The main duty of the health & safety officer is to develop a chapter specific health and safety program. This does not necessarily mean that each health & safety officer should scrap the previous program. It does mean that each new chairman should revise and constantly update the health and safety program to fit the everchanging culture of chapter operations. Once the health and safety program has been created or revised and updated the chapter should approve the revisions and post the program in conspicuous places throughout chapter facility and made available to every member either via electronic means or by means of physical handouts. The chapter will more than likely support a program in which they had input.
The creation and revisions to the health and safety program should include any and all updates to the Standards, the Constitution and Chapter Codes of the Fraternity, any university policies and any federal, state or local laws. The Fraternity provides sample health and safety programs which the chapter can use as a template for creating its own health and safety program. The duty of creating a health and safety program is not an easy one. It will take a great deal of leadership and skill but most of all it will take team work. It is extremely important that the executive council, chapter advisor(s), social chairman and other leaders in the chapter participate in the development and implementation of these policies.
Even the best chapters get into trouble periodically. When this happens, special expectations or limitations may be placed on a chapter. It is important that the chapter health & safety officer acquaint himself with any special expectations placed on the chapter. These times are also opportunities to examine the health and safety program. Was it a failure on the part of the health and safety team or policy that led to this problem? Yes or no, the next question should be what the chapter can do to prevent this kind of problem in the future.
While the responsible management of alcohol, as well as issues related to date rape, drugs, gender relations and hazing, usually take top billing in health and safety discussions, for chapters with facilities, fire safety and prevention cannot be ignored. The chapter’s fire safety program should contain elements of prevention (education and facility maintenance), monitoring (self-inspection) and readiness (fire drills and crisis plans).
As previously stated, problems and setbacks can be expected. However, the very best programs, under continual scrutiny and constant improvement, will overcome these obstacles to see that the welfare of the chapter and its members is being served.
List of Things to Consider Including in a Chapter Health and Safety Program
- Overview of the health and safety committee
- A definition of health and safety
- The Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity Standards
- Crisis management policies and procedures
- University, community or federal, state, local policies and legislation dealing with health and safety topics including but not limited to alcohol and drugs, sexual assault, hazing and fire, health and safety policies
- Policy surrounding social events, chapter sanctioned events, event security, admittance to a chapter event, alcoholic beverages, drugs, sexual assault and hazing.
- Policy on fighting, gambling and social media (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
- Policy on respect for humanity
- Policy for fire prevention and fire escape routes (if applicable)
- Policy for dealing with individuals that violate any of the health and safety policies
- Any other policies that can and will affect the local chapter programming
- Event checklists which can ensure the chapter is not forgetting any minor detail
It is strongly encouraged that the chapter or colony utilizes its resources in order to develop a fully comprehensive health and safety program.
This sense of responsibility and this culture of caring is critical to the Fraternity’s success. It is important because the most resounding decisions regarding the future of Pi Kappa Alpha are not always made in executive council meetings, chapter meetings, conventions or Supreme Council sessions. The most important decisions regarding Pi Kappa Alpha’s destiny often go unnoticed. These critical moments of truth - these crucial decisions, are made in college-town taverns, in chapter houses at 2:00 a.m., and in parking lots after last call. The moments of choice, when someone stands up and says: “Stop!” determine whether Pi Kappa Alpha will suffer another blow or whether we, as brothers will tend to our health and safety business. These moments of truth also determine whether a member will live to see graduation, whether a member or friend will live life in a wheelchair or with a criminal record. These moments of choice, moments that each member will face at some point in his college career, will define Pi Kappa Alpha to the public, to our academic hosts and to the generations who follow us, with or without a Greek experience.
Your job as health and safety chairman is extremely important. Be sure to use your resources and common sense. Be persistent, stand your ground and you will be successful.
There are several supplemental resources available through the Resource Center on myPIKE. These resources have been compiled from several chapters and can be used to further help the chapter develop an effective health and safety program. Below is a list of resources that could be used to assist in health and safety:
- The Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity Standards
- The Chapter Statement of Position on Hazing
- Sample Chapter Health and Safety Program
- Sample Crisis Management Plan
- Release of Liability Waiver
- Security Agreement
- Independent Bartending Contractor Agreement
- Chapter Social Contract
- Facilities Agreement
- Guest Sign-In Sheet
- Relationship Statement Overview
- Sample Health and Safety Chairman Weekly Report
- Potential Steps to Reduce Liability
- Health and Safety Requirements for Awards
- 21 Guidelines for Operating a Party
- Incident Report Form
- What Men can do to Prevent Sexual Assault
- Recommended Transportation Alternatives for Chapter Events
- Reasons to Keep Weapons Away from Chapter Events and Property
For further assistance, contact your chapter consultant or our Director of Health & Safety Kim Novak at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jarrett M. WayDirector of Educational Content & Strategy