Trades & Maintenance Staff
As you perform your daily job functions around campus, you may be exposed to many hazards. It is the goal of the University and EHS to minimize these hazards by eliminating them if possible or providing protective equipment, hazard control devices, and safe operating procedures to use when the hazards cannot be eliminated. On this page you will find descriptions of many hazards that you may face and links to information and resources to help you identify hazardous situations and protect yourselves.
Report a Concern – Because you are in your work areas everyday you are in the best position to identify hazards that are not addressed by current policies and procedures or new hazards that may occur. Use this link to let us know of any concerns that you have. Confidentiality will be respected if requested.
Request Assistance – EHS resources and staff are always at your disposal to provide guidance or assistance. Use this link to request assistance from EHS.
Training – Use this link to review available and required training courses and to request training.
Hazardous Materials – Many of you will use hazardous chemical products in your daily work activities. Because chemicals can be particularly hazardous to human health and the environment if mishandled, they should be used with caution. When possible lower hazard materials or techniques should be substituted. The following links provide information to help you identify the specific hazards of the products that you use and reduce or eliminate your risk of exposure.
Request Assistance with Hazardous Materials Management or Waste Minimization – Use this link to have EHS evaluate the materials that you use and recommend alternatives.
Chemical Product Safety Information (MSDS) – This page provides information about finding and using product safety information and links to MSDS databases on the web.
Hazard Communication – Hazard Communication is the program that defines how we warn people of the hazards associated with the chemicals they use. All chemicals must be in containers bearing information about the identity of the material and its hazards. Original manufacturer containers carry this information. But if you dispense material into a secondary container you must transfer the identity and hazards of the material to the new container. In addition to the labeling requirement, manufacturers are required to prepare material safety data sheets (MSDS) to detail physical and chemical properties and health effects of their products.
Waste Management – Very few of the chemical materials that you use will be able to be poured down the drain or placed in the regular trash. The following links will take you to information on preparing waste for disposal and requesting EHS to pick up your waste.
- IUB Waste Disposal Guidelines – a guide to properly packaging and preparing waste for disposal. This guide includes a list of materials that are allowed to be disposed of in the sewer or regular trash.
- IUB Waste Pickup Request – an online form to request EHS to pick up your waste.
Chemical Exposure – In the event of a chemical exposure, flush skin or eyes for 15 minutes, inform a department manager, and seek medical attention if necessary. If medical attention is necessary, the chemical MSDS should be provided to the medical center staff. EHS staff are available to assist or answer questions as needed.
**Supervisors must complete the Authorization to Treat form whenever an employee is sent to Promptcare or Bloomington Hospital.
Mercury Exposure – Mercury exposure on campus has been a particular concern. So EHS has developed a specific operating procedure that must be followed and time repair work, especially plumbing, is being conducted. Following this mercury SOP will protect you against unreasonable mercury exposure. Any work in a building that may have been historically used as a laboratory that has not been renovated should be assumed to have a high probability of mercury contamination. EHS staff is available to assist in any way necessary. If mercury is discovered during repair work, the work should be halted and EHS should be contacted immediately.
Asbestos Exposure – Asbestos exposure is a topic of great concern to campus workers and residents. It is IU’s policy to remove asbestos as buildings are renovated and to maintain asbestos in place and inspect for deterioration otherwise. Undamaged asbestos is not a risk for exposure. If maintenance work is to be conducted on equipment that has asbestos, the asbestos will be abated prior to work beginning. All workers who may be exposed to asbestos as part of their job duties should receive awareness training. Asbestos abatement workers are subject to training and medical surveillance requirements.
Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure – If your work involves potential contact with sewage or human bodily fluids, you must receive training on precautions to be taken to prevent exposure to pathogens.
Spills – If the spilled material is of a quantity and type that you are comfortable handling, you can clean it up yourself and submit a waste request to dispose of the cleanup debris. If the spilled material is of a type or quantity that you are not comfortable handling, do not have the necessary supplies to handle, or if the spill may reach a drain or waterway, contact EHS at 5-6311 to request assistance from the IUB emergency response team. If there are injuries or exposures or if there is an immediate danger from the spilled material, dial 911 to activate emergency response personnel and procedures.
Physical Hazards – Many of the tasks that you perform in the course of your job present physical hazards as well as chemical hazards. The links below provide information on a variety of non-chemical hazards that you may encounter.
Welding – The hazards of welding include eye damage, inhalation of metal fumes, high reactivity of compressed gases, and fire potential. This link takes you to the American Welding Society’s page of fact sheets on welding safety. (Scroll down to see the list of fact sheets.)
Noise Exposure – a link to hearing conservation and noise control at IUB. The CDC has posted a good information page on noise and hearing loss prevention. This page includes an interactive noise meter to compare a number of common noises. If you are interested in testing your hearing, a link is provided to a page with an interactive hearing test. If you are concerned about noise, contact EHS to conduct an evaluation of noise in your area and provide recommendations for hearing protection.
Hand and Power Tools – The first half of this document provides a good, brief review of the hazards associated with a variety of hand and power tool types.
Woodworking Hazards - a comprehensive overview of woodworking hazards including physical hazards associated with tool use as well as health hazards of wood dust and chemicals used in finishing processes. Remember to contact EHS for evaluation of specific hazards in your operations and recommendations to minimize risks.
Hazard Control and Personal Protective Equipment – Hazards may be reduced or controlled through the use of administrative controls such as ventilation, machine guarding, or even adherences to standard operating procedures. If the hazards of a job cannot be eliminated by these administrative methods, then personal protective equipment (PPE) may be used to protect employees who must perform the job. The following links provide information about a variety of PPE options and their use.
Ventilation – Proper ventilation is important for preventing chemical or particulate exposures. It can be as simple as opening a window and running fans or more advanced as in paint booths or fume hoods. Often employing proper ventilation where possible can eliminate the need for respiratory protection.
Machine Guarding – Guards on equipment usually prevent contact with pinch points, cutting blades, or other physical hazards. It is important not to remove or alter guards while the equipment is being operated.
Ergonomics – Learn how to adapt your work area or work practices to reduce or eliminate stresses from repetitive motion or awkward working positions. Request an evaluation of the ergonomic hazards of your job.(link to ergonomic evaluation request)
Respiratory Protection – When respiratory hazards cannot adequately be addressed by administrative controls such as ventilation or product substitution, respirators may be used to protect against inhalation of particulates or chemical fumes. Prior to use of respirators for a job, EHS staff must evaluate the job to determine what the respiratory hazards are and what the best type of protection will be. Then the employees must obtain a medical approval for wearing a respirator and be fit-tested by EHS for the proper respirator.
Hearing Protection – If EHS has conducted noise monitoring for your job or work area and determined that you need hearing protection, you will be placed in the hearing protection program. You will be provided with the proper type of protection and will receive medical monitoring to detect any hearing damage.
Eye Protection – If EHS has determined that a job requires eye protection, the proper type of protection will be provided to you. If you need prescription safety glasses a prescription eyewear authorization form must be completed and approved by EHS and presented to the eye clinic.
Foot Protection – If your job requires protective footwear it will be provided. See information in the Joint Safety Committee Manual.
Skin Protection – Gloves, face shields, and even your work uniform can provide important protection against skin contact with hazardous materials or other contaminants. EHS staff are available to assist you in choosing the proper protection for your activities.