Practicing good safety habits just makes sense. And now, at Ohio University, it can make you 500 cents.
Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) will reward faculty, staff and students who are observed practicing good safety habits with a $5 gift card redeemable at any Baker University Center dining venue or the Bobcat Essentials retail shop. EHS Director Joe Adams said the effort is part of a planned workplace safety initiative that will include accident prevention efforts, education and other measures aimed at improving campus safety.
"We want to provide instant recognition of people who are going above and beyond when it comes to safety," said Adams, who joined the university in January and worked with similar programs at the University of California and University of Alaska. "Our staff members carry five or six of the cards in their pockets. We're very eager to give them away."
EHS purchased 500 of the cards, a $2,500 expense that Adams expects to pay for itself and then some by reducing workplace accidents. "For every dollar you spend on a good prevention effort, you can save $4 or $5 by reducing accident losses," he said.
EHS also has a new emblem, featuring Rufus the Safety Cat, to help identify its efforts. This official "emblem of safety" will appear on all EHS documents, awards and the department's Web site. It includes the phrase "Plan ahead to work safety," or PAWS, encouraging the campus community to take time to practice good safety measures.
"We want him to be synonymous with safety and doing things right at Ohio University," Adams said.
Environmental Health and Safety is responsible for a variety of health and safety issues, including hazardous materials management, emergency planning, Occupational Safety and Health Administration compliance, lab safety, fire prevention, pest management and more.
For more on Environmental Health and Safety, visit the office's Web site or call 740-593-1666.
-- Mary Alice Casey