The University recognizes the importance of maintaining a healthy and safe workplace for not only students and staff, but also for the entire University Community. We, as an employer, have the duty to keep the workplace safe. In keeping with that philosophy, the university has provided employees with a list of their rights and responsibilities.
One of the best ways to maintain a safe workplace is to report unsafe conditions. Employees are encouraged to prevent accidents from happening by reporting hazardous and unsafe conditions.
The aim of the industrial hygiene program is to recognize, evaluate and control the risk of exposure to health hazards. Work is directed at minimizing the hazards associated with improper ventilation and chemical handling; and excessive chemical, noise and temperature exposures. Laboratories and fume hoods are inspected annually, odor complaints are investigated and industrial hygiene surveys are made upon request. Personnel in these areas work closely with Environmental Health and Safety.
Employee Rights Under OSHA
The Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act of 1970 created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) within the Department of Labor.
The OSH Act gave employees many new rights, including the right to do the following:
- Review copies of appropriate standards and regulations available at the workplace.
- Request information on safety and health hazards in the workplace, precautions that may be taken, and procedures to be followed if employee is involved in an accident or is exposed to toxic substances.
- Have access to relevant employee exposure and medical records.
- Request OSHA to conduct an inspection if they believe hazardous conditions or violations of standards exist in the workplace.
- Observe any monitoring or measuring of hazardous materials and see the resulting records.
- Review the Log and Summary of Occupational Injuries (OSHA No. 300A) at a reasonable time and in a reasonable manner (or secure an authorized representative for this task.)
- Have their names withheld from their employer, upon request to OSHA, if they sign and file a written complaint.
Employee Responsibility for Safety
Although OSHA does not cite employees for violations of their responsibilities, each employee "shall comply with all occupational safety and health standards and all rules, regulations, and orders issued under the Act" that are applicable.
An employee should do the following:
- Read the OSHA Job Safety & Health Protection poster (English /Spanish).
- Comply with all applicable OSHA standards.
- Follow all lawful employer safety and health rules and regulations, and wear or use prescribed protective equipment while working.
- Report hazardous conditions to the supervisor.
- Report any job-related injury or illness to the employer and seek treatment promptly.
- Exercise rights under the Act in a responsible manner.
Reporting of Hazards and Unsafe Conditions
All employees are encouraged to report hazards and unsafe conditions in the workplace to their supervisor.
The supervisor will take prompt and appropriate action to determine if a hazard exists and to correct the hazard. Technical assistance can be provided by Environmental Health and Safety upon request.
If the issue cannot be resolved at the departmental level, the employee and/or supervisor should contact Environmental Health and Safety at 812-461-5393.
All reports of hazards and corrective measures/actions taken will be documented and followed up. The reporting employee will be notified of the corrective action taken.