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News from University Police and Safety Office

2012 Annual Safety Statement

As we begin the New Year, the University Police & Safety Office (UP&SO) also prepares for the annual fire and safety building inspections.  To assist you in preparation for these inspections, as well as to keep you safe throughout the year, the following is a list of the most common violations reported: 


·         Surge Protector Power Strips: All surge protector power strips must be plugged into their own electrical outlet, and cannot be plugged into an extension cord or into another power strip.  All appliances must be plugged directly into the power strip without the use of an extension cord.  Electrical cords should be checked often, and frayed or damaged cords must be taken out of service immediately. 

·         Defrost Freezers: Frost build-up in a freezer can cause the motor to overheat, potentially causing a fire.  Freezers should be checked on a monthly basis and defrosted as needed. 

·         Clutter: Keep office, storage, and work areas free of clutter.  Remember to recycle old magazines and papers; do not stack them in the corner of your office.  General housekeeping can help facilitate a sanitary and clutter free work area.  If an area seems to be neglected, report it to a Supervisor or the Safety Office.  All walkways must be kept clear for egress purposes, and storage in hallways or blocking doorways is strictly prohibited. 

·         Electrical and Telephone Panels: A three foot clearance is required in front of all electrical panels to provide quick and easy access.  Panels are also required to be properly labeled.  If the electrical panel contains any open breaker spaces, contact Facilities Management to have it filled with a blank. 

·         Material Safety Data Sheets: Work areas that contain chemicals or hazardous materials are required to have updated Material Safety Data Sheets available.  Any containers must be properly labeled as to their contents. 

·         Space Heaters: If you use a space heater it must be “UL” approved and equipped with an automatic shut-off device in the event the heater tips over.  Use of a space heater with an extension cord is prohibited.  All space heaters must be plugged into their own electrical outlet.  The University Police & Safety Office highly recommends that all space heaters be purchased through Facilities Management Central Stores.  NOTE: Prior to obtaining a heater from Central Stores you must submit a request for a heater from Facilities Management so that HVAC and electrical systems can be checked. 

·         Appliances: All office or break room appliances are required to be “UL” approved.  Items include, but are not limited to: microwaves, refrigerators, coffee pots, freezers, radios, etc.  Coffee pots must have a 2-hour automatic shut-off feature.  Check with Facilities Management Central Stores for the availability of these appliances.  Any appliances brought from home will be inspected and must meet the same safety standards that NDSU property is held to. 

·         First Aid Kits: If your department provides a first aid kit, it must be checked for oral medications.  If any oral medications are present, they must be removed from the first aid kit and disposed of properly.  First aid kits can be purchased at Facilities Management Central Stores.  For proper procedures on first aid kits contact the University Police & Safety Office. 

·         Slip & Trip Hazards: Constantly wet surfaces, loose rugs, broken tile, using a shortcut instead of a designated walkway, these are all hazards that can result in slips and falls.  Take the initiative to report areas that may be slippery due to spills, damaged floor covering, or even ice and snow.  Use proper signage, slow down, wear proper footwear, take smaller loads, and keep your work area free of clutter.  Remember to report areas that have poor lighting, take stairs one at a time, and use the handrails. 

·         Sanitary Conditions: Keep your area clear and free of clutter, clean up spills immediately, maintain sanitary conditions in all areas as dust and dirt can pose a significant health hazard for some people.  Break rooms, microwaves and other appliances must be kept clean and sanitary. 

·         Custodial Closets: Mops and buckets must be cleaned and stored properly when not in use.  Keep closets organized and free of clutter.  All chemical containers must be clearly labeled with the contents. 

·         Candles: Candles, incense, or similar devices with open flames are prohibited in all campus buildings.  This includes residence halls, residence apartments, and campus offices.  Some exceptions apply for supervised special events where prior approval has been granted. 

·         Waste Accumulation: Any area that uses hazardous waste accumulation containers MUST keep them closed except when adding more waste material to them.  No funnels in the neck or uncapped containers are allowed.  The container must also be clearly labeled with the contents, in addition to the words “Hazardous Waste”. 

·         Asbestos Awareness: Locations of asbestos containing material (ACM) are available on the Safety Office website.  ACM that is in good condition presents only a very slight hazard, however, attaching decorative items to the ACM may disturb the material and should be avoided. 

·         Security: Areas of campus that contain hazardous materials and substances must be secured when unattended. 

·         Biological Safety Cabinets: Testing and certification of cabinets is required annually.  The Fifth Edition of the Bio-Safety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories, published by the US Department of Health and Human Services, states that the “operational integrity of a Bio-Safety Cabinet must be validated before it is placed into service and after it has been repaired or relocated.  Each Bio-Safety Cabinet should be tested and certified at least annually to ensure continued proper operation.” 


The violations mentioned above are some of the most common violations noted during inspections.  For more information on the inspection process, refer to the Safety Inspection checklist on the Safety Office website:  


If you have any questions about the building inspections, please feel free to contact the Compliance Specialist at the University Police & Safety Office, or call 1-5637. 


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North Dakota State University
Phone: (701) 231-8998 / Fax: (701) 231-6334
Campus address: University Police and Safety 102
Physical/delivery address: 1523 12th Ave N, Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 3300 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: University Police and Safety Office

Last Updated: Monday, September 17, 2018 3:12:11 PM
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