Chapter One: Accident Prevention Program
Health and safety at PLU is both a right and a responsibility. This handbook provides an overview of the PLU Occupational Health, Safety, & Accident Prevention Program, a program developed to manage risks in the work environment.
The PLU Personnel Manual includes a section on safety and emergency policies.
New faculty and staff are given a copy of the manual in orientation. It is also available online at www.plu.edu/personnel-manual/. All employees are asked to acquaint themselves with these policies and to see their supervisor or other appropriate university official with questions or concerns.
The Washington State legislature enacted the Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act (Chapter 49.17 RCW) in 1973. The purpose was to “create, maintain, continue, and enhance the industrial safety and health program of the state.” The program equals or exceeds the standards prescribed by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.
The law requires every employer to:
- Create and maintain a safe and healthful working environment.
- Furnish safety devices and safeguards.
- Adopt and use practices, means, methods, operations, and processes that are reasonably adequate to render the employment and place of employment safe and healthful.
- Do every other thing reasonably necessary to protect the life, safety, and health of employees.
The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) administers state regulations governing employment issues. This includes wage and hour laws, child labor, and family leave; electrical, elevator, and boiler inspections; and construction and contractor registration.
L&I also administers the worker injury and illness insurance program, commonly known as workers’ compensation. The Washington Industrial Safety & Health Act (WISHA) services division provides health and safety consultation and compliance.
The university adheres to policies that reflect accident prevention program requirements and establishes responsible institutional conduct regarding environmental health and safety. Most importantly, faculty and staff in their role as supervisors are key elements in assuring health and safety at PLU.
Manager Responsibilities (Officer, Dean, or Director)
Managers are responsible for ensuring that:
- Individuals under their management have the authority to implement appropriate health and safety policies, practices, and programs. (WAC 296-800-11010)
- Funding for health and safety programs, practices, and equipment is requested, secured, and appropriated as needed.
- Areas under their management are in compliance with PLU health and safety practices, policies, and programs. (WAC 296-800-11035)
- Activities under their management that pose a risk to the health and safety of our community be discontinued until they can meet regulatory and university expectations for a safe and healthy work and learning environment. (WAC 296-800-11015 & 11030)
Supervisor Responsibilities (Those who provide guidance to other employees)
Supervisors are responsible for the implementation of the PLU Occupational Safety, Health, & Accident Prevention Program. This includes:
- Ensuring that workplaces and equipment are safe, well maintained, and in compliance with external agency regulations and PLU policies, programs, and practices. (WAC 296-800-11005 & 11010)
- Ensuring that health and safety practices and procedures are clearly communicated and understood by employees through training.
- Enforcing health and safety rules related to job performance fairly and uniformly. (WAC 296-800-11035)
- Encouraging employees and students to report workplace hazards without fear of reprisal.
- Ensuring that inspections, investigations, and health and safety training records are kept for the designated period of time as specified in each code requirement, which may be many years after an employee leaves the university.
Employee and Student Responsibilities
Employees and students are responsible for following the requirements of the PLU Occupational Safety, Health & Accident Prevention Program. This includes (WAC 296-800-1200):
- Coordinating and cooperating with all other employees in the workplace to try to eliminate on-the-job injuries and illnesses.
- Applying the principles of accident prevention in daily work, class, laboratory, or residence and use proper safety devices and protective equipment required by PLU.
- Taking care of all personal protective equipment properly.
- Not wearing torn or loose clothing while working around machinery.
- Reporting promptly to your supervisor every injury or occupational illness.
- Not removing, displacing, damaging, destroying, or carrying off any safeguard, notice, or warning provided to make the workplace safe.
- Not interfering with the use of any work practice designed to protect you from injuries.
- Doing everything reasonably necessary to protect the life and safety of others.
- Participating in safety training programs.
Environmental Health & Safety Manager Responsibilities
The Environmental Health & Safety Manager (x7233) is responsible for the development and administration of the Occupational Safety, Health, & Accident Prevention Program. This includes:
- Assisting supervisors in conducting workplace hazard assessments to identify, evaluate, and correct hazards.
- Providing training and technical assistance to managers and supervisors on implementation of the program.
- Reviewing, updating, and evaluating the overall effectiveness of the program.
- Evaluating the adequacy and consistency of training designed by schools and departments.
PLU borrows the acronym T*R*I*C*K from Stanford for remembering the five key elements of the Occupational Safety, Health, & Accident Prevention Program:
- Training for workplace and job-specific hazards
- Reporting and investigating accidents
- Identifying workplace hazards
- Correcting identified workplace hazards
- Keeping records and documents
Members of the Safety Committee:
- Make sure that each meeting includes a discussion of established safety topics. (WAC 296-800-13010)
- Make sure safety committee meeting minutes are recorded and preserved. (WAC 296-800-13015)
- Advise the Environmental Health & Safety Manager and the President’s Council on the adequacy of PLU health and safety programs, policies, and organization.
- Recommend priorities and strategies to promote good health and safety on campus.
- Foster coordination among those units at PLU having operational responsibility for health and safety.
- Review and recommend to the President’s Council university-wide safety and health policies that have not yet been addressed.
The Safety Committee consists of 16 members elected by their building or department colleagues, 6 appointed members and 2 ex officio members. The Risk Manager and Environmental Health & Safety Manager hold the ex officio positions, which are non-voting, advisory positions.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has many good resources on their web page.
The Department of Labor and Industries also provides many good resources on their web page.
The website for the Washington Industrial Safety & Health Act.
Contains WISHA laws and regulations. Other resources available upon request, including inspection forms and safety training materials.
Campus Safety : Emergencies: x7911, Non-Emergencies: x7441
Risk Manager x7121
Administers PLU insurance and provides risk consultation to departments. Serves as liaison to insurance company and departments in general liability/auto accidents.
Benefits Specialist x8325
Handles Workers’ Compensation insurance questions.
Human Resources x7185
Provides guidance on many health and safety policies contained in the Personnel Manual.
Central Pierce Fire & Rescue (contact through Campus Safety at x7911)
Natural Sciences Radiation Officer x7535
Natural Sciences Chemical Hygiene Officer x7558