Spotlight Tip of the Week
Keep our campus healthy and prevent the spread of influenza and other viruses by practicing everyday preventive actions. Practices include:
- Washing hands often with soap and water; if soap and water are not readily available, consider using a hand sanitizer in the meantime.
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
- Staying home when sick. If possible, stay home from work, school and running errands if you have symptoms of the flu or another virus. Symptoms may include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headaches and fatigue.
- Covering coughs or sneezes with the inside of your arm or a tissue and then throwing the tissue away.
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth unless you've just washed your hands.
Additionally, the best way to prevent the flu is to get the seasonal flu vaccine. It's not too late to get your flu shot; current flu activity is high nation-wide and is expected to last for several more weeks. The flu vaccine is covered by most insurance plans and is accessible at the Vandal Health Clinic on campus on a walk-in basis, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Culture of Questioning
Questioning certain practices with safety in mind is an essential attitude to keep you and the rest of the Vandal family safe. Questioning challenges the complacency that grows in familiar situations and drives change. Questioning safety practices, or perhaps a lack thereof, is vital to developing a culture of safety at the University of Idaho. The goal is for everyone to return home at the end of every day just as healthy as when they arrived on campus.
Safety issues are often recognized but go unreported because a person doesn't know whom to contact or assumes that someone else is already taking care of it. At U of I, we want everyone to challenge these assumptions, question the situation and report the issues. The Report a Safety Concern form was created just for this purpose. It allows for anonymous reporting if you choose, as well as the option to upload an image of the safety problem when appropriate. It is available for anyone to use, and concerns will be directed to the proper campus unit to correct the problem.
Students and employees are the eyes and ears of the community, and your help is essential. Get involved in the safety training opportunities available to you, ask questions if you have a concern about a procedure, take part in safety inspections and report issues right away - issues cannot be corrected if no one knows about them. Timely questioning and reporting can prevent accidents and near misses. If an accident or near miss does occur, report this as well; investigating the reason will help avoid another injury.
As a supervisor, you have additional influence - lead by example and ensure safety is a core value in your team's activities. You are encouraged to do workplace inspections, ensure your employees are current on their safety training, talk regularly with your employees and discuss accident investigation reports with them and the U of I EHS staff. EHS has many resources available for you and the EHS staff can assist all supervisors in their safety efforts.
Our Vandal culture is how we think and act in all our activities. Avoiding complacency and continuously challenging existing conditions that might pose a safety risk allows us as a community to identify discrepancies and take appropriate actions before an accident or near miss occurs. Put safety first and we can achieve the safest possible working and learning environment for our Vandal family.