The Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) office, located in the Service Building (SER) at 304 E. 24th Street on The University of Texas at Austin campus, is responsible for planning, implementing and administering The University's health and safety program, and for providing supportive technical consultation, training, investigation, and inspection to ensure compliance with guidelines set forth by federal, state and local laws and regulations. Its primary functions are to assist The University community in meeting health and safety responsiblities, to prevent or reduce accidents and to identify and eliminate environmental hazards and dangerous conditions.
EH&S is organized into four divisions: Occupational Health & Campus Safety, Chemical & Laboratory Safety, Radiation, and Fire Prevention. The Occupational Health & Campus Safety Division has four areas of responsibilities (Asbestos, Environmental Health & Industrial Hygiene, Occupational Safety, and Training), while the Chemical & Laboratory Safety Division has two (Biological & Laboratory Safety and Chemical Safety & Waste Management). Each area is coordinated by a professional staff member.
This program is responsible for the safe and proper control of asbestos containing materials. This includes compiling an inventory of known asbestos containing building materials, performing surveys, air sampling, and abatement activity oversight.
Responsibilities include all aspects of environmental health including food sanitation (procedures, inspections, permitting, and training), potable water (inspections, investigations, and evaluations), and health inspections of child care facilities. Industrial Hygiene is tasked to provide technical expertise for the promotion of the health and well-being of faculty, staff, students, and campus visitors from chemical, microbiological and physical health hazards present at or emanating from The University setting. This program responds to concerns about indoor environmental air quality, including unknown chemical odors and ventilation system operations; lead exposure; confined space entry; noise; respiratory protection; and other occupational health concerns.
This area covers general safety including accident and injury prevention. Accident investigation coordination, site surveys or inspections, hazard evaluations, injury trend analysis, and training are major components. Examples of programs include lockout/tagout, electrical safety, mechanical safety, back injury prevention, and ergonomics.
Within this area of responsibility safety and health related training is coordinated. Classes are routinely offered. Video tapes are available on loan. Safety literature is provided.
Programs includes laboratory safety evaluations, fume hood testing, and biological waste disposal. Periodic evaluations are also performed for biological labs to determine compliance with CDC/NIH guidelines. Provides training in the areas of lab safety, bloodborne pathogens, and biological safety. Responsibilities also include the review of design plans for new and renovated laboratory space. Also assists in emergency response, especially those incidents involving biological materials.
This program is responsible for the removal of regulated or potentially regulated chemical waste from University facilities and for overseeing the proper disposal of the waste. The types of waste collected include laboratory reagents, spent solvents, batteries, and used oil. Also instructs generators in chemical safety, hazardous waste management, and waste minimization, as well as responding to chemical spills that occur on campus.