7.1 Charge to the University Committee on Health and Safety

Presents the general charge and the specific duties of the Committee on Health and Safety. Membership and reporting responsibilities are discussed.


President of Stanford University


Questions about this policy can be answered by:

Gibbs, Lawrence

Associate Vice Provost

Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S)

(650) 723-0448, (650) 723-7403

1. Background

Stanford has various offices and panels that participate in the establishment, implementation and support of health and safety policies. Examples include the offices of the Provost, Dean of Research, University Department of Environmental Health and Safety, the University Safety Partners and the Administrative Panels charged with approving research procedures involving use of human or animal subjects, radiological hazards, recombinant DNA molecules, and/or biohazardous agents.

It is desirable, however, to have a body charged with policy development and oversight over the full range of health and safety issues at Stanford. Therefore, the University Committee on Health and Safety was established in 1988.

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2. Charge to the Committee

The University Committee on Health and Safety is charged with the following responsibilities:

  • Exercise oversight over all health and safety programs at Stanford
  • Advise the President on the adequacy of Stanford's health and safety programs, policies and organization
  • Recommend needs, priorities and strategies to promote good health, safety, and environmental practices on campus
  • Foster cooperation among those units at Stanford having operational responsibility for health and safety
  • Recommend to the President University-wide policies with respect to those health and safety matters which are not addressed by the existing administrative panels

This charge shall be reviewed by the Committee periodically to assure continued effectiveness of the role of the Committee. This committee in no way replaces or supersedes line management responsibility for health and safety.

Each year, one meeting of the Committee shall be publicized and open to all members of the University community and its neighbors. This meeting will provide an opportunity to report to the community on health and safety conditions at Stanford. It will also provide an opportunity for University community members or neighbors to raise questions or concerns about Stanford’s teaching or research activities, facilities or support services as they may affect the health and safety of lab personnel, laboratory subjects, employees, students, the general public, and the environment.

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3. Membership

Members of the University Committee on Health and Safety shall be appointed by the President. Its voting members shall consist of six faculty members, at least four of whom shall be experienced in issues of laboratory safety; two students, of whom at least one shall be a graduate student with laboratory experience; the Associate Vice Provost for Environmental Health and Safety; the Vice Provost and Dean of Research; the Associate Vice President for Academic Projects and Operations; and a member of the general public. The Chair of the Committee shall be one of the faculty members and shall be named by the President. The terms of membership for faculty shall be for three years and for all other members one year, effective October 1st of the year of appointment and ending September 30th of the year in which the term expires.

The Committee shall establish such permanent or ad hoc subcommittee or task forces from among its membership or otherwise, as it shall deem useful in carrying out its charge. The Committee shall seek advice from the Office of the General Counsel as necessary and appropriate.

The Committee on Committees of the Faculty Senate shall be asked to nominate the faculty members. The Associated Students of Stanford University shall be asked to nominate the student members.

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4. Reporting Requirements

By no later than October 1st of each year, the Chair of the Committee shall provide an annual report to the President summarizing key issues and new policies addressed by the Committee during the committee year. Copies of these reports shall be publicly available. The Committee or its members may also submit confidential reports to the President as deemed necessary.

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