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Occupational Health and Safety

Hearing Conservation

NYU's Hearing Conservation Program (HCP) has been developed to protect employees from noise-induced hearing loss in the workplace. The program includes noise monitoring, audiometric testing of applicable workers, noise abatement and/or administrative controls, training and record keeping.

Ergonomics

The term Ergonomics comes from the Greek words "ergon," meaning work, and "nomoi," meaning natural laws. The core ethos of ergonomics is to fit your work environment as closely as possible to the individual. Doing so may help to limit musculoskeletal problems.

Office Ergonomics

Setting up your workstation properly may be the single easiest way to prevent injuries. The EHS Office Ergonomics training is available on iLears for all NYU staff to provide the basics on office ergonomics and start you on the path to ergonomically sound workstation set up. This iLearn training should be the first step in answering the braod questions of office ergonomics and workstation set up.

The NYC’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene provides the resources below which fo into finer detail on workstation set up and adjustment:

Chair Adjustments Fact Sheet

Best Working Posture

What Should I Look For When Purchasing an Office Chair

Key Board Tray Adjustment Fact Sheet

Selecting the Right Mouse or Pointer Fact Sheet

In addition to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, OSHA resources on office ergonomics are very helpful n education and self correction of ergonomic issues at your work station.

OSHA’s Ergonomic e-tool Web-based training

Working with the body in a neutral position reduces stress and strain on the muscles, tendons, and skeletal system and reduces your risk of developing a musculoskeletal disorder (MSD). The following are important considerations when attempting to maintain neutral body postures while working at your computer workstation:

Good Working Positions

Workstation Components

Create a safe and comfortable workstation by reviewing this checklist.

Workstation and Environment

Work Process and Recognition

Although there is much that can be done to improve workstation setup, there are no guarantees that the measures will be completely successful. If after reviewing the above resources you still questions regarding setup, and feel a formal ergonomic evaluation is needed, please contact the Office of Equal Opportunity for ergonomic assessment.

Non-Ionizing Radiation

NYU's Non-Ionizing Radiation Safety program is intended to protect personnel, visitors and property form the hazards associated with sources of electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths >0.16 micrometers. 

Laser Use Registration Form (PDF)

OSHA Non-Ionizing Radiation

Confined Space

A Confined Space is a space that:
1) is large enough and so configured that an employee can bodily enter and perform assigned work;
2) has limited or restricted means for entry or exit (for example, tanks, vessels, silos, storage bins, vaults and sewers are spaces that may have limited means of entry); and
3) is not designed for continuous employee occupancy.

A Permit Required Confined Space is a Confined Space with on ot more of the following characteristics:

  1. Contains or has a potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere;
  2. Contains a material that has the potential for engulfing an entrant;
  3. Has an internal configuration such that an entrant could be trapped or asphyxiated by inwardly converging walls or by a floor which slopes downward and tapers to a smaller cross-section; or
  4. Contains any other recognized serious safety or health hazard.

All employees whose work involves entering a Confined Space must be properly trained in the correct entry and work procedures in advance. However, all Permit Required Confined Space entry is currently performed by outside contractors. Please notify Environmental Health and Safety if your work activities involve Confined Space Entry. 

OSHA Confined Spaces

Electrical Safety

OSHA Electrical Incident e-Tool

A variety of possible solutions may be implemented to reduce or eliminate the risk of injury associated with electrical work. Examples of solutions include the use of insulation, guarding, grounding, electrical protective devices, and safe work practices. The following references aid in controlling electrical hazards in the workplace.

OSHA's Control of Hazardous Energy (lockout/Tagout)

OSHA's Lockout/Tagout Interactive Training

 

Forklifts/Powered Industrial Vehicles

Powered Industrial Vehicles is a term that means any piece of equipment that is powered by electricity, battery, or propane that is used to transport or haul material.

Mandatory training is provided when the employee is initially assigned to the vehicle or work area and again when an employee has been involved in an accident, has been careless, the conditions of the workplace changes or has been assigned to a different truck. In addition, a Performance Driving Test Evaluation must be conducted once every 3 years by an experienced driver. 

OSHA's Powered Industrial Trucks

OSHA's Powered Industrial Truck’s Operator Training (PPT)

Hot Work Permit

The Hot Work Permit is a permit authorizing the performance of welding, flame cutting and soldering processes. The authorization shall come from a Building Manager and/or Maintenance and Operations Supervisor. The Building Manager and/or Maintenance and Operations Supervisor shall be responsible for the safe practice of all processes performed by the operators.

Training on Hot Work Permits is mandatory for Building Managers and/or Maintenance and Operations Supervisors or anyone issuing a Hot Work Permit, and is provided by Safety.

Ladder Safety

When used properly, ladders can make many tasks easier to perform. However, each year, many people suffer serious injuries from accidents involving ladders. Even the best ladder is not safe unless you are trained and proficient in using ladders.

All employees are encouraged to attend Ladder Safety training offered through Operations Safety Training, managed by Global Health and Safety which include: Lockout/Tagout, PPE, Hot Work, and Ladder Safety.

Lockout/Tagout

Lockout/Tagout is the control of hazardous energy. Such as electricity, high temperature water, steam, pneumatic pressure, mechanical pressure and other sources of stored energy. When service or maintenance work is required, lockout and tagout devices help ensure personal safety from possible energy releases.

All employees whose work involves hazardous energy sources must be trained in lockout/tagout procedures. This training is offered through Operations Safety Training, managed by Global Health and Safety to include: Lockout/Tagout, PPE, Hot Work, and Ladder Safety. 

Machine Guarding

Moving machine parts must be safeguarded to protect operators from serious injury. Belts, gears, shafts, pulleys, flywheels, chains, and other moving parts must be guarded if there is a chance they could come in contact with an operator.

All operators are required to be trained in, and familiar with, the operation of machinery used in their respective job assignment(s). EHS annualy audits shops for machine guarding compliance and shop safety.

Respiratory Protection

The Respiratory Protection Program is in place for the protection of NYU employees who are exposed to inhalation hazards in the workplace. When administrative or ventilation controls are inadequate or not feasible to appropriately protect employees from airborne exposures to chemical and physical hazards (particulates), tight fitting respirators are utilized. The possibility of mitigating an airborne hazard through administrative and engineering controls (such as fume hoods and local ventilation systems) is always exhausted before respiratory protection is recommended. Tight fitting respirators are half face or full face respirators with filtering cartridges used to filter airborne contaminates from an employee breathing zone, paper dust masks are not considered tight fitting respirators.

All employees who use tight fitting respirators must be included in the Respiratory Protection Program which consists of the following:

  • the ongoing selection and assessment of respiratory equipment
  • medical evaluations of employees who use tight fitting respirators
  • annual fit testing for employees who use tight-fitting respirators
  • annual training for all employees included in the program

The medical questionnaire can be found by clicking the link below. The medical questionnaire must be submitted to Student Health Services BEFORE the required annual fit testing and training. Please contact EH&S in order to schedule the appropriate submission of medical questionnaires, fit tests, and training.

Dust masks can be readily used by any employee who is exposed to periodic airborne dust during the course of their normal work tasks and do not require participation in the Respiratory Protection Program. If consistent dust exposure is experienced beyond periodic occurences, EHS should be contacted to assess if a half face or full face respirator is more appropriate for consistent and sustained esposure to dust. If you have specific questions about airborne hazards or respirator use, please consult with EH&S on the best course of action.

Appendix A – Respirator Use (PDF)
Appendix B – Fit Testing Protocols (PDF)
Appendix C – Respirator User Seal-Check (PDF)
Appendix D – Respirator Cleaning Procedures (PDF)
Appendix E – Inspection /Maintenance Log (PDF)v

OSHA’s Respiratory Protection e-Tool

Shop Safety

The hazards associated with shop work require special safety considerations. Whether you work in a metal shop, wood shop, or electrical shop, the potential hazards for personal injury are numerous.

All personnel whose work revolves around a metal shop, wood shop or electrical shop are required to complete a Shop Safety Refresher (PDF). The Shop Safety Refresher will be completed by each operator under the guidance of a supervisor and returned to EHS.

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