Guides

EHS Guides are designed to provide information about workplace hazards that may be encountered during routine work activities. These guides are one tool available to employees and supervisors to assist with implementation of a comprehensive environmental, health and safety program in your work area.

Please contact EHS if you are unable to find safety information on a specific topic.

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Emergency Management

Bomb Threat

This guide provides guidance on how to respond to a bomb threat or caller who claims a bomb is located on campus. The majority of bomb threats are hoaxes; however it is important that all threats be treated seriously. A quick and organized response to a perceived threat can minimize the risk of injury to students, employees, and visitors. Making a false bomb threat is a federal offense punishable under United States Code 18-844e, with a penalty of up to ten years in prison, $250,000 fine, or both. Bomb threats can be delivered via phone, letter, email, or in person. All threats received by George Mason University faculty, staff, and students must be reported to University Police.

Communicable Disease Prevention and Response

This guide is designed to promote the health and safety of university employees and students by providing information that can be used to prevent the contraction and spread of communicable diseases and the appropriate response to a communicable disease outbreak.

Creating and Using Emergency Preparedness Guides

Emergency Preparedness Guides provide information and guidance on how to prepare and respond to potential emergencies that may occur on campus, in the D.C. metropolitan region, or at home. Each guide addresses a unique emergency situation; some Guides require additional information to be provided by the user. Completed Guides should be reviewed with students, faculty, and staff within your work area on a routine basis. These guides serve as independent “modules” that when compiled in the Safety Manual, create an emergency preparedness manual. This document provides information on how to complete, compile, use, and maintain Emergency Preparedness Guides.

Earthquake Preparation and Response

This guide is designed to help university departments, employees, and students respond to and prepare for earthquakes and should be used in conjunction with the Emergency Evacuation
Guide.

Emergency Evacuation

This guide is designed to help familiarize university employees and students with building emergency evacuation procedures. This guide should be used in conjunction with other guides such as the Unit Fire Safety Plan, Power Outage or Utility Failure Response Guide, and Suspicious Package Response Guide.

Medical Emergency

This guide is designed to help university employees and students respond to medical emergency situations that occur at George Mason University. Medical emergencies will occur on campus and it is important that members of the university community understand how to respond to protect human health and safety.

Missing Person Procedures

This guide is designed to help familiarize university employees and students with the procedures that must be followed if an employee or student is suspected missing. All higher education institutions that provide on-campus housing and are subject to the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 are required to establish missing student notification procedures for students who reside in on-campus housing.

Power Outage and Utility Failure Response

This guide outlines the appropriate actions that should be taken and notifications that must be made during a power outage or utility failure. These actions are to ensure the safety of university employees and students working within university facilities, protect property, and maintain business operations.

Regional Emergency Preparation

This guide is designed to help university employees and students prepare for regional emergencies by providing information on how to create an individual or family emergency plan, create an emergency supply kit, and stay informed during an emergency.

Suspicious Package Response

This guide is designed to aid George Mason University students and employees in the identification of and appropriate response to a suspicious package.

Tornado and Severe Weather Preparation

This guide is designed to help university departments and employees prepare for a tornado or severe weather event. Severe weather includes high winds, thunderstorms, lightning storms, hail, floods, hurricanes, extreme heat or cold, and other weather systems that have the potential to create safety hazards or cause property damage.

Workplace and On Campus Violence Response

This guide applies to all George Mason University, faculty, staff, students, and visitors and is provided to assist in identifying potentially violent persons and recommends actions that should be taken if a person is threatening or becomes violent.

Environmental Compliance

Chemical, Hazardous, and Universal Waste Management

This guide applies to all employees and contractors who use, store, or generate chemical hazardous, or universal waste on George Mason University property. Employees are responsible for ensuring that waste is properly labeled and stored prior to collection by Environmental Health and Safety Office staff.

Oil and Chemical Spill Response

The purpose of this guide is to explain the stepwise procedures that must be followed in the event of an oil or chemical spill. This guide applies to all George Mason University employees and contractors who use and store oil and chemicals on George Mason University property. This Guide also applies to George Mason employees and contractors that service equipment that contains oil or chemical products.

Pesticide and Herbicide Application Safety

The purpose of this Guide is to explain certification requirements for employees who apply pesticides on George Mason University property. This guide also addresses the registration, use, and storage of pesticides and general procedures that should be observed during application to prevent exposure and protect the environment. This guide is based upon Commonwealth of Virginia regulation 2 VAC 20-40 and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards 40 CFR Parts 150-189.

Fire Safety

Crowd Manager

This guide outlines the Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code (VSFPC) section 403.3 requirement that Crowd Managers be present at all events where attendance is 1,000 persons or more. This requirement demands that trained personnel, who are familiar with the building and its fire alarm and suppression systems, are identified prior to an event to assist attendees during an emergency or building evacuation.

Fire Watch

This guide applies to all university-owned buildings, and Mason employees and contractors. Fire watch requirements for system outages and impairments will be determined on a case by case basis taking into consideration the extent of the interruption, building use, number of expected occupants, and expected outage time of the interruption. Upon notification of a fire suppression or fire alarm outage, EHS Fire Safety Programs personnel are responsible for determining if a fire watch is warranted.

Hot Work Safety

This guide applies to all George Mason University personnel and sub-contractors who perform hot work on university controlled property. For the purpose of this guide hot work will be defined as operations including cutting, welding, thermal welding, brazing, soldering, grinding, thermal spraying, thawing pipe, installation of torch-applied roof systems or any other similar activity.

Pyrotechnics (Fireworks) Display

This guide applies to all George Mason University employees and departments that may organize an event including the use of aerial fireworks or pyrotechnics on university property. A permit for these activities must be submitted to the Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO) at least 3 weeks (15 business days) prior to the start of the event. There are no exceptions to this policy as the permits are issued by the SFMO, not our office.

Temporary Structure Permit

This guide applies to all George Mason University employees and departments that use, erect, contract to erect, or oversee the installation of temporary structures on university property. Commonwealth of Virginia regulations and this university guidance document require inspection and/or permitting of all temporary structures to include tents, stages, and amusement devices erected on university property. Depending on the type and size of the temporary structure, a written permit may be required by the university or the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Laboratory Safety

Autoclave Safety

This guide applies to all autoclaves and users of autoclaves at George Mason University. It covers the minimum responsibilities of users and supervisors with regard to autoclave use.

Biological Safety Cabinet Use

This guide applies to all university employees and persons who use biological safety cabinets. It covers the minimum responsibilities of users and supervisors and explains the procedures that should be followed while working in a biological safety cabinet.

Centrifuge Safety

This guide applies to all centrifuges and users of centrifuges at George Mason University. It covers the minimum responsibilities of users and supervisors with regard to centrifuge use. This guide is intended to outline precautions, safe procedures, and practical information that can be utilized by personnel to safely operate centrifuges at George Mason University.

Chemical Inventory Entry

All chemicals located in research and instructional laboratories at George Mason University are required to be input into a chemical inventory system. The purpose this guide is to inform laboratory personnel on the proper way to input chemicals into the inventory web application, EHS Assistant, provided by the Environmental Health and Safety Office. Details on the requirements for chemical inventory, including what items are required to be entered onto the chemical inventory can be found in the Chemical Inventory Requirements Guide.

Chemical Inventory Requirements

The purpose of this guide is to assist laboratory personnel in determining what chemical items must be included in their electronic chemical inventory. Each laboratory that uses or stores hazardous chemicals must maintain an electronic chemical inventory in the EHS Assistant (EHSA) software available at ehs.gmu.edu. These inventories are required for a number of purposes including meeting regulatory requirements that require accurate chemical inventories. Further, inventories are utilized by EHS personnel in order to conduct hazard assessments, to maintain maximum chemical storage limits, and to facilitate hazard communication efforts with external emergency response personnel.

Emergency Shower and Eyewash Flushing

This guide applies to all university employees and persons who perform biweekly flushing of emergency shower and/or eyewash equipment.

Flammable and Combustible Liquid Safety

The purpose of this guide is to explain the safe storage and use of flammable and combustible liquids. This guide is based upon Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) Standard 29 CFR 1910.106: Flammable and Combustible Liquids.

Compressed Gas Safety

The purpose of this guide is to provide information to employees regarding the proper use and handling of compressed gas cylinders.This guide applies to all George Mason University employees who work with or around compressed gas cylinders.

Hazardous Materials Shipping and Receiving

This guide outlines the requirements necessary for the proper acceptance procedures for receipt of all shipments of hazardous materials and for shipment of hazardous materials by university employees. Following this guide will facilitate safe and secure receipt of packages as well as proper, safe, an expedient shipment of hazardous materials in accordance with US Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations outlined in 49CFR172.

Volunteers and Minors in the Laboratory

This Guide applies to volunteers and minors conducting activities in laboratories at George Mason University and outlines the process in place to authorize laboratory activities for minors.  The Guide is intended to outline restrictions on work involving minors and volunteers and provide clear guidance on how to register laboratory activities involving volunteers and minors.

Purchasing and Storage of Grain Alcohol

This guide outlines the necessary procedures for the purchase of tax free ethanol, and/or the purchase and transportation of grain alcohol (pure ethanol of 190 proof or greater), and the proper storage of these materials once received. This guide does not apply to the purchase or use of denatured or reagent alcohol, which is exempted from these requirements.

Occupational Health

Emergency Shower and Eyewash Flushing

This guide applies to all university employees and persons who perform biweekly flushing of emergency shower and/or eyewash equipment.

Material Handling

The purpose of this guide is to provide information on safely handling materials both manually and mechanically. This guide applies to all George Mason University employees and persons that may handle or store materials. It explains the proper procedures and techniques required for safely handling materials both manually and mechanically.

Water Intrusion Response and Remediation

This guide is meant to give general direction for response to water intrusions. This document should be used as a guide; it is not an all-inclusive document. The Environmental Health and Safety Office should be contacted if assistance is needed or if you are not comfortable responding to the situation. EHS may also assist by using moisture detecting equipment to determine the extent of the water intrusion.

Occupational Safety

Chainsaw Safety

This guide applies to all George Mason University employees who operate a chainsaw as a part of their job activities. The purpose of this guide is to provide information regarding required training, proper use, and maintenance of chainsaws.

Electrical Safety

The purpose of this guide is to provide information to employees regarding relevant electrical safety-related work practices. This guide applies to all George Mason University employees who use or maintain electrically powered devices or equipment in an office, lab, classroom, or work area. This guide does not apply to employees responsible for service and repair of electrical equipment. This guide also addresses safety issues regarding common electrical appliances used on a day to day basis, such as coffee makers, TVs, radios, etc.

Forklift Safety

This guide applies to all George Mason University employees who operate forklifts as well as their supervisors. The purpose of this guide is to provide information regarding required training, proper use, limitations, and maintenance of forklifts.

Flammable and Combustible Liquid Safety

The purpose of this guide is to explain the safe storage and use of flammable and combustible liquids. This guide is based upon Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) Standard 29 CFR 1910.106: Flammable and Combustible Liquids.

Hand Power Tool Safety

The purpose of this guide is to explain the common hazards associated with using hand and power tools, and safety precautions to take in order to prevent injuries. This guide applies to all university employees who use hand and power tools. It covers the minimum responsibilities of users and supervisors with regard to hand and power tool regulations, hazards, and usage.

Job Safety Analysis (JSA)

Job Safety Analysis (JSA) is a procedure that focuses on individual job tasks to identify hazards and prevent injury or exposure by employing appropriate engineering, administrative, physical controls, as well as personal protective equipment (PPE). The JSA process focuses on the relationship between the worker, the task, the tools, and the work environment. JSA document steps that must be taken to eliminate or reduce workplace hazards to an acceptable risk level. This Guide is based upon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) publication 3071 Job Hazard Analysis.

Ladder Safety

The purpose of this guide is to explain the proper selection, use, and maintenance of ladders for use in the workplace at George Mason University. This Guide applies to all George Mason University employees who use ladders during the course of their normal job duties and describes the minimum requirements for the selection, setup, use, and care for various types of ladders.

Machine and Machine Shop Safety

The purpose of this guide is to provide guidance to all George Mason University employees and students who work with machining tools and equipment in order to create a safe work environment.

Skidsteer Loader Safety

The purpose of this guide is to provide information regarding required training, proper use, limitations, and maintenance of skidsteer loaders. This guide applies to all George Mason University employees who operate a skidsteer loader as a part of their work activities as well as their supervisors.

Walking and Working Surfaces

This guide applies to all George Mason University property. It is designed to assist University employees in the use, modification, and evaluation of walking and working surfaces in order to provide a safe environment for all employees, students, and visitors.

 

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