Hollidaysburg Area School District
WORKPLACE SAFETY COMMITTEE MEETING
Wednesday, December 9, 2020
Due to COVID-19 recommendations and restrictions, the Workplace Safety Committee met virtually on Wednesday, December 9, 2020, via Google Hangout. The meeting was called to order at 9:31 AM by Ben Caldwell.
Committee members present:, Neil Edmundson, Suzanne Krider, Wendy Lieb, Jonathan Nihart, Betsy Snyder, Sherry Socie, Leigh Wesner, Stacey Thomas, Delta States and Ben Caldwell (10). Absent was Ken Brunner, Rich Elliott, and Todd Russell (3).
Ben reviewed the minutes from the November 18, 2020, meeting. There we no corrections or additions. A motion to accept the minutes as read was made by Leigh Wesner, seconded by Jon Nihart.
Ben reviewed the workplace injury list. We had one new incident to report. A student with escalating behavior pushed his/her body into an employee causing employee to support the weight of the student and strain the lower back area. This was reported as notice only. Ben also reviewed on-going open claims. Leigh Wesner mentioned that the arm guards ordered for Frankstown were received.
Ben provided a COVID-19 update. Cases continue to spike. Close to 200 staff members have been on quarantine to date. All 5 District Schools are operating virtually except for some of the special education classes. Virtual classes will continue through December with the likelihood of continuing through end of January.
Jon Nihart reported all was well in the physical plant department. Employees have been reassigned as needed. Jon inquired If HASD will make changes to the current quarantine period since the CDC has shortened the requirements. Ben indicated our solicitor is reviewing. Wendy Lieb mentioned that she has seen changes with symptoms and symptom severity as well as the time-frame of transmission. In early March it was closer to 3-5 days for transmission and currently she’s seeing cases that are 8-10 days for transmission. Doctors’ offices and labs are overwhelmed and the turn-around time for testing is taking longer. She is hoping we stick with the original quarantine periods for safety. Ben agreed and noted that the Department of Health has not been assisting with contact tracing and follow-up for the past 2 months.
Ben and Delta noted that Encova Workers’ Comp Insurance has selected Mitchell ScriptAdvisor as their new Pharmacy Benefit Management program. On December 7th, 2020, Mitchell ScriptAdvisor replaced the existing Pharmacy Benefit Management Program, Optum. Delta has revised the workers’ comp packet and forwarded a copy to the nurses, custodian leads, and athletics, as well updated the information on the Tigerwires website.
Ben discussed the monthly Reschini flyers for December. The Live Well, Work Well Newsletters discussed battling holiday depression and stress, holiday stress eating, and celebrating the holiday safely.
Sherry Socie brought up a concern with regards to the screen installed between Faith Bartley’s and Kim McGarvey’s work areas. The feet on the screen are a trip hazard. Jon is going to have someone take a look at it to see what other options might be available such as hanging something from the ceiling.
Next Safety Meeting: January 13, 2021 via Google Hangout – 9:30 AM.
With all in favor, the meeting adjourned at 9:54 AM.
Delta D. States
Recording Secretary/Vice Chair
The mission of the Hollidaysburg Area School District Safety Committee is to reduce injuries, increase safety awareness and procedures, conduct hazard inspections, publish and distribute safety information, promote employee wellness, and reduce District expenditures for health-related claims and workers’ compensation.
If you have any safety suggestions or concerns, please contact a representative from the Safety Committee as listed below:Ken Brunner (JH) email@example.comNeil Edmundson (JH) firstname.lastname@example.orgRich Elliott (SH) email@example.comLeigh Wesner (Admin) firstname.lastname@example.orgSuzanne Krider (SH) email@example.comJon Nihart (JH) firstname.lastname@example.orgWendy Lieb (JH) email@example.comTodd Russell (JH) firstname.lastname@example.orgSherry Socie (Admin) email@example.comBetsy Snyder (SH) firstname.lastname@example.orgDelta States (Admin) email@example.comBen Caldwell (Admin) firstname.lastname@example.org
HASD Safety Committee By-LawsRevised 1/16/14
Hollidaysburg Area School District Safety Committee
The purpose of HASD Safety Committee is to provide an avenue for all HASD employees to contribute to workplace safety to achieve and maintain a safe, healthful working environment.
The goal of the HASD Safety Committee is to eliminate workplace incidents and illnesses by involving employees and managers in identifying hazards and suggesting ways to eliminate and prevent them from occurring. This can be facilitated by reviewing incidents, identifying root causes of incidents and suggesting ways to prevent future incidents.
The HASD Safety Committee has four objectives:
• Provide measures for employee involvement in achieving a safe, healthful working environment.
• Promptly review all safety-related incidents, injuries, accidents, illnesses and deaths.
• Conduct workplace inspections as needed to identify hazards and recommend methods for eliminating or controlling hazards. Establish procedures to ensure follow-up and closure for all reported hazards.
• Annually evaluate the HASD workplace safety and health program and recommend improvements to management.
The HASD Safety Committee will have committee members representing employees and employer. The committee will be comprised of at least four committee members at all times and shall not contain more employer representatives then employee representatives at any time. Employee or employer representatives can volunteer for committee service or can be appointed by the employer. Employer and employee representatives can be rotated onto the committee as business needs dictate. An effort will be made to ensure at least one experienced representative serves on the committee at all times.
Committee Chair and Vice-Chair
The committee should elect a committee chair and vice-chair. Committee officers can rotate as business needs dictate.
Duties of the Committee Chair
• Schedule monthly committee meetings.
• Develop and distribute written agendas for committee meetings.
• Conduct committee meetings.
• Present committee correspondence and reports for committee approval.
• Ensure the preparation and distribution of committee meeting minutes.
Duties of the Committee Vice-Chair
• In the absence of the committee chair, assume the duties of the chair.
• Perform other duties as directed by the chair.
Election of Committee Chair and Vice-Chair
The election of the committee chair and vice-chair will be held as business needs dictate. If the chair or vice- chair leave office before the term expires, an election will be held during the next scheduled safety committee meeting. The elected officer will serve for the remainder of the term.
Committee Member Training
All committee members will be trained annually during the HASD annual workers’ compensation policy period in the topics of safety committee operation, hazard detection and inspection, accident and illness prevention and investigation (including substance abuse awareness and prevention training) and health and safety concerns specific to the business. Additional committee/employee training topics will be determined by any identified anticipated workplace hazard and exposure. The committee will submit a copy of the training records to the HASD HR office, and the HR office will retain the training records for five years.
The agenda will prescribe the order in which the HASD Safety Committee conducts its business. The agenda will also include the following, when applicable:
• A review of new safety and health concerns.
• A status report of employee safety and health concerns under review.
• A review of all workplace near-miss incidents, accidents, illnesses, or deaths occurring since the last committee meeting.
Safety Committee Meetings
Monthly schedule: The HASD Safety Committee will normally meet on the third Thursday of each month at 9:30am at the central office board room. A quorum of committee members, being one more than half of official committee members, must be present to conduct the meeting. If, for reasons beyond the control of the committee, the meeting must be canceled, the committee will reschedule at a later date in the same month.
Each representative will attend the monthly safety committee meeting and participate in monthly hazard identification inspections, as well as other committee functions as requested unless excused by the committee chairman for business reasons.
Minutes will be recorded at each committee meeting and distributed to each committee member. Minutes of each committee meeting will be made available to all employees via the HASD Tigerwires website and also posted in school buildings. The committee will submit a copy of the meeting minutes, agenda and attendance list to the HASD HR office. The HR office will retain the committee records for five years. All reports, evaluations and recommendations of the committee will be included in the minutes. The minutes will also identify committee members who were in attendance and who were absent from each committee meeting and list the names of the committee members who were present for the annual training.
The HASD Safety Committee will encourage employees to identify health and safety concerns and hazards in the workplace. Concerns raised by employees will be presented to the committee, recorded in the meeting minutes, documented in the safety log and reviewed by the committee.
The committee shall make decisions by virtue of a majority vote of regular committee members.
The committee will maintain a record of all employee concerns, including the date received, the date recommendations were made to management, management responses and whether the concern was resolved and this record will be reflected in the minutes.
Identified Concern/Issue Response
The committee will respond to employee concerns and work with management representatives to resolve them.
Incident and Accident Investigation
The HASD Safety Committee will review all safety and health-related incidents at the next regularly scheduled meeting following the reported incident. Safety-related incidents include: work-related near-miss incidents, injuries, illnesses and deaths. A determination of the root cause of the reviewed incidents will be the focus of the investigations. Resolution of identified issues will be presented to management representatives.
Members of the HASD Safety Committee will conduct periodic workplace inspections of all company facilities. Committee members are encouraged to include employees in discussion relating to safety concerns in their respective work areas. The committee will provide a written report/form to the committee and management that documents the location of all health or safety hazards identified during the inspection. The report will recommend options for eliminating or controlling hazards. The committee will follow-up on the recommendation indicating acceptance, rejection or modification to the proposed resolution.
Committee Goals and Objectives
The HASD Safety Committee will review annual safety goals and objectives. The committee will review the existing status of the employer safety program and the committee’s vision on the status of the program for the future. The plan will outline how to reach the future status, timelines, goals and objectives in support of the safety goals.
Preventing Injuries from Slips, Trips and Falls
Information on Lifing Safety from the National Safety Council:
How to Lift and Carry Safely
Lifting and carrying are power jobs—when you lift and carry the wrong way, you can damage your back. Back injuries are the most common type of injury in the workplace, causing approximately 900,000 disabling injuries in 1995. Over half of these injuries are from lifting.
Back injuries may be difficult to treat and may have lengthy and expensive rehabilitation times.
Whether you are lifting at home or at work, make an effort to take care of your back. The National Safety Council recommends a number of tips to prevent unintentional injuries and keep your back strong and healthy.
You will work better if you start each day with slow stretches. These warm-ups let you ease comfortably into your workday and help you avoid injuries.
Leg and back warm-up
- Prop one foot on a chair or a stool for support
- Take a deep breath
- Ease forward slowly—keep your back slightly curved
- Blow slowly outward as you ease forward to a seven count
- Repeat seven times
- Switch and do the same with the other foot
- Stand with your feet about 12 inches apart
- Support the small of your back with your hands
- Hold your stomach in firmly and take a deep breath
- Arch backward—bend your head and neck as you go, blowing air slowly out for seven counts
- Repeat seven times
Power lifting tips
- Protect your hands and feet by wearing safety gear
- Size up the load—tip it on its side to see if you can carry it comfortably. Get help if the load is too big or bulky for one person. Check for nails, splinters, rough strapping and sharp edges
- Lift it right—make sure your footing is solid. Keep your back straight, with no curving or slouching. Center your body over your feet, get a good grip on the object and pull it close to you. Pull your stomach in firmly. Lift with your legs, not your back; if you need to turn, move your feet and don't twist your back
Tough lifting jobs
- Oversized loads: do not try to carry a big load alone; ask for help. Work as a team by lifting, walking and lowering the load together. Let one person call the shots and direct the lift. Use proper mechanical devices for heavy loads.
- High loads: use a step stool or a sturdy ladder to reach loads that are above your shoulders. Get as close to the load as you can and slide the load toward you. Do all the work with your arms and legs, not your back.
- Low loads: loads that are under racks and cabinets need extra care. Pull the load toward you, then try to support it on one knee before you lift. Use your legs to power the lift.
- Always use your stomach as a low back support by pulling it in during lifting.
- Remember, a strong, healthy, powerful back is vital to your job. It also helps you enjoy life. Take pains to avoid injuries by making it a full-time job to take care of your back!
All rights reserved
April 1, 2004
Purchase of 3-Step Step Ladders for Teachers
September 15, 2006
Slips, trips, and falls are the number one occupational injury for teachers. Many of these injuries occur when a teacher is standing on a chair or desk in order to decorate their classroom. PSBA School Claims Management spends approximately $1,681,203.16 per year on workers’ compensation claims for teachers, which accounted for 24.64% of the total amount of money spent on all workers’ compensation claims.
In order to minimize your risk of falling, the Safety Committee has decided to purchase 3-step stepladders for teachers to use when decorating their classrooms. One ladder will be available on every floor of every school building plus an additional ladder in the teachers' lounge. Your building principal will be responsible for the distribution of ladders and assigning the location for storage.
Don’t risk injuring yourself by standing on a chair or desk.
Use the stepladders instead.