Policy UL-AD21 Environmental Health and Safety Policy

Main Policy Content


  • Purpose
  • Expectations 
  • Responsibilities 
    • University Libraries Employees' Health and Safety Committee
    • Supervisors
    • Employees
  • Cross References


The Pennsylvania State University has made a clear commitment to protecting the health and safety of its employees, students, visitors, and the environment. This commitment is articulated in University Policy SY01, which applies to the University Libraries. The Libraries share this commitment to providing a safe work environment for all employees. The purpose of this policy is to state the Libraries’ commitment to workplace safety, and to apply the University’s Safety Policy to the Libraries.


All employees are expected to:

  • Perform their duties in a safe manner.
  • Comply with and adhere to all established safety guidelines, procedures, and rules.
  • Report any unsafe working conditions to a supervisor or the Safety Officer.


University Libraries Employees’ Health and Safety Committee:

  1. Recommending safety policies and procedures.
  2. Discovering unsafe conditions and practices and suggesting corrective actions.
  3. Providing for safety training.
  4. Providing a forum for free discussion of accident causes and preventive measures.

The Chair of the University Libraries Employees’ Health and Safety Committee, operating under the direction of the Associate Director of Facilities Planning and Construction, is the primary liaison to the University Department of Environmental Health and Safety (whose responsibilities include ensuring compliance with all applicable safety and health regulations, such as OSHA) and as such will communicate standards and requirements to Libraries’ management as needed. 

(Commonwealth Campus Libraries should work with the entities at their campus with these responsibilities.)


A key element of supervisory responsibility is to provide for the health and safety of those supervised. As used here, “Supervisor” refers to anyone with responsibility for overseeing the work of others, not just those with Supervisor job titles. Supervisors are in a key position to carry out the Libraries’ and University’s safety policies, and to prevent injuries in the workplace. Specifically, supervisors are responsible for: 

  1. Understanding University and Libraries’ safety policies and guidelines relevant to their work area.
  2. Understanding the work being done in their area.
  3. Putting safety procedures in place in their area that are appropriate and reasonable to prevent accidents and injuries. These may include procedures, guidelines on acceptable attire, and requirements to utilize proper safety equipment when performing certain tasks.
  4. Providing training to the employees supervised on safety requirements.
  5. Correcting unsafe working conditions that are identified immediately upon identification, or informing higher levels of management if they cannot be immediately remedied.
  6. Enforcing University, Libraries, and departmental safety requirements. For example, this may include reassigning work, so that an employee is removed from an unsafe task, requiring an employee to return home to change if their attire is not appropriate to the safety requirements of the job, and taking and documenting corrective action when an employee is not in compliance with this policy.


  1. Complying with established health and safety policies, rules, standards, procedures, guidelines, and regulations. These include safety-related signs, posters, warnings, and written/oral instructions for performing tasks.
  2. Refraining from performing any function or operation that is considered hazardous without proper instruction and authorization.
  3. Wearing or using prescribed safety and protective equipment. This includes complying with attire guidelines, such as wearing protective footwear where required.
  4. Reporting all unsafe conditions or practices to their immediate supervisor or the Safety Officer.
  5. Informing the Safety Officer of any work-related injury or accident, and obtaining prompt medical attention when needed.

Report safety concerns to the University Libraries Employees’ Health and Safety Committee.


Penn State’s Environmental Health and Safety Policy SY01.
Penn State has a series of safety policies under SY02-SY35 that deal with specific safety situations.
Libraries Facilities Department Website.

Effective Date: July 2009
Date Approved: July 14, 2009 (Dean's Library Council)

Revision History (and effective dates):

  • July 14, 2009 – New policy

Last Review Date:  July 2022