Environmental Health and Safety


Our mission is to uphold a safe working environment for students and employees on all Detroit Mercy campuses.  We do this by training, reporting, and changing the culture around safety. 


Our goals are to eradicate preventable accidents, foster confidence in emergency response, and instill commitment to our mission.

Chemical Hygiene Plan

Properly Lab Chemicals

A Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) is a document that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) describes as the mandatory requirements to protect those who handle hazardous chemicals.  This plan consists of lab safety and hygiene practices, engineering controls, trainings, and responsibilities of faculty and staff.  All who are involved with chemical handling or exposed to hazardous chemicals should read the chemical hygiene plan.

Recycling Programs

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    Green Initiatives

    • General recycling bins located at Reno Hall, Shiple Hall, and the Riverfront Campus.
    • Grease recycling dumpsters located at food service loading docks (Corktown and McNichols)
    • Paper recycling dumpster located at Facility Operations yard entrance, behind Shiple Hall, and next to Reno Hall.
    • Aluminum, plastic, and paper recycling containers are located in the residence halls for Custodial Services to pick up.
    • Metal recycling dumpster located in Facility Operations yard.
    • Yard waste recycling dumpster located in Facility Operations yard.
    • Furniture is rarely thrown away; it is usually repurposed or recycled.
    • Used motor oil and antifreeze from University vehicles and equipment are recycled.
    • Freon and other refrigerant gases from failed cooling equipment are reclaimed and recycled.
    • ITS department recycles computers and other electronic equipment.
    • Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity collects plastic and paper in marked recycling bins throughout campus.
    • Absopure® collects plastic bottles in designated bins placed near their vending machines around campus.
    • Business Student Advisory Board recycles plastic within Commerce & Finance.
    • Various individual departments implement internal recycling of paper that feeds into the available dumpsters on campus.
    • Facility Operations recycles batteries.
    • Fisher fountain water is treated so it does not have to be replaced as often. 
    • Various gases used around the University use recyclable/refillable gas cylinders.
    • The University’s boiler system is a closed loop system so the treated water is heated into steam, circulated to the buildings, and is returned as water to be reheated again.  The chiller system is also a closed loop system that reuses the water as well.
    • 70 – 90% of our historic buildings’ clay roof tile can be reused.
    • Much of the carpet tile used around the University is 100% recyclable.
    • Light fixtures are being recycled and replaced with LED lamps that provide a much longer life and reduce materials sent to landfills.
    • Campus Kitchen has a composting project in Dining Services to compost fruit/food clippings.

Environmental Testing FAQ

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    How can I get air and water quality testing for my office/ building?

    Air quality testing is expensive and frequently requested by departments. Therefore, we have a policy to proceed with quality testing once your department has agreed to pay for testing unless there is significant evidence to suggest the air/water quality has been compromised.

    How often is duct work cleaned out?

    This procedure is only done when our HVAC personnel see there is a need.

    How can I get access to environmental testing reports?

    Test results can be requested through Human Resources.

    •  Phone: (313) 993-1036
    • Email: hr@udmercy.edu

    What hazards are associated with asbestos?

    Asbestos is a known human carcinogen, and in its fibrous form, it can cause chronic lung disease as well as lung and other cancers. Symptoms and/or cancer may take many years to develop following exposure.

    As long as the asbestos is not disturbed (broken, flaking, friable), it poses no threat to your health. If there are concerns about asbestos fibers, air quality testing can be done upon request. Please visit https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/asbestos/ for more info.


    How are asbestos hazards controlled during renovation work?

    All asbestos handling, including removal and encapsulation, is contracted out to licensed companies.  Here is an example of the standard operating procedures used by one of our contractors.

    What happens if I think I see friable asbestos?

    Please contact Facility Operations immediately.

    • Phone: (313) 993-1240
    • Email: facilityoperations@udmercy.edu

    What hazardous materials are present on campus?

    All departments with hazardous material should have SDS (safety data sheets) on file. These files should be posted and accessible to all employees and students.