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.

Although nearly all students left campus in mid-March and the University has been operating in large part remotely since that time, essential functions have continued to be performed on campus on a daily basis. These operations include Public Safety, Dining Services, Residential Life, University Health Services, Facilities Management, Environmental Health and Safety, and others.

To ensure the work of these essential staff is conducted in a safe manner in accordance with RIDOH and CDC guidelines, the University established the COVID-19 Workplace Safety Policy. It now has been expanded to the COVID-19 Campus Safety Policy, encompassing all teaching, research, learning, work and other activities that are authorized to take place on campus.

The policy will be updated as guidance and Brown’s knowledge of the virus change, and it applies to all faculty, students, staff, visitors and guests. The policy is an important component of the University’s overall plan as it demonstrates the principles, practices and detailed policies we are putting in place to ensure the health and safety 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 also began the process of gradually resuming research operations in laboratories and other campus facilities. With health and safety as Brown’s continued priority, we developed the Resuming Work in Research Facilities Principles and Procedures: Stage 1, to provide guidelines for resuming research in laboratories safely.

Facilities Work Plans for On-Site Operations

As additional on-campus operations resume in preparation for the fall semester, Brown expects that some employees who have been working remotely will return to campus locations. All departments that have been working remotely and demonstrate a compelling need to return to campus will be asked to submit for approval specific plans appropriate to their area and function, consistent with the University’s COVID-19 Workplace Safety Policy. And no member of the community will be able to return until they have completed and signed an employee acknowledgment that affirms their understanding and acceptance of the policy.

Last updated August 11, 2020. 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.