The University of Alabama, concerned with the health and
safety of its students, faculty, staff and visitors, acknowledges its
responsibility to endeavor to create, maintain, and enhance a healthful and safe
environment for all individuals associated with the institution.
To this end, the University is committed to provide reasonable resources
and support for the development, implementation and maintenance of an effective
health and safety program.
The University is committed to the principle that such a
program will minimize University losses, reduce costs, improve morale and
For these reasons, the University requires that health
promotion and accident prevention be integrated into all its academic and
operational activities and has established a central Office of Health and Safety
on campus which reports to the Vice President for Financial Affairs and
Treasurer. This office has been
charged to oversee the development and implementation of an effective health and
safety program. To best fulfill
this responsibility, the Office of Health and Safety will develop and assist in
implementing University guidelines and standards compatible with existing
external agencies’ rules and regulations.
Compliance with all University health and safety guidelines will be
required. All supervisory personnel
shall bear primary responsibility for the health and safety concerns within
their respective area.
A committee on health and safety, which reports to the Vice President for Financial Affairs and Treasurer, has been appointed. The primary responsibilities of this committee are to advise the President on health and safety matters, and to assist EHS in the development of a safe and healthful environment for faculty, staff, students and visitors.
A lawn decoration shall be no higher than ten feet tall, unless scaffolding is used to create the lawn decoration. All scaffolding must be erected and dismantled by a professional and cannot exceed two scaffolds high (with guardrails present) for the purpose of creating lawn decorations. Jack stands must be used for scaffold support legs. Guardrails must be present on all sides of the scaffolding and on every level except the first level of scaffolding. Ladders cannot be used on scaffolds or propped against scaffolds. Steps to access the scaffold must be at least twelve inches (ladder style frame). Brick layer scaffolds or walk thru frames cannot be used (brick layer scaffolds have only six inch steps). No portion of the lawn decoration shall extend over the access to the front door (this includes objects extending into the walkway space from adjacent lawn decorations). At least a three foot aisle or walkway must be present on each side of the decoration. No lawn decoration shall exceed fourteen feet in height unless recommended by the contractor for safety and/or stability reasons. The decoration shall not be more than thirty feet wide or extend past the length of the house and shall be placed half the distance between the house and sidewalk. It shall not be placed within ten feet of any overhead wiring and at least ten feet back from this wiring. All lawn decorations should be self-supporting, unless otherwise recommended by the contractor for stability and/or safety reasons. Ground stakes, guide wires and support ropes should be clearly marked with a bright visible cloth or tape to prevent possible injuries. All contractor recommendations must be written and a copy on file at EHS. Contact EHS if you have any questions regarding the placement of this lawn decoration. NON-GREEK decorations will be limited to a maximum height of ten feet and a maximum width of fifteen feet.
Open flames or fires shall not be permitted as part of any lawn decoration. Any part of this lawn decoration, which could be blown away by the wind or affected by the elements of weather, must be removed within 48 hours following the event for which it is used. Any holes created by ground stakes, guide wires or support ropes must be filled in and leveled with the surrounding ground also within 48 hours following the event. Lawn decorations and frames created for Homecoming events must be removed by Monday at 4:30 PM following the Saturday Homecoming game. If lawn decorations have not been removed by this time, the house will be penalized from participating in next year’s lawn decoration contest which is monitored by Student Life.
Tents erected on The University of Alabama campus must be
flame retardant. Documentation of
this treatment or material should be kept on hand at each tent location.
At least twelve feet of non-obstructed space should be left open and free
on all sides of the tent unless otherwise approved by EHS. All tents must be adequately supported, roped, anchored and
braced to assure the tent will withstand the elements of the weather and not
collapse. All aisles in tents and
exits from the tents shall be left unobstructed.
Tents or tent ropes, anchors or braces must be erected approximately two
feet away from sidewalks and may not extend over or block any sidewalk.
Contact EHS at 348-5905
regarding concerns over the placement of tents on the University of Alabama
Only structurally sound band platforms are acceptable.
EHS must approve all other
decorations or structures to be used on campus or by students, as well as, an
engineer or qualified professional. The
engineer or qualified professional must deem the structure or decoration
“safe” for its purpose of use before the approval of use is granted. Initially,
the organization must submit a drawing of the decoration or structure along with
a list of materials, which will be used to create it, to EHS for approval at 15
Research Drive, Box 870178, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35487.
The services of the engineer or qualified professional must be obtained
by the organization planning the structure or decoration and all costs will be
directed to this organization. A
building permit may be required from the City of Tuscaloosa prior to the
construction of any structure that may be used at a social event that costs more
than $100.00 to build. After
documentation of this inspection is received by EHS, a representative from EHS
will provide a final social event inspection.
This inspection will only be completed if the social event has been
registered through the Office of the Dean of Students.
The use of live Christmas trees is prohibited in University
of Alabama buildings on campus unless approved by EHS. Any electrical
decorations, which may be used on Christmas trees must be UL listed and
EHS at 348-5905 prior to the establishment of any seasonal
Any time an individual will be working higher than ten feet in the air on a decoration or structure, he or she must be tied off appropriately. Stepladders greater than ten feet in length are not permitted for use and the top two rungs of any ladder shall not be used. All ladders used shall rest on a solid level support. If the ladder will be placed on the ground and there is a possibility of the ladder sinking into the ground, a 12” x 12” or larger piece of plywood or metal shall be placed beneath the ladder. All ladders used shall be sturdy and free of dents, bends, loose hinges, loose steps, cracks, or other defects. If scaffolding will be utilized for the construction of a decoration or structure, it shall be erected, installed, secured and broken-down by an outside-certified company. Ladders or makeshift devices shall not be used on scaffolds to gain extra height. All moving parts on decorations or structures shall be guarded such that fingers, hair, clothing, etc. cannot contact the moving parts.
For structures at Greek Houses:
1. The structure can be no higher than 5 1/2 feet.
2. If the structure is over 30" high, a handrail is required on all sides of the structure at 42" and midpoint.
3. Alternating lag bolts will be used to secure the structure.
4. A handrail is required when there are 4 or more steps to the structure.
5. If the structure is over 30", the bottom area will be totally enclosed.
A permit must be attained prior to the use of fireworks on
campus. Contact EHS at least one month prior to the scheduled
fireworks exhibition. The permit
approved by the UA Public Safety Department. A “no
burn ordinance” overrides a fireworks permit.
Therefore, any time a “no burn ordinance” is in effect, the scheduled
fireworks program will be cancelled.
EHS must approve
any use of an open light or flame on campus.
Open flames can include, but are not limited to, the use of candles, bon
fires, incense burners and torches. The
following information must be presented to EHS prior to approval of the use of
an open light or flame: building
name, area or room number where used, dates of use, hours of use, project or
reason for request, equipment to be used, type of open flame device to be used,
ignition procedure for open flame device, and location of the nearest smoke
detector and type of smoke detector (smoke detector tied into the fire alarm
system or stand alone smoke detector).
EHS may outline precautions that must also
be taken in order to use the open flame. If
these precautions are not followed, EHS reserves the right to terminate or decline the approval of the open light
or flame permit.
The University of Alabama does not endorse the use of
candles in any buildings. When
candles are used in ceremonies, caution must be taken to assure they are handled
correctly. Never leave a candle or
incense unattended for any reason. Care
must also be taken when extinguishing candles.
Several candles blown out together can create enough smoke to initiate a
fire alarm. Prior to the use of
candles in any building on campus, contact EHS at
348-5905. It is
unlawful for any person to light, build, make or deposit ashes or embers which
could cause fire in any University of Alabama building or on the campus grounds
without prior approval.
Events Held inside a House or Building on The University of Alabama Campus
social event planned within a house or building on the University of Alabama
campus must be registered with the Office of the Dean of Student Life.
A non-impaired “event monitor” shall be assigned to every social
event. The event monitor is
responsible for the immediate clean up of all trash inside the party area and
outside the location of the party. Basic safety guidelines must be followed whenever an event is
scheduled to be held within a house or building on The University of Alabama
to any registered social event on the University campus a fire safety inspection
is performed at each location. Deficiencies
will be noted and all shall be corrected by 1:00 PM Friday before the scheduled
social event. In all cases, it is
the responsibility of those occupying the area to assure testing and maintenance
is complete on fire safety equipment. It
is the responsibility of EHS to assure
testing and maintenance is complete on fire safety equipment in University owned
buildings. Fraternities and
Sororities must assure this fire safety equipment is maintained in their own
houses. During the inspection,
safety equipment such as exit lights, emergency lights and fire extinguishers
are inspected, hallways and stairwells are checked to assure they are clear of
storage, and all decorations are reviewed.
Occupancy limit signs are also examined for the social event and
specified location at this time. Review
the information below as a guideline for this inspection.
1. Stairwell Doors, Corridor Doors and Exit Doors
exit doorways, including stairwell doors, shall be the correct size for the
occupancy of the building as established by NFPA guidelines.
Each building or area occupied must have the appropriate number of exits.
Exits must be clear and unobstructed.
Curtains, drapes, or any other item is not allowed to confuse or conceal
any exit or means of egress. Sitting
or standing in any exit or means of egress is not allowed.
Illuminated exit signs, with battery backup, shall indicate exits.
Exit and stairwell doors must be easily opened from the inside without
the use of any special procedures or a key.
Stairwell doors may not have deadbolt locks on them and cannot be propped
open. All stairwell doors must have
door closures, which are automatic closing devices.
Any doors, such as corridor doors, which swing in both directions, shall
have a viewing area provided. There
shall be no doorstops placed on stairwell doors.
In the event that a doorstop is found on a stairwell door or a deadbolt
lock, it will be immediately removed at the expense of the organization
occupying the building. Once a
stairwell door is found propped open by any other item, the organization
occupying the building will be given a warning and told to remove the door prop.
If this continues to be a problem, the social event approval will be
denied until the door props are removed from the stairwell doors, or these doors
are magnetically tied into the fire alarm system.
2. Hallways and Stairwells
hallways and stairwells must be clear of any clutter, obstruction, or storage.
In the past, bicycles, furniture, lawnmowers and bulletin boards have
been found in stairwells and hallways during inspections.
This is not permitted. No
storage is allowed inside any hallways or stairwells.
The house or building should also be free of stored combustibles (paper,
wood, etc.). General housekeeping shall be a high priority. For this reason, no social event will be approved if bottles,
cans, trash or other materials are in rooms, hallways, stairwells, or outside
the house or building creating hazards. It
is the responsibility of the organization occupying the space to keep the area
clean and orderly.
hallways and stairwells should be the correct width and height for the occupancy
of the building as established by NFPA guidelines.
Hallways and stairwells shall be well lit at all times.
Light bulbs should be replaced in light fixtures within a timely manner
as well as bulbs in exit lights and emergency lights.
Lens covers for light fixtures should also be maintained to assure bulbs
are not exposed.
3. Ceiling Tiles and Aisles
tiles act as a fire barrier. When
ceiling tiles are removed, the fire rating of the ceiling may change, the fire
insurance may become void and most importantly, it creates a “Chimney
Effect” in the event of a fire. It
is the responsibility of the organization occupying the space to verify any
damaged or missing ceiling tiles are replaced.
In University owned academic or office settings, it is the responsibility
of the Facilities Physical Plant Maintenance Department to replace them.
In a housing building that is University owned, it is the responsibility
of the Office of Housing Maintenance. It
is the responsibility of the Fraternity or Sorority occupying the area to
maintain their house in the same manner.
4. Compressed Gases or Compressed Air
pressurized tanks must be adequately secured regardless of whether they are
empty or full. Often chains, straps
or stands are utilized to keep them from falling.
Pressurized tanks shall not be left freestanding.
If pressurized tanks are found freestanding, they will be removed at the
expense of the occupants of the building. When
moving compressed gasses, verify the protective caps are in place to protect
valve stems and assure stability by strapping them to carts.
Never tamper, force or lubricate cylinder valves.
Contact the compressed gas company responsible for delivering the gases
if problems occur with the compressed gas valve. Remember to wear safety glasses when using compressed gasses.
Compressed gasses or compressed air should never be directed towards a
person or used to blow dust or particles off skin or clothing.
5. Housekeeping and Storage
housekeeping shall be a high priority in all buildings on The University of
Alabama campus, including fraternities and sororities living in houses on the
campus. For this reason, no social
event will be approved in a fraternity/sorority house or UA building if bottles,
cans, trash or other materials were in rooms, hallways, stairwells, or outside
the area creating hazards. It is
the responsibility of the organization occupying the space to keep the area
clean and orderly. Contact
EHS regarding concerns about the disposal
of trash, debris, or hazardous materials.
Assure all mechanical rooms and areas are clear of storage. No washers, dryers, trash or tables are allowed in these areas unless approved by the Tuscaloosa Fire Department. On occasion, lawn mowers and weed eaters have also been found in these areas. This too is not permitted. No gas-powered equipment is allowed to be stored inside any houses or buildings. This equipment shall be placed outside in a storage area. Flammable liquids may only be stored in an approved metal cabinet. If storage is found in an inappropriate location, it shall be removed and properly stored before any social event will be approved.
6. Occupancy Limit
Fraternities and Sororities have occupancy limit signs available for their band
rooms. This signage must be posted
and visible during any social event. If
space within the house or within a University owned building that has not
previously been used for assemblies will be used in the future, contact
EHS at 348-5905 for an appropriate
occupancy limit for the area. All
occupancy limits take into account the square footage of the area in question,
the type of seating to be provided, the type of activity planned and the
obstacles and exits of the area in question.
Obstacles such as tables, chairs, and band platforms are always
considered to be obstacles in the determination of an occupancy limit.
7. Portable Heating Appliances, Lighting Appliances and Extension Cords
great care must be taken to utilize portable heaters properly, their use is
discouraged on campus. Contact EHS
at 348-5905 for some safety tips for the use of these heaters.
Halogen lamps pose serious safety hazards as well.
Their bulbs may shatter due to high temperatures, they are easily tipped
over due to their design and they may inadvertently ignite combustible
materials. For these reasons
halogen lamps may not be used on campus.
use of extension cords is also discouraged on campus. However, if an extension cord must be used, there are several
guidelines one must follow. All
extension cords used on campus must be UL listed and approved.
These extension cords must only be used within the appropriate rating by
comparing the rating on the extension cord to the rating on the temporary
appliance being used. If a cord on the appliance being used has a three-pronged
adapter, the extension cord must also be three pronged.
Splicing together of extension cords is not allowed nor is the plugging
together of multiple extension cords. Extension
cords, used outside or in potentially wet environments, must be protected by
ground fault circuit interrupters. Extension
cords may never be run under rugs or carpet or through walkways or windows.
Never use any extension cord that is damaged or frayed.
Do not use extension cords on any heat-producing appliance such as a
portable heater, blow dryer, or iron.
8. Electrical Hazards
all fraternity/sorority housing is free of electrical hazards.
Extension cords shall only be used in temporary situations.
No extension cords may be used on permanent fixtures such as coke
machines or lighting. All extension
cords used must be grounded. All
electrical outlets must have covered faceplates.
If electrical outlets are found which are cracked and not allowing proper
grounding, the outlet must be repaired and the cover replaced. Never overload electrical outlets. All electrical panels shall have covers or doors with fuses
labeled properly. All appliances
shall be properly grounded (washers, dryers and kitchen equipment).
Before any social event will be approved, the fraternity/sorority will be
inspected for specific electrical hazards.
It is the responsibility of the organization occupying the space to
repair or replace any item or hazard that is noted at the time of the inspection
before the party will be approved.
9. Zero Tolerance Policy
City of Tuscaloosa Fire Department (TFD) has established a “Zero Tolerance
Policy” for false fire alarms. Each
time a fire alarm is initiated in any building on the University campus, TFD
responds, as well as UADPS. Since
TFD is aware of the number of students living and attending the University of
Alabama, when an alarm is initiated on campus, multiple fire trucks are
dispatched simultaneously. TFD
responds to each alarm on campus as if it were a true emergency, often placing
their lives in danger to try and reach the campus in a timely manner.
Due to the number of false alarms on campus in the past few years, the
zero tolerance policy was established to deter individuals from maliciously
initiating alarms. The City of Tuscaloosa Legal Department may enforce community
service and/or fines if false fire alarms are attributed to the deliberate
actions of those inhibiting the area or if those individuals occupying the
building do not evacuate the area during a fire alarm.
is not allowed inside any University of Alabama owned buildings on campus.
Smoking shall be prohibited in areas where smoke detector activation is a
part of the fire alarm system. All
fire alarm systems in fraternity/sorority housing have smoke detector
activation. The City of Tuscaloosa
Fire Department has a zero tolerance level for false alarms.
Community service and/or up to a $3500 fine can be distributed to all
active members of a fraternity/sorority or to the individual responsible for the
alarm if smoking is determined to be the cause of a fire alarm.
Many fires have been caused by individuals who are impaired, tired or
smoking. For these reasons, the
best location to smoke is outside the house or the building.
11. Limited Access to Hazardous Areas
The authority having jurisdiction can limit access to areas they deem hazardous. These areas are noted by signage placed on the entrance doors that states, “No Access Permitted to this Area by Orders of the City of Tuscaloosa Fire Department”. This may include roofs, mechanical rooms or other areas where hazardous conditions exists. They may have certain areas prohibited to access. Never open or gain access to any of these areas without first notifying EHS at 348-5905.
The Tuscaloosa County Health Department is responsible for inspecting all commercial kitchens on campus, as well as anyone distributing food to students, guests, or employees on The University of Alabama campus. Prior to any social event that includes the distribution of food to students, guests, or employees, contact, in advance, EHS at 348-5905 so provisions can be made for this inspection. This includes any distribution of food at Homecoming activities and other activities on the University campus.
The Tuscaloosa County Health Department also coordinates with EHS on issues of sanitation problems or concerns. Social events often require the presence of portable restrooms, especially if the event is to be held on The University of Alabama Quad. Contact EHS at 348-5905 regarding any campus sanitation concerns.