CCSU is a Small City
By Domenic Forcella
Connecticut State University is similar to a small city. Many of the
concerns that Mayors and Selectmen have are the same for the University
President and his Administrative Staff.
The Office of
Environmental Health and Safety which reports to the Chief
Administrative Officer at CCSU is charged with a number of tasks. Its
overall work includes maintaining a safe and healthy environment for
the CCSU community, including students, faculty, staff and neighboring
To do this, the OEHS, in conjunction with University
staff, develops the policies and procedures needed to maintain
compliance with state and federal regulations, and assist in future
environmental programs. In addition to adherence to the laws, OEHS
continues to examine ways to keep environmental health and safety as a
part of our work ethic.
One area that the University is making
great strides is in Environmental Sustainability. A Committee
established by President Miller has been working with students, faculty
and staff to put CCSU in the forefront of University sustainability
programs. President Miller has also joined with other college
Presidents in signing the American College and University Presidents
The campus has had a good start to
Sustainability. Custodial supplies are being replaced with “greener”
alternatives and a recycling program with materials such as bulbs, oil,
metal, paper and electronics is in place and now is being expanded.
This will be accomplished by the growth and involvement in projects,
activities, and programs campus wide.
More and more recycling
containers are appearing throughout the campus. Beyond the easy to
grasp concept of recycling, materials purchasing and building design
are also included in the campus effort.
The campus Facilities
Management Department has responded to the spirit of sustainability by
parking its campus vehicles and having its staff walk to their
assignments each payday. The OEHS has purchased bicycles for its campus
inspections. The construction of a new Energy Center has made CCSU a
leader in campus energy management. As the Sustainability effort
evolves, more changes will be seen on campus.
OEHS does not only work on sustainability issues but is involved in a
number of other areas on campus. The Office is responsible for managing
the hazardous waste generated on campus. While small in quantity, the
waste must be managed in compliance with state and federal laws.
provides for on campus fire safety reviews and the fire protection
system maintenance. CCSU is the only CSU University to have a fulltime
Fire Marshal on staff. In addition, CCSU was the first university to
have a sprinkler system installed in each Residence Hall.
ensure a safe working environment, the OEHS provides health and safety
training for campus staff. It is our goal to have an environment where
employees and students are protected as they go about their campus
activities. Inspections are also done on a regular basis to make sure
everyone is up to date.
While CCSU is like a small
city, many of the regulations we must follow are not the same as a
homeowner. More of our waste materials need to be managed and handled
by certified transporters, not just tossed away. In addition Homeland
Security now has campus requirements and a reporting threshold for
chemicals of interest.
All of the regulations and
the desire for a safe working environment requires a special effort to
keep faculty and staff abreast of changes in federal and state
requirements and how to address them. When it comes down to workplace
safety, it becomes all of our responsibility.