Fire/General Safety Inspection Program

Policy

All University buildings shall be inspected as required by relevant safety, health and environmental regulations. Reviews shall be conducted by representatives of Environmental Health and Safety.

Exception: Single family residential properties shall not receive fire/safety reviews. Laboratories shall be inspected by the Office of Research Safety as required by relevant safety, health, and environmental regulations.

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Purpose

The purpose of the Fire/General Safety Inspection Program is to ensure the health and safety of faculty, staff, students, and visitors while also ensuring compliance with appropriate regulatory agencies.

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Authority and Responsibility

Environmental Health and Safety is responsible for:

  1. Developing a Fire Safety Inspection Program;
  2. Conducting annual reviews of all University buildings, excluding single-family residences and laboratories;
  3. Conducting follow-up inspections of all University buildings identified for re-inspections;
  4. Immediately stopping any work practices posing an imminent hazard to faculty, staff, students, and visitors;
  5. Immediately contacting the work center for facility deficiencies posing an imminent hazard to faculty, staff, students, and visitors;
  6. Providing written reports to the facility manager or building contact;
  7. Submitting work requests to Facilities Services or Physical Plant for building maintenance issues;
  8. Reviewing the Fire/General Safety Inspection Program to ensure that the program is in compliance with current codes and standards; and
  9. Ensuring corrective action is followed through identified concerns.

Facility managers or building contacts are responsible for:

  1. Complying with all aspects of the Fire/General Safety Inspection Program;
  2. Providing access to all areas and rooms under their responsibility;
  3. Coordinating corrective action with the appropriate department for any work practices identified as imminently hazardous in accordance with the University of Chicago’s Personnel Policy on Progressive Corrective Action, Section 703; and
  4. Addressing ordinary safety concerns discovered during the fire/general safety inspection under their responsibility within 90 days and critical safety concerns within 30 days

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Frequency

Initial Inspection

All University buildings shall be inspected annually. Safety concerns identified during the initial inspection shall be corrected within 90 days, unless a shorter period of time is specified due to the severity of concerns or a longer period of time is necessary because of operational considerations. Longer periods of time shall be agreed upon by Environmental Health and Safety

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Procedure

University buildings shall be inspected in accordance with the procedure set forth below:

  1. All fire/general safety inspections are typically unannounced with few exceptions; in limited cases an inspection may need to be scheduled due to unique security and access requirements;
  2. A representative from Environmental Health and Safety shall tour the building;
  3. When there is a need for additional information and/or clarification during fire/general safety inspection, the facility manager or building contact shall be notified;
  4. If any general areas are not accessible, the facility manger or building contact shall be notified and directed to provide access to all areas and rooms within the building;
  5. EHS will forward items for repair to Facilities Services on behalf of the facility manager within five business days: and,
  6. Fire/general safety inspection results shall be provided to the facility manager or building contact within ten business days of the inspection.

Each department shall ensure that corrective action plans have been implemented or are in process prior to the time frame listed on the Fire Safety Inspection for each concern.

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Imminent Hazards

Any work practices (e.g., using extension cords in or near water) or facility deficiencies (e.g.,  locked exit door) posing an imminent hazard to faculty, staff, students, and visitors identified during fire/general safety inspections shall be stopped and corrected immediately. The representative from Environmental Health and Safety who discovers any imminent hazard shall immediately notify the facility manager or building contact who is responsible for coordinating corrective action with the appropriate department. All imminent hazards shall also be noted in the inspection report.

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Progressive Resolution Process

University buildings failing to correct concerns identified on any inspection report shall be escalated appropriately for resolution. Each identified concern shall be corrected prior to the corrective action date.  For concerns not corrected in the time established by EHS, a non-compliance notice will escalate through the direct reporting hierarchy informing the department of the unresolved issues.

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Outside Regulatory Agencies

Outside regulatory agencies and insurance representatives requesting to inspect University properties or review components of the general safety program in order to determine compliance with regulations shall be directed to Environmental Health and Safety.

A representative from Environmental Health and Safety shall accompany the representative from the outside agency on all inspections conducted and facilitate the necessary corrective action plan.

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Trend Analysis

All key performance indicators shall be tracked in a database maintained by Environmental Health and Safety. This data shall be used for the purpose of trend analysis on an annual basis.

Reviewed: March 2018

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