Chapter 17: Health and Safety
The campus is committed to providing a safe and healthful work environment for its faculty, staff, and students. You play a special role in making sure this commitment is carried out. You are the front-line expert who best knows your workplace, the employees, and the demands they face. Therefore, you play a critical role in identifying possible health and safety problems in your workplace.
You are a key link to campus resources which have been set up to handle workplace health and safety issues. While you are not expected to know everything about workplace health and safety issues, you should know when and how to use campus resources.
You are a role model and motivator for employees in your department. The importance you place on workplace health and safety issues is conveyed to them by your actions as well as your words.
You also play the key role in assuring that your department has a written Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPM) and an Emergency Action Plan.
The health of the workforce:
- Is an immensely valuable asset
- Should be not only preserved, but fostered
Fostering a safe and healthful work environment:
- Is an employer duty
- Contributes to a supportive work environment (SWE)
- Reduces costs, and preserves productivity
- Aids in the recruitment and retention of high quality employees
- Prepare a written Injury and Illness Prevention Plan for your department
- Prepare an Emergency Action Plan for your department
- Prevent injuries and illnesses
- Provide training and proper equipment
- Ensure employees participate in medical screening and immunization programs applicable to their jobs
- Model and reward safe and healthful work practices
- Support the development and maintenance of a healthy workforce
- Recruit and retain the best employees by demonstrating concern for the well-being of faculty and staff
How to Support Health and Wellness in the Workplace
- Support staff in attending health and safety training and events
- Encourage staff to read the FSAP wellness articles
- Designate a wellness area on department staff bulletin boards
- Establish a health and safety library in your department or unit
- Support flexible work arrangements for health activities
- List wellness programs as one of the the many University benefits
- Incorporate health and safety into performance objectives
The management of overall safety is governed by the Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP). In order to implement the campus Injury and Illness Prevention Program, each campus department or unit must have a written IIPP , and establish a safety plan with its own procedures, activities, and records.
Your department should also have an Emergency Action Plan.
Departments have different needs for their safety programs depending on the focus of the unit. As a supervisor, you need to be familiar with your department's programs. You are expected to know and understand safe work practices in your occupation. A comprehensive knowledge of job safety is as important as the ability to organize and carry out work assignments.
To arrange for safety training or consulation, contact your EH&S Department Safety Advisor (DSA).
Implementing the IIPP
- Have a system for ensuring that employees comply with safety programs.
- Have a system for communicating with employees about health and safety issues.
- Have procedures for identifying and evaluating workplace hazards.
- Investigate on-the-job injuries or illnesses for contributing safety factors.
- Correct unsafe or unhealthful conditions.
- Provide training and instructions and keep written documentation of the training.
- Keep written records of all of the above for three years.
Making the Workplace Safe
- Make sure employees know the location of safety information and safety equipment.
- Make sure employees have the necessary training, licensing, or certificates to perform a job.
- Do periodic written safety inspections of the workplace, including follow-up entries explaining what was done to mitigate all deficiencies.
- Make sure all hazardous substances are properly labeled.
- Make sure that employees are trained about the hazardous nature of substances they work with. Keep a file of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS).
- Keep a written inventory of all hazardous substances for inclusion in the Hazardous Materials Management Program (HMMP) as required by law.
- Make sure all staff are familiar with departmental emergency response procedures (for bomb threats, fires, earthquakes, and other natural disasters).
- Follow the injury protocol .
(See also Chapter 18, Disability Management.)
Injury Prevention Checklists
___ Train employees regularly on the health and safety aspects of their jobs.
___ Require and enforce the use of personal protective equipment and clothing provided where needed (i.e., goggles, face shields, gloves, aprons, hard hats, respirators, ear plugs).
___ Make sure worksites are clean and orderly, walking surfaces properly repaired, stairways fixed with guardrails, and aisles and exits free of obstructions.
___ Conduct regular inspections of your workplace. Look for poorly designed workstations, electrical cords that someone could trip over, overloaded electrical outlets, top-heavy bookcases, etc.
___ Post emergency telephone numbers where they can be readily located.
___ Have an easily accessible first aid kit. Make sure it contains the items needed for the type of injury likely to happen in your unit.
___ Have a readily available list of medical resources.
___ Identify someone in your department who knows about first aid and CPR.
___ Have regularly maintained fire extinguishers readily available.
Psychological Injury Prevention Checklist
___ Express genuine empathy and concern for the health of your employees.
___ Hold regularly scheduled meetings with each employee.
___ Understand your employees' behaviors well enough to notice changes.
___ Take steps toward discussing these changes with the employee.
___ If you have concerns about an employee, consult with the department and other campus resources before intervening.
___ Communicate to your staff any department and campus when new policies affect the employees and the work of the department.
___ Ask for ideas from your staff and make sure they know their input will be received openly.
___ Keep up with campus information on resources.
___ Encourage employees to talk to you about workplace problems and concerns that may affect their work.
___ Understand the many ways that change in the workplace can affect employees.
___ Take steps to ensure that staff members clearly know what work is expected of them and give regular work evaluations.