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General Safety Policies

Chapter 3720
Revised March 16, 2009; June 1, 2018

Table of Contents

.010 Occupational Safety and Health at KSU
.020 Asbestos Handling Policy
.030 Food Dispensing Policy
.040 Hearing Conservation Program
.050 Respirator Use Program
.060 Tornado Refuge
.070 Workplace Precautions for Bloodborne Pathogens
.080 Smoking Policy
.090 Hazard Communication Program
.100 Shipping Hazardous Materials
.110 Questions

.010 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.

.020 Asbestos Handling Policy

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) have issued rules and regulations concerning the handling of, or working with, asbestos. Those rules and regulations are summarized below and Kansas State University personnel will comply with the rules. Only employees certified by KDHE as asbestos workers may perform maintenance related work. Work with friable and non-friable asbestos materials are regulated by this policy. Nonfriable asbestos falls outside the state and federal asbestos rules and includes vinyl asbestos floor tile, mastic, transit and any other asbestos material that does not crumble with hand pressure. However, the workers and the public must be adequately protected during all removal procedures.

Any building owned by Kansas State University must be properly inspected for the presence of friable and nonfriable asbestos prior to demolition or renovation of the building. Building includes any institutional, commercial, public, industrial, residential or farm structure. Contact Facilities Planning or the Division of Public Safety for assistance.

Specific requirements for major projects (greater than 3 linear or square feet) or maintenance projects (3 or less linear or square feet) including guidelines for worker protection are published by the Division of Public Safety is available in hard copy from the Division.

The guidelines for worker protection include the requirements for an annual physical health exam, proper use and maintenance of respirators, appropriate clothing, use of HEPA vacuum, glovebags, proper signage and proper disposal methods.

Safe work practices must be followed in any job requiring the handling of nonfriable asbestos. To protect the public, limit access to only essential personnel. Each nonfriable asbestos job must be handled as a case-by-case situation and must therefore have approval of the Division of Public Safety prior to the start of the job. More stringent worker practices in the situation of "about to become friable" material or more restricted access to the public may be required. As a minimum, all workers on the project must attend a 90 minute training session on asbestos safety.

After the completion of most larger than maintenance jobs, the work area will be considered clean only if the clearance air sample has a fiber concentration of less than 0.009 fibers/cm3 or none detected (ND). If the clearance sample is greater than 0.00 9 fibers/cm3, the work area must be re-cleaned or additional air samples taken, whichever the Division of Public Safety deems necessary.

.030 Food Dispensing Policy

The Campus Sanitation Committee is charged with the responsibility of inspecting and controlling environmental situations that may be deleterious to the health of individuals during their stay on the campus. One of the situations involved is food service and the prevention and minimization of food-borne illnesses. A recommended method of keeping food-borne illness at a minimum is to have trained food handlers well-versed in the proper techniques of food storage and food service. Therefore, it is the policy of this Committee to discourage food preparation and service by untrained and non-approved food handlers. Furthermore, the committee discourages the dispensing of food prepared in kitchens not approved by this Committee via the Campus Sanitarian or the Riley County Board of Health.

A written permit is required of any K.S.U. sanctioned person or group engaged in dispensing any food item. The permit application may be obtained from the Division of Facilities, Dykstra Hall, and must be approved by the Department of Campus Safety before the activity begins. Those departments not required to schedule facilities through the Division of Facilities and who do not have an approved food service must submit requests directly to the Campus Sanitation Committee for approval to dispense food. Requests must be sent to the Campus Sanitarian 10 to 14 days prior to the projected food service date.

All food items must be approved. Hazard list below will help in selecting the food to serve:

More Hazardous: Pastries filled with cream or synthetic cream, hamburgers, custards or similar products, salads or sandwiches containing meat, eggs, poultry or fish, gravy.

Less Hazardous: Ice, coffee, tea, punch, cookies, commercially prepackaged food, fresh fruit and vegetables, hot dogs.

Drinks which are dispensed on campus should be dispensed from a dispenser with single service paper cups or in commercially available cans.

Food items to be served must be prepared in a kitchen approved by the Sanitation Committee or the Riley County Board of Health.

a. Items prepared and packaged in a kitchen approved as above may be dispensed in the unbroken package by personnel who have not had food handler's training.

b. Food handlers include all employees who may have a chance to come in contact with the food during its receiving, preparation, packaging, delivery, or serving.

Food service may be performed only in buildings or locations approved by the Division of Facilities and the Campus Sanitation Committee.

.040 Hearing Conservation Program

Long-term exposure to excessive noise leads to permanent, irreparable hearing loss. Many individuals who live and work in noise are reluctant to recognize it as a serious threat or to accept and use personal hearing protection. Noise-induced hearing loss occurs slowly over months or years making it difficult to convince those at risk to guard their sense of hearing. The purpose of the Hearing Conservation Program is to prevent job-related, noise induced, hearing loss in University employees. Work areas of the University which test to be noise hazard areas (exceed the maximum permissible noise exposure for employees) shall enter into the Hearing Protection Program. The three-part program includes testing, training, and hearing protection.

Noise testing and hearing tests. Sound surveys will be conducted once every two years or more frequently as considered appropriate in departments considered noise hazard areas by the Industrial Hygienist. Employees who are exposed to an eight hour time-weighted-average (TWA) of 85 dBA or greater will have their hearing tested annually. Employees exposed to a TWA of 90 dBA or greater noise exposure for eight hours must wear hearing protection. All hearing testing will be conducted in a sound treated audiological test booth in the Kansas State University Speech and Hearing Center under the supervision of a Certified Audiologist. New employees will be tested within six months of employment. Inservice training for employees shall be performed annually. These training sessions will cover the areas of basic audition, anatomy of the ear, noise and noise-induced hearing loss, and the benefits of hearing protection. Scheduling will be coordinated with the involved department, the Division of Public Safety and the Speech and Hearing Center.

Hearing protection. Engineering controls should be instituted to reduce noise levels to reasonable limits where practical. In all areas where noise hazards exist, warning signs should be posted at entrances or on the periphery of those areas. Hearing protection must be worn when the noise level exposure equals or exceeds a TWA 90 dBA. In addition, hearing protective equipment must be available to those exposed to noise levels between 85 and 90 dBA.

The costs for this program including testing, training and hearing protection will be provided by the affected department. The guidelines for hearing conservation can be found in the complete guidelines published by the Division of Public Safety is available from the Division in hard copy.

.050 Respirator Use Program

Properly-functioning and properly-used respiratory protection is one of the most important components of a safety and health program for workers who must be protected from inhalation of hazardous atmospheres. Hazardous atmosphere includes but is not limited to dusts, mists, vapors, and gases due to asbestos, paint, grain, solvents, grinding operations, and laboratory situations. This written, standard operating procedure will be used to protect any worker who must wear a respirator during work assignments.

The guidelines for worker protection can be found in the complete guidelines published by the Division of Public Safety is available from the Division in hard copy. The guidelines include employee responsibilities and medical examinations, selection, use and limitations of respirators, cleaning, maintenance and storage procedures, proper respirator fit testing, and annual training. The published guidelines include several forms that are required for medical examinations.

Prior to assigning a respirator to a worker, a medical determination must be made to assure that the individual is healthy and physically able to perform the work and wear the equipment. The examination will be administered annually by Lafene Health Center physicians and includes a comprehensive history, a chest X-ray (possibly) and a pulmonary function test.

Each department head is responsible for a program to cover respirator uses specific to the department and has financial responsibility for the program. The Division of Public Safety has overall University responsibility for the program and has authority to make the technical and administrative decisions necessary for the continued success of the program. All respirators used must be approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

The selection of respirators depends upon the airborne concentration of the respirable contaminant. Protection provided by the respirator is based on the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV) calculated as an 8-hour Time Weighted Average (TWA) for hazardous materials. The minimum levels of respiratory protection are given in the published guidelines. Air-purifying respirators are to be used only in atmospheres that are not oxygen-deficient, atmospheres that are not Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health (IDLH), or atmospheres that do not exceed the published protection factors. Cartridge respirators may only be used when the hazard has a physical warning such as odor or if the cartridge has a color indicator which demonstrates saturation.

Respirator fit testing. Qualitative fit testing is conducted by the user's department for air-purifying respirators. The procedure is done prior to issuing a worker with a respirator and every six months thereafter. Qualitative fit test results should be maintained in the employee's records.

.060 Tornado Refuge

All building occupants should know where to go in case of a tornado or severe weather. The department head should review the following steps with all employees:

Get and stay indoors during the storm.
Go to the interior hallways on the lowest level of the building.
Stay away from windows, doors, and outside walls and protect your head.
Leave mobile homes, trailers, and vehicles and go to a substantial structure.

If there is no shelter nearby, lie flat in the nearest ditch, ravine, or culvert. The vast majority of all injuries and fatalities resulting from severe weather occur to persons in mobile homes and motor vehicles. Serious injuries to persons in interior areas of brick or stone builidings are rare. Notification of improved weather conditions can be obtained from a local radio station or television set.

The Division of Public Safety makes available tornado refuge signs for the main buildings your department occupies. By order of the State Fire Marshal (K.A.R. 22-18-2), these signs must be posted in each building. Please ensure that one sign is posted on your department bulletin board and one is posted near a main entrance to the building.

.70 Workplace Precautions for Bloodborne Pathogens

Kansas State University voluntarily complies with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Bloodborne Pathogen Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1030. In addition, medical services waste is regulated by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) under K.A.R. 28-29-27. The university administration, to insure a safe work environment for all employees, adopts this Kansas State University policy on Work Place Precautions for Bloodborne Pathogens. This policy will minimize work place exposure to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and other bloodborne pathogens. Wherever the term "blood" is found in this policy, it implies blood or other potentially infectious material capable of acting as a vehicle for HIV, HBV, or other bloodborne pathogens.

Each department having an employee or employees with occupational exposure to human blood must establish a written Exposure Control Plan designed to eliminate or minimize employee exposure. Employees considered to have occupational exposure to human blood include: health professionals and paraprofessionals in Lafene Health Center, the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, and Recreational Services; police in the Division of Public Safety; laboratory personnel working with human blood or other human pathogens in the Department of Pathology and Microbiology, Department of Anatomy and Physiology, Department of Veterinary Diagnosis, Department of Clinical Sciences, Division of Biology, Department of Biochemistry, Department of Chemistry, Department of Foods and Nutrition and Department of Kinesiology; emergency first-aid responders in any department; and custodians in the Division of Facilities who may be required to clean up spilled human blood.

Methods of compliance including handling, storing and disposing of human blood and medical services waste are published by the Division of Public Safety is available in hard copy from the Division. Additional information concerning HIV research, HBV vaccinations, HIV and HBV exposure incident reporting, hazard communication, training and recordkeeping may be found in the published guideline.

Used sharps such as hypodermic needles and syringes, scalpel blades, suture needles, razor blades, pasteur pipettes, or other sharp objects must be stored in a closed, rigid, puncture proof container. The Division of Public Safety operates the "SHARPS PROGRAM" for the university by distributing properly labeled one gallon plastic containers to departments that request them. On request, the Division of Public Safety will pick up the container and properly dispose of the sharp objects. At no time may sharps be discarded in the trash.

Other medical services wastes will be handled by the Division of Public Safety for pick up and disposal. Materials will be transported in "International Orange" (red) containers to the Hazardous Waste Storage Facility to await disposal.

.080 Smoking Policy

Smoking is a public health and fire hazard. Locations where smoking is allowed shall be restricted in order to prevent infringements upon others; and create and maintain an environment and culture that is in the best interests of the safety, health and well-being of all users of university property.  

The smoking of cigarettes, cigars, pipes or burning tobacco in any other form or device, as well as the use of electronic cigarettes, vaporizers, hookah or other water pipe devices and all other related devices, is prohibited in university owned vehicles and on university property, except inside personal vehicles. University property includes, on the Manhattan and Polytechnic campuses: inside buildings and structures, outdoors, and within state-owned vehicles. Research investigating smoking is allowed in laboratories designated for that purpose with authorization granted by the Department of Environmental Health and Safety.

Violations of the smoking policy should be reported to the proper entity. Staff and faculty violations will follow the progressive discipline policies and students will be subject to the Student Code of Conduct. 

This policy is effective June 1, 2018, and is in accordance with K.S.A 21-6109, et seq, and City of Manhattan Ordinance No. 6737. Violations of Kansas Statute and City Ordinances are punishable under applicable state and local laws.

.90 Hazard Communication Program

The purpose of the Hazard Communication Program is to provide Kansas State University employees with the necessary information to protect their health and well being from chemical hazards. This written hazard communication program includes chemical inventory, employee training, material safety data sheet (MSDS) use, container labeling, spill control, personal protective equipment use, and notification of work-on-site contractors. The guidelines for hazard communication is available from the Division in hard copy. The guidelines include the requirements for chemical control, labeling, material safety data sheets (MSDS) and training. The guidelines hard copy also includes the EPA extremely hazardous substances list (40 CFR 355), a training syllabus and log, a glossary of terms, examples of MSDSs and a letter to request MSDSs.

The program applies to all chemicals or chemical products that are known to be present in the workplace and which employees may be exposed under normal use conditions or in a foreseeable emergency. The chemicals covered by this program include laboratory chemicals, cleaning agents, floor strippers and waxes, maintenance solvents and oils, bottled gas, printing inks and solvents, photocopy inks and toners, and other chemical products. There are some specific instances in which this standard does not apply, please refer to the published guidelines.

The Division of Public Safety has overall responsibility to manage the Hazard Communication Program. Each department shall have a Department Safety Coordinator who will have the responsibility to operate the Hazard Communication Program for the department. Department, for the purposes of this document, is defined as any Division, Department, Section, Unit, or Office. The President, Provost, Vice Presidents, or Deans may ask their respective Department Heads or Directors to appoint Department Safety Coordinators. Departments of ten or less employees may be grouped together under one Department Safety Coordinator. Departments in more than one building should have a Department Safety Coordinator for each building. The Department Safety Coordinator will coordinate all efforts with the Division of Public Safety.

Each Department Safety Coordinator will compile an annual inventory (prior to January 30th) of all hazardous chemicals and report this information to the Division of Public Safety. Included in this report will be the storage location of the chemicals. Hazardous chemicals are defined as those chemicals listed on the Environmental Protection Agency's Extremely Hazardous Substances List (40 CFR 355, Appendix A) and subsequent changes.

.100 Shipping Hazardous Material

The Department of Transportation (DOT) regulates the movement of chemicals by land, air and sea. The Federal DOT regulation, HM-181, concerns the shipping of hazardous materials. Improper labeling and manifests can result in large fines to the shipper as well as the transportation company. Universities and State agencies are not exempt from such fines. A second Federal DOT regulation, HM-126, requires any employee, who is responsible for the shipping of chemicals or other hazardous materials, to be trained in hazardous materials shipping. Employees who are responsible for departmental shipping must attend one Hazardous Materials Shipment Training session and a refresher course every three years thereafter.

The shipping manifest (Bill of Lading) requires a 24-hour phone number on all hazardous materials manifests. Any shipment from Kansas State University must include the K-State Police Department emergency phone number, (785) 532-6412. A material safety data sheet (MSDS) should be included with hazardous materials shipments, if available. A copy of the shipping manifest and MSDS must be faxed to the K-State Police, 532-7408, at the time of shipment.

.110 Questions

Questions are to be directed to the Department of Environmental Health and Safety, telephone number (785)532-5856.