UC Riverside has been awarded the Presidential Award for Campus Excellence in Health and Safety for the second year in a row after achieving the UC system’s lowest incident case rate in 2020.
The UC Office of the President presented the award on May 20 to the Environmental Health & Safety department at the systemwide Risk Summit. The incident rate is based on the number of work-related injuries.
Over the past three years, EH&S has restructured and relaunched many new safety initiatives, programs, and procedures while increasing outreach and communications, said Sheila Hedayati, director of EH&S.
The department has centralized health and safety efforts such as providing lab coats, safety eyewear, and other personal protective equipment, or PPE. In addition, the department has developed a mercury thermometer exchange program, provides free epi-pens to field researchers, and delivers customized safety training for large campus departments such as Facilities Services.
EH&S has strategically reinvested funding from the UC Be Smart About Safety program to improve conditions on campus through various categories of safety assessments, Hedayati said. One recent example involves auditing and prioritizing corrections for emergency eyewash and shower stations throughout campus buildings.
“EH&S is looked at as a partner and resource to faculty, staff, and students who are encouraged to reach out and ask questions and seek guidance,” Hedayati said. “We are so proud of our dedicated EH&S staff and all our campus partners who support reducing risk across campus.”