Risk Management & Safety

Please note that the information in archived safety tips may not reflect current policies. These are maintained primarily as a historical archive. For the latest policies, check other sections of the RMS website.

November 2006: Building Evacuation Procedures

It is each employee's responsibility to be familiar with their own workplace in the event of a fire or other emergency. Employees must know which evacuation route to follow and be familiar with their personal role to take during evacuations. Emergency evacuation routes are posted throughout each building on campus. These signs identify routes to follow during an emergency and show the location of fire extinguishers, stairwells, and manual pull stations.

UNLV conducts fire drills in each campus facility at least once per year. Employees should always assume that a real emergency exists when hearing an alarm. Fire alarm drills are an excellent opportunity to practice building evacuations. Remember to remain calm and avoid running while evacuating. Under no circumstance should elevators be used during an emergency evacuation. Evacuation procedures should be pre-arranged between individuals needing assistance and the individuals who will assist them.

Employee's should move a minimum of 150 feet away from the evacuated building and assemble in a predetermined area where a roll can be taken to account for all personnel. Building re-entry should only take place after specific instruction from authorized emergency personnel.

October 2006: Portable Space Heaters

Cooler weather is approaching and the feet start to shiver. When you bring out the space heater for work or home, please remember space heaters were involved in 25% of the home heating fires, but 74% of the deaths. Safety tips for a joyful winter.

  • Choose a space heater that has been tested and certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory.
  • Make sure the space heater includes a tip-over switch that shuts it off automatically if it accidentally tips over.
  • Plug the space heater directly into the wall outlet or power strip.
  • Space heaters have one function-to provide supplemental heat. Do not use them to warm bedding, cook food, or dry clothing.
  • Combustibles such as papers, curtains, chairs, and even walls should be at least three (3) feet away from the heater.
  • Turn the space heater off if you leave the area.
  • Use a space heater on the floor-never place heaters on furniture.
  • Never use a space heater overnight in the room where you are sleeping.
  • Do not use heaters in wet or moist places, such as bathrooms.
  • Do not place heaters where towels or other objects (paper) could fall on the heater and start a fire.
  • Keep children and pets away from space heaters.
September 2006: Property Protection

79% of UNLV's reported property losses (non-auto) over the last 4 years were the result of intentional acts of a person(s). 76% was the result of burglary or theft of UNLV property. The other 3% was due to vandalism.

How to protect property

Minimize the opportunity for perpetrators to gain access to the valuables, develop barriers. The way to develop barriers is simpler than what you might think. Theft usually occurs when individuals gain quick access to areas were they can commit the crime. The more barriers that are created the longer it takes to gain access, making it more difficult for the perpetrator to commit the crime. You can develop barriers and protect property by:

  • Locking doors & cabinets where equipment is stored
  • Storing electronic equipment out-of-site in a locked desk or cabinet
  • Minimize assignment of keys to buildings, offices, rooms and maintain records of key assignment
  • Periodically change locks and access or alarm passwords
  • Check the UNLV Delivery Department's borrowing procedure forms

Reporting Stolen Property

  1. File a report with UNLV Police Services or the Las Vegas Metro Police Department
  2. Notify RMS as soon as possible
  3. Complete the Property Loss form under the Insurance Claims Processing page and return it to RMS.
  4. Collect purchase orders, invoices, or any other documentation to show what was stolen and the value of the item.
August 2006: Hazardous Materials Labeling

In the past weeks, Risk Management and Safety personnel have noticed some concerns involving improperly labeled hazardous materials containers around UNLV. Hazardous Materials are a part of everyday life, while at work and home. Take a moment to note the hazardous materials in your workplace. Your duty station probably is not in a chemical laboratory, but you are still surrounded by hazardous materials. These are not dangerous when used normally, however given the wrong circumstances they can create a dangerous situation. Many of you may have used Mr. Yuck stickers for your children or while growing up. Though Mr. Yuck works at home, in the workplace more in depth procedures must be followed to communicate the specific hazards and ingredients of the cleaner under the sink and the battery in your laptop computer.

What do you need to do if you do not work with hazardous materials directly? You need to only be aware that people around you are working hard to keep you safe. However, even with all of this work, sometimes something gets missed, and, like at home, a warning label is on the regular detergent, but not the one for the delicates. If you see improperly labeled containers, let the person who uses the chemical know. If you do not know who uses the chemical, or do not feel comfortable talking to them about it, report it to your supervisor, or to Risk Management and Safety.

If you do work with hazardous materials directly, please read the full policy regarding labeling and any other university safety policy that affects your work, and make sure you have the appropriate training. The full labeling policy is available in the Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) or on the Hazardous Materials page of the RMS website.

July 2006: Monsoon Season

The Do's and Don't's of flooding

  • DO move immediately and quickly to higher ground if there are any signs of flooding.
  • DO NOT drive through standing water—If you can't see the lines on the street, it's too dangerous to risk driving through the area.
  • DO abandon your car immediately and move to higher ground if your car stalls in rapidly rising waters.
  • DO NOT drive around barricades. They are there for your safety.
  • DO assemble a disaster supplies kit for your family. It should include the following:
    • First aid kit and essential medications.
    • Canned food and can opener.
    • At least three gallons of water per person
    • Protective clothing, rainwear, and bedding or sleeping bags.
    • Battery-powered radio, flashlight, and extra batteries.
    • Special items for infants, elderly, or disabled family members.
    • Written instructions for how to turn off electricity, gas and water if authorities advise you to do so. (Remember, you'll need a professional to turn them back on.)
    • Identify where you could go if told to evacuate. Choose several places: a friend's home in another town, a motel, or a shelter.

The Do's and Don't's of lightning strikes

  • DO NOT use corded phones during a lightning storm.
  • DO NOT use electrical equipment or cords. If you plan to unplug any electronic equipment, do so long before the storm arrives.
  • DO NOT wash your hands, DO NOT take a shower, DO NOT wash dishes, and DO NOT do laundry.
  • DO stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches and away from trees.
  • DO NOT lie on concrete floors and do not lean against concrete walls—they usually contain wire mesh.

When severe weather is predicted or is approaching, frequently check the National Weather Service for up-to-date information.

June 2006: Fire Code Standards for Door Wedges

The Nevada State Fire Marshal strictly prohibits the use of any object to prop open a fire-rated door. There has been some confusion and controversy at UNLV over what constitutes a "rated-door". In general terms, fire-rated doors are ones that separate an office or area from an exit way or exit corridor. The purpose of this type of door is to protect you, the occupant, from the smoke, fire, and toxic gases produced in a fire situation. If you are cut off from escape, this rated door protection may mean the difference in your survival until help can arrive. Rated doors that are propped or wedged open, will provide no protection in a fire or toxic environment down the hall. The easiest way to determine if you have a rated door that cannot be propped open, is to check the inside frame of the door for a small metal or plastic plate, which gives the rating of the door at 20 minutes, 45 minutes or 2 hour… etc. For the most part, inner office doors are usually not rated, and can be kept open.

If you are not sure about your area doors, or want clarification from Risk Management & Safety, we will be glad to come over and let you know about the doors in your work area or office. Together we can make the right determination and remain in compliance with our State Fire Marshal's directives.

February 2006: Technology for Safety

UNLV Risk Management & Safety has launched a new website (http://rms.unlv.edu) to keep the campus community informed about important issues related to safety, training, workers compensation, and environmental compliance. This is where you would go to find:

  • Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)
  • OSHA-required Programs and Plans
  • Chemical spill and hazardous waste disposal guidelines
  • Asbestos information
  • Laboratory safety information, including standard operating procedures
  • Radiation safety newsletters
  • Fire & Life Safety & Injury Prevention Program
  • Information about available and upcoming safety training
  • Workers' Compensation Flow Chart & Forms
  • Information about the Return to Work Program
  • …and much more

Online Safety Training

RMS offers on-line training for laboratory safety topics including Chemical Hygiene Training (required for all laboratory staff), Bloodborne Pathogens for Laboratory Workers and Biosafety training. These modular courses may be taken at your convenience. Please visit the Online Training page for more information.

Report a Safety Concern

You may now report a safety concern on-line. Simply visit the Safety Concern/Near-Miss Form and type in your concern. If you fill in your name and contact information, a RMS staff member will follow up with you. You may also report concerns anonymously.

This document was last modified on August 30, 2019.