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Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Safety and Responsibility for Visitors, Guests, and Volunteers

To: All Faculty, Staff, and Students
From: Dean & Director
Subject: Safety and Responsibility for Visitors, Guests, and Volunteers
Date: July 11, 1992
Updated: October 8, 2007

By virtue of our status as a Research and Academic Institution, we attract a number of visitors, guests, and volunteer workers. Recently enacted stringent federal regulations and our inherent responsibility for the safety and security of individuals who are sponsored on campus makes it necessary that we be able to account for visitors/guests/volunteers for the duration of their time here. Of particular concern is the possibility for proximity exposure to hazardous chemicals and radiation, or being allowed to work with such materials without having received proper awareness training. It is also our policy that a liability release form be signed prior to engaging in any activity involving a variety of endeavors. In the case of a minor the liability release form must be signed by the parent or guardian. These forms are available from the Volunteer Coordinator, diving or vessel/safety office and cover such areas as diving, general activities, embarkation on vessels, and office and laboratory work.

Personnel who invite guests or utilize volunteer workers have the responsibility for these individuals while they are on campus or engaged in any type of VIMS/SMS sanctioned field activity. In the case of visitors and guests residing in Page house, we must ensure they know how to summon emergency assistance if needed.

Therefore, effective 15 July 1992 it will be the responsibility of the sponsor or in the case of volunteer workers, the supervisor, to ensure that any visitor/guest/volunteer who will be at the institute in excess of 72 hours complete a check-in/out sheet. Visitors/guests/volunteers who will be here less than 72 hours will not be required to complete the check-in/out procedures unless they will be working with chemicals or radioactive materials. Everyone must execute a liability release form. Visitors/guests/volunteers already on campus will be required to execute liability releases and complete check-in/out processes if applicable. One time activities such as sea food seminars, social gatherings, and conferences not involving any potential for exposure are excluded.

The Volunteer Coordinator and Safety and Environmental Programs Offices are available to assist you as required and to answer any question you may have.

I am well aware of the time involved with this requirement, but when weighed against your personal and our Institutional liability and responsibility for our visitors, guests, and volunteers, I am confident I can count on your support.

Modified for Web Page November 8, 2006