Office Environment Policy Updated


Northern’s office environment policy, which was updated earlier this year, is designed to provide “reasonable” working conditions related to air quality, utilities and temperature control. The latter is especially timely and relevant, given the recent heat wave that gripped the region. But while there is no way to control how high the mercury climbs outdoors, the policy states that NMU buildings should be maintained at about 70 degrees, with an allowable fluctuation of 10 degrees in either direction.


“Before the policy was updated, the temperature range was plus or minus 15 degrees,” said Dennis Cieslinski (Plant Operations). “But we thought 85 degrees at the high end was too extreme, so we narrowed the temperature range.”


Another change in the policy was to update procedures for obtaining assistance. In each case – unusual air quality attributed to odors or impurities, loss of utilities such as electricity or water, or abnormal temperature variations – the first point of contact is Plant Operations at ext. 2292.


“We will send out a crew to evaluate the conditions,” Cieslinski added. “It doesn’t always mean that conditions are unacceptable. But if there is a problem, we will initiate action to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.”


If the issue cannot be resolved in a reasonable time frame, Plant Operations will advise the director of Human Resources of the projected time and he will coordinate with the respective vice president or the president to formulate a plan of action. It is only after this consultation that the director of Human Resources would be authorized to dismiss employees from work if such an action is deemed necessary.


“Duration is a big factor,” said Carl Pace (Facilities). “We will assess the problem, the length of time it would take to get things back on line, the options available to employees while it is being taken care of, and make a recommendation from there.” 


Pace said climate control has improved as campus buildings are renovated and mechanical systems are updated.


The full policy can be viewed at Office Environment.


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Updated: July 19, 2006

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