Preventing Injury and Illness in the Workplace



Health and Safety training is organized into three tiers ranging from very general information to more specific training offered by Schools, departments, supervisors, managers and Principal Investigators (PI). The objective is to train employees and students on the correct safety practices for the work they will be doing. 

Reporting Unsafe Conditions and Accidents

Report unsafe conditions to staff who can get them fixed. Report accidents and incidents that occur at work to your supervisor as soon as possible.

Reporting is a structured way of communicating about safety and communication is key to continuously improving safety at Stanford.  Reporting procedures and requirements at Stanford can all be linked to regulatory requirements as well as serving to maintain a healthy and safe workplace.

Stanford encourages employees to report health and safety concerns to their supervisor and enforces a strict non-reprisal policy.  However, a means of reporting anonymously is also provided.

Identifying Hazards in the Workplace

General workplace safety ensures that we all have a safe place to work. Periodic inspection and correction of general safety hazards is a requirement of Stanford's Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP). The University has developed a checklist as part of the Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) to assist in identifying and when necessary, correcting general safety hazards.

Additionally, various compliance and safety inspections and reviews occur regularly throughout the School and campus.

  • The Laboratory Safety Program
  • City and County agency inspections
  • Campus Fire Marshal inspections
  • Quarterly lab self-inspections
  • Ergonomics self assessment
  • Environmental Rounds
  • Internal Audits
  • Accident and Incident Reports

Stanford University has a ‘non-reprisal’ policy in place to assure each of us that reporting safety concerns is not only accepted, but encouraged and expected.  The most important aspect of all of these processes and efforts is to realistically assess potential issues and correct them in a timely manor to assure all of our safety and health and minimize our impact on the surrounding environment.

Correcting Problems

The purpose of the extensive hazard identification efforts at Stanford is single minded:  realistically assess problems and fix what needs to be fixed.  A hierarchy of hazard correction builds from each of us as individuals all the way to the President of the University and the Board of Trustees.  For example, when you complete your computer workstation training and assess your personal workstation, you are expected to make the corrections you can:  rearrange work items, adjust your chair, re-position your monitor, adjust your behavior, etc..  If you cannot achieve a suitable outcome yourself additional resources may be applied as a result of informing your supervisor, such as professional evaluation by the EH&S staff.  This may lead to recommendations to your supervisor to purchase items such as an adjustable footrest or monitor stand to correct a particular problem.

At the higher levels of the hierarchy, as scientific research techniques change and expand, they may require renovated or new facilities with safety features such as fumehoods, special storage facilities, or fire prevention features built in.  These challenges are continuously assessed by the School, University, and Board of Trustees through the capital planning process and may result in major facility renovations or the building of leading edge research facilities like the Center for Clinical Sciences Research and the Clark Center.

In the middle of the hierarchy are extensive maintenance and improvement budgets spread throughout the departments, School, and University, to assure that both routine maintenance, such as cleaning, lighting, and flooring repairs and specialized modifications, such as special casework, flooring, or ventilation and equipment requirements are addressed in a timely manner.  Ultimately, all of these are driven by each of us as individuals participating in identifying and communicating about safety and health issues as part of our day to day work life at Stanford.

Keeping Records

Keeping records of training and inspections is required by the regulations. Make sure that your supervisor has a record of your training. Document in writing any action(s) taken to correct identified hazards or inspection findings.