Campus Community

Safety is an everyday concern for workers and the campus community. EH&S has several programs set up to actively protect you and the beautiful Boulder landscape. We ensure that workplaces and the environment on campus makes day-to-day life for staff, faculty, and students as safe as possible. Our work protects not just our environment today but safeguards the future for CU Boulder and the land we are entrusted.

Campus Residents

Many products used in the home, garden, garage and hobby shop contain hazardous ingredients and need to be disposed of safely. Don’t put it down the drain or in the trash, Boulder County will dispose of your household hazardous waste for free. Anything that is toxic (rat poison, pesticides, bleach), flammable (lighter fluid, paint remover) or corrosive (oven and drain cleaner).

The Boulder County website lists of items they do and do not accept, as well as tips on reducing your waste. These household hazardous wastes cannot be accepted by EH&S’s chemical hazardous waste program. There is more information on residential waste management from the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment.

Faculty & Staff

Working on the beautiful Boulder campus is great. We make sure the campus stays safe so you can enjoy working here. That can range from asbestos abatement in historic buildings to addressing the effects of severe weather on campus buildings. If you have questions or concerns about the safety of campus or campus buildings, please contact us.

Environmental Well Being

We have programs in place to protect the on-going health of the beautiful Boulder environment. Many of these programs overlap with Projects and Construction support. For example, monitoring water that might run off campus and into Boulder creek often becomes more important in consideration of nearby construction projects. We make sure that all work is done in a way that keeps the Boulder valley safe.

Reducing Environmental Dangers

Safety is an everyday concern for workers and the campus community. EH&S has several programs set up to actively protect you and the beautiful Boulder landscape.

Some areas we monitor and support:

  • Asbestos and Lead Based Paint
  • Occupational Noise Exposure
  • Storm Water Protection
  • Waste Water Protection
  • Water Intrusion and Flooding
  • Indoor Air Quality & Odor
  • Battery Collection
  • Household Hazardous Waste
  • Radon
  • Asbestos Management
  • Asbestos

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral commonly found in many building materials. Due to being a great insulator and resistant to fire and acids, it was used in numerous applications. Prolonged or repeated inhalation of airborne asbestos fibers can cause asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. These diseases may not appear until 10-40 years after exposure.

EH&S uses an online asbestos material management system (MMS) to track and manage asbestos containing materials (ACM) on campus. The CU Boulder Asbestos Control Program protects students and staff from asbestos exposure. The program covers inspections, maintenance and abatement of asbestos-containing material (ACM's). This system is a comprehensive solution to building-wide asbestos management. We work with project managers, industrial hygiene firms, and abatement contractors to track the location and removal of ACM. Many other roles on campus find this database useful in helping manage ACM.

EHS staff evaluate construction projects for the presence of asbestos to ensure the materials are safely removed before construction and demolition work begins. The University has a few staff trained to remove small amounts of ACM; however, abatement contractors are frequently used to safely remove ACM for large construction or demolition projects. EHS provides asbestos awareness training for employees that work around asbestos as part of their job's scope. 

Bloodborne Pathogens

Bloodborne Pathogens are diseases found in blood and other bodily fluids. Contact with blood or certain fluids can lead to contracting serious, potentially fatal, diseases. Most instances of occupational transmission are from contaminated punctures or open wounds. The two most common illnesses associated with blood-borne pathogen safety include: hepatitis B (HBV), and HIV. Always assume blood could be infectious. Blood clean up must be cleaned up by trained personnel.

Confined Space Entry

A confined space can be found all over campus. Confined spaces are determined based on specific criteria such as: large enough to enter and work within, not designed for continuous occupation, and limited entry and exit. Permit required spaces include all the above plus a serious hazard. These can include: atmospheric levels, convergent floors, engulfment, or other significant hazards. Prior training of entrants and attendants, permits, and air quality metering are mandatory for entry of a permit-required confined space.


Ergonomics is the applied science of people interacting safely with objects. Every job is affected by ergonomics to varying degrees. Poor body mechanics during motion can result in musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) which affect the muscles and corresponding nerves, blood vessels, tendons, and ligaments. EHS offers ergonomic assessments, training, and an ergonomic equipment lending library for employees. Pay attention to your body for signs of muscle fatigue. Stretch, take breaks, and hydrate. Never "push through the pain" to finish a task. Always complete duties keeping good body mechanics in mind.


Noise is often defined as annoying sounds; however, it is important to note that one person’s sounds may be another person’s noise. Not only can noise be annoying but it can also cause permanent damage to the ear, destroy hearing and create physical and psychological stress. An office setting would not typically approach noise levels of 85 decibels however; equipment and various operations carried out on campus may reach levels which could potentially be harmful to hearing. Environmental Health and Safety has the capability to monitor sound levels in and around work areas to determine if sound control measures are necessary to limit noise exposure.

Occupational/Worker Safety

EH&S provides occupational training to better facilitate a safe work environment, as well as meet various regulations. Visit the Training page to find occupational offerings.

On-The-Job Injury

A program outlining the requirements for reporting, notification, and interview of work-related injuries or illnesses / “On-the-Job Injuries (OJI)” or serious near misses for the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder Campus). The objective of the program is to identify hazards having inadequate control measures in place and to implement containment, preventive, and corrective actions to prevent future occurrences of work-related injuries and illnesses across the campus.


Radon levels have been tested throughout the CU Boulder campus. For information, contact the Radiation Safety unit.