skip to main content columnskip to left navigationskip to horizontal navigation

Employee Relations

Office of Human Resources

PPP-42 ETSU Health and Safety Program

pdf iconPPP-42 ETSU Health and Safety Program



In an effort to improve the overall working environment and to provide, insofar as possible, every working person in the nation safe and healthful working conditions, the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 was enacted. This Act provided an opportunity for the various states to develop their own Occupational Safety and Health Programs. In Tennessee this was accomplished by the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1972. The Tennessee Department of Labor is responsible for administering the Act.


The primary purpose of the ETSU Health and Safety Program is to assure a safe and healthful working/learning environment, free from all recognized hazards that might cause serious injury or death, for all segments of the University community. This will be accomplished primarily by integrating an effective safety and health program into the normal operation of campus activities. To accomplish this, a vigorous program of education, enforcement, and evaluation to identify and eliminate conditions of actions which create an unsafe environment will be undertaken. Needless to say, the program's effectiveness will depend largely upon the cooperation and active participation of the people it protects and serves, i.e., the University community.


The Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Act serves as the basis for the ETSU Health and Safety Program. Specific University programs that have been developed to assist in meeting State requirements include:

ETSU Bloodborne Pathogen Exposure Control Program
ETSU Chemical Hygiene Plan
ETSU Disaster Preparedness Plan
ETSU Hazardous Waste Management Guide
ETSU Institutional AIDS Policy
ETSU Smoking Policy


The ETSU Health and Safety program is applicable to East Tennessee State University, the Quillen College of Medicine and the Medical Education Assistance Corporation.


The State of Tennessee Public Employee, Safety and Health Protection on the Job poster, will be the authorized means of informing employees about their rights under the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1972. Each department will be responsible for ensuring the poster is displayed in a conspicuous location for their area. Posters are available from the Health and Safety Office.

University Safety Committee

The University Safety Committee is responsible for recommending policies and programs to ensure a safe environment for students, staff, faculty and visitors on campus. The Committee actively reviews and monitors the campus on an on-going basis to ensure that policies, procedures and facilities are in compliance with federal, state and/or local code requirements.

Storage and Use of Flammable and Combustible Liquids

  1. Storage of flammable and combustible liquids in buildings used primarily for office occupancy and/or traditional education operations will be limited to that required for the operation of equipment, maintenance, demonstrations, treatment, and laboratory work.
  2. Usage of flammable and combustible liquids will be limited to trained personnel, or persons under the direct supervision of a trained individual, such as a laboratory instructor or a qualified faculty member.
  3. Flammable or combustible liquids will not be used or stored in any manner that limits the use of exits, stairways, or areas normally used for the safe egress of people.

General Safety and Housekeeping Rules

Good housekeeping plays an important role in the efficient and safe functioning of any organization. Everyone involved can assist in this important endeavor. It is, however, the direct responsibilities of supervisors, and classroom/laboratory instructors to ensure that good housekeeping procedures are continually practiced within their respective areas of responsibility. Particular attention will be given the following:

  1. All classrooms, laboratories, offices, shops, storerooms, and passageways will be kept orderly and free from unnecessary debris.
  2. Floors will be cleaned and waxed in such a manner as to keep slipping hazards to a minimum.
  3. Flammable liquids will not be used to clean floors, clothing or equipment.
  4. Trash containers in offices, laboratories, shops and other work areas will be emptied each working day, preferably at the end of normal working hours, or thereafter.
  5. Furnace, mechanical, and air handling rooms will not be used as storage areas.
  6. Work tables, stools, benches, tools and equipment will be maintained in good repair.
  7. Electrical and mechanical equipment will have moving parts adequately guarded.
  8. All electrical equipment will be properly grounded.
  9. Appropriate personal protective equipment and/or clothing will be worn in all areas and/or during operations requiring such use.
  10. Unauthorized persons will not tamper with electrical fuse boxes, alter existing wiring, or install new electrical wiring.
  11. Electrical cords will be maintained in good condition.
  12. Extension cords:
    1. Must be the type that contains built-in overload circuit breaker.
    2. Must not be extended and used outside the room in which the fixture outlet is located.
    3. Must not be located in such a manner as to create a tripping hazard. Where cords must be placed across paths of travel, cord covers must be used.

Safe Handling of Laboratory Glassware

Departments that use glassware, must develop procedures to handle all glassware safely and ensure that all employees and/or students are informed of these procedures. Areas that should be addressed include:

  • Glassware inspection.
  • "Compatibility" factors.
  • Effects of extreme temperatures and pressure.
  • Matching glassware to its intended use.
  • Use of Personal Protective Equipment.
  • Storage and handling.
  • Washing and clean-up.
  • Working with glass tubing.
  • Assembling apparatus.
  • Safe disposal of broken or disposable glassware.

First Aid

  1. Laboratory personnel and supervisors are encouraged to be certified in basic first aid and CPR by the American Red Cross or other recognized agency.
  2. For severe injury or illness dial 4480, report the nature and extent of the emergency and await medical support. Render the appropriate first aid.
    1. Eye contact. Immediately flush eyes with water for at least 15 minutes. Hold eyelids apart to ensure adequate irrigation. Seek prompt medical attention.
    2. Skin contact. Immediately flush the affected area with water and remove contaminated clothing. Wash the area with hand soap or mild detergent to remove any residual contamination. Seek prompt medical attention.
      1. For noncorrosives. If the victim is conscience and not having convulsions, dilute by drinking a glass of water or milk. Discontinue dilution if it makes the victim nauseous. Seek prompt medical attention.
      2. For caustics. Indications of ingestion of strong acids alkalis or petroleum products include burns around the victims lips or mouth or a characteristic odor. Tissue damage in the mouth and throat is immediate (within 30 seconds) and progressive. When liquid caustics, especially strong alkalis, have been swallowed, the value of diluting is questionable. Stimulating the victim to vomit will cause more damage. Seek prompt medical attention.

Reporting of Accident Involving Vehicles

  1. All vehicle accidents occurring on campus will be reported to Public Safety, 4480, who will notify other offices or officials as appropriate.
  2. All accidents involving State vehicles must also be reported to the Comptroller, 4212, and the Physical Plant, 4445.

Reporting of Injuries and Illnesses

  1. Any injuries and illnesses of both students and employees which has the potential of needing emergency medical attention must be immediately reported to Public Safety, phone 4480 or 911. Public Safety will forward copies of applicable incident reports to the Health and Office and the University Safety Committee Chairperson.
  2. Human Resources, phone 95364, should be notified immediately of all Campus-related accidents, injuries and/or exposure to unsafe environmental conditions. OSHA Form 301, Injury and Illness Incident Report, Attachment 1, should be completed and forwarded to Human Resources and Health and the Safety Office within 2 working days following the accident, injury or illness. Copies of Form 301 are available from the Health and Safety Office and Human Resources.


  1. The primary safety compliance inspection program will be conducted by the Health and Safety Office. The frequency of the inspections will be determined by the nature of operations, with those operations involving the greater potential hazards receiving greater emphasis. All locations regardless of potential hazards will be inspected by the Department Head or his designee at least monthly and by the Health and Safety Office at least annually.
  2. Representatives of the Tennessee State Commissioners of Labor and Health and the State Board of Regents, upon presentation of proper credentials to the Associate Vice President for Administration or his designated representative, are authorized:
    1. To enter any university work place or area where work is being performed by an employee.
    2. To inspect and investigate during regular working hours or at other reasonable times, within reasonable limits, and in a reasonable manner, any such work place and the equipment and materials therein and to privately question employees concerning the same.
    3. Both university and employee representatives shall have an opportunity to accompany the designated officials or inspectors during any physical inspection of University property.

Emergency Exit Identification

  1. No more than ninety (90) minutes prior to the scheduled commencement of indoor campus activity in which the crowd is expected to exceed three hundred (300), the administrative official in charge of the activity, or his/her designee, shall inspect every required exit, way of approach, and way of departure from the place of activity. If such inspection reveals that any means of egress is obstructed, inaccessible, locked, fastened or otherwise unsuited for immediate use, the scheduled program shall not begin, nor shall admittance to the place of assembly be permitted, until necessary corrective action has been completed.
  2. Immediately prior to the start of the program, the administrative official or his/her designee shall orally notify all the attendees concerning the location of exists to be used in case of fire or other emergencies.

Employee Notification of Employer Regarding Dangerous Conditions or Violations of Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Act

  1. All employees are encouraged to report immediately any and all suspected or actual conditions which pose any danger or any conditions which may be in violation of the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Act.
  2. No employee shall be discharged, discriminated against or have any adverse personnel action taken as a result of the report of suspected or actual dangerous conditions and/or any other activity subject to Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Act.
icon for left menu icon for right menu