Facilities Management Raises Awareness of Being Safe While on the Job

Facilities Management is helping raise awareness of the importance of on-the-job safety by offering educational opportunities and experiences to all of its employees.

Facilities Management began its program of safety awareness education in April 2013. A year later, it has expanded and is still going strong. The informative educational sessions, coordinated and presented by Facilities Management Assistant Director Joe Morris in collaboration with Environmental Health and Life Safety's Safety Manager Emmett Sullivan, are an investment in employee safety.

"The University is very serious about having a safe work place for our employees, our students and staff," Morris said.

Topics include table saw safety; slips, trips and falls; scissor lift training; power tool safety; motorized cart and car safety; lock out/tag out; ladder safety; forklift usage; cutting and welding safety; boom truck safety; personal protective equipment; and back hoe safety. The content is based on Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s information and guidelines. Some of the topic areas are offered in Spanish and English, with the eventual goal to provide all information in both languages and even online.

Members of Custodial Staff Learning about Personal Protective Equipment
Members of custodial staff learn about personal protective equipment

Each topic is offered numerous times to help facilitate employee participation. Morris stated that to date, 400 individuals have participated in 1,236 sessions—an estimated 3,399 contact hours with Facilities Management employees.

Safety awareness while on the job is not solely related to tool and equipment use but includes many aspects of employee safety. With the hot weather quickly approaching, worker heat stress management awareness training started this month. Sullivan developed the training presentation to provide information about how to be safe as outdoor temperatures rise and how to help recognize key warning signs of heat exhaustion and heat stress in co-workers.

Morris said there are plans for a customer service training to begin in June. In addition, there is another cart and car safety awareness class scheduled for May 14. University employees interested in this training should contact Morris. Environmental Health and Life Safety has revised the hazard communication training and is revising the hazardous waste training, both of which are offered online.

For additional information regarding on-the-job safety awareness, contact Joe Morris at 713-743-6094 or jwmorris@central.uh.edu, or Emmett Sullivan at 713-743-5869 or ecsulliv@central.uh.edu. View a list of Environmental Health and Life Safety training classes offered free to University staff, faculty and students.