EH&S Related Policies


Objective & Purpose

To provide a safe and healthful environment for the University community by adopting and implementing appropriate standards of operation and conduct.


University Policy


Florida International University is committed to conducting all operations safely; to preventing accidents, injuries or illnesses involving its students and employees; to protection of its property and the environment from damage; and to the prevention and mitigation of conditions likely to interrupt the University's ability to fulfill its academic mission. The University will therefore take reasonable and practical steps to safeguard students, employees, property and operations

The personal safety of each student and employee will be considered fundamental to the design of all facilities and programs. Federal, state and local regulations, and accepted industry practices, for working conditions and work practices shall set the standard for the manner in which the University conducts business.

The University will ensure that no student or employee is harassed or otherwise discriminated against for exercising the right to report unsafe conditions to administrators, immediate supervisors, department heads and faculty or directly to the Department of Environmental Health & Safety.


Department of Environmental Health & Safety


Shall provide the leadership to ensure identification, implementation and administration of programs that promote hazard recognition, avoidance, reporting, correction and control, as well as compliance with pertinent federal, state and local regulations.

Shall be responsible for investigating occurrences that result in injury and illnesses and for making appropriate recommendations to responsible administrators for timely implementation of corrective measures.

Shall provide input and recommendations for loss control in matters related to the purchase of insurance and specialized, regulated materials and equipment and   the construction and modification of facilities.

Department heads, supervisors & faculty

Shall be responsible for maintaining a safe physical work and study environment and for the safe performance of all activities under their supervision.( Click here for FIU Generic Departmnetal Safety Checklist ).

Shall be accountable for accidents and injuries in their departments and shall participate in investigation and training activities aimed at prompt identification and elimination of hazards.

Shall ensure that employees and students are advised of safety rules and guidelines applicable to their work and study activities and that they are provided access to appropriate safety resources. (Click here for University Safety Compliance Guide ).

Shall ensure that employees are provided, and students equipped, with appropriate and approved safety devices, that employees and students receive initial safety orientation and such continued instruction and training as will enable them to work and study safely.

Employees & Staff

Shall comply with safe work practices, shall be responsible for identification and reporting of unsafe conditions or practices, and for the maintenance and correct use of assigned safety equipment.

Repeated failure to comply and willful violations of known safety policies and procedures shall constitute cause for disciplinary actions. 

Shall immediately report all accidents, injuries and first aid incidents to the immediate supervisor, professor and/or the University Police Department, and shall provide full cooperation in subsequent investigations conducted by the University


FIU-113 Smoke and Tobacco-Free Campus

(1)   Definitions:
(a) “Smoking” means possession of a lighted cigarette, cigar, pipe, water-pipe or hookah or any 
product consumed in a similar manner; and the use of an unlit cigarette, cigar, pipe, water-pipe or 
hookah, or the use of an electronic cigarette, cigar, pipe or any other device intended to simulate 
smoked tobacco.
(b) “Tobacco products” means cigarettes, cigars, pipes, smokeless tobacco, snuff, chewing tobacco, 
smokeless pouches, and any other form of loose-leaf, smokeless tobacco.
(c) “University campus” or “campus” shall include all those lands occupied or controlled by Florida 
International University; which includes, but is not limited to the inside of all buildings, 
parking garages, parking lots, athletic fields, and all stadium seating.

(2)   Smoking and/or use of any tobacco product is prohibited in all areas of the University campus.

(3)   Sale of all tobacco products is prohibited on the University campus.(4)   Smoking and/or the use of tobacco products may be permitted in specific designated areas as part of a University approved research or education program.

(5)   Effective date for this regulation shall be January 1, 2011.

Specific Authority: Board of Governors Regulation 1.001(7) (g). History: New 11-17-10.


Keeping FIU students, faculty, staff and visitors safe and injury-free is our highest priority.  As part of our efforts to improve safety, FIU implemented a new University Golf Cart and Other Motorized Carts Safety Policy and Procedures on December 18, 2012 to ensure the safe operation of golf carts and other motorized carts on our campuses.  This policy reaffirms well established safety practices and procedures regarding the use, maintenance and proper operation of these motorized vehicles.


Two significant changes have been made that will directly affect the vehicle operators:


1.      Newly defined exclusion areas where golf carts, mules and other slow moving vehicles are strictly prohibited from entering or traversing or parking.


2.      Violations of the policy will now be sanctioned with warning citations that could result in the suspension of the operator’s driving privileges.


Although all efforts will be made by the Department of Environmental Health and Safety and others during the upcoming months to publicize the information contained in this policy, it will be the department supervisor’s responsibility to effectively communicate this information to all users of motorized vehicles within their departments.


Ultimately, it is the individual employee’s responsibility to safeguard their personal wellbeing as well as the wellbeing of those around our University by adopting and maintaining good motorized vehicle safety practices.   However, we also ask that supervisors be committed to assuring the safety of our students, faculty, staff and visitors by participating in the dissemination of this information and monitoring the proper use of motorized vehicles.


Please ensure that everyone authorized to operate one of these vehicles has reviewed the new policy and familiarized themselves with the accompanying maps:



In addition to the University Police, personnel from Parking and Transportation and Environmental Health and Safety, we encourage everyone to be aware of violations that may endanger pedestrians, the environment or the operator and report them by calling 305-FIU-SAFE.



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To provide for protection against personal injury and property damage from fireworks and similar pyrotechnic devices discharged on University premises.


Chancellor's Memorandum CM-B-03.00-02/97 and Florida Statutes Section 284.50.


The use of fireworks, blank-shots and similar types of pyrotechnic materials, capable of ignition, used in or on University premises requires coordination with the Department of Environmental Health & Safety, the University Police Department, and a valid permit issued by the local fire department.

 Each permit shall indicate the type materials to be used, person (s) charged with the discharge or management of the display, the location on the campus where the display will occur and the time of the event.

 No explosives, fireworks, or other incendiary materials may be set off by any person other than an individual qualified to perform such tasks.



Prepares proposal for services to be provided by a licensed contractor. 

Each contract for fireworks display services awarded by the University shall include a clause stating: "no explosive, fireworks or other incendiary material shall be introduced, stored or used on University property, except in accordance with the applicable laws, regulations, and ordinances of the state and county government".

Arranges for a review of event procedures, at least 15 working days prior to the event, by the Director of the Department of Environmental Health & Safety and the Director of University Police Department so that safety and security measures can be properly coordinated.  

Coordinates for a facilities inspection by the contractor/professional charged with the responsibility of launching/managing the display and a representative of the Department of Environmental Health & Safety.  

Arranges for the transmission of insurance certificate (s) and permit (s) to the Director of the Department of Environmental Health & Safety 


Secures permit (s) for handling or using explosives or fireworks from the local fire department and the Fire Safety Bureau, and arranges for supervision of the event by the Fire Marshal designated by the local authority.  

Obtains liability insurance and performance and/or fire display bond, as appropriate.  Insurance shall be provided in the amounts of $1,000,000 (one million) Single Limit Liability in connection with property damage and bodily injury that may arise out of the subject fireworks display, and a minimum of $5,000 medical payment.  The Florida International University Board of Trustees, Florida International University, State of Florida, the Florida Board of Education as successor to the Florida Board of Regents, and their respective trustees, directors, officers, instructors, agents or employees shall be named as additional insureds on the certificate of insurance.  

Submits a copy of the permit and proof of insurance to the Department of Environmental Health & Safety at least five working days prior to display. 

Shall forgo the use of any remote ignition systems that are not under the direct control of an on-site operator and shall set up displays using methods that allow for interruption of firing in the event of an unforeseen safety concern.


Implements crowd control procedures as required.

Provides adequate personnel to monitor the perimeter of the discharge and landing site.

  Ensures that the discharge and landing site is monitored before the exhibit begins, and continues until the "all clear" signal has been given by the Department of Environmental Health & Safety.


Arranges certification reviews of insurance and permits to assure consistency with University requirements.

Establishes the criteria for site selection and the type devices appropriate for use.  Enforces and limits the number of shells per display. 

Note:  Free floating devices or shells less than four inches in diameter are not permitted unless specifically approved by the Department of Environmental Health & Safety.

Develops unique site safety criteria with the University Police Department and the contractor/professional charged with the responsibility for launching/managing the display.

Ensures that the handling and launching of pyrotechnics is carried out in accordance with permit conditions. 

Ensures that the discharge and landing site is monitored before the display begins, and continues until the "all clear" signal has been received from the contracted professional and the site has been inspected after the display.


Florida Statute 791.012 Minimum Fireworks Safety Standard

The outdoor display of fireworks in this state shall be governed by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1123, Code for Fireworks Display, 1995 Edition, approved by the American National Standards Institute. Any state, county, or municipal law, rule, or ordinance may provide for more stringent regulations for the outdoor display of fireworks, but in no event may any such law, rule, or ordinance provide for less stringent regulations for the outdoor display of fireworks. The division shall promulgate rules to carry out the provisions of this section. The Code for Fireworks Display shall not govern the display of any fireworks on private, residential property and shall not govern the display of those items included under s. 791.01(4)(b) and (c) and authorized for sale thereunder.



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To establish standard procedures for the safe, timely and orderly emergency evacuation of University facilities.


  • Florida Statute Chapter 633 - Fire Prevention and Control
  • National Fire Protection Association: Life Safety Code
  • Department of Insurance, Division of State Fire Marshall Uniform Fire Safety Rules and Standards
  • Florida International University 2001 Emergency Management Executive Committee Policy Statement
  • University Safety Policy 15.8



Fires, explosions, bomb threats and chemical spills are among the occurrences that may require emergency evacuation of University facilities.  The continuous sound and flashing of fire alarm horns and strobes, in any University owned, leased or operated facility, is the evacuation signal. Everyone who is alerted by this alarm is required to evacuate the facility as quickly and as calmly as possible.


The University's  "Zero Tolerance Fire Alarm Response Protocol" demands that all facility occupants respond to the alarm signal by immediately initiating the evacuation procedures outlined below:

  1. Conclude activities immediately. Complete the internal departmental or class procedures that have been determined to be essential prior to emergency evacuation.
  2. Department safety wardens, supervisors, laboratory managers and instructors are required to assure that everyone, including individuals with mobility limitations, have evacuated their area. 

NoteEvacuation plans for persons with disabilities must be made part of each department's documented emergency evacuation procedures.

  1. Follow facility EXIT signs to the nearest safe exit. Do not use elevators! Special care should be taken with some footwear, such as clogs, that could hamper rapid and safe descent.
  2. Walk briskly down stairs. Do Not Run! Stay on the right in order to allow emergency response personnel clear access up the stairs, along the left side.
  3.  As you approach the landing of each floor, allow evacuees from that level to enter the stairwell.
  4. If evacuation becomes difficult via a chosen route, because of smoke, flames or blockage, re-enter the facility on a safe floor. Continue evacuation via the nearest safe exit route.
  5. Once you have exited the facility, move away from the building. Stay clear of the building and exit doors!  Proceed to your Evacuation Assembly Area.
  6. Do not, under any circumstances, re-enter the facility unless authorized by a University Police Officer, fire department personnel, or until a recognized University authority broadcasts the "All Clear" directive.



Director of Emergency Management

Based on the scope and impact of an "occurrence" or life safety threat, the Director of Emergency Management may authorize the notification of the FIU Emergency Management Group (EMG) and/or activation of the Emergency Management Plan.

As defined in the FIU Emergency Management Plan


Deans, Directors & Department Heads

Shall, at minimum, develop and implement the following procedures:  

  1. Designate the individual and alternate(s), i.e. department safety wardens, who will be responsible for maintenance and implementation of their unit's emergency management plan.
  2. Perform an annual review and update of their unit's planned response to fires and other types of emergencies that may require facility evacuation.
  3. Identify the critical assets and functions within their operations, and determine how each such asset or function could be adversely affected by the likely consequences of fire, water, soot, and other likely occurrences, that could result in disruption, destruction and/or interruption of their unit's routine operations. 
  4. Appropriate the resources necessary to plan, prepare and recover from the effects of the occurrences identified to be most likely to affect their critical assets and functions.
  5. Arrange/facilitate emergency response training on the use of fire extinguishers, the control of hazardous material releases, and other topics as may be appropriate; and assure employees' full cooperation and participation in emergency planning and evacuation exercises.
  6. Assure that all employees including faculty, staff, volunteers, OPS-employees and college work-study employees are advised and knowledgeable regarding their specific emergency response assignments, and that they are fully able to execute them.
  7. Maintain a current emergency call roster and a contact list for each employee in their department or unit.
  8. Develop and exercise procedures for employees to provide notification to their supervisor or the department safety warden regarding their well-being and availability in the aftermath of an emergency.

Employees, Students & Facility Occupants:

Shall familiarize themselves with the University's, and their unit's, emergency response procedures.

Shall cooperate with University Police Officers, fire department personnel, and designated emergency response personnel charged with responding to, or investigating an occurrence or any other life safety threats.

Shall notify the University Police Department and/or activate the nearest fire alarm pull station to alert others if a life safety threat, such as the presence of smoke or flames is detected. Occupants of buildings or trailers that are not equipped with a fire alarm system shall notify other building occupants of the need to evacuate by using any means appropriate to the situation.

Shall notify the University Police Department of any individuals with mobility limitations who intend to take refuge in stairwells or specific areas for rescue assistance.

NoteThe fire alarm system in most buildings at the University Park campus and Biscayne Bay campus is directly connected to the University Police Dispatcher's station; however, reasonable efforts should be made to provide additional details to the University Police Dispatcher immediately prior to, or immediately after evacuating a facility because of a life safety threat.


University Police:

Shall immediately dispatch an officer under "Code 3"to the facility reported as the location of occurrence, and shall immediately thereafter notify the Fire Department and other agencies, as appropriate.

 Shall provide subsequent notification to the following:

  • Facilities Management Work Management Center or on-call personnel
  • Director of Environmental Health & Safety/Emergency Management Plan Coordinator or his or her alternate
  • FIU Director of Emergency Management, as appropriate
  • Select members of the Emergency Management Group, as appropriate

The responding officer, upon arrival at the building from which the alarm originated, shall conduct a threat evaluation by attempting to verify the existence of a fire or life safety threat.

  •  Whenever it is possible to clearly establish that the signal/situation under evaluation is a "False Alarm", the officer shall immediately notify the Dispatcher, who will immediately notify the Fire Department and other agencies.
  • If a fire or life safety threat is suspected or verified, the officer shall immediately notify the Dispatcher of his or her observations. The Dispatcher shall immediately relay this information to the Fire Department and other emergency response agencies and shall provide as much relevant additional information as is available.

Fire alarms shall not be silenced unless/until the threat evaluation has been completed by the responding University Police Officer(s) and/or emergency response personnel.

 University Police Officers or Fire Department Personnel are the only persons authorized to silence, or to grant authorization to silence a fire alarm.

Only University Police Officers and/or University employees who have been, designated, trained and authorized by the Facilities Management Department may silence fire alarms. 

As defined in University Police Department SOP Manual

Facilities Management

Shall respond to the appropriate location, upon receipt of notification from the University Police Dispatcher.

Facilities Management personnel shall remain accessible and await the authorization from the University Police Department or Fire Department Personnel to silence or reset fire alarm and other building systems that may require reactivation.

Shall coordinate for the implementation of a Fire Watch, consistent with FIU University Safety Compliance Gudance #214, if the fire alarm system has been partially or totally disabled in any facility managed by the University.

Shall maintain University fire alarm system at optimal functional effectiveness.

Shall assure that timely and widespread notification is provided to the University community regarding any and all scheduled testing of the fire alarm system in any University facility.

Environmental Health & Safety

Shall, upon notification from the University Police Dispatcher, respond to the incident command post established for the management of an emergency, when appropriate.

Shall provide the University Police Department, Facilities Management and authorized emergency response personnel browser access to the Chemical Inventory Management System (CIMS) hazardous materials database.

Shall coordinate with the Metro-Dade Fire Department to develop and maintain current site safety response plans for each campus location.

Shall assure maintenance of fire extinguishers and fire suppression systems located throughout University facilities in operable condition, and in compliance with fire safety code requirements.

Shall issue building re-occupancy clearance, subsequent to the occurrence of a fire or life safety threat with potential environmental or occupational health and safety ill-effects.

Shall facilitate delivery of various types of emergency preparedness and response training and awareness programs for the University community including, but not limited to, use of fire extinguishers and Evacu-Trac devices and emergency evacuation exercises.



Persons with Disabilities

It is the responsibility of each person with a physical limitation, likely to impair their ability to safely and independently evacuate a building at the time of an emergency, to make the necessary arrangements with the Office of Disability Services, Equal Opportunity Programs, co-workers ("buddies") and/or the University Police Department to provide assistance as may be appropriate to facilitate their safe and timely evacuation of University facilities at the time of an emergency. 


Research & Teaching Laboratories:

Principal investigators and laboratory managers are required to develop and maintain current written emergency response and evacuation procedures appropriate for the type of hazards in their laboratories.


Other Locations:

University employees responsible for locations that may house unique or high-risk operations are equally subject to the requirement to develop and maintain written emergency response and evacuation procedures specific for the type of hazardous exposures at their location.