Faculty/Staff Disability Management

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Chapter 7: Preventing Injuries

The University is committed to provide a safe and healthy work environment for faculty, staff and students.

Everyone has a responsibility to work in a safe manner and not put themselves or others at risk. This includes:

  • Complying with applicable policies and regulations
  • Using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Observing warning signs
  • Learning about potential hazards
  • Reporting unsafe conditions

Managers and supervisors play a special role in making sure the University’s commitment to providing a safe and healthy work environment is carried out. As a supervisor, you are responsible for the safety of the employees under your supervision. Because you are most familiar with the job tasks and potential hazards, you are in the best position to support and protect your employees. It’s important that you reinforce and model safe and healthy work practices to those within your supervision. Specifically, supervisors need to:

  • Provide health and safety training and guidance on safe work practices
  • Provide proper equipment
  • Observe work practices and correct/reward them
  • Investigate accidents

As a supervisor, you can help control the costs associated with injuries by taking an active part in preventing injuries. Prevention of injuries saves the department the direct costs of Workers’ Compensation, sick pay, and disability costs and the indirect costs of money and time associated with lost productivity, replacement costs, and overtime.

General prevention principles that can be applied to most workplace health and safety issues include:

  • Make a commitment to health and safety
  • Create a supportive work environment
  • Communicate
  • Be a role model
  • Provide proper equipment
  • Observe and identify potential hazards
  • Eliminate hazards
  • Offer and support training and education
  • Develop partnerships with your department and campus health and safety resources
  • Follow up and evaluate

You and your staff can make a difference through your efforts both to prevent and to correct potential problems. These efforts may require an initial investment of time, but with some attention can become integrated into your day-to-day operations. The long-term results pay off with benefits for all.

When injuries do occur, however, it is essential to correct situations that are unsafe or unhealthy work conditions or practices. It’s important to investigate incidents, determine root causes, and implement changes. 

Campus Resources for Health and Safety