The Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) at Edinboro University offers safety training programs and is committed to maintaining a safe campus for students, faculty, staff and guests.
The Office of Environmental Health and Safety provides safety trainings on various topics to help ensure a safe working environment. Currently these trainings are taught as “in-person” style trainings. In the future EHS will be creating online trainings that can be accessed through the D2L system. Please contact EHS to schedule future trainings.
Fire Drill Information and Guidelines
Fire Drill Scheduling
Fire drills for the fall semester begin in late September through October. Spring semester fire drills begin in April. Weather is always a factor for both the fall and spring semesters, and often drills must be cancelled and re-scheduled due to inclement weather.
The EHS Office contacts the Building Directors to set up the date and time for the fire drills. Building Directors indicate the time and date that works best for the occupants of their particular building.
The goal is to minimize disruptions to the academic schedule, while still meeting the fire code requirement for fire drills. Each fire drill takes less than five minutes from the time the fire alarm is activated until the occupants re-enter the building.
Building Directors are responsible for notifying the persons who work or live in their building. Additionally, an email reminder is sent on the day before a drill to the Building Directors where fire drills are scheduled. Reminders are copied to the University Police, Facilities, etc., so there are no surprises. The Director of EHS contacts University Police via radio prior to initiating the fire alarm and verifies receipt of the alarm after the drill.
- When practical, the Director of EHS will meet with the Building Director prior to initiating the fire alarm. The Building Director and other designated persons should take measures to ensure that each floor is evacuated and that all doors are closed.
- When the fire alarm sounds, all persons must immediately evacuate the building.
- Persons who are unable to evacuate the building due to a disability should be assisted to the stairwell and wait at the landing for further instructions. If possible, someone should stay with the person with a disability.
- Doors must be closed. Please leave the lights turned on.
- Exit the buildings using the stairwells. NOTE: Elevators are not to be used when a fire alarm is activated.
- Move at least 100 ft. from the building.
- Whenever possible, building directors should verify that all employees or students have evacuated. Faculty should verify that all of their students have evacuated.
- No one is permitted to re-enter the building until the “All Clear” is announced.
- Persons authorized to give the “All Clear” are as follows:
- Director of EHS
- University Police Officer
- Edinboro Fire Department
- The Building Director should check the stairwells after the “All Clear” is given and provide information to persons who were unable to evacuate that the “All Clear” has been given.
- The purpose of fire drills is to practice building evacuation. In addition, practicing building evacuations helps identify areas where University students, faculty and staff can improve. When it’s an actual emergency, there is no time to practice.
Video Display Terminal Safety
Back in 1976, only about 675,000 video display terminals (VDTs) were in use by American businesses. Today there are over 40 million, and as the number of VDTs have increased, so too have the number of safety concerns. One of the most prevalent problems is eye strain, and very often, some simple adjustments can prevent this type of problem.
- Reduce Glare: Bright lights that are reflected off your computer screen can force you to strain your eyes. To cut down on glare:
- Make sure your screen is not facing an uncovered window. Sunlight is a common source of glare.
- Keep shades, curtains, or blinds closed enough to filter out the sun.
- Sit at a right angle to the window.
- Never shine a lamp directly onto the screen.
- Move bright metal or glass objects away from the screen.
- Adjust Contrast: Minimizing the contrast between characters on the screen and the background of the screen makes it easier on the eyes. Adjust the VDTs’ contrast and brightness controls until your eyes feel comfortable staring at what’s on the screen. Some other steps you can take to avoid eye strain include the following:
- Make sure your source document is well-lighted.
- Take “vision breaks” to rest the eyes. Just working on something that doesn’t involve the computer can be enough to relieve eye strain.
- Do eye muscle exercises. Look away from the screen and focus your eyes on something at a distance every now and then. Blink, roll your eyes, and close them tightly for a few seconds. If these exercises don’t work, switch to another task for a while.
- Keep the screen about 24 inches away from your face. Swivel or tilt it to the best position for you.
- Report any other computer-related problems that may develop.
Safety in the Office
A practical checklist for ergonomics training in the office can help you work much more comfortably and effectively. Use the information below to improve your comfort and make working in the office easier on your body.
Adjust the Chair
- Adjust the height of the chair’s seat so that thighs are horizontal, feet rest flat on the floor, and arms and hands are comfortably positioned at the keyboard.
- If the chair is too high, use a foot rest. This takes pressure off the back of the thighs.
- Armrests should be adjustable up/down and inward/outward, and padded.
- Adjust the back rest so that it supports the lower back and fits the curvature of the spine. Seat pans should be adjusted for proper slope and comfort.
- Seat cushions should be firm, not soft.
- Use a chair mat to decrease carpet resistance and provide more maneuverability.
Adjust the Display
- Position the screen to minimize glare and reflections from overhead lights, windows, and other light sources. Place the screen so that windows are not directly behind or in front of you when seated.
- Adjust the display so that the top of the screen is slightly below eye level when sitting at the keyboard. The top of the screen should not be above eye level.
- Set the contrast or brightness of the screen at a comfortable level. (This might have to be done more than once a day, as light in the room changes.)
- Where it’s impossible to avoid reflections or adjust lighting, an anti-glare filter placed over the screen can be helpful. However, filters may affect the clarity of the screen image and should be tried only after other methods of reducing glare have been exhausted. An electrically grounded nylon micro mesh glare filter is effective also in removing static from the screen.
Adjust the Lighting
- Draw the drapes or adjust blinds to reduce glare.
- Adjust desk lamp or task light to avoid reflections on the screen. Light sources should come at a 90 degree angle, with low watt lights rather than a single high watt.
- The task lighting should not be less than light at the screen.
- Reduce overhead lighting (where possible) by turning off lights or switching to lower watt bulbs.
- Use indirect or shielded lighting where possible.
- To limit reflected glare, walls should be painted a medium or dark color and not have a reflective finish.
Adjust the Document Holder
- Position the document holder close to the screen at the same level and distance from the eye to avoid constant change of focus.
- Rotate position of document holder to opposite side of screen periodically.
- Change position, stand up, or stretch whenever you start to feel tired.
- Use a soft touch on the keyboard, keeping hands and fingers relaxed, and wrists and body in neutral positions.
- Become aware of other tasks such as manual stapling, sorting through large volumes, and mail sorting where repetition and awkward positions may contribute to repetitive motion injuries. Seek alternate ways to perform the tasks, reduce the load, or rotate jobs.
- The head should be straight and balanced over the spine while looking forward at the screen. Eliminate the flexed-neck position.
- Elbows should be at 90 degrees when hands are on the keyboard.
- Wrists should be in a neutral position. Use wrist rests at the edge of the keyboard for support. Keyboards should be detachable from VDT and slightly sloped at about 10 – 15 degrees.
- Use a back rest for support in lumbar area of back.
- Feet should be flat on the floor or a foot rest should be used.