Health and Safety Program
, Daniel.Roeser@isd624.org. Building Operations Supervisor, Health and Safety Coordinator
Room 309, District Center
It is the policy of the White Bear Lake Area Schools to provide a safe and healthy work and learning environment for all employees and students. The District will provide appropriate equipment, safeguards, personal protection, training and administrative support to protect employee safety and health. District employees will be trained to work safely and will be required to comply with all safety rules and standards.
The Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health program (MNOSHA) requires employers with higher than average injury and illness rates to develop a comprehensive written health and safety program. Although these programs are considered optional for most schools, the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) has encouraged school districts to develop and implement accident and injury reduction programs and other health and safety management programs.
The purpose of A Workplace Accident and Injury Reduction Program (AWAIR) is to reduce employee injuries and illnesses by identifying, analyzing and controlling hazards. Under these programs, all accidents and near misses are to be investigated and measures are to be taken to correct problems. Employers are expected to develop and enforce mandatory safe work practices, while providing the equipment and safeguards necessary for employees to work safely. These plans must be communicated to employees so they can participate and take an active role in health and safety. Employers with more than 25 employees are expected to form a joint health and safety committee to involve employees in the program.
The White Bear Lake Area School District has developed A Workplace Program for Accident and Injury Reduction (AWAIR) to establish and implement a written program promoting safe and healthful working conditions based on clearly stated goals and objectives. This program includes requirements covered under Minnesota Statutes 182.653, A Workplace Accident and Injury Reduction Act. In addition, written management programs have been developed and implemented for 27 other health and safety areas.
AWAIR Program Goals
The District has established the following goals for the AWAIR program: The district has established the following goals for the AWAIR program:
- Continuously reduce annual lost workday incident rate for each district location below level from previous year.
- Bring each building into compliance with applicable occupational safety and health (MNOSHA) regulations identified in health and safety audits.
- Implement continuing, effective health and safety programs to provide district employees with a safe and healthful workplace.
- Actively encourage district employee involvement in health and safety programs.
The district has identified the following steps for accomplishing these goals. (Copies of the District AWAIR Program are available to employees upon request.)
- Assign responsibilities.
- Establish systems for identifying, analyzing and controlling hazards.
- Communicate program effectively and encourage employee participation.
- Investigate all incidents.
- Enforce safe work practices and rules.
Communicating Programs to District Employees
Employees are encouraged to get involved in district health and safety programs. Health and safety information and training are provided to employees through this web site, employee handouts, and departmental training sessions. District employees are encouraged to speak up about their health and safety concerns. If questions or problems cannot be resolved at the building level, the Health and Safety Coordinator will assist in finding a prompt response and resolution. To improve employee compliance with requirements and participation in safety-related matters, the Health and Safety Committee members are asked to:
- Post copies of safety meeting minutes
- Ask coworkers for suggestions and input
- Communicate about safety issues and encourage safe behavior
Enforcing Safe Work Practices and Rules
To ensure safe work practices and rules are consistently enforced, the Health and Safety Coordinator oversees these measures:
- Enforcing safe work practices and rules consistently among district employees
- Retraining employees if initial training appears to be ineffective
- Enforcing and documenting progressive discipline program