Handbook of Operating Procedures 8-1020

Environmental Health and Safety Policy

Effective November 11,2021
Executive Sponsor: Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Policy Owner: Director, Environmental Health & Safety



  1. Policy Statement

The University of Texas at Austin (University) is committed to protecting the health and safety of its students, employees, visitors, University affiliates, and contractors, as well as the environment. This is achieved through appropriate compliance with University policies and applicable laws and regulations. Responsibility for the administration of the University’s environmental health and safety program is delegated to the director of Environmental Health and Safety and implemented through operations of the Department of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS). Compliance with EHS program procedures and guidelines as well as applicable laws and regulations is a shared responsibility as described below.


  1. Reason for Policy

To identify authority and responsibility for the proper management of the University’s environmental health and safety program in accordance with applicable policies, laws, and regulatory requirements.

  1. Scope & Audience

This policy applies to all University employees, students, University affiliates, visitors, and contractors.

  1. Definitions (specific to this policy)


All facilities, buildings, and property owned or leased by the University.

Any near miss, damage to property, environmental spill/release or injury (including first aid).

EHS Guidelines:
Documents, information sheets/posters, and training information created or supplied by EHS to reference or communicate requirements for campus. The EHS Guidelines inform members of the campus community of the policies and procedures they must follow to comply with applicable environmental, health, and safety laws, regulations, codes, and consensus standards, as well as applicable policies and procedures of the University and The University of Texas System.


  1. Website (for policy)


  1. Contacts





Environmental Health and Safety


Phone: 512-471-3511




  1. Responsibilities & Procedures
    1. Responsibilities


All University employees, students, University affiliates, visitors, and contractors are responsible for compliance with applicable environmental, health, and safety laws, regulations, and codes, as well as applicable policies, procedures, and guidelines of the University and The University of Texas System. Each individual subject to this policy must comply with all EHS Guidelines and University policies and procedures regarding environmental health and safety. Responsibility for compliance follows administrative channels noted below.


  1. EHS is responsible for:


  1. Committees


The following committees are responsible, in part, for developing policy and providing advice and guidance to senior management and EHS on matters of safety and the environment:



  1. Department/Unit (Deans, Directors, Department Chairs/Heads, Managers)
Deans, directors, department chairs/heads, and managers are responsible for


  1. Supervisors


Supervisors are responsible for:


  1. Employees

Employees are responsible for:
  1. Contractors

Contractors are responsible for:
  1. Students


Students are responsible for:


  1. Environmental Health & Safety Rules and Regulations

The University will fully comply with applicable laws, regulations, and requirements relating to environmental health and safety. These laws, regulations, and requirements, as well as institutional policy, guide EHS in the development of institutional programs and procedures, including the EHS Guidelines, to facilitate University compliance.


  1. Inspections and Audits
EHS has authority to:


  1. Suspend, Restrict, or Close Unsafe Operations


The director of Environmental Health and Safety, designee, or a position identified in regulation has the authority to immediately suspend, restrict, or close any operation that presents:

In the event EHS orders the termination of an activity or operation, EHS will immediately communicate the issue or violation to the individual(s) involved and his or her immediate supervisor. If EHS orders the termination of a contractor activity or operation, EHS will notify the project manager and the associated University department. Notice will be promptly given by EHS to the assistant vice president for campus safety, the affected department head, and the appropriate regulatory agency, as required by law.


The suspended activity may resume with the approval of the director of Environmental Health and Safety, designee, or a position identified in regulation, in consultation with the assistant vice president for Campus Safety.


  1. Program Areas


EHS, in consultation with University committees as needed, is responsible for the development and maintenance of the following programs consistent with applicable regulations and University policies. The following list of EHS program areas under EHS authority may change based on institutional policy, as well as revised or new laws or regulations.

EHS is authorized to develop campus compliance program requirements and documentation (see below), educational materials, training requirements, guidance documents, and standard operating procedures to ensure compliance with relevant environmental health and safety requirements, laws, and regulations.


  1. Forms & Tools

Supporting policies and other EHS related institutional requirements are documented in the Compliance section of the EHS website.

  1. Frequently Asked Questions


  1. Related Information

1020-1 Environmental Compliance Program
1020-2 Regulated and Non-Regulated Waste Compliance Program
1020-3 Radiological Safety Compliance Program
1020-4 Laboratory Safety Compliance Program
1020-5 Occupational Safety Compliance Program
1020-6 Incident Reporting Compliance Program
1020-7 Hazardous Materials Shipping and Receipt Compliance Program
1020-8 Visitors in Hazardous Areas Compliance Program
1020-9 Food and Drinking Water Compliance Program
1020-10 Animal Safety Compliance Program

EHS website
President’s Environmental Health and Safety Statement of Commitment
UT-Austin Emergency Preparedness Plans


  1. History

Last review date: November 11, 2021
Previous review date: June 8, 2015
Next scheduled review: June 2024


This policy was previously called "Safety Policy".
Original HOP 6.32