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Quarterly Safety Meetings

  • August 27, 2014 at 11:06 am

    Blood Borne Pathogens

    Purpose The purpose of this training is to reduce or eliminate occupational exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials. Rules and Regulations Office of Risk Management (ORM) Requirements - requires the university to develop a bloodborne pathogens plan. Also, it is required that the university provides training to all employees once every five years. High risk employees must be trained annually. University Bloodborne Pathogens Plan - is updated and available to all employees in the online safety manual and a hard copy is available in each department. What are Bloodborne Pathogens (BBP) Pathogens are any disease-producing microorganisms such as viruses or bacteria. Those which are carried in the blood or in other potentially infectious materials are considered bloodborne. Why do YOU need Blood Borne Pathogens Training?
    •  To protect your health and that of other employees.
    •  To gain a basic understanding of BBP, common modes of transmission, and methods of prevention.
    •  The State, via The Office of Risk Management (ORM), requires it.
    All State of Louisiana employees are required to be trained on their agency-specific Bloodborne Pathogen Plan within the first 90 days of employment and every five years thereafter. However, if you have been identified as a high risk employee, you must have agency-specific training annually. One is considered a high risk employee if they can reasonably anticipate having contact with blood or other potentially infectious material as part of their regular job duties. Definitions HIV - The virus that causes the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Hepatitis B - An infection of the liver. It is transmitted by contaminated blood or blood derivatives in transfusions, by sexual contact with an infected person, or by the use of contaminated needles and instruments. The disease has a long incubation and symptoms that may become severe or chronic, causing serious damage to the liver. Symptoms of Hepatitis B may include: fever, joint pain, weakness, abdominal pain, nausea and jaundice. Other Potentially Infectious Materials – Semen, vaginal secretions, cerebrospinal fluid, synovial fluid, pleural fluid, amniotic fluid, saliva in dental procedures, and any other fluid that is visibly contaminated with blood, and all fluids in situations where it is difficult to differentiate body fluids. Transmission of Blood Borne Pathogens Blood Borne Pathogens are acquired through specific exposure incidents, and can be transmitted by both “direct” and “indirect” modes. Direct Modes of Transmission Blood Borne Pathogens can enter the body directly through the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, mouth, and via sexual contact. Also, open sores, cuts, abrasions, acne, human bites, punctures and/or broken skin are modes of transmission. Pregnant mothers can also transmit Blood Borne Pathogens to their baby at or before birth. Indirect Modes of Transmission
    •  Contact with contaminated or infected needles, razors, toothbrushes, or other personal care items
    • Coming into contact with a contaminated surface and then touching broken skin or mucous membranes
    • Tattooing or body piercing tools
    Bloodborne Pathogens can be transmitted when blood or body fluid from an infected person enters another person’s body. Any body fluid with blood is potentially infectious. Potential High Risk Areas University police, athletic trainers, plumbers, campus recreation staff, culinary staff and accident investigators have been designated as potential high risk areas for bloodborne exposure due to the nature of their jobs. Control Methods Universal Precautions – refers to a method of infection control in which all human body and other potentially infectious materials are treated as if known to be infected for HBV and HIV. This concept emphasizes that all people treated by faculty, staff, and students should be assumed to be infectious for HIV and other bloodborne pathogens. Engineering Controls – is the use of available technology and devices to isolate or remove hazards to the individual. Work Practice Controls – are alterations in the manner in which a task is performed in an effort to reduce the likelihood of an individual’s exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) • Employers must make available and employees must use personal protective equipment (PPE) when the possibility of exposure to blood or other infectious materials exists. • Employees must be trained in the use of PPE. • PPE must be accessible and clean. • Disposable gloves must be replaced as soon as they are torn or punctured. • Eye protection must be worn if there is a chance for a splash to occur. • The level of protection required is dependent upon the task at hand. Tags, Labels, and Bags • Tags that comply with OSHA 29CFR 1910.145 (f) shall be used to identify the presence of an actual or potential biological hazard. • Tags shall contain the word “BIOHAZARD” or the biological hazard symbol and state the specific hazardous condition or the instructions to be communicated to faculty, staff and students. • Red bags or red containers (orange-red) may be substituted for labels on containers of infectious waste. Hand Washing Proper hand washing is one of the easiest and most effective infection control measures. When possible, use antibacterial soap. Avoid harsh, abrasive soaps that may cause skin abrasions. For basic hand washing, hands should be washed thoroughly for at least 10 – 15 seconds, with vigorous friction on all surfaces (i.e., wrists, palms, back of hands, in between fingers and nail beds). Hygiene Practices If you are working in an area where there is a reasonable likelihood of exposure, you should never eat, drink, smoke, apply cosmetics (including lip balm), or handle contact lenses. These actions could provide a route of entry for infection. Precautions You Can Take • Disinfect all surfaces soiled with blood or other potential infectious materials • Always wear gloves when cleaning areas contaminated with blood or other potentially infectious materials • Be careful of sharp objects when emptying trash bins Post Exposure Evaluation & Follow up • Report all exposures to a supervisor and seek medical attention immediately • Report and document the exposure incident, including the route of exposure and the circumstances under which the exposure incident occurred. • Identify the source individual, if possible. • If consent can be obtained, the source individual’s blood will be tested. • Notify the Environmental Health & Safety Office (985-448-4783) Blood Borne Pathogen rules are in place for your health and safety. By incorporating these rules, along with our policies and procedures, and practicing universal precautions, you can protect yourself against potential exposure to Blood Borne Pathogens and aid in preventing transmission.
  • July 9, 2014 at 8:35 am

    HURRICANE EMERGENCY PLAN

    Introduction The purpose of the Nicholls State University Hurricane Emergency Plan is to provide a detailed summary of the steps deemed necessary to secure the university and protect property and lives in the event of an approaching hurricane. The plan is available to all university employees, students and members of the community and can be accessed via the internet on the home page of the Nicholls web site. The plan lists and explains the various levels of preparedness the university will undertake depending on the severity of a weather threat to the Thibodaux area. It also lists action plans for all of the university departments that will be most affected by an approaching storm. In the event that a tropical system enters the Gulf of Mexico, the university will immediately be placed on standby alert. At this time, interested parties can monitor the Nicholls home page to determine the exact level of preparedness currently underway at the university. There are five phases or levels of preparedness that may be implemented before, during, and after a possible storm. Each is explained in specific detail within the plan. The coordinated execution of the plan is the responsibility of the university’s Emergency Preparedness Committee (EPC). The plan is reviewed and updated by the committee annually. General Information Concerning Plan Implementation The university president or his designee, in consultation with the EPC, will determine which phase of the plan is appropriate for activation based upon the anticipated effects of an approaching storm. Once the Hurricane Emergency Plan is activated, students, faculty, staff, and the community at large will be notified of all decisions resulting from a possible hurricane threat, via the Nicholls web site, e-mail, television, radio, text-messaging boards, phone call, text messages or any other communication outlets which are available. Utilization of a multi-communication system will assure that a person with disabilities will receive a timely notification of the event. Nicholls State University utilizes the First Call Notification system. All faculty, staff and students are encouraged to remain registered in the notification system. According to the plan, some employees are designated essential by their supervisors and directed to work during an emergency. As a result, required duties may differ from normal responsibilities. Employee positions which are considered essential may be listed in individual departmental emergency plans or an employee may be designated by his or her supervisor in the event of an impending emergency. Communications between EPC members and auxiliary staff who assist with implementation of the plan will be maintained by various means of communication including landlines (home or office), cell phones, or any other means deemed appropriate. Once the plan is activated and until a permanent command post is established, all critical information and command post numbers will be disseminated by University Police via a 24/7 dispatch and/or internet or voice mail. (See Appendix A for contact information). Emergency Plan Guidelines: Standby Alert – When the National Weather Service predicts that a tropical system will enter the Gulf of Mexico, the University Emergency Preparedness Committee will monitor the projected path and speed of the storm and all departments should enact Standby Alert procedures. During this alert phase of the emergency guidelines, all departmental directors and department heads shall include in the preparation guidelines those accommodations that persons with disabilities may require. Those accommodations shall be implemented accordingly as the emergency phases are implemented. Phase I – When a tropical system has entered the Gulf of Mexico or has made landfall on the outer edges of the Gulf and is expected to re-enter the Gulf, and the South Louisiana area is within the probability of landfall zone, the Emergency Preparedness Committee will monitor the speed and path of the storm. The Committee will assess on which side of the storm Thibodaux would be, the distance from the predicted landfall area, and the strength of the storm (present and at landfall). All departments must enact Phase I storm preparations.  Phase II – When a tropical system is within the Gulf of Mexico and South Louisiana is in the landfall zone, although not in the high probability zone, but the area is expected to feel the effects of the system to where the National Weather Service might issue a Tropical Storm Warning or a Hurricane Watch for South Louisiana and the Thibodaux area. The EPC will continue to monitor the strength, speed, and projected landfall site. The EPC will set up operations in the President’s Conference Room, Picciola Hall. All departments must enact Phase II storm preparation  Phase III – When a tropical system is in the Gulf of Mexico and South Louisiana is in the high probability landfall zone and the National Weather Service issues a Tropical Storm Warning for South Louisiana that includes the Thibodaux area, the EPC will make recommendations to the University President regarding scheduled classes. The University President will make the decision to cancel or continue class. If the National Weather Service issues a Hurricane Warning for South Louisiana that includes the Thibodaux area, university classes will be cancelled. Students are advised to evacuate to an area out of the storm’s path. The EPC will continue to monitor the storms strength, speed, and projected landfall. If a mandatory evacuation order is not given for the Thibodaux area, the University will open a shelter for students as well as staff who are unable to leave the campus. If a mandatory evacuation is given for the Thibodaux area, on campus residents without a means of transportation will be evacuated to another state university where they will receive pre-arranged shelter and meals for the duration of their stay. The EPC will finalize all preparations for the storm. All nonessential personnel will be released from their work stations. The pre-position team will continue to monitor the storms strength, speed and projected landfall. Based on the above information, the team will make the determination to remain on campus or evacuate to a pre-arranged shelter. The decision to evacuate will be made no later than 18 hours prior to landfall. All departments must enact Phase III storm preparations.  Phase IV – After the storm has passed and provided that the roads are passable and the state and local government officials are allowing travel back into the area, certain employees who are designated to be essential or first responders by their supervisors are required to report to work within 24 hours. Other employees should contact their immediate supervisor, by telephone or e-mail, within 24 hours of the storm passing to secure directions for action. All employees should be prepared to report to work or return the University to operating as soon as possible. Students should monitor designated information outlets for the resumption of classes. Department heads should have a plan to return to work to assess damage, to react to immediate needs, to coordinate scheduling of employees, and to report needs and damages to the Office of Physical Plant. Phase V – If the storm has passed and has caused major damage on campus, employees must contact their supervisors for direction or contact either the Nicholls Help Line or the Nicholls Web site to let their supervisor know where they are and whether or not they can return to the area. Only the Pre-Position team will return to campus to establish a command center and begin damage assessment. The Pre-Position team will also begin debris clean-up and will take action as needed to protect university assets.  
  • February 17, 2014 at 11:26 am

    Holiday Safety

    The holiday season can be a time of joy, but it can also be a very hectic time, which can put you at risk. Statistics have shown that the risk for accidents increases drastically during the holiday season. Below are some tips to help make your holiday a safe one at work and at home.

    Workplace

    ·         Use a wide sturdy tree stand

    ·         Make sure that lights have a factory label which assures they have been safety tested

    ·         Inspect each string of lights to make sure there is no damage

    ·         Don’t connect more than 3 sets of lights on the same extension cord

    ·         To avoid tripping hazards, do not run extension cords across hallways

    ·         Inspect your lights each year to check for frayed wires and broken or cracked sockets

    ·         Do not overload electrical circuitry

    ·         Unplug lights before leaving your office

    ·         Make sure that your holiday décor in your department does not block exits, cover exit signage, hang from sprinkler heads or block access to fire extinguishers

    ·         Do not place decorations in hallways that will block egress in case of an emergency

    Home

    ·         Keep the stand filled with water if using a live tree

    ·         Keep the tree away from heat sources such as heaters, heat ducts and fireplaces

    ·         Don’t use your fireplace to burn wrapping materials, which can create toxic fumes

    ·         Use kindling and wooden matches to light fires, not flammable liquids

    ·         Don’t close the chimney flue until the fire is COMPLETELY out

    ·         Unplug lights before leaving home or going to bed

    ·         Make sure that your smoke detectors are working properly and fire extinguishers are fully charged and easily accessible

    ·         When using a ladder to hang decorations, look for a safe location with firm level footing and rigid support for the top of the ladder

    ·         When climbing a ladder, use three points of contact, keep one hand and both feet or both hands and one foot in contact with the ladder at all times

    Holiday Food Preparation                

    ·         Keep utensils, preparation surfaces and hands clean

    ·         Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold                                    

    ·         Refrigerate leftovers as soon as possible after the meal

    Holiday Travel

    ·         According to research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, every 45 minutes or 32 times a day, someone dies in an alcohol impaired driving crash

    ·         Get a good night’s sleep before starting on long road trips

    ·         Leave an itinerary with a family member or friend so someone knows where you are

    ·         NEVER DRINK ALCOHOL AND DRIVE!

    ·         ALWAYS BUCKLE UP!

    Holiday Stress Relievers

    ·         Budget your time as well as your money

    ·         Don’t try to do everything yourself

    ·         Make some fun plans for January when the post holiday blues set in

  • August 23, 2013 at 10:42 am

    NICHOLLS STATE UNIVERSITY HURRICANE EMERGENCY PLAN

    Introduction

    The purpose of the Nicholls State University Hurricane Emergency Plan is to provide a detailed summary of the steps deemed necessary to secure the university and protect property and lives in the event of an approaching hurricane. The plan is available to all university employees and members of the community and can be accessed via the internet on the home page of the Nicholls web site.  The plan lists and explains the various levels of preparedness the university will undertake depending on the severity of a weather threat to the Thibodaux area.  It also lists action plans for all of the university departments that will be most affected by an approaching storm. In the event that a tropical system enters the Gulf of Mexico, the university will immediately be placed on standby alert.  At this time, interested parties can monitor the Nicholls home page to determine the exact level of preparedness currently underway at the university.  There are five phases or levels of preparedness that may be implemented before, during, and after a possible storm.  Each is explained in specific detail within the plan. The coordinated execution of the plan is the responsibility of the university’s Emergency Preparedness Committee (EPC).  The plan is reviewed and updated by the committee annually.  General Information Concerning Plan Implementation The university president or his designee, in consultation with the EPC, will determine which phase of the plan is appropriate for activation based upon the anticipated effects of an approaching storm. Once the Hurricane Emergency Plan is activated, students, faculty, staff, and the community at large will be notified of all decisions resulting from a possible hurricane threat, via the Nicholls web site, e-mail, television, radio, and any other communication outlets which are available. According to the plan, some employees are designated essential by their supervisors and directed to work during an emergency.  As a result, required duties may differ from normal responsibilities.  Employee positions which are considered essential may be listed in individual departmental emergency plans or an employee may be designated by his or her supervisor in the event of an impending emergency. Communications between EPC members and auxiliary staff who assist with implementation of the plan will be maintained by various means of communication including landlines (home or office), cell phones, BlackBerry, or any other means deemed appropriate. Once the plan is activated and until a permanent command post is established, all critical information and command post numbers will be disseminated by University Police via a 24/7 dispatch and/or internet or voice mail.  (See Appendix A for contact information).

    Emergency Plan Guidelines:

    Standby Alert – When the National Weather Service predicts that a tropical system will enter the Gulf of Mexico, the University Emergency Preparedness Committee will monitor the projected path and speed of the storm and all departments should enact Standby Alert procedures. Phase I – When a tropical system has entered the Gulf of Mexico or has made landfall on the outer edges of the Gulf and is expected to re-enter the Gulf, and the South Louisiana area is within the probability of landfall zone, the Emergency Preparedness Committee will monitor the speed and path of the storm.  The Committee will assess on which side of the storm Thibodaux would be, the distance from the predicted landfall area, and the strength of the storm (present and at landfall).   All departments must enact Phase I storm preparations. Phase II – When a tropical system is within the Gulf of Mexico and South Louisiana is in the landfall zone, although not in the high probability zone, but the area is expected to feel the effects of the system to where the National Weather Service might issue a Tropical Storm Warning or a Hurricane Watch for South Louisiana and the Thibodaux area. The EPC will continue to monitor the strength, speed, and projected landfall site.   The EPC will set up operations in the President’s Conference Room, Picciola Hall.   All departments must enact Phase II storm preparation Phase III – When a tropical system is in the Gulf of Mexico and South Louisiana is in the high probability landfall zone and the National Weather Service issues a Tropical Storm Warning for South Louisiana that includes the Thibodaux area, the EPC will make recommendations to the University President regarding scheduled classes.  The University President will make the decision to cancel or continue class. If the National Weather Service issues a Hurricane Warning for South Louisiana that includes the Thibodaux area, university classes will be cancelled.   Students are advised to evacuate to an area out of the storm’s path.  The EPC will continue to monitor the storms strength, speed, and projected landfall.  If a mandatory evacuation order is not given for the Thibodaux area, the University will open a shelter for students as well as staff who are unable to leave the campus.  If a mandatory evacuation is given for the Thibodaux area, on-campus residents without a means of transportation will be evacuated to another state university where they will receive pre-arranged shelter and meals for the duration of their stay. The EPC will finalize all preparations for the storm.  All non-essential personnel will be released from their work stations.  The pre-position team will continue to monitor the storms strength, speed and projected landfall.  Based on the above information, the team will make the determination to remain on campus or evacuate to a pre-arranged shelter. The decision to evacuate will be made no later than 18 hours prior to landfall.  All departments must enact Phase III storm preparations. Phase IV – After the storm has passed and provided that the roads are passable and the state and local government officials are allowing travel back into the area, certain employees who are designated to be essential or first responders by their supervisors are required to report to work within 24 hours.  Other employees should contact their immediate supervisor, by telephone or e-mail, within 24 hours of the storm passing to secure directions for action.  All employees should be prepared to report to work or return the University to operating as soon as possible.   Students should monitor designated information outlets for the resumption of classes.    Department heads should have a plan to return to work to assess damage, to react to immediate needs, to coordinate scheduling of employees, and to report needs and damages to the Office of Physical Plant. Phase V – If the storm has passed and has caused major damage on campus, employees must contact their supervisors for direction or contact either the Nicholls Help Line or the Nicholls Web site to let their supervisor know where they are and whether or not they can return to the area.  Only the Pre-Position team will return to campus to establish a command center and begin damage assessment.  The Pre-Position team will also begin debris clean-up and will take action as needed to protect university assets. Note:  Individual Department plans were not included in this handout.  To see this document in its entirety please refer to the Nicholls homepage under “University Status & Emergency Preparedness”. Additional information may be obtained from your local parish Office of Emergency Preparedness, Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness website at http://www.getagameplan.org or your local weather service. This information may be helpful in developing your personal emergency preparedness plan.
  • June 4, 2013 at 1:23 pm
    5.3.7 Drug–Free Workplace Policy and Related Laws Policy Regarding Alcohol, Drugs, and Tobacco Products detailed in the Code of Student Conduct. In conjunction with the National Drug–Free Workplace Act of 1988, all employees are notified that the illegal use, possession, dispensation, distribution, manufacture, or sale of controlled substances is prohibited when on official state business, whether on duty or on call for duty, on or off the work site. Failure to comply with this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination. By law, it is the responsibility of all employees to notify Nicholls State University within five days if they are convicted of violating any criminal drug statute at the workplace, while on official state business or while on call for duty. Nicholls State University prohibits unlawful manufacture, distribution, possession, and use of any narcotics, barbiturates, amphetamines, marijuana, or any other controlled substance as defined in Schedule I through V of Section 202 of the Controlled Substance Act (21 U.S.C.812), and as further defined by regulation at 21 CFR 1308.11 through 1308.15. The University prohibits the unlawful use or sale of any alcoholic beverages and their possession or consumption in any form on the University campus except in those areas where the president or designee has authorized the serving or sale of legal beverages in accordance with the provisions of the state and local law and ordinances and prescribed University regulations. Furthermore, the Drug–Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, Public Law 101–226, require that, as a condition of receiving funds or any other form of financial assistance under any federal program, an institution of higher education must certify that it has adopted and implemented a program to prevent the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees. The 1990 Louisiana Legislature passed a bill which designates all state universities as drug–free school zones. This bill increases the criminal and civil penalties to deter the distribution, manufacture, sales and/or trafficking of illegal substances on or within a geographical perimeter around the University property. The drug–free zone includes all Nicholls property: main campus, athletic complex, John L. Guidry Stadium, farm and intramural fields. Revocation of certain Federal licenses and benefits, e.g., pilot licenses, public housing tenancy, etc., are vested within the authorities of individual Federal agencies. Employees may be required to satisfactorily participate in an alcohol/drug abuse assistance program or rehabilitation program. Students, visitors, and employees are expected to adhere to all federal, state, and local laws. 5.3.7.1 Definitions The 1986 Amendment of the Louisiana Criminal Code re–enacted R.S. 14:91.1, 91.2, and 91.5 to comply with the 23 U.S.C.158 concerning alcoholic beverages. In 1995 the Louisiana Criminal Code was amended as follows (excerpt): For purposes of R.S. 14:93.10 through 93.14, the following definitions shall apply:
    • "Purchase" means acquisition by the payment of money or other consideration. Purchase does not include such acquisition for medical purposes either when purchased as over the counter medication or when prescribed or administered by a licensed physician, pharmacist, dentist, nurse, hospital, or medical institution.
    • "Public possession" means the possession of any alcoholic beverage for any reason, including consumption, on any street or highway or in any public place or any place open to the public, including a club which is de facto open to the public. "Public possession" does not include the following:
    o The possession or consumption of any alcoholic beverage:
    • For established religious purpose.
    • When a person under twenty–one years of age is accompanied by a parent, or legal guardian twenty–one years of age or older.
    • For medical purposes when purchased as an over-the-counter medication, or when prescribed or administered by a licensed physician, pharmacist, dentist, nurse, hospital, or medical institution.
    • In private residences.
    o The sale, handling, transport, or service in dispensing of any alcoholic beverage pursuant to lawful ownership of an establishment or to lawful employment of a person under twenty–one years of age by a duly licensed manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer of beverage alcohol.
    • "Alcoholic beverage" means beer, distilled spirits, and wine containing one–half of one percent or more of alcohol by volume. Beer includes but is not limited to ale, lager, porter, stout, sake, and other similar fermented beverages brewed or produced from malt wholly or in part or from any substitute therefore. Distilled spirits include alcohol, ethanol, or spirits or wine in any form, including all dilutions and mixtures thereof from whatever process produced.
    5.3.7.2 Employee Drug Testing Policy On August 29, 1997, Governor Mike Foster signed Executive Order MJF 98–38, which created the Drug Testing Task Force for the purpose of recommending procedures for the implementation of four drug testing programs authorized, mandated and/or regulated by R. S. 49: 1015, as amended by Act Number 1194 of the 1997 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature, and by Act Numbers 1303 and 1459 of the 1997 Regular Session of the Legislature, which directs state agencies to develop and implement drug testing programs for public employees. Louisiana Revised Statute 49:1001–1021 authorized Nicholls State University to proceed with drug testing of employees. The content of this policy is pursuant to this Statute and to the Drug–Free Schools and Communities Act of 1986, the Federal Drug–Free Workplace Act of 1988, the Drug–Free Public Housing Act of 1988, the Louisiana Drug Testing Act of 1990, the Omnibus Transportation Employee Drug Testing Act of 1991, the Federal Highway Administration procedures, Title 49 CFR and part 382 et al., LA Revised Statutes 23: 1081 and 1601, and Executive Order MJF 98–38. 5.3.7.2.1 Applicability This policy shall apply to all employees of Nicholls State University, more specifically defined as:
    • All current W–2 employees defined under Federal Law, whose job requires them to drive commercial motor vehicles.
    • All current W–2 safety/sensitive employees, both classified and unclassified as defined under State Law, and those applying for safety/sensitive positions, and all other current W–2 employees, both classified and unclassified, will be subject to alcohol and controlled substance abuse testing on a random basis or for reasonable suspicion, post–accident investigation, and monitoring for rehabilitation.
    • Prospective employees as a condition of hiring.
    5.3.7.2.2 Conditions Requiring Drug Tests
    • Reasonable Suspicion
    • Post Accident Investigation
    • Rehabilitation Monitoring
    • Pre–Employment
    • Safety/Security sensitive positions and promotions/appointments to these positions
    • Safety/Security sensitive positions – random testing
    5.3.7.2.3 Procedure Drug testing, pursuant to this policy, shall be conducted for the presence of cannabinoids (marijuana), cocaine, opiates phencyclidine and amphetamines. Nicholls State University also reserves the right to test for the presence of any other illegal or controlled substance when there is reasonable suspicion to do so. The Director of Human Resources will be involved with all determinations and notifications dealing with drug testing, and will coordinate with the supervisor of the employee to be tested. A certified provider chosen by Nicholls State University will perform testing services. The testing service shall assure:
    • All specimen collection will be performed in accordance with applicable federal and state regulations and guidelines.
    • Chain of custody will be strictly followed.
    • A certified SAMSHA laboratory shall perform testing.
    • All positive results shall be reported by the laboratory to a qualified Medical Review Officer (MRO).
    5.3.7.2.4 Confidentiality All information interviews, reports, statements, memoranda, and/or test results received by Nicholls State University through its drug testing program are confidential, pursuant to R.S. 49: 1012, and may not be used or received in evidence, obtained in discovery, or disclosed in any public or private proceeding, except in an administrative or disciplinary proceeding or hearing, or civil litigation where drug use by the individual is relevant. Qualitative information regarding results, such as the identification of a substance, will be provided only to the designated MR07 who will report final results to the appropriate official. Results of the test will be released to the appropriate agency on a need–to–know basis. All drug–testing results will be maintained in a separate health file, with restricted access in accordance with Section 382.405. 5.3.7.2.5 Responsibility
    • The President for overall compliance
    • The Director of Human Resources for administering the program. All records will be housed and maintained in the Office of Human Resources
    All supervisory personnel are responsible for assuring that all personnel under their supervision are made aware of the location within their department of the written drug–testing policy, signs a receipt form acknowledging receipt of pertinent information about the policy, and understands or is given the opportunity to understand and have questions answered about its contents. 5.3.7.2.6 Violation of the Policy Violation of this policy, including refusal to submit to drug testing when properly notified to do so, may result in: Termination of employment or other action.

    Safety Rules

    1. Observe and follow all posted safety notices.
    2. The use of any tobacco product in any form is prohibited on all Nicholls State University properties including the main campus, Duhe Building, Chauvin Gardens, etc.
    3. No fighting or horseplay allowed in the work area or classroom.
    4. Know where fire extinguishers are located and how to use them.
    5. Evacuate in an orderly manner if the fire alarm sounds.
    6. Know designated evacuation routes from your office, floor and building.
    7. Know emergency phone numbers or access to them.
    8. Report all injuries and accidents to your supervisor.
    9. Report any equipment that is not operating properly to your supervisor.
    10. Do not run in the work area.
    11. Report unsafe conditions to your supervisor.
    12. Do not throw objects in the work area.
    13. Keep your work station clean and orderly.
    14. Keep floor free of litter.
    15. Place litter and waste materials in proper containers.
    16. Do not walk on wet floors and immediately wipe up spills.
    17. Keep passageway clear to allow easy access and exit.
    18. Keep desk, filing drawers, etc. closed to avoid a potential tripping hazard.
    19. Return equipment and material to their proper place after use.
    20. Report lighting and ventilation problems affecting you to your immediate supervisor.
    21. Always read labels before using chemicals, bleaches, cleaning fluid, etc. that could be harmful if spilled.
    22. When working with hazardous chemicals, do not work alone.
    23. Use only approved cleaning fluids when cleaning machinery. Remember to allow for proper ventilation. Dispose of rags and waste material in proper containers and away from heat.
    24. Do not operate machinery or equipment without proper training.
    25. Never leave machinery or equipment in operation unattended. Turn all machinery and equipment off before leaving the office at the end of the workday.
    26. Neckties, scarves and other loose apparel should be secured when working around equipment.
    27. Notify your supervisor of any breakage or malfunction of machinery or equipment.
    28. Wear eye protection, respirators, or protective clothing in regulated areas or during functions requiring protective gear.
    29. Report frayed electrical cords immediately.
    30. Tape temporary electrical cords to the floor to prevent tripping.
    31. Do not overload electrical circuits.
    32. Do not use electrical extension cords as a permanent electrical line.
    33. Never turn on an electrical switch unless you know what it operates and have had the adequate training on that piece of equipment.
    34. Do not attempt to repair electrical devices unless properly trained to do so. Report to your supervisor.
    35. Keep flammable items away from electrical outlets, cords or other electrical apparatus.
    36. Use only properly grounded electrical equipment.
    37. When using university vehicles or your own vehicle for authorized travel, remember to use your seat belt and drive defensively.
    38. Only authorized drivers allowed to operate state vehicles or personal vehicles for state business.
    39. Employees shall not use a wireless telecommunication device while operating a state owned, leased or private vehicle that is being driven on state business.
    These above safety rules are not inclusive. They are intended as a guide to develop proper health and safety practices and procedures. Should you have questions or doubts about safe operations in the workplace, please contact your supervisor or the Safety Officer. Nicholls State University wants to provide a safe and healthy work and academic environment for its students, faculty and staff.  
  • January 23, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    Slips, Trips and Falls

    Work-related slips, trips, and falls can frequently result in serious or even disabling injuries that im­pact an employee’s ability to do his or her job, often resulting in lost workdays or reduced productivity.
    FACTS:
    • Falls often cause lost time from work.
    • Over 540,000 slip-fall injuries, requiring hospital care, occur in the United States each year.
    • 70% of falls actually occur on flat/level surfaces.
    • Slip and fall accidents are the most common work related injury.
    • 35% of all work related accidents are classified as falls.
    • Slip and falls are the number one cause of accidents in Hotels, Restaurants and Public Buildings.
    • Falls are the most common cause of injury visits to an emergency room.
    Why we fall:
    • We slip because of too little friction. (usually….backwards)
    • We trip because of interference with balance. (usually…..forward)
    • We fall by moving too far off our center of gravity.
    The 3 Laws of Science
    • Friction
    • Momentum
    • Gravity
    Friction is the resistance between things, such as between your shoes and the surface you walk on. A good example is a slip on ice, where your shoes can’t grip the surface, you lose traction and slip. Momentum is affected by speed and size of the moving object. The old expression “The bigger you are the harder you fall.” is true. The more you weigh and the faster you are moving, the harder your fall will be. Gravity is the force that pulls you to the ground. If you lose your balance and begin to fall, you are going to hit the ground.
    There are many factors that contribute to slips,trips and falls:
    • Loose, irregular surfaces such as gravel, shifting floor tiles, and uneven sidewalks, can make it difficult to maintain your footing.
    • Floor mats that are flipped over.
    • Rainy days with water on the floor. Mop up as quickly as possible.
    • Oil, grease and other liquids can make walking surfaces extremely slick.
    • Stairs present a special challenge, especially those that are taller, shorter, have a smaller tread depth, or are otherwise irregular.
    • Obstructed aisles or walkways present tripping hazards or require frequent changes of direction, throwing you off balance.
    • Insufficient light can make it difficult to see obstacles and notice changes in the walking surface.
    • Adjusting your stride to a pace that is suitable for the walking surface and the tasks you are doing.
    • Shoes with slick soles provide insufficient traction, while platform shoes and high heels increase your vulnerability to uneven surfaces.
    • Moving too fast increases the likelihood you will misjudge a step or encounter a hazard before you have a chance to notice it.
    • Carrying items can both obstruct your vision and impair your balance.
    • Inattention and distraction interfere with your awareness of all of these hazards and increase your risk of injury.
    • In parking lots there are pot holes, speed bumps, cracks in pavement, loose gravel, ramps, parking posts, etc.
    So, What should we do? Well, you can't just stop walking. But there are some things you can do to reduce your risk of slipping, tripping or falling.  You can adapt many of the principals of defensive driving and apply them to walking. Silly as it may sound, being a "defensive walker" can help you safely navigate many of the hazards lurking all around you!
    • Scan your "road" for existing and potential hazards. Just as you do when you are driving, be aware of others, expect them to get in your way, and have an out when they do.
    • Slow down to negotiate turns, corners, obstacles, wet floors, limited visibility and heavy traffic.
    • Make sure you have adequate "tread." Some experts believe up to half of all slips and falls could be prevented through proper footwear alone!
    • Use a detour whenever possible to avoid wet surfaces.
    • Realize that there are hazards involved in going "off road." A shortcut across the lawn or through a flower bed may not be the best choice.
    • Keep your mind focused on what you are doing!
    Some other strategies for preventing a fall include:
    • Limit the load you are carrying. Make sure it does not obstruct your vision. Whenever possible, use wheels of some kind so you can push or pull your load instead of carrying it.
    • Exercise regularly to maintain strength, flexibility and balance.
    Conclusion Preventing slips and falls has to be a team effort. Walking around a spill or stepping over a rug that is flipped over might keep you safe, but what about the next person who walks by? By correcting the hazard or reporting it, you keep not only yourself safe, but your co-workers as well. Let us remember: If you drop it, pick it up. If you spill it, clean it up. If you take it out, put it away. Look where you are going, and go where you are looking.
     
  • October 15, 2012 at 11:46 am
    October is National Fire Prevention Month. There are many things that we can do to improve our safety at work from a fire. The best way to prevent fires from occurring is by eliminating potential fire hazards. At work, potential hazards should be immediately reported to your supervisor or the Safety Department. In 2011, one structural fire was reported in the United States every 65 seconds. If you’re ever confronted with a fire keep your cool, but think fast and act with caution.  When a fire is discovered, size it up fast.  Knowing when to try to control the fire yourself and when to call for help is essential. In case of fire, follow the following Emergency Fire Response Procedures:
    • Sound the alarm and evacuate the area.  Call the emergency numbers you’ve been given, and give the details about the fire (location, how it started, etc.).  Never hesitate to call, even if the fire seems minor and you manage to put it out before firefighters arrive.  The quicker the alarm is sounded; the sooner firefighters can attempt to get it under control.  Have someone meet and tell the firefighters where the fire is located.  They can lose valuable minutes if they have to find it themselves.
    • You’re responsible for preventing fires, but you aren’t obligated to fight major fires.  Fight the fire only if you can do it safely with proper extinguishing materials at hand.
    • Warn others immediately. Go to the closest fire alarm pull station and activate the alarm system.  Warn anyone in the area so they can get to safety.  This is especially important in case of indoor fires.  Most people die from smoke, poisonous gases and panic.  Panic is usually the result of not knowing what to do.
    • Most fires start small, but they can rage out of control in a few minutes.  It’s important to know where the fire extinguishers are located and how to operate them properly.  Distinguish before you extinguish.  Choose the correct extinguisher for the type of fire (paper/wood, grease/gas/flammable liquids, electrical).  If you are not trained or authorized to use an extinguisher, don’t try.  The time you waste in figuring out an extinguisher could mean the difference between minor damage and a major disaster.
    It is important to incorporate the diverse needs of individuals when planning for evacuations.  Everyone should take the time to locate the nearest exit or enclosed stairwell that will lead you directly out of the building.  Always give preference to the use of an enclosed stairwell in an emergency.  Enclosed stairwell landings are an Area of Rescue Assistance for individuals with a disability.  Remember, never use elevators during an emergency evacuation. The following are tips for assisting persons with disabilities to evacuate a building in the event of an emergency: During an Emergency Evacuation Procedure:
    1. Communicate the nature of the emergency to the person.
    2. Ask the person how they would like to be assisted.
    3. When you evacuate the person, make sure you bring along their mobility aids if possible, for example, cane, walker, etc.
    Persons with Visual Disabilities: Tell the person the nature of the emergency and offer to guide them to the nearest exit.  Have them take your elbow and help them avoid obstacles.  Even if they have a guide dog, it is wise to offer to physically guide them.  When you reach safety, tell the person where they are and help them to get oriented to the location. Persons with Hearing Disabilities: While most buildings have flashing light alarms, the person may be engrossed in their work or in a location where the alarm is not readily visible.  Communicate the emergency to them in whatever manner is comfortable to you, utilizing hand gestures or a quick note. Persons with Physical Disabilities:
    • Persons using Canes, Walkers or Crutches
    Ask the person what assistance they need.  If assistance is requested, encourage them to use the stair rail and walk behind the person to act as a buffer from others who may push forward from behind. Note: (If the person does not need assistance, the person should wait until heavy traffic has cleared before attempting the stairs. Utilize the Area of Rescue Assistance until it is safe to exit).
    • Persons using Wheelchairs
    Ask the person what assistance they need.  In general, however, persons using wheelchairs should be moved to a fire safe exit (stairwell landing).  If possible, have someone stay with the person until additional assistance has arrived, while a second person notifies rescue personnel of the area in which the person is located.  In an emergency, DO NOT USE THE ELEVATORS.  All of the stairwell landings are protected with fire rated doors and are the safest place to be in the event of a fire.  Rescue personnel are trained to check these areas for persons who may need assistance. Remember to review fire safety procedures often so you’ll know what to do.
    • Act with caution. 
    • Sound the alarm. 
    • Warn others in the area. 
    • Evacuate and stay back unless you’re asked to help.
    In case of fire, being informed and prepared can keep you and your co-workers safe from injury.
  • August 7, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    NICHOLLS STATE UNIVERSITY

    HURRICANE EMERGENCY PLAN

     

    Introduction

    The purpose of the Nicholls State University Hurricane Emergency Plan is to provide a detailed summary of the steps deemed necessary to secure the university and protect property and lives in the event of an approaching hurricane. The plan is available to all university employees and members of the community and can be accessed via the internet on the home page of the Nicholls web site.  The plan lists and explains the various levels of preparedness the university will undertake depending on the severity of a weather threat to the Thibodaux area.  It also lists action plans for all of the university departments that will be most affected by an approaching storm. In the event that a tropical system enters the Gulf of Mexico, the university will immediately be placed on standby alert.  At this time, interested parties can monitor the Nicholls home page to determine the exact level of preparedness currently underway at the university.  There are five phases or levels of preparedness that may be implemented before, during, and after a possible storm.  Each is explained in specific detail within the plan. The coordinated execution of the plan is the responsibility of the university’s Emergency Preparedness Committee (EPC).  The plan is reviewed and updated by the committee annually.

    Emergency Plan Guidelines:

    Standby Alert – When the National Weather Service predicts that a tropical system will enter the Gulf of Mexico, the University Emergency Preparedness Committee will monitor the projected path and speed of the storm and all departments should enact Standby Alert procedures. Phase I – When a tropical system has entered the Gulf of Mexico or has made landfall on the outer edges of the Gulf and is expected to re-enter the Gulf, and the South Louisiana area is within the probability of landfall zone, the Emergency Preparedness Committee will monitor the speed and path of the storm.  The Committee will assess on which side of the storm Thibodaux would be, the distance from the predicted landfall area, and the strength of the storm (present and at landfall). All departments must enact Phase I storm preparations. Phase II – When a tropical system is within the Gulf of Mexico and South Louisiana is in the landfall zone, although not in the high probability zone, but the area is expected to feel the effects of the system to where the National Weather Service might issue a Tropical Storm Warning or a Hurricane Watch for South Louisiana and the Thibodaux area. The EPC will continue to monitor the strength, speed, and projected landfall site.   The EPC will set up operations in the President’s Conference Room, Picciola Hall.   All departments must enact Phase II storm preparation. Phase III – When a tropical system is in the Gulf of Mexico and South Louisiana is in the high probability landfall zone and the National Weather Service issues a Tropical Storm Warning for South Louisiana that includes the Thibodaux area, the EPC will make recommendations to the University President regarding scheduled classes.  The University President will make the decision to cancel or continue class. If the National Weather Service issues a Hurricane Warning for South Louisiana that includes the Thibodaux area, university classes will be cancelled.   Students are advised to evacuate to an area out of the storm’s path.  The EPC will continue to monitor the storms strength, speed, and projected landfall.  If a mandatory evacuation order is not given for the Thibodaux area, the University will open a shelter for students as well as staff who are unable to leave the campus.  If a mandatory evacuation is given for the Thibodaux area, on-campus residents without a means of transportation will be evacuated to another state university where they will receive pre-arranged shelter and meals for the duration of their stay. The EPC will finalize all preparations for the storm.  All non-essential personnel will be released from their work stations.  The pre-position team will continue to monitor the storms strength, speed and projected landfall.  Based on the above information, the team will make the determination to remain on campus or evacuate to a pre-arranged shelter. The decision to evacuate will be made no later than 18 hours prior to landfall.  All departments must enact Phase III storm preparations. Phase IV – After the storm has passed and provided that the roads are passable and the state and local government officials are allowing travel back into the area, certain employees who are designated to be essential or first responders by their supervisors are required to report to work within 24 hours.  Other employees should contact their immediate supervisor, by telephone or e-mail, within 24 hours of the storm passing to secure directions for action.  All employees should be prepared to report to work or return the University to operating as soon as possible.   Students should monitor designated information outlets for the resumption of classes.    Department heads should have a plan to return to work to assess damage, to react to immediate needs, to coordinate scheduling of employees, and to report needs and damages to the Office of Physical Plant. Phase V – If the storm has passed and has caused major damage on campus, employees must contact their supervisors for direction or contact either the Nicholls Help Line or the Nicholls Web site to let their supervisor know where they are and whether or not they can return to the area.  Only the Pre-Position team will return to campus to establish a command center and begin damage assessment.  The Pre-Position team will also begin debris clean-up and will take action as needed to protect university assets. Note:  Individual Department plans were not included in this handout.  To see this document in its entirety please refer to the Nicholls homepage under “University Status & Emergency Preparedness”.

     

    To Prepare Your Work Area When a Storm Threatens

      Refer to your department’s Hurricane Plan.
    •  If you have temperature critical materials, contact the Maintenance Department to determine if emergency power is available.
    •  Secure all critical papers, pictures books, and other loose items in a cabinet, desk or closet.
    •  Back up computer hard drives. Make two copies. Secure a copy in your office and take the other with you.
    • Move as much as possible away from windows to an interior area or against an interior wall.
    •  Raise equipment up off of the floor, if possible.
    •  Cover with plastic and secure with tape office equipment, scientific instruments, fine art, antiques and computers that cannot be stowed or moved away from windows.
    •  Close and lock (or secure with tape) all file cabinets.
    •  Close and lock all windows and doors.
    • Cover telephone but do not unplug wire connection.
    • Take personal items and backup disks home with you.
    • Before leaving, meet with your supervisor to confirm telephone numbers and learn when you are expected to call your supervisor after the storm. Assist other departments as necessary.
     

    Nicholls State University

    Safety Rules

     
    1. Observe and follow all posted safety notices.
    2. The use of any tobacco product in any form is prohibited on all Nicholls State University properties including the main campus, Duhe Building, Chauvin Gardens, etc.
    3. No fighting or horseplay allowed in the work area or classroom.
    4. Know where fire extinguishers are located and how to use them.
    5. Evacuate in an orderly manner if the fire alarm sounds.
    6. Know designated evacuation routes from your office, floor and building.
    7. Know emergency phone numbers or access to them.
    8. Report all injuries and accidents to your supervisor.
    9. Report any equipment that is not operating properly to your supervisor.
    10. Do not run in the work area.
    11. Report unsafe conditions to your supervisor.
    12. Do not throw objects in the work area.
    13. Keep your work station clean and orderly.
    14. Keep floor free of litter.
    15. Place litter and waste materials in proper containers.
    16. Do not walk on wet floors and immediately wipe up spills.
    17. Keep passageway clear to allow easy access and exit.
    18. Keep desk, filing drawers, etc. closed to avoid a potential tripping hazard.
    19. Return equipment and material to their proper place after use.
    20. Report lighting and ventilation problems affecting you to your immediate supervisor.
    21. Always read labels before using chemicals, bleaches, cleaning fluid, etc. that could be harmful if spilled.
    22. When working with hazardous chemicals, do not work alone.
    23. Use only approved cleaning fluids when cleaning machinery. Remember to allow for proper ventilation. Dispose of rags and waste material in proper containers and away from heat.
    24. Do not operate machinery or equipment without proper training.
    25. Never leave machinery or equipment in operation unattended. Turn all machinery and equipment off before leaving the office at the end of the workday.
    26. Neckties, scarves and other loose apparel should be secured when working around equipment.
    27. Notify your supervisor of any breakage or malfunction of machinery or equipment.
    28. Wear eye protection, respirators, or protective clothing in regulated areas or during functions requiring protective gear.
    29. Report frayed electrical cords immediately.
    30. Tape temporary electrical cords to the floor to prevent tripping.
    31. Do not overload electrical circuits.
    32. Do not use electrical extension cords as a permanent electrical line.
    33. Never turn on an electrical switch unless you know what it operates and have had the adequate training on that piece of equipment.
    34. Do not attempt to repair electrical devices unless properly trained to do so. Report to your supervisor.
    35. Keep flammable items away from electrical outlets, cords or other electrical apparatus.
    36. Use only properly grounded electrical equipment.
    37. When using university vehicles or your own vehicle for authorized travel, remember to use your seat belt and drive defensively.
    38. Only authorized drivers allowed to operate state vehicles or personal vehicles for state business.
    39. Do not text and drive.
      These above safety rules are not inclusive. They are intended as a guide to develop proper health and safety practices and procedures. Should you have questions or doubts about safe operations in the workplace, please contact your supervisor or the Safety Officer. Nicholls State University wants to provide a safe and healthy work and academic environment for its students, faculty and staff.    
  • May 9, 2012 at 2:12 pm
    Nicholls State University (Nicholls) is committed to maintaining an environment free from any type of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation including retaliation for whistle blowing. In furtherance of that commitment, Nicholls has adopted this policy forbidding discrimination, harassment, and retaliation of any kind against any applicant, employee, student, vender, or visitor of Nicholls. This policy forbids discrimination, harassment, and retaliation of any kind by or against any applicant, employee, student, or any other individual on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, genetic information, age, and veteran or retirement status. It is the policy of Nicholls State University to be an equal opportunity employer. The policies and procedures comply with the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 of 1965, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Immigration and Reform Act of 1990, the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act, Section 501, 503, and 505 of the Rehabilitation Action of 1973; Title I and Title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; and all Civil Rights Laws of the State of Louisiana; the Civil Rights Act of 1991, and Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008. Therefore, no one will be discriminated against either in the attainment of educational goals or objectives and in the administration of personnel policies and procedures. In keeping with this policy the University will recruit, hire, train, and promote persons in all job titles without regard to race, color, gender, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, genetic information, age, and veteran or retirement status. All employment decisions will be made in such a way as to further the principle of equal employment opportunity.  Steps will be taken to assure that only valid requirements are imposed for promotional opportunities. Further, personnel actions such as compensation, benefits, transfers, layoffs, return from layoff, company-sponsored training, education, tuition assistance, and social and recreational programs, will be administered without regard to race, color, gender, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, genetic information, age, and veteran or retirement status. Women and minorities will be recruited for employment and included in management training programs. In addition, the University will take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment, qualified individuals with disabilities in all job titles.   I. DEFINITIONS A. Complaint: Allegations of discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation, filed in good faith and in accordance with established procedures. B. Discrimination: Inequitable treatment of an individual based on his or her protected characteristics or status rather than individual merit. C. Harassment: Unwelcome conduct directed against a person based on one or more of a person’s protected characteristics or status which is so severe or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment. D. Protected Characteristics/Status: race, color, gender, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, genetic information, age, and veteran or retirement status. E. Retaliation: Any adverse action taken against an individual as the result of a complaint of discrimination or harassment or who may have participated in an investigation of discrimination or harassment. This includes overt or covert acts of reprisal, interference, restraint, penalty, discrimination, intimidation, or harassment against an individual or group exercising rights under this policy. II. PROHIBITED CONDUCT A. Discrimination 1. Discrimination in the workplace or learning environment involves taking adverse action against, or preferential treatment of an individual because of his protected status. 2. Examples include: a. Denying or granting promotions or other advancement opportunities based on an individual’s protected status. b. Granting preference in education or employment based on an individual’s protected status. c. Assigning grades based on an individual’s protected status; Making work assignments based on an individual’s protected status. d. Denial of leave based on an individual’s protected status. B. Harassment 1. Harassment in the working or learning environment consists of unwelcome and objectively offensive physical, verbal, or nonverbal conduct that unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work or educational activities and/or which creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or learning environment. 2. Examples include: a. Verbal threats, offensive jokes, epithets, derogatory comments, ridicule, mockery, or slurs. b. Gratuitous visual displays such as posters, photographs, cartoons, drawings, or gestures. c. Unwanted physical contact such as touching, intimidation, or blocking normal movement. C. Sexual Harassment 1. Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination that involves unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature when: a. Submission to that conduct is made a term or condition of employment. b. Submission to, or rejection of, that conduct is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting the employee. c. That conduct has the effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or of creating a hostile, offensive, or intimidating work environment. 2. Examples include: a. Making unwanted sexual advances including touching, kissing, hugging, or massaging. b. Making sexual gestures or visual displays such as leering. c. Offering employment or academic benefits in exchange for sexual favors. d. Gratuitous displays of sexually suggestive objects, pictures, or cartoons or drawings. e. Sending suggestive or obscene letters, notes, or invitations. f. Engaging in graphic sexual commentary about an individual’s body. D. Retaliation 1. Retaliation includes overt or covert acts of reprisal, interference, restraint, penalty, discrimination, intimidation, or harassment against an individual or group exercising rights under this policy. 2. No applicant, employee, student, or other individual who complains about a violation of policy or who participates in an investigation of a complaint made pursuant to UL System policies shall be subject to retaliation in any form. Retaliation may exist even when the underlying complaint is without merit. 3. Some examples of retaliation claims may arise when an individual has: a. initiated an internal complaint of discrimination or harassment. b. filed a claim of discrimination. c. requested an accommodation for a disability. d. filed a worker’s compensation claim following a work-related injury. e. requested leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. f. filed a safety or environmental related complaint with state and/or federal oversight agencies. g. filed a “whistleblower’s” claim alleging that the employer engaged in fraud, corruption, or other suspected wrongful activity. 4. Some of the most obvious types of retaliation are denial of promotion, refusal to hire, denial of job benefits, demotion, suspension, and termination. Other actions include threats, reprimands, negative evaluations, salary reductions, change in job assignments, harassment or hostile behavior, or attitudes toward the complainant. 5. Nicholls State University will adhere to the guidelines established in the University of Louisiana System Policy Number: M-(12), Preventing and Addressing Retaliation. III. REPORTING REQUIREMENTS A.  Any applicant, employee, student, or other individual who experiences any conduct that he or she believes may constitute harassment, discrimination, or retaliation has an obligation to report it to the Director of Human Resources, Title IX Coordinator, John Ford at (985)448-4040 or the Dean of Student Services, Title IX Coordinator, Dr. Michele Caruso at (985)448-4081. No individual is required to report or make a complaint of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation to the person who is engaging in the problematic conduct. B.  Any individual who becomes aware of any conduct that he or she believes may constitute harassment, discrimination, or retaliation has a similar  obligation to report that conduct regardless of whether he or she is personally involved in the conduct and regardless of whether the conduct involved other employees, students, vendors, or others in the work environment. C.  To insure that situations that may involve harassment, discrimination, or retaliation are handled appropriately, any administrator or supervisor who is a recipient of a complaint or report of possible violation of the policy will immediately notify the Director of Human Resources/Title IX Coordinator for advice and assistance on how to respond to the complaint. IV. INVESTIGATION PROCEDURES A. The Human Resources Director/Title IX Coordinator and a supervisor within the alleged violator’s chain of command (if the supervisor is also a vice president or higher, then the Human Resources Director may select another employee to assist with the investigation) will coordinate and conduct an initial investigation as deemed appropriate to the circumstances of the complaint. In instances where students are involved, the Human Resources Director/Title IX Coordinator will confer with the Dean of Student Services/Title IX Coordinator, to assure appropriate procedures are coordinated.  The Human Resource Director/Title IX Coordinator may delegate the investigation proceedings to another qualified individual(s) within his or her chain of command. B. At a minimum, the Human Resources Director/Title IX Coordinator and a supervisor or selected employee will interview both the alleged victim and the alleged violator.  Others may also be questioned as deemed appropriate. C. The alleged violator will be warned that he or she is not to retaliate. Depending on the circumstances, it may be appropriate to separate or limit contact between parties. D. Following the completion of the initial investigation, the Human Resources Director/Title IX Coordinator will provide both the alleged victim and the alleged violator with a report of the findings. The Human Resources Director/Title IX Coordinator may also propose a non-disciplinary resolution to both parties for consideration. E. Should either the alleged victim or the alleged violator be unsatisfied with the findings of the investigation, or the non-disciplinary resolution proposed by the Human Resources Director/Title IX Coordinator, he or she may then pursue the matter by following the grievance process: 1. Classified employees should refer to section 4.24 of the Nicholls Policy & Procedure Manual. 2. Faculty should refer to section 2.15.4 of the Faculty Grievance Policy. 3. Unclassified staff should refer to section 3.9 of the Nicholls Policy & Procedure Manual.

    V. SANCTIONS

    A. Anyone who violates this workplace discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation policy is subject to disciplinary action. B. Following an appropriate investigation and subject to the procedures which are part of the policies governing the relevant type of appointment at the University, the faculty, staff, student, or other individual may be subject to sanctions, including reprimand, probation, suspension, demotion, reassignment, termination, and expulsion.   Final Revision: 4/2/2012    
  • February 17, 2012 at 4:06 pm
    Stress and mental health issues can affect safety in the workplace. Stress can lead to a decrease in focus, increased irritability, or other emotional disturbance, which can lead to minor or major accidents, sometimes resulting in physical injury. As a means of overall safety and accident prevention, we ask that you consider taking advantage of counseling and health services available ON CAMPUS, at little to no cost to you.   University Counseling Center
    • FREE and confidential counseling available to FACULTY and STAFF
    • Issues include:
    1. depression,
    2.  anxiety
    3. stress management
    4. relational issues (marital, family, coworkers, etc)
    5. almost any  issue that you can think of for counseling, we can help, or if we can’t help you, we can refer you to someone who can help.
    • Sessions are UNLIMITED (there is no “cap” on the amount of sessions you can receive)
    Location: 224 Elkins Hall Phone: 985-448-4080   University Health Services
    • Acute care facility for short term illnesses
    • Faculty/staff services include:
    1. Sinus infection
    2. Earaches, eye  issues
    3. Wellness checks: Blood pressure checks, BMI, weight
    4. Workplace injuries, wound care
    • No Insurance billing--$25 per visit
    • Medication is handled through your OGB insurance plan, regular co-pay/deductible applies
    Location: First Floor Ayo Hall Phone: 985-493-2600  
  • October 25, 2011 at 2:11 pm
    The U.S. Fire Administration reports that 89,200 fires occurred in non-residential buildings in 2009, resulting in 90 fatalities, 1500 injuries, and over 2.7 Billion in dollar loss.  The best way to prevent these deadly fires from occurring is by eliminating the possible fire hazards.  You are responsible for fire prevention at work for your safety as well as your co-workers.  Potential hazards should be immediately reported to your supervisor or to the University Environmental Health & Safety Department. If you’re ever confronted with a fire keep your cool, but think fast and act with caution.  When a fire is discovered, size it up fast.  Knowing when to try to control the fire yourself and when to call for help is essential. In case of fire, follow the following Emergency Fire Response Procedures:
    • Sound the alarm and evacuate the area.  Call the emergency numbers you’ve been given, and give the details about the fire (location, how it started, etc.).  Never hesitate to call, even if the fire seems minor and you manage to put it out before firefighters arrive.  The quicker the alarm is sounded; the sooner firefighters can attempt to get it under control.  Have someone meet and tell the firefighters where the fire is located.  They can lose valuable minutes if they have to find it themselves.
    • You’re responsible for preventing fires, but you aren’t obligated to fight major fires.  Fight the fire only if you can do it safely with proper extinguishing materials at hand.
    • Warn others immediately. Go to the closest fire alarm pull station and activate the alarm system.  Warn anyone in the area so they can get to safety.  This is especially important in case of indoor fires.  Most people die from smoke, poisonous gases and panic.  Panic is usually the result of not knowing what to do.
    • Most fires start small, but they can rage out of control in a few minutes.  It’s important to know where the fire extinguishers are located and how to operate them properly.  Distinguish before you extinguish.  Choose the correct extinguisher for the type of fire (paper/wood, grease/gas/flammable liquids, electrical).  If you are not trained or authorized to use an extinguisher, don’t try.  The time you waste in figuring out an extinguisher could mean the difference between minor damage and a major disaster.
    It is important to incorporate the diverse needs of individuals when planning for evacuations.  Everyone should take the time to locate the nearest exit or enclosed stairwell that will lead you directly out of the building.  Always give preference to the use of an enclosed stairwell in an emergency.  Enclosed stairwell landings are an Area of Rescue Assistance for individuals with a disability.  Remember, never use elevators during an emergency evacuation. The following are tips for assisting persons with disabilities to evacuate a building in the event of an emergency: During an Emergency Evacuation Procedure:
    1. Communicate the nature of the emergency to the person.
    2. Ask the person how they would like to be assisted.
    3. When you evacuate the person, make sure you bring along their mobility aids if possible, for example, cane, walker, etc.
    Persons with Visual Disabilities: Tell the person the nature of the emergency and offer to guide them to the nearest exit.  Have them take your elbow and help them avoid obstacles.  Even if they have a guide dog, it is wise to offer to physically guide them.  When you reach safety, tell the person where they are and help them to get oriented to the location. Persons with Hearing Disabilities: While most buildings have flashing light alarms, the person may be engrossed in their work or in a location where the alarm is not readily visible.  Communicate the emergency to them in whatever manner is comfortable to you, utilizing hand gestures or a quick note. Persons with Physical Disabilities:
    • Persons using Canes, Walkers or Crutches
    Ask the person what assistance they need.  If assistance is requested, encourage them to use the stair rail and walk behind the person to act as a buffer from others who may push forward from behind. Note: (If the person does not need assistance, the person should wait until heavy traffic has cleared before attempting the stairs. Utilize the Area of Rescue Assistance until it is safe to exit).
    • Persons using Wheelchairs
    Ask the person what assistance they need.  In general, however, persons using wheelchairs should be moved to a fire safe exit (stairwell landing).  If possible, have someone stay with the person until additional assistance has arrived, while a second person notifies rescue personnel of the area in which the person is located.  In an emergency, DO NOT USE THE ELEVATORS.  All of the stairwell landings are protected with fire rated doors and are the safest place to be in the event of a fire.  Rescue personnel are trained to check these areas for persons who may need assistance. Remember to review fire safety procedures often so you’ll know what to do.
    • Act with caution. 
    • Sound the alarm. 
    • Warn others in the area. 
    • Evacuate and stay back unless you’re asked to help.
    In case of fire, being informed and prepared can keep you and your co-workers safe from injury.
  • September 7, 2011 at 11:04 am
    Ergonomics is the science of fitting the job to the worker, matching the physical requirements of the job with the physical capacity of the worker. Ergonomics recognizes the capabilities, differences, and limitations of individuals, and adjusts the work tools, work process, or work environment accordingly. Employees can play an important role in ergonomics by being aware of problem postures and poor work habits that can contribute to the development of work-related injuries/illnesses. How Does Your Workstation Measure Up? The Chair
    • Use arm rests.
    • Place the lumbar support slightly below the waist line.
    • Adjust the height of the chair so your feet can rest completely on the floor.
    • Allow 1-3 inches between the edge of the seat and the back of your knees.
    • Use a high back chair that supports your shoulder blades if at all possible
    Posture
    • Position your hips so that they are slightly higher than your knees while your feet are flat on the floor.
    • Don’t keep your feet flat on the floor. Move them around often. Use a foot rest if you have one, but only part of the time. Do NOT cross your ankles.
    • Lean back slightly. Make sure your chair back will support your shoulders at this angle while still providing good lumbar support.
    • Hold your head slightly up so that it is roughly perpendicular to the floor.
    • Let your upper arms hang naturally from your shoulders.
    • Let your lower arms rest on the arm rests of your chair either parallel or slightly below, to the floor.
    • Keep your wrists straight.
    • Change your position frequently.
    Keying Technique Good keying technique can reduce stresses on the wrists, arms and elbows. It can also minimize static loads on the shoulders to ensure good blood flow to the extremities.
    • Float your hands and arms while keying on armrest or work surface
    • Avoid planting your palms/wrists or bearing weight on elbows while keying
    • Keep your wrists straight. Minimize bending the wrists up/down or inward/outward
    • Keep an open elbow angle at 120 degrees or more…avoid tighter than 90 degrees
    • Take 5 minute breaks from your computer at least once per hour…stretch or walk
    The Monitor
    • Position the monitor to minimize glare by placing it at a right angle to light sources
    • Place the monitor as far away from you as possible while maintaining the ability to read without consciously focusing. Keep a minimum distance of 20 inches.
    • Place the center of the screen at a 15 degree down angle from your eyes with your neck only slightly bent holding your head perpendicular to the floor.
    • Align the monitor and the keyboard / mouse
    If you would like assistance in setting up your personal workstation, please contact the Safety Department.
  • May 9, 2011 at 9:07 am
    1.    Observe and follow all posted safety notices. 2.    The use of any tobacco product in any form is prohibited on all Nicholls State University properties including the main campus, Duhe Building, Chauvin Gardens, etc. 3.    No fighting or horseplay allowed in the work area or classroom. 4.    Know where fire extinguishers are located and how to use them. 5.    Evacuate in an orderly manner if the fire alarm sounds. 6.    Know designated evacuation routes from your office, floor and building. 7.    Know emergency phone numbers or access to them. 8.    Report all injuries and accidents to your supervisor. 9.    Report any equipment that is not operating properly to your supervisor. 10.  Do not run in the work area. 11.  Report unsafe conditions to your supervisor. 12.  Do not throw objects in the work area. 13.  Keep your work station clean and orderly. 14.  Keep floor free of litter. 15.  Place litter and waste materials in proper containers. 16.  Do not walk on wet floors and immediately wipe up spills. 17.  Keep passageway clear to allow easy access and exit. 18.  Keep desk, filing drawers, etc. closed to avoid a potential tripping hazard. 19.  Return equipment and material to their proper place after use. 20.  Report lighting and ventilation problems affecting you to your immediate supervisor. 21.  Always read labels before using chemicals, bleaches, cleaning fluid, etc. that could be harmful if spilled. 22.  When working with hazardous chemicals, do not work alone. 23.  Use only approved cleaning fluids when cleaning machinery. Remember to allow for proper ventilation. Dispose of rags and waste material in proper  containers and away from heat. 24.  Do not operate machinery or equipment without proper training. 25.  Never leave machinery or equipment in operation unattended. Turn all machinery and equipment off before leaving the office at the end of the workday. 26.  Neckties, scarves and other loose apparel should be secured when working around equipment. 27.  Notify your supervisor of any breakage or malfunction of machinery or equipment. 28.  Wear eye protection, respirators, or protective clothing in regulated areas or during functions requiring protective gear. 29.  Report frayed electrical cords immediately. 30.  Tape temporary electrical cords to the floor to prevent tripping. 31.  Do not overload electrical circuits. 32.  Do not use electrical extension cords as a permanent electrical line. 33.  Never turn on an electrical switch unless you know what it operates and have had the adequate training on that piece of equipment. 34.  Do not attempt to repair electrical devices unless properly trained to do so. Report to your supervisor. 35.  Keep flammable items away from electrical outlets, cords or other electrical apparatus. 36.  Use only properly grounded electrical equipment. 37.  When using university vehicles or your own vehicle for authorized travel, remember to use your seat belt and drive defensively. 38.  Only authorized drivers allowed to operate state vehicles or personal vehicles for state business. 39.  Do not text and drive. These above safety rules are not inclusive. They are intended as a guide to develop proper health and safety practices and procedures. Should you have questions or doubts about safe operations in the workplace, please contact your supervisor or the Safety Officer. Nicholls State University wants to provide a safe and healthy work and academic environment for its students, faculty and staff.      
  • April 21, 2011 at 3:52 pm
     

    How to Refer a Distressed Student

    The college years can be stressful for many. While most students cope adequately with the challenges these years bring, some students find the various pressures of life unmanageable or unbearable, and this interferes with learning. As faculty, teaching assistants, or staff you may encounter distressed students.  Many of these distressed students have not sought counseling and may be unaware of the services available to them. Your role is an important one in identifying students who are in distress and assisting them to find the resources available to help themselves. The following guidelines might be useful. SIGNS INDICATING A NEED FOR REFERRAL
    • abrupt/radical changes in behavior, quality of work, or personal hygiene
    • isolation from others
    • depression
    • dramatic weight loss or gain
    • inability to make decisions despite repeated attempts to clarify and to encourage
    • repeated requests for special consideration
    • poor attendance with little or no work completed
    • sudden outbursts of anger, high levels of irritability; aggressive, violent, or abrasive behavior
    • homicidal threats
    • attention/memory difficulty; distorted thoughts; impaired speech
    • alcohol/drug abuse
    • normal emotions exhibited to an extreme degree or for an excessive period of time, e.g., tearfulness, nervousness, fearfulness
    • chronic fatigue or low energy; listlessness, lack of energy, frequently falling asleep in class
    • suicidal thoughts or feelings of low self-esteem
    • dependency on you or others, e.g., making unnecessary appointments with you
    • bizarre behaviors that are obviously inappropriate to the situation, e.g., hearing voices
    • behavior that consistently interferes with classroom management
    REFERRALS MAY ALSO BE INDICATED FOR VARIOUS ISSUES such as but not limited to:
    • social/personal concerns
    • substance abuse
    • sexual assault
    • relationship concerns
    • racial/cultural adjustment
    • lesbian/gay concerns
    • extreme test anxiety
    GUIDELINES FOR INTERACTION
    • talk to the student in private
    • listen carefully
    • show concern and interest
    • repeat the essence of what the student has told you
    • avoid criticizing or sounding judgmental
    • point out that the situation doesn’t have to reach crisis proportions for him/her to benefit from professional help
    • suggest the University Counseling Center as a resource, offer a UCC brochure, and discuss this with the student
    • explain that counseling at the UCC is free and confidential
    • know your own limits regarding intervening; involve yourself only as far as you want to go
    HOW TO MAKE A REFERRAL TO THE UNIVERSITY COUNSELING CENTER
    1. Suggest that the student call or come in to the Counseling Center to make an appointment. Give the UCC phone number and location.
    2. If you want to be sure the student makes an appointment, call the UCC while the student is in your office. Write down the appointment information, time, date, counselor, and location for the student.
    3. If you consider the situation to be an emergency, please convey this information when contacting the UCC.
    4. Sometimes it is helpful for you to accompany the student to the UCC.
    5. If you are concerned about a student, but are uncertain of the appropriateness of the referral, fell free to call the UCC for a consultation.
    SERVICES OFFERED THROUGH THE UNIVERSITY COUNSELING CENTER
    • individual counseling
    • couples counseling
    • group counseling
    • workshops/seminars
    • classroom presentations
    • crisis/sexual assault response
     
  • October 25, 2010 at 4:16 pm
    Fire Safety Awareness Every fall season as we turn our clocks backwards one hour, should serve as a reminder to replace all batteries in smoke alarms.  Tragedies can be prevented simply by testing and maintaining your smoke alarms, as well as practicing a fire escape plan.  All smoke alarms in your home should be tested once a month and their batteries replaced annually. Properly installed and maintained smoke alarms in the home are considered one of the best and least expensive means of providing an early warning of a potentially deadly fire.  Smoke alarms save lives, prevent injuries, and minimize property damage by enabling residents to detect fires early in their development. REMEMBER: Don’t wait for a fire in your home to test your smoke alarm and develop a fire escape plan… DO IT NOW!!!!! Test your smoke alarm and regularly replace its batteries. Develop and practice your fire escape plan with your family. (www.cpsc.gov) Fast facts about smoke alarms and fire Smoke alarms
    • Smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a reported fire in half.
    • Most homes (96%) have at least one smoke alarm (according to a 2008 telephone survey.)
    • Overall, three-quarters of all U.S. homes have at least one working smoke alarm.
    • Each year, nearly 3,000 people die in U.S. home fires.
    • In 2003-2006, roughly two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from home fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. - No smoke alarms were present in 40% of the home fire deaths. - In 23% of the home fire deaths, smoke alarms were present but did not sound.
    • In more than half of the reported home fires in which the smoke alarms were present but did not operate even though the fire was large enough, batteries were missing or disconnected. Nuisance alarms were the leading reason for disconnected alarms.
    • More than half of the smoke alarms found in reported fires and two-thirds of the alarms found in homes with fire deaths were powered by battery only.
    • Most homes still have smoke alarms powered by battery only. In a 2007 American Housing Survey (AHS), 67% of the respondents who reported having smoke alarms said they were powered by battery only.
    • In a 2008 telephone survey, only 12% knew that smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years.
    • In fires considered large enough to activate a smoke alarm, hard-wired alarms operated 91% of the time; battery-powered smoke alarms operated 75% of the time.
    • Interconnected smoke alarms on all floors increase safety. - In a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) survey of households with any fires, interconnected smoke alarms were more likely to operate and alert occupants to a fire. (This includes fires in which the fire department was not called.)
    Fire
    • Cooking is the #1 cause of home fires and injuries.
    • Smoking is the leading cause of fire deaths.
    • Heating is the second leading cause of home fires, fire deaths and fire injuries.
    • Electrical failures or malfunctions are factors in roughly 50,000 reported fires each year.
    • Roughly 30, 000 intentionally set home structure fires are reported each year.
    In 2008
    • U.S. fire departments responded to 386,500 home fires.
    • Home fires killed 2,755 people and injured 13,160.
    • Someone was injured in a reported home fire every 40 minutes.
    • Roughly eight people died in home fires every day.
    • A fire department responded to a home fire every 82 seconds.
    • 83% of all fire deaths and 79% of fire injuries resulted from home fires.
  • August 13, 2010 at 1:40 pm
    1. Observe and follow all posted safety notices. 2. No fighting or horseplay allowed in the work area or classroom. 3. Know where fire extinguishers are located and how to use them. 4. Know designated evacuation routes from your office, floor and building. 5. Know emergency phone numbers or access to them. 6. Report all injuries and accidents to your supervisor. 7. Report to your supervisor any equipment that is not operating properly. 8. Do not run in the work area. 9. Report unsafe conditions to your supervisor. 10. Do not throw objects in the work area. 11. Keep your work station clean and orderly. 12. Keep floor free of litter. 13. Keep paper away from hot objects and ash trays. 14. Place litter and waste materials in proper containers. 15. Do not put out matches or cigarettes in waste cans – use approved containers only. 16. No smoking permitted within 25 feet of buildings or on sidewalks. 17. Do not walk on wet floors and immediately wipe up spills. 18. Keep passageway clear to allow easy access and exit. 19. Keep desk, filing drawers, etc. closed to avoid a potential tripping hazard. 20. Return equipment and material to their proper place after use. 21. Report lighting and ventilation problems affecting you to your immediate supervisor. 22. Always read labels before using chemicals, bleaches, cleaning fluid, etc. that could be harmful if spilled. 23. When working with hazardous chemicals, do not work alone. 24. Use only approved cleaning fluids when cleaning machinery. Remember to allow for proper ventilation. Dispose of rags and waste material in proper containers and away from heat. 25. Do not operate machines or equipment without proper training. 26. Never leave a machine or equipment in operation unattended. Turn machine and equipment off before leaving the office at the end of the workday. 27. Neckties, scarves and other wearing apparel should be secured when working around equipment. 28. Notify your supervisor of any breakage or malfunction of machinery or equipment. 29. Wear eye protection, respirators, or protective clothing in regulated areas or during functions requiring protective gear. 30. Report frayed electrical cords immediately. 31. Tape temporary electrical cords to the floor to prevent tripping. 32. Do not overload electrical circuits. 33. Do not use electrical extension cords as a permanent electrical line. 34. Never turn on an electrical switch unless you know what it operates and have had the adequate training on that piece of equipment. 35. Do not attempt to repair electrical devices unless properly trained to do so. Report to your supervisor. 36. Keep flammable items away from electrical outlets, cords or other electrical apparatus. 37. Use only properly grounded electrical equipment. 38. When using university vehicles or your own vehicle for authorized travel, remember to use your seat belt and drive defensively. 39. Only authorized drivers allowed to operate state vehicles or personal vehicles for state business. These listed safety rules are not totally inclusive. They are intended as a guide to develop proper health and safety practices and procedures. Should you have questions or doubts about safe operations in the workplace, please contact your supervisor or the Safety Officer. Nicholls State University wants to provide a safe and healthy work and academic environment for its students, faculty and staff.
  • May 6, 2010 at 1:35 pm
    NICHOLLS STATE UNIVERSITY HURRICANE EMERGENCY PLAN   Introduction The purpose of the Nicholls State University Hurricane Emergency Plan is to provide a detailed summary of the steps deemed necessary to secure the university and protect property and lives in the event of an approaching hurricane. The plan is available to all university employees and members of the community and can be accessed via the internet on the home page of the Nicholls web site. The plan lists and explains the various levels of preparedness the university will undertake depending on the severity of a weather threat to the Thibodaux area. It also lists action plans for all of the university departments that will be most affected by an approaching storm. In the event that a tropical system enters the Gulf of Mexico, the university will immediately be placed on standby alert. At this time, interested parties can monitor the Nicholls home page to determine the exact level of preparedness currently underway at the university. There are five phases or levels of preparedness that may be implemented before, during, and after a possible storm. Each is explained in specific detail within the plan. The coordinated execution of the plan is the responsibility of the university’s Emergency Preparedness Committee (EPC). The plan is reviewed and updated by the committee annually.   Emergency Plan Guidelines:   Standby Alert – When the National Weather Service predicts that a tropical system will enter the Gulf of Mexico, the University Emergency Preparedness Committee will monitor the projected path and speed of the storm and all departments should enact Standby Alert procedures. Phase I – When a tropical system has entered the Gulf of Mexico or has made landfall on the outer edges of the Gulf and is expected to re-enter the Gulf, and the South Louisiana area is within the probability of landfall zone, the Emergency Preparedness Committee will monitor the speed and path of the storm. The Committee will assess on which side of the storm Thibodaux would be, the distance from the predicted landfall area, and the strength of the storm (present and at landfall). All departments must enact Phase I storm preparations. Phase II – When a tropical system is within the Gulf of Mexico and South Louisiana is in the landfall zone, although not in the high probability zone, but the area is expected to feel the effects of the storm to where the National Weather Service will issue a Hurricane Watch or Tropical Storm Warning for South Louisiana and the Thibodaux area, university classes will be cancelled. Students are advised to leave campus. The University will open a shelter for students as well as staff who are unable to leave the campus. The EPC will finalize all preparations for the storm. All non-essential personnel will be released from their work stations. The EPC will continue to monitor the strength, speed, and projected landfall site. The EPC will set up operations in the shelter area in the Student Union. All departments must enact Phase II storm preparations. Phase III – When a tropical system is in the Gulf of Mexico and South Louisiana is in the high probability landfall zone and the National Weather Service issues a Hurricane Warning for South Louisiana that includes the Thibodaux area, university classes will be cancelled. Students are advised to evacuate to an area out of the storm’s path. The EPC will continue to monitor the storms strength, speed, and projected landfall. If a mandatory evacuation order is not given for the Thibodaux area, the University will open a shelter for students as well as staff who are unable to leave the campus. If a mandatory evacuation is given for the Thibodaux area, on-campus residents without a means of transportation will be evacuated to another state university where they will receive pre-arranged shelter and meals for the duration of their stay. The EPC will finalize all preparations for the storm. All non-essential personnel will be released from their work stations. The pre-position team will continue to monitor the storms strength, speed and projected landfall. Based on the above information, the team will make the determination to remain on campus or evacuate to a pre-arranged shelter. The decision to evacuate will be made no later than 18 hours prior to landfall. All departments must enact Phase III storm preparations. Phase IV – After the storm has passed and provided that the roads are passable and the state and local government officials are allowing travel back into the area, certain employees who are designated to be essential or first responders by their supervisors are required to report to work within 24 hours. Other employees should contact their immediate supervisor, by telephone or e-mail, within 24 hours of the storm passing to secure directions for action. All employees should be prepared to report to work or return the University to operating as soon as possible. Students should monitor designated information outlets for the resumption of classes. Department heads should have a plan to return to work to assess damage, to react to immediate needs, to coordinate scheduling of employees, and to report needs and damages to the Office of Physical Plant. Phase V – If the storm has passed and has caused major damage on campus, employees must contact their supervisors for direction or contact either the Nicholls Help Line or the Nicholls Web site to let their supervisor know where they are and whether or not they can return to the area. Only the Pre-Position team will return to campus to establish a command center and begin damage assessment. The Pre-Position team will also begin debris clean-up and will take action as needed to protect university assets. Note:  Individual Department plans were not included in this handout.  To see this document in its entirety please refer to the Nicholls homepage under “University Status & Emergency Preparedness”. To Prepare Your Work Area When a Storm Threatens    
    • Refer to your department’s Hurricane Plan.
    • If you have temperature critical materials, contact the Maintenance Department to determine if emergency power is available.
    • Secure all critical papers, pictures books, and other loose items in a cabinet, desk or closet.
    • Back up computer hard drives. Make two copies. Secure a copy in your office and take the other with you.
    • Unplug all electrical equipment.
    • Move as much as possible away from windows to an interior area or against an interior wall.
    • Raise equipment up off of the floor, if possible.
    • Cover with plastic and secure with tape office equipment, scientific instruments, fine art, antiques and computers that cannot be stowed or moved away from windows.
    • Close and lock (or secure with tape) all file cabinets.
    • Close and lock all windows and doors.
    • Cover telephone but do not unplug wire connection.
    • Take personal items and backup disks home with you.
    • Before leaving, meet with your supervisor to confirm telephone numbers and learn when you are expected to call your supervisor after the storm. Assist other departments as necessary.
            Some major changes in the National Weather Service warning procedures have been made. Most notably, changes include:  
    • Tropical Storm and Hurricane Watches will now be issued 48 hours in advance of expected storm conditions, as opposed to the previous 36 hours.
    • Warnings will now be issued at the 36 hour mark, rather than the previous 24 hour mark.
    • The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale will only be used in reference to WIND only.  Storm Surge will no longer be referenced to these categories; instead it will be expressed specifically and independently in height.
    • Post-Tropical and Extra-Tropical cyclones will be those systems which do not have sufficient tropical characteristics.  This does NOT imply that they are any less dangerous, however.
    • Advisories issued by the National Hurricane Center will look totally different beginning this year.  The new advisories will be divided into five distinct sections containing important information.
    • NWS Forecasts will also utilize new terminology in terms of "possible," "expected", or ongoing tropical storm and hurricane conditions.
    For additional information, refer to the National Weather Service website at http://www.weather.gov/    
  • March 5, 2010 at 9:01 am
    Most of us are very experienced walkers. After all, we've been walking almost all of our lives. So why is it that simply putting one foot in front of the other to get from place to place results in so many injuries? After all, slips, trips and falls are a major cause of injuries, both at work and away from work. FACTS: • Falls usually cause lost time from work. • Slips and trips cause over 80,000 injuries each year. • Slip-fall accidents account for 30% of all reported injuries. • Over 540,000 slip-fall injuries, requiring hospital care, occur each year. • Slip and falls are the number one cause of accidents in Hotels, Restaurants and Public Buildings. • According to the National Safety Council, slips and falls are the single largest cause of Emergency Room visits. Why we fall: • We slip because of too little friction. (usually….backwards) • We trip because of interference with balance. (usually…..forward) • We fall by moving too far off our center of gravity. The Three Laws of Science • Friction • Momentum • Gravity Friction is the resistance between things, such as between your shoes and the surface you walk on. A good example is a slip on ice, where your shoes can’t grip the surface, you lose traction and fall. Momentum is affected by speed and size of the moving object. The old expression “The bigger you are the harder you fall.” is true. The more you weigh and the faster you are moving, the harder your fall will be. Gravity is the force that pulls you to the ground. If you lose your balance and begin to fall, you are going to hit the ground. There are many factors that contribute to slips, trips and falls: • Loose, irregular surfaces such as gravel, shifting floor tiles, and uneven sidewalks, can make it difficult to maintain your footing. • Floor mats that are flipped over. • Rainy days with water on the floor.  Mop up as quickly as possible. • Oil, grease and other liquids can make walking surfaces extremely slick. • Stairs present a special challenge, especially those that are taller, shorter, have a smaller tread depth, or are otherwise irregular. • Obstructed aisles or walkways present tripping hazards or require frequent changes of direction, throwing you off balance. • Insufficient light can make it difficult to see obstacles and notice changes in the walking surface. • Adjusting your stride to a pace that is suitable for the walking surface and the tasks you are doing. • Shoes with slick soles provide insufficient traction, while platform shoes and high heels increase your vulnerability to uneven surfaces. • Moving too fast increases the likelihood you will misjudge a step or encounter a hazard before you have a chance to notice it. • Carrying items can both obstruct your vision and impair your balance. • Inattention and distraction interfere with your awareness of all of these hazards and increase your risk of injury. • In parking lots there are pot holes, speed bumps, cracks in pavement, ramps, parking post. What can we do: Well, you can't just stop walking. But there are some things you can do to reduce your risk of slipping, tripping or falling. You can adapt many of the principals of defensive driving and apply them to walking. Silly as it may sound, being a "defensive walker" can help you safely navigate many of the hazards lurking all around you! • Scan your "road" for existing and potential hazards. Just as you do when you are driving, be aware of others, expect them to get in your way, and have an out when they do. • Slow down to negotiate turns, corners, obstacles, wet floors, limited visibility and heavy traffic. • Make sure you have adequate "tread." Some experts believe up to half of all slips and falls could be prevented through proper footwear alone! • Use a detour whenever possible to avoid wet surfaces. • Realize that there are hazards involved in going "off road." A shortcut across the lawn or through a flower bed may not be the best choice. • Keep your mind focused on what you are doing! Some other strategies for preventing a fall include: • Limit the load you are carrying. Make sure it does not obstruct your vision. Whenever possible, use wheels of some kind so you can push or pull your load instead of carrying it. • Exercise regularly to maintain strength, flexibility and balance. Conclusion Preventing slips and falls has to be a team effort. Walking around a spill or stepping over a rug that is flipped over might keep you safe, but what about the next person who walks by? By correcting the hazard or reporting it, you keep not only yourself safe, but your co-workers as well. Let us remember: If you drop it, pick it up. If you spill it, clean it up. If you take it out, put it away. Look where you are going, and go where you are looking.
  • February 28, 2010 at 4:13 pm
      How long can influenza virus remain viable on objects (such as books and doorknobs)? Studies have shown that influenza virus can survive on environmental surfaces and can infect a person for 2 to 8 hours after being deposited on the surface.
    • Avoid close contact.
    Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
    • Stay home when you are sick.
    If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
    • Cover your mouth and nose.
    Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
    • Clean your hands.
    Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
    Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
    • Practice other good health habits.
    Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.   What are the signs and symptoms of H1N1 flu in people? The symptoms of H1N1 flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with H1N1 flu. If you are sick, stay home. You do not need to bring your flu germs to work with you to share with everyone else in the office. Some areas of germ collection to consider:
    • Have you cleaned your cell phone lately? Cell phone can be potential carriers of germs and should be wiped down with an anti-bacterial sheet (such as a Clorox sheet) on a regular basis.
    • Have you cleaned your office phone, computer key board, or desk area lately? Office furniture and equipment can be collection areas for germs and should be wiped down with an anti-bacterial wipe on a regular basis …..especially of others use them.
    • Have you changed your home A/C filters lately? A good way to avoid the recirculation of bad air is to make sure that your home A/C filters are changed on a regular basis.
  • February 12, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    NICHOLLS STATE UNIVERSITY HURRICANE EMERGENCY PLAN

      Introduction The purpose of the Nicholls State University Hurricane Emergency Plan is to provide a detailed summary of the steps deemed necessary to secure the university and protect property and lives in the event of an approaching hurricane. The plan is available to all university employees and members of the community and can be accessed via the internet on the home page of the Nicholls web site.  The plan lists and explains the various levels of preparedness the university will undertake depending on the severity of a weather threat to the Thibodaux area.  It also lists action plans for all of the university departments that will be most affected by an approaching storm. In the event that a tropical system enters the Gulf of Mexico, the university will immediately be placed on standby alert.  At this time, interested parties can monitor the Nicholls home page to determine the exact level of preparedness currently underway at the university.  There are five phases or levels of preparedness that may be implemented before, during, and after a possible storm.  Each is explained in specific detail within the plan. The coordinated execution of the plan is the responsibility of the university’s Emergency Preparedness Committee (EPC).  The plan is reviewed and updated by the committee annually. Emergency Plan Guidelines : Standby Alert – When the National Weather Service predicts that a tropical system will enter the Gulf of Mexico, the University Emergency Preparedness Committee will monitor the projected path and speed of the storm and all departments should enact Standby Alert procedures. Phase I – When a tropical system has entered the Gulf of Mexico or has made landfall on the outer edges of the Gulf and is expected to re-enter the Gulf, and the South Louisiana area is within the probability of landfall zone, the Emergency Preparedness Committee will monitor the speed and path of the storm.  The Committee will assess on which side of the storm Thibodaux would be, the distance from the predicted landfall area, and the strength of the storm (present and at landfall).   All departments must enact Phase I storm preparations.   Phase II – When a tropical system is within the Gulf of Mexico and South Louisiana is in the landfall zone, although not in the high probability zone, but the area is expected to feel the effects of the storm to where the National Weather Service will issue a Hurricane Watch or Tropical Storm Warning for South Louisiana and the Thibodaux area, university classes will be cancelled.   Students are advised to leave campus.  The University will open a shelter for students as well as staff who are unable to leave the campus.  The EPC will finalize all preparations for the storm.  All non-essential personnel will be released from their work stations.  The EPC will continue to monitor the strength, speed, and projected landfall site.   The EPC will set up operations in the shelter area in the Student Union.   All departments must enact Phase II storm preparations. Phase III – When a tropical system is in the Gulf of Mexico and South Louisiana is in the high probability landfall zone and the National Weather Service issues a Hurricane Warning for South Louisiana that includes the Thibodaux area, university classes will be cancelled.   Students are advised to evacuate to an area out of the storm’s path.  On-campus residents without a means of transportation will be evacuated to another state university where they will receive pre-arranged shelter and meals for the duration of their stay. The EPC will finalize all preparations for the storm.  All non-essential personnel will be released from their work stations.   All departments must enact Phase III storm preparations. Phase IV – After the storm has passed and provided that the roads are passable and the state and local government officials are allowing travel back into the area, certain employees who are designated to be essential or first responders by their supervisors are required to report to work within 24 hours.  Other employees should contact their immediate supervisor, by telephone or e-mail, within 24 hours of the storm passing to secure directions for action.  All employees should be prepared to report to work or return the University to operating as soon as possible.   Students should monitor designated information outlets for the resumption of classes.    Department heads should have a plan to return to work to assess damage, to react to immediate needs, to coordinate scheduling of employees, and to report needs and damages to the Office of Physical Plant. Phase V – If the storm has passed and has caused major damage on campus, employees must contact their supervisors for direction or contact either the Nicholls Help Line or the Nicholls Web site to let their supervisor know where they are and whether or not they can return to the area.  Only the Pre-Position team will return to campus to establish a command center and begin damage assessment.  The Pre-Position team will also begin debris clean-up and will take action as needed to protect university assets. Note:  Individual Department plans were not included in this handout.  To see this document in its entirety please refer to the Nicholls homepage under "University Status & Emergency Preparedness". To Prepare Your Work Area When a Storm Threatens    
    • Refer to your department’s Hurricane Plan.
    • If you have temperature critical materials, contact the Maintenance Department to determine if emergency power is available.
    • Secure all critical papers, pictures books, and other loose items in a cabinet, desk or closet.
    • Back up computer hard drives. Make two copies. Secure a copy in your office and take the other with you.
    • Unplug all electrical equipment.
    • Move as much as possible away from windows to an interior area or against an interior wall.
    • Raise equipment up off of the floor, if possible.
    • Cover with plastic and secure with tape office equipment, scientific instruments, fine art, antiques and computers that cannot be stowed or moved away from windows.
    • Close and lock (or secure with tape) all file cabinets.
    • Close and lock all windows and doors.
    • Cover telephone but do not unplug wire connection.
    • Take personal items and backup disks home with you.
    • Before leaving, meet with your supervisor to confirm telephone numbers and learn when you are expected to call your supervisor after the storm. Assist other departments as necessary.
     
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