace PPE

For further information or assistance regarding the selection and use of PPE, contact DEHS (502-852-6670).

Resources:

Hearing Conservation

University of Louisville employees whose occupational noise exposure exceeds 85 decibels for an 8-hour time-weighted average must be enrolled in the Hearing Conservation Program. An affected employee’s department is responsible for implementation of the program, including developing a written plan, requesting noise monitoring, providing annual audiometric testing, providing a selection of appropriate hearing protection devices, employee training, and maintaining documents. DEHS conducts hearing conservation training and is available to assist with the unit-specific written plan, noise monitoring, selection of hearing protection, and locating a hearing test provider.

Resources:

Additional Programs

University of Louisville Asbestos Program (PDF)
Asbestos Program Quarterly Review (PDF)

Formaldehyde Exposure Control Plan (PDF)
Formaldehyde Program Semi-Annual Workplace Inspection Form (PDF)

Hazard Communication

The OSHA Hazard Communication Standard ("Right-to-Know") governs non-laboratory workplaces where hazardous chemicals are used. This regulation also applies to clinics and clinical laboratories. The University Program requires all covered work units to complete a Unit-specific Hazard Communication Plan that details how the unit will comply with OSHA requirements. DEHS provides general Hazard Communication Training; supervisors must provide training specific to the chemicals and procedures used at the work site.

For more information or assistance regarding the Hazard Communication Program, contact DEHS (502-852-6670).

Resources:

Indoor Air Quality

The University of Louisville is committed to providing a work environment free of recognized hazards and investigating complaints that related to poor indoor air quality (IAQ). IAQ involves the contents of indoor air that could affect the health and comfort of building occupants. Though specific regulations have not been developed for IAQ in the work place, DEHS considers recommendations from the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

Reporting an Indoor Air Quality Concern

Immediately report the following events to Physical Plant 502-852-6241 (Belknap) or 502-852-5695 (HSC) or Public Safety 502-852-6111 if after hours:

  1. Visible water leaks or water intrusion
  2. Sewage backflows
  3. Natural gas leak or sewer odor

For temperature, odor or smell complaint, suspected water leaks, or visible mold:

  • The occupant reports concern to Physical Plant through the work order system.
  • Physical Plant will investigate and determine the source and make any necessary repairs.
  • Physical Plant will defer the complaint to the DEHS if they cannot remedy the problem.
  • DEHS will interview building occupants and conduct an area survey.
  • The occupant will complete the General IAQ Request Form and Questionnaire and submit it to the DEHS Service Account (dehsih@louisville.edu).

For IAQ concerns with no visible leak, mold, or odor source:

  1. The occupant will complete the General IAQ Request Form and Questionnaire and submit it to the DEHS Service Account (dehsih@louisville.edu).
  2. DEHS will interview building occupants and conduct an area survey.
  3. DEHS may contact Physical Plant to identify and confirm issues with the HVAC or other building systems.

How to Minimize IAQ Concerns

  • Do not block or shut vents or building returns.
  • Do not block thermostats with furniture or equipment.
  • Observe the University’s NO SMOKING Policy.
  • Regularly empty food waste receptacles.
  • Do not over-water plants or allow mold growth to occur in the dirt.
  • Clean up water or other liquid or food-based spills IMMEDIATELY.
  • Avoid concentrating electronic office equipment within small, unventilated areas.
  • Do not burn candles or have other scent-producing materials.

Resources