Safety and Risk Management

Safety and Risk Management


Our Mission:

The Safety and Risk Management Office is committed to supporting the University’s mission by promoting a safe and environmentally sound culture shared by all persons of our campus community. The office is responsible for developing, implementing, and maintaining environmental, occupational safety and health, insurance liability, and workers’ compensation programs.


Environmental Affairs and Hazardous Waste Management

The Safety Office has responsibility for oversight of environmental permitting and compliance activities, such as underground/above ground storage tank management, storm water management, environmental assessments and hazardous waste disposal programs.

Fire and Emergency Response

The Safety Office is responsible for enforcing the North Carolina Building and Fire Codes, investigating fire incidents, developing evacuation procedures and maintaining fire alarm and extinguishing systems and coordinating the Emergency Response Team.


This procedure covers administrative reports of accidents, occupational illnesses and fires. Documentation of such events, even minor accidents which do not require emergency assistance is required to meet Federal and State record keeping regulations. For emergency notification see Emergency Procedures.

Accidental Injuries

Accidental injuries to students, staff and visitors while on University property and in the course of University employment or activity must be reported to the Safety Officer in writing within five (5) working days.

Occupational Illness

Occupational illnesses are medical disorders resulting from exposures to workplace environmental factors such as chemicals, biological agents, noise, repetitive motion, radiation, etc. The exposure may be a short term over-exposure or may occur over a long period of time. Acute illness from short term over-exposure and any direct exposure to blood or body fluids are to be reported to the Safety Officer following the same procedure as accidental injuries. Illness from long term suspected exposures are to be reported within five (5) days of the time the employee is informed of a possible chronic illness by a medical physician.

Near Miss Incidents (Close Calls)

Incidents, which do not result in an injury or illness but could have under slightly different circumstances, should be reported to the Safety Officer within 5 working days.

University Health Service

The University Health Service generates an initial report to Safety & Risk Management for all cases, which are referred to the Health Service. For cases, which are not referred to the University Health Service, the employee's or student's department must report the case to the Safety Officer.

Fire Incidents

Fire incidents including false alarms are reported by University Police and Housing Incident Reports or the Steam Plant. University Police should be notified of all fire incidents regardless of how minor.

Employee Statement Form

Employees involved in an accident or occupational illness will be required to complete an "Employee Statement" form providing factual information about the accident or illness. The immediate supervisor of an employee involved in an accident or occupational illness is responsible for determining the cause of the accident or illness and forwarding the Employee Statement form to the Safety Officer. As the manager in charge of daily work activities supervisors are expected to know what happened, why it happened, and how it happened.

Follow up Investigation

All accidents, illnesses and fires will be investigated by the Safety Officer for the purpose of analyzing the circumstances surrounding the event, the possible need for corrective action to prevent future occurrence, and the compensation of a reported injury or illness under the terms of the North Carolina Workers' Compensation Act. A safety follow-up report will be completed for all accidents.

Indoor Air Quality

The Safety and Risk Management Office considers recommendations from the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and is committed to providing a work environment that is free of recognized hazards and investigates complaints that may be related to poor IAQ.

Occupational and Environmental Hygiene


The Safety Office inspects University work environments to anticipate, recognize, evaluate, and control personnel exposures to chemical and physical hazards, including (but not limited to) asbestos and lead based paint, and manages personnel monitoring programs.

Workplace Safety

The Safety Office offers expertise in maintenance, construction projects, ergonomics, respiratory protection, safety training, and workers compensation.

Risk Management and Insurance

The Safety & Risk Management Office handles 25 different types of property and liability insurance policies for Western Carolina University. These include coverage for buildings, state vehicles, study abroad, medical malpractice, Student Internship Liability and others.

Hazard Hero Program

North Carolina's Injury Prevention Program helps employees to identify and eliminate work place hazards. Employees play a crucial role in promoting a safe working environment while stopping unsafe working conditions.To participate in the Hazard Hero Program and report an incident, complete this form. If you have any questions, Contact the Office of Safety and Risk Management at (828) 227-7443.



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