Sept. 17, 2018

Take charge of your own safety on campus

Think like a safety strategist with these five tips from Risk to get you in the mood for Safety and Wellness Week
The Emergency Operations Group and Crisis Management Team train regularly throughout the year.
The Emergency Operations Group and Crisis Management Team train regularly throughout the year. Riley Brandt, University of Calgary

Planning for everything that could possibly (but probably won’t) go wrong is second nature for members of the aptly named Risk portfolio, who are constantly tracking the worst-case scenario and thinking of strategies to prevent it. The Emergency Operations Group and Crisis Management Team, above, train regularly throughout the year. Their work helps make the University of Calgary a safer, healthier place to work and learn, but there’s a lot that employees and students can do for themselves to mitigate risk.

This safety-and-wellness-obsessed group shared their five favourite ways that faculty, staff and students can offset the possibility for peril with a little planning and preparedness.

1. Download UC Emergency Mobile — then use it

UC Emergency Mobile delivers information and updates directly to your phone during an emergency situation, but it also offers additional functionality that you can use to keep yourself safer on campus.

Use SoloSafe when you’re working or studying alone to check in with Campus Security — if you don’t check out by your planned departure time, Campus Security will confirm that you’re OK.

Use HelpLine to connect with Campus Security and 911 at the touch of a button. If you turn on location services, the app can pinpoint your location and get help on the scene quickly. Also offered through HelpLine, TipLine is a fast and easy way to report safety or security concerns.  

2. Learn it, visualize it, rehearse it

Read through UCalgary’s emergency procedures — we have them for severe weather, armed assailants, hazardous material spills, bomb threats and more — imagine implementing the procedures for yourself, in your own space.

Do you know every exit and assembly point for your building? Do you know how to shelter in place? Are you prepared to run, hide and fight (in that order) if you’re threatened by an armed assailant?

Annual evacuation drills are still underway this week — don’t miss the opportunity to practise your evacuation plan together with your co-workers.

3. Protect your person

Staying safe from hazards on campus can mean something very different depending on what you do here. UCalgary has several occupational health programs for immunizations, audiometrics, respiratory protection and ergonomics. Staff Wellness also offers resources to support good mental health.

There’s a lot to learn when it comes to Environment, Health and Safety, offering more than 30 in-class and online courses in everything from safe lifting to biosafety with bloodborne pathogens.   

If you feel uncomfortable walking alone on campus for any reason, Safewalk will accompany you to any destination on campus 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To request a Safewalk, call 403-220-5333, use one of the Help Phones on campus (they’re not just for emergencies), or approach an on-duty Safewalk volunteer.

4. Know who to call

It’s all about who you know — as a UCalgary community member, you’re connected to a network of useful resources. 

  • 911 — for serious, life-threatening situations
  • Campus Security (403-220-5333) — for everything else
  • Homewood Health (1-800-663-1142) — for counselling services for employees, and much more
  • Office of Diversity, Equity and Protected Disclosure (403-220-4086) — if you feel harassed or threatened
  • Confidence Line (1-800-661-9675) — to anonymously report sensitive issues 

 5. Register for Safety and Wellness Week sessions

This week, it’s free and easy to pick up some new skills and information that could make a big difference when it matters most. Here’s what’s coming:

  • Naloxone and bleed kit training (Main and SMART campuses, lunch provided)
  • Coffee with the chief (Main and Foothills campuses, coffee and snacks provided)
  • Cannabis legalization is coming: Myths, evidence, and what we can expect (Main campus, lunch provided)

See the detailed schedule and register now.