OEHS Office Safety

subtitles office safety

Indoor office environments seem safe enough but there are precautions and planning that we all should consider.

Emergency Preparedness

Emergencies happen, they’re a part of life. Being prepared can reduce the seriousness of injuries and the time to recover from unplanned events. To be better prepared UAH provides the following services:

  • UAlert: The UAlert system provides you quick information regarding campus emergencies.
  • Automated External Defibrillator’s (AED’s): These are located in cabinets in most campus buildings on odd level floors near the common/most used elevator. The Police Department also maintains an AED in each squad car. An emergency medical kit is also located in each AED cabinet. Learn more about the UAH AED Program.
  • First Aid/CPR/AED: The OEHS has a certified American Red Cross Trainer on staff that provides First Aid, CPR, and AED training four times each month. There is a fee for this training. For any questions contact  256.824.2352.

    Register for First Aid/CPR/AED training
  • Building Emergency Signs: These are posted near stairs and elevators in each campus building. The signs provide the locations of emergency equipment such as fire extinguishers, fire alarm pull stations, AEDs, stairwells, exits routes, and protective areas for severe weather.
  • Evacuation Drills: All UAH building occupants are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the University’s procedures for Fire and Building Evacuation. These procedures are available in the multi-colored Emergency Procedures Handbook, which should be available in each campus office. Additional copies may be requested from the UAH Police Department or the Office of Environmental Health and Safety.

    View the Handbook

Emergency Egress

The ability to leave a building during emergencies can be hindered by items left in hallways and stored inappropriately in the office environment. Items that are no longer needed and in good condition may be surplussed through Central Receiving and Shipping. The Grounds Maintenance Department moves items to another area or to the trash. Insure excess furniture and computer equipment does not block your way out of the building in an emergency by contacting the appropriate department to dispose of your excess as soon as it is deemed unneeded.

Electrical Safety

Portable Space Heaters

Facilities & Operations maintains all buildings according to the American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) guidelines. All discomfort due to heating, air conditioning and ventilation should be promptly reported to the Facilities & Operations Work Order Desk at  256.824.6490.


The Director of Facilities & Operations Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing Department must approve the use of space heaters.

Space heaters increase the risks of fire and electric shock if not used properly. Use of space heaters must conform to safety guidelines provided below:

  • Employees should obtain approval from a supervisor prior to using a space heater at work.
  • All space heaters should have the certification of Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
  • Keep heaters at least three feet away from anything that can burn, including papers, clothing and rugs.
  • Keep space heaters out of high traffic areas and doorways where they may pose a tripping hazard.
  • Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet. Do not use an extension cord or power strip, which could overheat and result in a fire.
  • Do not plug any other electrical devices into the same outlet as the heater.
  • Operating space heaters should never be left unattended. They should be turned off and unplugged at the end of the work day or whenever the employee leaves the room.