UTS 174 Environmental Health and Safety

Sec. 1 Purpose. 

The University of Texas System is committed to provide a safe and healthy educational and working environment. The purpose of this policy is to outline the responsibilities and procedures for assurance that each institution in the U. T. System has developed and maintains appropriate environmental, health, and safety programs for protection of its students, faculty, staff, visitors, and the surrounding community. Accordingly, each institution shall provide resources sufficient to manage the environmental, health, and safety risks inherent to the operations of that institution.

Sec. 2 Policy Statement. 

Integral to the teaching, research, and service mission of each U. T. System institution is the maintenance of a campus that is free of recognized hazards and in compliance with applicable institutional, local, state, and federal environmental, health, and safety requirements and best practices.

Sec. 3 Procedures. 

3.1 Each U. T. System institution shall perform an Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) risk assessment to identify potential hazards that are present on their respective campus, along with the associated compliance requirements. Policies and procedures shall be created and implemented to address the identified EH&S risks on each campus. Subject areas to be included in the risk assessment may include, but are not limited to: occupational safety, fire and life safety, chemical safety, biological safety, radiation safety, environmental affairs, and emergency management. Each institution shall have the authority to determine the appropriate EH&S risk assessment methodology, policies, and procedures for its respective institution. EH&S policies and procedures shall be continuously assessed by each institution and programs updated accordingly to maintain a compliant and effective EH&S program.

3.2 Each U. T. System institution shall conduct an EH&S peer review at least every three years. The institution and the U. T. System Environmental Health and Safety Advisory Committee (EHSAC) chair may determine the institution has undergone sufficient recent third party reviews to satisfy the intent of a peer review. In this situation, the institution will prepare a report summarizing the results of the third party reviews in lieu of performing a peer review.

3.3 The EHSAC chair will maintain the peer review schedule and notify each institution’s EH&S department head as its due date is approaching. Each institution’s EH&S department head is responsible for assuring that peer reviews are conducted according to the schedule. 

3.4 Each institution is responsible for providing sufficient staffing and financial resources to manage EH&S risks inherent to its operation, designating a department responsible for executing an EH&S program, and designating a representative to the EHSAC.

3.5 Institutional departments responsible for EH&S will establish, support, and maintain written policies, programs, training, and procedures necessary to achieve proper EH&S risk management and manage identified risks through measured programs of compliance.

3.6 All other departments at the institution are responsible for incorporating applicable EH&S requirements into their procedures and operations and supporting the EH&S culture through continued participation in EH&S sponsored training, activities, and initiatives.

3.7 The U. T. System Office of Risk Management (ORM) will provide support and consultative services on EH&S issues; review new environmental health and safety legislation and provide guidance on compliance; represent the U. T. System regarding Systemwide environmental health and safety issues; administer nonexclusive Systemwide environmental contracts to ensure compliance and show due diligence; serve as the archivist for the EHSAC and subgroups; maintain the EHSAC website with committee guidelines, peer review guidelines, the current contact list, and other documents supporting the EHSAC; and serve a support role by attending meetings and in assisting the subgroups and their chairs with action items between meetings. ORM will assign a staff member to provide support to each of the subgroups.


Environmental Health and Safety Advisory Committee (EHSAC) - this committee is comprised of the environmental health and safety department head from each institution (or an individual designated by the institution’s president). Nonvoting, ex-officio members include representatives from the U. T. System Office of Risk Management, Office of Facilities Planning and Construction, U. T. System Institutional Compliance Advisory Committee, and Office of General Counsel. The EHSAC is led by a chairperson who facilitates meetings, administers the EH&S peer review process, and provides an annual report of the activities of the EHSAC to the U. T. System Risk Management Executive Committee by September 30 of each year. ESHAC Committee Website.

Environmental Health and Safety Peer Review (EH&S Peer Review) - a process to identify safety and environmental compliance issues, as well as finding possible methods to improve the effectiveness and efficiency within established programs. Peer reviews are conducted at each institution every three years. Sample Peer Review Document.

Environmental Health and Safety Risk Assessment - an initial and ongoing audit process or review of activities at each institution for potential exposure to hazards, threats, and environmental pollutants based on probability of occurrence and magnitude of potential loss or harm. Each institution shall have the authority to determine the appropriate EH&S risk assessment methodology, policies, and procedures for its respective institution. Risk Assessment Guidelines.