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Section 4: Safety at Augustana

Safety Guidelines

Safety Policies

Hazard Communication

Safety Network

Accident Reporting

Return to Work Policy

Emergency Procedures

Emergency Reporting

General Safety Guidelines

Augustana College employees are protected by regulations issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The college strives to comply with OSHA regulations wherever they apply and expects each employee to follow the rules established by OSHA, college policy and specific departmental guidelines if applicable. All employees are responsible for wholehearted cooperation with all aspects of safety and health, including compliance with all safety-related rules and regulations and for continuously practicing safety while performing job duties. The prevention of work-related injuries is given precedence over operational productivity. “Horse-play” and irresponsible use of chemicals or equipment is always prohibited. Failure to comply with safe and healthful work practices may result in discipline, up to and including termination.

Augustana College’s safety requirements include:

  • Compliance with all applicable environmental and safety rules and regulationsAttendance at training sessions that are required by OSHA rules and college policy
  • Regular safety inspections to identify and eliminate unsafe working conditions and practices
  • Prompt and thorough reporting and investigation of accidents and near misses
  • Enrollment in the college’s emergency notification system

These requirements, along with the college’s safety and health programs, are designed to reduce the number of injuries and illnesses. The goal
is zero accidents, injuries and illnesses. The details of specific safety programs are available from the Director of Safety and Security.

Safety Policies

Augustana College has written safety programs to establish operating rules, training requirements and guidelines for the more hazardous jobs on campus. Employees should meet with a supervisor and discuss these requirements and operational procedures before undertaking any of the following:

  1. Touching someone else’s blood or body fluids while (for example) cleaning, responding to a security call, washing athletic laundry or providing first aid services
  2. Wearing a respirator or “dust mask”
  3. Entering a confined space such as a tunnel, manhole, duct work or boiler
  4. Using equipment that is very loud, including leaf blowers, chain saws and lawn mowers
  5. Applying chemicals in large quantities or cleaning up large chemical spills
  6. Operating a fork truck
  7. Operating welding equipment
  8. Working in elevated areas such as roofs, scaffolding and bucket trucks
  9. Repairing, maintaining or altering high voltage equipment or lines

Hazard Communication

Augustana College maintains a full collection of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) to help employees learn about the chemicals used on the job. MSDSs describe the chemical composition of each product, the effects they could have on an employee’s health and ways employees should protect themselves from overexposure. Employees should refer to these documents, or receive appropriate training from a supervisor, before using any chemical on the job. The Office of Safety is also available to answer questions about the chemicals used onsite and to assist employees in obtaining or reading MSDSs. In general, employees using chemicals are not allowed to use mouth suction for pipetting or starting a siphon and also should not smell or taste chemicals, remove chemicals from the buildings, mix chemicals or otherwise use them for unauthorized purposes.

Dependent on the job, some employees may be required to wear special equipment or clothing when performing certain tasks to provide protection from chemical exposure and/ or the physical risks associated with certain tasks. Employees who are unsure of this requirement should ask a supervisor whether the job or task requires the wearing of personal protective equipment. If so, this equipment is provided by the college— typically free of charge. Employees participating in the safety shoe program will receive a stipend to obtain footwear at reduced rates.

Safety Network

Augustana College has a network of personnel who help ensure the safe operation of the college. This network consists of:

  • Safety officers, who assist within major academic buildings to direct personnel and students during emergencies requiring evacuation, shelter in place or lock down
  • First responders, who provide basic first aid assistance to students and staff
  • Safety committee members, who act to improve safety in specific departments
  • Employees interested in joining one of these groups should contact the Director of Safety and Security for additional details.

Injury Care and Accident Reporting

Augustana College will do everything reasonably possible to prevent accidents and injuries to employees. While the college strives for zero recordable accidents, the reality is that injuries can and do occur. All accidents and/or injuries must be reported to the EHS coordinator in the Office of Safety as soon as possible and in all cases within twenty-four hours. Employees who fail to report work-related injuries promptly are subject to disciplinary action.

In cases of an accident or injury, each employee should assess their condition to the best of their ability and request the necessary assistance. Many departments keep band-aids in stock for the convenience of employees who wish to self-administer first aid. First responders have more complete medical kits to address a variety of injuries including lacerations, contusions, burns and minor eye issues. First responders are also trained to provide CPR and operate the electronic defibrillators. Employees are not encouraged to provide first aid services on campus unless they have been trained as a first responder by the college.

Employees injured at work should do the following:

  1. If it appears to be a medical emergency, they should not wait—Dial 9-911 or Security Services at extension 7711 or (309) 794–7711. The same notification should be followed if an employee believes he/she is experiencing significant health effects from a chemical exposure.
  2. If the employee wants to manage his/her own injury, they should contact a first responder with a medical bag. These bags contain medical supplies and are typically available in each major building on campus.
  3. If the employee needs to see a doctor, they should call the Director of Safety and Security or the Office of Human Resources to request a referral to a local medical clinic. Augustana College maintains affili- ations with local health providers and can schedule the appointment and arrange transportation if necessary.

If a co-worker is seriously injured:

  1. Assess the situation first to be sure it is safe to provide aid. Employees should take care to not become victims themselves.
  2. Notify security at extension 7711 and/or dial 9-911. The campus dispatcher can coordinate the EMS response, provide traffic control and guide the ambulance to the appropriate location.
  3. Consider notifying the building’s first responder, who may be able to assist.
  4. If an ambulance has been called, specify someone to meet the ambulance and guide them to the victim’s location.
  5. Do not move the victim unless he/she is in a life-threatening location.
  6. Employees should not transport the victim if he/she is believed to have a serious injury, multiple injuries or a condition that may worsen during transport.
  7. File an incident report. These forms are available on the Augustana website or from any first responder, and should be filed with the Office of Safety.

Once treatment is received, the injured employee must contact the Director of Safety and Security or the Office of Human Resources. Work restrictions prescribed by the medical provider will be communicated to the employee’s supervisor to facilitate the employee’s recovery.

Return to Work Policy

Augustana College does all it can to return injured parties to their des- ignated position or into a limited or restricted work position. The college will attempt to provide work for the injured party that accommodates any restrictions that the acting physician places on the injured party.

Studies have proven that employees who continue to work, even in limited or restricted work, will heal faster than employees who stay at home to recover. Throughout the restricted work period, the college will consult with the treating physician’s staff to ensure the speedy recovery of the injured party without compromising the quality of care or causing possible additional injury to the employee. Employees are required to honor medical restrictions both at home and at work, and will not be allowed to do work beyond the restrictions given by the medical staff. In addition, employees who refuse limited, restricted or modified work as prescribed by the provider may lose workers compensation benefits.

Limited or restricted work is given only as necessary on a limited time basis. It is the goal of the college to return the employee to his/her de- partment of origin as soon as possible. Any questions or concerns arising from this policy should be brought to the attention of the Safety coordina- tor or the Office of Human Resources at the earliest possible opportunity.

Emergency Procedures

Augustana College’s emergency response plan relies upon the cooperation and support of all members of the campus community. While emergency drills will be held on campus during the academic year in conjunction with local police, fire and emergency staff, ultimately it is the responsibility of each member of the campus community to behave in a responsible manner should a crisis occur.

Employees should prepare themselves for emergencies by taking the following steps:

  1. Sign-up for the emergency text messaging. This system, operated at an off-campus location, is used to communicate with the Augustana College community during an emergency. Within minutes of the college’s security staff being informed of a credible emergency situation, the Augustana College community will be alerted to the nature of the emergency and the correct response of community members. If conditions allow, emergency information will also disseminated by email and be available on the college’s website. Updates will be provided as needed.

  2. Listen for the emergency alert sirens. Sirens are tested on the first Tuesday morning of every month. Employees should familiarize themselves with this sound. Should there be an emergency, the main outdoor siren, along with a number of internal sirens, will be triggered. If the college’s communication system becomes inoperable, bullhorns are located around campus and trained staff members will be placed near residence halls and groupings of buildings to provide information.

  3. Emergency instruction posters are located in each classroom, office area and residence hall room. Should there be an emergency, employees, visitors and students will need to consult these posters for supplementary instructions prompted by the text-messaging, website and email communication systems. Evacuation maps, also located in every major building on campus, explain how to leave the building and indicate appropriate meeting places for evacuees.

How to report an emergency

To report a campus emergency, employees should call 9-911 (Rock Island Police Department), extension 7711 (Augustana College Security) or (309) 794–7711 (Augustana College Security). These numbers are staffed twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. The dispatcher answering the call will need specific information including location, the kind of emergency and as many other details as possible. Callers should focus on answering the questions and providing accurate information.

Refer to the “Safety/Security” section of the campus website at for guidance on how best to respond to spe- cific incidents, or contact the Office of Safety and Security for additional guidance.

Updated February 2011