Safety Rules & Responsibilities

Authorization of these Rules and Responsibilities are per the Regents Policy Manual – Chapter 16 and the Administrative Rules and Procedures – Chapter 16.30.


    The University encourages and supports all programs which promote safety, good health, and well-being of the University community.  This policy endorses efforts which ensure the quality of occupational and community environments while participating in University sponsored and work related activities.


    It is the policy of New Mexico State University to promote good health, well-being, and occupational safety for its faculty, employees, students, and visitors. This policy endorses programs which: 

    1. Provide safe and healthful conditions and reduce injuries and illnesses to the lowest possible level. No task is so important and no service so urgent that it cannot be done safely.

    2. Assure compliance with federal, state, and local regulations providing for environmental health and occupational safety.

    3. Provide information, training, and safeguards to faculty, staff, and students regarding health and safety hazards, and to the surrounding community regarding environmental health hazards arising from operations and events at the University.

    4. Install and maintain facilities and equipment in accordance with recognized and accepted standards essential to reduce or prevent exposure to hazards by faculty, staff, students, and visitors.

    5. Provide appropriate personal protective equipment to all employees at University expense when engineering controls are not adequate to minimize exposure.

    6. Provide medical services as required by law and as may be dictated by existing circumstances or programs.

    7. Environmental Health Safety & Risk Management develops and executes comprehensive health and safety programs for the university. These programs comply with all federal, state, and municipal laws, codes, acts, regulations and standards relating to health, safety and the environment. This Environmental Health Safety & Risk Management policy along with current details of responsibility and accountability for various issues can be found on the Environmental Health Safety & Risk Management Web page (


    1. University President has ultimate responsibility for establishing and maintaining health and safety programs and establishing a system for assessing safety performance for the University.

    2. University Administration: All Vice Presidents, Deans and Department Heads are responsible for:

      1. Ensuring that facilities and equipment provided meet requirements for a safe work environment for activities being conducted or modify those activities accordingly to come into compliance with applicable rules, regulations and standards.

      2. Ensuring individuals under their management have the authority and support to implement environmental health and safety policies, practices and programs.

      3. Ensuring areas under their management are in compliance with University, state and federal environmental health and safety policies, practices and programs.

      4. Establishing priorities and committing resources for correction of environmental health and safety deficiencies.

      5. Establishing procedures for dissemination of policies and other safety-related information.

      6. Establishing procedures to implement policies.

      7. Utilizing the system which will be established for assessing safety performance to evaluate their own areas of responsibility and report findings back to central administration.

      8. Immediately notifying Environmental Health Safety & Risk Management when they become aware of a violation of any university, state or federal environmental, health or occupational safety rule or regulation. This includes any contact with the state and federal regulatory agencies.

    3. University Safety Committee is responsible for:

      1. Formulating, reviewing and/or recommending the adoption of environmental health and safety policies.

      2. Advising the Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance on the status of University Environmental Health Safety & Risk Management Program needs.

      3. Providing appropriate staff and faculty expertise for development of a tool to assess safety performance.

    4. Safety related (sub) committees may be established by individual organizational units and/or by the University Safety Committee as required to achieve the objectives of this policy.

    5. Environmental Health Safety & Risk Management is responsible for:

      1. Providing staff support to safety committees.

      2. Assisting in the formulation of safety and health policies.

      3. Providing safety and health related technical services.

      4. Monitoring the effectiveness of safety and health programs.

      5. Investigating identified hazards.

      6. Recommending actions to correct safety deficiencies.

      7. Developing and assisting in implementation of safety programs.

      8. Providing training materials, assistance, and programs on safe and healthy work practices.

      9. Consulting with employees and supervisors about safety and health.

      10. Operating hazardous waste disposal services.

      11. Reviewing legislation, recommending policies; and monitoring compliance with environmental health and safety statutes and regulations; and campus health and safety policies and programs.

      12. Disseminating information to university community on legal requirements of appropriate federal, state and university rules and regulations.

      13. Providing guidance and technical assistance to supervisors and managers in schools, departments, and other work units in identifying, evaluating, and correcting health and safety hazards.

      14. Maintaining radioactive material license, permitting and registrations of x-ray devices for the University.

      15. Acting as the University’s official representative with OSHA, NMED, EPA, DOT and other regulatory agencies on those issues which are associated with environmental, health and occupational safety. The intent of this requirement is to protect the interests of NMSU in dealing with these agencies.  There are other University organizations which interact directly with these agencies on those areas which are clearly under their responsibility.  Examples are the role of Facilities and Services in dealing with Public Regulatory Commission on issues such as natural gas systems.  Those fall outside the scope of EHS&RM direct responsibility.

      16. Authorized to stop any University related activity which is determined to present an unreasonable health and safety risk to University employees and students.

      17. Maintaining non-occupational incident/accident forms.

      18. Recommending corrections to known hazardous conditions.

      19. Coordinating, reporting, managing and maintaining records of non-occupational liability, and property insurance claims.

      20. Providing risk management information, education, and services to University Departments.

      21. Integrating compliance with insurance provisions.

      22. Maintaining insurance and other risk finance programs.

      23. Reviewing University contracts and making recommendations to protect the University’s interests.

    6. Aggie Health and Wellness can provide, at expense of employees department, employee immunizations that are required because of potential occupational exposure as outlined by health and safety guidelines.

    7. The Aggie Health and Wellness Occupational Health Worker’s Compensation Coordinator is responsible for:

      1. Coordinating the delivery of high quality, timely, cost effective medical treatment and other health services as needed by an injured NMSU employee.

      2. Filing first report of injury and illness claims.

      3. Facilitating communication between the employee, employee’s supervisor, health care provider, NMSU Human Resources Services and State of New Mexico Worker’s Compensation Administration and State Risk Management.

      4. Maintaining accident and injury data for use by EHS&RM, safety committees and departments.

      5. Disseminating reporting procedures to departments.

      6. Encouraging cost reduction activities such as case management, preferred medical providers, and early return to work programs such as light duty assignments.

    8. University Police has primary responsibility for:

      1. Providing traffic safety.

      2. Police services.

      3.  Security.

      4. Administering the NMSU Emergency Response Plan.

    9. University Fire Section is responsible for:

      1. Providing responses to fires and hazardous materials incidents and other life-threatening emergencies on campus per the All Hazard Emergency Operations Plan.

      2. Providing emergency medical services.

      3. Inspecting and maintaining fire suppression systems, alarms and extinguishers in campus buildings.

      4. Providing fire extinguisher training to NMSU personnel.

    10. Supervisors, faculty, principal investigators, first line supervisors, and all other persons in authority are responsible for:

      1. Providing safe and healthy environments for those areas and personnel for whom they have supervisory or administrative responsibility, incorporating safety and health issues as an integral part of all activities at the University.

      2. Being continuously cognizant of the safety and health needs of all co-workers and employees for whom they are responsible.

      3. Initiating and enforcing necessary preventive measures to control hazards.

      4. Ensuring necessary support such as engineering and administrative controls, personal protective equipment and occupational medical examinations, local exhaust ventilation are in place and adequate for operations.

      5. Ensuring employees are trained prior to beginning new tasks.

      6. Reporting injuries and illnesses to Worker’s Compensation Office.

      7. Reviewing accident and injury reports for their area(s).

      8. Serving as a focal point for safety and health concerns.

      9. Immediately notifying Environmental Health Safety & Risk Management when they become aware of a violation of any university, state or federal environmental health or occupational safety rule or regulation.  This includes any contact with the state and federal regulatory agencies.

    11. All New Mexico State University faculty, staff, and students are responsible for:

      1. Participating in mandated training programs provided by Environmental Health Safety & Risk Management, supervisors and other instructors.

      2. Properly using university supplied materials and equipment.

      3. Using good judgment in carrying out work assignments and following established procedures.

      4. Promptly reporting unsafe conditions, environmental health hazards, as well as injuries and illnesses to the cognizant supervisor or program director.

      5. Giving due consideration to personal safety and the safety of others while performing assigned tasks.

        Strictly adhering to federal, state and university safety requirements and guidelines.

      6. Disregard or chronic negligence of established policies and procedures can result in disciplinary action.