The University of Iowa

SAFETYmatters - Safe Return to Campus

For employees who will be returning to on-campus work soon, here are some basic safety guidelines to keep in mind for offices and shop areas.

Office work:

  • Set up your workstation properly to avoid strains and injury.  For guidance, click here to watch a short video.
  • Slips, trips, and falls are one of the most common injury causes in an office setting. 
    • If you see a wet floor, take the initiative to clean up small spills yourself.  Doing so could prevent a coworker from slipping.
    • Keep walkways neat, clean, and organized.  Clutter causes trips.
    • Use a proper ladder or footstool when necessary.  Falls happen when using a chair, desk, or box in place of a ladder.
  • Electrical Safety
    • Extension cords - do not substitute extension cords for permanent wiring or use them for longer than eight hours at a time.
    • Power strips - Plugging one power strip into another is called "daisy chaining" and is prohibited.  Nearly 20 percent of all failures and fires stemming from surge protectors happen as a result of daisy chains.
  • Emergency procedures - know what to do in the event of a fire, tornado, or other life-threatening event.


  • Work Area
    • Keep work areas clean and clutter free.
    • Do not work alone in the shop unless authorized.
    • Do not distract equipment operators.
    • Report all safety concerns to the shop manager.
  • Tools
    • Always inspect your tools prior to use.  If anything is not in proper working order it should be taken out of service and repaired or replaced immediately.
    • Do not use equipment without training and authorization.
    • Do not operate equipment without guards in place.
    • Do not bring outside equipment/tools into the shop.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - when used properly PPE minimizes a person’s exposure to hazards in the workplace.
    • Always inspect your PPE prior to use.  If anything is damaged it should not be used and it should be replaced immediately.
    • Wear you PPE as required.

Following these guidelines can help ensure we all have a safe return to campus.