The Catholic University of America

Responsibilities of the Occupational Safety and Health Specialist

OSHA - Welding, Cutting and Brazing Standard

Before welding or cutting ("hot work") is permitted, the area must be inspected by the individual responsible for authorizing cutting or welding operations.  That individual must designate precautions to be followed in granting authorization, preferably in the form of a written permit. Cutting or welding shall be permitted only in areas that are or have been made fire safe.  Appropriate PPE and clothing based on the type of work performed must be used. (Note: Per OSHA, to minimize carbon monoxide hazard, maintain 3-4 feet of clear ventilation space around generators).  DC also requires a permit from the Fire Marshall to perform hot work on campus.

The Occupational Safety & Health Specialist, working in conjunction with the Director of EH&S, is responsible for implementing and overseeing controls regarding the performance of hot work.

OSHA - Control of Hazardous Energy

The University must establish a program and procedures for affixing appropriate lockout or tagout devices to disable equipment to prevent unexpected energization, start up, or release of stored energy.  Program requirements:

Energy control procedures for shutdown and isolation for releasing and securing residual energy

Testing to verify energy control measure effectiveness

Training to ensure employees understand the program

Periodic inspections (at least annually) by an authorized employee other than those using the procedure being inspected; the University must certify the inspections were performed.

The Occupational Safety & Health Specialist, working in conjunction with the Director of EH&S, is responsible for implementing and overseeing controls to meet the lockout and tagout requirements.

D.C. Fire Safety Requirements and Fire Safety Reporting per the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) 

For any buildings owned by the University that consist of 3 or more stories D.C. requires that the University have at least 1 fire escape, and must provide, install, and maintain therein proper and sufficient guide signs, guide lights, exit lights, hall and stairway lights, stand-pipes, fire extinguishers, and alarm gongs and striking stations in such locations and numbers and of such type and character as the DC Mayor may determine. A Fire Plan is required for buildings of 6 stories or more.

The HEOA requires that the University test annually its emergency response and evacuation procedures and annually publish a campus Fire Safety Report that provides statistics on a dorm-by-dorm basis showing the number of fires, deaths, injuries, fire drills, property damage, type of fire detection systems, etc.

The Occupational Safety & Health Specialist, working in conjunction with the Director of EH&S, is responsible for implementing and overseeing fire safety controls to meet the requirements of the DC Act, for conducting fire alarm testing, and for supporting the Administrative Assistant in the Department of Public Safety who is responsible for the University’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report.

Related Policies

Annual Security and Fire Safety Report

Contractor Safety Guide

Emergency Preparedness, Reporting, Response and Recovery Policy

Environmental Health and Safety Manual

Environmental Health and Safety (website)

Laboratory Security Policy

Project Manager Safety Guide