Environmental Health and Safety

The University of Pittsburgh seeks to provide a safe environment for faculty, staff, and students. In order for this safe environment to exist, the University must comply with prevailing environmental, health and safety requirements of Federal, State, and Local regulatory agencies, and demonstrate this compliance intent to granting agencies. The University's Department of Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) takes these concerns into account and acts to ensure compliance with the law.

Each individual at the University of Pittsburgh must adopt an attentive and responsible approach to environmental health and safety issues. EH&S assists by providing expertise in the various disciplines which contribute to complete environmental health and safety planning. In addition, the University is advised by several committees including the University Environmental Health and Safety Committee, its various subcommittees, and building or departmental committees including biohazard, chemical safety, accident prevention, public safety and facilities committees. These various committee members are responsible for developing and recommending policies and procedures, aiding implementation, representing the concerns of colleagues, and gathering and disseminating information. Some of the important programs and issues are described below.

Two prominent regulations affecting laboratory activities are the "Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories" and "Bloodborne Pathogens Standard," which are described in the Chemical Hygiene Plan Manual, Laser Safety Manual and Biosafety Manuals. These manuals also provide compliance assistance. The Health and Safety Manual provides more general guidance and assistance in all areas. These manuals are available in hard copy through the EH&S department website.

In order to comply with the University Policy on Bloodborne Pathogens, all potentially exposed employees and students in certain classes and labs must have a hepatitis B vaccination and medical insurance (for details, refer to Bloodborne Pathogens CS 01 (formerly 06-01-03)). New employees with the potential for exposure to human blood, blood components, or body fluids as a consequence of employment are required to be registered in the Bloodborne Pathogens Training Program, administered by the EH&S, within 10 working days of initial assignment.

EH&S develops training, provides information, and evaluates the potential hazards on campus; in this respect, the EH&S serves the University by mandating compliance with the Hazard Communication Standard. The Health and Safety Manual, as well as the EH&S website, contains details of EH&S initiatives and various training requirements.

The University EH&S implements compliance initiatives through a staff of professionals in the fields of Biosafety, Toxicology, Industrial Hygiene, Safety/Loss Prevention, Fire Prevention Engineering, Environmental Engineering, and Hazardous Waste Management. You can reach EH&S by telephoning 412-624-9505. Medical services are provided through the Occupational Medicine Clinic, telephone 412-624-3155.