University Environmental Health and Safety Committee - Charter

University Environmental Health and Safety Committee - Charter


This charter document defines the membership, authority, responsibilities and operating rules of the University Environmental Health and Safety Committee at the University of New Hampshire (UNH).


It is a goal of the University of New Hampshire to ensure safe and healthy learning, research, work, entertainment, and student living environments for faculty, staff, students and visitors. In support of this policy, the University gives high administrative priority, applies appropriate financial support, and provides professional expertise in the ongoing effort to eliminate or reduce facility and operational hazards that could threaten the health and safety of persons, property or the environment. Along with the highest quality of teaching, research and community service, safety of individuals and protection of the environment are core values of this institution. The University Environmental Health and Safety Committee is the primary University component with direct responsibility to ensure consistent progress towards achievement of this goal by coordinating and prioritizing the effective application of University resources applied to safety issues.

Mission Statement

The Mission of the University Environmental Health and Safety Committee (UEHSC) is to support the University of New Hampshire's mission of excellence in teaching and learning, research and discovery, outreach and public service by providing leadership and services to assure a safe and healthy environment for all members of the University community. The University Environmental Health and Safety Committee promotes a safe campus environment by coordinating programs and services to reduce safety, health and environmental risks to the University of New Hampshire community in a manner consistent with responsible fiscal and environmental stewardship.

Organization and Management

The UEHSC is a deliberative body which is representative of the University community, and includes members from academic and administrative divisions on campus. It is the committee's responsibility to advise the President, to administratively coordinate the various safety-related efforts of the university community, to develop University policy in all areas affecting the maintenance of safe campus environments, and to guide and support the Office of Environmental Health and Safety. Through proactive assessment of potential health and safety issues, by responding to concerns raised by members of the campus community, and with respect to applicable regulatory requirements, this committee develops and recommends to the President, policies and actions that will reduce sources and levels of risk. Administrative responsibility for support of the UEHSC has been delegated by the President to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.  The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs can re-delegate this responsibility to the Senior Vice Provost for Research.

Consistent with USNH Board of Trustees guidance and particular regulations which may apply, standing committees exist within the UEHSC structure to develop specific policies and procedures related to hazardous materials and hazardous operations (radiological, biological, chemical and occupational). Although university wide in the scope of its activities, service of individuals appointed to the UEHSC does not change established line authorities and reporting responsibilities. Standing committees that are assigned safety responsibilities at UNH are responsible for reviewing issues and recommending specific operational programs and practices within their areas of expertise. The UEHSC, based on thorough consideration of the collected technical input and administrative advice submitted by the standing committees, officially formulates policy and recommends actions for approval by the President. The body of approved UEHSC policies constitutes the University standard for safe facilities, operations and practices at UNH. The UEHSC can review procedures, programs and protocols approved by the standing committees and vote to override the committees' action. However, the UEHSC cannot approve procedures, programs or protocols that have been rejected by the standing committees.


Membership of the UEHSC includes the Senior Vice Provost for Research, the Dean, College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, the Dean, College of Life Sciences and Agriculture, the Associate Vice President for Facilities, the Chairs of the five standing committees (Chemical Safety, Institutional Biosafety, Occupational Safety, Radiation Safety and the University of New Hampshire at Manchester Safety) and the Director of Environmental Health and Safety (non-voting member). The membership process consists of formal appointment to the UEHSC from the President.

The UEHSC Chair

The Senior Vice Provost for Research serves as the Chair of the UEHSC. The Chair has the responsibility for conducting regular UEHSC meetings and implementing the control functions of the UEHSC. The Chair works closely with the Director of Environmental Health and Safety to ensure that the directives of the UEHSC are being implemented.

Attendance, Alternates, and Replacements

Regular attendance shall be required at UEHSC meetings. In the event that a member does not attend four consecutive meetings, at the discretion of the Chair, the UEHSC may vote to request the President to appoint a replacement.

In order to plan for temporary absences, each UEHSC member may nominate a designated alternate. The designee may represent the absent UEHSC member in all aspects of UEHSC participation, and shall have the responsibility and authority to act on behalf of that member.  In the event a member or designee leaves UNH, membership is automatically terminated. 

Changes to membership and designated attendance shall be documented in writing by the Chair.

Meetings, Agenda, and Quorum

The UEHSC meets twice annually, or more frequently at the discretion of the Chair. A quorum consists of fifty per cent of its then present membership. All voting members present are entitled to vote. Between meetings, interim decisions by a majority of all voting members via a mailed ballot or email, but such decisions shall not be considered final until ratified by vote at a called meeting of the UEHSC.  Parliamentary procedures shall be determined by Robert's Rules of Order, as appropriate. At these meetings, the UEHSC conducts the following activities:

     * Formulates UNH environmental health and safety policy based on thorough consideration of the collected technical input and administrative advice submitted by the standing committees.

    * Reviews and approves annual environmental health and safety report for the campus. Recommends approval to the President.

    * Approves and periodically reviews campus EH&S mission statement to outline operating policies, procedures and guidelines, as well as training for compliance with applicable environmental health and safety objectives as stated in USNH Policy on Environmental Health and Safety.

    * Provides recommendations to the President for long range environmental planning requirements as a result of regulatory requirements.

Reports, Records, and Minutes

The minutes of the UEHSC meetings, together with all reports submitted to the UEHSC, serve as official documentation of items discussed and action taken. The minutes of each meeting shall include the date of the meeting, the members present and absent, a summary of deliberations and discussions, and recommended action items. Following each meeting, minutes shall be prepared in draft form and copies sent to all members for review and comment.

A copy of the minutes of all UEHSC meetings shall be kept on file in the records management system in the Office of Environmental Health and Safety.


Revised 03/13

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