Article 2

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ARTICLE 2
SAFETY

SECTION 1 – OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY

100 PURPOSE - Occupational health and safety is an integral part of an effective risk management program. Maintaining the health and safety of employees and their work areas will improve the productivity and morale of employees, reduce insurance costs, and help the County avoid safety violations and fines.

101 TRAINING - Training shall be implemented in three general ways: Primary, Refresher, and Corrective.

(A) Primary Training - Upon their hire, all new employees shall receive initial training to assist them in understanding how to carry out their duties. All primary training should be done under the supervision of personnel designated by the Agency Head.

(B) Refresher Training - Agency Heads shall have programs in place that will serve to continually educate their staff about the legal and technological changes which directly affect their job duties.

(C) Corrective Training - When employee performance becomes substandard, corrective training will be provided to the substandard employee in order to ensure the quality and safety of the County’s workplace.

(D) Cooperation By Employees – All employees shall accept, implement and cooperate with all training provided to them by their Agency Head. Any employee who fails to do so will be subject to discipline pursuant to the County’s Personnel Rules and Regulations.

102 HEALTH & SAFETY PROGRAMS – The health and safety of a workplace is governed by standards implemented and enforced by OSHA. Employees shall receive training about the proper use of any equipment required in the performance of their job.

(A) Hazard Communication (HAZCOM) - Each Agency Head shall provide information to their employees about the hazardous chemicals and processes to which they are exposed, by means of a hazard communication program, labels and other forms of warning, material safety data sheets, and training. Each County department shall keep a copy of the Board approved Yuma County Hazard Communication Program (HAZCOM) in the Material Safety Data Sheet binder located in their Agency. All County employees shall follow the guidelines of the HAZCOM program.

(B) Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – Each Agency Head shall provide to his/her employees protective equipment, including personal protective equipment for eyes, face, head, and extremities, protective clothing, respiratory devices, and protective shield and barriers wherever it is necessary by reason of hazards of processes or environment, chemical hazards, radiological hazards, or mechanical irritants encountered in a manner capable of causing injury or impairment in the function of any part of the body through absorption, inhalation or physical contact. Each Agency Head shall be responsible for assuring that the PPE provided to employees is adequate and maintained in safe working order.

(1) The Agency Head or his/her designated representative shall assess the workplace to determine if hazards are present, or are likely to be present, which necessitate the use of PPE and, if such hazards are present or likely to be present, to provide the appropriate PPE to their employees.

(2) Agency Heads shall be responsible for training their employees in the proper use and maintenance of PPE.

(3) Where employees provide their own PPE, the Agency Head shall be responsible to assure its adequacy and that the employee is provided with training in its proper use and maintenance.

(4) Employees who are provided PPE by the County shall be held responsible for any intentional or negligent destruction or damage of said equipment.

(5) Defective or damaged PPE shall not be used.

(C) Lockout/Tagout - All County Agencies whose employees are involved in the service, repair, or maintenance activities of machinery and equipment where the employee may be exposed to the release of hazardous energy shall establish a Lockout/Tagout program to safeguard employees from the unexpected startup of machinery and equipment or the release of hazardous energy during the service, maintenance or repair activities.

(1) The standard does not apply in situations, when:

(a) Exposure to hazardous energy is controlled completely by unplugging the equipment from an electrical outlet and where the employee performing the service has exclusive control of the plug. This applies only if electricity is the only form of hazardous energy to which employees may be exposed; or

(b) An employee performs hot-tap operations on pressurized pipelines that distribute gas, steam, water, or petroleum products, for which the employer shows that continuity of service is essential, shutdown of the system is impractical and the employee follows documented procedures and uses special equipment that provides proven, effective employee protection; or

(c) The employee is performing minor tool changes or other minor servicing activities that are routine, repetitive, and integral to production, and that occur during normal production operations. In such cases, employees must have effective, alternative protection.

(D) Ergonomics - All Agency Heads shall be responsible for investigating and correcting ergonomic problems that pose an immediate danger, or are causing current harm or injury, to their employees. Such ergonomic problems can be brought to the attention of the Agency Head by his/her employees, Safety Officer, or the Risk Director.

(1) Behavior Modification – If the practice of an employee is causing an ergonomic problem, which in turn is causing, or has the potential to cause, harm or injury, the employee shall be provided training to correct the problem.

(a) Any employee who is provided ergonomic training shall, to the extent practicable, be required to implement said training.

(b) Any employee who is provided ergonomic training and who fails, or refuses, to implement such training, may be subject to discipline pursuant to the County’s Personnel Rules and Regulations.

(2) Environmental Modification – If the condition of the workplace is unsafe or poses hazards to the health and welfare of any employee, the Agency Head shall be responsible for making appropriate modifications to correct the hazardous condition.

(a) Such conditions can be brought to the attention of the Agency Head by his/her employees, Safety Officer, or the Risk Director.

(b) Prior to alteration of the work environment by the Agency Head, it must be established by a qualified professional that the condition is causing, or has the potential to cause, harm or injury, or that it violates applicable laws.

(3) Administrative – If the practice of an Agency Head or supervisory employee is causing an ergonomic problem, which in turn is causing, or has the potential to cause, harm or injury, the Agency Head or supervisory employee shall modify said practice to correct the hazard-causing practice.

(a) Such practices can be brought to the attention of the Agency Head by his/her employees, Safety Officer, or the Risk Director.

(b) Prior to alteration of such practices by the Agency Head, it must be established by a qualified professional that the practice is causing, or has the potential to cause, harm or injury, or that it violates applicable laws.

(E) Fire Safety - All Agencies shall develop and implement their own safety protocols and fire evacuation procedures to prevent and reduce losses from fire and all employees shall implement and support such protocols. Agency Heads shall provide to the Risk Director a copy of their Agency’s fire safety and evacuation policies and procedures.

(1) Equipment – The Yuma County General Services Department shall ensure that required inspections, testing, and preventive maintenance are performed and documented on all facility fire alarm devices and fixed and portable extinguisher systems under the control of the Yuma County General Services Department.

(2) Evacuation Maps And Exits – Evacuation route maps indicating the shortest route to a designated exit door shall be posted at all Agency locations.

(a) Evacuation route maps shall clearly depict primary and secondary evacuation routes from all work areas, location of alarm devices, and the location and type of fire extinguishing equipment.

(b) Evacuation route maps shall be posted at doorways providing access to exits, main reception areas, maintenance shop areas, and any other work area where employees are routinely assigned to perform duties.

(c) Every exit and exit access shall be marked by a readily visible sign. Any door, passage, or stairway which is neither an exit nor an exit access, and could be mistaken for an exit, shall be identified by a sign reading “Not an Exit” or indicating its actual destination (i.e. “Basement”, “Storeroom”, “Closet”).

(d) Every aisle or exit access to a designated exit door shall be a minimum of 28" wide and shall be maintained free of obstructions. Designated exit doors shall not be locked during working hours to allow egress in the event of an emergency.

(3) Fire Drills – Agency Heads shall be responsible for assuring that their Agency has its own fire evacuation plan and that fire drills are conducted for the benefit of their personnel.

(a) Each Agency Head shall provide a copy of their Agency’s fire evacuation procedure to the Risk Director.

(b) At a minimum, each Agency, with the exception of the County Library, shall conduct a fire drill once each year.

(i) At a minimum, the County Library and its branches shall conduct a fire drill once every three (3) months.

(c) Each Agency Head shall document execution of his/her Agency’s fire drills and forward a copy of said documentation to the Risk Director.

(d) All employees shall participate in their Agency’s fire drills and shall cooperate with their Agency Head’s instructions in connection therewith.

(e) Any employee who refuses to participate in their Agency’s fire drill may be subject to discipline pursuant to the County’s Personnel Rules and Regulations.

(4) Prevention – All employees shall be responsible for preventing the occurrence of fire within their Agency.

(a) Smoking is prohibited in all County buildings.

(b) All flammable and combustible materials shall be handled and stored in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations.

(c) Ignition sources shall be isolated from potential fuel sources to the maximum extent practicable.

(d) Employees shall not have lighted candles or other open flames in County buildings unless such open flames are necessary to the performance of the employee’s job duties (i.e. welding, torch cutting operations, etc.) or are a part of the practice of an employee’s religion.

(i) In the limited instances wherein employees are allowed to have open flames, said employees shall closely monitor such flames, never leave them unattended, and use them in a manner that will not cause a fire hazard or have an adverse effect upon the health and welfare of their fellow employees and/or the workplace.

(e) Approval of the use of space heaters by employees shall rest with the Agency Head. In the event an Agency Head approves of the use of a space heater by his/her employee, said use shall be limited by the following rules:

(i) Space heaters shall be UL (Underwriter’s Laboratory) approved;

(ii) Space heaters shall not be left unattended when in use; and

(iii) A minimum of three (3) feet of space shall be maintained around the space heater.

103 INSPECTIONS - All County Agencies are subject to inspections at any time by their respective Safety Officers, a Safety Committee Member, the Risk Director, or any other person(s) working under the direct supervision of the Risk Director. Any violation(s) of the standards set forth in this policy or the standards promulgated by OSHA will be brought to the attention of the Agency Head and the Risk Director by the individual performing the inspection. A reasonable amount of time will then be given to correct the violation(s) and the Agency Head will provide written verification to the Risk Director when said violation(s) are corrected.

SECTION 2 – INSURANCE PROCUREMENT AND SAFETY RESPONSIBILITIES

200 PURPOSE - For a risk management policy to be effective, all individuals subject to said policy should know their responsibilities. This section serves to identify those responsible for the procurement of insurance and the overall safety of the County.

201 INSURANCE PROCUREMENT - The Risk Director shall be responsible for procuring and maintaining insurance coverage with adequate limits for the County.

(A) If the Risk Director utilizes an insurance broker to obtain quotes from insurers willing to offer insurance to insure the County’s loss exposures, the Risk Director shall obtain the services of the insurance broker through a competitive bidding process that complies with the Yuma County Purchasing Policy and applicable state law.

(1) Contracts for insurance broker services shall be for a term of no more than four (4) years and shall be renewable on a yearly basis during the term of the contract.

(2) The Risk Director or his/her designee shall be responsible for drafting and advertising the Request For Proposal for all insurance broker services.

(B) All employees shall cooperate fully with the Risk Director and provide all requested information for insurance renewals in a timely manner.

(C) All County Agencies requiring specialized insurance (i.e. Aircraft Hull and Liability, Underground Storage Tank Liability, Fiduciary Liability, etc.) shall cooperate fully with the Risk Director in procuring said insurance and provide, in a timely manner, all requested information and complete all necessary applications.

202 ENTITY-WIDE SAFETY - All County employees shall be responsible for working safely, maintaining their work areas in a safe condition, and shall be required to sign a statement indicating that they have read the Yuma County Risk Management, Occupational Health and Safety Policy in its entirety.

(A) Employees - Each employee is responsible for working in a safe, efficient manner. If an employee observes an unsafe condition or behavior in their work area, the employee is required to report the condition or behavior to his Agency’s Safety Officer. Additionally, if an employee has suggestions for improving the overall safety of his/her department he/she shall discuss this with his/her Agency’s Safety Officer.

(B) Supervisors - Supervisors shall be responsible for monitoring the work habits of their subordinates and encouraging them to work safely and effectively. Supervisors shall respond to reports of unsafe conditions, processes, and/or behaviors and take action to correct the unsafe conditions, processes, and/or behaviors.

(C) Agency Heads - Each Agency Head shall be responsible for maintaining a safe working environment and for designating a Safety Officer for his or her Agency.

(D) Safety Officers - Each Agency Head shall designate an individual to serve as its Safety Officer. It is preferable that the designated person have some type of experience in the field of safety, although this shall not be a requirement.

(1) The Safety Officer shall monitor the working conditions in his or her department and make reports and recommendations at the annual meeting of the Safety Committee.

(2) The position of Safety Officer shall be a volunteer position and the person assigned to it will not be eligible for any compensation in addition to their ordinary salary.

(3) Safety Officers shall be responsible for encouraging their fellow employees to work safely and effectively. Safety Officers shall notify the appropriate Agency Supervisor of any reports of unsafe conditions, processes, and/or behaviors.

(E) Safety Committee - To assure a safe working environment, a Safety Committee shall be established. It is the responsibility of this committee to assist the Risk Director in developing and implementing safety programs, assessing the levels of risk in various County departments, assuring compliance with OSHA regulations, and considering complaints and suggestions from employees.

(1) The Safety Committee will be comprised of a Chairperson and the individual Safety Officers from each County Agency.

(a) The Safety Committee will meet at least annually on the first Friday in the month of June. Additional meetings can be called by the Chairperson, as needed.

(b) One month prior to the annual meeting, each Safety Committee Member shall provide the Chairperson a written report that will address any problems, improvements, suggestions, etc. originating from his/her agency. The Chairperson shall utilize the reports of each Committee Member when developing the agenda for the annual meeting.

(c) The position of Safety Committee Member is a volunteer position and the person assigned to it will not be eligible for any compensation in addition to his/her ordinary salary.

(2) The Safety Committee Chairperson will be a permanent position held by the Risk Director.

(a) The Chairperson shall serve as the chairperson of the Safety Committee’s annual meeting and will be responsible for producing and disseminating the meeting agenda to the Committee members prior to the meeting.

(b) The position of Chairperson will be a required position held by the Risk Director. The Risk Director will not be eligible for any compensation in addition to his/her ordinary salary for serving as the Chairperson.

(3) The Safety Committee will not have the authority to settle claims against the County nor will it administer property, casualty, workers’ compensation, or unemployment claims.

(4) The minutes of the annual meeting of the Safety Committee shall be reviewed by the Risk Director in the annual Risk Management Report. Any safety concerns that arise in the course of the Safety Committee’s annual meeting shall be noted and addressed by the Risk Director.

203 HIPAA COMPLIANCE – The County’s compliance with HIPAA shall be governed by the Yuma County Health Information Privacy and Security Policy approved by the Board of Supervisors.

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