Environmental Health and Safety
It is the policy of Florida A&M University to provide a safe and healthy workplace that is free from recognizable occupational and environmental hazards. The Department of Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) administers numerous programs to support and advance the teaching, learning and research activities of the University through promotion of a safe and healthy campus environment. EH&S provides and coordinates programs and services that minimize safety, health, environmental and regulatory risks and maintains compliance with federal, state and local laws, standards and regulations. The programs managed by EH&S include: The FAMU Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) and Laboratory Safety Manual are the guiding documents for laboratory personnel. Hazardous Waste Awareness and Hazard Communication training are provided to raise awarness of best practices for laboratory safety and proper disposal of hazardous substances. Lab safety surveys are conducted annually to ensure compliance with safety polices and procedures.
FAMU Teaching and Research Laboratories have the potential to generate waste materials that are considered hazardous under the rules of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP). A policy and procedures manual has been developed and distributed to ensure employees properly accumulate, handle and dispose of these materials. In addition, equipment that may be contaminated with regulated materials must receive approval from EH&S prior to recycling or disposal.
The Office of Environmental Health and Safety ensures compliance with the University’s Radiation Safety License issued by The Florida Department of Health (DOH). The primary goals of the program are to ensure the radiological safety of all university personnel and the public; to guarantee that radiation sources are procured and used in accordance with federal and State regulations; to ensure that radiation exposures are “As Low As Reasonably Achievable” (ALARA); and to ensure that all radioactive waste generated is collected and disposed of in a manner consistent with Florida Administrative Code (FAC) 64E-5 and Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 10.
As outlined in the American National Standard Institute (ANSI) Z136.1 this area ensures that all Lasers used by Florida A&M University are registered with the DOH; ensures regular monitoring of use of laser devices; provides appropriate training to users; ensures that the Laser Safety Manual is current and consistent with the tenets outlined in ANSI Z136.1 and ensures the safe disposal of all lasers as needed.
This program ensures that through coordination with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the Leon County Storage Tank Section of the Division of Environmental Compliance inspects all university fuel storage tanks 500 gallon capacity or greater, above and below the ground, annually and ensures compliance with the applicable Florida Statutes (F.S 376), and Florida Administrative Code (FAC 62-761).
EH&S ensures that Florida A&M University remains compliant with the requirements of chapter 62-624, Florida Administrative Code (FAC); (DEP) document 62-621.300 (7)(a)); and section 403.0885 Florida Statues (F.S.) as they relate to the permitting and management of the municipal separate storm sewer systems on the university’s campus.
In accordance with the 663.202 Fire Prevention Code and Life Safety Code NFPA101, the university shall maintain a fire prevention program. The fire prevention program is maintained in corporation with the State Fire Marshal’s office. Facility inspections are conducted annually to ensure compliance with fire codes. Routine facility inspections are performed to identify potential fire hazards such as the accumulation of flammable materials, incompatible storage of flammables, poor housekeeping, improper use of open flame equipment and electrical hazards. Fire drills and fire safety awareness training is provided and coordinated by the University Fire Safety Coordinator.
In accordance with Florida Statutes 553, 489, 468, and 440, along with their associated rules, Florida A&M University has established a Building Code compliance program. The mission is to help provide for the health, safety and welfare of our students, employees, and the public in the built environment. New construction, renovations, as well as major repairs are reviewed, permitted, and inspected for compliance with the Florida Building Codes, as well as the Florida Fire Prevention codes in a joint effort with the Office of the State Fire Marshal.
In addition, permit applications are reviewed to insure that the work is completed by properly licensed contractors, and that plans submitted are prepared by properly licensed design professionals, where required by statute.
The Director of the Environmental Health and Safety Department serves as co-chair of the University Emergency Management Team (EMT) with the Chief of Police. Various department representatives serve on the EMT including Facilities, Housing, Health Services and Risk Management. The emergency management team meets periodically to review and update emergency procedures and to plan training and emergency exercises. The safe and efficient evacuation of the campus community during emergency situations is an important concern to FAMU. Emergency Response Procedures have been developed and posted on University Police webpage and the Emergency webpage. Periodic drills are conducted to fine tune and educate the community on proper response procedures. A building safety coordinator program has been established to communicate emergency procedures and verify building evacuations.
Collaboration between offices and departments across campus is essential to the success of the recycling efforts. The Environmental Health & Safety Department is the lead office for campus recycling. EHS is responsible for providing the infrastructure and administrative staff to implement recycling efforts on campus. Recyclables including paper, cardboard, aluminum, plastic bottles and printer cartridges will be collected, managed and sold to recyclers to support and sustain the recycling program.
The primary objective of the University Safety Committee is to help reduce the risk of injuries and illnesses and ensure compliance with federal and state health and safety regulations by providing the support needed to enhance the university’s safety program. In addition to this primary mission, the Safety Committee encourages employees to participate in the overall safety process for the betterment of all concerned. Safety committee meetings are held on a routine basis. Those interested in attending committee meetings or presenting a topic for consideration should contact the office of Environmental Health and Safety.
Contact us at:
Environmental Health & Safety Department
Florida A&M University
Plant Operations Building A
2400 Wahnish Way, Suite 100
Phone: (850) 599-3442
Fax: (850) 599-8024