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General Safety

The purpose of the EHS Manual is to document Keene State College’s Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Procedures in accordance with the College’s EHS Mission statement.

1.1 General Policy

Keene State EHS Mission Statement

Keene State College is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for its students, employees and campus visitors. Such an environment is essential for the College to meet its mission of instruction, research and public service. Keene State meets this obligation by complying with the University System of New Hampshire (USNH) Policy on Environmental Health and Safety, as well as state and federal environmental, health and safety (EHS) regulations. The President of Keene State College is responsible for the implementation of the Environmental Health and Safety Policy. The Office of Environmental Health & Safety develops the appropriate Keene State College EHS programs and procedures to ensure compliance. Administration, faculty and supervisory staff are responsible for the health and safety of those engaged in activities under their direction or supervision. All members of the campus community are responsible for following KSC environmental, health and safety procedures.

Office of Environmental Health and Safety Mission Statement

The Keene State College Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) supports the College’s mission by providing leadership, resources, and services to ensure a safe and healthy working environment for all members of the College community and to manage the impact of College operations on the surrounding community. Areas of responsibility include hazardous materials management; occupational health; general safety; illness and injury prevention; industrial hygiene; environmental management, and other technical areas, as outlined in the USNH Policy on Environmental Health & Safety.

1.2 Responsibility for Environmental Health & Safety

An effective safety program is built upon an organizational culture where all employees are active in the EHS program. All members of the campus community have a role to play in ensuring environmental health and safety compliance. The campus has a Health and Safety Committee that acts as a forum to communicate safety requirements as well as address safety concerns. The Health and Safety Committee ensures identified hazards are evaluated and appropriate recommendations made to the Principal Administrators.

All Keene State Employees are responsible for working safely and complying with all environmental regulations.

The Principal Administrators and other supervisors are responsible for providing a workplace free from recognized hazards and to ensure proper procedures, training, and safety equipment are available to employees. Supervisors are also responsible to perform accident investigations for their employees. The EHS Coordinator provides technical support and expertise and develops the EHS Manual for Keene State College.

To further clarify roles and responsibilities, the following lists identify in more detail the responsibilities of Administrators, Supervisors, Faculty & Staff, and the EHS Coordinator. This is a working list, and responsibilities are not necessarily limited to only those items on this list.

Administrators (all levels of the Administration)

Principal Administrators have overall responsibility for ensuring the adequacy and administration of EHS policies and procedures. Specific responsibilities include:

  1. Ensuring adequate resources are dedicated to EHS issues
  2. Reinforcing the College’s expectations with respect to EHS compliance
  3. Enforcing campus policy, including the policies in the EHS Manual
  4. Communicating expectations and holding Supervisors responsible for their EHS obligations and responsibilities
  5. Adhering to all EHS rules and regulations
  6. Reporting any hazardous conditions
  7. Providing feedback on the EHS program


Supervisors are responsible for the ‘day to day’ decisions that affect employee safety. Key responsibilities include:

  1. Ensuring employees are properly trained
  2. Enforcing safety and environmental compliance
  3. Encouraging safety in all departmental operations
  4. Reinforcing the College’s expectations with respect to EHS compliance
  5. Adhering to all EHS rules and regulations
  6. Conducting initial Accident Investigations
  7. Reporting any hazardous conditions
  8. Providing feedback o the safety program

Environmental Health and Safety Coordinator

These people are the technical EHS “experts” and resources to understand and interpret EHS requirements. The responsibility of the EHS Coordinator includes:

  1. Developing EHS procedures and keeping the EHS manual updated
  2. Keeping current with the various EHS regulations
  3. Providing technical support for the resolution of EHS issues
  4. Coordinating and conducting EHS training
  5. Conducting Accident Investigations, as necessary
  6. Enforcing EHS procedures and policies
  7. Advocating for safety and encouraging a safety culture
  8. Being available to respond to campus EHS concerns
  9. Reporting any safety hazards

Faculty and Staff

Faculty and staff have the following responsibilities:

  1. Adhering to all EHS rules and regulations
  2. Attending required EHS training
  3. Providing feedback
  4. Practicing good housekeeping
  5. Working safely
  6. Encouraging others to work safely
  7. Reporting any safety hazards or environmental concerns
  8. Reporting any injuries to their supervisor as soon as possible

1.2.1 Disciplinary Procedures

Disciplinary action against employees found responsible for not complying with Keene State College EHS policies and procedures will be consistent with the College’s rules of employment. If an Administrative Officer finds that employee behavior constitutes a violation of the procedures in this manual, appropriate sanctions will be taken based on the nature and severity of the offense and the extent of the findings. The Administrative Officer can also report the findings to the supervising Principal Administrator who will evaluate the recommendation and determine appropriate sanctions. Sanctions may include but are not limited to a verbal reprimand, a written reprimand, suspension with or without pay, or termination.

1.3 Scope and Application

The procedures in this manual apply to any employee of Keene State College doing work either on or off the premises.

In an emergency situation, not covered by these procedures, employees are to act under the direction of their supervisor who shall keep safety a primary concern.

Violations of these rules, and/or common sense rules, will be grounds for suspension or dismissal in accordance with Keene State College disciplinary policy.

These procedures are believed to be complete for EHS matters but this manual is not all inclusive of all procedures. All employees must abide by all federal and state laws.

1.4 Definitions

1.5 General Safety Procedures

1.5.1 Fire Prevention

Combustible materials such as oil-soaked or paint covered cloths, rags, waste or shavings shall be kept in covered metal containers and shall not be allowed to accumulate as their presence does create a serious fire hazard potential. These containers shall be emptied at regular intervals and the contents shall be disposed of in such a manner that they will not become a fire hazard. Clean waste (paper, trash, wood, ect.) is easily ignited, and burns rapidly

Only small quantities of flammable and/or combustible liquids shall be stored inside of buildings. Storage containers shall be of the approved type only, and shall be properly labeled as to their contents.

No dry grass, weeds, rubbish, or lumber shall be permitted near fuel oil storage tanks.

Access to exits and fire equipment shall be maintained for unobstructed movement of employees.

Each supervisor shall see that fire extinguishing equipment in their charge is properly maintained, is immediately available for use, and employees are familiar with proper operation and use. Training can be coordinated via the EHS Coordinator’s office.

Spray finishing and cleaning with flammable, combustible and toxic materials requires that adequate ventilation be maintained at all times to prevent the buildup of flammable, combustible or toxic vapors.

1.5.2 Reporting Hazards

Unsafe acts or conditions on Keene State property, or affecting Keene State employees shall be reported promptly to the employee’s supervisor. Additionally, the employee can contact EHS directly at 358-2879, or any Health and Safety Committee member.

Reporting can be done verbally, by phone, by email or in writing.

1.5.3 Clothing

Appropriate clothing suitable for the work being performed shall be worn.

Loose clothing or shoes that may slip easily shall not be worn when near moving parts or working with moving equipment.

1.5.4 Fitness For Duty

No employee shall work, or knowingly permit another employee to work, while unfit for duty as a result of the use of illegal drugs, the misuse of legal drugs or alcohol, or any factor that could affect the fitness for duty such as mental stress, fatigue or personal illness. Any question concerning an employee’s fitness for duty shall be promptly reported to their supervisor.

1.5.5 Housekeeping

Good housekeeping is possibly the most visible evidence of management and employee concern for safety and health that a college displays on a day-to-day basis. Good housekeeping refers to keeping ‘your house in order’. This means not allowing items in your work area to become obstacles and potential slip, trip and fall hazards. It means properly disposing of garbage, recyclables, and hazardous wastes. It also includes following up on any potential hazards (such as water puddles or oil spills on the floor) by contacting your supervisor or UNICCO (janitorial services).

To ensure a safe working environment, all employees will practice good housekeeping. The supervisor of each department is responsible for ensuring general housekeeping in and around his area. Ice and snow shall be kept cleared from steps and walkways, which shall be properly treated to prevent slippery conditions. Hazardous icy conditions on campus should be reported to Grounds at ext. 8-2702. Icicles shall be kept clear from sections of the roof that overhang places where people are likely to be passing or standing.

1.5.6 Floors and Passageways

To prevent slipping, tripping, and falling, all places of employment, passageways, storerooms, and service rooms must be kept clean and orderly and in a sanitary condition. The floor of every workroom will be maintained in a clean and, so far as possible, dry condition. To facilitate cleaning, every floor, working place, and passageway will be kept free from protruding nails, splinters, holes, or loose boards.

1.5.7 Accident Reporting

This Accident Reporting and Investigation Plan details methods and practices for reporting and investigating accidents. No matter how conscientious the safety effort at a college, accidents happen occasionally due to human or system error. Therefore, this written plan is intended to provide a means to deal with all workplace accidents in a standardized way and demonstrate the College’s compliance with the reporting requirements of 29 CFR 1904. In addition, it is the policy of the college to comply with all workers’ compensation laws and regulations. Accident Reporting Procedures

Keene State College’s accident or incident reporting procedures include the following:

All employees will verbally report accidents as soon as possible to their supervisors, and must report any accident within a 24 hour period. All employees should also verbally report all near misses to their supervisors. Reporting of near miss incidents helps determine ways to improve the safety program at Keene State that cannot be addressed if unreported.

All supervisors will submit a written notice of an occurrence of an accident or near miss to both Human Resources and the EHS Coordinator within forty eight hours. The report of Occupational Injury/Illness for Keene State College employees is available at

Near miss reporting is also required but can be kept anonymous. Near misses should be documented to be able to spot trends in safety. The Near Miss Accident Investigation report is located at The Near Miss report should also be used to document injuries involving students (non employee) or visitors. A copy should be submitted to the EHS Coordinator within 48 hours. Accident and Near-Miss Investigation Procedures

Thorough accident investigations will help the college determine why accidents occur, where they happen, and any trends that might be developing. Such identification is critical to preventing and controlling hazards and potential accidents.

For all accidents and near misses, the supervisor is responsible to conduct the initial accident investigation. The EHS Coordinator can be contacted for technical support. For complex incidents, an investigation team may be necessary which will include the EHS Coordinator. The Investigation team will determine what happened through interviews, site visits, and any analytical methods needed.

The supervisor/investigation team will fill out KSC Occupational Injury Form or Near Miss Accident Investigation form, or its equivalent, and submit it within 48 hours of the accident as outlined in above. The Investigation must include recommendations to prevent recurrence.

Retaliation against employees for any of the following is strictly prohibited:

  1. Reporting a work-related fatality, injury, or illness;
  2. Filing a safety and health complaint;
  3. Asking for access to occupational injury and illness records; or
  4. Exercising any rights afforded by the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

1.5.8 Fall Protection

The following procedures at Keene State College require the use of fall protection protective equipment:

  • Whenever you are working six feet above another level (step ladders excluded)
  • When ever you are working from a bucket truck

Only approved fall arrest equipment shall be used. Body belts, safety straps, lanyards, lifelines and body harnesses shall be inspected before use each day to determine that the equipment is in safe working condition. Defective equipment, or equipment exposed to a fall shall be immediately removed from service. No more than one employee may be attached to any one vertical lifeline. The fall arrest system must not allow the employee to free-fall anymore than six feet, or to another level. Pre-Work Check

Prior to beginning work in any area or on any device where fall hazards exist, a pre-work check must be completed.


  1. All required covers or guardrails must be in place.
  2. All handrails or guardrails are in place on stairways.
  3. All treads and risers on stairs are in good repair.
  4. Non-slip surfaces are in place on stairs.
  5. All stairs meet OSHA and ANSI specifications for design and safety.


  1. Gripping safety feet in place and secure on ladders.
  2. Wooden ladders are coated with suitable protective material.
  3. All parts and fittings on ladders are secure.
  4. Non-slip surfaces are in place on ladder rungs.
  5. When setting ladder up, footing of ladder is secure on a firm, level, and non-skid surface and top of ladder is placed against a solid, stationary object.
  6. All ladders meet OSHA specifications for design and safety.

Loading Dock Areas

  1. Dock blocks are up and in place when dock is not in immediate use.
  2. Only trained loaders and unloaders perform loading and unloading duties in that area.
  3. Dock door is kept closed when a truck is not backed against it.


  1. Guardrails are in place and securely attached.
  2. Toeboards are in place and secure.
  3. All platforms meet OSHA specifications for design and safety.

Floor & Wall Openings

  1. All floor and wall openings are safely covered or blocked from access.
  2. If not safely covered and blocked from access, the opening has someone assigned for constant attendance to it.

If the situation calls for use of fall protection devices such as harnesses or lanyards and belts because the fall hazard cannot be reduced to a safe level, then the employee must don such protective equipment before beginning the work and use it as intended throughout the duration of the work.

1.5.9 Forklift Safety

Keene State College employees that use forklifts shall be trained before their initial use, and have refresher training every three years. Those who are seen operating in an unsafe manner or those that are involved in forklift accidents will have to repeat initial training. The following are some general rules to observe while operating a forklift or powered industrial truck:

  • Only authorized and trained employees may use the forklifts
  • Where equipped, operators must wear seatbelts at all times
  • The operator should always know the weight of the load
  • The operator should always know the capacity of the forklift
  • Persons other than the operator are not allowed to ride the forklift
  • Forklifts shall be operated safely
  • Only approved attachments shall be used on the forklift
  • No one should “ride” the forks

1.5.10 Respiratory Protection

Keene State College has made every effort to eliminate respiratory hazards in the workplace. In the case that a new hazard arises, bring it to the attention of your supervisor, and the EHS Coordinator.

While there are presently no identified job tasks that require a respirator, Keene

State College does offer half mask air purifying respirators on a strictly voluntary basis. If you feel that you want to wear respiratory protection on a volunteer basis, then please talk with your supervisor and the EHS Coordinator. See the

Respiratory Protection procedure for more information.

1.5.11 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Any employee encountering hazardous conditions must be protected against the potential hazards. The purpose of protective clothing and equipment (PPE) is to shield or isolate individuals from chemical, physical, biological, or other hazards that may be present in the workplace. PPE devices are not to be relied on as the only means to provide protection against hazards, but are used in conjunction with guards, engineering controls, and sound manufacturing practices.

If possible, hazards will be abated first through engineering controls, with PPE to provide protection against hazards that cannot reasonably be abated otherwise. Employee Training

The supervisor provides training for each employee who is required to use personal protective equipment. New employees should complete the New

Employee Safety Orientation Program, which covers these items as well and is offered by the EHS Coordinator. Training includes:

  • When PPE is necessary
  • What PPE is necessary
  • How to wear assigned PPE
  • Limitations of PPE

The proper care, maintenance, useful life, and disposal of assigned PPE

Employees must demonstrate an understanding of the training and the ability to use the PPE properly before they are allowed to perform work requiring the use of the equipment. Employees are prohibited from performing work without donning appropriate PPE to protect them from the hazards they will encounter in the course of that work.

If the EHS Coordinator or supervisor has reason to believe an employee does not have the understanding or skill required, the employer must retrain.

The supervisor certifies in writing that the employee has received and understands the PPE training and maintains the record as part of the employee file. PPE Assessment Forms are available from the EHS Coordinator. Cleaning and Maintenance

It is important that all PPE be kept clean and properly maintained by the employee to whom it is assigned. Cleaning is particularly important for eye and face protection where dirty or fogged lenses could impair vision. PPE is to be inspected, cleaned, and maintained by employees at regular intervals as part of their normal job duties so that the PPE provides the requisite protection.

Supervisors are responsible for ensuring compliance with cleaning responsibilities by employees.

If PPE is for general use, the EHS Coordinator has responsibility for cleaning and maintenance. If a piece of PPE is in need of repair or replacement it is the responsibility of the employee to bring it to the immediate attention of his or her supervisor or the EHS Coordinator.

It is against work rules to use PPE that is in disrepair or not able to perform its intended function. Contaminated PPE that cannot be decontaminated must be disposed of in a manner that protects employees from exposure to hazards.

Contact EHS Coordinator for further assistance. Eye and face protection – Goggles and face shields

It is the policy of the college that as a condition of employment, all regular full time, part time, contractors, and temporary employees working in areas and/or job assignments that have potential of eye injury are required to wear ANSI

Z87.1 approved safety glasses, or goggles/face shields to help prevent eye and face injuries.

All supervisors and managers are responsible for ensuring employees under their charge are in compliance with this policy. All employees who work in designated work areas and/or job assignments are responsible for wearing college provided safety glasses, or goggles/face shields to comply with this policy

All employees required to wear safety glasses or goggles/face shields must routinely inspect and properly care for their equipment.

For those employees that wear prescription glasses, the employee must either wear ANSI Z87 approved prescription safety glasses, or wear ANSI approved safety glasses that can securely fit over regular prescription glasses. The employee is entitled to reimbursement of frames and lenses for prescription safety glasses once every 5 years or if in the interim, the prescription for the lenses changes, the lenses only can be updated. Keep the receipt and submit it to your supervisor or the EHS Coordinator. - Foot Protection-Safety Shoes

It is the policy of the college that as a condition of employment, all regular full time, part time, and temporary employees wear protective footwear (safety toed) when ever a hazard is presented to the feet (by either rolling, crushing, dropping, puncture or otherwise). ANSI Z41 shoes are required. All employees who work in designated work areas and/or job assignments are responsible for purchasing and wearing safety shoes to comply with this policy. Employees are entitled to a $60 reimbursement every year or $120 every two years in order to purchase appropriate safety shoes. Please keep your receipt after purchase and submit to your supervisor or the EHS Coordinator for approval and reimbursement. Hand Protection – Gloves

It is the policy of the college that as a condition of employment, all regular full time, part time, and temporary employees working in designated work areas and/or job assignments are required to wear gloves to help prevent hand injuries, including cuts, burns, chemical exposure, when ever they are exposed to such elements.

It is critical to select the correct glove for the job. For example, leather gloves for welding and carpentry work. Nitrile or butyl rubber gloves for working with acids.

Neoprene gloves can be used with hydraulic fluids or oils. Nitrile is a general glove to protect against most chemicals. If you need assistance in this area, contact the EHS Coordinator.

All supervisors and managers are responsible for ensuring employees under their charge are in compliance with this policy. All employees required to wear protective gloves must routinely inspect and properly care for their assigned gloves (if the gloves are not disposable). Head protection – Hard hats

It is the policy of the college that as a condition of employment, all regular full time, part time, and temporary employees working in designated work areas and/or job assignments are required to wear ANSI approved hard hats to help prevent head injuries, including those resulting from falling objects, bumping the head against a fixed object, or electrical shock when ever they are exposed to these hazards. All supervisors and managers are responsible for ensuring employees under their charge are in compliance with this policy.

All employees required to wear hard hats must routinely inspect and properly care for their hard hats.

About this Policy

General Safety
Ownership: Environmental Health & Safety
Last Modified: Mar 30, 2021 –
Categories: Safety
For questions regarding this policy, please contact the policy owner.
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