Safety Frequently Asked Questions
What do I do if I have an accident at work?
If emergency medical attention is required, the first thing you should do is call or have someone call 911. After that, your supervisor should be contacted. It is your supervisor’s responsibility to fill out and fax within 24 hours a “Worker’s Compensation - First Report of Injury or Illness” form. This form can be found in the Forms Repository at www.uni.edu. Depending on your Department at the University, the supervisor may be required to complete other accident investigation forms.
What is ergonomics?
Ergonomics is the study of human work. The term ergonomics comes from the Greek word "ergos" meaning work and "nomos" meaning natural laws of. Ergonomics is concerned with the effective use of the physical and psychological capabilities of the human as they apply to work. It involves the worker's interaction with tools, equipment, environment, jobs, tasks, work methods, work rates and other systems.
What is carpal tunnel syndrome ?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is the entrapment of the median nerve of the hand and wrist in the passageway (tunnel) through the carpal bones of the wrist. It results in symptoms such as pain, tingling and night numbness in the fingers and pain on gripping. Carpal tunnel may be caused by repetitive motion such as frequent keyboarding.
Will wearing a wrist splint prevent carpal tunnel syndrome?
No. Although wrist splints help maintain a neutral wrist posture, there is some evidence that they do not change the pressures inside the carpal tunnel. Moreover, wearing a wrist splint in jobs with risk factors may transfer the stress to other parts of the body and cause injury. Wrist splints are not considered personal protective equipment, and should only be worn if prescribed by a medical practitioner.
Why are there so many more work-related carpal tunnel claims now than there were 20 years ago?
There have been work related musculoskeletal disorders for a long time. A physician by the name of Bernardino Ramazzini described them more than 250 years ago. There has been an increase in claims for these disorders over the last several decades. One reason for the increase is the increase in the amount of keyboarding done by workers. An increase in public awareness may also contribute to increased reporting.
I don’t think that my computer workstation is set up correctly. What should I do?
Go to http://www.vpaf.uni.edu/ehso/documents/Ergonomics.pps and view the Ergonomics Workstation Power Point Slide Show. If after viewing this training you would like an in-depth ergonomic evaluation of your workstation, have your department head e-mail Dean Shoars at email@example.com with the request.
Is there a University policy about the use of supplementary electrical heaters?
Yes. According to Energy Efficiency Policy 8.11:
Use of Space Heaters:
Space heaters will not be allowed in campus buildings unless approved by the appropriate Division Vice President. If a Vice President approves the use of a space heater, it must have an Energy Star rating and also be approved by the Energy Management unit.
When can I use extension (drop) cords?
Extension cords are for temporary use only (30 days or less) If an additional outlet is needed, please contact the Facilities Coordination Center at 273-4400 to request a work order to add an outlet or just relocate the item so that an extension cord is not needed. An electrician will assess whether another outlet can be installed. Approximately 20 percent of all home/office fires are attributed to improper use of extension cords.
What can I plug into a power strip?
Power strips are approved only for use with computers and electronic equipment. Under desk heaters, coffee pots, refrigerators, lamps, fans and electric pencil sharpeners are not allowed to be plugged into a power strip.
Can more than one power strip be used?
You can use two power strips, but each one has to be plugged directly into the wall outlet and not piggy-backed one into the other.
How do I get training on the proper use of a fire extinguisher?
Safety Office staff in Facilities Services offers fire extinguisher training every fall at the beginning of classes in conjunction with Department of Residence hall coordinator training . If your group (15 or more) would like fire extinguisher training, it can be arranged by calling 273-2004.
Where will I find the UNI fire safety procedures?
Access the UNI web page and in the A-Z index click on Environmental Health & Safety, then click on Fire Safety, then click on Fire Safety Video. If you have additional questions, you can contact the safety office at 273-2004.
Are candles allowed in my room?
The University Open Flame Policy (7.04) prohibits the burning of candles. Scented candles are allowed as long as they are not lit. One of the major causes of fires during the most recent 10 years is open flames.
Where can I find the University’s fire safety policy?
Access the UNI web page and in the A-Z index, click on Environmental Health & Safety, then click on Fire Safety, then click on UNI Fire Safety Policy 7.04 Support Guide.
What do I need to do to obtain approval to use pyrotechnics (fire works, sparklers or explosive devices) or an open flame ( candle, torch or bon fire) on campus or in a production?
Any use of open flames or pyrotechnics needs to be approved by the University Safety Officer or designee. The UNI Fire Safety Policy (7.04) and its Support Guide can be found under the Environmental Health & Safety web site. The UNI Safety Office can be contacted at 273-2004 to schedule an assessment.
Does the Safety Office conduct fire safety assessments?
You can call the Safety Office at 273-2004 to schedule a fire safety assessment.
When should I change batteries in my smoke detectors and what is the best kind to have?
Traditionally changing clocks to adjust for daylight savings is the time to REPLACE the batteries in all of your smoke detectors. Smoke detectors should be tested monthly by pressing the test button, however this is the time to replace the batteries and use them in other non-essential products if they still have life.
Now is also a good time to replace single sensor smoke detectors with dual sensor detectors. The State Fire Marshal championed legislation that requires Iowa homes to install dual sensor smoke detectors when replacing detectors. According to the United States Fire Administration:
Because both ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms are better at detecting distinctly different yet potentially fatal fires, and because homeowners cannot predict what type of fire might start in a home, the USFA recommends the installation of both ionization and photoelectric or dual sensor smoke alarms. In addition to the basic types of alarms, there are alarms made to meet the needs of people with hearing disabilities. These alarms may use strobe lights that flash and/or vibrate to assist in alerting those who are unable to hear standard smoke alarms when they sound.
What is hazardous waste?
Hazardous waste is defined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a solid waste that either meets a specific hazard characteristic of ignitable, corrosive, reactive or leachability of specific toxic constituents or are included on one of a number of EPA promulgated lists.
What do I do if I think I have some?
A good guideline for the determination of hazardous waste is to follow the University Hazardous Waste Management Manual which can be found on the EH&S web site at http://www.vpaf.uni.edu/ehso/programs/hazard_waste_09.pdf . In the manual, it not only helps you determine if a substance is hazardous, but also gives you guidelines on what containers are acceptable for storing the waste that is being generated, how to label the containers, where the waste should be stored and finally how to have the waste transported to the University permanent waste facility. If you find a substance that you are still not sure if it is hazardous waste or have any other questions regarding the subject of hazardous waste, contact the Environmental Health and Safety Office at 3-3445 for assistance.
What happens to the hazardous waste?
All hazardous waste on campus is initially transported to the Hazardous Waste Facility located on 27th Street behind the University Warehouse. At the facility the waste is segregated by flammability, corrosivity, toxicity, and reactivity then stored appropriately. Within 270 days from the time the waste is received at the facility, it will be transported offsite to a permitted facility that will treat, store and ultimately dispose of the hazardous waste.
What is a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)?
A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is designed to provide both workers and emergency personnel with the proper procedures for handling or working with a particular substance. MSDS's include information such as physical data (melting point, boiling point, flash point etc.), toxicity, health effects, first aid, reactivity, storage, disposal, protective equipment, and spill/leak procedures. These are of particular use if a spill or other accident occurs.
Who are MSDS's for?
MSDS's are meant for:
What is OSHA?
Congress created OSHA under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which was signed by President Richard M. Nixon on December 29, 1970.
OSHA's mission is to prevent work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths. Since the agency was created in 1971, occupational deaths have been cut by 62% and injuries have declined by 42%.
What's the penalty for violating an OSHA standard?
|Date Updated: October 10, 2013|