The Environmental Health & Safety Department provides Fire Safety, Radiation Safety, Biological Safety, Chemical Safety, Environmental Health, Environmental Management and Emergency Preparedness/Business Continuity services and programs to the campus community.
Environmental Health & Safety
How to Reach EH&S for Assistance
EH&S Staff can be reached at 5-2682 during business hours providing assistance in all of its program areas including fire safety, laboratory safety, radiation safety, biological safety, environmental health, environmental management, emergency preparedness and business continuity. During off-hours, EH&S may be reached by calling the UMass Police Department 5-2121 [non-emergency line]. If you notice an unsafe situation on campus call and EH&S will respond immediately.
Requesting Emergency Assistance On Campus
DIAL 911 (413-545-3111 from a cell phone) to:
- Report a fire
- Request an ambulance
- Request Police assistance
Steps to take if you see smoke or fire in a building:
- Close the door to the fire area
- Activate the building fire alarm system
- Evacuate and stay clear of the building at a predetermined meeting location
- Call 911 (413-545-3111 from a cell phone) and report the exact location of the fire
Emergency Notification System (ENS)
The UMass Amherst comprehensive Emergency Notification System (ENS) is called UMass Amherst Alerts. Emergency notifications apply to emergency situations or conditions that pose an immediate or imminent safety or security threat to the campus community or have the potential to significantly disrupt/impact campus activities. The ENS system includes: emergency broadcast emails, outdoor warning sirens and emergency text messages.
Registering for Emergency Text Messages - All campus cell phone users are urged to register to receive emergency text messages. For enrollment information, frequently asked questions and to sign-up for emergency text messaging, please visit www.umass.edu/emergency.
Academic Safety Services Provided
The Academic Safety Program focuses on protecting students, employees, and the environment from hazards associated with teaching and research activities on the campus and ensures compliance with appropriate regulations. We offer training, chemical receipt and inventorying, incident investigation, exposure and risk assessments, safety consultations, verification of safety equipment, ventilation assessments, laboratory safety assessments, personal protective equipment programs, investigation of odor and other safety complaints. We partner with researchers to evaluate and minimize hazards by recommending appropriate engineering controls, reviewing written standard operating procedures that address safety issues, and strategizing to achieve research and teaching goals in a safe and compliant manner. Call EH&S at 5-2682 for assistance. A compilation of lab safety information can be found in The University's Laboratory Health and Safety Manual / Chemical Hygiene Plan.
How to Obtain Laboratory Safety Trainings
All faculty, staff, and students, graduates and undergraduates, post-doctorates,visiting scholars, and volunteers are required to attend classroom laboratory training and classroom fire safety training before initial assignment to a laboratory. Same applies to biological and radiation safety if individuals work with these materials. All classroom trainings must be repeated every 5 years and on-line (OWL) refresher trainings in the intervening years. Training programs are offered regularly each semester. Click on the training schedule for further information on both classroom and OWL trainings.
How to Order Hazardous Laboratory Materials and Chemicals
The University requires that all hazardous laboratory materials be bar coded and tracked on our Chemical Environmental Management System (CEMS) database. All chemical orders should be delivered to 179 Lederle Graduate Research Tower for bar coding before EH&S delivers it to the appropriate laboratory. EH&S will also periodically re-inventory laboratories to ensure accurate inventories. Visit the CEMS Resource Page for more information on the CEMS program.
How to Recycle Chemicals for Reuse or Access Recycled Chemicals
EH&S offers a Chemical Reuse and Exchange Program aimed at reducing the costly disposal of still useful chemicals and supplies. If you have chemicals which are excess or unneeded and are still useful i.e., uncontaminated, have a reasonable shelf life remaining, and are of sufficient quantity to be useful to someone else (unopened containers preferred), please fill out a Hazardous Waste Pick-up Request. If you are a current registered user of the CEMS system, a list of available materials for adoption can be found at Surplus Chemicals Listing and be delivered by EH&S to your lab.
How to Request Hazardous Waste Pick-Up
EH&S performs hazardous waste pick-ups on an as needed basis. Hazardous waste must be removed from the site of generation within three business days. Call the Environmental Compliance Manager at 5-5122 for proper labeling, packaging, and procedures information. A hazardous waste pick-up request should be submitted on-line at the Hazardous Waste Pick-up Request website. Anyone works with hazardous materials, generates hazardous waste, or has direct responsibility for processing generated hazardous waste must receive Hazardous Waste Training which is available from EH&S or on-line.
How to Ship Hazardous Material
Only trained and IATA certified personnel are permitted to package and ship the regulated materials covered by the federal mandates. Contact the Environmental Compliance Manager at 5-5122 for assistance. If you have materials that meet these mandates, EH&S will coordinate the packaging and shipping. At least 72 hours notice to prepare packages and shipping papers is required. Overseas shipping request can be more complicated and time consuming. For a list of what material is covered by this federal mandate as well as information on the shipping of hazardous materials, visit the hazardous materials resource page.
How to Access Information Regarding Handling Chemicals: Mass Right-To-Know Legislation and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)
Since 1983 public employees in Massachusetts have had the protection of the Massachusetts Right-to-Know Law. A portion of the law requires that information on chemical hazards be given to employees by providing them access to Safety Data Sheets (SDS). A SDS contains detailed information regarding the proper use and handling of particular chemicals. Employees who work with hazardous chemicals must be trained annually. This training is available in the classroom lab safety training, on-line using OWL or can be facilitated by contacting the EH&S main office at 5-2682. You can view a searchable SDS database online, or get more SDS information, including additional online SDS resources, at the SDS faq page.
How to Work with Biological Materials on Campus
- All work with human source materials, pathogenic microorganisms, “Select Agents,” and other biological hazardous agents must be registered with EH&S.
- All work with animals or recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules must be registered with the Institutional Biosafety Committee in the Office of Research Compliance .
Contact the Biological Safety Services Manager at EH&S at 5-2682 or visit the EH&S Biological Safety page if you or anyone in your department needs training and education for working safely with biological agents, assistance with the development of biological safety protocols, guidance on meeting local, state and federal regulations, guidance on rDNA, biological agent, and animal research registration at the University or other safety or compliance, issue regarding biological agents.
How to Work with Radiological Materials
Radiation Safety Services (RSS) oversees the safe use of ionizing and non-ionizing radiation by students and faculty. Contact Vince Chase, Senior Radiation Safety Officer, at 5-2682 for assistance with obtaining permits, delivery of radioactive materials, dosimeters, calibration of hand-held instruments, training, eyewear laser safety, and information on radon evaluations. Visit the Radiation and Laser Safety website for more information.
How to Report a Laboratory Incident
All laboratory incidents whether resulting in an injury or not must be reported to EH&S within 48 hours. We want to do a thorough investigation to determine causes of incidents so that they can be prevented in the future and avoid any serious injuries. Please promptly call EH&S at 5-2682 for assistance with any laboratory incident and submit the Laboratory Incident Report form within 48 hours.
How to Report Odor Complaints
Odors can be a good indicator of building related ventilation problems or contamination issues. EH&S will investigate reports of noxious odors to help determine and eliminate their cause. To report an odor problem call EH&S at 5-2682 when the odor is noticeable.
How to Get a Fire Extinguisher Serviced
EH&S staff service and maintain over 5,000 portable fire extinguishers on campus. Should you find any portable fire extinguisher in need of service an on-line service request form may be submitted.
Fire Prevention Services Available to Departments
The Fire Prevention Services program is available to help you ensure a fire safe workplace. EH&S provides inspection and fire protection testing services to ensure that campus buildings and fire protection equipment are maintained in compliance with appropriate state fire codes and safety policies of the University. Educational programs on fire safety, portable fire extinguisher use, fire evacuation, and fire reporting is offered to all students and staff. For more information, visit the EH&S Fire Safety page.
Occupational Injury Management and Safety Assessments
EH&S supports a multifaceted, formal incident prevention initiative covering the entire campus. Among its basic activities are hazard recognition and analysis, inspections and audits of facilities and operations, incident investigation, injury data collection, and general safety training. Campus Safety also collaborates with Human Resources, University Health Services, and various campus departments to provide an Occupational Injury Management program. Campus Safety and Fire Prevention Services program staff can conduct safety audits of your area(s), provide ergonomic assessments and recommendations, perform a statistical review and analysis of employee injuries in your area and other related safety programs and policies.
Key Manager Responsibilities Regarding Injury/Incident Reporting
Minor incidents without injury can be a precursor of more serious situations that lead to injury and property damage. An incident investigation provides information that can lead to important preventative measures. Supervisors should contact EH&S as soon as possible after an incident occurs. A “Notice of Injury” form must be file with Human Resources within 48 hours of the incident, whether or not the employee sees a physician or goes to the hospital.
Requirements for Erecting a Tent on Campus
Anyone wishing to erect a tent covering an area greater than 400 sq. ft. must obtain a permit per the MA State Building Code and complete an online Land Use Request. Tents must also meet Massachusetts Fire Prevention Regulations. The requestor is responsible for completing the application and application fee, and returning the application to EH&S for processing. Both the instructions for completing the application permit and the permit itself are accessible from the EH&S website.
How to Access Employee Safety Education and Training
EH&S offers a wide range of personal and industrial safety training programs including: Back Safety, Biological Safety, Campus Safety, Confined Space, Driver Safety Awareness, Electrical Safety, Emergency Preparedness Planning, Ergonomics, Fire Safety, First Aid / CPR, Food Safety, Hazardous Materials and Waste Management, Indoor Air Quality, Industrial Hygiene, Lockout/ Tag-out, Powered Industrial Trucks, Right to Know. Visit the EH&S website for further information.
How to Access Online Safety Training
The Online Web-based Learning Program (OWL) offers a variety of interactive health and safety training programs. Registered users working with a web browser can access the system bringing safety training directly to an employee’s desktop or training facility; off-campus guests can roster into the program as well. Training sessions are recorded automatically by OWL. For more information, view the online training programs.
The Environmental Health program provides oversight of the University's overall health and sanitation operations. Services are provided in food service areas and residence halls, athletic facilities, family housing, as well as academic buildings. For further information, on site assessments, public health training, and educational programs, contact the Assistant Director for Environmental Health, at EH&S at 5-2682.
Program information is also available on the EH&S Environmental Health Page
Construction Safety Management
Environmental Health and Safety’s Construction Safety Management Program strives to ensure site safety, environmental protection, and minimize health and safety risks to our campus community during all University construction activities. EH&S works closely with Design and Construction Management and Physical Plant to relay health and safety concerns to contractors. Anyone with questions or health and safety concerns are encouraged to contact EH&S at 5-2682 or visit the EH&S Construction Safety page for additional construction health and safety information.
Event Planning and Safety
Planning an Event? Environmental Health and Safety staff are available to advise on University policy and State regulations to assure the safety of your event. Depending upon size, location and nature of the event EH&S can be consulted regarding:
- Food Safety and Barbecues
- Arranging for UMass EMS Emergency Medical Technicians
- Crowd Managers
- Emergency Action Plans
- Tent Requirements
EH&S, in cooperation with event organizers, will review planned events for space usage, health, safety, and emergency management. These safety evaluations consist of identifying any hazardous situations associated with a particular activity and potential risks they present. A land use request can be made online.
How to track and dispose of University equipment
All University property must be properly disposed following University regulations for surplus property. The Property Office (545-0700) must be notified before any equipment purchased with sponsored funds is transferred to another institution.