Workplace Safety During a Strike

To: UCSC Community

From: Buddy Morris, Director, Environmental Health and Safety

Everyone in our campus community may potentially be impacted by a strike and we want to emphasize that attention to personal safety and the safety of your fellow workers is of paramount importance. Injury prevention and safety is something that each individual must assume ownership for if we are to get through a strike day or any regular workday, injury free. During a strike, routine services may be altered and you may find that you are doing tasks that you do not normally perform (at least at work) in order to make the best of the situation. This is when injuries are more likely to occur so we want to urge you to plan ahead before you perform an unfamiliar task. You must be thoughtful and deliberate in your approach to ensure each new task is completed safely. Failing to do so can result in an injury that is potentially debilitating, demoralizing and even life altering.

A serious injury can result from something as simple as walking your trash out to the dumpster where inattention can result in a slip and fall, back (lifting, twisting) injury, strained shoulder (swinging the bag into the dumpster while holding the lid open) and cuts from sharp objects. This is just an example but it illustrates that we need to be very attentive to how we work and again we want to emphasize that when we do something that is not part of our normal routine, the risk of injury is even higher. If you have any question or doubt about how to do something safely the simple solution is to NOT DO IT until you can discuss it with your supervisor and coworkers or contact the Environmental Health and Safety Department (9-2553) for advice. Getting a co-worker to assist you is almost always a good precaution. Please, do not undertake a task until you are confident that it can, and will be done injury free.