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The University has developed a number of occupational safety programs to ensure workers are afforded the protection they deserve. The programs vary according to job title and duties outlined in the employees' job description.


Exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials can pose a risk of infection with blood borne pathogens like Hepatitis B and HIV viruses. For any employee who can reasonably be expected to have such exposure as part of their job responsibilities, it is required that they be given the appropriate training and offered the Hepatitis B vaccination.

In collaboration with the University Health Center, Environmental Health and Safety offers the Hepatitis B vaccination series for individuals working with blood borne pathogens. The University is committed to providing a safe and healthful work environment for its employees. In pursuit of this endeavor, the following Exposure Control Plan (ECP) is provided to eliminate or minimize occupational exposure to needle sticks, blood borne and other potentially infectious materials in accordance with OSHA standard 29 CFR 1910.1030, "Occupational Exposure to Blood borne Pathogens."

The University has developed a Confined Space Entry Program to protect employees who may be required to enter confined spaces such as manholes, boilers, crawl spaces and sewer pits during the course of their work.

These workspaces are considered "confined" because they are large enough to be entered to perform work, have limited means for entry/exit, and are not designed for continuous employee occupancy.

Confined spaces that pose additional hazards including atmospheric, engulfment and entrapment hazards are referred to as "permit-required confined spaces."

The Confined Space Entry Program has identified the locations of permit required and non-permit spaces on campus. A confined space entry permit is available at Environmental Health and Safety and must be filled out prior to entering a permit-required confined space.

Employees who service or maintain machines or equipment may be at risk due to the sudden start-up or release of stored energy from this equipment. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has issued a lockout/tag out standard known as the Control of Hazardous Energy Sources Standard, to protect workers.

The basis of this standard is a systemized approach to servicing or maintaining certain equipment. The University has developed a written program, detailing procedures for disabling energy sources, obtaining lockout/tag out devices and training of workers.

Audits of the lockout/tag out program are conducted on an annual basis by supervisors to ensure safe procedures are being followed.

The University has developed a personal protective equipment program for employees to ensure workers are protected on the job.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is used to create a protective barrier between the worker and the hazards in the workplace. PPE includes such equipment as chemical resistive gloves, safety shoes, protective clothing, safety glasses, and respirators.

Personal protective equipment is not a replacement for good engineering controls, administrative controls or work practices. Rather, PPE should be used in conjunction with these controls to ensure the health and safety of employees.

As part of the program, hazard assessments are conducted for job tasks to determine what PPE may be necessary and training is conducted to ensure the proper use of PPE.

Assistance for performing the PPE hazard assessment is available through the Risk Management office. 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have set maximum exposure standards for many airborne toxic materials. The Office of Risk Management can assist in determining whether a worker's exposure to chemicals exceeds these standards. If the permissible exposure limit is exceeded, the exposure must be reduced to acceptable levels through the use of engineering and/or administrative controls.

Respirators and other personal protective equipment may be used where engineering controls are not feasible or cannot reduce exposure to acceptable levels, or while engineering controls are being installed. The need for a respirator is dependent upon the type of operations and the nature and quantity of the materials in use and must be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

The Risk Management office has developed a respiratory protection plan to protect workers from harmful exposures to chemicals. As part of the program, ORM arranges medical examinations for respirator users and conducts training on an annual basis.

A powered industrial truck is any mobile, power-propelled truck used to carry, push, pull, lift, stack, or tier materials. More commonly known as forklifts, pallet trucks, rider trucks, fork trucks or lift trucks, they can be ridden or controlled by a walking operator. Powered industrial trucks can have electric or combustion engines and can be designed for a wide variety of applications. The University has developed an Industrial Lift Truck program, to ensure the safe operation of these material handling vehicles.

Hand and power tools enable employees to apply additional force and energy to accomplish a task. These tools improve efficiency and make better products. However, because of the increased force of hand and power tools, the potential for injury increases.

The University has developed a power tool safety program to help prevent such injuries from occurring when using hand and power tools. The program contains a power tool inventory worksheet used to identify tools used in the various shops throughout the University. The program also provides for inspections of tools and the correction or replacement of unsafe tools. 

Aerial devices are vehicle-mounted, elevated and rotating work platforms. OSHA defines a vehicle as, "any carrier that is not manually propelled," and a platform as, "any personnel-carrying device (basket or bucket that is a component of an aerial device." Vehicle-mounted devices-telescoping, articulating or both - used to position personnel are considered aerial devices. This includes extensible and articulating boom platforms, aerial ladders, vertical towers and a combination of any of the above. The University of Southern Indiana developed the Aerial Lift Program to ensure that these devices are properly used and personnel are appropriately trained.

Ergonomics is defined as fitting the workplace to the worker and examining the interaction between the worker and his/her environment. Applying ergonomic principles can help reduce the risk of injuries or illnesses for employees working with computers, working in laboratories, and working at jobs requiring repetitive activities and heavy materials handling.

The goal of the University ergonomics program is to reduce or eliminate hazards that contribute to the development of musculoskeletal disorders (MSD). The program involves all employees whose job duties expose them to ergonomic risk factors.

The primary tools of USI's Ergonomic Program include symptoms survey, worksite evaluations, training and implementation of ergonomic control strategies.