The University of Memphis

Occupational Safety and Health Program


Issued: September 16, 2015
Responsible Official: President
Responsible Office: Vice President for Business and Finance

Policy Statement

Policy Statement

An Occupational Safety and Health Program is hereby established in accordance with policy guidelines set forth by the Tennessee Board of Regents. This program is intended to ensure that all University employees are furnished with a place of employment that is free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious injury or harm. In addition, this program will promote a safe and healthful working environment for all University employees.  Occupational Safety and Health Standards for the State of Tennessee are adopted as the minimum safety and health standards for the University of Memphis.

Administrative officials, department chairs, and directors are responsible for ensuring compliance with this policy.

The Vice President for Business and Finance shall be responsible for the development and publication of procedures necessary to administer the Occupational Safety and Health Program.


 The Federal Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 was enacted to improve the general working environment and to provide, as far as possible, every working person in the nation safe and healthful working conditions. This Act provided an opportunity for the various states to develop their own Occupational Safety and Health Programs. In Tennessee, this was accomplished by the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1972.

The primary objective of the University of Memphis Occupational Safety and Health Program is to promote a safe and healthful working environment for all University employees. This is accomplished by integrating an effective safety and health program into the normal operation of campus activities. A vigorous program of education and evaluation shall be undertaken to, so far as possible, identify and eliminate conditions or actions that create an unsafe environment. The effectiveness of this program will depend largely upon the cooperation and active participation of the people it protects and serves.

Occupational Safety and Health Standards for the State of Tennessee and the State University and Community College System of Tennessee are adopted as the minimum Occupational Safety and Health Standards for the University of Memphis. In keeping with these standards, employees shall receive notification of their rights and duties through the State of Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Poster. Employees shall be entitled to review the annual safety and health reports and to protest any portions deemed to be inaccurate or which fail to portray real and existing conditions.


Related Forms


Duties and Responsibilities


The following general duties and responsibilities are not designed in any way to alter or detract from other assigned duties and responsibilities. Additional responsibilities are as listed under various subsections of this procedure.

1.  The Director of Environmental Health and Safety shall monitor and provide administrative guidance for the overall safety program.

2.  Administrative officials, chairs, and directors of activities shall:

  • Provide a positive reference concerning the importance of the total safety program through individual interest, enthusiasm, concern, and support;
  • Ensure that employees comply with Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Standards as related to their areas of responsibility;
  • Assess risks within their respective areas of responsibility;
  • Ensure identification of hazardous operations within their areas of responsibility;
  • Ensure that employees are informed of conditions that could result in their exposure to radiation, toxic materials or other hazardous situations in the performance of assigned jobs;
  • Establish an in-house training program to instruct employees in safety regulations and avoidance of unsafe conditions as applicable to their individual work environments. Training shall include instruction in the safe handling and use of equipment, materials, and personal protective measures required for employees who handle or use flammable liquids, gases, caustics, toxic materials, ionizing radiation, or other harmful agents. Training shall also be provided for employees who must enter permit-required confined spaces, who maintain or service machines or equipment where the employee may be exposed to the unexpected energization or startup of the equipment or release of hazardous energy, or who may be exposed to potentially infectious agents; and
  • Acquire, maintain, and require the use of safety equipment, personal protective equipment, and other safety devices as needed.

3.  Supervisors, residence hall advisors, and Director of Residence Life shall:

  • Ensure that employees follow safe work practices and procedures and comply with applicable Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Act standards in all phases of their work;
  • Assess risks within their respective areas of responsibility;
  • Initiate and follow-up on action to eliminate hazards and/or unsafe conditions within their individual areas of responsibility;
  • Ensure that appropriate personal protective equipment is worn in all operations where exposure to hazardous conditions exists;
  • Ensure that assigned employees receive documented training in job safety and that safety practices are part of employee performance evaluations;
  • Notify Human Resources immediately of any occupational-related injury or illness, by using the First Report of Accident Form; and
  • Report imminent danger conditions or practices to department or activity head and Environmental Health and Safety.  Imminent dangers are those conditions or practices that can reasonably be expected to cause serious physical harm or death before such danger can be eliminated through normal procedures.

4.   Employees shall:

  • Comply with rules, regulations, and instructions pursuant to occupational safety and health standards that are applicable to their own actions and job performance. An employee who fails to wear or use the prescribed safety or health equipment or who carries out duties in a way that is a hazard to him/herself, fellow workers, or the public, or who conducts tasks such that equipment or material may be damaged, is subject to dismissal after appropriate warning;
  • Attend safety training sessions, both formal and informal, as scheduled and familiarize themselves with occupational safety and health standards related to conditions and practices in their particular work areas;
  • Advise less-experienced workers concerning safe performance practices;
  • Report unsafe conditions and practices to their immediate supervisor. This should normally be sufficient to initiate positive corrective action. If the unsafe conditions or practices are not corrected within a reasonable period, the complaint should be reported to the Environmental Health and Safety Office. If this does not result in resolution of the complaint, the employee may submit the complaint to the President via the Vice President for Business and Finance. If the complaint is not resolved at this level, the employee may submit the complaint to the Chancellor for consideration. If the complaint is not resolved by the Board of Regents, the employee has further appeal rights as described in the Occupational Safety and Health Public Sector Plan of the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development;
  • Serve on Department/Activity safety committee and assist in formulating safety guidelines and rules within their areas of expertise upon request;
  • Stop associated work activities when an imminent danger exists.


Biological Safety

To ensure compliance with occupational safety and health standards and other regulations covering personnel possessing or using biological agents, the University of Memphis has established a Biological Safety Committee. The purpose of this committee shall be to administer the development and implementation of the biological safety program for the University.  The "Biological Safety Program" developed by this Committee shall serve as the University's procedure regarding the possession, storage, and use of biological agents. Copies of this program are available in the Environmental Health and Safety Office.

Departments with employees who are reasonably anticipated to have contact with human blood or other potentially infectious materials shall develop and implement an exposure control plan containing at least the elements required by 29 CFR 1910.1030. These plans shall be reviewed and updated at least annually, but more frequently as necessary. Signed and dated copies of the plans shall be on file in the Environmental Health and Safety Office.

The following units will provide administrative support for this program as listed.

1.  The Department of Human Resources will be responsible for

  • Maintaining employee medical records for the period of employment plus 30 years;
  • Providing copies of medical records to employees, or to anyone having written consent of employees, or in the event that such records cannot be reasonably provided within fifteen (15) working days, inform employees within the fifteen (15) working days of the reason for the delay and the earliest date when the records can be made available;
  • Tracking employee's reported exposure incidents of blood or other potentially infectious material;
  • Receiving and maintaining employee's hepatitis B vaccine (HBV) declination forms; and
  • Ensuring employees receive a copy of the health care provider's written opinion within 15 days after completion of the evaluation.

2.  The Environmental Health and Safety Office will be responsible for:

  • Recording appropriate events in the OSHA 300 log,
  • Receiving and investigating accident reports, 
  • Maintaining a sharps injury log as prescribed in 29CFR 1910.1030,
  • Providing guidance in developing departmental exposure control plans, and
  • Providing administrative support for this program. 

Confined Spaces

Department/Activity heads shall decide if any spaces within their areas of responsibility are confined spaces that contain or have the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere, contain a material that has the potential to engulf an entrant, has an internal shape such that an entrant could be trapped or asphyxiated by inwardly converging walls or by a floor that slopes downward and tapers to a smaller cross-section, or contains any other recognized safety or health hazard.  Any area meeting the above criteria shall be classified as a permit-required confined space.

Employees entering permit-required confined spaces shall be provided with proper safety equipment and training on the nature of the hazards involved, the precautions to be taken, and the usage of required protective and emergency equipment. In addition, affected departments shall assure that a permit-required confined space program is developed and implemented according to 29 CFR 1910.146 and 29 CFR 1926.1201-1212. Environmental Health and Safety will assist in development of these programs.

Contractor Compliance

Contracting firms performing work on University property shall comply with applicable occupational safety and health standards. The contractors shall provide fire extinguishers if they are required by their work. Physical Plant shall work with the Tennessee Board of Regents to promote compliance by firms performing construction, renovation, and other building and grounds repair/maintenance work. Procurement Services and applicable department/activity heads shall promote compliance by firms performing other types of contractual services.

Department/Activity Safety Committee

Departments and other activity units, especially those of considerable size and/or well-diversified working conditions, are encouraged to establish internal safety committees. The primary interest and concern of these committees should be the promotion of safe practices and procedures in the respective work areas and the positive support of the total University safety program.

Emergency Exit Identification and Access

No more than ninety (90) minutes before the scheduled commencement of indoor campus activity in which the crowd is expected to exceed three hundred (300), the administrative official, chair, or the director of activity responsible for said activity or his/her designee shall inspect every required exit, way of approach, and way of departure from the place of activity. If such inspection reveals that any means of egress is obstructed, inaccessible, locked, fastened or otherwise unsuited for immediate use, the scheduled program shall not begin, nor shall admittance to the place of assembly be allowed, until necessary corrective action has been completed.

Immediately before the start of the program, the administrative official, chair or director of activity or his/her designee shall orally notify all the attendees concerning the location of exits to be used in case of fire or other emergencies.

Accurate records of all inspections, corrections, and notifications pursuant to this procedure shall be kept and retained for at least two years. These records shall contain:

  • A brief description of the activity, performance (e.g., basketball game, movie, etc.), including date, time, and location;
  • The name and signature of the person or persons making the inspections or exit announcements; and
  • The date and time of inspections/announcements.

These records shall be available for review by representatives of Environmental Health and Safety or other appropriate University official(s) upon request.

Fire Prevention and Safety

All fires within the University community shall be reported to Police Services (901-678-4357); Police Services will ensure that copies of such reports are forwarded to Environmental Health and Safety.

In case of a fire or a fire alarm, all personnel in the building shall evacuate the building.  Personnel must remain outside the building until the fire department gives permission for reentry to the building. Any employee who fails to evacuate a building during a fire, false fire alarm, or fire drill shall be subject to disciplinary action.

Persons noting potential fire hazards should report the circumstances to Environmental Health and Safety for investigation and recommendation of corrective action.

Fire safety equipment, such as extinguishers and alarm systems shall be used for designed purposes only.

Empty or damaged fire extinguishers should be reported to Environmental Health and Safety for immediate replacement.

Exhaust hoods over cooking facilities shall be maintained in satisfactory condition by the facility operator.

Environmental Health and Safety shall ensure that fire drills are conducted in each building at least annually, but more frequently when required by applicable fire code.  Records of these fire drills shall be maintained by Environmental Health and Safety.

Supervisors and classroom/laboratory instructors shall ensure that good housekeeping procedures are always followed and shall initiate immediate action to alleviate fire hazards or other conditions not meeting fire prevention standards.

If it is necessary to turn off or disconnect a fire water line, sprinkler system, standpipe system, fire hydrant, or fire alarm system, it shall be the responsibility of Physical Plant to notify the appropriate fire department and Police Services prior to such action. It shall also be the responsibility of Physical Plant to notify the fire department and Police Services after returning such systems to service.  When a required fire protection system is out of service for more than 4 hours during a 24 hour period, the fire department shall be notified, and either the building evaculated or an approved fire watch posted until the system is returned to service. 

General Safety and Housekeeping

Good housekeeping and adherence to good safety practices play an important role in organizational efficiency and safety.  The following items are worthy of particular attention:

  • All classrooms, laboratories, offices, shops, storerooms, and passageways shall be kept orderly and free from unnecessary debris.
  • Flammable liquids shall not be used to clean floors, clothing or equipment.
  • Work tables, stools, benches, tools and equipment shall be maintained in good repair.
  • Electrical and mechanical equipment shall have moving parts adequately guarded.
  • All electrical equipment shall be properly grounded.
  • Electrical cords shall not be spliced or connected together to increase length, extended and used outside the room in which the outlet is located, more than eight (8) feet in length for household type appliances, or ungrounded when in use.
  • Electrical extension cords shall not be used in the place of a permanent electrical connection. 
  • Unauthorized persons shall not tamper with electrical fuse boxes, alter existing wiring, or install new electrical wiring.
  • Installation of antennas must be approved by the assistant vice president of Physical Plant.
  • Installation of vending machines must be approved by the director of Auxiliary Services.
  • Floors shall be cleaned and waxed to reduce slipping hazards.
  • Trash containers in offices, laboratories, shops, and other work areas shall be emptied regularly.
  • Furnace, mechanical, and air handling rooms shall not be used as storage areas.  
  • All fire doors not interlocked with the building alarm system shall remain closed when not in use.  Such doors shall not be propped, wedged, or locked open.

Those with direct responsibility for any of the above items, including Physical Plant employees, classroom/laboratory instructors, and other University personnel, are expected to exercise appropriate vigilance so as to maintain a safe and healthful workplace.

Hazard Communication Program

The University of Memphis, through this Hazard Communication Program and other means, is committed to informing its employees of the dangers associated with hazardous chemicals used by the University and to complying with all applicable provisions of the Tennessee Hazardous Chemical Right-to-Know Law

This program applies to all employees who may be exposed to hazardous chemicals under normal conditions of use or in a foreseeable emergency. 

Where employees work with hazardous chemicals in laboratories as defined in 29 CFR 1910.1450, this program is superseded by the Laboratory Chemical Hygiene Program. However, laboratories that ship hazardous chemicals off-site are considered to be either a chemical manufacturer or distributor; such laboratories shall ensure that all shipped chemicals are appropriately labeled and that a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) is provided as required in 29 CFR 1910.1200.

Each department that uses, stores, and/or creates hazardous chemicals shall maintain an up-to-date inventory of such items. Departments shall make inventories accessible to employees and shall provide the Environmental Health and Safety Office (EH&S) with updated copies of such inventories at least annually and upon making significant changes in quantities or types of hazards present. Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) will be used to evaluate whether supplied chemicals are hazardous. Where departments cannot decide if materials are hazardous based on the SDS, EH&S will assist in such determinations.

Chemicals produced on-site shall be evaluated to determine the hazard classes and, where appropriate, the category of each class applicable to the chemicals. 

A chemical is a hazardous chemical if it is classified as a physical hazard, health hazard, simple asphyxiant, combustible dust, pyrophoric gas, or hazard not otherwise classified when evaluated using criteria established in 29 CFR 1910.1200. Until fully evaluated and determined to be non-hazardous, new chemicals shall be considered hazardous and appropriate precautions taken to protect personnel and facilities.

EH&S is responsible for maintaining a master list of all hazardous materials used, stored, or created by University personnel or held at University facilities. For departments not using Chematix to maintain inventories, EH&S is also responsible for providing such departments with an annual printout of the department's hazardous materials inventory based on inventories reported by the departments. Departments using Chematix are responsible for making inventories available to employees in their departments.

Employees shall be notified of their rights under the Right-To-Know Law through posting of the "State of Tennessee Employee Safety and Health Notice" and through New Employee Orientation.  Human Resources shall be responsible for making this information available to employees.

EH&S is responsible for the communication and implementation of the following requirements of the program:


1. Labels and Other Forms of Warning

Upon receipt, personnel within the receiving location shall inspect labels and other forms of warning for each incoming hazardous chemical to assure that each container is marked with the identity of the hazardous chemical(s) contained therein, appropriate hazard warnings, and the name and address of the chemical manufacturer, importer, or other responsible party. In addition, departmental supervisors shall assure that such labels are not removed or defaced unless the container is immediately marked with the required information. Hazardous chemicals transferred to portable containers that will be used by anyone other than the person transferring such material, or will be for other than immediate use, shall be marked with the identity of the hazardous chemical(s) and appropriate hazard warnings. Buildings containing 55 gallons or 500 pounds or more of a hazardous material will be placarded according to the Tennessee Hazardous Chemical Right-To-Know Law.

2.  Safety Data Sheets (SDSs)

Procurement and Contract Services shall require suppliers to provide the Environmental Health and Safety Office with a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for each initial shipment of hazardous chemicals. EH&S shall maintain a master file of these SDS and make copies available to appropriate departments. Affected departments shall maintain readily accessible files of SDS for use by employees. Where hazardous chemicals are obtained outside the purchasing system, departments shall assure that SDSs are obtained and that EH&S is supplied with a legible copy of such. An SDS shall be made available to employees prior to use of any new hazardous chemical.  For hazardous chemicals produced at the University, an SDS may be issued or developed to satisfy the physical and health hazard communication requirements. All incoming SDS will be checked for accuracy and any discrepancies reported to the supplier for correction.

3.  Employee Information and Training

Affected departments shall provide information and training to all employees at the time of initial assignment. Departments shall provide additional information and training whenever new hazards are introduced into a work area, but shall provide retraining at least annually.

Employees shall be informed of the information and training requirements of the Tennessee Hazardous Chemical Right-To-Know Law, any operations in their work area where hazardous chemicals are present, and the location and availability of this hazard communication program, including inventories and SDSs.

Employees shall be trained on methods and observations that may be used to detect the presence or release of a hazardous chemical; physical and health hazards of chemicals in the work area; measures employees can take to protect themselves from these hazards; and details of this program, including labeling systems, SDSs and how to obtain and use appropriate hazard information. If training this is provided by a University department, then employee training records shall be maintained by that department, with a copy to the home department of the trained employee(s); if training is provided by an external entity, then the home department of the trained employee(s) shall maintain the training records.

4.   Methods Used to Inform Employees of the Hazards of Non-Routine Tasks.

Departments shall ensure that employees involved in non-routine tasks (such as tank cleaning and maintenance) are informed of the hazards involved and trained at specific training sessions to ensure awareness of required information.

5.  Methods Used to Inform Contractor Employees

Contractors who may be exposed to hazardous chemicals shall be informed both verbally and by means of an information sheet as to hazards involved before any work is accomplished. The department obtaining the services of the contractor shall be responsible for notifying the contractor employees.

Construction-Related CommunicationAll renovations, construction projects, and maintenance operations with the potential to release more than de minimis amounts gases, vapors, fumes, dusts, or mists that may be harmful to personnel not directly involved in those projects shall include implementation of a standard operating procedure (SOP) designed to eliminate or reasonably minimize such exposure.  Prior to initiating such work, a representative of the party or parties performing the renovation, construction, or maintenance operation shall inform non-involved persons in the vicinity of the work to be done and the methods implemented to minimize those hazards.  Non-involved personnel shall also be provided with the name of a contact person and phone number to allow rapid notification of emergency situations.  Where there is a dispute involving applicability of the de minimis classification to specific situations, Environmental Health and Safety shall be the arbiter. 

Standard operating procedures should contain at least the following: 

  • Provisions for notifying building occupants prior to beginning of work
  • Provisions for increasing outside air in appropriate areas to dilute gases, vapors, fumes, dusts, or mist
  • Provisions for placing work areas at negative pressure with respect to areas frequented by those not involved in the operation
  • Provisions for shutting down air handlers when necessary
  • Provisions for performing work with especially noxious or hazardous chemicals at night or on weekends
  • Methods for maintaining communications with building occupants during the project 

Personnel not involved in the renovation, construction, and maintenance operations shall be granted access to the SOP and shall be provided with copies of all applicable Material Safety Data Sheets in a timely manner upon request to the project supervisor. 

Examples of de mimimis and excessive amounts of air contaminants: 

The following examples indicate de mimimis amounts of air contaminants for personnel not involved in the project: drilling a small number of holes in non-hazardous construction materials, soldering a small section of pipe, using a spray cleaner to dust furnishings, etc.  

The following are considered to release more than de minimis quantities of air contaminants:  major roof repairs, painting of significant portions of rooms, power sanding a surface of more than 3 square feet, hand sanding entire wall surfaces containing silica, etc.


The primary safety compliance inspection program shall be conducted by the Environmental Health and Safety Office. The frequency of the inspections shall be determined by the nature of operations, with those operations involving the greater potential hazards receiving greater emphasis. All locations, regardless of potential hazards, shall be inspected by the department head or his/her designee at least monthly and by the Environmental Health and Safety at least annually.

Representatives of the Tennessee State Commissioners of Labor and Health and the Tennessee Board of Regents upon  presentation of proper credentials to the Vice President for Business and Finance or his/her designated representative, are authorized to:

  • Enter any University work place or area where work is being performed by an employee; and
  • Inspect and investigate during regular working hours or at other reasonable times, within reasonable limits, and in a reasonable manner, any such work place and the equipment and materials therein and to privately question employees concerning the same.

Both University and employee representatives shall have an opportunity to accompany the designated officials or inspectors during any physical inspection of University property.

Laboratory Chemical Hygiene Program

To assure compliance with occupational safety and health standards covering employees engaged in the laboratory use of hazardous chemicals as defined in 29 CFR 1910.1450, the University of Memphis has established a Chemical Hygiene Committee. The purpose of this Committee shall be to administer the development and implementation of the chemical hygiene program for the University. The "Laboratory Chemical Hygiene Program" developed by this Committee shall serve as the University's procedure regarding the possession, storage, and use of hazardous chemicals in laboratories. Copies of this program are available in the Environmental Health and Safety Officer and in any department using hazardous chemicals in laboratories.

Lock Out/Tag Out Safety Program

Departments with employees who maintain or service devices where there may be exposure to the unexpected energization or startup of the equipment or release of hazardous energy shall provide training on recognition of applicable hazardous energy sources, the type and magnitude of energy available in the workplace, the methods and means necessary for energy isolation and control, and the purpose and use of energy control procedures. In addition, all other employees whose work operations are or may be in areas where energy control procedures may be utilized shall be instructed about the procedures and prohibited from attempts to restart to re-energize equipment that has been locked out or tagged out. Environmental Health and Safety will assist in development of these programs.

Retraining shall be provided for all affected employees whenever there is a change in their job assignments, a change in machines, equipment or processes that presents new hazards, when there is a change in energy control procedures, or when there is reason to believe that there are deviations from or inadequacies in the knowledge or use of the energy control procedures.

Medical and First Aid

Medical Services

Employees who are injured on the job should utilize the services of an authorized medical services provider from the state workers' compensation preferred provider network. Additional information on this subject is found in University Operating Procedure 2A:12:03A.

First Aid

1.  Department/Activity Heads shall be responsible for ensuring the following:

  • Physical Plant shall have at least one (1) person assigned to each shift who is qualified to administer first aid. Other department/activity heads are encouraged to follow this requirement where risk of injury is significant.
  • First aid supplies meeting or exceeding requirements found in American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Standard Z308.1 shall be readily available in each area where risk of injury is significant.
  • Suitable facilities shall be immediately available for flushing or quick drenching of the eyes and body in areas where the eyes or body of any person may be exposed to injurious corrosive materials.

2.  The Director of Police Services shall prepare shift schedules to ensure that at least one (1) person qualified to administer first aid is always assigned to the Main, Park Avenue, Lambuth, and Law School campuses.

Noise Exposure

Departments with employees who are subjected to occupational noise exposure in excess of the limits set forth in 29 CFR 1910.95 shall implement a "Hearing Conservation Program" and an "Audiometric Testing Program" as required in that regulation. Employees covered under this requirement shall be provided with protection against the effects of noise exposure.

Radiation Safety

The University of Memphis operates under regulations established by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation--Division of Radiological Health, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.  To insure compliance with all regulations regarding the use of radioactive materials and/or radiation-producing equipment, the Radiation Safety Committee has been established. The purpose of this Committee shall be to administer the radiation safety program for The University of Memphis.  This committee has developed The University of Memphis "Radiation Safety Manual" and a Laser Safety Program which shall serve as the University's procedures regarding the use of ionizing radiation and laser radiation.  Copies of these manuals are available for review in the Environmental Health and Safety Office or in any department that has radioactive materials, radiation-producing equipment, or Class 3B or Class 4 lasers.

Respirator Program

Where engineering controls and work practices are not sufficient to effectively reduce occupational exposure to harmful dusts, fogs, fumes, mists, gases, smokes, sprays, or vapors, respirators shall be used in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.134.  This OSHA standard addresses required training, medical examinations, respirator selection and fit testing, and respirator maintenance and care.  Affected departments shall develop and implement a written respiratory protection program conforming to requirements of 29 CFR 1910.134 prior to allowing employee use of respirators.  No employee shall be authorized to use a respirator without compliance with the OSHA standard and the written respiratory protection program.

Reporting of Accidents Involving Vehicles

All vehicle accidents on campus and those involving University-owned vehicles shall be reported to Police Services at 678-4357. Police Services shall notify other offices or officials as appropriate.

Reporting of Injuries and Illnesses

Injuries and illnesses of employees that result from work-related accidents and/or exposure to unsafe environmental conditions shall be reported by the employee and his/her supervisor to the Workplace Injury and First Notice of Loss Call Center at 1-866-245-8588.

In addition, the "First Report of Injury or Illness" form shall be used internally to document injuries and illnesses of employees. The supervisor of an injured/ill employee shall complete the appropriate sections of the form and forward the completed form to Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) within 24 hours of the occurance of the injury or illness. EH&S shall ensure expeditious completion of Part V of the form in all cases of reported occupational injury or illness.  

Accidents involving students and visitors should be reported to Police Services, who shall notify EH&S. 


Storage and Use of Flammable and Combustible Liquids

Department/activity heads and other supervisors (including class and laboratory instructors) shall ensure compliance with the following rules related to use and storage of flammable liquids (flashpoints below 100º F) and combustible liquids (flashpoints below 200º F but at or above 100º F).

Use of flammable and combustible liquids shall be limited to trained personnel, or persons under the direct supervision of a trained individual, such as a laboratory instructor or a qualified faculty member.

Storage of flammable and combustible liquids in buildings used primarily for office occupancy and/or traditional education operations shall be limited to that required for the operation of equipment, maintenance, demonstrations, laboratory work, etc. All subject liquids in laboratories and other inside points of use shall meet the following provisions:

  • Containers of liquids with flashpoints below 140º F shall not exceed one (1) gallon capacity except that approved safety containers may be of two (2) gallons capacity.
  • No more than ten (10) gallons (total) of liquids having a flashpoint below 140º F shall be stored outside an approved storage cabinet or storage room unless in approved containers.
  • No more than twenty-five (25) gallons (total) of liquids having a flashpoint below 140º F shall be stored in approved containers outside an approved storage cabinet or storage room.
  • No more than sixty (60) gallons (total) of flammable or combustible liquid shall be stored in an approved storage cabinet.
  • Flammable and combustible liquids in excess of quantities set forth above shall be stored in an appropriate container inside a storage room.
  • Storage and use of flammable and combustible liquids in buildings other than those used primarily for office occupancy and traditional education operations shall be governed by regulations contained in 29 CFR 1910.106.
  • Flammable liquids shall not be used to clean floors, clothing, or equipment.
  • Approved safety containers shall be used for small quantities of frequently used flammable liquids.  However, glass or plastic containers of not more than one gallon capacity may be used if such liquids would be rendered unfit for their intended use by contact with metal or would excessively corrode a metal container to create a leakage hazard.
  • Flammable and combustible liquid containers shall be clearly marked with the name of the contents and appropriate hazard warnings.
  • Dispensing areas shall be well ventilated.
  • Flammable liquids shall not be dispensed into secondary containers unless the nozzle of the dispensing unit and the secondary containers are electrically bonded to prevent static discharge.  A wire connecting the dispensing nozzle and the secondary container shall satisfy this requirement.
  • NO SMOKING signs shall be prominently displayed in and near areas where flammable and combustible liquids are used or stored.
  • Flammable or combustible liquids shall not be used or stored  where they limit access to exits, stairways, or areas normally used for safe egress.
  • Environmental Health and Safety will provide guidance in fire-related matters.  

University Safety Committee

A University Standing Committee on Safety shall be appointed by the president and shall be responsible for the following functions:

  • Review regularly the total University safety posture,
  • Review periodically the total University safety programs,
  • Evaluate proposed University safety programs,
  • Provide recommendations and guidance for training programs on safety related topics, and
  • Provide oversight of the University Hazardous Waste Reduction Plan.

This Standing Committee on Safety shall prepare an annual report to the president during the month of July to include the following items: 

  • An outline of safety activities and accomplishments during the past year,
  • A summary of unresolved and/or new safety issues that should be considered and acted upon, and
  • The Committee's recommendations concerning priorities for various safety projects and programs for the coming year.  

The committee should meet at least quarterly but not less than semi-annually.


Requests for variances from the Occupational Safety and Health Act standards will be processed in accordance with procedures outlined in Section 13, Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1972.  Requests for variances from the Occupational Safety and Health Act, Public Sector Plan will be processed according to procedures outlined in III-9-5, Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Act, Public Sector Plan.  Requests for variances for the State University and Community College System of Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Plan will be processed according to procedures outlined in Part I-D of the State University and Community College System of Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Plan. 

Preparation of variance requests will be the responsibility of the Office of the Vice President for Business and Finance and shall be submitted to the President for further action.

Related Forms

Bloodborne Pathogen Incident Report

First Record of Injury or Illness


Other Health and Safety Related Forms


What do I do if I am injured on the job?If you are injured or have a job-related illness, contact the Benefits Section of the Department of Human Resources. Information on the website includes proper procedures for reporting injuries and illnesses, access to Workers' Compensation, and instructions for receiving medical treatment.  

Whom do I contact with further questions?

Director, Environmental Health and Safety, 216 Browning Hall, 678-4672.



Environmental Health and Safety Office

First Report of Accident Form


Tennessee Board of Regents Guidelines

Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation

University of Memphis Safety Manuals

U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Revision Dates

  UM1293 - September 16, 2015
UM1293 - March 24, 2014
UM1293 Rev.1 -- updated August 20, 2007
UM1293 - Issued: July 2, 2003 supercedes policy number 1:2A:04:01 and 2D:02:02D)

Subject Areas:

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