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UW - SEIU1199NW Master Contract

2015-2017 Biennium

Article 31 - Health and Safety

31.1 Benefits.
The Employer shall bear the cost of and provide bargaining unit employees with:

  1. At the beginning of employment and annually thereafter TB testing including chest x-rays where medically indicated. For employees working in high risk areas, TB testing shall be available on a six month basis. Before screening, all employees shall be counseled regarding anergy testing. When medically indicated, or upon the employee's request, appropriate anergy testing will be provided.
  2. Throat culture if requested by the employee and ordered by a physician.
  3. Vaccinations and immunizations provided by the hospital.
  4. Hepatitis B vaccine for all employees. At the employee's request the Employer shall provide an antibody test to ensure that the employee's antibody titer level is sufficient to protect against Hepatitis B infection. If medically indicated and upon request, the employee shall receive a booster.
  5. At the employee's request, the Employer will test for Hepatitis C using a test considered most reliable by the Employer.
  6. The Employer shall refer PPD converters for appropriate medical treatment at no cost to the employee.

31.2 Policies.
It is the Employer's intent to make reasonable and proper provisions for the maintenance of appropriate standards of health and safety within the workplace. This shall include providing, and making available, safe medical devices, personal protective equipment, and applicable training, education and critical incident de-briefing. Training and education shall be made available during each shift and will be accessible to all employees. The Employer shall comply with applicable Federal and State health and safety legislation and regulations and has designated the University's Environmental Health and Safety Department to advise and monitor compliance with such standards. If a resolution of any dispute pertaining to this section is not reached through the assistance of EH&S, a complaint may be filed with the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries whose findings shall be binding upon both parties.

31.3 Working Conditions.
All work shall be performed in conformity with applicable health and safety standards. Employees are encouraged to immediately report any unsafe working condition to their supervisor. No employee shall be disciplined for reporting any such conditions nor be required to work or to operate equipment when he/she has reasonable grounds to believe such action would result in immediate danger to life or safety the final determination of which shall rest with the Environmental Health & Safety Department.

31.4 The Employer will provide TB conversion rate data and blood exposure incident summaries to the Health and Safety Committee.

31.5 Medical Devices.
Employees wishing to suggest additional safety equipment or to raise issues with regard to current equipment (e.g. availability, training needs, effectiveness) are encouraged to raise such suggestions through management or with appropriate committees - Nursing QA & I, Health and Safety, Infection Control, or Product Evaluation.

31.6 Training/Education.
The Employer shall provide an annual infection control/safety update on paid time for all employees in accordance with applicable statutes and regulations.

Workplace violence and personal safety training will be mandatory for all staff in the New Staff Orientation. Employees are also encouraged to take advantage of ongoing training opportunities available in this area.

Other training related to general and personal safety will be made available as appropriate to the clinical setting, general environment, and needs of the patient population and the staff. Reasonable requests for such training will be considered.

31.7 Exposure Control.

  1. The Employer agrees to take every reasonable measure to prevent occupational transmission of TB and other communicable diseases. All employees shall have access to the written TB exposure control plan. Counseling on Hepatitis C shall be included in the exposure protocol.
  2. The Employer shall provide confidential twenty-four (24) hour information and referral for employees sustaining needlestick injuries or other blood and body fluid exposures. Efforts will be made to identify all staff exposed to communicable and infectious diseases. These staff members will be notified using all available contact information and instructed on follow-up within seventy-two (72) hours of being identified as exposed. Such notification will be documented and shared monthly with the Health and Safety Committee.

31.8 Security.
HMC recognizes the importance of maintaining a safe and secure working environment. HMC encourages recommendations for improving safety and security to be brought to the Unit Manager, to the Health and Safety Committee and other appropriate designated committees. The written HMC security plan will be made available to the Union through its representative on the Health & Safety Committee.

31.9 Prevention of Workplace Violence.
HMC's Environment of Care Committee has a subcommittee on Workplace Violence Prevention. SEIU 1199NW will appoint two (2) members to serve on this committee. All time spent by members on this Committee shall be paid per Article 17.7 (Committee Work).

As part of its work, the Workplace Violence Prevention Committee will address the safety/security of the layout of the Medical Center, staff concerns in planning and ongoing resources which include the evaluation of implemented programs and the training needs of employees and the evaluations from any workplace violence training to meet the needs of employees.

31.10 ALNW Safety Committee – see Appendix XII– ALNW Addendum.

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