Introduction

Whitman College places a high value on the safety and wellbeing of its employees and is committed to providing a safe workplace. The College’s Accident Prevention Program is designed to involve management, supervisors, faculty, and staff in identifying and eliminating hazards that may be present or develop in the workplace.

Employees should always first communicate safety and health concerns to their supervisor to ensure prompt and effective action. Additionally, the College operates a Safety Committee in order to facilitate communication of employee health and safety concerns to management. Employees may additionally communicate concerns they feel aren’t adequately addressed by the College to Labor and Industries.

In order to provide a workplace free from hazards likely to cause serious injury or illness employees must comply with the procedures set forth in the Accident Prevention Program. Employees are encouraged to actively participate in identifying ways to make our campus a safe place to work.

Employees shall receive APP training within 30 days of employment. Job-specific training and any necessary retraining shall occur as specified in the attendant sections of the APP.

Safety is a team effort – Let’s all work together to keep Whitman a safe and healthy workplace.

Overview

Work-related illnesses and injuries create a no-win situation for everyone involved. Employees experience pain, suffering and incapacitation while the College suffers the loss of the injured person’s contributions. This program is designed to assist employees in assuring that such an undesirable situation does not develop in their workplace. It provides information and guidance for the establishment and maintenance of an injury-free work environment.

In addition to the base plan, Whitman’s APP incorporates other related plans and information as appendices.

Procedures

This document contains guidance for general workplace safety procedures. Job-specific procedures and forms are included as appendices. Employees are required to adhere to applicable procedures and utilize attendant forms, or obtain authorization from their supervisor to use alternate forms or procedure(s).

Dissemination

The most current version of the plan is available on the On The Job Page.

Hard copies[1] are available for review at the following locations.

  • Environmental Health and Safety Office
  • Human Resources Office
  • Physical Plant
  • Division Offices

Applicable Regulations

WAC 296-800: Accident prevention program for general industry

As appendices to the Whitman College Accident Prevention Program

  • WAC 296-155: Applicable sections of the construction industry standard
  • WAC 296-828: Hazardous chemicals in laboratories

Drugs and Alcohol

It is the policy of Whitman College that the workplace shall be free from the unlawful use, possession, distribution, or sale of alcohol and other controlled substances. Policy details are specified in the Staff Handbook, and are applicable to all Whitman employees.

Discipline

Employees are expected to use good judgment when doing their work and to follow the Accident Prevention Program. The purpose of this policy is to provide an appropriate course of action for correction of unsafe behavior. This policy is designed to bring unacceptable behavior to the employee’s attention in a way that affords the employee the opportunity to correct his/her unsafe behavior. The following apply to violation(s) of the Accident Prevention Program.

Instances of workplace accident, or intentional violation of the APP, will result in an immediate and objective investigation of all circumstances.  Depending on the severity of the conditions created, the history of guidance to the employee, and the frequency of incidents, an appropriate intervention will occur.  This intervention may range from verbal warning and further training, to written warning and other more serious disciplinary measures, up to and including termination of employment.  Human Resources and Environmental Health and Safety will advise managers on the appropriate actions warranted by particular events.

Safety Bulletin Board

The College’s Safety Bulletin Board is located in the 1st floor hallway of Memorial Hall, adjacent to the Human Resources Office. At a minimum, the following information is posted:

Safety Committee

Whitman College operates a Safety Committee as specified at WAC 296-800-13020 . It is the Committee’s responsibility to receive and evaluate workplace health and safety issues reported to them by Whitman employees and to communicate concerns and recommendations to management.

The Committee has employee-elected and employer-selected members with the number of employee-elected members equaling or exceeding the number of employer-selected members.

  • The Environmental Health and Safety Manager solicits nominations and administers an annual election of committee members.
    • Elected members serve a term of one year with no limit on the number of terms served.
    • Nomination and election to fill employee-elected member vacancies which occur between annual elections will be conducted prior to the next scheduled committee meeting.
  • The committee elects a chairperson and a secretary annually.
    • Elected officers may serve not more than two consecutive terms.
    • Term-limited officers must sit out for at least one term before again serving in the same office.
  • The Committee meets at least quarterly, or more frequently as determined by a majority vote of committee members.
  • The Committee evaluates accident investigations conducted since the last meeting to determine if the cause(s) of unsafe situations were identified and corrected.
  • The Committee evaluates Whitman’s Accident Prevention Program and makes recommendations for its improvement, if needed.
  • Minutes are taken for each meeting and published to the Safety Committee web site. Minutes include:
    • Committee members present
    • Subjects discussed
  • Safety Committee members are listed at Appendix 5.

Responsibilities

Responsibilities for safety and health include the establishment and maintenance of an effective communication system among workers, supervisors and management officials. To this end, all personnel are responsible to assure that their messages are received and understood by the intended receiver. Specific safety and health responsibilities for company personnel are as follows:

Management and Supervisors

The safety and health of employees is a primary responsibility of management and supervisors.

  • Set a good example by following safety rules and attending training.
  • Ensure a functional safety committee is operational and provides an effective venue for employees to address safety concerns.
  • Ensure work is performed in accordance with applicable elements of this Accident Prevention Program.
  • Eliminate identified job hazards quickly.
  • Ensure each employee receives initial training and any necessary retraining as required by the Accident Prevention Program.
  • Promptly correct unsafe behavior of employees.
  • Promptly report accidents, near misses or other safety hazards to the Environmental Health & Safety Department.
  • In the event of an emergent hazard, near miss, or accident which could or does result in serious injury protect the scene and contact Environmental Health and Safety for assistance.
  • At least annually review the on-line Accident Prevention Program to ensure local hard copies are complete and up to date.

Employees

  • Conduct all work in accordance with the Accident Prevention Program and established procedure(s).
  • Promptly report unsafe conditions or actions to your supervisor.
  • Immediately warn persons who may be impacted by unsafe conditions and/or acts.
  • Immediately report emergent hazards, near misses, accidents and injuries to your supervisor, no matter how minor. Use the following forms to report:
    • Near misses: Whitman College Incident Report https://www.whitman.edu/Documents/Safety/incidentreport.pdf
    • Accidents and injuries: Employee’s Report of an Accident https://www.whitman.edu/Documents/Safety/staffaccidentreport.pdf
  • Always use personal protective equipment when required.
    • Keep equipment clean and in good working condition.
    • Inspect equipment prior to each use.
    • Use equipment in accordance with manufacturer instructions and your training.
  • Do not remove or defeat safety devices or safeguards.
  • Encourage co-workers by your words and example to use safe work practices on the job.
  • Make safety improvement suggestions to your supervisor and, if appropriate, to your Safety Committee representative, Environmental Health and Safety, or College management.

Environmental Health and Safety

  • Provide technical support and advice to management and supervisors to ensure a safe workplace.
  • Ensure incidents are fully investigated and corrective action taken to prevent the hazardous conditions or behaviors from reoccurring.
  • Ensure reportable injuries are reported promptly to Washington Department of Labor and Industries.
  • Ensure that a record of injuries and illnesses is maintained and posted.
  • Review the Accident Prevention Program at least annually with management.
  • Alert management and supervisors to changes in laws, regulations, and standards impacting workplace safety, and incorporate necessary updates and changes to the Accident Prevention Program in a timely manner.
  • Act as the employer’s representative to Washington State Department of Labor and Industries during consultations, inspections and investigations conducted by the Department.
  • Act as the employer’s representative for communication with other regulatory agencies, as required to facilitate an effective Accident Prevention Program, and ensure a safe and healthy workplace.
  • Provide necessary and appropriate new employee safety training.
  • Assist managers in identifying necessary training, and with training development and delivery.
  • Ensure the Accident Prevention Program is up to date and available to employees.
    • Notify supervisors of critical updates in a timely manner.
    • Present the Accident Prevention Program to the Safety Committee for annual review.

Safety Committee

  • Receive and evaluate employee workplace health and safety concerns.
  • Communicate employee health and safety concerns and recommendations to appropriate College official(s).
  • Review the Accident Prevention Program at least annually, and make appropriate recommendations to ensure it remains up to date and effective.
  • Evaluate accident investigations to determine if the cause(s) of unsafe situations were identified and corrected.
  • Publish meeting minutes to the Safety Committee web site

Proceedures

General

Employees are expected to exercise care in their work in order to protect themselves and others from undue risk of harm. In order to accomplish this you must:

  • Work in accordance with the provisions of this plan.
  • Follow your supervisor’s instructions.
  • Follow documented work instructions unless variances are approved by your supervisor.
    • Follow manufacturer’s instructions when working with tools, equipment or hazardous materials unless those instructions are superseded by approved work instructions.[2]

Supervisors

Supervisors will develop workplace specific procedures, as applicable and appropriate, for hazardous tasks performed by employees under their supervision. In order to accomplish this you must:

  • Be knowledgeable of work assignments for employees under your supervision.
  • Develop procedures which comply with local, state, and federal regulations, and incorporate best management practices, as applicable.
  • Exercise sufficient control to ensure adherence to procedures and/or to authorize variances before work is performed.
    • Variances should be documented and evaluated for inclusion in or update of procedures.
  • Know specific job-site hazards and ensure a safe workplace.
  • Promote a safe work environment.

Environmental Health and Safety

Environmental Health and Safety will support supervisors in developing training and procedures to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and best management practices.

Incident Investigation and Reporting

Accidents and incidents which endanger employees, students, or campus visitors must be investigated and reported in order ensure the effectiveness of the Accident Prevention Program. Employees, supervisors and Environmental Health and Safety all play a vital part in investigating incidents and improving workplace safety.

Employees must report any injury or work related illness to their immediate supervisor regardless of how serious. All injuries, regardless of severity, shall be reported using an Employee Report of Injury form.

On-line forms are available at the Environmental Health and Safety web site. Hard copies may be obtained from Human Resources, your Division/Department office or Environmental Health and Safety.

Steps to report an injury or illness:

  • Accidents requiring transportation by ambulance, hospitalization or resulting in death shall be reported to Environmental Health and Safety immediately.
  • Employees must complete and submit an Employee’s Report of Injury form within one week, or within one week of return to work for lost time accidents.
    • Submit completed forms to Environmental Health and Safety.
  • Accident reports must be submitted promptly.
  • Supervisors must submit a completed Supervisor’s Report of Injury to Environmental Health and Safety within one week.
  • If an employee dies while working or is not expected to survive, or if hospitalized as a result of a work-related incident Environmental Health and Safety will contact the Department of Labor and Industries within 8 hours of notification. In the event of an amputation (as determined by a licensed healthcare provider), no matter how minor, or loss of an eyeball, Environmental Health and Safety will contact the Department of Labor and industries within 24 hours of notification.

Injuries must be reported as detailed above. Details of injury involved incidents will be investigated by supervisors and Environmental Health and Safety with the assistance of employees involved, and persons with specialized knowledge, as appropriate. Results of the investigation will be made available to employees by posting on the safety bulletin board located in the hall adjacent to Human Resources. Incidents will be discussed at regularly scheduled Safety Committee meetings. Lessons learned from incident investigations will be incorporated in updates to procedures and the accident prevention plan, as appropriate.

Steps to investigate an injury or illness:

  • If possible, interview the injured worker at the scene of the incident and “walk” him or her through a re-enactment, being careful not to actually repeat the act that caused the injury.
  • Take written statements from witnesses, photograph the incident scene and equipment involved.
  • Document as soon as possible after the incident, the condition of equipment and anything else in the work area that may be relevant.
  • Make a written report of findings. At a minimum the report should include
    • a description of the incident;
    • the sequence of events leading up to the incident;
    • conclusions regarding the incident and any recommendations to prevent a similar incident in the future.
  • If possible graphically document details of the incident area, tools, and equipment. Use sketches, diagrams, and photos as needed and take measurements when appropriate.
  • The report will be reviewed by the Safety Committee at its next regularly scheduled meeting.
  • All interviews should be conducted as privately as possible. Interview witnesses one at a time. Talk with anyone who has knowledge of the incident, eve in they did not actually witness the mishap.
  • The purpose of an investigation is to find and cause of an incident and prevent future occurrences, not to fix blame. An unbiased approach is necessary to obtain objective findings.
  • Focus on causes and hazards. Develop an analysis of what happened, how it happened, and how it could have been prevented. Determine what caused the incident itself (unsafe equipment/conditions, unsafe act etc.), not just the injury.

Near misses are those incidents which do not involve injury. They are taken as seriously as injury involved incidents and investigated in a similar manner. Notification to employees and incorporation into procedures and the accident prevention program will occur in the same manner as injury involved incidents.

REPORT ALL ACCIDENTS, NO MATTER HOW MINOR!


[1]  Check hard copies against the on-line version to ensure currency before use.

[2] Instructions may be no less protective of health and safety, and may not invalidate manufacturer certifications or warrantees. Such instructions shall be approved by a person having the requisite knowledge and any applicable professional certification to ensure the instruction is at least as protective of health and safety as manufacturer's instructions.