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Contact Us

Physical Address:

Administration Bldg Room 211
Moscow ID 83844-3168

Mailing Address:
Division of Finance and Administration
875 Perimeter Drive MS 3168
Moscow ID 83844-3168

Phone: 208-885-6174

Fax: 208-885-5504

Email: vpfinance@uidaho.edu

Map

Safety Tips

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
  • Irritability
  • 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
  • Confusion
  • Convulsions
  • 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 safety@uidaho.edu.

Culture of Questioning

Questioning certain practices with safety in mind is an essential attitude to keep you and the rest of the Vandal family safe. Questioning challenges the complacency that grows in familiar situations and drives change. Questioning safety practices, or perhaps a lack thereof, is vital to developing a culture of safety at the University of Idaho. The goal is for everyone to return home at the end of every day just as healthy as when they arrived on campus.

Safety issues are often recognized but go unreported because a person doesn't know whom to contact or assumes that someone else is already taking care of it. At U of I, we want everyone to challenge these assumptions, question the situation and report the issues. The Report a Safety Concern form was created just for this purpose. It allows for anonymous reporting if you choose, as well as the option to upload an image of the safety problem when appropriate. It is available for anyone to use, and concerns will be directed to the proper campus unit to correct the problem.

Students and employees are the eyes and ears of the community, and your help is essential. Get involved in the safety training opportunities available to you, ask questions if you have a concern about a procedure, take part in safety inspections and report issues right away - issues cannot be corrected if no one knows about them. Timely questioning and reporting can prevent accidents and near misses. If an accident or near miss does occur, report this as well; investigating the reason will help avoid another injury.

As a supervisor, you have additional influence - lead by example and ensure safety is a core value in your team's activities. You are encouraged to do workplace inspections, ensure your employees are current on their safety training, talk regularly with your employees and discuss accident investigation reports with them and the U of I EHS staff. EHS has many resources available for you and the EHS staff can assist all supervisors in their safety efforts.

Our Vandal culture is how we think and act in all our activities. Avoiding complacency and continuously challenging existing conditions that might pose a safety risk allows us as a community to identify discrepancies and take appropriate actions before an accident or near miss occurs. Put safety first and we can achieve the safest possible working and learning environment for our Vandal family.

Contact Us

Physical Address:

Administration Bldg Room 211
Moscow ID 83844-3168

Mailing Address:
Division of Finance and Administration
875 Perimeter Drive MS 3168
Moscow ID 83844-3168

Phone: 208-885-6174

Fax: 208-885-5504

Email: vpfinance@uidaho.edu

Map