1.0 Purpose

Appropriate supervision of students is necessary to ensure that safe procedures are practiced in order to prevent accidents and to ensure prompt response. Germanna Community College is dedicated to provide the safest learning environment possible.

2.0 Policy

High risk instructional programs offered by the college through credit level, dual enrollment, and non-credit workforce programs will have consistent practices that ensure instructors and students are familiar with emergency equipment and proper procedures.

Secure, organized, safe, and clean instructional classrooms and laboratories require the following:

  • Classroom-specific codes of conduct
  • Safety manuals
  • Lab practices
  • Safety-specific tests
  • Documented equipment inspections,
  • Advisory council/committee input for safety-related information
  • Safety components in instructor evaluations
  • Enriched syllabi that emphasize the importance of safety, including lists of all necessary personal protective equipment
  • Supervision of students at all times by instructors current in their field.

3.0 Procedures

3.1 Instructional programs will be reviewed annually by the Vice Presidents or their designees for designation as a High Risk Instructional Programs.

3.2. Supervision of students in labs: Appropriate supervision of students is necessary to ensure that safe procedures are practiced to prevent accidents and to respond immediately in case of an accident in the laboratory. Students must be supervised at all times by the instructor responsible for teaching the laboratory course. Should the instructor have to leave the laboratory, students must be directed to stop working with laboratory equipment, tools, and must power down equipment, if applicable. Students are not permitted to remain in a laboratory without supervision.

3.3. Currency: Instructors of industrial technology programs and all programs designated as high risk must stay current in their industry. A copy of current credentials and/or certifications and training will be submitted by the instructor to the supervisor at the beginning of the academic year or semester, as appropriate, documenting currency.

3.4. Safety Manuals for labs and classrooms: All laboratories for high risk programs must have a written safety manual that includes safety protocols that are current appropriate for the program. Safety standards and protocols will be followed by all instructors and students. Instructors will review the safety manual, standards and protocols as part of the initial class sessions, and throughout the course as appropriate. Students will pass a safety test that incorporates safety standards and protocols prior to beginning lab work, and at other intervals as appropriate to the course. Students will sign a Code of Conduct which lists rules of behavior for students and indicates that they will follow and practice all safety policies taught in class.

3.5. Use of personal projects in labs: Personal projects shall only be allowed if their use provides a learning experience to the entire class and does not benefit one individual person. Instructors shall consider the safety and liability risks prior to allowing students, instructors, or staff to work on personal projects in labs using state-owned equipment. Any personal projects to be used for instruction in the laboratory setting must be approved in advance by the instructor’s supervisor. In the event of approval of the use of a personal project for instruction, consideration must be given to the benefit gained by all students in the class, consumption of supplies, and all required safety standards must be applied/followed by the instructor and the students. Instructors should not benefit from completion of or work on these projects either monetarily or personally.

3.6. Safety requirements in instructor evaluation forms: Instructors will be evaluated on adherence to safety standards; this evaluation needs to be reflected in the student evaluation of the instructor and the supervisor’s evaluation. These evaluations shall indicate whether or not the instructors are teaching and practicing current, appropriate safety standards, and if they are receiving current professional training in their field.

3.7. Written classroom and lab rules of behavior: Safety requirements will be maintained in the student code of conduct, stated in the syllabus of high risk programs and be consistent with existing college policies.

3.8. Instructors and emergency equipment: Instructors must be familiar with emergency equipment applicable to the high risk program laboratory setting. Access to training will be provided by the college for college provided equipment, or the instructor may demonstrate competency through documentation of training. Training must be current. Approved personal safety equipment will be provided by the college through appropriate providers or vendors.

3.9. Students safety test: Students must pass a safety test prior to working in any high risk program laboratory. Documentation of completed tests will be maintained as part of the class record and recorded in an electronic or paper gradebook. Instructors are responsible for designating the competency level required on all safety tests. Students must be provided with a reasonable number of attempts on the test and access to instructor assistance to achieve competency. Tests may be either written or direct observation of safety performance; direct observation of performance may be necessary each time a particular skill is performed.

3.10. Advisory Committees/Councils in certificate and degree programs: Standing Program Advisory Committees/Councils will be utilized to examine safety-related topics in current industries related to high risk programs. Safety will be a standing item on the annual agenda for high risk programs, and the results will be reflected in the minutes.

3.11. Student emergency training and awareness: Instructors will include emergency and awareness training for students as applicable in high risk program courses. This training/awareness will include but is not limited to location of emergency exits, location of fire extinguishers, emergency communication procedures, location of AEDs and first aid kits, and all safety equipment.

3.12. Safety Information in Syllabi: Instructors must provide safety information in high risk program course syllabi, including a list of safety equipment. Appropriate and safe dress should also described in the syllabi. Deans and supervisors will provide guidance to faculty; syllabi will be reviewed and approved by the dean/supervisor to ensure this information is included.

3.13. Cleanliness, organization, and signage of laboratories: Instructors are responsible for keeping laboratories clean and organized. Supervisors will periodically inspect laboratories and if needed, address concerns with the instructor and/or students. Instructors should incorporate standard cleaning duties to be used at the conclusion of each session. Materials and equipment will be stored properly for future use. Equipment needing repair or maintenance must be tagged and removed/stored promptly. Notifications of damaged or failing equipment must be immediately reported to the instructor’s supervisor. The college will provide appropriate safety signage. Instructors must be familiar with emergency evacuation procedures and safety signage within the facilities used for laboratory experiences/training.

3.14. Documentation of equipment inspections: Instructors in high risk programs will inspect equipment beginning of the semester, at mid-term, and at the end of the semester to ensure safe use and report results of the inspection, inclusive of issues or concerns, on the appropriate form to document the inspection. Forms will be on file in the dean/supervisor’s office.

3.15. Safety enforced by instructors: Instructors in high risk programs are responsible for enforcing safety practices stated in course syllabi and the code of conduct. Sanctions will be documented including the progression to dismissal from a class period, class, or program if warranted. Instructors must be able to enforce such sanctions in order to make the code effective.

4. Definitions

High Risk Program:

Any program that puts students in a learning environment that can cause immediate, grievous, and unique bodily harm is considered a high risk instructional program

5. References

Chancellor’s MEMORANDUM November 13, 2014. High Risk Programs

VCCS Guidance on Best Practices Safety Inventory for High Risk Instructional Programs

6. Point of Contact

Vice President for Workforce and Community Relations

7. Approval and Revision Dates

College Council: April 24, 2015
President’s Council: May 18, 2015
College Board: May 21, 2015

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