Environmental Health and Safety at UCF
Renee Michel, Director
The vision of the UCF Department of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) is to support the university goals of academic excellence, leadership, and diversity. In this context, our mission is to encourage, support, and promote a culture of safety and environmental stewardship that is embraced as a core value by the entire campus community.
As we strive to carry out this mission, our staff will demonstrate an unwavering commitment to the following values:
EHS achieves its mission by working constantly to provide a safe working and learning environment, and to uphold environmentally sound practices in all university-related activities.
Specifically, our Laboratory Safety Program Coordinator ensures the completion of annual inspections and the documentation of any deficiencies identified, and makes recommendations for the mitigation of those deficiencies. This coordinator also manages the Fume Hood Inspection Program and reviews research protocols to identify risks and provide mitigation consultation to faculty and staff.
The Chemical Safety Officer coordinates and oversees the maintenance of chemical inventories of all university facilities and laboratories. Additionally, this coordinator maintains chemical inventory policies and procedures, a database of hazardous material storage and use locations, and emergency contact information of responsible parties.
The Radiation and Laser Safety Coordinator maintains and updates the university’s broad scope radioactive materials license. This coordinator conducts quarterly radiation inspections for laboratories with unsealed radioactive materials and maintains the sealed source inventory, ensuring updates are sent to the Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Radiation Control. This coordinator manages the inventory of x-ray devices and high power lasers.
The Environmental Management Coordinator maintains and updates the university’s Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasures Plan, and collects and reviews required operating records for the Air Permit. This coordinator prepares monthly emissions inventory reports and the annual Air Operating Report. This coordinator manages the hazardous waste, universal waste, and biomedical waste programs.
The Health Sciences Campus Safety Coordinator serves as the primary contact for all safety programs within the Health Sciences Campus. This coordinator manages the controlled substances and prescription drugs licensing through auditing and overseeing compliance with regulated drugs programs. This coordinator interacts with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Florida Department of Health during inspections, and provides updates and consultations to license holders.
The Workplace Safety and Training programs work with students, faculty, and staff to reduce injuries and accidents and to ensure compliance through high quality training. Expert advice is available for the following areas: accident investigations, aerial lifts, building inspections, confined spaces, ergonomics, electrical safety, fall protection, hearing conservation, indoor air quality, lock-out/tag-out, personal protective equipment, and respiratory protection. To register for training in some of these areas, and those mentioned above, please go to the EHS webpage at www.ehs.ucf.edu.
Any member of the university community that observes an unsafe situation or behavior can submit a safety concern and be assured that EHS will investigate the situation and ensure that appropriate corrective action is taken.
Finally, as the summer season gets into full gear, here are some tips to protect yourself and your staff from experiencing heat stress.
- Acclimate workers by exposing them to work in a hot environment for progressively longer periods.
- Replace Fluids by providing cool (50°-60°F) water or any cool liquid (except alcoholic beverages) to workers and encourage them to drink small amounts frequently, e.g., one cup every 20 minutes.
- Reduce the physical demands by reducing physical exertion such as excessive lifting, climbing, or digging with heavy objects.
- Provide recovery areas when possible such as air-conditioned enclosures and rooms and provide intermittent rest periods with water breaks.
- Reschedule hot jobs for the cooler part of the day, and routine maintenance and repair work in hot areas should be scheduled for the cooler seasons of the year or earlier times of the day.
- Monitor workers who are at risk of heat stress, such as those wearing semi-permeable or impermeable clothing when the temperature exceeds 70°F, while working at high metabolic loads (greater than 500 kcal/hour).
- Train staff to have:
- Knowledge of the hazards of heat stress;
- Recognition of predisposing factors, danger signs, and symptoms;
- Awareness of first-aid procedures for, and the potential health effects of, heat stroke;
- Understanding of responsibilities in avoiding heat stress;
- Knowledge of the dangers of using drugs, including therapeutic ones, and alcohol in hot work environments; and
- Knowledge in the use of protective clothing and equipment.