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3.1 Accident and Illness Reporting

Report all occupational injuries or illnesses (including exposures to hazardous materials and work-related repetitive stress injuries) and near misses by completing an Accident-Illness Report (AIR) form within 24 hours of the occurrence.

Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that all occupational injuries and illnesses are reported and corrective actions are documented on an AIR form. AIR forms are available in each department. You may also get them directly from EH&S.

Mail completed AIR forms to EH&S at J3-200 via interoffice mail, or fax them to 206.667.3467.

Occupational health nurses and other EH&S staff review all accident and illness reports and corrective actions and conduct further investigation and follow-up as necessary. All AIRs are then reviewed at the Health and Safety Committee meetings.

3.2 Accident Prevention

The Environmental Health and Safety Department has developed an Accident Prevention Program (APP) to provide for the health, safety, and well-being of Fred Hutch employees, patients, visitors, community, and the environment. This program informs employees about workplace hazards as well as steps that can be taken to prevent accidents and reduce or eliminate the danger of injury or illness. The APP fulfills the requirements of the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 296-800-140.

Download the APP, contact EH&S or go to the EH&S website.

3.3 Safety Committees

Fred Hutch organizes four main safety committees: the Health and Safety Committee, the Radiation Safety Committee, the Institutional Biosafety Committee, and the Sharps Injury Prevention Team. The EH&S website contains information on the membership, responsibilities, and meeting dates of each committee.

Employees are welcome to attend safety committee meetings or to bring a safety concern to any committee. Safety concerns can be brought to the attention of EH&S at any time. Questions on these safety committees should be directed to EH&S. Membership rosters and meeting schedules can be obtained from the EH&S website. Meetings are open to everyone who works at Fred Hutch.

3.3.1 Radiation Safety Committee (RSC)

The Fred Hutch Radiation Safety Committee reviews projects that use radioactive materials; authorizes projects using large amounts of radioactive materials; evaluates the Radiation Safety program; and sets or recommends policy on radioactive material usage and waste management. Its members include researchers and technicians from the scientific divisions, management, and Fred Hutch administration.

3.3.2 Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)

The Fred Hutch Institutional Biosafety Committee is authorized by the NIH to review and approve the use of etiologic agents and recombinant DNA, and sets policy for protecting employees against infectious agents to which their work may expose them. Its members include researchers and technicians from the scientific divisions, EH&S, management, and two representatives from the community (people not employed by Fred Hutch).

3.3.3 Health and Safety Committee (HSC)

The Health and Safety Committee reviews specific aspects of the health and safety program, addresses health- and safety-related issues brought to its attention, and promotes wellness and safety throughout Fred Hutch. The HSC reviews occupational accidents and illnesses, accident investigations, and safety inspections; evaluates the chemical hygiene program; and represents or hears employee safety concerns. The HSC must have at least one representative from each division. Membership is made up of a combination of employee-elected and employer-selected representatives, with at least 50% being employee-elected.

3.3.4 Sharps Injury Prevention Team

The Sharps Injury Prevention Team provides information on safety needles and other safety devices, and coordinates training in how to use them. It also involves employees in identifying and choosing these devices, and maintains a log of injuries from contaminated sharps via the accident reporting program.

3.4 Medical Surveillance Programs

Employee medical surveillance is an additional strategy for optimizing the health of staff who work in hazardous settings. Surveillance allows Fred Hutch to detect, eliminate, and prevent the underlying causes of hazards or exposures, with special emphasis on prevention.

3.4.1 Hearing Conservation Program

The Hearing Conservation Program is an on-going effort to prevent employee hearing impairment and to protect employees from hazardous noise levels in departments such as Animal Health or Facilities Engineering. Employees who work in areas of Fred Hutch with high noise level operations (HNLO), or that have been identified as high noise level areas (HNLA), are enrolled in Fred Hutch's audiometric testing program, which is coordinated by EH&S.

3.4.2 Laboratory Animal Allergy Screening Program

Employees who care for or use animals, their tissues or fluids, or who may be exposed to them in their work may participate in the Laboratory Animal Allergy Screening Program. This program monitors the potential development of allergies to laboratory animals, and ensures that appropriate personal protective equipment is available to minimize exposure. It also provides employees the chance to update tetanus vaccinations.

3.4.3 Medical Evaluation Questionnaire for Respirator Use

Employees assigned to tasks requiring respirator use must be physically fit to perform the work while using respirators. The medical evaluation questionnaire is designed to ensure that employees are medically fit and able to tolerate the physical and psychological stress imposed by respirator use, as well as the physical stress originating from the job and workplace conditions. Employees will not be allowed to wear respirators until EH&S has determined that they are medically fit to do so, have been trained, and fit tested.

3.4.4 Laser Eye Exams

The word "laser" is an acronym for Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation. The eye is generally the part of the body most sensitive to laser hazards. Every worker who could be exposed to laser light from Class 3b and 4 lasers must have a baseline eye exam before starting work with lasers, and an exit eye exam upon completion of work at Fred Hutch.