University of Minnesota
Office of Human Resources
http://www.umn.edu/ohr
612-625-2016

Article 27 Safety

Statement of Philosophy

The University and the Union are committed to establishing and maintaining a safe and healthful workplace. The parties encourage managers, supervisors, and employees to increase their efforts to reduce the number of potential safety and health hazards in their workplaces. They are also encouraged to work towards establishing and maintaining programs to inform and educate all employees on potential workplace hazards in order to reduce and prevent accidents and injuries. The University and the Union recognize the value of building and coordinate campus safety efforts which include union representation.

This statement shall not be grievable nor shall either party use this section as evidence or argument in arbitration.

Section 1. General Policy

It shall be the policy of the Employer that the occupational safety and health of its employees, the protection of work areas, and the prevention of accidents are continuing and integral parts of its everyday operating responsibility. The Employer is committed to providing a safe and healthful working environment for employees. The employees shall have the responsibility to use any provided safety equipment and procedures in their daily work and shall cooperate in all safety and accident prevention programs. The University agrees to abide by all relevant required local, state and federal safety and health standards, and no employee shall be disciplined or suffer any retaliatory action for, in good faith, exercising legal rights to a safe and healthful workplace.

Section 2. Employee Safety

  1. Any employee who is injured or who is involved in an accident during the course of his/her employment, no matter how slight the injury, shall file an accident report with the designated supervisor, as soon as possible after the injury and prior to the conclusion of the employee's work day, whenever possible. While the initial report may be given orally, it must be followed up within 48 hours with a written report on the First Report of Injury form which shall be submitted to the appropriate administrator/supervisor who shall then submit it to the appropriate Human Resources Department.
  2. The University agrees to assess any unsafe or unhealthy working conditions in a timely manner and will take remedial action, as appropriate. Results of such assessments shall be reported to the employee(s) who reported the condition.
  3. The University will make available information about hazardous substances in the workplace as required by Minnesota Employees Right to Know Act (MERTKA) and the Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Act (MOSHA).
  4. The Employer agrees to supply the equipment necessary to do work safely and to avoid injury to workers. When proper equipment is determined by the Employer or law or regulation, every effort shall be made to provide and use it in a timely manner to prevent injury.
  5. Employees have the right to refuse work consistent with M.S. 182.654, Subd. 11.

Section 3. Building Safety

Fire and disaster plans and plans for improvement of air quality shall be developed by the University. Copies of the plans will be posted in each building and available in appropriate departmental offices for employee inspection. All buildings in which bargaining unit employees work shall meet applicable state and federal health, environmental, safety and fire codes.

Section 4. Labor Management Safety Subcommittee(s)

The University Labor Management Committee (ULMC) shall establish a safety subcommittee(s) that may propose policies, programs, and guidelines, as appropriate, in the following areas:

  1. Compliance with applicable federal and state health and safety standards.
  2. MERTKA based activities.
  3. Creation and implementation of safety orientation programs for new and transferring employees.
  4. Timely and appropriate training to accommodate changes in equipment or practice.
  5. Examination of specific safety problems that have implications for the University community in order to recommend solutions as appropriate.
  6. Development of a recommended policy that, if adopted, would be posted to instruct the University community in the proper handling of medical emergencies.
  7. Additional issues of mutual concern.

The ULMC Safety Subcommittee(s) shall make recommendations to the University's Director of the Department of Environmental Health and Safety. The Subcommittee(s) shall convene quarterly or as the Union and University mutually agree. Subcommittee members may attend Subcommittee meetings up to two (2) hours quarterly during regular business hours after providing reasonable notification to their supervisors. Subcommittee members shall lose no pay for attending Subcommittee meetings which are held during the employee's scheduled work time (up to two hours maximum, unless mutually agreed otherwise). However, the University shall have no obligation to reimburse employees for related expenses. Subcommittee meetings will usually be held on University property unless the subcommittee agrees to other accommodations.

Section 5. University-wide Safety Committee

AFSCME Local 3800 shall be entitled to a representative on the University-wide Safety Committee and shall be represented on safety committees at UMM and UMC. AFSCME Local 3801 shall be entitled to a representative on the UMD Safety Committee.