Workplace Safety

A rigorous set of workplace safety policies and practices have been put in place to support the health of employees in the work they do every day.

Since Brown’s shift to hybrid in-person and remote operations in March 2020, essential functions continue to be performed on campus on a daily basis. These operations include Public Safety, Dining Services, Residential Life, University Health Services, Facilities Management, and Environmental Health and Safety, and other administrative operations, as well as support for teaching and research. With students on campus for the 2020-21 academic year, additional departments have resumed work on campus.

To ensure the work of these essential staff is conducted in a safe manner in accordance with guidelines from the Rhode Island Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, members of the Brown community must comply with the COVID-19 Campus Safety Policy. The policy encompasses all teaching, research, learning, work and other activities that are authorized to take place on campus.

The policy continues to be updated to align with public health guidance, and it applies to all faculty, students, staff, visitors and guests. The policy is an important component of the University’s overall support for workplace safety, as it reflects the principles, practices and detailed policies in place to ensure the health of Brown’s community members.

See the Workplace Safety Training section of this website for more information about required training. 

Topics Addressed in the Policy

Among other topics, the policy addresses the following important areas:

  • Social distancing — critical to disrupting spread of infection.
  • Face masks and coverings — required unless an individual is in a room alone such as a laboratory or private office, or for a documented personal health exception. Reusable face coverings will be provided to all approved on-campus personnel.
  • Frequent hand washing and increased cleaning of facilities.
  • Maintaining logs of daily contacts and self-monitoring for symptoms.
  • Staying home and notifying University Human Resources directly when an individual experiences symptoms, tests positive or has been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
  • Training that must be completed and an acknowledgement form signed to ensure all employees and students are aware of their role in implementing relevant procedures and protocols.
  • Procedures for community members who test positive or have been exposed or have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Educational signage and posters to educate employees, students and visitors about how to protect themselves, posted in places where they are most likely to be seen, including in restrooms and building entrances.
  • Expectation that all community members will engage in daily symptom monitoring and stay away from campus if they experience symptoms associated with COVID-19.

Laboratory Safety

In June 2020, the University began the process of gradually resuming research operations in laboratories and other campus facilities. With health and safety as Brown’s continued priority, we proceeded with revised guidelines in November 2020 — Stage 2 Process for Resuming Research — as part of a phased process for resuming research in laboratories safely. 

Return to Campus Plans for On-Site Operations

In keeping with maintaining low-density on campus and maintaining distancing in alignment with public health guidance, all departments must demonstrate a compelling need to conduct operations on campus. Departments are required to submit for approval specific Return to Campus plans appropriate to their area and function, consistent with the University’s COVID-19 Campus Safety Policy. No member of the community will be able to work onsite until they have completed and signed an employee acknowledgment that affirms their understanding and acceptance of the policy.

Last updated January 7, 2021. Information on this page may be updated as the University’s planning evolves and/or public health guidance prompts a shift in Brown’s operations and protocols.