The University workplace is a diverse environment of classrooms, offices, and laboratories where many different activities are performed. Visitors to the workplace are generally welcome, and in some settings even encouraged. However, appropriate precautions and limitations on visitation are necessary to protect health and safety, and to maintain productivity and regulatory compliance.
"Hazardous Areas," for the purpose of this policy, are defined as any University operation or space where any of the following are present:
- Chemicals or radioactive materials in use or storage
- Biological or infectious hazards
- Live animals
- Construction or renovation activities
- Utility equipment spaces, tunnels, rooftops, mechanical rooms, heavy machinery, cranes, high noise levels, electrical hazards
- Other areas deemed hazardous by the host department
There are many workplaces where hazardous materials or equipment are located or where hazardous operations are conducted. These include laboratories, shops, farms, animal-care facilities, and power plants. It is therefore necessary to restrict access “Hazardous Areas” for visitors, especially minors.
Visiting adults who are not students or employees (visiting scientists, etc.) who work for two weeks or more in laboratories or other hazardous areas must receive safety training equivalent to that required for employees in the same environment. Documentation of training received from other employers or institutions may be accepted if approved by Risk Management Services. The host department is responsible for providing all visitors with specific safety instructions for local conditions and procedures, and for providing all necessary personal protective equipment. All safety training must be properly documented by the host department and kept on file in that department.
Visiting adults who are not students or employees (visiting scientists, etc.) who visit or work for two weeks or less in laboratories or other hazardous areas must at a minimum have local safety measures and emergency procedures explained to them, and must be provided with personal protective equipment appropriate to the environment being visited. Short-term visitors must be escorted and/or supervised by the host department at all times during their visit.
In general, the workplace is not an appropriate place for minor children on a frequent or continuing basis, as children in the workplace create an atmosphere that may not be conducive to achievement of the unit’s specific goals and objectives.
Special occasions that are employer-sanctioned and at which attendance by children is encouraged should be coordinated with and approved by the department. The employee's schedule for that day should take the child's presence into consideration to eliminate potential hazards.
Children may be brought to workplaces by parent employees for brief visits or other times when common sense would dictate that it is more efficient for the employee to bring the child into an office (following or before a physician's appointment, for example). The parent employee must supervise the child(ren) on such visits. It is generally not appropriate for children of any age to be in the workplace on a regular basis, such as after school each school day or on regularly scheduled school holidays. Departments may implement an internal departmental policy allowing such visits.
The University recognizes that occasionally situations may arise that leave an employee with no acceptable alternative but to bring his or her child(ren) to work. In the event of an emergency, or if there are no other alternatives, parent employees may have children present in the workplace provided the parent secures prior departmental approval. Departments may implement an internal departmental policy allowing short-term visits by employees' children or may request employees to seek approval at the time of the visit. Such arrangements may be granted only in circumstances where safety issues (such as stairs and stairwells, automatically closing doors, open windows, office machines, etc.) have been satisfactorily addressed. This exception is not applicable to Hazardous Areas. Parent employees may not leave such child(ren) in the custody of another University employee, even for brief periods of time.
Minor children are not permitted as regular visitors in any Hazardous Area, as defined above. Short-term visits may be authorized for approved guided tours or other reasons, if appropriate precautionary measures are taken and hazards have been fully controlled or removed during the visit. Direct adult supervision of children is required at all times in hazardous areas. Department heads may require additional safety measures prior to such visits, and may wish to require written parental consent authorizing the site visit.
As a general rule, all occupants of University vehicles must have an official purpose to ride in the vehicle. This may typically include employees, students, or participants in an official University program or activity that uses the vehicle. Parent employees who wish to bring children on field trips in University vehicles as program participants should consult with their departments to determine if their children can participate in the activity safely and without disrupting or otherwise interfering with the program's purpose.
With the exception of service dogs or other service animals used to guide or assist persons with disabilities, employees may bring animals to University workplaces only with prior permission from the department head and only for official purposes.