WUSTL earns four safety awards from national organizations

Many Washington University employees have been working hard to make the WUSTL community a safe place for all of its members to work, study and live.

This spring, the success of these efforts was recognized with four safety awards from national safety organizations. The University received three awards from the National Safety Council (NSC) for demonstrating the safety of WUSTL work environments and one from the Campus Safety, Heath and Environmental Management Association (CSHEMA) for its crisis communications planning.

“It is gratifying to see University departments embrace safety as part of their culture,” said Bruce Backus, assistant vice chancellor for environmental health and safety. “The best safety programs encourage all students, staff and faculty to raise safety concerns. They then work collaboratively to improve safety and make it an ongoing top priority for their program.”

The NSC presented WUSTL with its 2009 “Occupational Excellence Achievement Award,” which recognizes employers that have injury and illness rates (days missed from work) that are equal to or less than 50 percent of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ rate for the employer’s particular industrial sector during the previous calendar year. According to Backus, WUSTL’s injury/illness rate was less than half of the rate for the colleges and universities sector.

The Danforth Campus Facilities Planning and Management, Maintenance Operations Division, received the NSC’s 2009 “Recognition of Significant Improvement Award” for reducing the number of injuries and illnesses that involved days away from work within its operation by greater than 20 percent, based on a comparison against the prior year’s performance.

The Medical School Facilities Management Department, Facilities Engineering Division, received the NSC’s 2009 “Milestone Award” in recognition of operating 200 consecutive days within its facility without injury or illness that resulted in days away from work. (As of June 5, the division is up to 270 days.)

CSHEMA awarded WUSTL its 2009 “Solutions at Work Award,” which recognizes unique and innovative solutions for safety issues, for the University’s “Where to Go” campaign and emergency preparedness efforts.

This award recognizes Public Affairs’ efforts in developing the “Where to Go” campaign with Environmental Health & Safety, the development by Public Affairs of the WUSTL Emergency Communications Plan and the Public Affairs’ Crisis Management Team, and the various communication systems — emergency text-messaging, sirens, emergency hotline — developed by Information Systems and Telecommunications, Facilities Planning and Management, Public Affairs and Environmental Health & Safety.

Additions to EH&S Web site

The Department of Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) has added an online safety recommendation form and a safety perception survey to its Web site, ehs.wustl.edu.

The safety recommendation form allows faculty, staff, students and visitors to submit safety concerns and suggestions to EH&S. These suggestions will be shared with the appropriate departments, such as police and facilities.

The safety perception survey is a tool to gain knowledge about people’s attitudes and perceptions about safety.

The information will be used to improve safety practices within the University community.

For more information, call Brad King, University safety officer, at 935-9262.