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Kansas State University

Occupational safety and health at KSU

Occupational safety and health is the responsibility of each employee at the university. In addition, each person of authority at the university is responsible for those employees under his or her supervision. This responsibility begins with the President and flows down to each person within the structure of the university. The personal and collective safety and health of students and employees are of primary importance. Cooperation among the administration, faculty members, staff members, and student body is necessary for the development and preservation of an enviable safety record. Effective standards, as well as proper attitudes, are required for the maintenance of workplace safety.

The Kansas Department of Human Resources (KDHR), Industrial Safety & Health Section regulates the University with regard to occupational safety and health. Under K.S.A. 44-636, KDHR, by reference, applies the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards as found in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

The Division of Public Safety in cooperation with the Campus Environmental Health and Safety Committee develops guidelines to help departments comply with the occupational safety and health standards. This help is meant to provide to all employees at Kansas State University the proper guidelines to prevent workplace accidents. Under all circumstances, employees must be properly trained to perform their required tasks. These guidelines are to be used as building blocks for individual units to properly provide adequate safety and health protection for their workers. Their purpose is to create an overall awareness of the hazards of the job as well as to offer guidelines for safe work practices. Employees should review, be familiar with, and understand the information set forth in the guidelines.

The following responsibilities are assigned to various University administrators, faculty and staff:

The Campus Environmental Health & Safety Committee recommends university policy concerning environmental and safety issues.

The Division of Public Safety enforces compliance with federal, state, local and university policies concerning occupational safety and health. The Division of Public Safety is responsible for investigating occupational safety and health concerns and providing consultation to departments for compliance with standards and policies. The Division of Public Safety reports environmental and safety concerns to the Vice President for Administration and Finance, and the Campus Environmental Health & Safety Committee, as well as, Federal, State and local public agencies, as required by law.

The Department Head or Director of each individual department is responsible for the implementation of safe work practices and adherence to occupational safety and health regulations and policies. The Department Head or Director should communicate with the Division of Public Safety and report any occupational safety and health problems. Any work related accidents should be reported to Human Resource Services, who in turn, reports them to the Division of Public Safety. Near-accidents or near-misses should be reported directly to the Division of Public Safety.

Each employee is responsible to know, understand and follow the guidelines and should be continually on guard to prevent unsafe work practices. The employee should report to the Department Head or Director any work related accidents, near-accidents or occupational safety and health problems that need to be addressed.

Overall, the University has a responsibility to provide a safe workplace for its employees. Workers also have a responsibility to follow safe practices to protect themselves and others working around them. In all types of labor, there is a certain amount of common sense that must be brought to the job by the worker.

The Division of Public Safety tries to develop rules or guidelines specific for Kansas State University. In other cases, when no additional written rules or guidelines exist, the Division of Public Safety will rely on OSHA Standards as found in 29 CFR 1910, 1926, 1928. In addition, the Division of Public Safety will use national standards such as those found in the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the American Industrial Hygiene Association, the National Fire Protection Association, and other organizations.

The following Kansas State University rules or guidelines exist: Chemical Hygiene Program; Hazard Communication Program; Hazardous Waste Minimization Program; Hearing Conservation Program; Good Laboratory Safety Practices; Procedure for Handling Asbestos; Radiation Safety Manual; Respirator Program; Safety with Chemical Carcinogens in Research and Teaching; and Workplace Precautions for Bloodborne Pathogens.

The safety measures and procedures provided by the various rules and guidelines are designed to aid in maintaining a safe and healthful work and study environment on the Kansas State University campus. The Division of Public Safety can provide assistance in the pursuit of that goal.