People, Safety & Environment
Occupational Safety & Environmental Health (OSEH)
Take home message: Our University is like a small city, and each of us at U-M is responsible for working safely, protecting the people and environment around us, and complying with government regulations and University policies. This includes reporting each and every safety incident or work-related injury sustained at U-M. It is crucial that everybody takes the time to learn what OSEH requirements are relevant to their U-M role - and endeavours to comply with them.
- Standard Practice Guide (SPG) 605.1, the Occupational Safety and Environmental Health Policy, delineates the responsibilities of the campus community for health and safety.
- At U-M, protection of the environment and safety on the job is everyone's responsibility. The Occupational Safety and Environmental Health (OSEH) department promotes health, safety and environmental compliance within the U-M campus community.
- Each U-M department with laboratory operations has a designated Safety Coordinator, appointed in accordance with OSEH Guidelines, who acts as a safety liaison between their unit and the central OSEH Department. Your local Safety Coordinator is a good first port of call for any questions about health, safety or environmental issues - check your local intranet, ask your supervisor, or call the OSEH Department to find out who your Safety Coordinator is.
- The OSEH Department website has a comprehensive set of reference material for a wide range of health, safety and environment topics - including laboratory safety, fire safety, hazardous materials, scientific diving, radiation safety, biological safety and environmental protection and permitting, as well as information on contractor safety and worker safety. Their website also contains a compilation of U-M's hazard guidelines, and special information about shipping or transporting hazardous materials, including dry ice.
- For researchers - this short OSEH survey for new researchers includes a checklist that highlights the main potentially dangerous areas that U-M researchers face, and can help OSEH identify what training and support you need to do your job. See also the OSEH research safety pages, and our Research Compliance Overview.
- For instructional staff - in addition to the resources available on the OSEH website, there is also a summary of campus health and safety issues in the faculty handbook, and great resources relating to classroom safety on the Provost's website (needs login).
- Any work related safety incidents, injuries or illnesses must be recorded and reported to WorkConnections (part of U-M Risk Management).
- Work Connections provides injury and illness support services for faculty and staff for occupational and non-occupational incidents. See the Work Connections FAQs for more information (FAQs are tailored for employees, supervisors and physicians).
- For the UM-Flint campus, the Environment, Health and Safety Department maintains information and contacts relevant to UM-Flint's campus and operations.
- For the UM-Dearborn campus, the Department of Environmental Health, Safety and Emergency Management maintains information and contacts relevant to UM-Dearborn's campus and operations.
- Smoke-free campus - smoking is not permitted inside any U-M buildings or vehicles (per Standard Practice Guide (SPG) 601.04). From July 1, 2011, this restriction will be extended to U-M grounds, making U-M a smoke-free campus: see the Smoke-Free University Initiative Website for more information.
- Physical and mental wellness is as important as safety - and U-M offers many health and well being services through its M-Healthy initiative. See in particular the Understanding U site, for guidance on dealing with emotional and mental health issues - including a Tutorial For Supervisors on recognizing and handling mental health issues in the workplace.
- Exactly what type of health and safety activities you are required to do will depend on your U-M role: for instance, people working in laboratories or in the field have different health and safety needs and obligations than people working in an office environment. Make sure you understand what OSEH requirements are relevant to your precise U-M role or roles. If you are unsure, consult with your local Safety Coordinator or contact the OSEH Department.
- If you or a co-worker are involved in any kind of safety incident, or sustain any kind of injury or illness during the course of your work at U-M, it must be reported to the WorkConnections department. Call (734) 615-0643 or have your supervisor complete this online Illness or Injury Report Form (you can download the form to complete manually on this Forms page).
- Many hazardous activities require compulsory training, and some require a permit or license, to be in compliance with health and safety laws. If you work with radiation, chemicals, biohazards, animals, lasers, nanomaterials, hazardous equipment, or a range of other things listed in this short OSEH Survey for new researchers, you should talk to someone in OSEH about any special requirements you may need to comply with.
- Research can raise a host of safety and environmental issues that need to be planned for and managed appropriately. See OSEH's Research Safety pages and this Survey for new researchers. There may also be other research related compliance obligations apart from safety concerns: see the Research Compliance Overview for more information.
- The OSEH Department is much more than an incident response team: they can help you proactively identify risk factors and guide you in how to make your work area safer. If you are wondering whether something you are planning is safe, or whether there is a better way to manage safety and risks in your work area, the OSEH Department and your local Safety Coordinators can help.
- Good ergonomics is a health and safety area that is relevant to everyone at U-M, whether you are working in the field, standing in front of a class of students, or sitting in front of a computer. Take a moment to review the OSEH Department's ergonomics resources, and the U-M ergonomics guideline. Ensuring you work ergonomically can help prevent a range of injuries and issues - whatever your work environment looks like.
- U-M offers many health and well being services through its M-Healthy initiative, to promote wellness and health risk reduction for its employees and others.
Each U-M department with laboratory operations has a designated Safety Coordinator, appointed in accordance with OSEH Guidelines, who acts as a safety liaison between their unit and the central OSEH Department. Your local Safety Coordinator is a good first port of call for any questions about health, safety or environmental issues. Check your local intranet, ask your supervisor, or call the OSEH Department on (734) 647-1143 to find out who your Safety Coordinator is.
If your department does not have a local Safety Coordinator, contact the OSEH Department on (734) 647-1143
For the U-M Flint campus, your first port of call should be Michael Lane in the Environment, Health and Safety Department. You can also contact their office (see the right hand side of their main page for contact details).
For the U-M Dearborn campus, your first port of call should be Laura Drabcyk in the Department of Environmental Health, Safety and Emergency Management. You can also contact others listed on their contacts page.
If you have a query about workplace safety incidents, or an injury or illness that is work related or is affecting your work, on any of the U-M campuses, contact WorkConnections by calling (734) 615-0643 (or toll free (877) 869-5266), by emailing them, or by contacting one of their staff directly.
For experts in specific OSEH topics - the OSEH contacts page lists experts in each of the health, safety and and environmental areas that OSEH covers. Their experts are available to help those at all U-M campuses, including with the interpretation of safety related legal requirements. If you're not sure who to contact, review the options on the OSEH contacts page (including email contacts) or call the OSEH Department on their main line in (734) 647-1143.