Information for UMaine Safety Coordinators
Safety Coordinator Information

Chances are, you are visiting this page because you have been appointed as your work area / department safety coordinator.

We hope that providing you with the information on this web page (and recommended links), that we can answer some questions that you may have. If you still have questions after reading the information presented here, you will have the opportunity to submit them to our office. Also, if you need any assistance, please don't hesitate to contact the Safety and Environmental Management (SEM) office at 581-4055.

How did I become a Safety Coordinator?

You were either appointed by your Chairperson or Director (who provided your name to SEM) or you're the Chairperson/Director and you're serving as the Safety Coordinator.

Although the local responsibility for safety training and compliance lies with the chairperson or director, they have the option to designate one person to serve as the department or unit safety coordinator in his/her place.

What are Safety Coordinators required to know about safety?

Woman carrying booksUsually, Safety Coordinators are not safety professionals by trade, and their safety experience may be limited. We don't expect that Safety Coordinators are going to be armed with heaps of safety regulations, binders, books, and folders. However, they should have a working knowledge of the department and work areas, and be able to coordinate any safety related information with department employees.

Our on-line Supervisor Safety Training is a good introduction to the safety requirements of supervisors. Although the goal and intent of this training module is to help supervisors perform necessary functions to keep their workers and/or students safe; it will help you to understand what is required of them. Topics addressed in the on-line training include their responsibilities, hazard identification, accident reporting, and safety training.

What are my duties as a Safety Coordinator?

Safety CoordinatorThe Safety Coordinator duties are usually in addition to your regularly assigned job; although some larger departments may assign someone as a full-time Safety Coordinator.

Essentially you are the liaison between your department and the Safety and Environmental Management department. Working with us, you help to foster safety awareness and ensure necessary education and training, to support a safe and healthful environment, for faculty, staff, students or visitors in their respective departments or units.

What specifically are my duties?

The scope and extent of your duties will be established by your Chairperson or Director. You should discuss any particular tasks and expectations that they may have regarding your Safety Coordinator responsibilities. The specific duties of a Safety Coordinator as outlined in the SEM Policy are:

  • Foster safety awareness and ensure necessary education and training, to support a safe and healthful environment, for faculty, staff, students or visitors in their respective departments or units.
    • Periodically, SEM will be sending out safety information to you via e-mail so that you can distribute it to your department personnel. This information can include timely or seasonal safety topics, articles, notifications of new programs or policies, training announcements, and posters, etc.
  • Prevent unsafe conditions and to facilitate safety awareness and cooperation in the work environment through education and by example.
  • It is imperative that the safety coordinator be seen as a resource on health and safety issues and not be perceived as acting in an enforcement role.
  • Review each self-audit checklist with the faculty, staff, and students using that particular workspace, and report any corrections needed to the chair or director.

Other tasks may include:

  • Assist supervisors in completing a supervisor's report of injury.
  • Provide guidance on the required safety training.
  • Conduct periodic safety self-audits.
What are self-audit checklists and what do I do with them?

Filling out a checklistTo facilitate awareness of proper safety and environmental practices, SEM has developed self-audit checklists (examples below) that the department chair or director may use to conduct self-audits. These self audits should be completed at least annually. According to the SEM policy, you should review each self-audit checklist with the faculty, staff, and students using that particular workspace and report any corrections needed to the chair or director.

The self-audit checklists are not intended to be burdensome, but to serve as an educational tool by alerting faculty, staff, and students of unsafe conditions/practices. As such, the checklists should be completed candidly, and prompt measures should be taken to correct any documented problems. The Department of Safety and Environmental Management will work with each department or unit, upon request, to ensure that problems are corrected in an efficient and timely manner.

Examples of these checklists (also located on the SEM Forms page) are:

What do I do if I see a hazard?
You should report all potential problem areas or potential violations of safety and environmental laws, regulations, and standards to your supervisor, department chair, or director. For hazards around campus, you may contact the Facilities Management (FM) work order desk at 581-4400.
What employee training is required?

All employees of The University of Maine are required to participate in Safety Training. Employees of the University include: Faculty, Staff, Graduate Students, Post Docs, and Student Employees (including work study students, Teaching Assistants, Resident Directors, and any other person who receives pay or compensation for work performed).

All employees are required to have Annual Basic Safety Training and Department Annual Safety Training every year.

Other Specialized Safety Training may also be required for certain employees depending upon the job assignment or task, and the frequency depends on the specific training requirements. For a comprehensive listing and information regarding safety training, please visit our safety training web page. It addresses the training that's required. If you have a question on whether you or your employees need a specific type of training; the first place to start is this web page because it lists each training requirement in more detail.

Am I required to maintain all the training documentation?

File foldersThat depends on your chairperson or director. Usually, the training documentation is kept in the employee's work area by their supervisor. However, is smaller sections, the safety coordinator may be the point of contact for these records.

Click here for a sample training matrix (Excel) to help you (or supervisors) keep track of each employee's training requirements and date due. Contact the SEM Training Coordinator at 581-4088 if you would like assistance in setting up this training matrix.

 

Where can I get additional safety information that I may need?

SEM Web Page

Our SEM web page is a good place to start. It has information regarding accident reporting, forms, policies, and safety training.

Contact Safety and Environmental Management at 581-4055

If you need any assistance, you may also contact us at 581-4055. Or, you may click on this link to Contact Us via email.