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.

December 2012: Campus Fires

Fire is one of the most common types of emergencies on campuses across the country. Over the past year, UNLV has responded to 6 fires on campus - 2 electrical panel fires, 1 dryer fire, 2 brush fires, and 1 electrical transformer fire. In review of these incidents, RMS would like to remind the campus of the following safety precautions:

  • Report any fires to UNLV Police Services by calling 911 from any campus phone or 895-3668 from a cell phone
  • Be familiar with your workplace and personal role in the event of a fire
  • Know the evacuation routes in your building and have an exit strategy
  • Always know at least two escape routes
  • When an alarm sounds, assume a real emergency exists and evacuate quickly and safely
  • If individuals require assistance during an evacuation, follow the procedures in your department regarding their needs
  • Promptly report any problems with smoke alarms to Facilities Management

A critical decision in planning for this emergency situation is whether or not to fight a fire with a portable fire extinguisher or to flee to a safe area. This decision is based on a quick risk assessment that evaluates the size of the fire, the evacuation route, and the atmosphere in the vicinity of the fire. A safety training class on fire extinguisher use is available online for more information.

In addition, campus policy prohibits smoking within 25 feet of building entrances and air intake handlers. This is due, in part, to the following reasons:

  • Fire prevention
  • Indoor air quality control
  • Danger of second-hand smoke

Please contact Risk Management and Safety at 895-4226 with any safety related concerns.

November 2012: Space Heater Safety

As cooler weather makes its way into Las Vegas, space heaters become more common on campus. Risk Management and Safety strongly discourages the use of space heaters at UNLV. They are not highly efficient and have significant fire and safety issues associated with their use. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 25,000 residential fires each year are associated with space heaters causing more than 300 deaths. An additional 6,000 persons receive medical care related to burns when handling hot space heaters.

If you have problems with heating or ventilation in your buildings, contact Facilities Management at 5-4357 for assistance.

If a space heater must be used, these safety precautions must be observed:

  • Space heaters must be tested and certified by an independent testing laboratory such as Underwriter's Laboratories (UL)
  • Space heaters must have 3 feet of clearance on all sides.
  • Space heaters must have an automatic shutoff feature if it accidentally tips over.
  • Space heaters must be plugged directly into an outlet in the wall, not an extension cord nor power strip.
  • Space heaters must be turned off whenever you leave the room and unplugged when you leave for the day.

RMS reserves the right to confiscate space heaters if used in an unsafe manner.

November 2012: Initial Medical Care providers for Workers' Compensation Injuries

We are now utilizing the services of Southern Nevada Occupational Health Center (SNOHC) as the 'first stop of care' for our injured employees when urgent care and medical treatment is required. SNOHC has 2 locations:

    4100 N. Martin Luther King Blvd, Suite A, North Las Vegas, NV 89032 (between Alexander and Craig Rd.)
    Hours: 8am to 5 pm, Monday - Friday
    ph: 702-380-1712

    1712 Bearden Drive, Las Vegas NV, 89106 (near Charleston Blvd and Shadow Lane)
    Hours: 9 am to 5 pm, Monday - Saturday
    ph: 702-380-1712

Employees are advised to utilize the approved clinics when medical treatment is required for work related injuries. Employees should not use their personal medical provider for work related injuries because this may delay the claim process. However, in life threatening situations or when employees require emergency care, please contact Police Services ("911" from a campus phone line) to arrange for emergency transportation or proceed to the nearest medical facility.

We are still using the services of Concentra Medical Center (4 locations) and Center for Occupational Health and Wellness (2 locations). We now have a total of 8 locations that employees can visit for initial treatment of workers' compensation injuries. All location may be found at http://rms.unlv.edu/insurance-and-claims/wc/medical-providers/.

Informational posters for all the clinics should be printed and posted in an area frequented by employees. The posters can be found at http://rms.unlv.edu/insurance-and-claims/wc/medical-providers/.

For questions about initial care services or workers' compensation, please contact Michele Washington at 895-5404 or 895-4226 or visit our website at http://rms.unlv.edu/insurance-and-claims/wc/.

October 2012: AEDs on Campus

On September 28, 2012, an Automatic External Difibrillator (AED) was used with CPR in response to a woman on campus who had experienced cardiac arrest. Through these life-saving measures, the woman was breathing when paramedics arrived and then transported safely to the hospital where she could receive appropriate medical care.

AEDS may be used during sudden cardiac arrest to shock the heart back into a normal rhythm by means of an electric current. AEDs contain written instructions and verbal prompts to assist the responder in how to use the device. Employees may learn more about AEDs by completing a CPR & AED training course. The next class through Risk Management and Safety will be scheduled and announced shortly. For information about locations of AEDs on campus including a short video on how to use one, please visit http://rms.unlv.edu/fire-and-life/aed/.

September 2012: E-cigarettes

Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, have been marketed as a safe, smoke-free alternative to traditional smoking. These devices may be less harmful because of the lack of smoke produced, BUT they are still harmful. In fact, according to its manufacturer, e-cigarettes are still considered a tobacco product containing nicotine and several other chemicals.

The Nevada Clean Indoor Act, NRS 202.2483, states that smoking tobacco in any form is prohibited within indoor places of employment. Furthermore, please note that smoking of any kind, including the use of e-cigarettes, is not permitted within 25 feet of building entrances or air intake handlers.

August 2012: Safety Reminders

Risk management and safety is an integral part of the everyday activities in any program or procedure. The day-to-day responsibility for these programs rests with those who supervise and/or participate in them. In regard to:

Cart Safety

Please operate carts safely around pedestrians and do not park the carts near building entrances or in fire lanes. Anyone who uses a golf cart on campus must be properly trained by the office of risk management and safety (RMS) and understand his or her responsibilities for safe operation.

Material Safety Data Sheets(MSDS)

MSDS provide information on the properties of specific hazardous materials. MSDS are available online at http://rms.unlv.edu/msds/ for hazardous materials on campus.

Online Training

RMS continues to update its library of online safety training classes, which are available to any employee or student 24/7.

Safety Concern/Near Miss Form

This form allow the campus community to easily contact RMS with safety issues. Please use the form above so we may address your concerns in a quick and efficient manner.

Smoking Policy

Smoking is not permitted within 25 feet of building entrances or air intake handlers. This reduces the risk of fires and maintains indoor air quality. We ask those of you who do smoke to respect others who do not smoke. Please:

  • Refrain from smoking near building entrances and exits or other areas that are prohibited; and
  • Place cigarette butts in the proper receptacles. This helps keep the campus clean and beautiful.
July 2012: CHIMERA

Risk Management and Safety (RMS) would like to remind the campus community of its chemical inventory program. CHIMERA was developed several years ago and allows for the management of hazards materials on campus.

Specifically, CHIMERA is a comprehensive chemical inventory management program which consolidates the collection and reporting of chemical information across campus. Users of CHIMERA may manage their own chemical inventory through an online interface by viewing inventory data, printing hazard reports, and searching for products within their inventory.

Inventory management tools for active updating include:

  • Adding, removing, and transferring inventory
  • Editing quantities and assigning storage locations

A variety of reports are available for quick and easy access to inventory and hazard data, including:

  • Inventory Reports (by building & room)
  • Hazard Classification Reports

Furthermore, a voluntary chemical sharing program (Chemshare) enables participating users to check if there is a specific chemical available in the pool of participating inventories, and then provides the corresponding contact information.

In addition to chemical inventory, CHIMERA also adds the additional step of collecting and housing Material Safety Data Sheets for every product that is inventoried. By incorporating that information directly into its system, UNLV faculty and staff can be assured of quick and simple access to MSDS.

CHIMERA currently houses over 36,000 material safety data sheets online, with more being added daily. All MSDS data is stored in PDF format, which allows easy review and print options. To find out more information on MSDSs, please visit: https://rms.unlv.edu/chemical-inventory/msds/.

If you have any questions regarding CHIMERA or the MSDS system please contact Risk Management and Safety at 895-4226.

June 2012: Las Vegas Monsoon Season

The summer months in Las Vegas are typically known as monsoon season. With summer rain storms come the dangers of flash flooding. RMS would like to take a moment to remind the campus the importance of remaining safe around flood waters.

What to do before, during, and after a flood

  • Assemble a disaster supplies kit for your family. More information on the contents of the kit can be found here.
  • Listen to the radio or television for information.
  • Move immediately and quickly to higher ground if there are any reports of flash flooding.
  • Do NOT drive or walk through standing water - If you can't see the lines on the street, it's too dangerous to risk driving through the area. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 63% of all flood related deaths were a result of victims attempting to drive through flood waters.
  • 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 in place for your safety.
  • Avoid moving water and stay away from damaged areas.

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

Additional safety information can be found at http://www.ready.gov/floods.

May 2012: Heat Stress

Summer in Las Vegas can be uncomfortable, especially with temperatures over 100 degrees. Whether you work outside or indoors, Risk Management and Safety would like to remind you of the importance of remaining safe in the heat. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are serious medical emergencies resulting from unhealthy and unsafe practices in hot environments. Some tips to remain safe and healthy in hot weather include:

  • Drink plenty of water: OSHA recommends drinking small amounts of water frequently throughout the day. Generally, adults should drink 64 ounces of water daily - more if you work outdoors and sweat often.
  • Dress appropriately: When outside, wear light-weight, natural fabrics and a hat if possible.
  • Eat light: Heavy and hot foods sometimes accelerated dehydration. Light, refreshing foods like fruits and vegetables keep you hydrated.
  • Stay inside when possible: Limit outdoor activity during the hottest parts of the day.

A training course has be set up to help recognize the signs and symptoms of heat stress and what you can do to protect yourself. The training is at http://rms.unlv.edu/training/HeatStress/.

OSHA has additional information at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatstress/index.html.

Please contact Risk Management and Safety at 895-4226 with any questions regarding heat stress.

April 2012: Cleaning Shared Equipment

Risk Management and Safety would like to remind the campus community of the health dangers in sharing equipment in the workplace. Shared equipment, such as computers, hand tools, laboratory equipment, musical instruments, exercise equipment, etc. may hold germs and bacteria that lead to sickness or disease. The flu and common cold are frequently passed on through this manner. In extremely rare cases when blood is left behind, it is possible for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV to pass from an infected person to another person using shared equipment.

To prevent potential sickness or disease, please consider the following:

  • Avoid touching your nose, mouth, and eyes while using shared equipment
  • Clean and disinfect equipment or instruments before and after use

When disinfecting equipment, the EPA has listed more than 500 antimicrobial products that are helpful on hard surfaces. For specialized equipment, such as musical instruments, contact your supervisor for the most effective way to clean and disinfect the equipment.

Contact RMS at 895-4226 for more information.

March 2012: Global Traveling Companion Policy

The Nevada System of Higher Education has acquired a Global Traveling Companion policy to assist NSHE travelers in case of an emergency. Benefits provided include:

Medical Services: Hospital deposit, medical monitoring, dispatch of doctor or specialist, medical emergency evaluation, medically supervised repatriation, repatriate of mortal remains, emergency medication, and pre-tip medical referral information.

Personal Assistance Services: Emergency cash advance, embassy & consular information, lost document assistance, emergency message transmission, legal access, travel advisories, translations & interpreters, lost baggage assistance, currency exchange rates, weather information, benefits verification & claims assistance, and security related services & assistance.

Travel Assistance Services: Emergency family travel arrangements, transportation to join disabled employees, return of minor children and/or traveling companion, and return of vehicle.

To obtain immediate assistance, you will need to call MEDEX at:

  • Toll Free (Worldwide): 800-927-6139
  • Collect (Worldwide): 410-453-6330

When contacting MEDEX, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Company name: Board of Regents of the Nevada System of Higher Education
  • MEDEX ID#: 314751

Additional information is found at http://accountspayable.unlv.edu/Trvlman/ap_x.htm

Contact RMS at 895-4226 for additional assistance.

February 2012: Assisting the Disabled During an Emergency Evacuation

In the event of any emergency evacuation from a building, RMS would like to remind the campus of the following procedures to ensure the safety of everyone in the building.

Assisting the Visually Impaired

In the event of the emergency, tell the person the nature of the emergency and offer to guide him/her to the nearest emergency exit. Have the person take your elbow (this is the preferred method when acting as a sighted guide) and guide them towards the nearest exit.

Assisting the Hearing Impaired

Write a note to the person, telling them of the emergency and the nearest evacuation route. Example- "FIRE-exit out the rear door to the right and down. NOW!"

Turn the light switch off and on repeatedly to gain attention, and then indicate through gestures what is occurring and what response to take.

Assisting people using crutches, canes, or walkers

Carrying options include a two person lock arm position or having the person sit in a sturdy chair, preferably one with arms.

Assisting non-ambulatory people or people in wheelchairs

First, unless there is IMMINENT DANGER do not attempt to carry persons with mobility impairments. Instead escort them to the nearest stairwell and have at least two people wait with them in case further evacuation becomes necessary. The escort or floor monitor should specify or inform a person to notify CCFD that a person is in a specific stairwell and floor landing level.

There are many considerations when moving a person in a wheelchair. Wheelchairs have moveable parts; some are not designed to withstand the stress of lifting. You may have to remove the chair batteries. Life support equipment may be attached. Lifting a person with little or no ability to move may be dangerous to their well being. Always consult with the person in the chair regarding:

  1. The number of people necessary for assistance.
  2. Ways of being removed from the wheelchair.
  3. Whether the seat cushion pad should be brought along when the person is removed from the chair.
  4. Whether to extend or bend extremities when lifting because of pain, catheter, leg bands, spasticity, braces, etc.
  5. Being carried forward or backward on a flight of stairs.
  6. The type of assistance necessary after evacuation.

If you have any questions, please contact Risk Management and Safety at 895-4226.

January 2012: Safety Reminders

RMS appreciates the efforts made by the campus community in creating a safe and healthy work and study environment. At the beginning of the year, we would like to inform the campus of a handful of safety topics.

Cart Safety

Please operate carts safely around pedestrians and do not park the carts near building entrances. Anyone who uses a golf cart on campus must be properly trained and understand his or her responsibilities for safe operation.

Material Safety Data Sheets(MSDS)

MSDSs are available online for hazardous materials on campus. In short, an MSDS is a document intended to provide information on the properties of specific hazardous materials.

Online Training

RMS continues to update its library of online safety training classes, which are available to any employee and student.

Safety Concern/Near Miss Form

This form allows the campus community to easily contact RMS with safety issues. Please use the form so we may address your concerns in a quick and efficient manner.

Slips, Trips, and Falls

Injuries that occur from slips, trips and falls are frequently reported to RMS. Please be careful around stairs or slippery surfaces to prevent injury. An online course detailing how to prevent slips, trips, and falls can be completed by clicking the link above.

This document was last modified on August 30, 2019.