Safety on Site (SOS) - Frequently Asked Questions

Safety On Site (SOS) fulfills the employee portion of UCI's implementation of the Injury & Illness Prevention Plan. SOS integrates safety into the workplace, a role ALL employees have at UC Irvine.

The importance of SOS is emphasized by:

  • Cal/OSHA - California Code of Regulations, Title 8, Section 3203, Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) states that every employer shall establish, implement and maintain an effective IIPP.
  • The University of California Presidential Policy on Management of Health, Safety and the Environment
  • SOS effectively integrating safety into each campus work unit, leading to a decrease in frequency and costs of workplace injuries.

Employees need to:

  • Complete all EHS required safety training based on your Safety Training Self-Assessment available at:
  • Know who the designated Safety Representative (SR) is for your work unit.
  • Ask questions of your SR, supervisor or faculty when concerned about an unknown or hazardous situation or substance.
  • Participate in all work unit specific training recommended by your designated SR.
  • Report all unsafe conditions, practices or equipment to either your supervisor, SR, or to campus EHS.

Managers and supervisors including principal investigators need to:

  • Recognize the need to integrate safety into your organization.
  • Arrange your organization into manageable work units.
  • Designate a SOS Representative (SR) for each work unit.
  • Contact EHS for assistance if necessary at 949-824-6200 or

SOS work units include at least one of the following persons:

  • Dean
  • Vice Chancellor
  • Associate Vice Chancellor
  • Assistant Vice Chancellor
  • Department Chair
  • Principal Investigator
  • Academic Business Officer
  • Director
  • Manager/Supervisor
  • Unit/department head

A SOS work unit:

  • Holds periodic staff meetings.
  • Includes people who work closely on a regular basis.
  • Has unique training needs in order to safely and successfully perform unit specific procedures.
  • The determination of who is in which work unit is very flexible. Typically, a work unit would include between 5 and 25 individuals.

Some examples of possible work units:

  • Plumbing superintendent and the plumbing staff
  • Building maintenance supervisor and building maintenance
  • Principal investigator and the lab staff
  • Management Services Officer/Health Sciences Administrator and the department support staff
  • Manager and their staff.

For assistance in determining your work unit, please contact your academic School Coordinator. For non-academic areas, please contact EHS at 949-824-6200 or

Yes. A person could have work duties that merit being a member of more than one work unit. For example, a person might work part-time for one supervisor in a laboratory environment and part-time for another supervisor in an office environment. Both supervisors would include the employee in their respective work units.
The UCI SOS program works to ensure that all UCI employees' safety needs are adequately met and recognizes UCIMC work units as equivalent to UCI work units. For assistance, please contact your School Coordinator at 949-824-6200.

The supervisor or Principal Investigator identifies the Safety Representative (SR) for the work unit. The SR has the following qualifications:

  • Competency in office/administrative work activities or area of research
  • Ability to communicate safety procedures
  • Completion of the appropriate EHS Safety Fundamentals training:
    • Safety Fundamentals, for UCI employees who do not work in a laboratory environment, or
    • Laboratory Safety Fundamentals, for UCI employees who do work in a laboratory environment
  • For SRs in laboratories, a background in chemical, biological, and/or radiological safety issues

Work unit Safety Representatives (SR) are responsible for the following:

  • Ensure that you and your work unit complete all EHS required safety training based on the Safety Training Self-Assessment available at
  • Complete the Hazard Identification Checklist appropriate for your work unit at least every year, or whenever your work environment changes significantly.
  • Ensure that identified hazards are addressed and corrected.
  • Conduct work unit specific training for work unit members, for new employees or whenever your work environment changes significantly.
  • Develop Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) as necessary.
  • Maintain written records for work unit specific training.
The Hazard Identification Checklist is designed for specific work environments to help the SOS Representative identify work unit specific hazards and correct them. The Hazard Identification Checklist should be used to survey the work area every year.
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are written documents that highlight safe procedures and steps for hazardous work processes in which employees are involved. EHS maintains a Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) Library to assist work units in creating work unit specific SOPs, including templates and specific SOP examples.
Work unit specific training is safety training that addresses hazards and processes found only in that work unit, and is beyond the standard EHS course offerings. It is provided or organized by the supervisor or SOS Representative (SR).

Yes. The work unit may be asked to provide documentation of the following accomplishments:

  • Completed Hazard Identification Checklist
  • Records of work unit specific training
The method is decided by the work unit. Records may be maintained electronically or on paper, but must be available upon request. EHS has designed an optional binder for organizing SOS records. This binder is available upon request by contacting EHS at 949-824-6200.