Chapter Seven: Regulatory Overview
The Environmental Health & Safety Manager is often asked by employees, “Why do I have to do chemical inventories or medical surveillance, or handle chemical or infectious waste in this particular manner?” The answer is most often, “Because it’s required by the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department (TPCHD), Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSHA) regulations, or the Environmental Protection Agency.”
Several people at PLU can provide compliance assistance to help employees identify rules, regulations, policies, and procedures that affect their work.
- The Environmental Health & Safety Manager oversees safety, health, and environmental regulatory compliance for the entire university.
- The Chemical Hygiene Officer oversees chemical handling. The Radiation Safety Officer oversees radiological safety within the Natural Sciences division.
- The Risk Manager, Director of Campus Safety, and Human Resource Services may also be able to provide guidance on safety issues.
- Safety Committee Inspection Team members regularly visit operating areas to answer questions and highlight issues of compliance concern. The team deals with fire and physical hazards, chemical handling, biosafety, and other life safety issues.
More than 13 different regulatory agencies have some jurisdiction over health, safety, and the environment at PLU. The following list provides some idea of the range of regulatory agencies the university works with.
University Environmental Health & Safety Manager, Chemical Hygiene Officer, and Radiation Safety Officer
Radiation Safety/Health Physics
Hazardous Materials Management
Training and Communications
Programs Management and Compliance
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): www.epa.gov
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA): www.osha.gov
- Department of Transportation (DOT): www.dot.gov
- Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC): www.nrc.gov
- Department of Ecology: www.ecy.wa.gov
- Department of Labor and Industries: www.lni.wa.gov
- Department of Health: www.doh.wa.gov
- Department of Emergency Management: www.emd.wa.gov/
- Pierce County Website: www.co.pierce.wa.us
- Planning and Land Services Fire Marshal’s Office: http://www.co.pierce.wa.us/Index.aspx?NID=117
- Pierce County’s Wastewater Treatment, Surface Water Management and the Water Quality Control Plant: http://www.piercecountywa.org/index.aspx?nid=1667
- Puget Sound Clean Air Agency: www.pscleanair.org
- Central Pierce Fire and Rescue: www.centralpiercefire.org
- Tacoma Pierce County Health Department: www.tpchd.org
While there are numerous potential risks governed by safety and environmental regulations, we find that most injuries at PLU occur from overexertion of the back. Other common injuries are caused by slips and falls and being struck by or against an object.