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Purpose

It is mandated by Oregon law that: Every public or private employer of eleven (11) or more employees shall establish and administer a safety committee. Please see Program Safety policy, which uses direct excerpts from the Administrative Rules for the Oregon Administrative Rules Act.

The function of a safety committee is to create and maintain interest in the prevention of accidents, illness, violence and loss. This committee is designed to bring both direct service and support staff together with management in a non-adversarial cooperative effort to promote safety and health in the workplace. The other function of this committee will be to advise and make recommendations to administration relative to the safety of classroom, playground and office facilities.

Goals

  1. Enhance safety awareness among staff
  2. Define problems and obstacles to loss prevention (theft, accidents, illness, violence, etc.)
  3. Identify current or potential hazards and suggest actions to eliminate them
  4. Identify staff training needs
  5. Assist in the development of staff accident/illness investigation procedures
  6. Serve as an advisory panel to Regional and Administrative Managers and Director.
  7. Assist in the development of contingency plans and procedures for potential natural disasters, theft, and violent encounters

Procedure

  1. Recruitment of committee members will occur at the beginning of the program year. Staff will voluntarily participate on this committee for a period of two years.
  2. The committee will develop an annual meeting schedule, including a designated place and time of the meetings.
  3. All site safety issues or potential agenda items will be submitted to the Health Consultant who will follow-up on the issues with appropriate Managers, Direct Service and Support Staff, and Consultants and when further assessment is needed to remedy the situation it will be placed on the agenda for the next meeting.
  4. When the Regional Manager, Operations Director, or Health Consultant are in need of assistance or support regarding changes or additions that need to be made at the site (classrooms, offices, playgrounds) they will submit written plans to the Safety Committee at least two weeks prior to the upcoming meeting. The Manager who submits the plan will be asked to attend the meeting.
  5. Program or outside consultants will be asked to attend the meetings if areas that are pertinent to their role and expertise are to be addressed.
  6. It is important for staff to understand that the issues that they raise regarding safety are not subject to prior approval/validation by management. Staff are encouraged to provide information about safety concerns to their Regional Manager first then the Health Consultant and their safety committee representative, all of whom will be involved in discussing any safety issues.
  7. The committee and Health Consultant will work with the Regional Manager and Operations Director to determine the safest and most cost effective plan to implement for facility changes, modifications or additions.
  8. The committee will provide the manager with a written report which defines the concerns and clarifies any specific recommendations.
  9. Meetings will be held on a monthly basis or when needed for emergent issues that need to be addressed immediately.
  10. Regional Managers will keep records of monthly health and safety inspections and checklists and will make them available to safety committee when needed.

This policy complies with Head Start Performance Standard 45 CFR Section 1304.22.
It has not yet been approved by Policy Council.
Updated August 15, 2000

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