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Reporting Safety Hazards and Near Misses

UTK Environmental Health & Safety Procedure AD-021

This procedure defines the process by which the campus community can report hazards and near-misses

Effective Date: 11/01/2008
Revision Date: 06/20/2011

Purpose and Scope

The University of Tennessee (UT) recognizes the need to provide a method for employees to report potential health and safety hazards or concerns.  All reported concerns will be addressed, investigated and corrective measures taken when necessary. Employees are free from retaliatory or disciplinary actions for reporting safety concern.

No employee shall be discharged or discriminated against because such employee has filed any complaint or instituted or caused to be instituted any proceedings or inspections under, or relating, to this program.

For the purposes of this document the phrase “safety hazard” shall also include health hazard and environmental hazard. In addition, near misses or non-injury accidents are covered by the standard.

New employees shall be informed of the process of reporting hazards during orientation.

Procedures

  • All safety hazards should be reported to the employee’s immediate supervisor as soon as possible. Work within the department to resolve the issue, if possible. Supervisors are encouraged to contact Environmental Health and Safety if there is no clear solution or if additional guidance is needed.
  • If the matter cannot be adequately addressed, the individual may contact Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) or Risk Management.
  • Safety concerns may be reported by telephone, fax, e-mail, written letter or in person to any EHS staff member (can complete the Service Request form found in Appendix A), or by completing the Incident Report form provided by Risk Management (see Appendix B).
  • Safety, occupational health hazards or environmental concerns may be e-mailed to: safety.utk.edu.
  • Concerns may be reported confidentially and should be so indicated when reporting. Every effort shall be made to protect the identity of the person making the complaint.
  • EHS shall log reported workplace hazard complaints. Quarterly reports of reported safety hazards shall be included on the EHS quarterly metric.
  • EHS shall address the concern in a timely manner and take appropriate action.
  • A record of communiques and associated information shall be maintained in the building file by EHS for at least three years.
  • Feedback and updates shall be submitted to the individual filing the complaint if a request it made.
  • All near misses (also known as a close call or non-injury accident) should be reported in a manner similar to other hazards.

Training

New staff shall be apprised of the hazard reporting process during their department’s orientation.

Recordkeeping

Reported safety hazards, including associated files, communiques and other information shall be kept by EHS for a period of at least three years.

Regulatory Drivers and References

None

Forms

EHS Service Request Form found in Forms

Risk Management Incident Report Form found on: http://riskmanagement.tennessee.edu

Appendices

Appendix A: EHS Service Request Form

Appendix B: Risk Management Incident Report Form

Disclaimer

The information provided in this program is designed for educational use only and is not a substitute for specific training or experience.

The University of Tennessee Knoxville and the authors of this program assume no liability for any individual’s use of or reliance upon any material contained or referenced herein. The material contained in this program may not be the most current.

This material may be freely distributed for nonprofit educational use. However, if included in publications, written or electronic, attributions must be made to the author. Commercial use of this material is prohibited without express written permission from the author.

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