UNION-MANAGEMENT SAFETY COMMITTEE
October 2023 Meeting Minutes
The monthly meeting of the Union-Management Safety Committee was conducted on October 10th, 2023 by the Environmental Health and Safety department with the following individuals in attendance:
Josh Balfour A Dining Services
Cindy Beebe A Custodial Services-Auxiliary Enterprises
Kathy Cain-Babbitt A AFSCME
Kelly Duncan A Landscape Services
Cory Ghiringhelli A Environmental Health and Safety
Justin Keech A Custodial Services
Pat Lem A Maintenance Services
Vince Renda A Maintenance Services
Judy Slumkoski A Custodial Services
Juanita Snell A Custodial Services
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)
Jake Woods shared an update from Devin Johnson regarding the safety concern involving interior lighting at Miller Auditorium. It was previously mentioned that some lighting fixtures had been found to be nonworking or randomly having issues; these include areas such as bathrooms and other spaces without windows. Jake stated that a Maintenance Services electrician investigated and believed they were able to track down the root cause. The situation was likely caused by electrical routing that had been made off of the emergency lighting circuit. Necessary changes were made and the system should now be working properly. It was mentioned during committee discussions that flickering lights were observed as recently as the previous week; the business item will be left open until November to confirm no issues remain.
Jake Woods shared an update from Devin Johnson regarding the safety concern involving the main entry doors, facing Sangren Hall, at the Student Center that had been observed to close very quickly and open more difficult than expected. It was mentioned that a third-party door repair contractor, Assa Abloy, was recently on campus completing exterior door preventative maintenance; while onsite they also serviced the Student Center doors in question. The business item will be left open until November to confirm no issues remain.
Jake Woods shared an update from Keith Pung regarding the safety issue involving a suspected sinking storm water drain that is located in the parking lot near the #2415 Western View Apartment building. It had been previously stated that the asphalt near the drain is damaged and crumbling; the primary concern is a possibility of snow removal efforts causing further damage. Keith investigated and brought the situation to the attention of FM-Engineering and Parking Services. An assessment performed found that the storm water drain system was in good-intact condition. Parking Services were in the process of coordinating repairs to the damaged asphalt that surrounds the storm drain. The business item will be left open until November to confirm no issues remain.
Jake Woods provided an update to the security/safety concern at the Student Center involving the lack of lockable doors and the ongoing process of installing lock cores. It was previously mentioned that there are multiple Dining Services areas that should be controlled access which are open and accessible to the general public. Jake investigated and made the situation and concerns known to WMU-DPS. He was informed that the key & core group was flooded with work and that they are working through the Student Center commissioning efforts. All requests should be routed through Bronco Fix-It; however, if something needs attention quicker let them know in the request and/or send them an individual email so they can make it a priority.
Jake Woods provided an update to the issue regarding a recently blocked off driveway located between the Physical Plant and Stadium Drive. This driveway was heavily utilized by Facilities Management personnel to safely access Eddies Lane. The changes now require any persons leaving the parking lot to enter Stadium Drive and then quickly turn right onto Eddies Lane. It was previously stated that employees feel that these changes have decreased their safety and that they are being punished for the unsafe driving by student athletes that is widely known to occur in these parking lots. It was also mentioned that these changes have caused significant difficulty for the WMU garbage truck who regularly traverses the busy parking lot. The committee discussed alternative methods of increasing safety by prohibiting left-hand turns from Parking Lot #6 onto Stadium Drive as well as increasing Public Safety presence and/or enforcement of safe driving rules. Jake inquired WMU-DPS and was informed that the changes which had been made are final. The response stated that it is an inconvenience issue for all users and not a safety issue. Senior administration was consulted with the issue and decided bollards were the best option. Limited resources preclude continuous monitoring of the parking lot for unsafe and erratic driving behaviors.
Juanita Snell previously shared a building security concern involving the presence of an unauthorized/homeless person who was observed in Rood Hall during early morning hours by Custodial Services personnel. Building custodians immediately contacted public safety upon observing the individual and then secured themselves in a lockable room. DPS responded very quickly and performed a thorough site walkthrough; it was believed the unauthorized person was not found and likely had vacated the building. Juanita also mentioned that a Custodial Services employee had personal items stolen from their vehicle that was parked on campus. She reminded committee members of the importance of keeping personal vehicles locked and valuable items from view.
Mark Heeres previously expressed a safety concern involving the transition from pavement to granite slab located in the Bronco Mall between Sangren Hall and the Student Center. The two different materials afford varying levels of traction depending on weather conditions. EHS will monitor and track incidents/injuries to determine if further action is necessary. The committee also discussed application of an anti-slip surfacing material, similar to what was installed on the Miller Fountain poured concrete walkways, in event further action is warranted.
Vince Renda reintroduced safety concerns with The Student Center centrally located seating-stair feature. He mentioned that installation of an upper guardrail would increase safety for users of the facility. Improvements for hard of seeing individuals should also be considered; a small rumble-type strip is present delineating the unprotected edges. EHS and committee members will investigate and follow up with the building coordinator if/when personal injuries related to the seating-stair system arise.
Justin Keech introduced a concern regarding changes to parking lot #27 (Moore Hall). R-type, employee, parking is no longer allowed in the lot due to nearby construction projects. The parking lot was heavily used by Custodial Services personnel who support the building and utilize the site as a clock in/out location. Committee discussions indicated that employees are now using the Miller Auditorium parking ramp and then walking to the building. Personnel were concerned if their pedestrian route is known to Landscape Services and if it could be included in the early-morning snow clearing schedule. Jake Woods will investigate and provide a follow up.
Justin Keech expressed a safety concern regarding work practices in the Custodial Services Special Projects group. Justin mentioned that a member of the team recently sustained a repetitive motion injury and a contributing factor is believed to be the workload not being evenly distributed amongst the group members. Rotation of stressful and/or difficult work duties are not evenly distributed; there has been conflict with trying to rotate tasks amongst the multiple-person group. It was also mentioned during committee discussions that their supervisor has not been engaged enough with the group and has put in minimal effort in trying to resolve said concerns. Juanita Snell will investigate and provide a follow up.
Kelly Duncan stated that she observed damage to the concrete at the Student Recreation Center loading dock. A trip and fall hazard is present due to the deteriorated walking surface materials. Pat Lem will investigate and provide a follow up.
Kelly Duncan expressed concerns regarding damage to the concrete curtain surrounding the French-style stormwater drain located in parking lot #16 (University Arena). A trip and fall hazard is present due the damaged materials and open gap that is present. Jake Woods will investigate and provide a follow up.
Kelly Duncan introduced a safety concern regarding significant damage to the concrete sidewalk located adjacent to Lawson Drive on the vehicle bridge. A trip and fall hazard is present due the damaged materials. Jake Woods will investigate and provide a follow up.
Jake Woods shared an update from Lindsey Myers regarding vaccination availabilities at Sindecuse Health Center. Lindsey stated that flu shots are available and that they will be carrying the RSV vaccine in the near future. Sindecuse Health Center will also be offering COVID vaccines as well but they had run out and were expecting their next shipment on 10-12-23.
Junita Snell stated that Custodial Services is in the process of hiring new employees. The new personnel will be scheduled for their initial safety-related training (blood borne pathogen, asbestos awareness, ladder safety, Hazard Communication-Right to Know) with the EHS department during their on-boarding.
Jake Woods shared that the National Safety Council recognizes October as National Protect Your Hearing Month. This is an annual observance held each year highlighting awareness that exposure to loud noise or certain chemicals while at work can damage your hearing. Occupational hearing loss is one of the most common work-related illnesses and is permanent. Further information can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/noise.
The next UMSC meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 14th, 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.