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As an employer, the Southern University System has both a legal responsibility and a moral obligation to provide a safe work environment for its employees. To prevent loss of life, injuries and to limit financial losses and potential liability, the Southern University System has instituted policies and procedures to prevent the occurrence of accidents in the workplace.
Under the General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) of 1970, employers are required to provide their employees with a place of employment that "is free from recognizable hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious harm to employees." This duty includes inspecting the workplace to find and eliminate or to give adequate warning of the existence of dangerous conditions or hazards.
Accidents and injuries on the job do not happen spontaneously. They generally are the result of unsafe acts or conditions. Unsafe acts are the result of employees' actions that fall into the category of human error. Unsafe work conditions usually result from the condition of tools, machinery, clothing, etc. and are mechanical failures. An employee who fails to act cautiously and to concentrate on following rules of safety will often contribute to unsafe working conditions. For example, an employee who forgets to replace a cap on a drum or gallon of gasoline in a shop or garage may unintentionally invite a fire. Recklessness and negligence create unsafe conditions that are the root cause of most accidents and injuries. Conscientious employees who dutifully inspect the workplace are able to prevent the occurrence of many accidents and injuries on the job.
Job safety is the responsibility of the employer and every employee. Each employee must contribute to the elimination of potential hazards by adopting safe and efficient work practices. Safe working conditions and safety awareness are vital to being successful in preventing injuries, loss of life and property damage at Southern University.
The law requires that the Human Resources department keep records of all work-related deaths, injuries and illnesses. Providing accurate and truthful reports in work-related accidents is a serious matter. A university official, employee or supervisor who knowingly issue false statements or reports in accident cases will be appropriately disciplined, which can include termination of employment, as well as penalties that may be legally imposed by state and federal authorities.
MANAGEMENT SAFETY POLICY STATEMENT (October, 1998)
A major goal of the Southern University System is to provide efficient services to students and employees in a safe environment. Each employee must help to accomplish this goal through the use of cautious, yet effective work practices. Safe working conditions and safety awareness and loss of life and property damage. Our objectives are to implement a comprehensive safety plan on each campus of the Southern University System that meets all federal, state and local safety codes and to promote and maintain safe conditions in our offices, classrooms, other campus facilities and on the campus grounds.
These objectives can be achieved if all employees accept personal responsibility for the safety and well being of themselves and others. Safe work habits are essential. Therefore, each employee in the Southern University System must do his/her part by reporting unsafe work conditions and practices immediately. Our intention is to provide to all employees' effective training in safety procedures and instructions for safely operating safety equipment. The success of the Southern University System and Loss Prevention Program depends upon the collective efforts of all employees to minimize and eliminate conditions that are potential hazards or threats to life, safety and property.