The Environmental Health and Safety Office (EHS) takes a multidisciplinary approach to occupational safety to protect the welfare of people at work, and the wide variety of occupations on campus.

Safety-Related Information

  • Confined Spaces Safety

    According to OSHA, a permit-required confined space (permit space) has one or more of the following:

    • contains or has the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere
    • contains a material that has the potential for engulfing the entrant
    • has an internal configuration that might cause an entrant to be trapped or asphyxiated by inwardly converging walls or by a floor that slopes downward and tapers to a smaller cross section
    • contains any other recognized serious safety or health hazards

    OSHA confined spaces information

    Central Piedmont confined space program (PDF)

  • Electrical Safety

    Lock-Out Tag-Out (29 CFR 1910.147):

    The control of hazardous energy, know as lock-out tag-out, is intended to prevent injuries during work involving repairs, replacements, or modifications to machines or equipment. Lock-out tag-out procedures must be followed when service and maintenance activities require an employee to remove or bypass a guard or other safety device. Lock-out tag-out procedures must also be followed when service and maintenance activities require an employee to place any part of their body into a machine's point of operation or in a danger zone associated with a machine's operation cycle.

    Electrical safety information:

  • Fire Safety

    Fire Emergencies

    In case of a fire emergency, contact College Security Services (6911) at the appropriate location immediately! Security will then contact the Fire Department or Fire Marshal's Office. Employees are not required to fight fires and should evacuate the building immediately in the event of a fire. Employees may use fire extinguishers to fight small fires only if they have been trained in the proper use of a fire extinguisher and are confident in their ability to cope with the hazards of a fire. In such cases, fire fighting efforts must be terminated when it becomes obvious that there is danger or harm from smoke, heat, or flames. 

    Reporting Fires and Emergencies

    If a fire is discovered, activate the nearest fire alarm and contact Security immediately. From any campus phone, dial 6911. If the fire alarm does not work, or the building is not equipped with one, dial 911 and notify all occupants verbally of the emergency and the need to evacuate.

    Fire Evacuation Procedures

    Evacuate via the nearest stairwell or street/grade level exit. Hazardous equipment or processes should be shut down before evacuating unless doing so presents a greater hazard. Remember to close all doors as leaving, if conditions permit. After you have left the building, go to the predesignated assembly point and remain there. Remain at least 300 feet away from the building. At the assembly point, supervisors should account for personnel and report any that are unaccounted for to Security and the Fire Department. During an emergency, students and visitors who may not be familiar with this plan must be informed of the requirement to evacuate. Special attention should also be given to persons with disabilities, especially those who are visitors or unfamiliar with the building. 

    Fire Safety Training

    Training is available throughout the year via LearnerWeb online; in-person training is coordinated with the Fire Department and/or Fire Marshal's Office. Each department is responsible for ensuring its employees are trained in fire safety and fire extinguisher use. Additional training is necessary when an employee's required actions under the Emergency Evacuation Plan change, or when there are changes to the plan. Additional training assistance is available from Environmental Health and Safety. 

    Fire Extinguishers

    The use of fire extinguishers must conform to the following guidelines which are specified by the OSHA standard (29 CFR1910.157): 

    • Portable fire extinguishers suitable to the conditions and hazards involved shall be provided and maintained in an effective operating condition. 
    • Portable fire extinguishers shall be conspicuously located and mounted where they will be readily accessible.  Extinguishers shall not be obstructed or obscured from view. 
    • Portable fire extinguishers shall be given maintenance service at least once a year and a written record shall be maintained.  Facilities Services is responsible for obtaining annual maintenance for the extinguishers. 
    • Monthly inspections which entail visually inspecting for broken seals, damage, and low gauge pressure, depending on type of extinguisher, are performed by Facilities Services personnel. A tag affixed to the extinguisher is initialed by the inspector after each inspection. 
    • Employees designated to fight fires must receive training in the general principles of fire extinguisher use and the hazards involved with initial stage fire fighting.

    Fire Prevention

    • Proper housekeeping including the prompt removal of wastes and keeping the work space free of unnecessary combustible materials will help to prevent or reduce the severity of fires. Keep trash, empty boxes, dirty rags, cleaning supplies, etc. out of exits, storage areas, and stairways. Immediately report any problems to Housekeeping.
    • Limited quantities of flammable liquids may be stored in laboratories and shops. Flammable liquid storage cabinets are required where large amounts are present. 
    • Any storage of combustible materials such as cardboard boxes, etc. should be kept to a minimum. 
    • Electrical wiring should be maintained in good condition. Extension cords should only be used on a temporary basis. Periodically check and have any damaged electrical cords replaced. Do not overload wall outlets. Turn off and/or unplug equipment that is not being used. Always use three-pronged appliances.
    • Immediately report any suspicious people to College Security.
    • Ensure that Security and emergency numbers are posted on every campus phone.
  • Forklift Safety

    • Know your truck and auxiliary equipment: Inspect truck prior to use.
    • Know your loads and carry them properly: Handle loads within rated capacity. Handle only stable loads. Keep load against carriage. Tilt elevated load forward only when directly over loading place. Travel with lifting mechanism raised only enough to clear ground or obstacles.
    • Know your operating areas: Know critical clearance areas and location of pipes, wiring, etc. Never drive into a trailer or railcar unless wheels are blocked. Fill fuel tank or charge battery only in designated areas.
    • Protect others and yourself: Buckle up. No riders. Keep arms, legs, etc. inside the operator's compartment. Allow no one under load or carriage. When leaving truck, lower carriage completely, set parking brake, and shut off power.
    • If you can't see, don't go: If forward visibility is obstructed, travel in reverse. Sound horn at cross aisle and other areas where you can't see. Watch clearances, especially forks, upright, overhead guard, and tail swing.
    • Use common sense: Avoid bumps, holes, slick spots, and loose materials. Avoid sudden starts and stops.

    OSHA forklift safety information

    Forklift Training

    All employees that drive forklifts at the college are required to complete forklift safety training prior to operating a forklift. Training includes discussion of steering, capacity, stability, refueling, controls, types of loads, ramps, surface conditions, hazardous locations, load manipulation, etc. Hands-on driving demonstrations and evaluation of each operator's performance will be included. This training is required prior to operating a forklift, to be repeated every three years, with annual evaluations.

  • Ladder Safety

    OSHA ladder safety information

    Working on and around stairways and ladders is hazardous. Stairways and ladders are major sources of injuries and fatalities among construction workers for example, and many of the injuries are serious enough to require time off the job. OSHA rules apply to all stairways and ladders used in construction, alteration, repair, painting, decorating, and demolition of worksites covered by OSHA's construction safety and health standards.

  • Personal Protective Equipment

    Protect yourself with the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) for the job. Each department is responsible for providing this equipment to each employee. All employees have the right and obligation to request proper personal protective equipment as well as the right and obligation to refuse to do a task, if proper safety equipment and training is not available or provided.

    Personal protective equipment acts as a barrier between you and potentially hazardous chemicals, machines, tools, and processes. To be effective, personal protective equipment must be carefully selected to protect against each particular hazard you may face. When you use the right personal protective equipment and use it properly, you greatly reduce the risk of job-related injury and illness.

    Types of Personal Protective Equipment

    • Hand: Gloves can protect your hands from exposure to different types of hazards such as blood, chemicals, shock, pinch points, and machine guards. There are many many available types depending on your job function.
    • Feet: Protective footwear can keep your feet safe from many hazards.  Wear shoes with puncture proof soles in areas with nails, scrap metal, or other sharp objects. Steel toe shoes protect your feet from heavy items that could crush your foot. Wear chemical resistant boots when working with or around chemicals. Rubber boots provide traction on wet and icy surfaces and insulated shoes protect against cold weather. The ANSI label inside your safety footwear means that your shoes or boots meet recognized safety standards.
    • Head: Hard hats should be worn to protect against falling objects when working below machinery or processes and around exposed energized conductors. Make sure the hat fits right and the suspension is adjusted properly.
    • Eye and face: Eye protection is available in choices such as spectacles, face shields, welding masks, and goggles. In some cases, eye protection can be used over prescription eye glasses and contact lenses. Use eye protection to avoid flying objects or particles, electrical arcing or sparks, chemical gases or vapors, liquid chemicals, acids, or caustics, dusts or powders, swinging objects, and harmful light or from welding, cutting, brazing, or soldering.
    • Hearing: Long term exposure to noise can damage your hearing. Use ear plugs, ear muffs, or canal caps when needed and reduce the length of time you are exposed to noise.
    • Skin: Wear protective clothing, such as an apron or smock, that is chemical resistant. Protective clothing can also protect the body from sun exposure.
    • Respirators: Respirators will protect against exposure to inhaled hazards. All employees that use respirators must be evaluated and properly fitted by appropriate medical personnel.

    Personal Protective Equipment Guidelines

    • Equipment fit: Personal protective equipment comes in all shapes and sizes and are available in a variety of colors and materials. Good fitting equipment ensures comfort, effectiveness, and use. The more you wear personal protective equipment, the better it will protect you.
    • Use of equipment: You and your supervisor are the key to the use of personal protective equipment. You have to wear the personal protective equipment to make it work. Put it on, leave it on, and take care of it.
    • Cleaning and maintaining equipment: Always clean and maintain personal protective equipment according to the manufacturer's specifications. Some items can be cleaned by hand while others will require special attention. Always check personal protective equipment regularly and replace any equipment that is cracked, torn, or shows signs of excessive wear.
    • Storage of equipment: Always store personal protective equipment away from heat, dust, sunlight, and moisture. Wrap safety goggles in a clean, soft cloth, protective case, or storage cabinet. Personal protective equipment can safeguard you from exposure to hazards, so please give it the care and attention it deserves.
  • Respiratory Protection Program


    The respiratory protection program applies to all Central Piedmont supervisors and associates who work in areas with exposure levels that require the use of a respirator or where an associate voluntarily uses a comfort type mask. This policy and procedure is written in accordance with the requirements of the OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard 29 CFR 1910.134 and guidelines presented by the ANSI and AIHA.

  • Slips, Trips, Falls

    Slips, trips, and falls constitute the majority of general industry accidents. They cause 15% of all accidental deaths, and are second only to motor vehicles as a cause of fatalities. Always be aware of your surroundings: uneven sidewalks, wet floors, items out of place, etc.

    OSHA fall protection

  • Transportation Safety

    Many employees drive personal vehicles and/or College vehicles on a daily basis.   It is the belief of Environmental Health and Safety that many accidents can be prevented.   Defensive Driving courses are taught periodically to increase awareness of driving hazards.  Please review the following driver safety tips.

    • Seat belts: Always wear a seat belt and insist that everyone in your vehicle do the same. Many things are beyond your control, but one factor that is solely within your control is the decision to buckle up all occupants. Remember, it's the law.
    • Stay alert: Do not drive a vehicle when you are drowsy or not alert. Keep your attention focused on driving safely.
    • Mobile phone use: Never use a mobile phone while driving. Always park the vehicle in a safe spot before using a mobile phone.
    • Road rage: Don't be a victim of road rage — let irate drivers pass. Do not block lanes, do not change lanes without signaling first, do not tailgate, avoid use of your horn or high-beam lights unless necessary, and never make an obscene gesture toward another driver. Try to remain calm and courteous at all times.
    • Drugs and alcohol: Never drive a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Follow prescription drug warnings as it pertains to driving or operating equipment.

    Central Piedmont insurance information