Section 1 – Introduction

Table of Contents:

Safety Manual Table of Contents


This manual is a guide for establishing and maintaining safe working conditions at St. Olaf College, and for promoting safe work practices by faculty and staff. We hope that implementing these safety guidelines will set a good example for the entire College community.

St. Olaf College recognizes its responsibility to provide a safe and healthful working environment. This shall include making reasonable efforts to promptly investigate and address health and safety issues, not requiring employees to perform tasks that are dangerous to their health and safety without adequate training and safety equipment as determined by applicable state and federal laws, and making information on hazardous materials readily accessible. We hope to to prevent illness and injury through observation of applicable federal, state and College safety regulations.

Applying this manual will not provide all conditions necessary to promote safety. We must provide all necessary safety training, rather than establish a book of rules. Prevention of hazards will always be preferable to protection from hazards, and part of our safety focus is to eliminate hazards rather than require employee personal protection. Implied in each and every section of this manual is the understanding that the St. Olaf community shares the responsibility for establishing and maintaining the safest possible workplace for all. To that end, every effort will be taken by the College to provide the training, materials, safety equipment, and technical advice necessary to foster a safe workplace. The faculty and staff must act in a safe and responsible manner at all times, and report any and all workplace situations which might lead to injury or illness. With such a cooperative effort, a safe workplace will evolve and benefit all.

We urge all members of the community to become familiar with the contents of this manual as it pertains to their particular work.

The College hopes that most problems can be handled in the workplace, or through the College Safety Committee. In addition, any employee has the right to file a complaint with OSHA on any workplace hazard or unsafe practice, without fear of reprisal or discipline.

Where appropriate, specific OSHA citations will be noted within the individual sections of this safety manual.

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The College Safety Committee

The College Safety Committee has produced this manual to create within each of you an awareness of potential hazards and how to eliminate them from the work environment.

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The mission of the College Safety Committee shall be to work toward the elimination of work place injuries and illnesses. The Safety Committee shall work to:

  1. Increase attention to training and the capability of the supervisor and worker to identify and deal with work place health and safety hazards.
  2. Increase the understanding and awareness by all employees of safety and health hazards associated with their jobs which will enable employees to recognize hazardous or dangerous conditions.
  3. Maintain and update the St. Olaf College Safety Manual for the campus.
  4. Promptly investigate and respond to Unsafe Working Conditions Reports brought to the attention of the Committee.
  5. With the assistance of appropriate departments, study job safety and health analyses of tasks causing the most serious and frequent injuries and illnesses. A job safety and health analysis should consist of:
    1. Determine the tasks to be analyzed by studying past safety and health performance data (Workers Compensation data, for example);
    2. Identify the hazards and dangers causing the injuries and illnesses;
    3. Recommend methods to eliminate the hazards and dangers.
  6. Make a written report of recommendations on a regular basis, to be no less than once each year, to the Senior Administrative leadership Team (SALT).

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This manual pertains to all employees of St. Olaf College.

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Unsafe Working Conditions

  1. Whenever a dangerous working condition exists that requires immediate corrective action, the employee(s) should notify their supervisor at once. The supervisor shall take immediate action to correct the hazard. If corrective action is not taken immediately by the supervisor, the employee(s) should notify the Dean or Director of the supervisor. The Dean or Director shall take immediate action to correct the hazard. If corrective action is not taken immediately by the Dean or Director, the employee(s) should notify the Safety Committee (by contacting the Human Resources Department at 646-3068). 
    • The Safety Committee shall investigate the alleged dangerous condition and render a decision within two (2) working days on the corrective action to be taken. In the case of an impasse the matter shall be submitted to the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for resolution.
  2. Where a working condition is thought to be unsafe, or potentially unsafe, but does not require immediate corrective action, the following procedure shall be used:
    1. The employee(s) should fill out an Unsafe Working Condition Report, being as detailed and specific as possible. The employee(s) should note the location and cause of the unsafe condition and the actions which should be taken to correct the condition. The employee(s) should then give the Report to the immediate supervisor. The supervisor shall have three (3) working days to investigate the matter and take whatever corrective action, if any, needs to be taken.
    2. If the employee(s) disagree(s) with the action taken by the supervisor, or if no action if taken, the employee(s) shall have (2) working days to appeal to the Dean or Director of the supervisor. The Dean or Director shall have five (5) working days to investigate the matter and take whatever corrective action, if any, needs to be taken.
    3. If the employee(s) disagree(s) with the action taken by the Dean or Director, or if no action is taken, the employee(s) shall have two (2) working days to appeal to the Safety Committee. The Joint Safety Committee shall have five (5) working days to meet and investigate the matter and take whatever corrective action, if any, needs to be taken. The Safety Committee shall respond in writing to all complaints brought to its attention.
  3. An employee or group of employees who refuse a work assignment because of a reasonable belief that, to perform such work would endanger his/her/their physical safety beyond the normal hazards of the occupation or violates governmental safety standards, should use the expedited complaint procedure set forth in section 1 above. Employees, including the employee or employees who refused the work assignment, shall not be required to resume the disputed work until either the alleged hazard is corrected, the complaint process is completed, or a determination has been made by a qualified person stating the work is not unsafe or dangerous.
    • No employee who refuses to perform work in accordance with this section shall be disciplined or retaliated against or lose the right to perform the work once the hazardous condition has been corrected.
    • Pending the decision by the College concerning the work in question or the removal of the hazardous conditions, such employees may be assigned to any other work that is available, without loss of pay.

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OSHA Inspections

The College agrees to inform the Safety Committee whenever compliance officers from OSHA are present on the campus for the purpose of making safety inspections. It is the responsibility of the department head in the department being inspected to notify the Human Resources Department of the pending inspection. It is the responsibility of the Human Resources Department to ensure that the Safety Committee is contacted in a timely manner.

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Toxic Substances

In accordance with the St. Olaf College Hazard Communication Program, whenever a substance is identified as being toxic, prior to any clean up or removal of the substance, the College shall determine the nature of the substance, its toxic properties, and the safe and recommended method of working with the substance, including the appropriate personal protective equipment necessary when working with the substance. The College shall supply a copy of this information to the affected employees. Any cleanup shall be under the supervision of a trained employee, or other similarly qualified professional, who shall have the authority to immediately stop work to protect the safety and health of workers or to prevent harm to the environment.

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