Washburn University Policies, Regulations and Procedures Manual

X. Risk Management and Safety

Table of Contents

1. Purpose

2. Tornado Warning

3. Fire Prevention Program

4. Fire Emergency Procedures

5. Medical Emergencies

6. Reporting Employee Injuries

7. Fire Prevention/Housekeeping

8. Hazardous Waste Management

9. Maintenance of Equipment

10. Fire Exit Drills

11. Miscellaneous Special Events

12. Safety Inspections

13. Fire Safety Equipment

14. Operation of Vehicles

15. Animal Control

16. Missing Campus Resident Notification

17. Emergency Messaging

18. Inclement Weather


1.  Purpose.  To provide direction in maintaining a safe environment for Students, Employees, and visitors, and to conserve the University assets from the consequences of loss.

2.  Tornado Warning.  When the University is included in a tornado warning, the University Police shall activate the University telephone notification system immediately.

2.1  Tornado Warning Response.  When a tornado warning is issued, Employees shall move to shelter immediately.  There are 14 Shawnee County approved shelters on campus.

2.1.1  These shelter locations are posted in classrooms and the list follows:

  • Art Building - first floor restroom corridor;
  • Benton Hall - lower level corridor;
  • Bradbury Thompson Center - basement corridor;
  • Garvey Fine Arts Center - basement corridor;
  • Henderson Learning Center - basement corridors;
  • KTWU Building - lower level corridors;'
  • Living Learning Center - lower level mechanical room;
  • Mabee Library - lower level hallway and restrooms;
  • Morgan Hall - basement corridor in west wing;
  • Petro Allied Health Center - lower level corridor;
  • School of Law - Rooms. 100, 102, 113, 134;
  • Stoffer Science Hall - basement corridor;
  • Student Recreation and Wellness Center - restrooms; and,
  • Washburn Village - Commons Building basement.

3.  Fire Prevention Program.  The fire prevention program includes, but is not limited to, development of exit routes, emergency action plans, and fire prevention plans. 

3.1  Responsibility.  All Employees, Students, and visitors are responsible for complying with fire safety practices.  Risk Management shall work jointly with city and state fire safety personnel and University Departments to provide comprehensive fire prevention services.  Those services include, but are not limited to:

  • Building inspections;
  • Maintenance and inspection of fire suppression systems;
  • Maintenance and inspection of fire alarm systems;
  • Fire extinguisher training; and,
  • Review of scheduled special events.

4.  Fire Emergency Procedures. 

4.1  Emergency Escape Routes.  Detailed color-coded floor plans identifying fire emergency escape routes shall be prepared and maintained by Facilities Services and Risk Management.  The plans, which will also show assembly locations on the exterior of the buildings, shall be provided to University Departments.

4.2  Fire Emergency.  In the event of a fire:

  • Call 911;
  • Activate the building fire alarm system;
  • Call University Police, ext. 1153;
  • Evacuate the building to designated outside assembly area. Assist in the evacuation of persons with disabilities;
  • Report to your supervisor immediately after evacuating; and,
  • Remain outside until University Police or Topeka Fire Department personnel authorize returning to the building.

4.3  Other Notification.  University Police will notify the Facilities Services Director, Business Services Director, Risk Management and Safety Director, and the VPAT.

5.  Medical Emergencies.  In the event of serious injury or illness:

  • Call 911;
  • Call University Police, ext. 1153 or 670-1153; and,
  • If the injured/ill individual is an Employee, call the injured/ill Employee's Department office.

6.  Reporting Employee Injuries.

6.1  Reporting Injuries.  The University requires all injuries be reported immediately to the supervisor and to the Human Resources Department within 24 hours of the injury. 

6.1.1 Filing of complete written reports of all Employee injuries with the Human Resources Department within 10 days of the injury is required. 

6.1.2  Further inquiries into the accident may be conducted by Risk Management.

6.1.3  See Subject E. Benefits, Section 15 for more details.

7.  Fire Prevention/Housekeeping.  Employees of each Department are responsible for control of flammable and combustible waste material accumulations, and responsible for being aware of fire hazards in the workplace.  

8.  Hazardous Waste Management

8.1  Hazardous Waste Described.  Hazardous waste is a special category of all wastes generated.  Material is waste when it can no longer be used for its intended purpose and will be disposed, reclaimed, or recycled.  Hazardous wastes are wastes known to be harmful or potentially harmful to human health or the environment.

8.2  Department Responsibility.  Departments generating hazardous waste shall comply with Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Bureau of Waste Management regulations.  The Department Head shall:

  • Maintain appropriate records;
  • Manage hazardous waste disposal; and,
  • Keep Risk Management informed of the Department's hazardous waste status.

9.  Maintenance of Equipment.  Certain equipment is installed in the workplace to control heat sources or detect fuel leaks.  Employees shall be aware of the control devices on equipment involved with combustible materials in their workplace, and shall conduct regular inspections and/or testing to ensure such controls are operational.  Follow manufacturer's recommendation.

10.  Fire Exit Drills.  The Living Learning Center, Washburn Village, and Kuehne and West Halls shall have at least one monitored fire drill per semester.  Risk Management, Facilities Services, and Residential Living shall cooperate to organize and monitor the drills. 

11.  Miscellaneous Special Events.  Risk Management shall review plans for special events to be held on campus.  Action to minimize safety hazards and liability risks will be recommended, if necessary.  Examples of the type of events to be reviewed are events involving: 

  • Expositions;
  • Tents or other temporary structures;
  • Temporary street closings;
  • Open flames;
  • Sound systems; and,
  • Haunted houses.

12.  Safety Inspections.  Risk Management shall routinely conduct fire safety inspections of all University buildings. 

12.1  To Request Inspections.  For information or to request an inspection, contact Risk Management at safety@washburn.edu

12.2  Annual Reports.  Annual reports of findings during these inspections and subsequent actions shall be made and distributed to the: 

  • VPAT;
  • Director of Business Services; and,
  • Director of Facilities Services.

13.  Fire Safety Equipment.  Facilities Services is responsible for the service and replacement of portable fire extinguishers. Risk Management shall, at least annually, conduct classroom and hands-on training of the proper use of fire extinguishers.  These sessions shall be open to all Employees.  For information contact Risk Management at safety@washburn.edu 

14.  Operation of Vehicles.

14.1  Purpose.  To establish minimum requirements for driving a University vehicle on University Business, and proscribing the use of a University vehicle for personal business.

14.2  Definitions

14.2.1  "Motor Vehicle Record" (MVR) means records kept by the State of Kansas Division of Motor Vehicles pursuant to K.S.A. 8-249 or similar records kept by another state.

14.2.2  "Moving Violations" means violations of state law or any similar state law, city, or county ordinance such as described in the rules and regulations of the Secretary of Revenue referenced in K.S.A. 8-249 and any amendments thereto and K.A.R. 92-52-9 and any amendments thereto.

14.2.3  "University Business" means any activity which is:

  • In the scope of an individual's employment with the University;
  • Undertaken for or on behalf of the University; or,
  • Officially sanctioned or sponsored by the University.

Examples of such activities include, but are not limited to, travel:  by Employees on campus or between University owned or leased facilities; sponsored by the University or its Student Organizations; by Students and faculty for field trips; by Student teams for competition; by Employees for conference attendance or professional or personal development.

14.2.4  "University Driver" is an individual whose position functions require the operation of a University vehicle, or personal motor vehicle, for University business purposes on a regular basis or who transports Students on team trips, field trips, conferences or other University curricular or extra-curricular activity.

14.2.5  "University Vehicle" is any University owned, rented, or leased vehicle.

14.3  Personal Use of University Vehicle Prohibited.  Vehicles owned, rented or leased by the University are restricted for use in performing University Business.  Personal use of University vehicles is prohibited.  Except as may be authorized by the President, only Employees may be passengers in University-owned vehicles.

14.4  University Driver Responsibility.  A University driver shall be responsible for:

  • Operating vehicles in a safe and lawful manner in accordance with the State of Kansas or other applicable traffic laws;
  • Submitting to a motor vehicle report (MVR) check prior to operating a University vehicle;
  • Property damage to a University vehicle caused by or resulting from such driver's misuse or careless operation of such vehicle;
  • Any fines and penalties imposed for the violation of any state and/or local laws relating to traffic and parking offenses in the operation of a University vehicle;
  • Notifying their supervisor normally within 24 hours about any motor vehicle accident or moving violation which occurred while the Employee was driving any vehicle, whether University-owned or not. This includes but is not limited to:
    • Operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
    • Reckless driving;
    • Careless driving;
    • Fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer in a motor vehicle;
    • A hit and run accident;
    • Leaving the scene of an accident;
    • Passing a stopped school bus; or,
    • Vehicular homicide.

14.4.1  The supervisor must then report such accident or violation to the Office of Risk Management and Safety normally within 24 hours.  All accident damage and operational damage to any University-owned vehicle or piece of equipment must also be reported to the Office of Risk Management and Safety within 24 hours for insurance and asset management purposes.

14.5  University Driver Qualifications.  All individuals operating a University vehicle shall possess:

  • A valid Driver's License and endorsement for the classification of the vehicle operated; and,
  • An MVR acceptable to the Office of Risk Management and Safety.

14.6  MVR Examination.  The Office of Risk Management and Safety shall examine the MVR of:

  • Employees, at least annually, who are required to drive a University vehicle on University business as a requirement in their position description or who regularly drive a University vehicle; and,
  • An Employee, volunteer, or Student seeking to drive a University vehicle on University business on an intermittent basis.

14.7  Acceptable MVR.  An acceptable MVR is one which does not include convictions or traffic offenses described below.

14.7.1  Within a 10 year period prior to the date of the MVR examination, conviction of:

  • Vehicular homicide; or,
  • Felony involving a vehicle.

14.7.2  Within a 5 year period prior to the date of the MVR examination, conviction of:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
  • Reckless driving;
  • Careless driving;
  • Fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer in a motor vehicle;
  • A hit and run accident; or,
  • Passing a stopped school bus.

14.7.3  Within a 3 year period prior to the date of the MVR examination, conviction of;

  • Any combination, in separate occurrences, of five or more moving violations or accidents in which the individual was at fault or contributory;
  • Driving with a suspension, revocation or administrative restriction on driving;
  • Driving without required insurance; or,
  • Leaving the scene of an accident.

14.7.4  Within a 12 month period prior to the date of the MVR examination, conviction of any combination, in separate occurrences, of 3 or more moving violations or accidents in which the individual was at fault or contributory.

14.8  Authorization For Driving On University Business.

14.8.1   A University driver shall have the driver's employment conditioned on maintaining possession of an acceptable MVR.

14.8.2  A University driver shall complete a travel request form seeking authorization to travel and reimbursement of travel expenses.  Such travel request form shall include the Employee's consent for the University to conduct an MVR examination.

14.8.3  Employees, volunteers, and Students seeking to travel on University business away from the University shall complete a travel request form for each occurrence for which they are seeking to travel on University business and reimbursement, in whole or in part, of any expenses relating to such travel.  (See Subject J. Travel)  Such travel request form shall include consent for the University to conduct an MVR examination.

14.9  Automobile Liability Insurance Required.  University drivers seeking to use personally owned motor vehicles shall certify the driver maintains automobile liability insurance in coverage amounts of not less than $25,000/$50,000 for bodily injury and $10,000 for property damage.  Such insurance shall provide the primary coverage for damage or bodily injury.

14.10  Suspension and Disciplinary Action

14.10.1  Employees whose position description requires the operation of a motor vehicle in the performance of job functions shall have employment conditioned on maintaining the driver's qualifications above.  Failure to maintain the driver's qualifications above shall be grounds for termination of employment.

14.10.2  Employees, volunteers, or Students who fail to maintain the driver's qualifications above, shall not be authorized to drive on University business.

14.10.3  Employees, volunteers, and Students shall be personally responsible for payment of any fine or penalty imposed for the violation of any law and/or regulation relating to the operation and/or parking of a motor vehicle when operating a University vehicle.  Additionally, depending on the severity of the violation, such individuals shall be subject to disciplinary action, including suspension of authorization to drive a University vehicle, or if an employee, termination of employment.

14.10.4  Employees, volunteers, and Students shall be subject to disciplinary action for personal injury or property damage to the University resulting from or arising out of the careless operation of a University vehicle.  Additionally, such individuals shall be subject to disciplinary action, including suspension of authorization to drive a University vehicle or if an employee and, depending on the facts and/or circumstances, termination of employment.

15.  Animal Control.

15.1  Buildings.  For health and safety reasons, animals shall not be permitted in University buildings, University provided vehicles, or outdoor sports venues.  Exceptions to this follow. 

15.1.1  Animals permitted are service animals accompanied by an individual with a disability, animals used in research or instruction in a University-sponsored program, and animals used by the Police Department.

15.1.2  The Karlyle Woods caretaker's home and the President's residence are excluded from these regulations. 

15.1.3  Fish are permitted in aquariums no greater than 20 gallons in size.  Individual Departments may set a lower maximum aquarium size.

15.2  Service Animals.  Service animal means any guide dog, signal dog, or other common domestic animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability.  Animals whose sole function is to provide emotional support, comfort, therapy, companionship, therapeutic benefits, or to promote emotional well-being are not service animals. 

15.2.1  An individual accompanied by a service animal may be required to remove it if it:

  • Is out of control and the individual does not take effective action to control it; or,
  • Poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others.

15.3  Outdoors.  Common domestic animals shall be permitted in outdoor areas when their presence does not jeopardize the health, safety, or welfare of individuals on the campus.  Individuals with animals on campus shall:  

  • Ensure the animal does not cause damage to University property and/or property of others;
  • Not leave the animal unattended;
  • Properly control the animal; and,
  • Remove any excrement left by the animal.

15.4  Responsibility. 

15.4.1  The VPAT or designee shall be primarily responsible for enforcing the animal control regulations.

15.4.2  All University Department Heads are responsible for making reasonable efforts to enforce the regulations.

15.4.3  Individuals who bring animals onto the campus shall be responsible for any damage caused by such animal.

16.  Missing Campus Resident Notification.

16.1  Definitions.

16.1.1  "Campus Resident Student" means a Student residing in on-campus housing.

16.1.2  "Confidential Contact" means the individual designated by a Student as the one who would normally be aware of the Student's location and may be contacted by University personnel to learn of the Student's location. 

16.1.3  "Emergency Contact" means the individual designated by a campus resident Student to be contacted not later than 24 hours following a determination such Student is a missing Student.

16.1.4  "Missing Student" means a campus resident Student whose whereabouts are unknown and unexplainable for a period of time that is regarded by knowledgeable people as highly unusual or suspicious in consideration of such Student's behavior, patterns, plans, or routines.

16.1.5  "On-campus Housing" means University owned and operated residential living units.

16.2  Vice President for Student Life Responsibility.

16.2.1  The Vice President for Student Life or designee shall inform all campus resident Students the:

  • Student may report a concern that a campus resident Student is missing to a Resident Assistant and/or other Residential staff;
  • Student may designate an individual to be contacted by the University not later than 24 hours after the Student is determined to be a missing Student;
  • Student may designate another individual as a confidential contact in the event the Student is determined to be missing for a period of more than 24 hours;
  • Parents of Students under 18 years of age and not emancipated will be notified if the Student has been missing for 24 hours; and,
  • University Police Department will be notified immediately by the Director of Residential Living or designee when a Student is believed to be missing.

16.2.2  Police Responsibility.  The Police Department shall conduct, consistent with its General Orders, an investigation of the missing Student report and provide its findings to the Vice President for Student Life or designee.  When the campus resident Student is determined to be missing, the Director of Police or designee shall assist the Vice President or designee in notification of the appropriate individual as determined by the Vice President.

16.2.3  The Vice President for Student Life or designee and Director of Police or designee when a campus resident Student is determined by the Police Department to be missing for more than 24 hours, shall notify the:

  • Custodial parent or legal guardian of such Student under the age of 18 and not an emancipated individual; or,
  • Emergency contact designated by such Student.

16.2.4  The Police Department shall notify other law enforcement agencies consistent with its General Orders when a campus resident Student is determined missing.

16.3  Employee Responsibility.  Any Employee who believes a campus resident Student may be missing shall immediately inform the Director of Residential Living.   The Employee shall provide as much information as possible to the Director of Residential Living. 

16.4  Director of Residential Living.  Upon receipt of information from any Employee or other responsible person that a campus resident Student may be missing the Director or other Residential Living staff shall gather information to determine if there is valid reason to believe such Student is missing.  If the Student is believed to be missing, the Director or other Residential Living staff immediately shall notify University Police and the Vice President for Student Life.

17.  Emergency Messaging

17.1  Purpose.  To set forth regulations and procedures for sending emergency messages to Students, family members or guardians of Students, and Employees.

17.2  Approval to Send.  Emergency messages shall be sent on the established system only upon approval one of the following:

  • President;
  • Vice President for Academic Affairs;
  • Vice President for Administration and Treasurer; or,
  • Vice President for Student Life.

17.3  When Emergency Declared.  An emergency may be declared when there is an imminent threat to the health or safety of Students, Employees, and visitors.

17.4  Police Responsibility.  Emergency messaging shall be initiated by the Director of University Police or designee.

17.5  Sending Methods.  To the extent University resources allow, the messaging system may include, but is not limited to: 

  • Voice;
  • Voicemail;
  • Text messaging;
  • Email; and,
  • Other emerging technology.

17.6  Enrollment in Messaging System.  In order to receive emergency messages, Students and Employees shall be required to enroll in the program.

17.6.1  Individuals shall enroll online.

17.6.2  Employees having a cell phone owned or paid for by the University shall be required to enroll.

17.6.3  The Director of Human Resources shall inform Employees annually of the opportunity and process for enrolling.

17.6.4  The Director of Human Resources shall provide enrollment information to all new University Employees as a part of their new hire information

17.6.5  The Director of University Relations shall inform Students of the opportunity and process for enrolling at the beginning of each academic term.

17.7  System Usage Restriction.  The emergency messaging system may be used for purposes other than emergency notification with prior approval of a member of the Administration.

18.  Inclement Weather.

18.1  Purpose.  To set forth regulations and procedures to be followed when the Administration declares a delay, cancellation, or suspension of some or all normal University operations due to extraordinary weather or weather related conditions (inclement weather).

18.2  Definitions.

18.2.1  "Administrative Leave" means paid leave which is not charged against Employees' accumulated paid leave balances.  See Section 18.6 below for additional information.

18.2.2  "Closed Period" means a day or a portion of a day during which any or all of the University operations are delayed, canceled, or suspended due to inclement weather.

18.2.3  "Closing Information" means the announcement of the decision to declare a closed period.

18.2.4  "Essential Personnel" are those Employees whose duties include the performance of essential services.   

18.2.5  "Essential Services" are those deemed vital for the safety and operation of University facilities including, but not limited to, duties related to the health and safety of residential Students.  See Section 18.7 below for additional information.

18.2.6  "University Operations" means the performance of any normal functions of a post-secondary educational institution and include, but are not limited to conducting scheduled classes, conducting scheduled events in University facilities, conducting University related business  and providing services to the public and the University's Employees and Students.

18.3  University Status.  The University's status may be changed to a category described in this section due to inclement weather.  Official closing information shall be communicated via the University communication channels described in Section 18.5 below. 

18.3.1  Delay or Cancellation of Scheduled Classes.  This closed period status applies only to scheduled classes and may be either a delay in the start of classes for the day or a cancellation of classes for the all or a portion of the day due to inclement weather.  All Employees except for classroom teachers shall be expected to report for or remain at work during this closed period status.  In accordance with instructions from the Employee's supervisor, non-essential personnel may report for work at a time later than provided by the Employee's work schedule, or to leave before conclusion of the work schedule.  During this closed period status Employees shall be paid only for the hours actually worked, or for personal leave requested and approved for their absences. Administrative leave is inapplicable in this category.

18.3.2  Suspension of University Operations.  This closed period status applies when inclement weather causes the suspension of the University's normal daily operations for all or any portion of a day.  Essential personnel shall be expected to report to or remain at work.  Non-essential personnel shall not report for or remain at work unless instructed to do so by their supervisor.  A supervisor must have the approval of the appropriate Area Head before instructing Employees not designated as essential personnel to report to or remain at work.  Classes scheduled during this closed period status normally shall be canceled.  If classes are not canceled, certain other University operations may need to function during the otherwise closed period status.  Employees other than essential personnel may be instructed to report for or remain at work.  Administrative leave applies during this closed period status.

18.3.3  Suspension of Individual Building Operations.  This closed period status applies when inclement weather requires suspension of all University operations within an individual building, but does not affect other University operations.  Every effort shall be made to continue operations normally occurring within such building in another location or manner.  The Administration shall determine the Employees whose functions shall be suspended pending resolution of the issue.  Administrative leave shall apply for those Employees whose functions have been suspended for the balance of the first work day of the suspension plus one additional work day if the issue remains unresolved for more than one work day.  Affected Employees may request to use accrued personal leave for any period of time beyond the second work day until resolution of the issue or a return to work by the Employee is otherwise required.  Closing of an individual building must have the approval of the Administration.

18.4  Decisions to Delay or Suspend Any University Operations.  Decisions to declare a closed period status shall be made by the VPAT and the VPAA in consultation with the President and other University management personnel as needed.

18.5  Communication and Information Sources Concerning University Status.  Reliable University status information is available only through the following sources:

  • The University's homepage (www.washburn.edu);
  • The University's main telephone number 670-1010; and,
  • Text message via the University's emergency messaging system.

18.5.1  Although closing information is provided to the following regional news outlets, experience suggests the information broadcast may not be reliable.  However, these may be the only operational information sources in the event of some power failures.


1320 AM


1440 AM


1490 AM


91.5 FM


92.9 FM


99.3 FM


100.3 FM


102.9 FM


105.9 FM


107.7 FM


Local Television Channel 13


Local Television Channel 27


Local Television Channel 49

18.6  Compensation During Closed Periods.  Employees who do not work during the closed period status will be paid administrative leave for otherwise scheduled work hours.  Administrative leave shall not be paid to Employees who are, during the closed period, on any form of pre-arranged leave.  Employees not required to report during a closed period, but who choose to do so, shall not receive administrative leave pay in addition to their regular pay.

18.6.1  Employees in Non-exempt Positions who are required to work during a closed period status shall receive administrative leave pay in addition to their regular hourly rate of pay for each hour worked during the closed period. 

18.6.2  Administrative leave shall be paid on the same basis as regular holiday pay i.e., prorated based upon the FTE of the Employee's contractual appointment. 

18.6.3  Administrative leave hours are not "hours worked" for purposes of calculating overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act for non-exempt Employees.  See Subject D. Section 4.5 Overtime Pay.

18.7  Essential Services.  Essential services and personnel to be provided will be determined by the appropriate Area Head depending upon the inclement weather situation. 

Example:  The stereotypical inclement weather situation is the result of extreme winter weather conditions.  Depending upon the timing and the severity of the conditions, the Administration may either delay the start of or suspend all or part of its normal operations.  In this situation, essential services would be snow/ice removal from sidewalks, building entries, streets and parking lots, the operation of the boilers (heating), the University's law enforcement activities, and dining services for students residing in University housing.

18.7.1  Employees designated as essential personnel who do not report to work as required shall be subject to disciplinary action.