Safety in the Workplace

Quick Access Menu

Accident Prevention Program

Campus Security Act

Employee Training

Harassment/Workplace Violence

Hazard Communication Program

Material Safety Data Sheets

Safety and Health Policy

Workers' Compensation

Campus Security Act

The Campus Security Act requires that all University employees (and students) be notified annually of crime statistics and certain other information pertaining to safety from crime. This information may be accessed via the Office of Safety and Security.

Safety and Health Policy Statement

In support of our people, SPU seeks to provide a working environment that is free of hazardous or unsafe conditions. Department managers and supervisors are responsible for implementation and enforcement of safety standards and laws, within their area of responsibility. The department of Safety and Security at SPU is charged with the responsibility of monitoring institutional compliance with safety regulations and standards, and supporting other departments with safety efforts."

Supervisor’s Note: It has been a long time since your initial orientation to SPU. Remember the Safety Video? The staff in the Office of Human Resources watches it every other week and the striking part about that video is how often the phrase "ask your supervisor" is mentioned. Are you prepared to deal with safety issues in your department?

Accident Prevention Program

SPU’s primary goal is to prevent accidents whenever possible. The Office of Safety and Security is trained and equipped to respond to and investigate accidents and hazards on the SPU campus, including fires, crimes and medical emergencies. If there is an emergency, Safety and Security should be contacted immediately at extension 2911.

The Office of Safety and Security will complete an incident report whenever an emergency occurs. Supervisors are required to assist in providing relevant information as requested for these reports. Maintaining accurate injury and illness records is an important part of our accident prevention efforts. Accident recording is a legal requirement and a tool used by SPU to help maintain control of hazards. By reviewing these records, SPU can identify unwanted trends that may be developing and take appropriate corrective action before the situation gets out of hand.

Employee Training

Many safety training requirements are set forth by the Department of Labor and Industries to maintain a safe work place. While the Office of Safety & Security develops and recommends many of the safety policies at SPU, various programs and operations at a University often involve hazards that are unique to each department.  Department managers are responsible for identifying safety concerns for their area of responsibility. Managers and supervisors are also responsible to see that their employees receive proper safety instruction and proper safety equipment. Safety and Security has many resources available for training, and they can assist individual departments by consulting on policy or regulations, assisting with training seminars or providing video tapes and other resources.

Supervisor’s Note: Safety training for your employees may include; instruction in the use of tools or equipment, safe use of chemicals, elements of the Accident Prevention Program, safe driving, lifting and carrying, warnings on hazards in your area of responsibility, emergency procedures, and many other topics. The SPU Accident Prevention Program contains much of what you and your employees need to know about safety requirements in the work place. Copies of this and other safety programs that pertain to the entire University are available in the Office of Safety and Security. Call Safety and Security if you’d like assistance in designing a safety program for your area.

Reports of Harassment / Workplace Violence


Harassment (as opposed to unlawful harassment based on race, color, sex, national origin, age, or disability) is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as follows: "To tire with repeated and exhausting efforts; to weary by importunity; to fatigue. To harry; to lay waste; to raid. To worry by repeated attacks."

Dealing with complaints:

Any report of harassment should be taken seriously. As a supervisor and therefore an agent of the University, you have a responsibility to take immediate and appropriate action on news of such complaints.

Some types of "harassment" may happen inadvertently between one employee and another depending on how the receiver of the harassment feels. Where appropriate, supervisors should step in and resolve departmental conflicts by laying out clear behavioral expectations for one employee or both.

However, if you, or another member of your department feels harassed to the point where you worry about your safety, help is available. Professionals in the Office of Safety and Security are trained to provide counsel and intervention to employees who feel unsafe due to the harassment of others. Steps can be taken to warn the harasser of the consequences of their continued behavior (filing criminal misdemeanor charges, etc.). Solutions might include assertiveness training for harassed employee (just say "no"), protection orders, escort service, and police reports.

Supervisor’s Note: If the harasser is a fellow employee in your department, you must take steps, including disciplinary action to insure the behavior does not continue. Feel free to contact the Director of Human Resources or the Director of Safety and Security for confidential advice, consultation and support where necessary. If the harasser is an employee of another University department, an unwelcome visitor to campus or an independent contractor, contact the Director of Human Resources or the Director of Safety and Security for consultation and support in resolving the issue.

Hazard Communication Program

SPU’s Hazard Communication Program (HCP) was developed to comply with the Washington Industrial Safety and health Act (WISHA). All departments must comply with this act. The actual program can be found in Appendix A, page 7. There are many important aspects to this program which supervisors should be familiar with. Materials Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) is one aspect that deserves special attention.

Materials Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)

Each department should have a comprehensive notebook full of MSDS sheets sent to SPU from manufacturers of most of the office products you have on hand (copy machine toner, glue, liquid paper, etc.). An MSDS contains information about the hazards of a particular chemical, as well as precautions and emergency procedures that are necessary to avoid a medical disaster of some sort.

Supervisor’s Note: In emergency situations, most often supervisors are looked to for direction and assistance. Do you know where MSDS sheets for your department are stored? Make sure you know and that those who report to you can easily find them in case of an emergency.

Workers' Compensation

Workers Compensation Insurance (also known as industrial insurance) is provided to cover each employee in the event of a work related injury or illness. SPU is insured through the Washington Industrial Insurance State Fund. Workers Compensation provides coverage for:

All hospital, surgical and other medical services necessary for the treatment of a workplace injury.

Time-loss is paid if an employee is unable to work for more than the three days immediately following the date of the injury. Time-loss will pay a portion of the regular wages.

Employees who are disabled (or killed) in a work related accident will be compensated. Benefits for rehabilitation are also provided.

Supervisor’s Note: Employees are required to report workplace injuries and illnesses to their supervisor as soon as possible. Supervisor should immediately notify the Office of Safety and Security (first aid services are available).


Send mail to with questions or comments about this web site.
Last modified: January 27, 2000