Physical Safety Programs

The University of Colorado Colorado Springs is dedicated to the safety of its students, staff, faculty and visitors. There are many physical hazards on campus that have the potential to cause an injury if they are not identified and mitigated. Below are some common focuses of physical safety on campus as well as references to more information on each topic.

If you or your department would like training on any of these topics, please review the Occupational Safety Training page and contact EHS at x7241.

Topic Information Links
Accidents, Incidents, Injuries and Near-Misses

All accidents, incidents, injuries and near misses should be reported to either Risk Management or EHS. The intent of a safety program is to be proactive, but it is also important to learn from each incident to ensure it does not happen again. Even if worker's compensation is not needed, you can still fill out a claim to report the injury or you can report using EHS's Accident/Near Miss Report Form.

Accident and Injury Information

Cold and Hot Weather

Working outdoors in the winter has high risk for injury and illness. It is important to know the risks and the early warning signs before working outside. Please review the toolbox talks attached to the right prior to performing work outside in the winter.

Heat Stress Prevention

Cold Weather UCCS Toolbox

Cold Weather Toolbox Talk

OSHA Winter Weather

Confined Space

Confined spaces are very apparent on campus and can be very dangerous if the hazards are not mitigated before entering. A confined space is one that has limited means of entry and exit, it large enough to work inside, and is not meant for continuous occupancy. If a space meets all three of those requirements, it must also meet one of the following to be a permit-required confined space.

  • Contains or has the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere (i.e., toxic, explosive, or asphyxiating).
  • Contains a material that has the potential for engulfing an entrant.
  • Has an internal configuration such that an entrant could be trapped or asphyxiated by inwardly converging walls or by a floor which tapers to a smaller cross section.
  • Contains any other recognized serious safety or health hazard.

 If you work in a space that is defined as a permit-required confined space, you must read the UCCS Confined Space Program and be properly trained on how to safely enter these spaces.

UCCS Confined Space Program

UCCS Confined Space Inventory

UCCS Confined Space Permit

Driving Safety

There are many forms of transportation on campus. Although employees are certified to drive cars through their driver's license, there can be some safety concerns with driving alternative vehicles including box trucks, golf carts, utility trucks, lawn equipment, etc.  

If your department needs specialized training for driving a certain piece of equipment, please reach out to EHS at x7241.

CDOT Safety

OSHA Safe Backing Up

Safe Driving Tips

Distracted Driving Information

Electrical Safety

There are many electrical hazards on campus, even in office spaces. The links on the right are documents to help ensure you are keeping yourself safe and protecting the building from fire.

Extension Cord Safety


Ergonomics is the study of an employees efficiency and comfort in their working environment. Your work environment should not cause you discomfort or pain. For more information on ergonomics and how to prevent strain in the workplace, please go to the ergonomics website linked to the right.

If you are experiencing pain or discomfort from your work environment, reach out to Risk Management or EHS for an evaluation.


Fall Protection

Fall protection is required for unprotected platform above 4 feet. This can include roof edges, work platforms, scaffolding, ladders, and other unprotected edges. Fall protection can come in many forms. Guard rails, fall restraint, fall arrest, and safety nets are all accepted practices for fall protection in the workplace.  The type used will vary on the situation and task at hand.

When using personal fall protection, including fall arrest and restraint, it is crucial that all equipment be inspected prior to use. For guidance on inspection, utilize the fall protection inspection checklist linked to the right.

Fall Protection Inspection Checklist

Hot Work

Hot Work includes any activities that produce flames, sparks, or heat including welding, brazing, grinding, and sawing that have the potential to cause a fire, fire alarm activation, smoke or burning odors. If these activities are performed inside, it requires the use of a Hot Work Permit. Please contact EHS at x3201 at least 24 hours in advance of the work to obtain a permit. 

Hot Work Information

Indoor Air Quality

Indoor air quality (IAQ) problems can result from many causes. While mold growth has received considerable attention, it is not the only cause of indoor air quality concerns. If you believe you are suffering from indoor air quality issues in your work area, please contact Risk Management or EHS for evaluation.

IAQ Information

Job Hazard Analysis

Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) is an important safety tool to implement in the workplace. There are many hazards out there that cannot be identified and mitigated through other safety programs. It is for this reason that specific JHAs must be performed for various tasks and jobs in which hazards have not been previously identified.

JHA Training Information








Various ladders have different hazards. Using a step stool is very different from using an extension ladder and therefore it is important employees know the hazards of each of the tools they are working with.

American Ladder Institute

OSHA Portable Ladder Safety

OSHA Construction Ladder Regulations

A-Frame Ladder Safety

Extension Ladder Safety

Laser Safety

Lasers are known to cause injuries, including burns and eye damage. It is important that all class III and IV lasers on campus be approved by EHS and users trained on proper use.

UCCS Lasers

Lockout Tagout

Lockout Tagout is an essential practice when performing maintenance on equipment. The control of all hazardous energy is necessary in order to keep employees safe. 

In general, LOTO must be utilized during all service and maintenance activities including: constructing, installing, adjusting, modifying, lubricating, cleaning, and adjusting or changing tools. Examples of equipment/machines that may be encountered at UCCS that are subject to LOTO include, but are not limited to: gas, water and steam lines; HVAC equipment; kitchen equipment such as slicers, mixers, dishwashers, trash compactors, and garbage disposals; woodworking and metalworking machines; laboratory equipment such as centrifuges, autoclaves and high powered lasers; conveyors; hydraulic lifts; elevators, etc. 

If lockout tagout is a program that is required for your area of work or research, please read the UCCS Lockout Tagout Program and contact EHS at x7241 for training.

UCCS Lockout Tagout Program

Machine Shop Safety

Machine shops are a high risk environment, no matter how much experience or training you have. It is important to always follow safety precautions and understand the specific piece of equipment you are working with. Each individual machine shop on campus may have it's own rules so make sure you are aware of any special requirements before working on the equipment. There also may be additional signage and guidance provided by a shop manager that must be followed.

Hand Tool Safety

Bench Grinders

3D Printing

Manual Lifting

Manually lifting heavy equipment is an occupational hazards for almost all employees. There are techniques and equipment that can be used to reduce or completely eliminate the risk of strain on the back.  Use the links to the right to understand more about lifting in the workplace.

A job hazard analysis is a great tool to use when evaluating manual lifting tasks, their risks, and solutions. Contact EHS for more guidance and information.

Avoiding Strain While Lifting.

Quick Tips for Safe Lifting

Power Tools

There is a variety of power tools used on campus and it is important everyone using them knows how to use them safely.

OSHA's guide to Power Tools


Slips, Trips, and Falls

Slip, trip, and fall hazards are present everywhere and can cause severe injury. While on campus, be mindful of obstacles in your path, spills on the ground, and ice and snow.

Slips and Trip Information

Resources from outside sources are provided for informational purposes only. Publication does not in any way endorse a particular company or product or affect current UCCS policies and procedures.