UNION-MANAGEMENT SAFETY COMMITTEE
November 2022 Meeting Minutes
The monthly meeting of the Union-Management Safety Committee was conducted on November 8th, 2022 by the Environmental Health and Safety department with the following individuals in attendance:
Kathi Cain-Babbitt A AFSCME
Kelly Duncan A Landscape Services
Darrell Junkins A Landscape Services
Pat Lem A Maintenance Services
Dennis Moore A Maintenance Services
Lindsey Myers VA Sindecuse Health Center
Laura Weber VA Legal Affairs, Risk, and Compliance
Mark Weiss A Environmental Health and Safety
Jake Woods A Environmental Health and Safety
In-Person Attendance: (A)
Virtual Attendance: (VA)
Kelly Duncan provided an update to the concern involving concrete walkways and stairways that need repair. Kelly mentioned that some repairs to damaged areas on campus are finalizing and that she should have the list ready to present at the December meeting. The areas will then be reviewed by Landscape Services management for further action and be added to the UMSC Damaged Concrete / Brick Areas on Campus list.
Jake Woods previously provided an update to the request for fentanyl awareness, active shooter / intruder response, and other hazardous materials such as needles/unknown chemicals/etc training for Landscape Services personnel. Jake opened a dialogue with WMU-DPS and Landscape Services management. Training availability and specifications were confirmed with WMU-DPS responsible for active shooter / intruder response and WMU-EHS responsible for the other subjects. Landscape Services management are determining best availability for training session scheduling.
Kathi Cain-Babbitt previously introduced a safety concern involving damaged walkways and/or stairs at Waldo Stadium. Kathi observed a Facebook post / group chat during a recent football game where patrons discussed damaged materials being present in seating sections D/E. She subsequently forwarded along the concerns to the FM Service Center who issued work order LA-100111 to have Landscape Services inspect the area(s).
Jake Woods provided an update to the concern regarding washed out pavement and a hole in the driveway located between the Faunce Student Services Building and North Kohrman Hall. Jake investigated and found the damaged areas had been controlled with protective barriers. He subsequently contacted Facilities Management and Parking Services who informed him that they were aware of the issue and that repairs were in the process of being completed.
Kelly Duncan previously introduced a safety concern involving observations of unprotected holes or sunken depressions in the lawn near Parking Lot 94. The areas of concern were not marked and were found to be deep enough that an individual could step in and trip/fall. Kelly will follow up with the Landscape Services personnel responsible for this Region of campus to ensure the trip and fall hazard is mitigated.
Jake Woods provided an update to the concern involving damaged and deterioration to the stone retaining wall at the Trimpe Building. Jake investigated and determined the damaged wall was an aesthetic issue, which should be reviewed for repairs, rather than a safety concern.
Jake Woods provided an update to the trip and fall concern involving significant deterioration to recent repairs that had been completed on concrete stairs near Miller Auditorium. The stairway in question is heavily trafficked by pedestrians and is located in the center of the wide stairway and it appears all of the repair material has fell off exposing rebar underneath. Jake investigated and found the materials to be damaged as described, FM work order LW-100517 was submitted.
Jake Woods provided an update to the issue regarding the lack of transportation access to the Lee Honors College building. The previous access driveway was demolished and not replaced during removal of the Wesley Chapel parking lot. The driveway was used by both Custodial Services and Maintenance Services personnel to deliver supplies and other heavy items to the facility. Personnel were not informed on recommended access methods but the committee discussed options such as using campus sidewalks for driving on and/or delivering using carts. Jake reached out to management and was informed that a new access road would not be installed. Personnel should park at a nearby parking lot and traverse to the building using campus sidewalks. University vehicles may be driven on the sidewalks if delivering large/heavy/awkward materials and/or supplies.
Laura Weber introduced an issue concerning a University vehicle parked in lot #41 that is causing a visual obstruction. The vehicle is parked at the end of a parking row and is blocking views from drivers using the parking lot. Jake Woods will investigate and work to have the University vehicle relocated.
Dennis Moore introduced a safety concern involving damage to an underground vault located in parking lot #37; directly in front of the Kohrman Hall chiller/mechanical room. The upper section of the vault is damaged and tradespeople are concerned that a vehicle could fall into it. The area in question was isolated by a traffic safety cone by Maintenance Services personnel in an effort to prevent an accident. Committee discussions involved complete repair to the damaged vault and/or installation of permanent barrier to prevent vehicles from driving/parking over the area in question. Jake Woods will investigate, bring to the attention of Parking Services / FM-Engineering, and provide a follow up.
Kelly Duncan introduced a concern regarding lack of visibility while using Landscape Services salt spreading trucks (approximately 4-6 trucks). The vehicles in question have a large storage unit in the bed of the pickups that obstructs the rear-view mirror; they also typically have a large device on the rear of the vehicle that protrudes further than the actual truck. Both of these issues can cause hardship for vehicle operators during snow removal efforts. Kelly stated that the drivers are requesting rear-facing cameras to help increase visibility and decrease the likelihood of a property and/or personal injury incident. Laura Weber mentioned that funding for the devices may be available through the MUSIC group due to the one-time nature and injury/accident prevention goal. Darrell Junkins will investigate, reach out to Laura with further details, and provide a follow up.
Kelly Duncan introduced a safety concern involving high-visibility clothing items that are issued to Landscape Services personnel who assist with Arborists related tasks. Arborist tradespeople have been issued high-visibility articles of clothing while personnel who assist on the ground have been issued high-visibility safety vests. Employees have inquired whether all involved personnel could be issued high-visibility clothing rather than vests. Jake Woods commented that he had recently investigated this topic of concern and found that MIOSHA rules explicitly state that vests are to be used by ground personnel. He also mentioned that best practice, although not required by law, would be to ensure that the issued vests are break-away type; this would prevent a person from being pulled into equipment by a snag, etc. Jake will investigate type of vests being issued with Landscape Services and provide a follow up.
Kathi Cain-Babbitt introduced a public safety concern regarding a situation where a Custodial Services employee personal vehicle was broken into while parked in lot #51 (lower Sindecuse Health Center). Theft of personal belongings took place and the affected employee incurred significant stress and fear. The individual had arrived on campus during the early morning hours and had clocked-in at Sindecuse Health Center; they also mentioned that the amount of lighting in the parking lot seemed lower than normal. Public Safety investigation revealed that there were no security cameras supporting the area where the incident took place, Laura Weber mentioned that University insurance does not cover personal belongings whether they are located in personal or University vehicles. Committee discussions revealed that there are no secure areas in Sindecuse Health Center for employees to put their personal items but that lockable lockers should be considered by Custodial Services management. Jake Woods will investigate, bring to the attention of WMU-DPS / FM-Engineering, and provide a follow up.
Pat Lem introduced a fall concern involving damaged guard railing that is located along the Northwest side of Parking Structure #2. The yellow railing support members were observed to be rusted through at their base; they are significantly loose and currently held up with wire. The guard railing is a fall protection measure that protects pedestrians from a fall greater than 4’. Jake Woods will investigate, bring to attention of Parking Services / FM, and provide a follow up.
Kelly Duncan introduced a concern involving handrailing that was observed to be loose along a stairway near the Western View Apartment complex. Darrell Junkins will investigate and provide a follow up.
Jake Woods expressed gratitude to Mark Frever and Erik Dantes of Facilities Management for their work and time assisting him with efforts related to heat stress monitoring via the FM weather station. Mark and Eric helped Jake with creating a tab on the FM Weather webpage / https://www.fm.wmich.edu/ap/weather/ that will allow real-time measurements for heat stress (WBGT). Jake will proceed in determining how this information will be conveyed to personnel in the field in 2023.
Lindsey Myers stated that Sindecuse Health Center has annual flu and COVID-19 vaccinations available; appointments can be scheduled by phone call or though the Sindecuse Health Center Patient Portal / https://healthmanager.wmich.edu/login_dualauthentication.aspx.
Jake Woods mentioned that recognizes November as Cold Stress injury/accident Prevention Month. This is an annual observance held in November each year highlighting that environmental cold can affect any worker exposed to cold air temperatures and puts workers at risk of cold stress. Cold stress occurs by driving down the skin temperature, and eventually the internal body temperature. When the body is unable to warm itself, serious cold-related illnesses and injuries may occur, and permanent tissue damage and death may result. Further information can be found at: https://www.osha.gov/winter-weather/cold-stress.
Laura Weber expressed appreciation to the EHS department and Jake Woods for helping conduct annual blood borne pathogen illness prevention training with the Seibert Administration Building response team.
Mark Weiss encouraged committee members to attend the upcoming WMU Benefits-Wellness Expo that was scheduled for November 10th from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Bernhard Center East Ballroom.
The next UMSC meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 13th, 2022 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.