UNION-MANAGEMENT SAFETY COMMITTEE
June 2023 Meeting Minutes
The monthly meeting of the Union-Management Safety Committee was conducted on June 13th, 2023 by the Environmental Health and Safety department with the following individuals in attendance:
Kelly Duncan A Landscape Services
Cory Ghiringhelli A Environmental Health and Safety
Devin Johnson A Maintenance Services
Juanita Snell 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)
Juanita Snell shared an update to 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. 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 the end of summer.
Juanita Snell shared an update regarding break locations that are used by Custodial Service personnel. It was previously mentioned that 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 opened a dialogue with Custodial Services leadership who informed him that they plan on performing an audit of the break room spaces to make sure that they are suitable for taking breaks, and if they find out they are not, will designate other areas to be utilized. Juanita stated that some of the surveyed locations have had chairs and tables mobilized; assessment of the remaining break locations is ongoing.
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. Mark stated that he and Landscape Services supervisor, Aaron Dykstra, had discussed the request and identified specific items that should be included in the kit. Mark further investigated and found a specific kit designed for stabilization of traumatic bodily injuries. Tom Sauber of Landscape Services procured the kit and the equipment was issued to the arborists.
Jake Woods previously shared an update regarding obstructions encountered when moving trash to the collection dumpster during home football games. Justin Keech previously 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 brought the issue to Custodial Services leadership’s attention who informed him that procedures to mitigate waste transportation disruptions were developed and implemented during the last football season. The band is aware that they cannot block the dumpster with either their truck or the equipment as they are loading and that a clear path to the dumpster with a cart must be available. If personnel encounter obstructions on game day their supervisor and/or Laura Cornish should be notified so that they can address the situation.
No new business items were introduced at the June 2023 meeting.
Devin Johnson stated that the final construction punch list is being completed at the new Student Center. WMU Maintenance Services tradespeople and Dining Services personnel have also started onsite training.
Juanita Snell stated that Custodial Services personnel recently attended a self-defense training seminar that was conducted by the WMU-Department of Public Safety. The attendees were appreciative of the practical and hands-on course. Juanita also mentioned the training program may be of benefit for Maintenance and/or Landscape Services employees.
Jake Woods shared that the National Safety Council recognizes June as National Safety Month. This is an annual observance held each year highlighting that preventable injuries, commonly known as “accidents,” are the fourth leading cause of U.S. deaths. This year’s focus areas include: slips, trips, and falls; heat-related illness; and hazard recognition. Further information can be found at: https://www.nsc.org/work-safety/get-involved/national-safety-month.
The next UMSC meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 11th, 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.