Human Resources

Safety in the Workplace

Amherst College has accepted responsibility for providing a safe and healthful working environment for all employees. Employees are expected to abide by all safety policies.

The Health and Safety Committee is charged with setting and maintaining the standards for appropriate health and safety practices at the College. The College reserves the right to immediately discharge an employee in cases where a violation of health or safety standards has created a threat to the College community or its property. Unless specifically authorized in writing by the College, possession of firearms on campus or illegal or improper use or possession of drugs or alcohol may be cause for dismissal. Consistent with the provisions of the Drug Free Workplace Act, Amherst College is required to ensure that all employees refrain from the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or use of a controlled substance in the workplace. Further, employees must agree to abide by the above policy and to notify the College of any criminal drug statute conviction based on a workplace violation. The College must be notified within five days after such a conviction has occurred.

The Drug Free Workplace Act requires that any person convicted of such a violation in the workplace will be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with procedures outlined in the appropriate handbooks.

Amherst College recognizes drug abuse as a health, safety and security problem. Persons needing help in dealing with such problems are encouraged to use the Employee Assistance Program and health insurance plans, as appropriate.

Implementation of this policy does not constitute a waiver by the College of its right to use disciplinary action for violation of established College policies and procedures pertaining to use or possession of drugs and alcohol in the workplace.

The Office of Human Resources maintains the records and reports of accidents. The College is also responsible for assuring compliance with the Massachusetts Right to Know Law and the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard, which provide training and information regarding hazardous substances that may be found in some work areas. Questions concerning the availability of material safety data sheets, which provide information on compounds or chemicals classified as hazardous, may be obtained through the employee's supervisor.