Policy Information

Date Established: 6/1/2011
Date Last Updated: 7/1/2014
Category: 
Facilities; Health and Safety
Responsible Office:
Environment, Health & Safety
Responsible Executive:
Vice President for Finance and Administration

Policy Contents

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Placement of Experiments in Common Areas

Summary

Experiments, projects, or devices placed in common areas must be reviewed by Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) for safety and security purposes.

Policy Statement

All experimental apparatus, demonstration or art projects, or other mechanical or measurement devices placed in common areas, regardless of their purpose, must be reported to EHS for approval and labeled with a visible Approved Apparatus tag to demonstrate that the placement of the device has been approved and that an adequate safety review has been performed.

All experiments, projects, or devices located in common areas must be placed so that they do not present a hazard to the public, damage university or private property, or block or disrupt fire egress from a building.

Background

Experimental, educational, and operational needs often require measurement devices or experimental designs to be placed in common areas. Frequently, these experiments are placed in areas beyond the control of the person having responsibility for the equipment and are unattended; in addition, they may present physical, exposure, or security risks to passers-by.

In the interest of protecting the safety, health, and well-being of the university community this policy establishes a system of accountability for those conducting unattended experiments or automated measurements in areas outside their assigned control. A review, authorization, and tagging process will help to control hazards, improve safety and security, and minimize notifications to emergency response personnel.

Applicability

This policy applies to all temporary and experimental apparatus, demonstration or art projects, and mechanical or measurement devices placed in common areas, outdoors, in highly visible areas, or in any other area outside the owners’ (project manager/principal investigator) assigned area of control on University at Buffalo (UB) property (including both on and off-campus space).  

Items which are to be located outside of university premises should be reviewed with the appropriate municipality in order to adhere to any local procedures and/or regulations.

Objects that have received permanent approval by university administration or the Assistant Vice President for University Facilities are exempt from these requirements.  

Definitions

Assigned Area of Control

Any space that is formally assigned to a department, individual, principal investigator, or project manager as a result of the university’s space planning and assignment process and is not readily accessible to the university community and the public.

Common Areas

Space that is readily accessible to the university community and/or the public including lobbies, hallways, study areas, stairwells, and other similar spaces.

Experimental apparatus, demonstration or art projects, or mechanical or measurement devices include but are not limited to:

  • experimental measurement apparatus
  • measurement apparatus for construction projects or traffic patterns
  • antennas, radios, and transmitters
  • art projects and sculptures
  • architectural mock-ups
  • computer equipment and servers
  • items temporary in nature that are to be placed for a period of six months or less.

Responsibility

Project Manager/Principal Investigator (PM/PI)

  • Ensure that the appropriate protocol and committee prerequisite reviews are completed for all research.
  • At least one week prior to the placement of the experimental apparatus, demonstration or art project, or other mechanical or measurement device, complete the Outside Project Request form. Forward the Outside Project Request form to EHS for review and approval. Send a copy to the department chair.
  • Check the status of the experimental apparatus, demonstration or art project, or mechanical or measurement device on a regular basis.
  • Report a missing Approved Apparatus tag to EHS immediately.
  • Request an extension if the device needs to remain in the common area for a period of time longer than indicated on the Approved Apparatus tag.
  • Remove experimental apparatus, demonstration or art projects, or mechanical or measurement devices from common areas when the approval date expires.
  • Take responsibility for any costs associated with the removal of devices that have not been appropriately tagged.

Environment, Health & Safety Engineer

  • Review all Outside Project Request forms to determine if there are any safety issues associated with the placement of the items in outside or other public areas. Determine if additional approvals are required.
  • Issue Approved Apparatus tags.
  • Reissue a new Approved Apparatus tag, if necessary.
  • Authorize the removal of any experimental apparatus, demonstration or art projects, or mechanical or measurement devices from common areas that have not been appropriately tagged (including items with expired tags) in accordance with this policy. When the project manager/principal investigator is identified, work with them to obtain the appropriate tags prior to authorizing removal.

Facilities Operations

  • Remove, impound and/or destroy any experimental apparatus, demonstration or art projects, or mechanical or measurement devices from common areas that have not been appropriately tagged (including items with expired tags) in accordance with this policy. When the project manager/principal investigator is identified, notify them that the items will be removed if the appropriate tagging procedure is not followed.

University Police

  • Monitor experimental apparatus, demonstration or art projects, and mechanical or measurement devices placed in common areas to ensure that they have an Approved Apparatus tag.
  • Notify the proper authorities when an Approved Apparatus tag is not present.
  • Remove, impound and/or destroy any experimental apparatus, demonstration or art projects, or mechanical or measurement devices from common areas that have not been appropriately tagged (including items with expired tags) in accordance with this policy. When the project manager/principal investigator is identified, notify them that the items will be removed if the appropriate tagging procedure is not followed.

Procedure

  • At least one week prior to the placement of the experimental apparatus, demonstration or art project, or other mechanical or measurement device, complete the Outside Project Request form. Forward the Outside Project Request form to EHS for review and approval. Send a copy to the department chair.
  • EHS will review the Outside Project Request form and determine if additional approvals are needed and whether any safety protocols must be developed.
  • After all approvals are received and safety protocols are met, EHS will complete an Approved Apparatus tag.
  • EHS will forward the Approved Apparatus tag to the requestor.
  • The project manager/principal investigator affixes the tag to the item when placing it in the approved area.
  • Remove all experimental apparatus, demonstration or art projects, or other mechanical or measurement devices from the common area when the dates on the Approved Apparatus tag expire.
  • EHS will handle non-approvals on an individual case basis.

Contact Information

Environment, Health & Safety
220 Winspear Avenue                                                      
Buffalo, NY 14215
Phone:  716-829-3301
Fax:  716-829-2704
EHS@facilities.buffalo.edu 

Related Information

Forms

History

July 2014
Updated the Responsible Executive to reflect the current organizational structure.   

Presidential Approval

Signed by President Satish K. Tripathi

Satish K. Tripathi, President

6/1/2011

Date