Adam Hutchinson
Health and Safety Service Coordinator

Jim Garcia
School Safety Advisor


About the Health and Safety Service

The Health and Safety Service provides information, leadership, training and technical support to assist component school districts with the implementation of a comprehensive safety program, and to ensure compliance with applicable state and federal regulations. The goal is to promote the safety and well-being of school district students and staff in an efficient, cost-effective manner with staff development as a major focus. Services are organized into six areas:

Staff Training: Most school safety regulations require employee orientation and training. The Health and Safety Service provides in-district employee training, such as Right-To-Know, Bloodborne Pathogens and Dignity for All Students Act (DASA), in compliance with regulatory requirements. Specialized training is provided as needed, encompassing physical health and safety (AED/CPR, Safe Lifting, etc.), emotional well-being (school climate, bully-prevention), NCI (Nonviolent Crisis Intervention Training) and crisis preparedness and response.

Written Compliance Programs: In response to various agency mandates, our staff assists school districts with the development, implementation and review of written programs to comply with state and federal regulations, as well as school district policies and procedures. Examples include district and building safety plans required by SAVE Legislation and OSHA Hazard Communication and Confined Spaces Standards.

Records Development: Our staff provides assistance with recordkeeping and documentation of compliance efforts such as the Toxic Substance Inventory, Material Safety Data Sheets, Employee-Exposure Records, Illness/Injury Log, Fire Inspection Records and Hepatitis B Vaccination Records.

Facilities Inspections and Audits: Asbestos inspections (AHERA Triennial) and NYS code certified fire inspections are conducted. Our staff is also available to provide room-to-room facilities audits prior to a routine government inspection. Recommendations are offered to assist the district in creating a safer working environment to reduce the potential for accidents and/or injuries.

Liaison and Consultation: Our service functions as a liaison between school districts and regulatory agencies, law enforcement and local governments. During school or community crises, the service acts as an agent for the schools.

Cooperative Services: In some instances, the Health and Safety Service may not have the capacity to fill every district need. In these cases, cooperative services and purchasing will be utilized where possible to reduce costs.

Health and Safety Office

Several regulations, including NYSED’s Project SAVE and RESCUE require school districts to take an active role in Emergency Planning. The Safety Service can assist your district with meeting these requirements in several ways including: assisting in the development of district and building level safety and emergency response plans, training on emergency procedures, and coordinating utilizing the State Police K-9 units for locker searches.

A number of different authorities have jurisdiction over the Operations & Maintenance of school districts including the NYS Department of Labor, NYSED, and NYS Department of Health, as well local municipalities. The Safety Service assists the districts in meeting these regulatory requirements by offering training, Asbestos/AHERA related services, environmental monitoring, fire safety inspections, MSDS Online access, protocol and policy development, and playground safety inspections. A representative from the Health and Safety Service is available to participating school districts in the event of an inspection by any of the agencies listed above.

In July 2000, the Safe Schools Against Violence in Education Act (Project SAVE) was signed into law to promote a safer and more effective learning environment within New York State schools. The Safety Service offers services that help schools to meet the requirements of this regulation such as coordinating assessments of building safety and security, first responder coordination, safety committee participation, emergency response training, and school violence prevention.

Additionally, the Health and Safety Service is available to provide a variety of training regarding various health and safety issues on an as-needed basis. The Health and Safety Service also provides a number of programs that do not neatly fit into a specific category, or overlap between more than one of the categories. These include newsletter, regulatory updates, severe weather alerts, Opening Day Presentations, and a comprehensive Health and Safety Service Resources website.

The Health and Safety Service offers Venuetize’s “Rapid Responder” All-Hazards Emergency Preparedness & Crisis Management System as an additional, aid-able service.

Rapid Responder is a web-based All-Hazards Crisis Management System. It provides facility owners, first responders and other community stakeholders with instant access to critical site-specific information, including – but not limited to – floor plans, site maps, aerial photos, interior and exterior facility photos, hazardous material inventories and locations, SDS, utility control locations, utility shut off instructions, emergency plans, as well as key stakeholder contact information. Pricing for Rapid Responder is broken down by “site” (not to exceed three buildings [with the exception of additional portable buildings and school out buildings]. Campuses with multiple, physically separate schools that share the same grounds will be considered separate “sites”).

SDS sheets: To access SDS sheets for BOCES locations, visit the link www.msdsonline.com and log in using the username Herkimer BOCES and the password Herkimer BOCES. Please note that there is a space between Herkimer and BOCES in both the username and password.

Safety drills: To download a letter to parents and guardians on safety drills, click here.

Pesticide notice: To download a Feb. 1, 2017, pesticide notice, click here.