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DHHS POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

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Section XI:

Employee Wellness

Title:

Use of Haywood Gymnasium (previously listed under Section V: Human Resources; Safety and Benefits)

Current Effective Date:

11/7/07

Revision History:

11/7/07

Original Effective Date:

5/30/07

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Background

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) has designated the Haywood Gymnasium (Gym) located on Dorothea Dix Campus as a DHHS Wellness Center to provide opportunities for DHHS employees to increase daily levels of physical activity. Use of the Gym primarily as an employee wellness center for Raleigh area DHHS employees will support the goals of the DHHS Wellness Initiative by helping reduce employees’ health risk factors for chronic disease and thereby reducing the rising health care costs for the department and the NC State Health Plan.

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance to DHHS employees on the requirements and use of this Gym. Guidelines for employee participation in wellness activities are outlined in the department-wide policies, Section XI, Employee Wellness, Employee Wellness Program.

Policy

DHHS employees may use the Gym for wellness activities on a voluntary basis and on their own time. All employees using the facility for personal fitness purposes must first sign the DHHS Liability Waiver for Employees Using the Gym and are allowed use of the facility at their own risk. Staff should seek medical advice before beginning a new exercise program. The signed DHHS Liability Waiver for Employees Using the Gym shall be placed in the employee’s personnel file.

Roles and Responsibilities

The DHHS Wellness Director with assistance from members of the DHHS Wellness Council which is comprised of division, facility, and office wellness representatives shall provide overall direction to the wellness program provided at the Gym. Planning for wellness activities may be provided through a collaborative initiative with a community wellness organization. This organization shall work with the DHHS Wellness Director and the DHHS Wellness Council to plan, promote, implement, and evaluate the employee wellness programs offered at the Gym.

Implementation

  1. Basic Categories of Users:
    1. Dorothea Dix Hospital patients;
    2. DHHS and on-campus divisions’ sponsored groups;
    3. DHHS employees;
    4. Groups external to DHHS but located on Dorothea Dix Campus i.e. the Healing Place, the Food Collaborative and the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle;
    5. Recognized School programs with an existing history of use of the Gym;
    6. Other state agencies;
    7. Non-profit sport and recreation groups; and
    8. Other non-profit groups.
  2. Priorities for Authorized Activities and Scheduling

    Approved Activities shall be given the following priority:
    1. Emergency use during Phase I or Phase II Alerts for Dorothea Dix Hospital patients;
    2. Scheduled department and on-campus divisions’ events, campus health fairs and public forums;
    3. Scheduled group wellness related activities such as exercise classes and team sports;
    4. Unscheduled DHHS employee access to the fitness room and to the court when not in use for scheduled activities;
    5. Groups external to DHHS but located on Dorothea Dix Campus; and
    6. Other state agencies and non-profit groups.

Availability and Scheduling

The Gym is a multi-use facility that is scheduled to maximize benefit to all designated users. Use of the court and general space area of the Gym for group activities must be reserved in advance using the Haywood Gymnasium Facility Request Form and are subject to the priorities listed in Item #2 above. Unscheduled employee access to the fitness room and to the court and general space of the Gym is available when not in use for scheduled activities.

In general, unless the Gym is needed for priorities #2 A or B listed above, group wellness activities may be scheduled during the 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. lunch periods. Team activities can be scheduled between 4:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Employee access to the fitness room and to the gym area (if an activity is not scheduled) is available at all other times between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.

Team sport competitions with employees from other departments in state government may be allowed as the above priorities allow.

Scheduling events and group activities for the court and general space area will be the responsibility of the DHHS Office of the Secretary reception staff responsible for scheduling the conference room in the Adams Building.

A calendar of events and activities at the gym will be posted on the DHHS website. Employees are encouraged to check the website before using or requesting group usage of the Gym.

Employee Access

Access to the Gym will be available from 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. seven (7) days a week.

The building will remain locked at all times except for department or agency events. DHHS employees must request and obtain a key card through their respective wellness coordinator. All DHHS employees must sign the DHHS Liability Waiver for Employees Using the Gym before their key card will be issued to allow them access to the gym. The DHHS Liability Waiver for Employees Using the Gym shall be obtained from and returned to the employee’s wellness coordinator who shall submit the signed waiver to human resources for placement in the employee's personnel file. When multiple users are entering the Gym at the same time, all users are required to swipe their key card.

Parking

Employees should use only the designated parking spaces behind the Gym.

Proper Attire and Footwear

Shirts or sport tops, and close-toed athletic footwear must be worn for recreational/fitness activities. For safety reasons, open-toe shoes (sandals) or work boots are not permitted. Running or exercising and stretching without proper footwear are prohibited.

Lockers and Shower Use

Lockers are available for use by employees only during the time they are using the Gym. Personal items and locks must not be left in lockers or anywhere at the Gym after the employee leaves the Gym. Employees may use the shower facilities but must supply their own towels and soap.

Fitness Room Equipment

Safe and proper use of equipment is required at all times. Exercise equipment must not be altered and must be used in accordance with its intended purpose. Guidelines for the safe use and maintenance of fitness equipment will be posted in the fitness room.

Maintenance

Maintenance and security for the Gym will be under the supervision of the DHHS Office of Property and Construction.

Security

The Gym and exercise room will remain locked at all time except when a large event is scheduled. A DHHS employee authorized key card must be used to access the Gym at all other times. Security cameras will monitor the use of the site and an emergency phone will be available to employees in the Gym.

Employees must not allow any unauthorized individual without a DHHS key card to enter the Gym. An exception will be made for scheduled interdepartmental organized sports events. In this situation, the captain of the teams from other departments can be allowed scheduled access to the Gym.

Employees are encouraged to use the Gym with another staff person and for security and safety reasons should avoid using the Gym alone before and after daytime work hours.

Accident Procedures

The gym will have a first aid kit located inside. Signs posted in the Gym will direct employees to the location of a first aid kit and emergency phone.

Enforcement

Failure to follow the rules for use of the Gym will terminate an employee's access to the facility.

For questions or clarification on any of the information contained in this policy, please contact the policy owner or designated contact point: (DHHS Wellness Director). For general questions about department-wide policies and procedures, contact the DHHS Policy Coordinator.

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