Employees Health & Safety Issues

The Employees Health and Safety Issues section includes the following topics.


The Safety Office may be reached Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at x4897. You are always encouraged to bring safety concerns and reports of near-miss accidents to the attention of your supervisors, the Safety Office and the Health and Safety Committee. Nevertheless, there are some who would prefer to make an anonymous report. The Safety Office allows such anonymous reporting to occur. There is no caller-ID, and no effort will be made to identify the caller. Calls may even be placed by third parties. You may choose to leave voice mail.

For our accident prevention and safe work place program to be effective, the important elements of who, what, where, when, why and how should be included in the call. The Safety Office will investigate your call on the next business day.

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Employees often ask, "What do I do if I get hurt on the job?" Prompt medical care is the immediate concern. All injuries arising out of the actual performance of your job must be reported. The following procedures apply:

  1. Report to your supervisor any accident, near miss or incident that may later develop into an injury as soon as possible, even if you do not seek medical care. Immediately call the Office of Human Resources, at x 4105, and report the alleged accident.
  2. If your injury requires you to go directly to a hospital, transportation by ambulance or medevac will provide immediate medical attention and assure safe transport. Notify University Police at x4222.
  3. Evaluation and treatment may be obtained at Frostburg Medical Center during normal service hours
  4. Within 48 hours, the injured employee, or the employee's representative, must complete the Employee's First Report of Injury forms (PDF). If the employee's representative completes the form, the employee will complete an amended EMPLOYEE'S FIRST REPORT OF INJURY form as soon as possible. Get this form from your supervisor and return it to him or her when completed.
    1. The injured employee's supervisor must complete a SUPERVISOR'S FIRST REPORT OF INJURY form within 48 hours of the reported injury.
    2. The ACCIDENT WITNESS FORM must be completed if the accident was witnessed.
    3. The AUTHORIZATION FOR RELEASE OF MEDICAL INFORMATION form must be completed by the injured employee within 48 hours.
  5. The Office of Human Resources should receive the above reports within 48 hours of the incident. The Office of Human Resources will then immediately file an EMPLOYER'S FIRST REPORT OF INJURY and administer the processing of medical bills and related leave time reports and record keeping.
  6. The employee (when transported to a hospital) must give the supervisor written certification from a physician within three (3) working days indicating the nature and extent of the injury, a prognosis, and estimated date of return to work. The injured employee must regularly contact the supervisor to keep the supervisor informed of the employee's status. Every second pay period, the employee must provide a physician's statement of continued disability and estimated return to work date.
  7. Your supervisor will contact you to investigate your accident. Accident investigation is important for full documentation and for the prevention of future accidents.
  8. The Office of Human Resources Safety Office will also investigate the reported employee injury, accident or near miss.

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Accident leave is available to employees who are in benefit-funded positions and are otherwise eligible for leave. Up to six months accident leave may be granted if the personal injury you suffered:

  • resulted from the actual performance of your job;
  • was a sudden, unexpected and unusual event; and
  • is determined to be compensable according to Maryland Workers' Compensation Law.

Accident leave may be granted from the date of the reported job-related injury until a physician certifies that you are healed and physically able to return to work. If your accident leave and sick leave expires and you remain unable to work, you may then be entitled to receive a monetary award through workers' compensation. Workers' Compensation pay is a percentage of your average wages determined according to a formula established by the Workers' Compensation Commission. You may choose to use annual leave or personal leave before requesting Workers' Compensation.

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Injured employees should neither be returned to work prematurely nor kept off the job unnecessarily. Injuries should be neither medically under treated nor over treated. To achieve these objectives, the Injured Workers' Insurance Fund will contact all parties involved. The supervisor will contact the injured employee when accident leave is being used. The supervisor will request a signed, not stamped, doctor's diagnosis/prognosis of the employee's injury. The original copy of the doctor's certificate must be sent to the Office of Human Resources. A second medical opinion may be required.

The University, in accordance with Board of Regent's policy, has adopted a modified duty procedure. Modified duty is intended to ease the injured worker's transition back to work when a return to full duty is not possible. A copy of the modified duty procedure is available for review at the Office of Human Resources Safety Office.

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In 1970, the United States Congress passed legislation creating the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to help preserve and protect the health and well being of workers. As part of this on-going effort, the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) was enacted. This specific legislation establishes the legal rights of employees to be informed about hazardous materials present on the job. As a result, employees are endowed with the "right to know" about the potential health risks, protective equipment and clothing, and the proper procedures for the handling, storing and use of all chemicals and chemical products used in the work place. Through employee training and education, employers strive to reduce the number of illnesses or injuries that can be attributed to improper use or handling of these products.

The following written hazard communication program has been developed and implemented by the Office of Human Resources Safety Office. This program complies with the provisions of 29 OSHA, CFR 1910.1200 and as required by the Maryland Access to Information About Hazardous and Toxic Substances Law, and COMAR

This written hazard communication program is available in the following locations for review by any interested person or employee:

  • Human Resources Office, Third Floor, Hitchins Administration Building;
  • Physical Plant Office, in the Maxwell Stangle Service Building;
  • Library Reserve Desk, located in the Lewis J. Ort Library.

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Protecting your hearing is as important as protecting your eyes. Wherever it is not feasible to reduce the noise levels or duration of exposure to those noises, ear protection devices shall be provided by the employer and used by the employee. Ear protective devices inserted in the ear shall be fitted or determined individually by a competent person. Plain cotton is not an acceptable protective device. Frostburg State University is legally responsible for providing a workplace free from all hazards, and extreme noise is one. The Office of Human Resources Safety Office is responsible for overseeing and coordinating the Hearing Conservation Program at FSU. Administrative or engineering controls are meant to be employed as the first line of defense. Only thereafter is personal protective equipment to be used to reduce sound levels.

Obviously in the case of firearms training or a rock concert, administrative or engineering controls are not applicable and personal protective equipment should be worn to reduce sound levels. The OSHA noise exposure standard requires that if exposure exceeds an eight-hour time-weight average sound level of 85 decibels, the employee shall be enrolled in a hearing conservation program. OSHA also has permissible noise exposure standards for high, short-term exposures. Possible applications might include any event including sound amplification, fireworks, firearms training, operating large equipment and like vehicles.









Remember that OSHA standards apply to Frostburg State University employees. Students and the general public who choose to attend public activities are not covered. For a copy of the OSHA Standard and a noise level test, call the Office of Human Resources Safety Office at 4897.

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Frostburg State has established, maintains and enforces work practices and standards to eliminate or minimize contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials. This is in compliance with OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard 29 CFR 1910.1030, the Maryland Communicable Disease Law and the Maryland Special Medical Waste Management Rules.

Hepatitis B vaccine is available to all Frostburg State University employees who are assigned to a job classification which has occupational exposure risk. The following classifications and the daily task may put the employee at risk for contact with blood and/or other body fluids:

  • Health Care Professionals
  • University Police Officers
  • Housekeeper
  • Housekeeping Supervisor I
  • Housekeeping Chief
  • Plumber
  • Maintenance Mechanic
  • Trades Chief
  • Athletic Trainer
  • Motor Equipment Operator II

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Exposure Control Plan

Reviewed and/or Revised: 6/01, 4/04, 3/07, 7/08, 8/09, 8/10, 10/11, 4/12, 8/12, 8/13, 10/14, 10/15.

Exposure Control Plan

To receive a copy of the Exposure Control Plan, contact the Safety Office at x4360.

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulation 1926.501, (a)(2), subpart M, states that each employee on a walking or working surface (horizontal or vertical surface) with an unprotected side or edge which is six (6) feet or more above a lower level shall be protected from falling by the use of guardrails systems, safety net systems or personal fall arrest systems equipment.

It is recommended that any time an employee is working six (6) feet above a lower level, or there is a potential to fall onto unsafe material or equipment, some means of fall protection shall be used. Some known examples of walking and working surfaces six (6) feet or higher from the ground level: fixed ladders, catwalks, aerial lift platforms and buckets, stairs, roof decks, roof edges, platforms, scaffolds, elevators and floors.

The following are fall hazards related to the above walking and working surfaces which are six (6) feet above the ground: A potentially catastrophic drop to a lower level, a place where a loss of balance can lead to injury, a possible catastrophic impact due to effect of gravity, foreseeable danger of sudden impact with the ground and exposure to trauma from an uncontrolled descent.

The following are known examples of solutions to the above potential hazardous work surfaces six (6) feet above the ground:

Elimination, prevention, personal fall arrest system, warning lines, safety net systems, safety monitoring, engineering and administration. For additional information check with your immediate supervisor. For a copy of the OSHA Standard call x4897.

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Protective equipment, including personal protective equipment (PPE) for eyes, face, head and extremities, protective clothing, respiratory devices and protective shields and barriers, shall be provided, used, and maintained in a sanitary and reliable condition wherever it is necessary by reason of hazards of processes or environment, chemical hazards, or mechanical irritants encountered in a manner capable of causing injury or impairment in the function of any part of the body through absorption, inhalation or physical contact.

  1. Always wear the assigned PPE when performing the tasks associated with it.
  2. Supervisory personnel are responsible for assuring that proper PPE is worn.
  3. If training is required, do not use the PPE until training is received.
  4. If PPE is damaged or otherwise inappropriate, the supervisor should be informed.
  5. Take proper care, storage and maintenance of PPE.

A few selected OSHA Personal Protective Equipment standards are summarized below.

OSHA 1910-133. Eye and Face Protection. Protective eye and face equipment shall be required where there is a reasonable probability of injury that can be prevented by such equipment. Suitable eye protectors shall be provided where machines or operations present the hazard of flying objects, glare, liquids, injurious radiation, or a combination of these hazards.

OSHA 1910-134. Respirator Protection. The employer shall provide respirators when such equipment is necessary to protect the health of the employee. The employee shall use the provided respiratory protection in accordance with instructions and training received, or when administrative and engineering means have failed to remove potential hazards.

OSHA 1926-100. Head Protection. Protective helmets shall protect employees working in areas where there is a possible danger of head injury from impact, or from falling or flying objects, or from electrical shock or burns.

OSHA 1926-101. Hearing Protection. Wherever it is not feasible to reduce the noise levels or duration of exposures to those noises, ear protective devices shall be provided by the employer and used by the employee. Ear protective devices inserted in the ear shall be fitted or determined individually by competent persons. Plain cotton is not an acceptable protective device.

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This procedure establishes requirements for the lock out and tagout of electrical and mechanical energy systems and devices. It should be used to ensure that the machine or equipment is isolated from all potentially hazardous energy and locked out or tagged out before employees perform any servicing or maintenance activities where the unexpected start-up, movement or release of stored energy could cause injury.

Appropriate employees shall be trained and instructed in the safety significance of the lockout and tagout procedures, as well as how to use those procedures, by the designated Safety Officer.

This training will consist of the following elements:

  • Review of 1910.147 "The Control of Hazardous Energy".
  • Type and magnitude of local energy sources.
  • Purpose for the Hazardous Energy Control Procedures.
  • Nature and limitations of tags.
  • How to isolate equipment for the lockout and tagout.
  • Inform all local staff that the program is being initiated.
  • Procedure for restarting equipment and removing the tags.

Only authorized employees may lockout and tagout machines and electrical equipment. Authorized employees are identified by the classification, assigned task and supervisor.

Each new or transferred affected employee and any other employee whose work operations are or may be in the area should be instructed in the purpose and use of the lockout and tagout procedure. The competent person in charge identifies affected employees. The authorized employees will notify them whenever a lockout and tagout will occur, as when the equipment is being placed back in service.

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  • Notify all affected employees that a lockout and tagout procedure is ongoing and what equipment the action will affect. If the equipment is operating, shut it down or off by the normal or usual stopping procedure e.g., depress the stop button, toggle switch or turn dial, etc.
  • After the lockout, tagout procedure is complete, operate the switch, valve, toggle, dial or other energy isolating device so that the energy sources (electrical, mechanical or hydraulic) is totally disconnected or isolated from the equipment. Stored energy, such as that in capacitors, springs, elevated machine members, rotating flywheels, hydraulic systems and air, gas, steam or water pressure, must also be disconnected, dissipated or restrained by methods such as grounding, repositioning, blocking, bleeding-off or down, etc.
  • Lockout and tagout the energy isolating devices with an assigned individual lock and the individual tag.
  • Some energy isolating devices cannot be locked out. If a device cannot be locked out, it shall be tagged with the individual tag. After the servicing and or maintenance is complete and the equipment is ready for normal production operations, check the area around the machines or equipment to ensure that no one is exposed to a potential hazard when the energy is restored.
  • After all tools have been removed from the machine or equipment, guards and safety shields have been reinstalled, and employees are in the clear, remove all lockout and tagout devices. Operate the energy isolating devices to restore energy to the machine or equipment.

For a copy of the OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.147 call x4897.

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The primary objective of the Office of Human Resources Safety Office is to provide all Frostburg State University personnel with a safe, healthy and breathable atmosphere. This shall be accomplished as much as possible by acceptable engineering control measures where feasible, such as closing or confining the process or operations, general or local ventilation or substituting less toxic or hazardous materials in the work place. When engineering control measures are not feasible, appropriate administrative control shall be used, such as relocating employees or assigning work during non-routine hours of operation. When engineering and administrative controls are not feasible, appropriate respiratory protection shall be utilized.

The Office of Human Resources Safety Office will assist with the selection, use, storage and maintenance of respirators.

Employees will not be assigned to tasks requiring use of respirators unless it has been determined they are physically able to perform the work assigned while wearing an approved respirator. A physical examination will be given to the employee at no cost. The Department in which the employee works will budget the funds for the physical examination and the proper type of respirator and filters. The respirator user's medical status will be reviewed annually. The medical results will not be given to the Safety Office, only that approval has been granted or denied.

The Office of Human Resources Safety Office shall be notified when a condition exists that shall require the wearing of such personal protective equipment. An approved respirator and filters shall be made available and used. The respirator shall be furnished with adequate protection against the particular hazard or toxic fumes. The Safety Office is responsible for training and fit testing of all employees who wear respirators and for the overall management of the Personal Protective Equipment program. For a copy of the OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.154 call x4897.

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The OSHA and MOSH standards require that when a trench is being dug and an employee is required to work in the trench, it cannot be deeper than five (5) feet. A five-foot deep trench is the cut off depth for a safe work place. Any trench deeper than five feet is considered a hazard and a violation of OSHA CFR 1926.850 Evacuation Standard. Each employee working in an excavation five feet or deeper shall be protected from cave-ins by an adequate protective system. When a competent person has decided that the trench is five feet or deeper, a protective system (shored, braced, sloped and adequate exits) must be reviewed, agreed upon and initiated. The supervisor shall instruct the employee in the recognition and avoidance of such conditions. A copy of the OSHA CFR 1926.850 Excavation Standard can be reviewed and a copy requested by calling the Safety Office at x4897.

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There are slightly different requirements for different types of confined space entry and different conditions. The Office of Human Resources Safety Office is responsible for coordinating the training of workers who will enter confined spaces.

Confined spaces are normally considered as enclosures having limited access and egress, such as, but not limited to, storage tanks, silos, tank cars, boiler ovens, kilns, manholes, etc. Any tank-like compartment with a manhole type entry is a confined space, as is any open topped space such as a pit, vault, septic tank, sewer, underground pipeline or utility tunnel that is more than 4 feet deep. Every operation that has the need for confined space work must develop specific written procedures for that work and all workers who enter confined spaces must be properly trained in accordance with State and Federal regulations. The primary regulations are to be found in COMAR 09.12.35, 29 CFR 1926.956(a) and (b), and 29 CFR 1910.268(o).

Prior to entering any confined space, the following safety procedures must be followed:

  1. Only trained personnel may enter into confined spaces.
  2. The Office of Human Resources Safety Office must be notified prior to confined space entry.
  3. The air within the confined space must be tested for oxygen, toxicity and combustibility before entering. The person conducting the test must know what substances may be found in that space (such as natural gas, etc.) and test specifically for those materials. Testing is the responsibility of Physical Plant personnel who are trained and qualified to conduct the test.
  4. The proper protective clothing must be worn. Supervisory personnel are responsible for determining what protective clothing is appropriate for the job at hand.
  5. Only safe, grounded, explosion proof electrical lights, tools and equipment may be used.
  6. Blowers must be used to ventilate the confined space with fresh air if testing indicates less than 19.5% oxygen is present. Continuous ventilation is required until work is finished.
  7. Lockouts and tagouts must be used to protect against the accidental start-up of any electrical equipment within the confined space.
  8. Lockout, shut off or cut off steam, water, natural gas or other potentially fume producing materials.
  9. A confined space must not be entered alone. Someone should always stay outside the confined space who can see or hear if the worker inside is in trouble. Exception: if the atmosphere has been tested, a qualified employee working alone may enter a confined space for brief periods for the purpose of inspection, housekeeping, taking readings or performing similar work.
  10. The backup person outside the confined space should wear the same protective equipment as the person entering the space.
    1. Get help. Call the University Police at x 4222.
    2. The backup person should never enter the confined space without a backup of his own or without proper safety equipment. Over 50% of the workers who die in a confined space are attempting to rescue other workers.

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It is impossible to design a set of rules that will cover all possible hazards and occurrences. Some general guidelines, that experience has shown to be useful for avoiding accidents and reducing employee and student injuries in the laboratories, are listed below:

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Basic Rules and Procedures

Accidents and spills

  1. Eye contact. Promptly flush eyes with water for a prolonged period (15 minutes) and seek medical attention
  2. Skin contact. Promptly flush the affected area with water and remove any contaminated clothing. If symptoms persist after washing, seek medical attention.
  3. Ingestion. Encourage the victim to drink large amounts of water.
  4. Clean-up. Promptly clean up spills, using appropriate protective apparel and equipment and proper disposal.

Avoidance of "routine" exposure.

  1. Develop and encourage safe habits. Avoid unnecessary exposure to chemicals.
  2. Do not smell or taste chemicals. Vent apparatus which may discharge toxic chemicals into local exhaust devices.
  3. Inspect gloves and glove boxes before use.
  4. Do not allow release of toxic substances in rooms with recirculated atmospheres.

Choice of chemicals

Use only the chemicals for which the quality of the available ventilation system is appropriate.

Eating, smoking, etc.

  1. Do not eat, smoke, chew gum or apply cosmetics in areas where laboratory chemicals are present. Wash hands before conducting these activities.
  2. Do not store, handle or consume food or beverages in storage areas. Do not use refrigerators, glassware or utensils, which are also used for laboratory operations, to store or prepare food or beverages for consumption.

Equipment and glassware

Handle and store with care to avoid damage. Do not use damaged glassware. Use equipment only for its intended purpose.

Exiting the laboratory

Wash areas of exposed skin before leaving the laboratory.


Avoid practical jokes or other behavior, which might confuse, startle or distract another worker.

Mouth suction

Do not use mouth suction for pipetting or starting a siphon.

Personal apparel

  1. Confine long hair and loose clothing.
  2. Wear shoes, but do not wear sandals, perforated or canvas shoes.

Personal housekeeping

  1. Keep the work area clean and uncluttered.
  2. Chemicals and equipment are to be properly labeled and stored.
  3. Clean up lab area at the end of the operation, class period or workday.

Personal protection

  1. Assure that appropriate eye protection is worn by all persons, including students, visitors or instructors, where chemicals are stored or handled.
  2. The use of respirators is not part of Frostburg State University's chemical hygiene plan. Respirators may not be used as "extra protection," or as emergency backup.
  3. Use any other protective and emergency apparel as appropriate.
  4. Avoid use of contact lenses in the laboratory unless necessary; if they are used, inform supervisor so that special precautions may be taken.
  5. Remove laboratory coats immediately upon significant contamination.


Seek information and advice about hazards, plan appropriate protective procedures and plan positioning of equipment before beginning any new operation.

Unattended operations

Leave lights on, place an appropriate sign on the door, and provide for containment of toxic substances in the event of failure of a utility service.

Use of hood

  1. Use hood for operations which might result in release of toxic chemical vapors or dust.
  2. As a rule of thumb, use a hood or other local ventilation device when working with any appreciably volatile substance with a TLV of less than 50 ppm.
  3. Confirm adequate hood performance before use. Keep materials stored in hoods to a minimum and do not allow them to block vents or airflow.
  4. Do not use hoods as general storage space for chemicals.


Be alert to unsafe conditions and see that they are corrected when detected.

Waste disposal

  1. Deposit chemical waste in appropriately labeled receptacles and follow all other waste disposal procedures of the Chemical Hygiene Plan.
  2. Do not discharge to the sewer concentrated acids or bases, highly toxic, malodorous, or lachrymatory substances, or any substance which might interfere with the biological activity of waste water treatment plants, create fire or explosion hazards, cause structural damage or obstruct flow.

Working alone

Avoid working alone in a building; do not work alone in a laboratory if the procedures being conducted are hazardous.

Chemical Procurement, Distribution, Storage


Before a substance is received, information on proper handling, storage and disposal should be known to those who will be involved. No container should be accepted without an adequate identifying label and a Material Safety Data Sheet. All substances shall be received through Central Receiving.


  1. Volatile toxic substances should be segregated in a well-identified area with local exhaust ventilation.
  2. Chemicals which are highly toxic should be in unbreakable secondary containers.
  3. Stored chemicals should be examined at least annually for surface damage, replacement, deterioration and container integrity.
  4. Stockrooms/storerooms should not be used as preparation or repackaging areas, should be open during normal working hours and should be controlled by authorized personnel.
  5. Stockrooms/storerooms should not be left unattended.


When chemicals are hand carried, the container should be placed in an outside container or bucket. Freight-only elevators should be used if possible.

Laboratory storage

  1. Amounts permitted should be as small as practical.
  2. Storage on bench tops or in hoods is inadvisable.
  3. Exposure to direct sunlight or heat is inadvisable.
  4. Periodic inventories should be conducted with unneeded items being discarded or returned to the storeroom/stockroom.

Environmental Monitoring

Regular instrumental monitoring of airborne concentrations is not usually justified or practical in laboratories but may be appropriate when testing or redesigning hoods or other ventilation devices or when a highly toxic substance is stored or used regularly.

Housekeeping, Maintenance and Inspections


Floors should be cleaned regularly.


Formal housekeeping and chemical hygiene inspections should be conducted at least quarterly for units which have frequent personnel changes and semiannually for others; informal inspections should be continual.


  1. Eyewash fountains should be inspected at intervals of not less than three months.
  2. Safety showers should be tested routinely.
  3. Other safety equipment should be inspected regularly; e.g., every 3-6 months.


  1. Stairways and hallways should not be used as storage areas.
  2. Access to exits, emergency equipment and utility controls should never be blocked.

Medical Program

Compliance with regulations

Regular medical surveillance will be established to the extent required by regulations. For medical emergency, call University Police at x4222.

Routine surveillance

Anyone whose work involves regular and frequent handling of toxicologically significant quantities of a chemical should consult a qualified physician to determine on an individual basis whether a regular schedule of medical surveillance is desirable.

First aid

Personnel trained in first aid should be available during working hours. For medical emergency, call University Police at x4222.

Protective Apparel and Equipment

Included for each laboratory shall be:

  1. Protective apparel compatible with the required degree of protection for substances being handled.
  2. An easily accessible drench-type safety shower.
  3. An eyewash fountain.
  4. A fire extinguisher.
  5. Nearby fire alarm and telephone.
  6. 6. Other items as designated by the laboratory supervisor.


Accident records

Accident records shall be written and retained by the Office of Human Resources.

Medical records

Medical records shall be retained by the institution in accordance with the requirements of state and federal regulations.

Chemical hygiene plan records

Chemical hygiene plan records shall document that facilities and precautions were compatible with the chemical hygiene plan.

Signs and Labels

The following signs and labels should be posted:

  1. Emergency telephone numbers of University Police, Department Chairs, and Brady Health Center.
  2. Identity labels showing contents of containers, including waste containers.
  3. Location signs for safety showers, eyewash stations, other safety and first aid equipment, exits, areas where food and beverages may not be consumed.
  4. Warnings at areas or equipment where special or unusual hazards exist.

Spills and Accidents

When there is risk of general injury, the emergency evacuation plan shall be as for fire alarms.

First aid shall be rendered by qualified personnel, including university police officers, with further care to be provided by Frostburg Area Ambulance Service and local hospitals. In case of severe injury where the need for immediate medical attention is obvious, ambulance assistance may be obtained directly by dialing Allegany County Civil Defense at 911, or 9-911 from an on-campus phone. Also notify University Police at x4222.

Spills should be minimized through application of the general laboratory rules above.

Spills containment should be accomplished with the use of chemical spill kits located in each department.

Whenever a chemical spill kit is employed, no further cleanup or disposal shall take place without consultation with the Office of Human Resources Safety Office.

All laboratory accidents or near-accidents shall be reported to the Office of Human Resources Safety Office.

Information and Training

Aim to assure that all individuals at risk are adequately informed about work in the laboratory, its risks, and what to do if an accident occurs.

Emergency and personal protection training.

  1. Every laboratory worker should know the location and proper use of protective apparel and equipment.
  2. Selected full-time personnel of the laboratory should be trained in the proper use of emergency equipment and procedures.
  3. Stockroom/storeroom personnel should know about hazards, handling equipment, protective apparel and relevant regulations.
  4. Training and education should occur on a regular, on-going process.


Literature and consulting advice concerning chemical hygiene are available from the Office of Human Resources Safety Office, and their use is encouraged.

Waste Disposal Program


To assure that all federal, state and local waste disposal regulations are followed and that no harm or danger to the environment will result from the disposal of laboratory chemicals.


  1. All requests for waste disposal are to be submitted to the Office of Human Resources Safety Office in writing.
  2. No chemical or chemical waste shall be poured down a drain or discarded in trash unless prior permission has been obtained from the Office of Human Resources Safety Office.
  3. All waste must be placed and stored in a compatible glass, metal or heavy plastic container with a sealable lid, and labeled. Used reagent containers are permissible as long as the original label is removed or sufficiently defaced (if no longer appropriate).
  4. Under no circumstances are corrosive materials such as acids or alkalis to be placed in a metal container. Each container must be properly labeled to indicate the date of first accumulation and exact contents. Chemical names must be fully written out. Abbreviations or structural formulas are not acceptable. General designations such as "organic waste" are not acceptable. If the container holds a mixture of chemicals, the chemical types and/or chemical names with the appropriate percentage represented by each chemical must be indicated on the label. Unknown contents are the responsibility of the generating department. ANALYSIS FEES FOR UNKNOWNS WILL BE CHARGED BACK TO THE GENERATING AREA.
  5. Chemicals which are used separately should be collected separately as waste. CHEMICALS FROM DIFFERENT HAZARD CLASSES SHOULD NOT BE MIXED TOGETHER, e.g., oxidizers with flammables.
  6. Wastes will be removed from campus by a licensed disposal company on an approximate basis of every 90 days. The schedule will be advanced only if there is an immediate hazard or life-threatening emergency.
  7. Under normal circumstances, chemical wastes will be picked up from the location where they are generated and stored.

Chemical Hygiene Responsibilities

University President

The president has ultimate responsibility for chemical hygiene within the institution, and must, with other administrators, provide continuing support for institutional chemical hygiene.

Deans and Department Heads/Chairs

The deans and department chairs are responsible for chemical hygiene within their respective units.

Laboratory Instructor

The laboratory instructor is responsible for chemical hygiene in the laboratory in which he/she teaches, including responsibility to:

  1. Ensure that workers know and follow chemical hygiene rules, that protective equipment is available and in working order, and that appropriate training has been provided;
  2. Provide regular, formal chemical hygiene and housekeeping inspections, including routine inspections of emergency equipment;
  3. Know the current legal requirements concerning regulated substances;
  4. Determine the required levels of protective apparel and equipment;
  5. Ensure that facilities and training for use of any material being ordered are adequate.
  6. Follow all safety procedures stated on the Material Safety Data Sheet.

Safety Officer

The Safety Officer must:

  1. Work with faculty, staff and administrators to develop and implement appropriate chemical hygiene policies and practices;
  2. Monitor procurement, use and disposal of chemicals used in the lab;
  3. See that appropriate safety audits are conducted; Help faculty and administrators develop precautions and adequate facilities;
  4. Know the current legal requirements concerning regulated substances;
  5. Seek ways to improve the chemical hygiene program

Laboratory worker

The laboratory worker must:

  1. Plan and conduct each operation in accordance with university chemical hygiene procedures;
  2. Develop good personal chemical hygiene habits.

Chemical Hygiene Committee

  1. The Chemical Hygiene Committee has the overall responsibility for implementing the plan.
  2. The committee has the formal authority to make policies and rules.
  3. The committee may conduct safety audits.
  4. The committee shall develop information and training programs for employees.
  5. The committee will annually evaluate and, if necessary, revise the plan.

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There is no conclusive evidence that the low levels of radiation emitted from VDTs pose a health risk to VDT operators. The primary risks are eyestrain, fatigue and musculoskeletal problems. The following practices and procedures are recommended to reduce eyestrain and to make your work place more work comfortable:

  1. Position the screen at a comfortable distance for reading.
  2. Place the document holder at the same distance as the screen.
  3. Clean the screen regularly.
  4. Adjust contrast and brightness to a comfortable level.
  5. Adjust viewing angle to at or below eye level, blink normally.
  6. Rest eyes by focusing on a fixed distant point, schedule routine eye exams.
  7. Reduce room lighting levels to approximately 50-foot candles; reduce glare from windows and track lighting.
  8. Fatigue and musculoskeletal problems can be reduced by:
    1. Keeping feet on floor or footrest and sitting properly and parallel to the floor.
    2. Holding hands and arms in a comfortable position relative to the keyboard.
    3. Supporting the lower back with a pillow or chair back.

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The office can be as dangerous as any other work environment. The potential exists for cuts, burns, slips, trips and falls, crushing injuries, repetitive motion syndrome, eyestrain and other injuries. The following safety practices apply to any office setting:

  1. Furniture with sharp corners, projecting edges or wobbly legs should be reported to Physical Plant for modification, repair or replacement.
  2. Tilting chairs should be used properly and well maintained to prevent tipping.
  3. Chairs, desks, tables or other furniture should not be used in lieu of a ladder.
  4. File, desk and table drawers should be closed when not in use to avoid tripping or striking injuries.
  5. Only one file drawer should be opened at a time and never left open.
  6. The top drawer of a file cabinet should be less filled and heavy than other drawers.
  7. Close file drawers slowly to avoid pinching fingers.
  8. Blades of paper cutters should be closed when not in use.
  9. Hands should be kept clear of printer and typewriter carriages.
  10. Paper cuts can be minimized by use of rubber finger guards and sponges for moistening.
  11. Scissors, paperclips, thumbtacks, razorblades, etc. should be stored and used cautiously.
  12. Floors and walkway surfaces must be kept clean, dry and unobstructed.
  13. Stored or stacked objects must not be placed where they are hard to reach or where they might fall.
  14. Office "avalanches" can result from faulty stacking of heavy boxes, papers, books and other office materials above your head on the top shelf.
  15. Hallways, stairs and lobbies shall not be used for storage of any kind.
  16. Replace all frayed wiring, improper grounding and malfunctioning electrical equipment.
  17. Keep an eye open for telephone, extension and electrical cords, loose carpeting, and objects that might cause a trip and fall.

For a safe work place, report, repair and replace all potential hazards.

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Falls are the most common on the job accidents and often result in disabling injuries. Here are a few safety tips for your use during a routine day:

  1. Keep your work place floor surface clear, clean and dry of all spills, leaks and surface water.
  2. Do not step over an item on the floor, pick it up.
  3. Report loose carpeting, damaged floors and uneven walks.
  4. Walk slowly on smooth tile surface when feet are wet.
  5. Never carry anything that obscures your clear vision.
  6. Only use approved ladders to climb, not furniture.
  7. When using an approved ladder do not lean out over the edge of your ladder.
  8. Close doors and drawers that are open in your path.
  9. Wear non-slip soles on smooth tile surfaces.

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For those of us working, teaching, and coaching in the great outdoors, what we will encounter may slow us down:

  1. Beware! Poison ivy, oak, and sumac are among the leading causes of occupational dermatitis.
  2. Be Alert! A brush with one of the above mentioned poisons could result in countless days off from work.
  3. Learn to recognize the three poisons Ivy, Oak and Sumac.
  4. Minimize the amount of exposed skin; wear long sleeves, pants and gloves.
  5. Apply an even amount of approved skin protection before going into the outdoors.
  6. Wear a head cover to keep the direct ray of the sun off your head.
  7. Wear a proper type of footwear and socks for protection.
  8. Wear comfortable eye protection (sun glasses).
  9. Be alert to snakes, bees, and other biting insects.

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The following information will be of interest to all supervisors no matter how many employees you have on your staff. According to the National Safety Council, these are some of the most common human factors that contribute to accidents:

  • Negligence - Failure to observe safety rules or instructions or to maintain equipment.
  • Anger/Temper - Causes one to become irrational and to disregard common sense.
  • Hasty Decisions - Acting before thinking can lead people to take hazardous shortcuts.
  • Indifference - Lack of attention to the task; not alert; daydreaming.
  • Distractions - Interruptions by others (perhaps caused by family troubles, bad news, horseplay) while someone performs normal job duties or non-routine hazardous tasks.
  • Curiosity - Workers do something unexpected just to see what happens.
  • Inadequate Instruction - Results in an untrained or improperly trained worker.
  • Poor Work Habits - Cluttered work place, floor, loose clothing, wearing jewelry.

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