A. General Conditions
- The University shall make reasonable attempts to furnish and maintain in safe working condition the workplace and equipment required to carry out assigned duties. The University shall manage its operations in compliance with established campus/hospital/laboratory health and safety policies and procedures. Nothing shall preclude the University from establishing safety standards above minimum safety requirements.
- The University shall not retaliate against any Postdoctoral Scholar for identifying, and/or expressing concerns about safety-related issues.
- Safety-related issues include: chemical and biological hazards, emergency response, ergonomic risks, radiation, lasers, magnetic fields, nano-particle exposure, and fall hazards.
- Safety is an essential consideration in Postdoctoral Scholars’ task design and the effectiveness of the safety procedures shall match, as closely as possible, the estimated short-and long-term risks associated with the task.
- In the event a Postdoctoral Scholar alleges that the physical work place has caused mental or emotional reactions to the work environment, or that s/he has developed physical reactions arising from mental or emotional reactions to or perceptions of the work environment, the University’s sole obligation under this Article is to review the allegations and mitigate the physical hazards, if any, in accordance with the provisions of this Article.
- The following provisions apply to situations when a Cal-OSHA inspector conducts a compliance investigation at a laboratory or work area. The parties acknowledge that Cal-OSHA has the right to inspect University facilities unannounced.
- When the Cal-OSHA inspector arrives to inspect a worksite in which Postdoctoral Scholars are located, Union representative has a right to be present at the opening conference and to accompany the inspector during the walkaround inspection.
- When a Postdoctoral Scholar in a laboratory or work area, is aware of a Cal-OSHA compliance inspection related to a Postdoctoral Scholar in that laboratory or work area, the supervisor will not unreasonably deny an authorized Postdoctoral Scholar representative’s request to accompany the Cal-OSHA inspector on the walkaround. No more than one Postdoctoral Scholar need be granted participation in walkaround.
- A Cal-OSHA inspector may talk with the Postdoctoral Scholars who s/he deems necessary in the conduct of a Cal-OSHA investigation.
- The parties agree to the following provisions in an effort to address the Union’s ability to join an inspector during compliance reviews and walkarounds.
- The parties agree that the Union will provide the University with a list of Union representatives that the University may contact. The University will attempt to contact the representatives on the list as soon as practicable following Cal-OSHA’s announcement of an inspection.
- In the case of an unannounced Cal-OSHA inspection, the Union Representative(s) must respond to the University’s contact effort in time to participate in the inspection.
- Within a reasonable time following a written request by the Union, the University EH&S Office will provide the UAW with copies of EH&S inspection reports related to work sites of Postdoctoral Scholars. The University may charge the Union for the reasonable costs associated with the provision of such materials if providing the materials is burdensome.
B. Health and Safety Training
- On an ongoing basis, the University shall provide training and information about the University’s health and safety programs. This training includes information about:
- the health and safety protocols and emergency procedures associated with the Postdoctoral Scholars research and, where applicable, known specific hazards associated with the Postdoctoral Scholar’s research,
- the health and safety rights and responsibilities of both the employer and the Postdoctoral Scholar, and
- the procedures available to Postdoctoral Scholars to abate or report any unsafe or unhealthy working conditions.
- The University will provide relevant training/information for reasonably foreseeable hazards that are related to exploratory research, and for tasks/procedures known to have associated safety risks.
- The University shall document training that is provided to Postdoctoral Scholars.
- The normal course of a Postdoctoral Scholar’s research may include activities, substances, or procedures that may be considered hazardous.
- In the event a Postdoctoral Scholar believes s/he has been assigned research that is hazardous, or research that requires additional training, the Postdoctoral Scholar shall immediately inform her/his supervisor of the components of the assignment that s/he believes to be hazardous or dangerous. Nothing in this provision shall limit the Postdoctoral Scholar’s option to contact EH&S.
- In attempting to resolve the Postdoctoral Scholar’s claim, the supervisor, may provide necessary training/instruction, protective equipment or hazard abatement, or may make workplace task performance and/or task assignment changes to remediate the Postdoctoral Scholar’s concerns.
- At any time after the supervisor has been informed of the hazardous assignment, the supervisor or the Postdoctoral Scholar may contact a University EH&S professional for participation in task evaluation.
- A Postdoctoral Scholar who has complied with the procedures in §2., above, has the right to refuse hazardous tasks, while the University is investigating or remedying her/his concern.
- If the supervisor does not provide the training/instruction or does not make assignment changes, s/he shall have the Postdoctoral Scholar’s claim assessed by a University EH&S professional person responsible for the assessment of health and safety conditions before the Postdoctoral Scholar is required to continue with the task. If, in the assessment of the University EH&S professional, the assignment requires additional training/instruction or other remedies, the supervisor shall follow campus/hospital procedures to remedy the situation prior to assigning the work to the Postdoctoral Scholar. Once the University makes the modifications that remedy the situation as required by the University EH&S professional, the Postdoctoral Scholar may be required to perform the work.
- If, in the assessment of the University EH&S professional, the assignment is within the scope of the Postdoctoral Scholars training and knowledge or that the University’s safety policies and procedures are met, the supervisor may require the Postdoctoral Scholar to perform the assignment. Alternatively, the supervisor may assign the affected Postdoctoral Scholar to other available work consistent with the work usually performed by the Postdoctoral Scholar or may assign another qualified Postdoctoral Scholar to perform the assignment.
D. Labor Management Committee
- Specific and/or general campus/hospital health and safety concerns may be raised by contacting the campus EH&S Office at any time.
- In addition, the University and the UAW agree to address Health & Safety matters in scheduled campus labor/management meetings.
- Such meetings shall be scheduled at least twice per year.
- Thirty (30) calendar days prior to the meeting the University and the UAW shall exchange agenda items each party wants to discuss, and the names of the Postdoctoral Scholars whom the UAW has selected to attend. In the event neither party identifies agenda items by the 30-day period, the meeting may be cancelled.
- Each party shall designate a person to serve as Co-chair for the meetings. The Co-chairs shall work together to schedule the meeting times and locations, shall specify the agenda, and agree on the information and individuals necessary to conduct an informed meeting. Each party’s Cochair will communicate any cost and/or burden associated with providing the requested information as soon as such cost/burden is known.
- The campus shall provide release time for one Postdoctoral Scholar per 400 Postdoctoral Scholars at the campus, to attend the meeting. Campuses with fewer than 400 Postdoctoral Scholars shall provide release time for one Postdoctoral Scholar at the campus or major portion thereof to attend the meeting. A University EH&S professional will attend the Labor/Management meeting.
E. Information and Tests
- The University will maintain the material safety data sheet (MSDS) and other safe operating procedure (SOP) documents received from the vendor, unless the latest version of the MSDS is already available. The University shall maintain such information, in paper or electronic form. These sheets pertaining to chemicals, substances and equipment used at the work area of a Postdoctoral Scholar shall be made available to the Postdoctoral Scholar prior to her/his commencing to work with the substance, chemical or equipment, or to the UAW on request.
- The University shall provide to affected Postdoctoral Scholar(s) access to existing data regarding toxic chemicals, seismic safety and asbestos reports, as required by state and federal law. Postdoctoral Scholars may request safety records relevant to their own safety or health. Such existing data and/or safety records shall be readily available and provided to the Union or Postdoctoral Scholar within a reasonable time following a request.
- In the case of a suspected outbreak of a communicable disease or nuclear, biological, or chemical contamination and when the University requires testing for such communicable disease or contamination of patients and/or Postdoctoral Scholars the University shall offer such tests for Postdoctoral Scholars within the appropriate affected work areas at no cost to the Postdoctoral Scholars.
F. Protective Clothing and Equipment
- General Provisions – Protective work clothing is attire worn over or in place of regular clothing to protect the Postdoctoral Scholar’s clothing from damage or abnormal soiling or to maintain a sanitary environment and includes laboratory coats, shop coats, aprons, scrubs, and surgical gowns. Safety equipment protects the Postdoctoral Scholar and includes head covers, gloves, goggles, prescription safety glasses, and safety shoes. Protective work clothing, including required protective equipment and other required safety equipment, is provided by the University.
- At the request of the Postdoctoral Scholar, the University shall review the need to provide additional safety equipment.
- When a MSDS or SOP provides that certain safety equipment (for example, but not limited, to rubber gloves, face masks, etc.) is required for safe handling of a hazardous substance, the required safety equipment shall be reasonably accessible to the Postdoctoral Scholars who are required, as part of their job duties, to use that hazardous substance. Upon review of an operation involving a hazardous substance and with the agreement from a University EH&S professional, safety equipment requirements may be tailored in a manner not stipulated in the MSDS.
- Replacement – Protective work clothing and safety equipment, except prescription lenses and sized safety shoes, which were provided to a Postdoctoral Scholar by the University for use on the job, shall be returned upon completion of the assignment. University-provided items lost or damaged due to Postdoctoral Scholar negligence shall be replaced at the Postdoctoral Scholar’s expense. University-provided items damaged or worn out in the performance of duties shall be repaired or replaced by the University. A Postdoctoral Scholar required to wear prescription safety glasses will be responsible for the medical eye examinations. The University shall supply the safety lenses and frames selected by the University.
The University and the UAW agree that the University’s choice of response to achieve compliance with this article or the specifics of any arbitrator’s award may be contingent upon the availability of funds. When the University states that it cannot implement a workplace change to comply with an arbitrator’s award due to the unavailability of funds, the University may choose to reassign the Postdoctoral Scholar, relocate the research activity and/or curtail the research and/or assignment. If the Union believes the University’s alternate remedy violates the agreement, it may immediately appeal to the arbitrator who shall retain jurisdiction to review the alternate remedy.