EHS Major Event

EHS Joins Public Safety

October 18, 2018, Chief Hans Rhynhart, Associate Vice President and Chief of Police, publicly welcomed the Division of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) to the Division of Public Safety team. This acknowledgement was part of the annual Division of Public Safety Promotions and Recognition Ceremony. Staff from all UConn campuses committed to keeping UConn a safe place to work, research, and learn filled the Public Safety Complex for the event, a short pause in the day to celebrate professional accomplishments, new talent, and emerging opportunities.

The UConn Police/Fire Honor Guard opened the ceremonies with the presentation of the colors and national anthem. In addition to Chief Rhynhart, honored speakers included Master Sergeant Gerald Post, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Scott Jordan, and Fire Chief William Perez. In addition to EHS, staff were recognized from the Office of Emergency Management, the Fire Marshal and Building Inspectors Office, the Police Department, UConn Farmington, and the Office of Environmental Policy. Our favorite furry colleague, Facility Dog Tildy, was even recognized as a new addition to the Public Safety team.

We in EHS are proud to now be part of the Division of Public Safety. As members of our new Division, we will continue to support research, teaching, learning, and the meaningful work of staff in all areas of campus. As always, we will continue to collaborate with and support faculty, staff, and students at UConn Storrs and all regional campuses. Our offices will also remain in the same location. We look forward to seeing you on Horsebarn Hill for safety training soon!

Fall 2018 - EHS is now a proud member of the Division of Public Safety.

 

Study, Service, and Career Preparation – All in a Semester’s Work

Students, staff, and faculty are gathered around long tables for group photo after the PCYC 3644 student presentations.
Pictured Standing: Hayley Burzenski, Emma Coll, James Mason, Andrea Lopez, Yu Li, Prof. Henning, Guo Yin, Casey Cunningham, Devon Solomon, Dylan Block, &, Laura Khang
Seated: Jennifer Miller, Dining Services Workers’ Compensation and Training Coordinator; Dennis Pierce, Dining Services Executive Director; Shawna Lesseur, EHS Training and Outreach Program Manager; Nancy Tanner, Dining Services HR Manager; Terri Dominguez, Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Director; Amy Gronus, UNITE HERE! Local 2527T President; Ashley Hossack, UNITE HERE! Local 2527T Secretary

 

Thursday, April 26th, a team of ten scholars reported their recent findings to an attentive group of representatives from Dining Services and Environmental Health and Safety at UConn. Their goal was to offer informed analysis of interview data about occupational health and safety collected from employees and assistant managers in Dining Services. Who were these influential scholars? They were all undergraduate students, mostly senior Psychological Science majors in Associate Professor Robert Henning’s new “Occupational Health Psychology” course (PCYC 3644). This professional presentation during their last class of the semester was the culmination of a semester of study plus data collection and analysis as a service learning project.

In his course description, Henning explains that students in this course will learn about “research-to-practice applications in the interdisciplinary field of occupational health psychology, and how these are used to enhance the safety, health, and well-being of workers.” One major assignment for the course is a service learning collaborative project that challenges students to apply theoretical knowledge to the real world of work.

To make this an exciting and authentic learning experience, Henning first sought out the help of Terri Dominguez, Director of Environmental Health and Safety at UConn. She made the initial contacts with Dining Services as a community partner willing to provide access to his undergraduate class. Assistant Director of Dining Services Mike White, always a safety advocate, took the lead role in making the project a reality, including helping to gain support from two local unions.

That’s where the most important work, the students’ work, began. After two intensive months of learning theoretical principles and best practices in workplace health and safety, they dedicated one month to conducting interviews with 60 Dining Services staff members serving in a variety of positions across five dining halls to determine how an already robust Dining Services safety program can be made even better. Under Henning’s supervision, students developed the interview protocols, translated the interview script into Spanish, created a qualitative database, and worked to analyze and summarize their findings into a usable format.

What did they learn? The students found that workers are acutely aware of the hazards in their jobs, such as heavy lifting, using dull knives, and cooking with hot oil. In addition to making a real effort to manage these hazards every day, workers often have creative ideas for new ways to manage these hazards. The students were also able to report on current practices related to return-to-work after an employee is injured, and the roles of assistant managers and coworkers. Most impressively, the students developed a set of recommendations of their own.

One of the most interesting findings was that additional training in leadership and team communication might be an effective strategy to improve workplace safety. This was especially relevant because of the diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds of Dining Services staff. As Andrea Lopez explained, there is no direct Spanish translation of the word “hazard.” The closest equivalent is “peligro,” meaning “danger.” Why does this matter? Most occupational hazards are not considered immediately life-threatening, which lessens the perception of their severity. This creates an obstacle to recognizing the ability to manage hazards or report them.  A hazard, however, is something that cannot always be avoided, and needs to be managed — sometimes requiring a team effort.

So what’s next? Many of these students are now new alumni. We have no doubt that they will be able to use the professional analysis and presentation skills they learned and practiced in this course in whatever career path they choose. The benefits of this service learning project are not limited to the students, though. Professionals in Dining Services and beyond at UConn are planning on developing new safety initiatives based on the project findings and student recommendations.

Our thanks to Dining Services for supporting this student learning project, and congratulation to Henning’s PSYCH 3644 spring 2018 class. We wish you success in your next big adventure. Students today. Huskies forever.

The ESTA is here!

ESTA - Take the NEW UConn Employee Safety Training Assessment today!

The Division of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) is pleased to announce the launch of the new Employee Safety Training Assessment (ESTA). You can use this electronic tool any time to assess your current safety training needs, or the initial training needs of those you supervise.

The ESTA will help employees and their supervisors identify the safety training an employee needs to complete to perform their work safely and to ensure compliance with worker safety training requirements. At UConn, everyone’s safety is everyone’s job.

Please note, EHS training offerings and expectations have been updated recently to align with current federal, state, and university policies. At this time, it would be beneficial for all University of Connecticut employees to reassess their basic safety training requirements. This assessment does not identify follow-up training or specialized training unique to specific campus roles. These expectations will be communicated by EHS and supervisors as needed.

Q&A:

Q: What is the ESTA?

A: This is a new online form employees can fill out for themselves, or for employees they supervise or for whom they coordinate training. Based on the hazards the employee is likely to encounter in their role, it will list all of the initial safety training required in an individualized, easy to understand report. This form replaces the old Employee Safety Orientation (ESO) form. The ESO should no longer be used.

Q: Who should take the ESTA?

A: All UConn employees at Storrs and regional campuses, including part-time and student workers are welcome to participate. All new employees should take the ESTA in their first days on the job, and before performing any potentially hazardous duties.

Q: How long will it take to complete?

A: The ESTA should only take about 5-10 minutes to complete, but the experience could vary widely from person to person. The form will adapt to your responses, ensuring that you are asked the fewest number of questions necessary to identify the initial safety training required for your job tasks.

Q: How will I know I successfully submitted the ESTA?

A: After you fully complete the form and click “Submit” at the bottom of the ESTA, you will be directed to a page that congratulates you on successfully finishing the assessment. The employee, employee’s supervisor, and (if their unit has one) employee’s training coordinator will all receive two emails. The first email will confirm successful submission of the ESTA. The second email will list the training required, including hyperlinks to quickly and easily register for each training.

Q: What if I lose my email telling me what training I need to take?

A: You could ask your supervisor or training coordinator to forward you the email, as they received a copy.  Or, you can always request a copy of your ESTA results from EHS, so there’s no need to worry or retake the assessment.

Q: Who do I contact if I have questions about ESTA?

A: If you have any questions about the ESTA or EHS training, please contact Shawna Lesseur, Training and Outreach Program Manager.

EHS Safety Climate Survey 2018

 

At UConn, everyone's safety is everyone's job. Take the 2018 EHS Climate Survey today!

Your EHS team is here to promote and maintain a safe and healthful environment by ensuring the highest level of environmental health and safety services for faculty, staff, students, and visitors at the University of Connecticut. Safety is our business, and yours. At UConn, everyone’s safety is everyone’s job. No matter the campus or your role, workplace safety is a priority.

The Division of Environmental Health and Safety would like to hear from you. As a community, how well are we fulfilling our commitment to safety on campus? Please share your perceptions by participating in a brief Environmental Health and Safety Climate Survey by Friday, May 4th. The survey is anonymous and will take only about 10 minutes to complete.

Q&A:

Q: Who can respond to the survey?

A: All UConn employees, including part-time and student workers are welcome to participate.

Q: How long will the survey be open?

A: The survey officially opens today, April 17th, 2018. It will close Saturday, May 5th.

Q: Who designed the survey?

A: This Safety Climate Survey was designed by a University of Texas researcher, and it is now administered by the nationally recognized Campus Safety Health and Environment Management Association (CSHEMA).

Q: How will the data be used?

A: Your responses will help us better understand current perceptions of safety across our campus and begin to measure the extent to which safety is integrated into campus activities. Because this is a national survey, results will also help us see how we compare to other universities. All data will remain completely anonymous. This information will inform future EHS outreach and support.

If you still have questions about this survey, please contact Shawna Lesseur, Training and Outreach Program Manager, at (860) 486-1109 or at shawna.lesseur@uconn.edu.

Join the EHS Team: Occupational Health and Safety Position

Position Available Apply today to join our EHS Occupational Health and Safety team! A UConn, everyone's safety is everyone's job.

APPLICATIONS CLOSED

 

If you’re ready for a challenging, meaningful position on a supportive, client-centered team, we might be looking for you. EHS is pleased to announce that we’re hiring one new Occupational Health and Safety Specialist I or II. See below for full descriptions. If you have any questions about these postings, please contact the EHS Business Manager, Dawn Kemp.

Occupational Health and Safety Specialist I or II

(EHS Specialist UCP V or VII)

REVISED/REPOST

The Division of Environmental Health and Safety at the University of Connecticut, Storrs is seeking an Occupational Health and Safety Specialist I or II (commensurate with experience).  (Please refer below to the full job descriptions for each level).  The position reports to the Occupational Health and Safety Manager or designee providing specialty technical services for the University in the areas of industrial hygiene and environmental health and safety and is responsible for supporting, developing and implementing the occupational health and safety programs. This position will serve customers in administrative, academic and research units including Facilities Operations and Building Services, Dining Services, Motor Pool, Central Warehouse, Engineering, Agriculture, Athletics, Public Safety, Student Affairs and Fine Arts.

Representative duties will include: Program management and oversight of the following occupational health and safety programs: Hazard Communication, Personal Protective Equipment, Respiratory Protection, Silica, Lead, Asbestos, Mold and any other industrial hygiene programs that are developed. In addition, administer technical training programs in these specialty areas for University faculty and staff, as required. Conduct inspections, surveys and assessments of various work environments. Assist in the coordination of abatement actions as necessary. Review proposed construction and renovations for regulatory compliance.

Additional duties performed at the level of Specialist II:  Develop programs and training programs as necessary and as required by regulation. Manage the General Workplace Health and Safety Inspection Program. Conduct ergonomic assessments in industrial and laboratory environments. Conduct project plan reviews. Act as subject matter expert in areas of industrial hygiene and provide consultation to University faculty and staff. Respond to emergencies involving hazardous materials and direct remediation efforts.

Minimum qualifications include:  Bachelor’s degree in Occupational Health and Safety or related discipline plus one year experience in occupational health and safety or related field. Knowledge of applicable laws, regulations, nationally recognized standards and guidelines, as related to specialized environmental health and safety functions of the position. Ability to interact and effectively communicate environmental health and safety procedures to faculty, staff, and students. Ability to respond promptly in-person to all campus locations requiring environmental health and safety services, including the regional campuses. Ability to perform tasks requiring manual dexterity.

Additional minimum qualifications to be considered for Specialist II: Bachelor’s degree in Occupational Health and Safety, or related discipline, and four years’ experience in occupational health and safety discipline or related field. Knowledge of applicable laws, regulations, nationally recognized standards and guidelines relating to environmental health and safety. Demonstrated experience in recognition, evaluation, and control of environmental health and safety hazards. Excellent communication skills with the ability to interact effectively with a diverse community of University faculty, staff and students. Detail-oriented with a strong working ability with computer applications and database software. Knowledge of Microsoft Office products. Ability to respond promptly in-person to all campus locations, including the regional campuses, requiring environmental health and safety services; response may be outside of normal business hours.

Preferred Qualifications: Master’s degree in Occupational Health and Safety, or related discipline, and two years’ experience in occupational health and safety discipline or related field. Experience implementing occupational health and safety programs in industrial, machine shops, visual and performing arts, engineering and technology research and/or agricultural settings. Professional certification from an accredited organization in an environmental health and safety discipline (e.g., CIH, CSP, OHST, CHMM, CIE); or meets qualifications for certification. Demonstrated experience in delivering effective training before small and large groups. Experience conducting indoor environmental quality assessments that include air quality, lighting, and thermal conditions. Experience in conducting ergonomic assessments in office, industrial and laboratory environments. Experience in an academic research environment. Experience in regulated building material management.

Appointment Terms:  This is a full-time, permanent position with an excellent benefits package. Rank and salary are commensurate with qualifications and experience.  Salary range for the UCP 5 is in the low $50,000’s; range for the UCP 7 is mid to high $60,000’s.

To Apply: Applications must be submitted online using UConn Jobs at https://hr.uconn.edu/jobs/.  To be considered, applications must include a cover letter, resume demonstrating how the qualifications and requirements of the position are met, and contact information for three professional references.  An academic recommendation may substitute for one professional reference.

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.  Employment of the successful candidate will be contingent upon the successful completion of a pre-employment criminal background check.  (Search #2018011)

 

Job Description

Environmental Health and Safety Specialist I (UCP V)

 Occupational Health and Safety Specialist I

JOB SUMMARY

Under the direction of a Manager, organizes and provides specialty technical services for the Department of Environmental Health and Safety in Occupational Health and Safety.

CHARACTERISTIC DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

  1. Monitors University compliance with applicable regulations, codes and University policies and directives in technical specialty area through: inspection of facilities and operations, monitoring of equipment, work areas and work practices and procedures, and collection of appropriate data and records.
  2. Reviews and implements procedures for the procurement, reception and distribution of regulated hazardous materials arriving at and departing from the University, in applicable program area, as needed.
  3. Provides consultation to University staff regarding appropriate environmental health and safety procedures, controls, codes, regulations and policies regarding proposed experiments, renovations, construction or changes that might have an impact on environmental health and safety.
  4. Operates a variety of moderately complex scientific equipment for conducting occupational health and safety monitoring and testing.
  5. Conducts moderately complex surveys of University facilities and operations for existing hazardous conditions.
  6. Reviews proposed facility construction or renovations to assure regulatory compliance and maintains mandated data, records and reports.
  7. Coordinates and administers technical training programs in specialty area for University staff, as required by regulation, University policy or departmental directive.
  8. Assists in the coordination of abatement action programs with on-campus and off-campus agencies, as needed.
  9. Participates in the development of safety guidelines and related environmental health and safety communications and educational information.
  10. Investigates and submits written reports on incidents involving environmental health and safety matters.
  11. Responds to emergencies involving hazardous incidents to aid in remediation efforts on-site, as required.
  12. May supervise professional and student staff.
  13. Performs related duties as required

MINIMUM ACCEPTABLE QUALIFICATIONS

  1. Bachelor’s degree in Occupational Health and Safety or related discipline plus one year experience in occupational health and safety discipline or related field
  2. Knowledge of applicable laws, regulations, nationally recognized standards and guidelines relating to environmental health and safety
  3. Ability to interact and effectively communicate environmental health and safety procedures to faculty, staff, and students.
  4. Detail-oriented with a strong working ability with computer applications and database software; knowledge of Microsoft Office products.
  5. Ability to respond promptly in-person to all campus locations requiring environmental health and safety services, including the regional campuses. Response may be outside of normal business hours.
  6. Ability to perform tasks requiring manual dexterity.

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS

  1. Professional certification in technical discipline or meets qualifications for certification.
  2. Demonstrated experience in delivering effective training before small and large groups.
  3. Experience conducting indoor environmental quality assessments that include air quality, lighting, and thermal conditions
  4. Experience in conducting ergonomic assessments in office, industrial and laboratory environments.
  5. Experience in an academic research environment.

Environmental Health and Safety Specialist II (UCP 7)

 Occupational Health and Safety Specialist II

Job Summary

Under the direction of a Manager, organizes and provides specialty technical services for the Department of Environmental Health and Safety in Occupational Health and Safety.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  1. Monitors University compliance with applicable regulations and University policies, procedures and programs in the areas of industrial hygiene and environmental health and safety through: inspection of facilities and operations; monitoring of equipment, work areas, work practices and procedures; and collection of appropriate data and records.
  2. Participates in the development of policies, programs and procedures to ensure compliance with occupational and environmental health and safety standards and best management practices
  3. Develops and administers training programs in specialty technical area of industrial hygiene for University faculty and staff, as required by regulations, University policies, and departmental directives, including, but not limited to Hazard Communication, Personal Protective Equipment, Respiratory Protection, Asbestos, Hearing Conservation, Lead, Silica and Mold.
  4. Provide consultation to the University community on appropriate procedures, controls, regulations and programs pertaining to safe work practices, activities, equipment and conditions that could impact environmental health and safety.
  5. Develops strategy for and conduct moderately complex surveys of the University’s administrative, academic, and research facilities and operations for hazardous conditions.
  6. Operates environmental health and safety monitoring and testing equipment.
  7. Conducts inspections and incident investigations pertaining to environmental health and safety matters and compile data, develop reports, and follow up to ensure completion of recommendations.
  8. Participate in the development of safety guidelines, communications, and educational information.
  9. Review proposed facility construction or renovations to assure regulatory compliance and maintain mandated data, records and reports, as required.
  10. Respond to emergencies involving hazardous incidents to aid in remediation efforts on-site, as required.
  11. Investigates and submits written reports on incidents involving environmental health and safety matters and remediate or directs remediation efforts, as needed.
  12. Coordinates abatement action programs with regulatory and consultant agencies, as appropriate.
  13. May supervise professional and student staff
  14. Perform related duties, as required.

Minimum Qualifications: 

  1. Bachelor’s degree in Occupational Health and Safety, or related discipline, and four years’ experience in occupational health and safety discipline or related field.
  2. Knowledge of applicable laws, regulations, nationally recognized standards and guidelines relating to environmental health and safety;
  3. Demonstrated experience in recognition, evaluation, and control of environmental health and safety hazards.
  4. Excellent communication skills with the ability to interact effectively with a diverse community of University faculty, staff and students;
  5. Detail-oriented with a strong working ability with computer applications and database software; Knowledge of Microsoft Office products; and
  6. Ability to respond promptly in-person to all campus locations, including the regional campuses, requiring environmental health and safety services; response may be outside of normal business hours.

Preferred Qualifications:

  1. Master’s degree in Occupational Health and Safety, or related discipline, and two years’ experience in occupational health and safety discipline or related field.
  2. Experience implementing occupational health and safety programs in industrial, machine shops, visual and performing arts, engineering and technology research and/or agricultural settings.
  3. Professional certification from an accredited organization in an environmental health and safety discipline (e.g., CIH, CSP, OHST, CHMM, CIE); or meets qualifications for certification.
  4. Demonstrated experience in delivering effective training before small and large groups.
  5. Experience conducting indoor environmental quality assessments that include air quality, lighting, and thermal conditions
  6. Experience in conducting ergonomic assessments in office, industrial and laboratory environments
  7. Experience in an academic research environment.
  8. Experience in regulated building material management.

 

APPLICATIONS CLOSED

Apply Today: Applications must be submitted online using UConn Jobs at https://hr.uconn.edu/jobs/.  To be considered, applications must include a cover letter, resume demonstrating how the qualifications and requirements of the position are met, and contact information for three professional references.  An academic recommendation may substitute for one professional reference.

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.  Employment of the successful candidate will be contingent upon the successful completion of a pre-employment criminal background check.  (Search #2018011)