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Providing a Healthy and Safe Workplace

Providing a Healthy and Safe Workplace

Providing a Healthy and Safe Workplace

Date: August, 2011
Contact: Human Resources x4181


The University values an atmosphere that fosters a healthy and safe work environment that is conducive for faculty/staff to accomplish their job duties. In addition, there are many areas where confidentiality must be preserved. In order to create and maintain this environment it is important faculty and staff remain aware of potential safety issues and disruptions that would be detrimental to the completion of the individual’s duties. This policy provides guidelines for identifying and remedying situations that could disrupt the environment.


Faculty and Staff must be vigilant in maintaining a safe and healthy work environment for themselves and others. Everyone is encouraged to consider and respect the work of colleagues when making decisions that might be considered a disruption. If a situation arises and a faculty/staff member is questioning whether it is detrimental to the completion of an individual’s duties or those of others, the observer should bring the situation to the attention of the party involved or to the supervisor/department head. If the situation cannot be resolved within the area, a representative from Human Resources can be called to assist.

It is always advisable that supervisors and department heads have periodic discussions with all faculty and staff about expectations and responsibilities regarding the work environment of colleagues and agree on what might be considered a disruption and/or a safety/health hazard. Also, it is important to include a review of the confidentiality needs of the area.

Examples of Potential Disruptions

The following are examples only and not intended to be a complete list of potential situations causing disruptions. Any disruption should be brought to the attention of the individual responsible and/or the supervisor/department head.

Personal visitors/children:

Some workspaces are not suitable for personal visitors or children. In addition, strict guidelines should be maintained if a child is brought into the workplace. If there is any question about this, employees should seek guidance from their supervisor/department head.

Safety: A minor may never be allowed into an area that is potentially hazardous (i.e., where hazardous equipment, human-derived materials, radioactive materials, etc., are located); such prohibited areas include workshops and laboratories, areas where chemicals are stored, and plant rooms.

Supervision: Children must be supervised by the parent or guardian at all times with consideration to the workplace issues. Employees supervising children must be able to complete their own work. No other colleague or student should be asked to supervise a child. If a complaint is made about disruption being caused by a child in the workplace, the supervisor/department head will ask the parent/guardian to immediately correct the situation even if this requires the parent/guardian to take vacation time or personal leave time in order to do so. No employee may use the workplace as an alternative to childcare.

Illness: Children exhibiting symptoms of potentially contagious illnesses should not be brought into the workplace. Provision for sick children should be made within the context of various forms of leave available to employees such as: leave relating to caring for a sick family member (sick leave), annual leave, or unpaid leave.

Computer Use: Institutional computers are University property and intended for use only by employees in the course and scope of assigned duties; they should not be used to entertain visiting children.

The University does not accept any liability for injuries to children who are not authorized to be in the workplace.

Personal Electronic Equipment

Staff and faculty may have personal electronic equipment (radios, music playing devices, computers, etc). The use of these items may not interfere with the individual’s work or the work of colleagues in the area. If there is a complaint, the supervisor/department head will review and recommend a solution.

The university does not accept any liability for damage, loss, or theft of any of these personal items.

Other Disruptions/Safety Issues

Other issues may be brought to the attention of the individual or the supervisor/department head. The supervisor will resolve the issue and may call upon Human Resources to help in deciding the best solution.