Workplace Safety

Back Safety

As part of its comprehensive safety program, Ithaca College is committed to providing employees with information designed to prevent back injury.

Employees at the Office of Facilities receive training annually on back safety. The program includes lectures and videotapes on proper lifting, discussion of the impact on insurance losses, and suggestions for preventing back injury in the workplace.

Emphasis is placed on the following topics:

  • Back physiology
  • Lifting techniques
  • Planning lifts
  • Suggested back exercises
  • User-friendly custodial manual

Building Inspections

Officers within public safety perform building inspections on a monthly basis. They use a bar-code reading wand to scan each bar code affixed to fire safety equipment and key locations. If the item or location is in compliance, scanning completes the task. If the item or location is in noncompliance, a keyboard entry made on the wand will indicate the necessity for corrective measures.

This process generates a building inspection report, followed by a noncompliance report, if necessary. EH&S staff address identified areas of noncompliance.

Additionally, the fire and building safety coordinator, in conjunction with the Ithaca Fire Department, conducts annual fire safety inspections of all College buildings to ensure compliance with New York State Education Department requirements.


Ergonomics is the science of adapting the workplace to the needs of the individual and the task to be done. EH&S personnel assess workstations for ergonomic issues by conducting personal interviews, distributing questionnaires, evaluating work in progress, reviewing, and making recommendations.

Training and workplace assessment is available upon request. College employees can adapt their own workstations after conducting a self-assessment available through an online form. Learn more at Workstation Ergonomics.

Hazard and Waste Minimization

The College developed a hazard and waste minimization program to lessen employee exposure to hazardous chemicals and to decrease the amount of hazardous waste generated. Working in consultation with the, a supervisor can obtain a recommendation If a product contains a carcinogen -- an ozone-depleting chemical, or certain types of pesticides, the supervisor is encouraged to use a less hazardous chemical through consultation with the assigned environmental safety specialist

For products already used on campus, the environmental safety specialist can review material safety data sheets (MSDS) and determine the existence of a less hazardous substance. If a less hazardous substance is found, the supervisor will receive the appropriate MSDS and recommendations.

Hazardous Waste

New York State considers Ithaca College a generator of hazardous waste, which triggers the implementation of a comprehensive program by the EH&S team for the management, storage, and proper disposal of hazardous waste. The team manages all hazardous waste storage and disposal activities in compliance with applicable state and federal regulations. Weekly inspections take place in all areas that accumulate hazardous waste. An EH&S team member remains on call at all times with the responsibility of coordinating emergency response measures in the event of a hazardous waste spill.

Indoor Air Quality

Occasionally, College employees ask the EH&S team to assess the quality of air in various areas. The following outlines the typical response to indoor air-quality matters:

  1. Respond to the area and meet the person reporting the indoor air-quality problem.
  2. Advise that person's supervisor that a request has been made and how it will be handled.
  3. Meet with the occupants in the area of concern and assess the extent of the issue via interviews and questionnaires.
  4. With the assistance of the Office of Facilities, review the building's air-handling process and any other systems that might affect air quality.
  5. Use air monitors and perform air sampling (if necessary) as indicated by interviews, questionnaires, and visual inspections.
  6. Advise the supervisor in writing, with a copy of the letter to the employee, compiling all information acquired. Make recommendations for remediation if any is indicated.
  7. Coordinate with other Ithaca College offices to facilitate corrective measures as necessary.

Medical Waste

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has regulations for handling, tracking, and disposing of medical waste. Ithaca College is required to comply with the medical waste management regulations.

Medical waste generated at the College is stored in several places on campus, including the Hammond Health Center, the Center for Natural Sciences, the athletic training areas of Hill Center and Ceracche Center, and the exercise physiology areas of Hill Center. For questions relating to the storage or disposal of medical waste, call the environmental safety specialist at 274-1613.