Policy Number: 88
Building Pathways Use
I. POLICY AND GENERAL STATEMENT
It is the policy of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston ("university") that building pathways, including, but not limited to, corridors and stairways, remain unobstructed. No objects may be placed in building stairwells. Any objects placed in building corridors must meet certain clearance requirements to ensure free passage in the event of an emergency.
Guidelines for this policy describe specific situations when it is permissible to locate objects in a building corridor.
Responsible Parties: The implementation of this policy is incumbent upon all members of the university community including students, trainees, faculty, staff and vendors. Several elements of the university have specific responsibilities as follows: Facilities, Planning, and Engineering (FPE) is responsible for the overall safe operation and maintenance of university buildings. FPE collaborates with Capital Assets Management (CAM) to ensure the prompt removal of items designated for surplus.
Deans, Department Chairs, and DMO’s are responsible for ensuring compliance with this policy as it applies to space they may occupy and or direct, and assets for which they are responsible. These individuals are also responsible for ensuring that personnel under their supervision are aware of and understand the corridor policy and how it applies to their area.
Principal Investigators (PI) are responsible for ensuring compliance with this policy as it applies to equipment and laboratory areas they may occupy or direct. The investigators are to ensure laboratory personnel are aware of and understand the corridor policy and how it applies to their area. Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) is responsible for conducting periodic inspections of university corridors to monitor for conditions that may require corrective action. EH&S is empowered to take immediate actions to bring about the removal of items that could prevent safe entry and egress. EH&S is also responsible for providing additional guidance or interpretation of the provisions of this policy. Although every attempt has been made to identify and explain the various requirements associated with the safe utilization of university building corridors, some unique situations may arise that are not addressed here. EH&S will review and provide clarification of such situations as needed.
A. Requesting Approval of Temporary Placement of Objects in Pathways
Individuals wishing to place an item in a common space or hallway should first contact Environmental Health & Safety at 713.500.8100 so that the specific situation can be evaluated. Established guidelines will be used as the basis for this assessment. If the item can be placed in a manner that is conducive to the guidelines, EH&S will tag the item with a label, indicating its review and approval of its placement. Included in the label are the conditions associated with the placement of the item and a date for periodic re-assessment.
Items located in public spaces or hallways not bearing EH&S approval labels are subjected to immediate removal.
B. Response to Non-Compliance
1. If during a routine evaluation or inspection, EH&S or other responsible party observes a physical safety hazard in a pathway, the observer will advise the responsible department authority verbally of the need to remove the object. If the observer determines the situation to be one of imminent danger, he or she will advise department management that departmental operations will be halted until the situation is resolved. EH&S will advise the department how to conduct the operation safely, and will facilitate resolution of the issue. If departmental employees take immediate steps to correct the discrepancy, no further response will be requested. If after 10 days of the initial identification of an obstruction is noted, the hazard is not mitigated, then EH&S will issue a written summary of the findings and recommendations including corrections and send it to the responsible department with a copy to FPE. The offending department which owns the item will be requested to take correction action within 7 days. The responsible party must advise EH&S of resolution of the problem with a verbal, e-mail, or written response. (Imminent danger situations must be corrected immediately and are addressed in other areas of the Guidelines.)
2. If a second observation reveals that the same policy violation remains, EH&S will send a written notification to the person in charge of the area, such as the Department Chair, and the Vice President of FPE. The responsible party must, in turn, submit a written response, including specific steps taken to ensure correction, to EH&S within 5 working days. The violation will also be presented to the Safety Council for review.
3. If, within 5 days of the second documented notification, the hazard is not mitigated in some way, EH&S will provide the school Dean and Vice President of FPE with a written account of the situation, with a copy forwarded to the Chief Legal Officer. At this point, the item or items will be removed by FPE.
4. Continued or persistent violation of the hallway clearance policy will result in discipline action as described in HOOP. The basis for the disciplinary action will be failure to comply with university policy.
|Environmental Health and Safety||713-500-8100||http://www.uth.tmc.edu/safety/index.html|