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Workplace Health and Safety (Interim)

Policy Information

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Effective Date: 
December 11, 2020
Last Revised Date: 
January, 2021
Responsible Unit: 
Risk Management Services

Purpose and Summary

This policy outlines the University’s commitment to providing all employees, students, volunteers, and visitors with a workplace that promotes health and safety, meets regulatory requirements, assigns responsibility, and addresses workplace hazards in a timely and effective manner.

A. Guiding Principles

  1. Workplace Health and Safety must be given the highest priority in the planning and implementation of all University programs.
  2. With proper planning and preparation, most accidents and incidents are preventable.
  3. Compliance with applicable health and safety regulations will be considered the minimum requirement. Effective health and safety programs require moving beyond mere compliance. The University may adopt standards or requirements that exceed those set by applicable law and regulations in its ongoing effort to seek and implement best practices for promoting health and safety, incident and injury prevention, and reducing risk.


This policy applies to all Workplaces that are owned, operated, or under direct control of the University of Arizona.


Workplace: All locations where University employees carry out their assigned job responsibilities. Workplaces may be occupied by faculty, staff, students, designated campus colleagues, contractors, volunteers, and visitors.

Workplace Health and Safety: Encompasses processes and programs designed to prevent injury and illness in the Workplace and maintain regulatory compliance, including management commitments; assignment of responsibility, authority, and accountability; hazard inspection and assessment; safety training; personal protective equipment; safety procedures; occupational health medical evaluation and surveillance; hazard, illness, and injury reporting; documentation; and regular program evaluation.

Retaliation: Occurs when an adverse action is taken against an individual for engaging in protected activity. Protected activity covered by this policy consists of (a) opposing conduct reasonably believed to violate an applicable health or safety statute or University policy; (b) filing or making a complaint (internal or external) about such practice; or (c) testifying, assisting, or participating in any manner in an investigation or other proceeding related to a complaint regarding health and safety.

Safety Compliance Units: Include Risk Management Services (RMS), Research Laboratory & Safety Services (RLSS), Occupational Health (OH), and any other University unit with oversight responsibility for Workplace Health and Safety.

University Community: Means any of the following individuals: (a) University student; (b) University employee; or (c) third party who is engaged in any University activity or program, or who is otherwise interacting with the University, including but not limited to volunteers, contractors, vendors, designated campus colleagues, visitors, and guests.

University Core Values: Integrity, Compassion, Exploration, Adaptation, Inclusion, Determination


The University of Arizona is committed to providing a healthy and safe work environment in all sites owned, operated by, or controlled by the University. It is the duty of all members of the University Community to plan and conduct their activities in a manner that promotes health and safety, prevents accidents and injuries, complies with applicable regulatory requirements, and promotes a culture of health and safety that is consistent with the University’s Core Values.

  1. The University President has ultimate responsibility for University health and safety programs. Under authority delegated by the President, University administrators including the provost, vice provosts, vice presidents, deans, directors, department heads, managers, and supervisors are responsible for implementation of this policy in their respective areas of responsibility.
  2. Department heads and managers, academic and administrative, are responsible for ensuring that:
    1. Individuals under their management have the authority to implement appropriate health and safety practices and procedures, in accordance with regulatory and University requirements.
    2. Areas under their management have adequate training, resources and equipment to comply with health and safety requirements.
  3. Supervisors, including faculty and non-faculty supervisors, and Principal Investigators are responsible for protecting the health and safety of employees, volunteers, students, and visitors working under their direction or supervision. This responsibility includes:
    1. Being current with and implementing University Workplace Health and Safety policies and programs applicable to their area of responsibility.
    2. Ensuring that employees, volunteers, students, and visitors under their supervision or within their work areas are provided with appropriate safety training, equipment, resources, and time to perform their assigned duties in a safe and healthy manner.
    3. Ensuring that Workplaces, including laboratories and equipment, are operated and maintained in a safe manner.
    4. Ensuring that Workplaces and activities under their direction, in consultation with applicable Safety Compliance Units, develop and implement appropriate safety procedures and practices to ensure compliance with health and safety requirements.
  4. Faculty, staff, volunteers, and students are responsible for:
    1. Being cognizant of hazards and conditions that may impact their health and safety.
    2. Participating in safety training programs as required by their supervisors and University policy.
    3. Adhering to Workplace Health and Safety programs and practices in their Workplace, laboratory, classroom, and learning environments.
    4. Promptly reporting to supervisors, instructors, or a Safety Compliance Unit potentially unsafe practices or safety/health hazards in their Workplace, laboratory, classroom, or learning environment.
  5. Prohibition of Retaliation.
    1. Retaliation or adverse actions that are reasonably likely to deter a complaining individual or others from engaging in protected activity are prohibited.
    2. An individual who believes that they have been subjected to retaliation in violation of this policy should report the matter immediately to Human Resources or the University Ethics and Compliance Hotline to obtain information about resolving concerns, including complaint-filing options and procedures, and to enable the University to take prompt remedial action.
    3. University employees and students have the right to file complaints with outside agencies as well as with the University. If an individual files a complaint with an external agency, the filing will not affect the University’s investigation concerning the same or similar events.

Compliance and Responsibilities

  1. Safety Compliance Units are responsible for the development and implementation of Workplace Health and Safety programs and standards in their areas of responsibility to establish an institutional framework for regulatory compliance, injury prevention, and best practices. Such programs will be developed in consultation with applicable committees, stakeholders, and University leadership, and will represent institutional requirements applicable to the University Community.
    1. Research Laboratory & Safety Services is responsible for safety programs in University laboratories, programs, and activities that are part of the University research program.
    2. Risk Management Services is responsible for these programs in non-research environments.
    3. Occupational Health is responsible for development and implementation of medical assessment, monitoring, and intervention to support compliance and health promotion in the Workplace.
    4. RLSS, RMS, and OH will collaborate and jointly develop health and safety programs that are applicable to both research and non-research settings and will regularly review programs to ensure applicable health and safety needs are being met institutionally.
    5. Safety Compliance Units are responsible for conducting investigations of complaints alleging unsafe conditions or activities, accidents and incidents, inspection findings, and recommending corrective action as needed.
    6. Safety Compliance Units will serve as the primary University liaison to regulatory agencies governing Workplace Health and Safety.
  2. Safety Committees will be established and maintained under the direction of University administrators as needed to address compliance requirements and regulatory oversight, loss prevention and safety program review, and safety program evaluation. Membership will be appointed by the responsible administrator. Safety Compliance Units are expected to assign representation to all Safety Committees and will provide staff support and safety/health expertise to these committees as needed.

Related Information*

Occupational Health Program -

Research Compliance Safety Committees -

Research Laboratory & Safety Services -

Risk Management Services -


Arizona Bureau of Radiation Control -

Arizona Department of Environmental Quality -

Arizona Division of Occupational Safety & Health -

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -


Campus Safety Health & Environmental Management Association -

Center for Campus Fire Safety -

* Please note that sections titled Frequently Asked Questions, Sources, Related Information, and Revision History are provided solely for the convenience of users and are not part of the official University policy.

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