Welcome to I-Safety, your online hub for safety updates and resources. Please contact email@example.com or 208-885-6524 if you'd like a topic or concern posted on this page or have feedback.
Spotlight Tip of the Week
We're all familiar with the warnings against feeding animals in our state and national parks. While we don't typically find bears on the Moscow campus, the same constraints apply to the feeding of other animals. Faculty, staff and students are guided by U of I policy (APM 40.22) which notes "Feeding of natural and feral wildlife is prohibited because of ongoing safety and health issues, vermin population increases around campus buildings and damage to landscape plant materials from increased and non-sustainable animal populations."
The science and evidence behind this policy clearly shows this practice is harmful to wildlife populations in the long run. A quick web search on this topic provides numerous informational articles as to why this practice is a bad deal for our wildlife populations here on campus, and in our parks, campgrounds and forests:
Wildlife fed by humans often become dependent on this unnatural and sporadic food source, and depending on what is being offered to them, it may cause wildlife to suffer nutritionally as well.
Feeding wildlife also decreases an animal's natural fear of humans and can lead to more aggressive behavior towards humans because of population increases or a reduction in these non-sustainable food sources.
Feeding of birds and feral cats is especially problematic on our campus because of the increase in other wildlife and rodent populations that eat the same foods as these animals and can lead to increased infestations of mice, rats and insects in buildings and increased amounts of fecal matter and other unsanitary litter around buildings. Also, without regular and thorough cleaning of feeders and food bowls, there is an increased potential of causing a disease outbreak amongst the various wildlife.
Currently U of I spends thousands of dollars annually in the mitigation of building pests. Supplying these creatures with a food source near buildings negates mitigation efforts and exacerbates this problem.
Lastly, a specific issue affecting the U of I campus is the current overpopulation of squirrels is having a damaging effect on our iconic Camperdown elms due to the chewing damage they do to these historic trees throughout the year. Twenty years ago, this wasn't much of an issue, but in the last ten years, it has become significant.
The campus landscape plantings provide an ample food supply of nuts, seeds and fruits for our campus wildlife population. Upsetting this balance only causes long term problems for the wildlife and the campus community. Please support a long term sustainable wildlife population on our campus by not feeding them.
Thank You, the Landscape Staff
Working in the heat stresses the body and can lead to illness and even death. Exposure to heat can also increase the risk of other injuries because of sweaty palms, fogged glasses, dizziness and burns from hot surfaces. Every year thousands of workers become sick from heat exposure and many workers die. Most heat-related health problems are preventable, or the risk of developing them can be reduced.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) developed a Heat Safety smartphone app in both English and Spanish. The app provides reminders about protective measures that should be taken at the indicated risk level to protect workers from heat-related illness; for example, reminders about drinking enough water, recognizing signs and symptoms of heat-related illness and planning for and knowing what to do in an emergency.
If you or a coworker are experiencing symptoms of a heat-related illness, move to a cool, shaded or air-conditioned area; drink water if conscious; apply cold compresses and use caution when standing.
Symptoms to watch for:
- Headache, dizziness or fainting
- Profuse sweating
- Weak, rapid pulse
- Shallow breathing
- Pale, cool, clammy skin
- Nausea or vomiting
- Muscle cramps
Call 911 and cool the victim by any means when symptoms include:
- Absence of sweating
- Pulsating headache
- Hot, red, dry skin
- High body temperature (above 103F)
- Nausea or vomiting
- Strong, rapid pulse
- Loss of consciousness
Risk factors for developing a heat-related illness are a combination of weather/working conditions and personal factors/physical demands. The risk of heat stress is relative to temperature, humidity, sunlight and wind speed. High temperature and humidity, direct sunlight and low wind speed make the worst combination. Working indoors in areas where heat is generated and/or is not easily dissipated can also increase risk. Personal factors and physical demands contribute to a person's risk: a physically demanding job increases body temperature; working such a job in an environment that is hot with high humidity greatly increases risk. Older workers, obese workers and persons taking certain types of medication, such as antihistamines, have a greater risk as well.
Ways to Reduce Your Risk:
- Scheduling. Whenever possible, schedule heavy work during cooler times of day.
- Acclimation. Gradually increasing exposure time and work load will increase heat tolerance. New employees and workers returning from an absence of a week or more should take care to re-acclimate to the conditions.
- Appropriate Clothing. Wear light, loose, breathable clothing and a hat that doesn't interfere with your work safety. In some cases, personal cooling devices (such as water circulating cooling vests) may be advisable.
- Hydration. Pre-hydrate the body by drinking 8 - 16 ounces of water before working in the heat. Keep water or an electrolyte drink within easy reach and consume about 8 ounces of fluid every 15 - 20 minutes, not just during rest breaks. Avoid alcohol, coffee, tea or soda, which act as diuretics and further dehydrate the body. Monitor your urine output - small volumes and/or dark urine may be indicators of dehydration.
- Adequate Rest Periods. Avoid overexertion and work at a steady pace. Heed the body's signals. Take plenty of breaks in shaded or cooler areas.
- Job Rotation. When possible, rotate difficult work tasks in hot conditions between two or more employees.
Remember, heat-induced illnesses should not be taken lightly. Keep an eye on yourself and co-workers for any symptoms that might indicate heat stress and take action if they appear. For more information, contact Environmental Health and Safety at 208-885-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
University of Idaho Emergency Response Team
The University of Idaho maintains an Emergency Response Team (UIERT) through the office of Environmental Health and Safety. This team’s purpose is to provide rapid response to incidents that threaten lives, property and/or the environment, including chemical, radiological and biohazardous incidents.
The UIERT, comprised of all members of EHS, is trained and equipped to handle most incidents that may occur on campus. All team members have completed, at a minimum, a 40-hour hazardous waste operations and emergency response (HAZWOPER) course as well as FEMA training in Incident Command and are ready to respond to small and major incidents. The UIERT maintains an Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) which is fully stocked and ready to use at a moment’s notice.
The team responds to about 9 incidents of any size per year; these are mostly small incidents. The last major response was in June 2018 for a major oil spill at the dairy farm. A dump truck caught on overhead lines, pulling down two attached power poles which had 3 transformers on each and resulted in a spill of approximately 100 gallons total of mineral oil. The team worked long hours in the sun to capture the spilled oil from the pavement and dig up barrels of contaminated soil to protect the environment.
The team also has an agreement with the City of Moscow to respond to other incidents in the city as requested. This service is activated as needed by the Incident Commander acting for the City of Moscow and may be initiated by calling 911.The team continuously collaborates with the state of Idaho Fire Marshal, Moscow Volunteer Fire Department, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, and Washington State University to share information, plan incident responses and participate in training.
Emergency Numbers for: Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls Campuses
- Campus Security (24/7): 208-885-7054
- Environmental Health & Safety: 208-885-6524
- Facilities Services (office hours): 208-885-6246
- Facilities Services (after hours): 208-885-6271
- Parking and Transportation Services: 208-885-6424
- Public Safety and Security: 208-885-2254
- Recorded Emergency Updates: 208-885-1010
- Safe Walk (24/7): 208-885-7054 or 208-874-7550 | email@example.com
- Vehicle Assistance (Pit Crew): 208-885-6424 or 4:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. 208-885-7054 (Monday-Friday)