CSU Policy: Occupational Health Program

Policy Title: Occupational Health Program Category: Public Safety/Risk Management
Owner: Vice President for University Operations Policy ID#: 6-6021-004
Occupational Health Program Coordinator
Web: http://ehs.colostate.edu/WOHSP/Home.aspx
Phone: (970) 491-3102
Original Effective Date: 4/11/2014
Last Revision: 6/16/2021
Print Version: Click Here to Print


The purpose of this policy is to maintain and promote a healthy and safe work environment at Colorado State University (CSU) through the development, implementation and improvement of a comprehensive Occupational Health Program.


This policy applies to all Covered Individuals, as defined below.


Covered Individual: “Covered Individual” is defined as a CSU employee (including, but not limited to, faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate student employees, work-study students, and paid post-doctoral fellows and residents), persons who perform CSU-sponsored work at any location, and any other person under the direction and control of CSU who is or may be exposed to environmental conditions for which enrollment in the Occupational Health Program is required.

Occupational Health Program: The Occupational Health Program within the Department of Environmental Health Services (EHS), Division of University Operations, promotes a healthy and safe work environment at CSU. Components of the Program include risk assessment, application of appropriate controls, training and medical surveillance.

Occupational Health Committee:   The Occupational Health Committee supports the Occupational Health Program by developing program requirements, policies and guidelines. The Committee is appointed by and reports annually to the Vice President of Research (VPR) and Vice President of University Operations (VPUO), and membership includes representation from across CSU as stipulated in the charge to the committee.


EHS has established the Occupational Health Program to help fulfill the University’s commitment to maintaining and providing a safe and healthy work environment. The Occupational Health Program implements active measures to protect the health and safety of Covered Individuals, as further described in this policy. All Covered Individuals shall follow this policy and supporting guidelines.


  1. The Principal Investigator, department head or other organizational unit head, up to and including the appropriate Dean, has the primary responsibility for identifying personnel who may be Covered Individuals required to be enrolled in the Occupational Health Program, and requiring such individuals to complete Risk Assessment forms and to comply with all Occupational Health Program requirements.
  2. EHS will be responsible for day-to-day operations, implementing, administering, monitoring compliance with, and conducting periodic review of this policy. EHS is also responsible for ensuring that the Occupational Health Committee is informed of non-routine events or deficiencies. EHS will develop, with assistance of the Committee, an Occupational Health Manual containing guidelines and procedures for implementing this policy.
  3. All Covered Individuals shall complete risk assessment forms as required. A risk assessment process will be implemented to determine the individual’s risks and the protective measures that should be taken to address them. Risk assessment may include consideration of exposure to animal allergens, infectious agents, chemical agents, noise, radiation, and other physical and environmental hazards.
  4. Covered Individuals are required to complete program elements such as training, questionnaires and medical surveillance for the prevention of occupational illness and to follow prescribed safety measures such as the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) based on their workplace risks or Occupational Health medical provider requests. Surveillance programs are described in the Occupational Health Program Manual.


Compliance is mandatory and may be enforced in accordance with applicable laws and University policies. Occupational Health Program personnel will communicate with Covered Individuals, their supervisors and administrative authorities to assist with implementation of safety measures and compliance.


BMBL: The Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL) describes the combinations of standard and special microbiological practices, safety equipment and facilities constituting Biosafety Levels 1-4, which are recommended for work with a variety of infectious agents in various laboratory settings. The BMBL is widely adopted as the basis for institutional biosafety programs and includes Occupational Health Program recommendations.

CDPHE: The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has numerous divisions that require risk assessments and address safety and health regulations that relate to this program.

GUIDE: The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals  (GUIDE), published by the National Research Council (NRC) has become the primary reference or standard in many research organizations and programs in the USA, and specifically references the use of the NRC’s Occupational Health and Safety in the Care and Use of Research Animals to further address occupational health and safety of institutional employees who work with research animals and might be exposed to hazards that could adversely affect their health and safety.

National Research CouncilPrudent Practices for Safety in the Laboratory (1995), published by the National Research Council, was developed by experts from academia and industry to provide guidelines for laboratory safety, with an emphasis in chemical safety.

NIOSH: The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is the federal agency responsible for conducting research, provides technical assistance to OSHA, and recommends standards for OSHA’s adoption. NIOSH is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

OSHA: The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) is an agency of the United States Department of Labor. Its mission is to prevent work-related injuries, illnesses, and occupational fatalities by issuing and enforcing standards for workplace safety and health. While not bound by OSHA regulations, the State of Colorado (through Executive Order D0138 89) recognizes OSHA standards as the ultimate goal for best practices. As a state agency, CSU strives to meet OSHA standards within budgetary restrictions and resources.

PHS: The Public Health Service Policy requires an occupational health program for all individuals working on PHS funded programs, and requires the use of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals  as the basis for program development and implementation.


CSU Occupational Health Program website

CSU Occupational Health Manual

Occupational Health Program Risk Assessment and Training Assignment form

Biosafety Incident Report form

Incident Report forms


Approved by Anthony A. Frank on April 11, 2014

Revision approved by Lynn Johnson, Vice President for University Operations on February 17, 2020 

Revision approved by Lynn Johnson, Vice President for University Operations on June 16, 2021  



Print Version: Click Here to Print

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