New Employee Safety Information

New employees are the most likely to be injured at work. This is because new employees don't know the safety procedures and they are unfamiliar with the physical environment. A safety orientation is required for all new employees, this is training is either provided by Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) or your supervisor.

Observe these basic safety rules to make sure you aren't part of the work injury statistics:

  • Ask questions! If you don't know or understand something, or if it doesn't make sense, get answers before you attempt a task.
  • No work task should involve unsafe activities.
    • If a task seems unsafe, ask about the appropriate safety procedures.
    • Make sure your supervisor and EH&S knows if the task needs to be altered for safety.
  • Operate equipment only after receiving training and being authorized .
  • Obey all safety warning signs.
  • Always wear the personal protective equipment provided for your position.
  • Keep your work space tidy.

Specialized safety trainings are offered depending on the hazards an employee may encounter in their position. Refer to the Training page for more information about classes.

Accident Prevention Program

In an effort to prevent accidents and illness at work Eastern has developed an Accident Prevention Program (APP). New employees should review the APP, it is designed to keep you and your coworkers safe.

Of particular note in the APP is the reporting of incidents and hazards. Employees are responsible for reporting any incidents or hazards they experience, witness, or become aware of. Notify your supervisor and submit an incident report anytime something happens at Eastern or on work related trips.

Call EH&S (509.359.6496) immediately for any incidents involving a serious injury or death.

The Accident Prevention Program conforms to the requirements of WAC 296-800-140 and applies to all Eastern employees.


Hazards are any condition that could cause injury or illness. While working, be alert for hazards in your environment. Report any hazards that you find so they can be corrected.

Physical Hazards

These hazards are dangerous objects or physical situations. Physical hazards can include:

Electrical Hazards

Surge protector that is currently on fire.

  • Overloaded outlets
  • Frayed cords
  • Extension cord use
  • Unprotected electricity near water


  • Computer/workstation set-up
  • Equipment ergonomics
  • Lifting

Fire Hazards

  • Candles
  • Cigarettes
  • Excessive paper accumulation
  • Improper flammable material storage

Housekeeping Hazards

  • Blocked walkways and exits
  • Cluttered walkways
  • Top-heavy shelves and cabinets
  • Wet or icy surfaces

Chemical Hazards

These hazards are related to the handling, storage, and spill/release of chemical substances. Some chemicals can cause fire, environmental destruction, injury, illness, and/or death.

Examples of chemical substances include:

  • Pure chemicals
  • Cleaning products
  • Paint
  • Gasoline and propane

Chemical Hazard Communication

All employees must be aware of the chemicals they work with and any hazards those chemicals may pose. Departments are required to maintain an inventory of chemical products and the corresponding Safety Data Sheets.

Safety Data Sheets

Safety Data Sheets (SDS), formerly Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), are documents provided with chemical substances. They contain information about the chemical substance, including hazard information, proper storage, safety equipment needed for proper use, and physical properties.

An SDS must be kept for each chemical substance used by a department or lab. They are required to be stored in an easily accessible location and must be available at all times to any employee who uses the chemical substance.

Chemical Waste

If hazardous chemicals are no longer useful, they must be disposed of through Environmental Health and Safety. Hazardous chemicals may not be flushed down the drain or placed in the trash.


Asbestos materials exist in some university buildings. All facilities are maintained in such a manner that airborne asbestos is reduced to as low a level as reasonably achievable.

Biological Hazards

All employees with occupational exposure to human blood or tissue, and/or other infectious materials must attend annual Bloodborne Pathogen Training and be given an opportunity to receive the Hepatitis B vaccine. Contact Environmental Health and Safety for more information.


Sharps must be disposed of in puncture-proof Sharps Bio-Hazard containers; these are available in many restrooms on campus. Only trained employees should handle sharps. Sharps include items such as:

  • Needles
  • Syringes
  • Scalpel blades
  • Razor blades

Reporting and Correcting Hazards

Anyone can identify a hazard and request correction. Employees should report hazards to their dean, director, or supervisor. Then fill out an Incident Report Form, Service Request Form, or contact the Work Order Desk for assistance.

Deans, directors and supervisors are responsible for ensuring identified hazards are corrected.

Emergency Instructions

These are general recommendations for different emergency situations. Visit the Eastern Police Department Emergency Response Procedures webpage for more information.

Medical Emergencies

  • Call 911


  • Activate the building alarm
  • Evacuate the building
  • Call 911 from a safe location
  • Only use fire extinguisher if trained to do so

Bomb Threat

  • Record information about the caller
  • Do not activate the building alarm
  • Call University Police (x7676) or 911

Hazardous Materials Release

  • If injury occurs, call 911 immediately.
  • If there is no injury, call EH&S (x6496)

Lightning Storm

  • Move indoors
  • Do not use corded phones or electrical equipment
  • If driving a vehicle, stay inside and drive to a safe location

Disaster Siren/Earthquakes

  • Move into nearest building away from windows and doors
  • In multi-story buildings, move to the first or second floor
  • Remain inside building until instructed by emergency personnel
  • Position yourself under a desk or table. Stay under cover until shaking stops. Hold table or desk to keep it from moving away.

Power Outage

  • Remain in building and report outage by calling the Work Order Desk (x2245)
  • Do not attempt to leave the building without adequate lighting
  • Call 911 for assistance

Fire and Emergency Evacuations

Look at the Fire and Emergency Evacuations page for more information, including instructor responsibilities during a building evacuation.

Safety Training by Supervisors

Part-time, temporary, and student employees generally receive safety orientation from their supervisor. These employees are covered by the same health and safety rules that cover full-time employees.

Supervisors must submit a Part-Time, Temporary, and Student Safety Orientation form for the employees they train. This form is designed to ensure all Eastern employees have appropriate safety training before they begin work.