Section 4 – General Rules

Table of Contents:

Safety Manual Table of Contents


Vehicle Safety

OSHA citation 1926.601

Supervisors and vehicle operators share the responsibility to insure that vehicles are safe. Supervisors will promptly correct any unsafe conditions.

  1. Make sure you understand your equipment. Ask questions if necessary.
  2. Obey all traffic and parking regulations.
  3. Do not park any vehicle on sidewalks. Do not block fire lanes.
  4. Guard against road mishaps by making prior routine checks for such items as distribution and security of your load, steering, tires, brakes, lights, windshield wipers and horn. Regularly clean your windshield, rearview mirror, and the lenses of all lamps. Report to your supervisor if your vehicle is thought to be unsafe.
  5. Do not carry unauthorized passengers. Riding on the tailgates is strictly prohibited. Don’t exceed the seating specifications for the vehicle. When possible, ride only in seats equipped with safety belts. Vehicles used to transport materials must protect the operator from shifting cargoes.
  6. Have a clear area behind your vehicle before backing up. Where rear vision is not clear, an employee, when available, should assist the driver in the backing operation.
  7. Engines must be turned off when the vehicle is not in use or being refueled.
  8. Do not ride in the back of pickup trucks.
  9. Only properly licensed drivers may drive licensed vehicles. Check to see if your license is current.
  10. When using forklifts, do not lift loads heavier than the rated capacity. Keep the center of gravity of the load as close to the mast as possible.
  11. When using a vehicle from the Transportation Department, be sure to list all vehicle defects on the back of the information card.
  12. Be careful of the many bicyclists and pedestrians on the roadways.
  13. Hydraulic lift gates on College vehicles must be operated in a safe manner, with the operator at the control lever during the complete operation of the lift gate, both in lifting and lowering. At all times when the vehicle is in motion the lift gate shall be latched in a vertical position.
  14. The driver is responsible for the positioning and security of passengers or items in the back of trucks and vans. Passengers are to be carried only in designated areas of vehicles. See that your items are properly secured and stable. Red warning flags should be attached to material that extends beyond the conveyance, as required by Minnesota law.
  15. Smoking is prohibited in all College vehicles.

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Color Coding and Signs

OSHA citation 1910.120, 1910.145, 1910.1200

  1. Color coding is a visual reminder system to warn, inform, and guide employees. OSHA assigns specific meanings to certain colors. Colors can be a warning of a particular hazard or give information or directions.
  2. Color coding is considered highly desirable. The main intent, however, is not to demand it in shops and laboratories, but to recognize a standard color code wherever color coding is used. Be aware of your specific work area and the color coding system used there.

These colors usually indicate the following:

  1. Red – indicates (1) danger, (2) stop or (3) presence of fire protection equipment.
  2. Orange – marks the dangerous parts of machines or energized equipment which may cut, crush, shock, or injure employees. Orange emphasizes these hazards when the guards or enclosures around them are open.
  3. Yellow – warns of physical hazards and means caution. A striped or checkered pattern of yellow and black may be used to help attract attention.
  4. Blue – denotes caution and its use is restricted to marking out-of-service equipment which should not be used.
  5. Green – indicates either the location of safety equipment such as first aid materials or conveys safety information.
  6. Purple – used for radiation hazards. It may contain a combination of purple and yellow.
  7. Black & White – or a combination of the two are used to designate traffic and housekeeping markings. Stripes, checkers, or other variations are often used.

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Equipment Care and Use

OSHA citation 1910.211-219

Supervisors and employees share the responsibility that equipment and tools are safe. Supervisors will promptly correct any unsafe items.

  1. All tools and equipment are to be kept in a clean and repaired condition. No matter how slight, immediately report to your supervisor anything that needs repair. Inspect all equipment regularly to discover any possible safety defects before and after use.
  2. Only appropriately trained employees should operate machinery.
  3. Buffers, floor machines, and wet-dry vacuums are to be grounded and the cords should be kept clear of water.
  4. Never exceed the manufacturer’s recommended RPM on any rotary equipment.
  5. All rotary operating machines and all other possible pinch points must be protected by a proper guard or shield. Whenever safeguards are removed for repair or adjustment, the power for the equipment must be turned off and the main switch locked and tagged.
  6. Electric tools shall be grounded or double-insulated in an approved manner and control switches placed at a convenient point.
  7. Tractors or other equipment with power take-off shafts must be guarded. This equipment shall be shut off before the operator dismounts to make any repairs or adjustments.
  8. When using powder-activated or pneumatic driven equipment (e.g., nailguns, RAM SET, etc.) be extremely cautious. Only properly trained employees should use them, because they can be extremely dangerous.
  9. Use a tool only for the purposes for which it was designed.
  10. Keep all tools sharp and properly lubricated.
  11. Do not carry a tool by the cord or yank it to disconnect it from the receptacle.
  12. Secure your work by using clamps or a vise.
  13. When sawing, never reach under or behind the material being cut.

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OSHA citation 1910.21-32, 1910.35-40

  1. Keep your work area clean and orderly. Report conditions beyond your control to the proper supervisor.
  2. Do not obstruct stairways, aisles, or passageways. Keep to the right and avoid running on stairways. Keep equipment rooms clear at all times and do not use them as storage areas.
  3. Dispose of flammable and combustible scrap materials in approved containers. Discard all greasy or oily rags properly.
  4. Keep all floor surfaces clean and dry. Be sure to put up Caution or Wet Floor signs as needed. Remove signs as soon as floors are dry.
  5. Keep aisles clear and pay attention to any tripping hazards.
  6. Use gloves when handling broken glass or china. Have a separate trash receptacle marked For Broken Glass and China Only. Discard all cracked and broken items immediately. Use a pan and broom to sweep up the large pieces of broken glass or china. Dampen a paper towel to pick up slivers. If you suspect that there is a broken glass in soapy water, drain the water.

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Trash Disposal

OSHA citation 1910.141

  1. Never reach into a wastebasket with your hands. Pick up a basket and pour the trash into the proper receptacle.
  2. Do not let garbage accumulate so that the container is too heavy to lift. Use teamwork if loads are too heavy to manage by yourself.
  3. Report any improper disposal of hazardous waste to your supervisor.
  4. Do not place lamps, asbestos tiles, batteries, fluorescent tubes, or liquids into trash receptacles. Report these to your supervisor.

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Moving and Lifting

  1. Do not attempt to carry a load which is more than you can carry safely; get help from another person. Do not try to lift heavy items higher than waist level. Lift with your leg and arm muscles rather than your back muscles to guard against sprains. Always have a clear view over the load. If the load interferes with normal walking, get help. Employees who frequently lift and carry should request and will be provided a safety lifting belt. Use is required when lifting heavy objects. Follow directions for proper wear. Belts are not a substitute for proper lifting technique and physical conditioning.
  2. Supervisors should see that mechanical equipment, if available, is used when manual lifting is unsafe. Workers should report observed defects in the equipment to their supervisor.
  3. Wipe off all greasy, wet, slippery or dirty objects before handling. Keep hands free from oil or grease.
  4. If you must carry an object, first check the route for distance, floor condition, turning room and proper lighting.
  5. Always lift gradually and smoothly, without jerking or twisting, and keep the load close to your body. Also, set an object down close to your body.
  6. When two or more people are handling the same object, one should call the signals. Everyone should know who this is and warn the caller if they are about to relax their grip.

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  1. Never exceed the posted gross weight on an elevator.
  2. Do not enter an elevator car during a fire or when a fire alarm is ringing.
  3. On freight elevators, be sure to close all gates and straps.
  4. Report all defects immediately to the Operations Center at 5- 8728.
  5. Do not misuse the emergency stop button.
  6. For information on locking equipment out of service, see the Lockout/Tagout Program Manual

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Receiving and Storing Operations

  1. In opening boxes or crates, use an appropriate tool for the container you are opening.
  2. Store heavy materials on bottom shelves and light material on top. Do not stack items too high and do not stack hard goods on soft goods. Hang flat articles such as brooms and mops.
  3. Load carts safely.
  4. Store all chemicals and hazardous materials in areas designated for such use. For further instructions, see the next section in this manual on the storage and handling of chemicals.
  5. Insure lighting is adequate in storage and receiving areas. Call the Facilities office at x3280 to report lights that require service.

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Chemical Handling

See the St. Olaf College Hazard Communication manual.

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High Pressure Cylinder Storage and Use

OSHA citation 1910.101-120, 1910.166-171

  1. All cylinders must be stored in an upright position or in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions and Department of Transportation (D.O.T.) standards, and secured to prevent tipping. Valves are to be closed and safety caps are to be in place.
  2. Welding hoses are to be neatly rolled up and put away to avoid a tripping hazard. Before you disconnect a hose, make sure the valve is closed and the system is depressurized. Never oil the valves on cylinders, as this can cause an explosion.
  3. Do not lift cylinders by the cap. For short distance moving, a cylinder may be rolled on its bottom edge, but never dragged.
  4. Always check a cylinder’s markings to be sure it contains the correct type of material for the job. Know how and when a substance should be used.
  5. Do not tamper with any safety devices; report all defects to your supervisor.
  6. When checking cylinder gauges, stand off to one side to lessen your risk that an exploding object might hit you.
  7. All cylinders must have an up-to-date hydro-static test in accordance with D.O.T. regulations.
  8. Leaking cylinders should be immediately reported to a supervisor or the Operations Center (5-8728) for proper removal.

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OSHA citation 1910.25-29

  1. A box, chair, carton, shelves, or anything handy is not to be used as a ladder. Use only ladders in good repair and equipped with safety shoes.
  2. Report any defects to your supervisor.
  3. Wooden scaffolding planks, walkboards, and ladders shall not be painted.
  4. Ladders should be stored in a location where they will not be exposed to the elements, and where there is good ventilation.
  5. Be sure the ladder is long enough to do the job safely.
  6. No ladder should be placed in front of a door that opens towards it unless the door is blocked, locked or guarded.
  7. When using a stepladder, make sure that it is fully spread and locked. Check for unsafe hinges as well as steps and uprights.
  8. Fiberglass ladders are preferred over aluminum or wood when working around electrical equipment. If an aluminum ladder must be used, be sure it has rubber shoes. Observe all warning tags.
  9. Never attempt to use a ladder in a strong wind.
  10. Always be sure that ladder feet are level before climbing.
  11. Do not climb on a ladder that is occupied by someone else.
  12. When climbing or descending, face the ladder and hold onto each rung.
  13. No attempt should be made to reach beyond a normal arm’s length while standing on the ladder, especially to the side.
  14. Ladders should be secured at the bottom to prevent kickout, and secured at the top with non-conductive material if they are tall or unstable.
  15. Never use the top three feet of an extension ladder or stand on the top two steps of any stepladder.

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OSHA citation 1910.25-29

  1. Scaffolds and any related ropes and lines should be in good repair and equipped with safety brakes.
  2. When working above persons,equipment or machinery, have them moved, if possible, or protected.
  3. Where a scaffold is over ten feet high, guardrails and toe boards must be installed on any open side or end.
  4. Scaffolds should not be moved horizontally while in use. Do not work on a scaffold or ladder during a storm or high wind conditions. Inspect scaffolds each time they are re-rigged.
  5. Inspect wire ropes frequently and assure they are adequately lubricated. Prevent wire ropes from becoming kinked. Be sure the cable end is free to turn.
  6. Weight on scaffolding must not exceed the manufacturer’s rated load. Impose loads on the scaffold gently and without impact. Two or more scaffolds must not be combined into one except for multi-point scaffolding. The connection of wire ropes to the rigging must be made with proper fittings designed for that purpose. Never use makeshift devices. All overhead connections must be prevented from movement in any direction. Tiebacks shall be secured to a structurally sound portion of the building. Window cleaning eyelets can never be used for this purpose. Make sure that guardrails and midrails are properly secured.
  7. Do not install the scaffold in the vicinity of power lines; avoid electrical contact.
  8. The capacity of a roof hook must at least equal the capacity of the hoist.
  9.  Periodically check and retighten fasteners, as wire rope will stretch, causing the clamps to loosen. The wire rope should be clear of all building projections under all conditions.
  10. Each worker must wear an approved safety life belt attached to a lifeline. The lifeline shall be attached to a structurally sound part of the building or to securely rigged lines. Never attach the lifeline to the scaffold or its supports.

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Electrical Safety

OSHA citation 1910.301-399

  1. Electrical vault rooms are not to be used for storage and are to be locked at all times. Only authorized personnel shall work in electrical panels, alter existing wiring, or install electrical wiring. No fuse may be installed in an electrical circuit which carries more amperage than the rating of the wiring for the circuit. All wiring installed at the College shall comply with OSHA and with the Minnesota Electric Code.
  2. For purposes of this manual, any systems operating at voltages above 480 volts shall be considered high voltage systems and shall be serviced only by specially trained employees.
  3. Insulated gloves, rubber-soled shoes, and/or protective coverings should be used where necessary while repairing or installing electrical circuits.
  4. Hot plates, coffee pots, electric irons, and other special heating equipment shall not be used, except in specially authorized locations.
  5. No electrical panel, switch, or wiring shall be left open without protection. Workers shall red-tag, close, and/or seal these items when not working in the immediate vicinity.
  6. Proper clearance shall be maintained to allow access to and operation of all panels and switchgear.
  7. Use only low-voltage drop lights (e.g., 12 volts or less) in areas that are wet or inside tanks. Avoid working on electrical circuits or equipment while your clothing or shoes are wet or while your hands or feet are immersed in water. Use GFI-protected circuits in these areas. Only U.L. listed, grounded extension cords shall be used, and under no circumstances shall any extension cord or electrical cord be spliced. Extension cords and electrical appliance wiring should be maintained in good repair.
  8. When adjusting, lubricating, moving, or cleaning electrical equipment, always disconnect it from the electric outlet or circuits. Equipment being serviced or under testing shall be properly locked and tagged.
  9. If possible, do not work alone where electrical hazards exist. Try to check in periodically with someone to let them know you are safe.

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Light Fixtures

  1. When a lamp is broken off in the socket, call the Facilities office at x3280. Always replace a light with the same watt and type lamp.
  2. When changing lights in stairways, be cautious of opening doors. If possible use another person to block the entrance.
  3. Use caution when handling all fluorescent tubes; they contain poisonous mercury and phosphorus. Used fluorescent tubes must be treated as hazardous waste, and can not be disposed of in trash receptacles.
  4. Wear safety glasses or goggles for eye protection.
  5. When standing directly below a person working overhead, use goggles.
  6. Don’t submerge tubes or lamps in cleaning solution or use excess water on fixtures.
  7. All electrical currents should be shut off when working on light fixtures. Observe lockout and tagout procedures.
  8. Make certain your hands are dry when cleaning or changing bulbs.
  9. Place old light ballasts in the proper containers for hazardous material disposal.
  10. Exit routes must be adequately illuminated. Change all burned-out light bulbs immediately.
  11. Consult your supervisor for proper disposal of all old ballasts, lamps, and batteries. They must be treated as hazardous waste.

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Trenching, Shoring, and Excavation

OSHA citation 1926.650-652

  1. Barricade all open excavations and mark them with flashers.
  2. Excavated material must be shored or retained two feet or more from its edge. Banks more than five feet high shall be shored or laid back to a stable slope. The sides of trenches in unstable or soft material of five feet or more in depth shall be shored to protect employees. If a trench is four feet deep or more, a ladder shall be provided.
  3. If a cave-in or slide appears possible, necessary precautions must be taken to safeguard all employees.
  4. Check the excavation when a rainstorm or hazard-increasing incident occurs. Increase the amount of protection if necessary.

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Glass, Tile, and Metal Handling

  1. Wear protective clothing and gloves while handling glass, tile, or sharp metal.
  2. Wear protective goggles while chipping or cutting glass.
  3. Observe all codes for types and usage of materials when installing glass.

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Painting, Paint Storage, and Refinishing

  1. Spray painting or refinishing shall be done in areas which are specifically designed for that purpose with adequate ventilation and fire protection as prescribed by OSHA.
  2. Use approved splash-type goggles and/or respirators while spraying to prevent breathing harmful materials. Respirators must be equipped with the appropriate cartridges for the respective material.
  3. Paint should be stored in sealed containers at all times. Wiping rags, strainers, drop cloths, and paint-stained clothing must not be stored with paints, thinners, solvents, cleaners, turpentine, or combustible materials, but in safety waste cans with self-closing lids. Store waste cans as close to the outside of a building as possible.
  4. Paint brushes must not be left to soak in cleaning fluid. Clean and suspend them for air drying. The paint brush cleaning fluid should be disposed of in an approved manner or returned to the original container.
  5. Smoking is prohibited in any part of a painting area. Note: the campus is smoke-free in all buildings and other internal spaces, including campus vehicles.
  6. Obtain and be familiar with the contents of the labels and the MSDS for all materials used. Know their relative hazards and safety precautions.
  7. Where ventilation is poor, limit exposure to paint mists and solvent vapors. Use the proper respirator and clothing. Refer to respiratory protection program.
  8. Try to provide auxiliary ventilation. Open windows or doors so that dangerous levels of vapors are not created.
  9. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when cleaning spraying equipment.
  10. Handle all solvents according to product label and MSDS guidelines; even those labeled safety solvents. Avoid skin contact; wear a respirator, do not breathe the vapors; wear splash-type goggles to guard your eyes and be fire conscious.
  11. Partial remains from water-based paint cans can be diluted directly down the sink. Do not wash down to floor drains. Partial remains from oil-based paint cans should be treated as hazardous waste and given to EH&S for disposal.
  12. Epoxy based paints are generally discouraged and use of such materials must be specifically approved by EH&S.
  13. Paint containing lead shall not be used. Lead paint OSHA standards must be observed when removing lead paint materials. (See Lead Paints and Materials on page 49.)

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  1. The use of chemicals for opening drains is discouraged. Only authorized personnel will use chemical drain openers and will exercise caution in their use.
  2. When any type anti-clog chemical is used, you must wear eye protection and take precautions to keep the chemical off your skin. Have good ventilation when using any type drain cleaner. Dispose of all chemical containers so that no other person will come in contact with them.
  3. Lead has been a commonly used material in plumbing operations. Whenever lead is being removed, local exhaust ventilation is necessary. Use of an approved respirator is necessary whenever lead is heated. At no time shall a lead trap be soldered or repaired. Lead traps shall not be melted down for any purpose. Such materials shall be treated as hazardous waste and disposed of in an approved manner.
  4. Caution should be used when operating a snake. The operator of the drain auger must be alert at all times to the person feeding the spring so that they do not become entangled in it.

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Welding and Soldering

OSHA citation 1910.251-257

  1. Welding requires that goggles, shields, proper clothing, and approved gloves be worn while performing the operation.
  2. When using torches for cutting or soldering, be sure there is a fire extinguisher on hand and ready for use if the need arises. Work away from combustible materials if possible. Check the area after stopping for the day to make sure no smoldering materials remain.
  3. Shut off torches at the tank at noon, at night, and any other extended time when not in use.
  4. Shield the welding area in such a manner as to prevent the arc of flame from being seen by bystanders.
  5. Take great care to assure acetylene and oxygen tanks are securely fastened to prevent their falling over or being knocked down, both on the job and during transportation.
  6. It is required by OSHA that all gases be stored separately in well-ventilated areas, whenever possible, in a room with fire-resistant walls.
  7. Use all possible ventilation when welding or soldering. Wear respirators of proper design when welding toxic material (e.g., galvanized iron) to avoid breathing harmful fumes. Where ventilation is poor, metal fume respirators can sometimes be used. Local exhaust ventilation is required when welding on or with certain substances.
  8. Silver solder containing cadmium must be used with the greatest care. Always use sufficient local exhaust ventilation.
  9. Avoid welding in the same work area where flammables or combustibles are present.
  10. Lead solder shall not be used under any circumstance.

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Confined Space Entry

OSHA citation 1910.146

Refer to the St. Olaf College Confined Space Entry manual.

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OSHA citation 1910.1001, 1926.58

  1. Asbestos is a mineral fiber which can have very serious health effects if it is inhaled or ingested.
  2. Asbestos has been in the workplace in sprayed-on fireproofing on ceilings and beams, as a chalky white insulation on pipes and boilers, for decoration and soundproofing on ceilings, as fireproofing inside doors, as a binder in plasters and drywall finishes, and in some floor tiles.
  3. Only trained and certified workers should attempt to disturb, remove or dispose of asbestos or asbestos-containing materials.

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Managers and supervisory personnel shall:

  1. Be responsible for proper certification of any asbestos workers.
  2. Be responsible for all testing prior to any demolition, abatement, encapsulation, or disposal of asbestos or suspected asbestos-containing materials.
  3. Ensure the health and safety of employees engaged in work in or around asbestos or asbestos-containing materials.
  4. Monitor the worksite to ensure that all precautions and rules and are observed at all times.

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Employees shall:

  1. Never attempt to clean, encapsulate, remove, or dispose of asbestos or asbestos-containing materials without proper training and certification.
  2. Never attempt to clean, encapsulate, remove or dispose of asbestos or asbestos-containing materials without authorization, knowledge and approval of a manager or supervisor.

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Lead Paints & Materials

OSHA citation 1910.1025

  1. Lead or suspected lead-base paints should be reported to EH&S for an evaluation.
  2. Workers should be aware that lead can enter the body by breathing and eating in a lead contaminated setting.
  3. If workers are uncertain whether lead is present, they can request EH&S staff to conduct an air-sampling or test any materials for the presence of lead.
  4. If workers suspect or know that lead is present, they should request personal protection devices such as respirators and protective work clothing.
  5. Workers who are frequently exposed to lead paints or lead materials can request that the College arrange to monitor lead levels in the blood and health conditions related to lead handling.

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Hazard Communication & MSDS

OSHA citation 1910.1200

Refer to the St. Olaf College Hazard Communication manual.

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Lockout and Tagout

OSHA citation 1910.147

Refer to the St. Olaf College Lockout/Tagout manual.

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Americans with Disabilities Act

St. Olaf is committed to non-discrimination on the basis of a disability as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The purpose of ADA is to remove barriers that prevent qualified individuals with disabilities from enjoying the same employment opportunities available to persons without disabilities. If you have a disability and are in need of assistance that is work-related or would like general information regarding ADA, please contact the Human Resources office at x3068

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