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Pause for safety

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Husky Pause Program gives points to ponder

“If you see something, say something.” We hear it all the time, especially as it applies to public transportation or just about any place where large groups of people converge.

But have you considered the phrase as it applies to your job as a UW Facilities employee? Facilities Safety hopes so, and has combined the older Stop Work Program card and the new Husky Pause Card into one easy tool for employees to help keep them safe in the workplace.

Facilities’ Interim Safety Leader Tracey Mosier says the Husky Pause program is intended to improve safety performance by ensuring that employees are aware of the risks, dangers or hazards when going about their jobs.

The Quick Hazard Assessment, on the purple side of the card, reminds employees to ask these questions:

  • Do I know exactly what task I am about to do?
  • Am I fully aware of other activities in the area?
  • Do I know how to protect myself and others from the hazards?
  • Do I have the proper PPE and tools to do the job safely?
  • Do I have all the permits and written plans I need?
  • Do I have the training, knowledge, skills and authority to do the work?

 

If they can answer “yes” to all the questions, they can proceed with work. If they answer “no” to any question, then they need to stop work and contact their lead or supervisor to resolve any issues.

Flip the card over, and the familiar Stop Work Program reminders are listed. Topping the list is the point that every employee has the authority and responsibility to stop work immediately if they see something they believe is unsafe.

Jae Jung, a custodian who’s worked at the UW for 24 years, says he has routinely found homeless people asleep in stairwells in campus buildings, and, he says, that’s where his safety card comes in handy.

JaeJung.jpg

Custodian Jae Jung always wears his Stop Work/Husky Pause card, along with his UW ID badge.

“When I see a homeless person, I stop and call my supervisor,” Jung says.

The UW Police are called and the issue is resolved, and he adds that he knows this is an example of “when you see something, say something.”

Gardener lead Katie Kadwell also carries the card with her.

“I like having it just in case I need to stop someone’s work that is unsafe. Of course there are lots of jokes around the shop about the pun [Pause/Paws], but I think generally it’s a great asset.”

The Stop Work Card program has been around about 4 years, and Mosier says Husky Pause is intended to assist employees in being more mindful of the task they are about to undertake.   

“Taking the time to think through the six items on the card will provide employees the opportunity to make sure they are prepared to perform the task safely, or implement their Stop Work authority,” Mosier says.

Husky Pause cards were distributed earlier this year. More are available at the Facilities Administration Building front desk.