4th Quarter 2016 – Safety Rules and Workplace Holiday Safety

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.

 

Workplace Holiday Safety

When planning seasonal events and decorations for the office, it’s important to keep workplace holiday safety in mind. Decorating your office can be a fun way to help coworkers enjoy the spirit of the holiday season together, as long as proper safety precautions are observed at all times.

Tips for Workplace Holiday Safety
When deciding how to decorate your office for the holiday season, it’s important to be mindful of potential safety hazards. The same safety considerations that apply to seasonal home decorations at home also apply in the workplace.

Fire Safety Considerations for Holiday Decor

Be mindful of potential fire hazards when selecting holiday decorations and determining where to place them. Make wise choices about the types of holiday lights you use. Do not use any type of decoration in your office that has an open flame.

It’s also important to make sure that you use holiday lights properly. Never place staples or nails through strings of lights, power cords, or extension cords. Do not connect too many strands of lights together.

Make sure that all illuminated items are turned off when the office is closed so there’s no risk of a fire breaking out when the building is unattended. It’s a good idea to put one person in charge of this task, so there’s no confusion regarding whether or not the lights need to be checked at the end of each workday.

No cut Christmas trees are allowed to be used in any office areas as part of holiday decorations.

OSHA Compliance and Holiday Decorations

Keep all relevant OSHA regulations in mind when deciding how to decorate your workplace for the holiday. Without proper planning, holiday decorations can result in dangerous tripping hazards. Think carefully before using extension cords to connect lights or to illuminate other types of decorations.

Avoid placing Christmas trees, gifts, or freestanding decorations in heavy traffic areas where people might run into them or trip over them.

It’s also essential to make sure that your holiday décor in no way compromises the ability of workers and visitors to exit the workplace in the event of an emergency. Do not place any type of decorative items in exit corridors or on the sprinklers. It’s essential to verify that none of your decorations block exit signage or fire safety equipment.

Holiday Celebration Safety Considerations

If you’ll be attending a holiday party where alcohol will be served it’s essential to make transportation arrangements.  This is true whether the party is held in someone’s home, at a restaurant, or at any other location. This is essential to keep coworkers and other guests protected from drinking and driving.

Keep Your Workplace Safe During the Holidays
By following a few simple safety tips, it’s easy to enjoy festive holiday decorations and events at work without having to deal with injuries or damage to property. When preparing to enjoy the holiday season at work, simply incorporate proper workplace holiday safety precautions into the planning process. You’ll be on your way to a holiday season that will be remembered as one that is both enjoyable and safe.

 

 

3rd Quarter 2016 – Emergency Evacuation – In Case of Fire

The U.S. Fire Administration reports that 99,500 fires occurred in non-residential buildings in 2014, resulting in 60 fatalities, 1200 injuries, and over 2.6 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.

2nd Quarter 2016 – Hurricane Emergency Plan

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, 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 Everbridge 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.

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.

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.

1st Quarter 2016 – Disability Awareness & Effective Communication

More than 54 million Americans have a disability. The Americans with Disabilities ACT (ADA) of 1990 was conceived with the goal of integrating people with disabilities into all aspects of life, particularly the workplace and marketplace. Sensitivity towards people with disabilities is the spirit of the ADA and when we are disability aware and use disability etiquette, co-workers, employees and students with disabilities feel more comfortable and work more productively. Practicing disability etiquette is an easy way to make people with disabilities feel welcome.

You don’t have to feel awkward when communicating with a person with a disability. The attached Power Point presentation provides some basic tips for you to follow. If you have any questions or concerns please contact Robin Bell, Director of Disability Services at 448-4430.

Disability awareness and effective communication(2)

4th Quarter 2015 – Safety Rules

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.

 

 

3rd Quarter 2015 – Emergency Evacuation – In Case of Fire

The U.S. Fire Administration reports that 93,700 fires occurred in non-residential buildings in 2013, resulting in 65 fatalities, 1425 injuries, and over 2.4 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.

2nd Quarter 2015 – Hurricane Emergency Plan

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 Everbridge 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 2 listed in individual departmental emergency plans or an employee may be designated by his or her supervisor in the event of an impending emergency.

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 3 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.

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.

1st Quarter 2015 – Disability Awareness & Effective Communication

More than 54 million Americans have a disability. The Americans with Disabilities ACT (ADA) of 1990 was conceived with the goal of integrating people with disabilities into all aspects of life, particularly the workplace and marketplace. Sensitivity towards people with disabilities is the spirit of the ADA and when we are disability aware and use disability etiquette, co-workers, employees and students with disabilities feel more comfortable and work more productively. Practicing disability etiquette is an easy way to make people with disabilities feel welcome.

You don’t have to feel awkward when communicating with a person with a disability. The attached Power Point presentation provides some basic tips for you to follow. If you have any questions or concerns please contact Robin Bell, Director of Disability Services at 448-4430.

Disability awareness and effective communication2 (2) (4)

4th Quarter 2014 – Safety Rules & Ebola Information

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.

 

In addition, University Health Services and the Office Environmental Health & Safety departments have been monitoring the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) for the latest information on Ebola. Attached are a couple of documents from the CDC for your review.

what-need-to-know-ebola (1)

is-it-flu-or-ebola

 

3rd Quarter 2014 – Bloodborne Pathogens

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.