UNION-MANAGEMENT SAFETY COMMITTEE
April 2023 Meeting Minutes
The monthly meeting of the Union-Management Safety Committee was conducted on April 11th, 2023 by the Environmental Health and Safety department with the following individuals in attendance:
Kathy Cain-Babbitt A AFSCME
Devin Johnson A Maintenance Services
Justin Keech A Custodial Services
Keith Pung A Environmental Health and Safety
Vince Renda A Maintenance Services
Judy Slumkoski A Custodial Services
Mark Weiss A Environmental Health and Safety
Laura Weber VA Legal Affairs, Risk, and Compliance
Jake Woods A Environmental Health and Safety
In-Person Attendance: (A)
Virtual Attendance: (VA)
Jake Woods provided an update to the issue involving a damaged underground vault located in parking lot #37; near the entry of the Kohrman Hall chiller/mechanical room. The upper section of the vault is damaged and personnel were concerned that a vehicle could fall into it. The area in question was protected by a traffic safety cone by Maintenance Services personnel. A replacement, custom-made cover is being pursued due to OEM no longer being available. It will be recessed to minimize disturbance during snow removal efforts. Jake shared that two parking bollards were installed (affixed to pavement with hardware) in front of the vault by Maintenance Services personnel.
Jake Woods shared an update from Juanita Snell regarding the public safety concern regarding a situation where a Custodial Services employee’s personal vehicle was broken into while parked in lot #51 (lower Sindecuse Health Center). Laura Weber previously mentioned that University insurance does not cover personal belongings whether they are located in personal or University vehicles. Jake contacted FM Engineering who informed him that one lighting pole in the affected area did have repairs completed on 11-3-22, but that all equipment was now in good operation. Data from a historical lighting survey indicated levels in lot #51 were observed to be adequate. December Committee discussions involved an inquiry for lockable lockers for Custodial Services personnel. Juanita shared that management approved procurement of three lockers but that purchasing efforts with WMU Surplus Sales did not work out due to minimum quantities needed to make a purchase. Juanita’s update stated that she and Gloria Johnson identified lockers currently located at the Bernhard Center that will be repurposed to Sindecuse Health Center prior to its demolition.
Darrell Junkins previously provided an update to the concern involving a hand railing that was observed to be loose along a walkway near Lawson Ice Arena. Darrell previously investigated and observed significant corrosion to the metal base components. He subsequently submitted FM Work Order #LW-100549 requesting repairs/replacement. The committee discussed reinforcement/repair or full removal as possible solutions. The railing provides security for pedestrians but causes some difficulty for snow plowing. Jake investigated and found that the railing is not providing protection from a MIOSHA-designated fall hazard. Committee discussions surrounding resolution leaned towards removal rather than replacement/repair. Keeping the affected sidewalk free from snow and adequately salted during home hockey games should be a priority due to the heavy usage from students waiting to enter the facility. Jake Woods will contact Landscape Services leadership for an update/information that can be shared at the May meeting.
Mark Weiss shared an update to the issue involving a request for procurement of an arborist specific first-aid kit that would be available during tree trimming and cutting efforts. Injuries incurred while performing these tasks can potentially be serious requiring special use first aid equipment. Laura Weber previously mentioned that University Libraries may have extra general use first-aid kits they are looking to distribute on campus. Mark stated that he and Landscape Services supervisor, Aaron Dykstra, have discussed the request and have identified specific items that should be included in the kit.
Kelly Duncan previously provided an update to the issue regarding damaged exterior stairs located near the North side of the Faunce Student Services Building. Some of the concrete stairs are deteriorated and currently present a trip and fall hazard. Kelly also commented that a chunk of broken concrete had been put back in place. Mark Frever stated that a significant number of exterior stairwell stair/bull nosing have been observed to be damaged across campus and the intent is to have some repairs completed prior to the spring commencement. A FM project involving repairs to the affected building systems has been opened, Nate Scheffers is the project manager, and that areas of damage should be made known to the Service Center so they are documented and can be added to the project.
Devin Johnson provided an update to the safety concern involving damaged stairs located in the South Pumphouse. Dennis Moore previously stated that there is significant corrosion to the metal framing particularly to the components near the floor. Jake Woods mentioned that he had performed a site assessment after being made aware of the situation by Maintenance Services tradespeople; photos and information were provided to FM leadership. Devin expressed appreciation to the personnel who brought up awareness of the damaged materials and that R.W. LaPine performed an onsite assessment, provided a cost estimate, and authorization to proceed with repairs was given. A new base for the stairwell was fabricated, coated to prevent corrosion, and installed.
Jake Woods provided an update to the safety and security concern regarding exterior lights located at the Student Recreation Center loading dock. This building’s interior dock area is a designated clock in/out location for Custodial Services personnel and receives a lot of traffic at the beginning of their shift. The lights were previously observed to not be working properly and the area in question was very dark. Jake shared that the Maintenance Services department completed final repairs to the affected lighting system on 3/21/23; no further issues have been observed.
Jake Woods provided an update to the safety and security concern involving exterior doors at The Seeyle Center and Bill Brown facility. Custodial Services personnel previously observed some doors to be unlocked during surprising times, propped open, and some with mechanical issues. DPS, Athletics, and Maintenance Services have been made aware of the situation and are working together for resolution. Jake also shared the following comments; the door lock schedule may change depending on daily access needs for the facilities, doors are scheduled to remain locked unless deemed otherwise, a project involving installation of new/additional security cameras is underway, and that specific concerns should be made known to supervisors who can they share with the Athletics group.
No Updates. Jake Woods obtained an updated cost estimate for SRC project dated 7-12-11.
Justin Keech introduced a safety concern regarding break locations that are used by Custodial Service personnel. Some of these spaces are individual rooms/closets where cleaning and other chemicals are stored. Committee members discussed why these areas are being utilized as break locations, chemical/electrical concerns, and whether a survey can be performed to ensure designated break locations are safe to use. Jake Woods will investigate, communicate the concern to Custodial Services management, and provide a follow up.
Justin Keech expressed a concern involving obstructions encountered when moving trash to the collection dumpster during home football games. Justin stated that a situation occurred last season where the WMU band was blocking the entire driveway causing an obstruction to custodians who were trying to use the collection dumpster. Committee discussions included possible relocation of the collection dumpster, developing a plan of who to contact with issues, passing along current concerns to WMU Athletics/Band, etc. Jake Woods will investigate and provide a follow up.
Keith Pung mentioned that April is recognized as Earth Month. Various organizations and municipalities will be hosting efforts related to sustainability and environmental awareness. The City of Kalamazoo is hosting a local event; further information can be found at: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70a0f4ea8af2ba0f94-2023#/.
Kathy Cain-Babbitt mentioned that in the days leading up to Workers Memorial Day (April 28), family members, workers, labor unions, and advocates will gather in Washington, D.C., and communities across the country to honor and remember our fallen and injured workers. Further information can be found at: https://www.osha.gov/workers-memorial and https://aflcio.org/about-us/conferences-and-events/workers-memorial-day.
Laura Weber shared a compliment that WMU got from its property insurance carrier, Zurich. “Because of the good work that WMU does to minimize exposures, and because WMU follows up on the exposures pointed out by Zurich, WMU is the only university in our region that Zurich is providing high hazard tornado zone insurance coverage for.”
Jake Woods shared the following update from Juanita Snell: Custodial Services personnel will be able to attend a self-defense training workshop during the month of May. The training will be voluntary and not required.
Jake Woods shared that the National Safety Council recognizes April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. This is an annual observance held each year highlighting the importance of safe and mindful driving. At least eight people a day are killed in distracted driving crashes. Further information can be found at: https://www.nsc.org/road/distracted-driving-awareness-month.
The next UMSC meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 9th, 2023 in the shared conference room located on the ground floor of the E.W. Building at 10:00 a.m.; an invitation to attend via video conferencing platform (WebEx) will also be sent out with these minutes. Please send a substitute representative if you are unable to attend.