Flood Safety

According to the National Centers for Environmental Information, September 2018 is the wettest September on record.  At this time, October 2018 is the second wettest October on record and the rain is still coming.  Due to the record amount of rain, it is important that we keep a couple of things in mind for flood safety.  Stay inform about current weather and road conditions via radio and television.  Currently, Dallas is under a flood warning.  What does that mean?  What is the difference between flood watch vs flood warning?  Flood watch means that flooding maybe possible while flood warning means that flood may have occurred in some areas.  Stay away from flooded area do not walk or swim in flood waters because you never know what could be lurking under the water.  Do not drive into water of unknown depths or around barricades.  All it takes is 6 inches of moving water to knock you down and one foot of moving water to sweep your car away.  Make sure you move to higher ground and stay away from storm drains, ditches, and stream.  If you do become trapped in flooded areas, get out quickly, move to higher ground and contact emergency services immediately.  If you notice any leaks or standing water in a building on campus, please notify SMU Facilities at 8-7000 as soon as possible.

Resources:

https://www.weather.gov

https://www.redcross.org

https://www.ready.gov

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West Nile Virus Safety

Even though we are close to the end of summer, it does not mean we are completely safe from the West Nile Virus.  West Nile Virus most commonly occurs in warmer climates (i.e. Texas) where the mosquitoes are more active.  In 2018, there are 8 human cases of West Nile Virus reported in Dallas County.  The main source of West Nile Virus transmission is through infected mosquito bites.  Casual contact with an infected person will not lead to infection such as coughing, sneezing, and/or touching.  Signs and symptoms may include fever, headache, body aches, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue and skin rash.  They typically do not appear until 2 to 14 days after the mosquito bites.  However, some individuals may not display any symptoms at all.  You can help prevent the spread of the virus by removing any standing water, changing pet bowls regularly, applying mosquito repellent when you’re outside, and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants.  Currently, there are no specific vaccine and treatments available for this disease.  However, over-the-counter medications may be use to relieve some of the symptoms such as fever and body aches.  For few individuals, hospitalization may be require for supportive care.  If you developed serious symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, paralysis, seek medical care immediately.  Please refer to the resources below for any additional questions.

Resources:

https://www.cdc.gov/westnile/index.html

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/west-nile-virus/symptoms-causes/syc-20350320

https://www.dallascounty.org/department/hhs/WestNileWatch.html

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Safety Training now included in your SMU Training Record

Welcome back!  As we begin this upcoming academic year, we have some exciting news for you!  Employees can now access your full training record on SMU Learning and Development (my.smu.edu).  Safety training taken though Office of Risk Management will now be included in your record.  The training record will automatically update as you complete additional training.  This allow staff and employees to check for any missing required training in Bloodborne Pathogens, SCUV, and machine Shop.  As a reminder, some safety training are require annually (i.e. Bloodborne Pathogen) and some are require every three years (i.e. SCUV).  If you have any questions about safety training, please feel free to contact us at riskmanagement@smu.edu or call us at 214-768-2083.

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Welcome Warren Ricks!

The Office of Risk Management is excited to welcome our newest member, Warren Ricks, who is the University’s new Associate Vice President and Chief Risk Officer.  Warren’s first day was on Monday, July 16th and he is quickly settling in and learning about SMU.  Some might know Warren from his previous role as the Assistant Vice President and Chief Risk Management Officer at Baylor University.

Please stop by the Office of Risk Management to help us welcome Warren to SMU!

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Engaged Driving Training

Are you still an authorized driver for SMU?  You must have taken Engaged Driving training within the last three years to be an authorized driver.  We are starting to see some training expire, so don’t forget to check yours!

Not sure when you last took Engaged Driving training?  Contact riskmanagement@smu.edu to check.

The Office of Risk Management offers Engaged Driving both in person and online.  Simply sign up at this website for the training you prefer.

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Best of Luck to Heather!

Today is Heather’s last day in the Office of Risk Management. We are sad to see her go, but wish her all the best in her new position as Director of Research Compliance in the Office of Research and Graduate Studies! We know she will continue to do great things over there!

Are you curious who is your new contact person in the Office of Risk Management for Heather’s projects? Give us a call at 214-768-2083 and we will help you get in touch with the right person!

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NEW: SCUV (Golf Cart) Safety Program

The Golf Cart Safety Program has been given a face lift!  Here are some of the most notable changes:

  • New name: the program is now called SCUV Safety. SCUV stands for Sub-Compact Utility Vehicle, and is more inclusive than “Golf Cart.”
  • New driver qualifications: All SCUV operators must possess a valid US driver’s license and an acceptable Motor Vehicle Report.
  • New marking requirements: SCUVs must be labeled with numbers, which will be provided upon required registration.
  • New minimum safety features: All SCUVs must be equipped with functional headlights, taillights, mirrors, and reflective orange triangle.
  • New training option: The SCUV Safety Training is now available in an online format! You can still attend the in-person training, which is offered on a monthly basis, if you prefer.  The upcoming training schedule and registration form can be found here.

Driving and parking locations, operating guidelines, and accident/incident reporting remains the same.  You can find detailed information on the SCUV Safety website.  Please, call us at 214-768-2083 or email us at RiskManagement@smu.edu if you have any questions.

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Welcome Gregory Moyer!

The Office of Risk Management is excited to welcome our newest member, Gregory Moyer, our Occupational and Life Safety Manager.  He will be responsible for our occupational safety programs, including Lockout/Tagout, Confined Space, Ladder Safety, and much more.  Gregory previously worked all over in the world in the oil and gas industry and the private sector.  He’s a great addition to the team.

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‘Tis the Season! Holiday Decoration Safety

Help SMU enjoy the holiday season safely by following these standards for all indoor holiday decorations. Please contact the Office of Risk Management with any questions.

  • Do not interfere with fire and life safety systems. Decorations may not block, obstruct, or hang from sprinkler heads or piping, exit signs, emergency lights, fire extinguishers, or fire alarm pull stations.
  • Do not block exits. Hallways and doorways must be free of decorations, and cannot have cords running across them. Do not run cables under rugs or carpet.
  • Decorations should not cover more than 25% of the surface area of any wall.
  • Do not staple or nail decorations to the wall. Use tape instead. No decorations are allowed on the ceilings or hanging from ceiling tiles.
  • All electrical equipment and lights must be up to code. Electric decorations and lights must be UL listed and used in a manner that is compliant with the manufacturer’s recommendations and pursuant to rated application. Cords and strands must be free from damage, fraying, loose connections, or missing parts.
  • Do not plug lights into an overloaded circuit. A power strip with a fuse or integral circuit breaker must be used when extra outlets for tree lights are needed. Use of ground fault circuit interrupters is recommended. Multi-plug adapters are prohibited in university buildings. Extension cords are prohibited in residence hall rooms and apartments.
  • Unplug electric items when building is not in use. Do not just turn them off.
  • Live trees or garlands must be approved by ORM prior to use.
  • The use of candles and other open flames on campus is strictly prohibited except in specific circumstances. For more information, please contact ORM.
  • Efforts should be made to remove holiday decorations before personnel leave for the University Holiday closure.
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We are at the HR/CyberSecurity Fair tomorrow!

The Office of Risk Management will be at the HR/CyberSecurity Fair tomorrow, October 26th.  Stop by our table to learn about:

  • Trainings we provide;
  • Our new online incident reporting system;
  • The new international travel process;
  • Our Continuity of Operations efforts; and
  • Our office in general.

We are looking forward to seeing you tomorrow in HTSC!  And there is a good chance we’ll have some treats for you as well….

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