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7.3.1 Identifying and Correcting Workplace Hazards

safety first hazard sign
Last updated on:
June 15, 2007
Formerly Known As Policy Number: 
25.3

This Guide Memo describes supervisory duties mandated by California Senate Bill 198, the Occupational Injury and Illness Prevention Act. These responsibilities for identifying and correcting workplace hazards apply to all supervisors, both faculty and staff, and to all workplaces, including laboratories, classrooms, shops, and offices.

Authority: 

This Guide Memo was approved by the Vice Provost & Dean of Research.

1. Inspections

a. Policy
Supervisors, both faculty and staff, have the specific responsibility to ensure that scheduled, periodic inspections of workplaces are conducted to identify and evaluate workplace hazards and unsafe work practices.

b. Procedures
(1) When to inspect
The frequency of inspections should be proportional to the magnitude of risk posed in the particular workplace. Inspections are also required whenever new substances, processes, procedures, or equipment presenting new, categorically different health and safety hazards are introduced into the workplace. The Department of Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) will assist supervisors in inspectional responsibilities and will conduct independent inspections as necessary.
(2) Keeping Records
Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that records of inspections are kept, including who conducted the inspections, dates, any unsafe conditions or practices found, and corrective actions taken. These records must be maintained for at least one year and available to EH&S or to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on request. Self inspection checklists and guides and standard forms for inspection record-keeping may be obtained from EH&S (723-0448).

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2. Hazard Correction and Reporting

(Note: this policy is for non-emergency situations only. In case of an emergency or serious health threatening situation, follow the Emergency Response procedures outlined in Guide Memo 7.2.1: Emergency and Accident Procedures.

a. Policies
Means of correcting discovered hazards and/or protecting individuals from hazards are to be implemented promptly. Unsafe conditions that cannot be corrected with resources available to the supervisor or manager must be reported by that supervisor or manager to the next higher level of management.

Any supervisor or manager who becomes aware of a serious concealed danger to the health or safety of individuals shall report this danger promptly to EH&S and to the individuals who may be affected.

Stanford University encourages employees and students to report health and safety hazards to their supervisors, managers, or EH&S. Employees and students shall not be discharged or discriminated against in any manner for bona fide reporting of health and safety hazards to Stanford or to appropriate governmental agencies. Supervisors shall inform employees and students of this policy and encourage reporting of workplace hazards.

b. Procedures
Follow Stanford University procedures for maintenance and repairs and see that work is properly done.

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