Occupational Safety

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The University has developed safety and health programs to help provide a safe working environmental for faculty, staff, students, and visitors.

In addition to policies on Lockout/Tagout procedures [link] and use of respirators [link], the following guidelines have been established for various occupational safety concerns.

Contact EHS at (410) 706-7055, if you have a safety or health concern not covered by one of these programs.

Asbestos

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that is used in building products due to its fiber strength and heat-resistant qualities. Most of its use in these products has been discontinued; however, it still is permitted in certain applications and can be found in older building materials. Unfortunately, asbestos can cause severe disease to individuals exposed to it, especially if inhaled.

To protect employees, students, and visitors, the University aggressively removes any asbestos that presents a hazard to people and as it renovates buildings. This includes hiring professional contractors who are properly trained and equipped to remove asbestos. The University also periodically inspects buildings for asbestos and provides training to employees who may come across asbestos during their normal duties.

For more information on the asbestos program, please contact EHS at (410) 706-7055.

Resources
OSHA on Asbestos
EPA on Asbestos
State of Maryland

Confined Space Entry

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Permit-Required Confined Space standard protects employees from the hazards encountered while working in confined spaces. These hazards include the build-up of toxic or explosive vapors or gasses, lack of oxygen, mechanical hazards, and difficulty during emergency rescue operations. Examples of confined spaces include manholes, tanks, vaults, pits, and storage bins. To meet the OSHA requirements, the University has developed a policy on Permit-Required Confined Spaces.  

For more information of the University's confined space program, please contact EHS at (410) 706-7055.

Confined Space Entry Form A PDF - Use if non-hazardous environment

Confined Space Entry Form B PDF - Use for Permit-Required Spaces (**needs to be modified for correct phone number**)

Resources
University Policy on Confined Space Entry
OSHA Permit-Required Confined Space Standard

Electrical Safety

The University has an electrical safety program and provides training, tools, and personal protective equipment to staff who service electrical equipment. If you questions about electrical safety, call EHS at (410) 706-7055 for assistance.  

Resources
OSHA on Electrical Safety

Hazard Communication

The goal of the University Hazard Communication program is to provide employees with the training and information they need to work with chemicals safely. The key components the Hazard Communication program includes access to information on chemicals, proper labeling of chemicals, and employee training.

Below is an online resource for Safety Data Sheets (SDS). SDSs contain important information on the hazards and safe handling procedures to use when working with a chemical. If you or your staff would like to schedule hazard communication training, contact EHS at (410) 706-7055.

Resources

Safety Data Sheets
University Policy on Hazard Communication
OSHA Hazard Communication Standard 

Indoor Air Quality

People using University facilities may have concerns regarding the air quality in their workspace. These are often related to temperature or humidity issues, inadequate ventilation, or unusual odors. If you have concerns about the air quality in your office or workspace, contact EHS at (410) 706-7055. 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) publication entitled “An Office Building Occupant's Guide to Indoor Air Quality” provides additional information on improving air quality in office workspaces. Some of the measures they talk about are:

      • Do not block air vents or grilles
      • Water and maintain office plants properly
      • Dispose of garbage promptly and properly
      • Store food properly
      • Avoid bringing products into the building that could release harmful or bothersome odors or contaminants
      • Notify your building or facility manager immediately if you suspect an indoor air quality problem

Resources
EPA on Indoor Air Quality
OSHA on Indoor Air Quality

Lead Exposure in Construction

In 1978, the federal government banned the use of lead-based paint. Lead-based paint is not commonly found in campus buildings since most were constructed or renovated after 1978. In circumstances where lead-based paint is present and needs to be removed, the University uses licensed lead-abatement contractors and ensures all work is done according to the regulations.

If you have concerns that lead-based paint is present in your work area or is being removed improperly, contact EHS at (410) 706-7055.

Resources

University Policy on Lead Exposure in Construction

OSHA Lead in Construction Standard

OSHA Lead Safety and Health

EPA Lead Safety

Maryland Department of the Environment Lead Protection Program

Personal Protective Equipment

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is sometimes required for a person to do their work safely. The University policy on the use of PPE requires that departments provide employees with appropriate PPE for their work and ensure that they know how to use it. If you have questions on the type of PPE to use in your work area, contact EHS at (410) 706-7055. 

Resources

UM Policy on Personal Protective Equipment

OSHA Personal Protective Equipment

 

Powered Industrial Trucks (Forklifts)

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) standard on powered industrial trucks requires individuals that operate powered industrial trucks be properly trained. If you operate a powered industrial truck on campus, contact EHS at (410) 706-7055 to schedule training.  

Examples of powered industrial trucks include fork trucks, tractors, platform lift trucks, motorized hand trucks, powered hand jacks, electric pallet jacks, electric carts, and any other specialized industrial trucks powered by electric or combustion engines. 

Resources

OSHA Powered Industrial Trucks