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Tufts University is a teaching and learning organization for persons of all ages. Persons who attend Tufts University and are formally enrolled in any organized teaching event such as classes, lectures, demonstrations and laboratory exercises are considered students. Persons not formally enrolled in a program of study are considered visitors and are covered by the Tufts Visitor Safety Program.

The goal of the Tufts Student Safety Program is to prevent diseases and injuries among students while engaged in academic activities at Tufts or at non-Tufts locations and facilities where Tufts is responsible for the conduct of any academic program or event or activity. High hazard academic activities include any activity from observation to participation in any laboratory, shop, studio and makerspace in which hazardous equipment, materials and processes are present or in use.

Categories of students at Tufts

Child (K-12) education

In Massachusetts, any person who is not 18 years of age or older is considered a child. Instructors have a higher level of responsibility to prevent injuries and disease among child students because they are minors than instructors have for adult students. This category includes Early Childhood education participants, summer student volunteers and interns and any other student formally admitted to any program for purpose of learning new knowledge, skills and attitudes.

Note: In general, the degree of responsibility to protect the health of students is reduced as the student acquires competence through training, supervision and experience. Hence graduate students are generally more responsible for their own safety than undergraduate students.

Undergraduate student

A student who is enrolled in post-secondary education generally leading to an associate’s degree (AA/AS), baccalaureate degree (BA/BS), or other recognized certificate of educational achievement beyond primary and secondary education (K-12). Most undergraduates at Tufts are age 18 and hence are defined as adults in Massachusetts.

Graduate student

A student who is enrolled in post-baccalaureate education generally leading to a master’s degree, doctoral degree or other post-baccalaureate certificate of educational achievement.

Professional student

A student who is enrolled in a masters or doctoral level degree program leading to a terminal professional degree is a professional student.

Tufts Environmental Health and Safety

The Tufts Environmental Health and Safety staff will provide health, safety and environmental protection services to students as follows:

  • Accident investigation of all student accidents that occur in academic buildings, during academic work, or when caused by defective buildings, building elements, building equipment anywhere at Tufts and provide a root cause analysis and recommended corrective actions;

Note: Tufts EHS staff generally do not investigate accidents that occur at private events in private areas e.g. dormitory rooms, during athletic and recreational activities related to competition or physical exercise or are related to horseplay, substance abuse or criminal actions.

  • Review of student exercises to identify all hazards, establish priorities and provide guidance for safe operation of processes and equipment and safe handling of materials;
  • Provide formal and informal training to each student as requested by the instructor and /or student; EHS staff will inform the instructor of any assistance provided to students;
  • Inspect all facilities and equipment to identify hazardous conditions and recommend corrective actions to reduce the risk of disease or injury.
  • Provide recommendations for safety equipment and personal protective equipment;
  • Partner with Student Health Services to identify conditions and actions that may be or are causing injuries and diseases among the student population and for which there is a reasonable intervention action.
  • Partner with Athletic Trainers to identify building or facility defects that are or may cause injuries or diseases to athletes at all levels of play.

Note: Students that are compensated for work either in an Operations department e.g. Dining Services or an Academic department e.g. Library are considered employees while performing such work and receive the same training as employees.