The Occupational Safety Program provides guidance on issues relating to general occupational hazards, including excavation issues, hearing safety and respiratory protection.
Confined spaces in the workplace can pose serious physical hazards to employees. Employees can become entrapped or engulfed within a confined space and/or they could be exposed to dangerous atmospheric conditions. All of which could result in tragic consequences.
According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 1910.146(b) a confined space meets all three of the following conditions:
- Is large enough and so configured that an employee can bodily enter and perform assigned work.
- Has limited or restricted means for entry or exit.
- Is not designed for continuous employee occupancy.
According to OSHA, a permit-required confined space is a space that has one or more of the following characteristics:
- Contains or could contain a hazardous or potentially hazardous atmosphere.
- Contains material that has the potential for engulfing the entrant.
- Has or could have inwardly converging walls that could trap or asphyxiate an entrant.
- Contains or could contain other serious physical hazards such as unguarded machines or exposed live wires.
- Has or could have any other recognized safety or health hazards.
WSU Confined Space Program applies to all employees with confined spaces in their work area, or where employees must enter confined spaces to perform work.
Best practices for training, evaluation methods, maintenance, delegation of duties, repair and emergency response procedures regarding confined spaces in university buildings.
All confined spaces at Weber State are assumed to be permit required unless evaluated prior to entry and determined to be a non-permit required space. Use this confined space assessment form to identify hazards that are existing or are likely to be present when working in confined spaces. If a hazard is eliminated or isolated then it can be declassified for the purpose of entry.
Confined Spaces Entry Assessment Form
If a hazard cannot be eliminated or isolated based on the Confined Space Assessment form, the space is considered "permit required" and this permit is required to be filled out and EHS should be contacted prior to entry.
OSHA’s guidance regarding the classification of confined spaces.
"Ergonomics" comes from two Greek words: ergos, meaning work; and nomos, meaning laws. Ergonomics is the science of designing the workplace to accommodate the worker.
The goal of ergonomics, or fitting the job to the worker, is prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs). WMSDs are soft tissue injuries that affect the muscles, nerves, blood vessels, ligaments and tendons.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the primary risk factors for WMSDs are:
- Exerting excessive force
- Performing repetitive tasks
- Working in awkward postures or the same posture for long periods
- Localized pressure to a body part
These risk factors are exacerbated by cold temperatures and when risk factors are combined.
Although there is no federal OSHA regulation specific to workplace ergonomics, OSHA does expect employers to proactively address WMSD risk factors based on the recommended practices for a safety and health program.
Guidelines for use of ergonomic equipment in the workplace to prevent injury.
Excavation and Trenching
OSHA recognizes excavating as one of the most hazardous activities of a construction operation. Excavating and trenching are defined as two separate items within the OSHA regulations. Excavating is any man-made cut, cavity, trench or depression in an earth surface formed by earth removal. Trenching is defined as a narrow excavation (in relation to its length) made below the surface of the ground. In general, the depth is greater than the width, but the width of a trench (measured at the bottom) is not greater than 15 feet.
WSU Excavation and Trenching Program applies to all employees involved in excavation work, or where personnel must work in or around excavations greater than 4 feet deep.
Responsibilities, guidelines, protective systems, employee training and emergency response procedures designed to assure the safety of faculty, staff, students and visitors of the university who work or travel in the vicinity of evacuations.
Excavation and Trenching Program
Assessment checklist outlining proper evacuation preparation.
OSHA guidelines for occupational trench safety.
OSHA’s Overview of Trenching and Excavation
Proper procedures for inspections of trenches and protective systems aimed at avoiding exposure to cave-ins, falling loads, hazardous atmospheres and hazards from equipment.
OSHA Working Safely in Trenches Tips
OSHA guidelines for occupational trench safety.
Occupational noise exposure is one of the most significant health hazards present in the modern industrial workplace. The use of hearing protectors is detailed in the Occupational Noise Exposure Standard - 29 CFR 1910.95. Section (i) of this standard states: “Employers shall make hearing protectors available to all employees exposed to an 8-hour time weighted average of 85 decibels (dB) or greater at no cost to the employees.”
WSU Hearing Conservation Program applies to all employees with workplace noise exposures greater than 85 dB averaged across an 8-hour workday.
Information regarding training, best practices and protective gear designed to minimize employee noise exposure and prevent occupational hearing loss.
OSHA guidance regarding the best practices concerning occupational noise exposure.
Lock Out Tag Out (LOTO)
OSHA’s Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout) general industry standard covers the servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment in which the unexpected energization or startup of machines or equipment, or release of stored energy, could cause injury to employees. Employees servicing or maintaining machines or equipment may be exposed to serious physical harm or death if hazardous energy is not properly controlled. The Lockout/Tagout (LO/TO) standard establishes minimum performance requirements for the control of hazardous energy sources such as electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical and thermal.
WSU Lock Out Tag Out Program applies to all employees who service or maintain machinery, equipment, or related electrical systems where there is a potential for exposure to hazardous energy sources.
Guidelines regarding the university’s standard operating procedures for controlling the unexpected start-up, energizing or release of stored energy, which could injure personnel.
Practices and procedures necessary to disable machinery or equipment, thereby preventing the release of hazardous energy while employees perform servicing and maintenance activities.
Osha classifications of hazardous energy and how to solve for and control potential hazards.
Mobile Elevated Work Platforms (MEWP)
Weber State requires that all aerial and scissor lift operators be trained and certified. This includes an awareness level training on safe use of the lift and an operator evaluation. This certification is valid for three years, and each operator will be issued a wallet card. These cards must be available upon request whenever the lift is in use.
WSU Mobile Elevating Work Platform Maintenance Program applies to all employees who operate aerial lifts for work-related purposes.
Procedures for the safe operation of WSU-owned or leased mobile elevating work platforms.
A Site Assessment and a Rescue Plan must be completed as part of your Safe Use Plan prior to using an MEWP.
OSHA guidance regarding aerial lift safety and procedures.
OSHA guidance regarding scissor lift safety and procedures.
OSHA Working Safely with Scissor Lifts
OSHA guidance regarding aerial lift equipment standards.
OSHA Aerial Standard: Scissor Lifts
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
General personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements are addressed in 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 1910.132:
"Protective equipment including personal protective equipment 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, radiological 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." (29 CFR 1910.132(a))
Guidelines and recommendations for the personal protective equipment in the workplace.
OSHA Overview on Personal Protective Equipment
Guidelines to employer responsibilities and required equipment to ensure safety of employees.
Powered Industrial Trucks (PIT)
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defines a powered industrial truck (PIT) as “any mobile, power-propelled truck used to carry, push, pull, lift, stack or tier materials.” There are many different types of (PITs), and each type presents different operating hazards. PITs are commonly known as pallet trucks, rider trucks, forklifts or lift trucks. They are extremely useful in the workplace, as long as they are safely used by trained operators.
Weber State requires that all PIT operators be trained and certified. This includes an awareness level training on safe use of the specific PIT’s they use and an operator evaluation. This certification is valid for three years, and each operator will be issued a wallet card. These cards must be available upon request whenever the lift is in use.
WSU Powered Industrial Truck Program applies to all employees who operate forklifts, straddle stackers, motorized hand trucks, or other specialized industrial trucks for work-related purposes.
Information regarding the safe use of powered industrial trucks (i.e. forklifts and pallet jacks) is covered in this program.
English instructions detailing forklift operations, safety training and maintenance to ensure the safety of operations and employees.
Spanish instructions detailing forklift operations, safety training and maintenance to ensure the safety of operations and employees.
Guidance relating to defining Powered Indistualisted Vehicles and the reduction of their potential hazards.
The Respiratory Protection Program provides information on how Weber State protects employees and students from hazardous exposures with the proper selection and use of respirators, and assures they are medically capable of wearing these devices safely. All respirator use at Weber State must comply with the requirements of the Respiratory Protection Program.
Detailed university respiratory safety standards with a focus on medical evaluations and equipment training, cleaning and maintenance.
Respiratory Protection Program
Guidance as to the proper application of respiratory protection.
OSHA’s Overview on Respiratory Protection
Procedures for safety respirator masks and proper scenario application.