For the third consecutive year, UNC Pembroke has been awarded a gold level certificate of safety achievement from the North Carolina Department of Labor.
The award is a reflection of the ongoing safe work practices of the campus employees as a whole and their adherence to the campus safety programs through the Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S).
The EH&S Office, led by Director Michael Bullard and EH&S Professional Charles Chavis, is dedicated to reducing injuries and incidents, reducing the environmental impact of the campus and achieving regulatory compliance within all campus departments. The team strives to achieve this by providing high-quality and informative training, comprehensive workplace evaluations, emergency response, guidance on proper hazardous material and hazardous waste management and by promulgating applicable regulatory guidance across campus. The recent achievement is a testament to their ongoing dedication to fostering a safe campus environment.
To qualify for an annual safety award, the university had to meet two main criteria: have no fatalities during the calendar year at the site or location for which the award was given and have maintained an incidence rate at least 50% below the average for its particular industry group.
“Safety only works when the community works together for common goals. The health and wellness of the campus community is the responsibility of all,” explained Chavis.
Bullard explained, “Our team works tirelessly to educate the campus community about situational awareness and to ensure a safe working and learning environment on campus. Our goal is that all members of the campus community arrive on campus and return home each and every day safely and without incident.”
Chavis and Bullard are dedicated to their field and advancing safety measures at UNC Pembroke. Both EH&S members have obtained a number of certifications to advance the environmental health and safety capacity of the university including: manager of environmental safety and health (MESH), CPR/AED instructor certifications, LASER safety officer certification, 30-hour OSHA certification, powered industrial truck instructor certification, aerial lift instructor certification and 40-hour hazardous waste and emergency operations (HAZWOPER) certification.
The primary and all-encompassing goal of the EH&S office is to ensure all students, faculty, staff and visitors have a safe learning experience while on university grounds and leave campus without incident or negative experience due to an unsafe environment created or caused by a physical feature or hazardous condition existing on campus.
The office achieves this goal in multiple ways, including providing nearly 30 training opportunities for the campus community on topics spanning from forklift training to fire extinguisher safety to drone/unmanned aircraft systems. From 2016-19, the team trained over 1,670 individuals at UNCP.
“We are thankful to serve UNC Pembroke and are excited to see BraveNation awarded this recognition. A safe campus is paramount to student success and we’re thankful to interact with a university community where departments embrace safety guidelines and continuously collaborate with us to maintain a safe campus in terms of environmental health and safety,” continued Bullard.