Identifying possible occupational risks is a critical task for higher education institutions in order to avoid environmental health hazards and infrastructure damage, for which implementing prevention and mitigation measures becomes a priority.
For this reason, the UANL Office of the Vice President for Sustainable Development, assisted by the Department of Environmental Management and Operational Safety initiated in 2014 a technical inspection program in 26 undergraduate schools and 29 high schools for purposes of environmental and operational safety examination. The Department of Environmental Management and Operational Safety carried out these inspections.
Technical inspections included the following aspects:
- Safe handling and storage of chemicals
- Waste management program (chemical and biological waste) urban waste, and special handling waste.
- Safety signs
- Contingency plan.
- Extinguisher inspection.
- Evacuation routes , emergency exits, and assembly points.
After the technical inspections were completed, feedback reports were elaborated in regard to safety and health, hazardous waste, municipal solid waste, and special handling waste, along with recommendations and applicable standards. These reports are handed over to the principals, deans, and directors of the inspected entities, so that they can be used as a basis to develop guidelines on environmental and facility damage prevention, as well as workplace accident minimization. This helps safeguard the health and physical integrity of our students, professors, and staff.
During 2016, sixty-seven inspections were conducted, of which thirty were first-time diagnoses and thirty-seven were follow-up inspections. As of June 2017, thirty-one diagnoses and fifteen follow-ups have been performed. Therefore, UANL and the Vice Presidency of Sustainability promote the environmental management program through sustainable practices as part of their commitment to protect the environment. The abovementioned program reaches more than two hundred thousand members of the university community.
Significant progress was attained at each inspected entity in 2016, as shown below:
Developing plans of contingency, storage, identification and proper handling of chemicals, as well as implementing a waste management program according to their specific needs and complying with safety sign regulations are among the entities’ improvements in the recommendations made on the feedback reports.