Emergency Contacts Guidelines
Indiana University maintains information about employee’s emergency contacts in case of a health or safety emergency at work. This information is a confidential personal record and is only provided to others on a need-to-know basis. Employees can add or update their emergency contact(s) in the Employee Center on One.IU under Personal Details. See below for guidelines regarding emergency contacts.
Guidelines for Employees
The university will notify emergency contacts listed in the Employee Center if you experience a health or safety emergency at work. If you list multiple emergency contacts, the university will call the preferred contact first. If the preferred contact is not available, a message will be left, and the university will attempt to reach the additional emergency contacts. The information is a confidential personal record and will be provided to others on a need-to-know basis only.
Consider the following when listing an emergency contact:
- Does the person know, or have ready access to, personal information about you such as health conditions, medications, allergies, health care providers, names of family members, where your children attend a school or daycare, etc.?
- Is the person authorized to act on your behalf in the event of an emergency, such as picking up your children or other family members from the school, daycare, or other activities?
- Is the person competent to handle high-stress situations?
- Is the person easy to contact?
- Does the person live near the campus?
If the university cannot reach the emergency contact(s) you have listed, or if you have no emergency contacts listed, depending on the circumstances involved, the university may need to contact IU campus police to assist in locating next of kin.
How to Add or Update Your Emergency Contact
You can add an emergency contact in the Employee Center on One.IU under Personal Details. It is important to update your emergency contact information regularly.
Guidelines for Departments
The Employee Emergency Contact Information (EECI) report provides a list of emergency contacts for active employees. If there is no information, then the employee has not added an emergency contact. Employees can add emergency contacts in the Employee Center on One.IU under Personal Details.
Consider the following factors before you contact an employee’s emergency contact and before providing emergency contact information to a colleague who is assisting in the event of a health or safety emergency:
- The seriousness of the health or safety emergency (consult with appropriate personnel if there are doubts about notifying the emergency contacts under the circumstances)
- Whether notifying the emergency contact furthers the goal of helping support the employee
- Whether the person requesting the information is in a position to deal with the emergency
- The extent to which time is of the essence in dealing with the emergency
In an employee emergency at work:
- Call 911 in the event of an imminent threat to health or safety.
- Call the preferred emergency contact.
- Provide the contact with information that will enable the person to act on behalf of the employee, such as the general nature of the incident, the location of the employee, and if relevant, whether the contact will have access to the employee.
- Do not provide private health information to the emergency contact unless the employee approves in advance.
- If the preferred contact is not available, leave a voice message.
- The voice message should indicate that “This is an urgent message about [employee], and we ask that you return this call as soon as possible.”
- Call any additional emergency contacts if the preferred contact does not answer.
- Call IU campus police, who can assist in locating next of kin if the employee does not have any emergency contacts listed, if you are unable to reach any of the contacts, or the emergency occurs outside normal business hours.
Use of Restricted Data
- The EECI report includes personal information that is classified as restricted. For more information, refer to the IU Data Management website.
- Only use the information if an employee experiences a health or safety emergency at work (consult with appropriate personnel if there are doubts about notifying the emergency contacts under the circumstances).
- Do not provide the information to colleagues who do not have a factually supportable actual need to know, based on the circumstances, or to individuals outside of IU except if requested by a first responder (e.g., fire, law enforcement, EMS, etc.) who would have a legitimate, immediate need for the information.
- For student employees, the Release of Student Information policy allows for the disclosure of personal information in times of emergency. Please consult the policy for more information.
- When retaining a hard copy of the list for quick access, keep in mind that the information is updated constantly. Run a new report for accuracy and to protect privacy. Also, units are responsible for ensuring safeguards against unauthorized or accidental disclosure of the information.