Environmental Health and Safety Corrective Action Policy

The Environmental Health and Safety department (EH&S) at New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) is tasked with ensuring the health and safety of all students, staff and faculty. This policy is intended to provide rules and guidelines for administering corrective actions to faculty and staff employees who violate safety rules and procedures, or who, by their record or actions, indicate a disregard for safety. Any resulting disciplinary action for employees will be coordinated through Human Resources.

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to enhance safety awareness in all employees, and to motivate them to perform their work safely, in accordance with established safety rules, procedures, and instructions. As these actions are discovered, the EH&S department will initiate the escalation process as described below. In cases of clear neglect for student or employee safety, EH&S has the full authority to stop all unsafe work (laboratory classes, facilities work, and outside contractor, etc.) until corrective actions have been implemented.

Listed below are conditions that could result in disciplinary action under the provisions of the policy:

  1. Violation of a supervisor’s safety-related instructions.
  2. Violation of NYIT’s established safety rules and/or procedures.
  3. Violation of instructions on posted safety related signs.
  4. Obvious unsafe actions as may be indicated by the improper use of equipment, horseplay or practical joking, poor housekeeping practices, etc.
  5. Lack of concern toward safety instructions and programs.

The above circumstances are not intended to be all-inclusive. Any other circumstances that indicate an employee’s disregard for his/her own safety, the safety of others, or the neglect of proper care for equipment, may also result in disciplinary action under the provisions of this policy. Faculty are expected, as experts in the subjects they teach, to demonstrate knowledge and competence in the equipment/chemicals they handle. Furthermore, employees must follow all manufacturer’s safety instructions or recommendations.

Procedure

Whenever a member of the EH&S department or a supervisor observes an employee or an outside contractor committing an unsafe act or creating or allowing a hazardous condition to exist, a Safety Violation Warning Notice should be completed. A copy of the Notice should be given to the employee and the employee’s direct supervisor and be retained in the EH&S department and the employee’s Human Resources personnel folder. In the case of an outside contractor, the Notice will be provided to the NYIT employee overseeing the work of the outside contractor.

The EH&S department will investigate any violation of the safety procedures and any accident where the cause is not clear. The recommendation as to cause, preventable or non-preventable, will be made to the appropriate Chair or Direct Supervisor.

Laboratory Inspections

NYIT laboratories have been identified as a high risk environment. Safety rules and regulations are of the utmost importance in these areas to ensure a safe and healthful workplace. Therefore, laboratory safety inspections are performed on a regular and random basis. If a violation is cited in this inspection, EH&S will discuss the violation with the Principal Investigator (PI) responsible for that lab to be fixed immediately. If numerous violations are cited, or if violations are not corrected by the next class or otherwise in a timely manner, EH&S will start the escalation process. If a situation which is immediately dangerous to life and safety is observed by EH&S, EH&S has the authority to stop class, lab, or experiment until corrective actions have been implemented.

Escalation Process

In the event that an employee or outside contractor who is observed working in an unsafe matter as described above does not make the necessary corrective actions, EH&S will escalate the matter as follows: In the case of faculty, notification will be provided first to the chair of the department, then to the Dean, and finally to the Provost. In the case of staff employees or outside contractors, notification will be provided to the supervisor, then to the department head, and finally to the applicable Vice President.. EH&S will also provide notice to the Executive Director of HR, and if appropriate, to the Director of Compliance and the General Counsel. Any safety violations, accidents, incidents, etc. are subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination, in accordance with the provisions of the NYIT Employee Handbook and any applicable collective bargaining agreement.

Any time an incident involves a preventable accident, a written warning will be issued.