Employee Safety Training

Grounds Department and Maintenance & Operations

Grounds Department and Maintenance & Operations
Safe Work Practices

These Safe Work Practices are provided for your information and education. They are intended to provide you with basic safety and health information that will assist you in avoiding injury while performing your daily activities.

These Safe Work Practices are part of Section Two, Training and Education, of the Injury & Illness Prevention Program of Cabrillo Community College District, and are required by Section 3203 of Title 8, the mandatory safety legislation of Cal/OSHA. You are obliged to follow these Safe Work Practices while performing your work activities.


  1. General Safe Work Practices-- Required for all Cabrillo employees
  2. Department Specific Safe Work Practices: Grounds and Maintenance & Operations Department-- Required for all department employees
  3. Department Specific Safe Work Practices: Office and Administrative-- Required for all department employees who perform substantial office and administrative duties
  4. Blood borne Pathogens-- Required for the following employees only: Maintenance Technician (Plumber only), Maintenance Worker I/II, M&O Director, and Utility Maintenance Worker

NOTE: Bloodborne Pathogen training is required to be completed EVERY year. 

Additional Safe Work Practices exist for employees of the Grounds and Maintenance & Operations Departments. Items 1, 2, and 3 are found in the Cabrillo IIPP. Item 4, Blood borne Pathogen training is a separate program and can be found in a separate binder or on Cabrillo's safety website.

You are encouraged to contribute ideas to expand or improve these Safe Work Practices.

1. Working in the heat of the day can pose serious threats if precautions are not taken. Usually the heavy work will be scheduled in the early hours of the day. Please observe the following to cope with working outdoors on hot days:

a) Try to increase salt intake by adding extra salt to your food, unless you have been advised by a physician to avoid salt.

b) During break, go to a shaded spot or air-conditioned room.

c) Drink lots of water, taking small amounts often, rather than large quantities at infrequent intervals.

2. Heavy lifting work presents many opportunities for injury. Take a moment to plan the lift or move. A two-person job is a two-person job. Do not be a hero by doing it yourself. Follow a standard lifting procedure at all times.

3. Grounds crew should wear appropriate safety clothing and equipment. Steel-toe safety shoes, gloves, goggles/safety glasses, dust mask, respirator, hearing protectors, hats, hard hats, coveralls, and kneepads as required.

4. Transport heavy equipment only after proper care in securing the equipment has been exercised. Observe all traffic laws with special regard to speed limits. Heavy loads increase braking distances, and top-heavy loads are likely to topple in sharp turns.

5. Operate heavy equipment, i.e. the backhoe, with great care. In many operations, such as when digging with the backhoe, someone will be assigned to act as a spotter.

6. Trenching and excavation work presents serious risks to all workers. The greatest risk and one of the primary concerns, is that of a cave in. The following safety precautions must be taken when performing trenching and excavation.

a) Someone will be assigned to act as the spotter.

b) Barriers will be placed around the excavations as soon as it is possible.

c) Trenches 5: deep or deeper will be braced with approved trench shields to avoid cave-ins.

d) Keep materials or equipment that might fall into the trench at least 2 feet away from the edge of the excavation.

7. Anyone operating equipment that produces a noise level greater than 85 dBA (voice communication between employees is difficult), hearing protection must be worn. If you are in doubt, contact your supervisor to have the sound level checked. Department policy requires the use of hearing protection when using blowers, tractors, chain saws, mowers, pavement cutter, and other noisy equipment.

8.Only certified drivers can use the forklift. Follow safety guidelines set forth in the District's Industrial Truck Program. The driver should check forklifts each day prior to operation. If found unsafe, report the problems to the division dean immediately for repair. No riders are permitted on these vehicles.

9. All chemicals should be labeled properly and clearly. The date the material was acquired should also be identified on the label so that inventory procedures can be followed in the future. Potentially harmful chemicals should be labeled, stored, and handled with special precaution.

10. All chemical storage areas should have containment in the form of doors that close, and special retaining devices or study lip extensions installed in front portion of the shelves.

11. Incompatible chemicals should not be stored in the same vicinity or in the same cabinet.

12. All flammable materials should be stored in special corrosive cabinets. These are of steel construction with special ventilation and are usually labeled by Factory Mutual or Underwriters Laboratories.

13. Corrosive material should be stored in special corrosive cabinets. This is for the protection of both employees and the college facilities.

14. All employees should know the location of the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs), which are on hand for all chemicals in the laboratory. Take time to familiarize yourself with the MSDSs so as to understand the hazards of the materials and know emergency procedures and first aid response. New MSDSs or revised MSDSs should be reviewed as soon as received. See District's Hazard Communication Program.

15. Due to the presence of flammable liquids, extreme care is exercised to reduce the likelihood of fire:

  • NO OILY RAGS are placed in the safety cans after use
  • SPRAY CANS and other containers of flammable substances are kept in the flammable storage cabinet

16. Dust collection devices on equipment such as saws and grinders should not be removed except for servicing. Equipment should not be used if the dust collection devices appear to be malfunctioning. Remove the piece of equipment from use if this occurs.


1. All compressed cylinders, whether in storage or being used, should be contained in a cart or secured to the building structure by two metal chains that are tightly installed about one-third and two-thirds of the way up the cylinder so that the cylinder cannot tip.

2. Properly approved eye protection should be worn at all times when performing welding or brazing activities.

3. Oxygen and fuel gas cylinders should be separated as described by the NFPA standards.

4. Hoses, gauges, or other equipment should be inspected regularly. Repairs should be made to faulty equipment immediately or be removed from service.

5. Arc welders should be inspected periodically, and all necessary repairs should be completed.

6. Soiled rags, which contain hydrocarbon solvents or other flammable materials, should be stored and/or contained in special air tight, covered metal containers.

7. Portable oxygen/acetylene welding units should be equipped with a fire extinguisher.

Vehicle Maintenance

1.Never get under a vehicle to perform maintenance, even for only a few seconds, unless it is supported on jack stands or on a proper floor hoist. Never get under a vehicle supported by bumper jack, floor jack, or similar temporary lifting device. Never exceed the load rating of jack stands.

2. Whenever possible, eliminate using brake shoes, pads, or other materials including asbestos as a raw material. If this is not possible, or if you are not absolutely sure that asbestos is not present, use formal safety procedures to control possible asbestos exposure.

3. Gloves and goggles should always be worn while diluting strong acids, working with volatile materials, or utilizing flammable liquids.

4. Extreme care should be exercised whenever tire maintenance is performed. Using air pressure to set tires is an acceptable practice; however, there should be a maximum pressure control on the tire equipment.

5.Automotive batteries are recharged outside to avoid the possible build-up of flammable gases. Avoid causing an arc when connecting the charging cables; the hydrogen and oxygen gases which evolve in charging operations could explode.

6. Collection of chlorofluorocarbons/air conditioning fluid should occur only using the Environmental Protection Agency approved capturing and recycling equipment.

7. When working on a car that is running, either work outside or use the hose ventilation system when working inside.