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George A. Smathers Libraries: INDOOR AIR QUALITY POLICY

I. Policy

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) problems have been implicated as the cause of health concerns in a number of University of Florida buildings, including the Library. These concerns can range from lifethreatening events such as exposure to deadly diseases, to minor eye and lung irritation, headaches and skin irritation. Anxiety and emotional stress can exacerbate these symptoms. Some of these problems can be attributed to faulty heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, problems occurring during a construction / renovation projects, unlawful smoking in enclosed indoor areas or improper use of chemicals by building occupants or custodial staff.

II. Division of Responsibilities

Management of a suspected IAQ problem requires effective communication and prompt action by all parties.

    A. Library staff, students and patrons experiencing discomfort must be prompt in reporting the suspected problem.
      1. Industrial accidents or illness resulting from exposure to a construction site, or any other complaints of adverse Indoor Air Quality, are to be reported immediately to the Library Facilities Planning Office 273-2575 and to the Environmental Health & Safety Department (392-1591).

      2. Any staff member may initiate the reporting process. However, for consistency, and to insure a systematic and documented reporting process, whenever possible, all reports of IAQ should go through the respective department head.

    B. The goal of the Library Facilities Planning Office is to ensure a safe, comfortable work environment for staff and patrons at all times.
      1. The Library Facilities Planning Officer, as the Library Safety Coordinator, in conjunction with the University Construction Project Manager, notifies appropriate Library staff regarding the schedule of any construction / renovation projects impacting the work area and outlines possible risks and cautions which can be taken to minimize or eliminate adverse circumstances.

      2. The Library Facilities Planning Office is the primary liaison between the University Libraries and campus/outside architects, engineers and contractors performing any construction related work on library facilities, and with the campus Environmental Health & Safety Department for any incidents affecting Indoor Air Quality.

      3. The Library Facilities Planning Office has established procedures which will facilitate the reporting and evaluation of suspected health related building problems.

        a) The Library Facilities Planning Office communicates to the staff the nature, scope and duration of any construction project, maintenance work or building services which may affect the Indoor Air Quality of their work spaces, and posts signs visible to the staff and public describing the work.

        b) The Library Facilities Planning Office conducts preconstruction meetings, as appropriate, to discuss with staff the impact of construction on their spaces. Some of these will be mandatory for staff to attend. The meetings will address:

          (1) the scope of the project and its projected time table;

          (2) the identification and responsibilities of the university project manager and the building safety coordinator;

          (3) schedules of utility or fire alarm outages and provide any drawings of the affected areas, if appropriate;

          (4) a description of all products to be used, chemical or other, and the possible impact on health, safety and comfort;

          (5) procedures for occupant reporting of IAQ problems;

          (6) contingency plans, if appropriate.

      4. The Library Facilities Planning Office conducts regular onsite inspections of the construction site and reports any problems immediately to the proper authorities.
        a) Inspections occur at least weekly and Library managers affected are contacted while construction is underway.

        b) The general Library staff is informed of safety related problems as they are identified and steps taken toward resolution.

    C. The Environmental Health & Safety Department is available to assist building occupants, administrators, maintenance personnel and construction managers in the investigation of IAQ problems and the development of corrective actions. The Environmental Heath and Safety Department also provides the Library Facilities Planning Office with complete product information on materials to be used during any construction / renovation project.

    D. Medical examinations are available to all employees and students, if necessary, through the Student Health Care Center. Library staff should complete the standard Workers Compensation and Environmental Health and Safety forms.

    E. The Library Administration develops contingency plans to manage potential problems that may be encountered in library renovation / construction projects. If necessary, the contingency plan identifies alternate work space for staff affected.

      1. The Environmental Health and Safety Department, in conjunction with the University construction manager, are available to assist in the development of such a plan.

      2. The Library Administration is also responsible for maintaining lines of communication among staff, library clientele, The Library Facilities Planning Office, Environmental Health & Safety and University administration.

    F. The Library Safety and Security Committee will assist in the identification and solution of problems and recommend procedures or revisions to existing procedures to the project manager.
III. Florida Clean Air Act

The Florida Clean Air Act of 1992 became effective October 1, 1992. The act prohibits smoking in enclosed indoor areas, other than those specifically designated as smoking areas, and further forbids designation of any smoking areas in educational facilities.

    A. Each Library Department Chair and Director is responsible for ensuring policy compliance within areas under their jurisdiction.

    B. University standards for performance and conduct outline procedures for the wilful violation of the provision of the law, university rules, regulations and policies.

    C. The Florida Clean Indoor Air Act of 1992 provides that any person who smokes, in other than designated smoking areas, commits a noncriminal violation punishable by fine.

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