SAFETY DEPARTMENT

3rd Quarter 2020 – Violence in the Workplace & Safety Rules

 VIOLENCE FREE WORKPLACE POLICY

INTRODUCTION

The employees of Nicholls State University are the most important and essential part of this university community.  The safety and  security of each employee is essential to carrying our mission of providing a safe and comfortable workplace for everyone.  Each employee has a reasonable expectation to perform his /her assigned duties in an atmosphere free from threats, assaults or violence.

Recognizing the increasing incidence of violence in the workplace, the Governor of the State of Louisiana issued Executive Order Number MJF 97-15 committing the Governor and the State of Louisiana to work toward a violence free workplace for all state employees.

Nicholls State University fully supports this effort and is likewise committed to providing a violence free workplace.

VIOLENCE FREE WORKPLACE ORGANIZATION

 

The Violence Free Workplace Committee is made up of four (4) employees, who are organized to address and evaluate incidents where workplace violence occurs.  They are also organized to present violence free workplace seminars, which are designed as  awareness vehicles for employees.   The members of the Committee are:

Steven H. Kenney, Jr., AVP for Human Resources, Coordinator – 448-4041 or ext. 4041
Brian Clausen, Safety/ Environmental Health Officer, Coordinator – 448-4783 or ext. 4783
Owen Williams, Director of Facilities, 448-4030 or ext. 4030
Alex Barnes, Chief of University Police, 448-4742 or ext. 4742

The Violence Free Workplace Committee should be promptly notified in the event of an incident of violence, so that the extent or  scope of the threat can be assessed.

NOTIFICATION PROCEDURES (How to report an incident or threat)

The following procedures are established to report any and all incidents of workplace violence:

  • Once an incident of workplace violence or threat of violence occurs, the employee shall IMMEDIATELY CALL:

UNIVERSITY POLICE AT 4911

  •  University Police will, once the situation is under control and there is no immediate threat to life, contact the Violence Free Workplace Committee.
  • The Violence Free Workplace Committee will immediately evaluate the situation, according to policy, and decide the appropriate response or course of chosen action.

EMPLOYEE RESPONSIBILITIES

At Nicholls State University employees are required to report to the Violence Free Workplace Committee or University Police all  threats or incidents of violent behavior in the workplace which they observe or of which they are informed.  Examples of inappropriate  behavior which should be reported includes:

  • Unwelcome name-calling, obscene language and other abusive behavior  Intimidation through direct or veiled verbal threats.
  • Physically touching another employee in an intimidating, malicious, or sexually harassing manner, including such acts as hitting, slapping, poking, kicking, pinching, grabbing or pushing.
  • Physically intimidating others, to include such acts as: obscene gestures, “getting in your face”, fist-shaking, or throwing an object.

In all cases of violence in the workplace, employees should cooperate fully with the Violence Free Workplace Committee, which will  review and evaluate cases of workplace violence.  All employees are encouraged to participate in complaint or suggestions procedures covering safety and security.

MANAGEMENT RESPONSIBILITIES

The management of Nicholls State University is strongly committed to the visibility and commitment of top level supervision. Management provides the motivation and resources to deal effectively with workplace violence, and includes:

  • Organizational concern for employee’s emotional well-being, and physical safety and health.  Commitment to the safety and security of all persons at the workplace.
  • Assure that all supervisors and employees understand their roles and responsibilities.
  • Accountability for involved supervisors and employees.
  • Debriefing/counseling for employees experiencing or witnessing assaults and other violent incidents.
  • Support and implementation of appropriate recommendations from the Violence Free Workplace Committee.
  • Treatment of workplace violence, incidents, complaints and concerns with seriousness. Keep confidential all reports and the identification of parties, except to those “who have a legitimate need to know” and to the extent allowed by the law.
  • Maintaining and keeping up-to-date the Violence Free Workplace plan. The written plan will be housed with the Violence Free Workplace Committee in the Office of the Director of Human Resources.  Any questions should be directed to the Coordinators, either Steven Kenney (ext. 4041) or Brian Clausen (ext. 4783).

WHAT TO DO IF CONFRONTED WITH VIOLENCE IN THE WORKPLACE SITUATION

The following action(s) should be taken in accordance with the severity of the incident:

The situation is not dangerous:

  • Implement a “cooling off period”. Separate and isolate those involved in the incident until they are interviewed and statements taken.
  • Separate witnesses until they are interviewed and their statements taken.
  • Document all actions and statements.
  • Notify your supervisor.
  • Notify the Violence in the Workplace Committee.

The situation is dangerous:

  •  Immediately notify University Police at ext. 4911.
  • Order all those presenting the danger to leave the area immediately.
  • Do not attempt to physically remove an individual. Leave it to University Police.
  • As soon as possible, document all actions and statements.
  • Notify your supervisor.
  • Notify the Violence in the Workplace Committee.

Whenever an incident takes place, injured employees will receive appropriate medical treatment and psychological help as necessary.  Any  employee who has been threatened or assaulted by another at the workplace will immediately report the situation to his/her supervisor.   The supervisor to whom the incident is reported will immediately notify the Violence in the Workplace Committee and University Police.

DEFINITIONS

  •  Assault: Assault is an attempt to commit a battery, or the intentional placing of another in reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery.  Example:  A person may have their hand or a stick raised and know that they have no intention of striking you, but based on the circumstances, you have a reasonable apprehension that you may be struck.
  • Battery: Battery is the intentional use of force or violence upon another; or the intentional administration of a poison or other noxious liquid or substance to another.
  • Credible Threat: A credible threat is a statement or action that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his/her safety or that of another person and does, in fact, cause such fear.
  • Intentional Act: Intentional act refers to conduct when the circumstances indicate that the offender, in the course of human experience, must have considered the criminal consequences as reasonably certain to result from his/her act or failure to act.
  • Violence: Violence is the commission of an assault or battery or the making of a credible threat.
  • Workplace: The workplace is any site where an employee is placed for the purpose of completing job assignments.  Workplace Violence:  Workplace violence is violence that takes place in the workplace.

REV. 9/2020

 

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 floor and building.
  7. Know emergency phone numbers or access to them.
  8. Report all injuries and accidents to your supervisor.
  9. Report to your supervisor any equipment that is not operating properly.
  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 hazards to those walking by.
  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 machines or equipment without proper training.
  25. Never leave a machine or equipment in operation unattended. Turn machine and equipment off before leaving the office at the end of the workday.
  26. Neckties, scarves and other wearing 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. Otherwise, report it to a 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 belts 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 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.