Section 100: General Safety
Effective: 03/24/2008
Revised: 9/24/2014


To encourage all feasible means of achieving a safe and healthful working/learning environment that includes accident prevention for faculty, staff, students and campus visitors.


Compliance with Safety Regulations
Oregon State University will maintain, within reason, facilities and practices that are in compliance with local, state, and federal health and safety regulations.  In the absence of appropriate statutes or regulations, standards of nationally recognized professional health and safety organizations will serve as a guide.

Supervisor Responsibility
Although the President has the ultimate responsibility for the safety of staff, faculty, and students, a great deal of safety responsibility has been delegated to supervisors.  A supervisor may be a dean, department head, director, manager, administrator or any other faculty or staff person who is in charge of one or more employees.

Supervisors are directly responsible and accountable for the welfare of employees and students assigned to them and for the administration of health and safety regulations and University Safety Procedures within their areas of control.  One of the criteria for evaluation of supervisors shall be their administration of safety procedures and accident prevention efforts.

Employee Responsibility
Employees of the University must have a common goal of keeping accidents to a minimum.  Most accidental injuries in the work environment are caused by unsafe work habits.  Therefore, all employees should continuously strive to develop habits and procedures that will reduce exposure to potential injury.  Employees are urged to make safe performance an essential element of every task. 

University Safety Organizations
Environmental Health and Safety, Enterprise Risk Services, Public Safety, and Risk Management have specific responsibilities that deal with the health and safety of faculty, staff, students, and visitors.  Individuals with health and safety concerns should contact the appropriate office.


A supervisor's safety responsibilities relating to their work areas and the employees they control should include the following duties:

  • Make every reasonable effort to ensure the safety of employees and students under your control and make their workplace free of recognized hazards.  For those hazards that are not within your ability to correct, notify your supervisor about the condition(s).
  • Evaluate the physical capability of potential new employees to perform the tasks required.  This is not discrimination, but rather an expected responsibility to make a reasonable determination of a potential employee's skills and physical ability to perform the tasks required by the position.
  • Provide job training in work area safety procedures for all your employees, especially for new and reassigned employees with new job activities.
  • Conduct regular work area safety inspections with assistance from of Environmental Health and Safety, if needed, to discover and correct unsafe conditions and work practices.
  • Investigate injury accidents, not to find fault, but to determine cause and to pursue the correction of any safety deficiencies.
  • Report all injuries or work related-illnesses via the HR Advocate Public Incident Reporting form, which can be accessed on the Human Resources, Worker’s Compensation web page.
  • If an injury to an employee requires physician's treatment or will result in lost work, SAIF 801 formshould also be completed and sent (in addition to the HR Advocate Public Incident Reporting form). The SAIF 801 form can be accessed on the Human Resources, Worker’s Compensation web page.
  • Injured employees who seek medical attention must also provide a written medical release in the form of an Employee Status Report form (or similar specific medical release) from their medical provider to verify their release status. The Employee Status Report form can be accessed on the Human Resources, Worker’s Compensation web page.
  • Contact injured employees early and frequently, especially where lost work time is involved, to pursue avenues for early return to work.
  • Promote safe practices and attitudes among employees and students.  If protective equipment must be used, promote its use by example.
  • Consider safe work habits and attitude toward the job as a part of all performance ratings.
  • Respond to employees' concerns for safety in a positive manner and take appropriate corrective action.

The acceptance of these duties, devotion to this task, and the safety attitude of supervisors will determine the success of the OSU safety program.

Employees, as part of their safety responsibilities, are expected to do the following:

  • Conduct their work safely and try to maintain their work areas hazard-free.
  • Wear personal protective equipment as prescribed by their supervisors; the university will provide this equipment.
  • Report hazards or unsafe work practices to supervisors or to Environmental Health and Safety.
  • Maintain reasonable physical body conditioning for the tasks of the work environment.
  • Cooperate fully with supervisors in conducting investigations of accidents so that unsafe conditions or work procedures may be corrected.
  • Participate in physical restoration or vocational programs following lost-time injuries to achieve an early return to work

Additional Information

Safety Committees
The University has established compliance/advisory committees to review and make recommendations on general safety matters or special areas of safety or health concerns that relate campus-wide.

The University Health and Safety Committee is appointed by the Vice President for Finance and Administration.  The membership consists of faculty, staff, and students.  In accordance with OSHA law, the Committee reviews campus safety policy and procedures as published in this Safety Policy & Procedure Manual and recommends needed changes.  The Committee serves as the forum for addressing issues affecting the safety and health of faculty, staff, students, and campus visitors.  The Committee encourages positive safety attitudes and performance among faculty, staff, and students; strives to identify and eliminate hazardous conditions; and supports and strengthens the OSU Safety Program.

The Radiation Safety Committee is appointed by the Vice President for Finance and Administration.  The membership consists of the Radiation Safety Officer and faculty members with expertise in radiation use and safety.  The Committee is responsible for recommending university policy with respect to radiation safety, establishing standards and regulations needed to implement this policy, reviewing operations and procedures of Radiation Safety, and acting as the statutory radiation use review committee required by the State radioactive materials license.

The Chemical Safety Committee is appointed by the Vice President for Research.  The membership consists of faculty members and a representative from Environmental Health and Safety.  The Committee is responsible for the development of policy regarding the use and disposal of hazardous chemicals.  The Committee reviews and approves the use of chemical carcinogens as required by the Chemical Carcinogen Safety Program.

The Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects is appointed by the Vice President for Research.  This group, also known as the Human Subjects Committee, consists of faculty members and representatives from the general public.  The committee is responsible for reviewing projects that involve human use related protocols. 

The Biosafety Committee is appointed by the Vice President for Research.  Membership consists of faculty and staff, and the Biological Safety Officer.  There are also two members who are not affiliated with the University.  The committee is responsible for recommending policy and procedures regarding biological safety.  The committee is also charged with reviewing recombinant DNA research. 

College/Unit/Department Safety Committees

Colleges, Units, and Departments are encouraged to have their own safety committees to provide more local control and oversight for their employees.  These committees often have representatives on various campus-wide compliance committees.