Environmental Health & Safety

Communication Safety Policy


In accordance with the requirements of the Amherst College Environmental Health & Safety Policy, the following guidelines have been established to reduce the risk of incident and injury when it comes to working in hazardous areas and locations such as tunnels, electrical and mechanical spaces and the Heating Plant. It is also to be used when an employee of the Amherst College Physical Plant is called upon to work after hours, especially when working without the assistance of another Amherst College Physical Plant employee.

It is the responsibility of each and every supervisor to oversee the implementation and enforcement of this guideline. The Director of Physical Plant Facilities Management and Planning, the Environmental Health and Safety Committee, Amherst College Police Department and the office of Environmental Health and Safety have decided to approve and implement this program for reasons of health, liability and safety.

The goal of this program is to protect the staff and students of the Amherst College Physical Plant who may be asked to perform work in a hazardous area, such as a confined space, or has been called upon to work after hours, with or without the aid of another Amherst College employee. The following guidelines shall be adhered to;

  • Whenever work, including alterations, assessment, construction, inspection, maintenance, repair or service is to be performed in a hazardous area, the employees doing the work shall make sure that they are in constant two way communication with one or more of the following;
  • The Amherst College Physical Plant Service Desk
  • The Amherst College Police Department or
  • Another Amherst College Physical Plant employee who is in direct contact with either the Amherst College Service Desk or Police Department.
  • Unless otherwise approved in advance by the supervisor, employees of Amherst College Physical Plant who fall into the category noted above will be obligated to carry a portable radio or cellular phone with appropriate emergency numbers.
  • Note: Dialing 911 on a cellular phone will not access the Amherst College Campus Police Department or the Town of Amherst Department of Public Safety.
  • Amherst College Physical Plant employees at the Heating Plant are required to carry their portable radio at all times while working inside and outside the Heating Plant.
  • Any employees of Amherst College Physical Plant who is working before/after hours plowing snow, working for a shop or custodial department shall have a means of communication available that will allow them contact with the Amherst College Campus Police Department, in case of emergency.
  • If the department or shop does not have 2 way communication available, the employee shall obtain a portable radio from the Amherst College Campus Police
  • The Amherst College Campus Police should verify that the employee can operate the portable radio and request aid, before they receive the communication equipment.
  • The Amherst College Campus Police Department should contact personnel identified in # 4 at least hourly to inquire on their health and safety.

Heating Plant personnel should contact the Campus Police at 2 hour intervals, between the hours of 4 p.m. - 7 a.m.