Environmental Health and Safety Policy for Facilities Management and Campus Services

Original Policy Source Facilities Management and Campus Services
Policy Approval Authority President
Responsible Division Division of Administration and Finance
Responsible University Office Environmental Health and Safety
Primary Audience Staff
Status Active
Effective Adoption Date 04-28-2017
Policy Category/Categories Facilities / Real Estate


The health and safety of our staff and the protection of the environment are integrated into the values that constitute our Operating Philosophy. Sustaining such values requires interdisciplinary collaboration and shared responsibility amongst all departments therein. This policy serves as the foundation for the development of a safety and health management system. This system contains the following key program elements:

  • Management leadership and commitment;
  • Worker participation;
  • Hazard identification and assessment;
  • Hazard prevention and control;
  • Education and training;
  • Program evaluation and improvement.

This system is designed to provide staff with a sound, flexible framework for addressing safety and health issues in the workplace. The Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) Department will facilitate this system through the shared governance process.

Scope and Audience

This policy applies to all Facilities Management and Campus Services (FMCS) staff (union/non-union, full-time, extra-help and students) as well as contractors (and subcontractors) and visitors that support FMCS operations.


The Associate Vice President (AVP) of FMCS has the authority to administer this policy. The AVP delegates responsibility for implementation and enforcement to the respective leadership of each department.


Staff have the duty to engage in safe practices and behaviors for compliance with the following regulatory authorities which include, but are not limited to:

  • Illinois Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
  • Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal (OSFM)
  • Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH)
  • DeKalb County Health Department (DCHD)
  • Illinois Department of Transportation (DOT)
  • Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)
  • Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDA)
  • City and County of DeKalb and applicable drainage districts
  • Illinois Capital Development Board (CDB)

Ensuring the successful implementation of this policy requires a commitment to safety and health and protection of the environment as a core value from all levels within FMCS. This requires active participation from all staff which includes:

  • Maintaining active situational awareness by being aware of potential hazards and unsafe conditions in the surrounding environment;
    Taking steps to minimize (and eliminate where possible) such hazards and potential unsafe conditions;
  • Maintaining personal accountability for responsible environmental stewardship and engaging in safe behaviors and practices;
    Actively participating and completing required safety training;
  • Reporting potential violations and unsafe conditions through the respective chain of command and/or to other staff who may be impacted;
  • Adopting and implementing applicable safety, health and environmental programs developed by EH&S;
  • Promoting and encouraging sustainability through efficient and appropriate use of resources;
  • Recommending improvements to support environmental health and safety activities and participating in these efforts;
  • Being prepared for emergencies that may occur on campus;
  • Requiring those who do business with FMCS to perform their work in a manner consistent with provisions outlined in this policy.

Roles and Responsibilities of FMCS Units

Department Leadership

Department leadership has the responsibility of ensuring operations therein are compliant with this policy. Specific responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring operations therein are code compliant;
  • Establishing, promoting, and maintaining a culture of safety within the department;
  • Implementing programs and procedures specific to respective operations as needed;
  • Responding to and facilitating the abatement of citations, deficiencies or hazards identified during safety and health inspections;
  • Seeking guidance as needed from the EH&S Department.

Supervisors and Foremen

Supervisors and foremen have the responsibility for implementing and enforcing safety policies and procedures. Specific responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring employees are provided with:
    • Safety policies and procedures specific to the respective operation;
    • Safety training;
    • Proper tools, equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE) to carry out duties safely;
  • Accessing and using resources (i.e. written safety programs, PPE hazard assessment form, job hazard analysis (JHA) form, permits, inspection checklists, etc.) developed by EH&S to implement respective safety and health programs;
  • Maintaining documentation (i.e. training records, permits, inspection reports, hazard assessment, equipment records, etc.) for review during audits and regulatory inspections;
  • Ensuring that assigned tools and equipment are properly inspected, tested and maintained;
  • Ensuring that various life safety systems (i.e. fire alarm systems, gas detection systems, fume hood systems, emergency generators, etc.) within the purview of the assigned department are properly inspected, tested and maintained.
  • Responding to and facilitating the abatement of citations, deficiencies or hazards identified during safety and environmental inspections;
  • Seeking guidance as needed from the EH&S Department.


Employees are responsible for complying with this policy and applicable programs and procedures specific to their respective operations. Additional responsibilities are listed in the “Application” section of this policy.

Contractors (Subcontractors) and Visitors

All contractors and subcontractors who perform any service on NIU property are required to follow applicable local, state and federal regulatory statutes as well as the campus contractor safety program which is a mandated reference to this policy. See additional information on specific contractor safety requirements.

Environmental Health and Safety

  • Generally speaking, the EH&S Department is responsible for providing technical expertise and compliance guidance to assist FMCS units comply with this policy. Specific duties and responsibilities include:
  • Develop a variety of tools, resources and program documents (i.e. draft policies, guidance programs and procedures, educational materials, training modules, inspection templates, etc.) which are available at the Department of Environmental Health and Safety;
  • Serve as the university representative during local, state and federal regulatory inspections;
  • Provide effective safety training and education programs;
  • Respond to campus emergencies (i.e. fires, spills, environmental releases, etc.);
  • Respond to mold/indoor air quality complaints;
  • Perform office ergonomic assessments;
  • Participate and support various safety committee actions and initiatives;
  • Develop and maintain various safety and health programs (i.e. program development, annual review, auditing and training).
  • Examples of such programs include, but are not limited to:
    • Occupational Safety and Health Environmental Management
    • Aerial work platforms Asbestos management plan
    • Accident prevention Hazardous waste
    • Bloodborne pathogens Hazardous materials (shipping/trans)
    • Confined space entry Spill pollution control
    • Contractor safety Storm water management
    • Fall protection Title 5 clean air act permitting
    • Fire and life safety Underground storage tanks
    • Food safety and sanitation
    • Forklift safety
    • Hazard communication
    • Hearing Conservation
    • Hot work
    • Industrial hygiene
    • Lockout/tagout
    • Personal protective equipment
    • Respiratory protection
    • Scaffolds and ladders
  • Administer the campus pest control program to manage pests, insects and vermin populations in campus buildings;
  • Identify potentially hazardous conditions and unsafe practices through regular inspection and audit programs;
  • Facilitate the inspection, testing and maintenance of fire suppression systems (i.e. sprinklers, standpipes, extinguishers and special hazard suppression systems) and fall protection equipment;
  • Provide hazard assessments to assist project managers comply with applicable safety and health requirements during the capital improvement process;
  • Provide daily forecasts and severe weather announcements to assist the university community prepare for severe weather events;
  • Collaborate with faculty and students in the development of various safety and health projects to promote student career success.
  • Submit annual reports to state and federal agencies in accordance with applicable regulatory requirements.
  • Collaborate with various local, state and federal regulatory authorities on various emergency preparedness initiatives.

Compliance Management

Compliance with this policy and associated programs/procedures is a shared responsibility amongst all employees in FMCS. However, department leadership and supervisors/foremen play an important role by implementing and enforcing (as needed) provisions outlined in this and other applicable institutional policies.

All employees have the duty and authority to take action upon immediately identifying any the following conditions.

  • Unsafe conditions/behaviors that may pose an immediate danger to the health, safety, or welfare of persons or property;
  • Serious and/or repeated violations of institutional requirements or standards; or
  • Clear or threatened violation of laws or regulations.

Such actions may include: mitigating the condition in the field with the appropriate persons involved, notifying the supervisor, and notifying the department safety committee so the safety committee can evaluate further as needed to prevent re-occurrence.

The EH&S Department will monitor the compliance process as a means to evaluate the effectiveness and quality of the department-specific safety and health programs. Tools used may include the following:

  • Conducting department and/or program-specific audits;
  • Conducting building inspections to inspect, sample, test or monitor conditions;
  • Evaluating first reports of injury and injury/illness data;
  • Performing incident investigations to determine the root cause of incidents and near-misses;
  • Conducting safety behavior/attitude surveys.

The EH&S Department will provide results to the AVP of FMCS and department leadership so that department leadership can address identified areas of improvement.

Contact Us

Policy Library

Back to top