University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Division of Environmental Health and Safety | University of Illinois Archives

Name: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Division of Environmental Health and Safety

Historical Note:

In July, 1957, the Board of Trustees authorized a special appropriation to establish a "new Safety Division" on the Urbana-Champaign campus,1 and in 1962 the Office of Safety Coordinator was funded under the supervision of the Comptroller. In 1968, the Safety Coordinator was transferred to the Chancellor's Office.3 The Coordinator is executive secretary to the Safety and Fire Prevention Committee.4 His duties include establishing University standards for safety, issuing information bulletins on potential hazards, reviewing construction plans for points of safety, investigating accidents, and inspecting buildings for fire and safety hazards.5

On February 1, 1973, the Division of Environmental Health and Safety was organized by combining the Safety Coordinator's Office, reporting to the Vice Chancellor for Administrative Affairs; the Health Physics Office, reporting to the Graduate College and the Environmental Health Division of the McKinley Health Service.

In 1968, a risk management study resulted in the Risk Management Proposal for the Urbana Campus, University of Illinois. This study considered the relationships between several "risk related" campus operations including the Safety Coordinator's Office, the Environmental Health Division, Health Physics Office, Accident Compensation Office, Insurance Office, Police Department and the Fire Department.

On March 22, 1971, the Vice Chancellor for Administrative Affairs appointed and Ad Hoc Committee for Safety Organization which conducted a study to determine what administrative organization would provide the campus with the most effective overall safety program. Its recommendations evolved into the establishment of the Division of Environmental Health and Safety. It consists of nine professional/technical employees: engineering, microbiology, safety and health physics. The Director reports to the Vice Chancellor for Administrative Affairs, who reports to the Chancellor.

The Division provides technical assistance tp deans, directors, heads of academic and administrative units, staff members, and students. Assistance can be through consultations and code interpretations either for existing facilities and operations or for those which are being planned. The Division may inspect and report on the health and safety aspects of any campus operation or facility. It assists departmental safety programs and participates in health and safety training/education projects. It maintains reference materials from local, state and federal agencies on rules and regulations affecting campus operations and assists in their technical interpretation. The Division develops additional environmental health and safety standards for administrative approval which become part of the Campus Administrative Manual.

The Environmental Health and Safety Committee and the Radiation Hazards Committee are campus committees and report to the Vice Chancellor for Administrative Affairs through the Director of the Division of Environmental Health and Safety.6

1. Board of Trustees Transactions, 49th Report, July 16, 1957, p. 529.

2. Ibid., 51st Report, June 20, 1962, p. 1618.

3. Ibid., 55th Report, Supplement, June 19, 1968, p. 524.

4. University Standards for Safety, 1964, section 111-9.

5. Ibid., 1968, section 111-9

6. "History" and Letter from Henry H. Koertge, Division of Environmental Health and Safety, January 1979.

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