Environmental Health and Safety


As part of Risk Management, Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) provides services to assist the campus community in complying with applicable federal, state and local EHS regulations, college policies and programs, and best practices and guidelines. Our goal is to improve safety, prevent injury, and promote environmental responsibility through the recognition, evaluation, and control of potential hazards arising from college activities.

Our services include regulatory compliance assistance, consultation, and safety training for college personnel and students in environmental health and safety programs. General areas of focus include:

  • Fire and life safety
  • Occupational safety
  • Environmental health
  • Emergency management

Please call 801.832.2529 with questions or to request services.

Safety Topic Spotlight

If winter storms or other inclement weather causes campus to be closed, you’ll find out through the Westminster’s Emergency Notification System. Update your Self-Service profile to keep your contact information up to date.

Driving in Winter

Winter brings snow and fun, but also hazardous driving conditions. Keep these tips in mind when driving during winter conditions:

  • Check the weather before you leave.
  • Try to schedule travel around winter storms, and let people know when you expect to arrive.
  • Prepare your car for winter by checking tire tread and air pressure, brakes, battery, and fluid levels.
  • Take it slow. Stopping and turning will be different in icy conditions.
  • Be prepared for when things don’t go to plan. Keep some basic supplies in your car, such as:
    • Ice scraper
    • Snow brush
    • Jumper cables
    • Shovel
    • Road salt
    • Reflective triangles
    • Food and water
    • Cell phone charger
    • Blankets

Walking in Winter

Snow and ice build-up can create slippery walking surfaces.

  • Check the conditions of the walking surface (look before you step).
  • Wear shoes with good traction.
  • Use handrails when possible.
  • Watch out for slippery floors. When snow and ice are tracked indoors, it can create slippery walking surfaces inside buildings. Wipe your feet on floor mats after going inside.
  • If you start to fall, relax. Try to sit down.
  • Walk like a penguin (shuffle steps, weight centered over feet, arms out for balance).

Space Heaters

Space heaters can be a good way to stay comfortable when it gets chilly, but they can also pose a fire hazard.

  • Space heaters are NOT allowed in any residence halls. Instead, use blankets and layer clothing to stay warm. Submit a maintenance request if the heating system in your building isn't working properly.
  • Space heaters used in non-residence campus buildings must be in good working order and must be electrically powered (not fuel-burning). Check the equipment label to make sure the heater has been tested by a nationally recognized testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), or Intertek (ETL).
  • Check to make sure the electrical cord is in good condition and that there are no cracks or exposed wires.
  • Use space heaters equipped with an automatic shut-off when the heater is tipped over or when the desired temperature is reached.
  • Keep space heaters separated from combustible or flammable materials (paper, cloth, etc.) and placed in a location where the heater and its cord will not cause a trip hazard.
  • Space heaters must be plugged directly into a wall outlet, not into a power strip or extension cord, as these items could overheat and potentially cause a fire.
  • Turn off your space heater when you leave the area, especially if you are leaving for the day or weekend.

Flu season is here. Be aware of some actions you can take to prevent catching or spreading the flu virus:

  1. If you can, get this season’s flu vaccination. Contact your healthcare provider or Student Health Services with any questions or concerns you may have about the flu vaccine, and make an appointment to receive it early on.
  2. Take action to prevent the spread of germs by washing your hands before and after preparing food, after using the restroom, and after blowing your nose/coughing/sneezing. Use proper hand-washing technique, wetting your hands, lathering them with soap, scrubbing for 20 seconds, rinsing well, and drying hands thoroughly.
  3. Stay home if you get the flu. Consult your healthcare provider to learn when you may be contagious. Take flu antiviral medicine if prescribed by your healthcare provider.

Many of the holiday traditions enjoyed during fall and winter involve making and sharing food. It’s important to make sure that what you’re sharing is safe to eat.

Clean

Wash your hands and cooking and prep surfaces often.

  • Germs that cause food poisoning can survive in many places in the kitchen.
  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds before, during, and after preparing food.
  • Wash cooking and eating utensils, counters, and cutting boards with hot, soapy water.
  • Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under cool running water before eating or cooking.

Separate

Don’t cross-contaminate.

  • Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs separate from ready-to-eat foods.
  • Use separate cutting boards for raw meat, poultry, and seafood, or clean cutting boards thoroughly before switching from one to the other.
  • Make sure that raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs are stored separately from other items in the fridge.

Cook

Chill

Refrigerate food promptly.

  • Keep your refrigerator below 40 degrees Fahrenheit and throw food away when it’s no longer safe to eat.
  • Refrigerate perishable foods within 2 hours.
  • Thaw frozen foods safely in the refrigerator, sink, or cool water.

Reporting

Westminster College provides up-to-date reports on crime, personal safety, security, and fire safety on campus.

View safety reports