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RMS News and Announcements

Risk Management and Safety Offers Recommendations and Guidance for Virtual Youth Programs

With the increased use and need for virtual learning and virtual camps around the country, Auburn University Risk Management and Safety (RMS) has created helpful guidance for hosting, participating, and use of Virtual Youth Programs. The guidance can be easily accessed in pdf form here or by visiting

The Virtual Youth Program Guidance includes recommendations for selecting appropriate technology and safety protocols, setting standards for online contact, setting conduct expectations for youth participants and staff, engaging with parents, and supporting youth privacy.

The guidance is intended to support Auburn University units with developing and implementing virtual programs for youth participants under the age 19. These recommendations and resources are offered as best practices and should not be construed as official university policy.

For more information, please visit or emailing

Create Work From Home Success with Office Ergonomics Awareness

To help aide in social distancing and alternate operations at Auburn University, many faculty, staff, and students are now working and studying at home. To help support success, Risk Management and Safety has developed a short Office Ergonomics Awareness Course. This course will help you recognize potential hazards and stressors that may impact your health, productivity, and ability. This course will also give you tips, tricks, and prevention strategies to help make working from home as comfortable, productive, and rewarding as possible. The Office Ergonomics Awareness Course is available by visiting For more information or questions, please email or call 334-844-4870.

Risk Management and Safety and Auburn University Alternate Operations

As Auburn University is doing our part to encourage social distancing, transitioning to alternate operations, and other COVID-19 Preventative Measures; Risk Management and Safety will continue to provide our critical services to the University and beyond. However, employees may be working remotely in accordance with University Guidance.

Please continue to call 334-844-4870, email, or visit us on-line at to see how RMS can better serve you and help Support Success at Auburn University.  

Parkerson Mill Creek Cleanup

Auburn University Risk Management & Safety (RMS), the City of Auburn, and Omega Phi Alpha will host a creek clean-up event on Sunday, February 23rd, from 1:00 pm until 3:00 pm along the banks of the campus’ Parkerson Mill Creek. Students, faculty, staff and those associated with the university community are invited to participate in the event.

A small stream that stretches past the football and baseball fields and the old coliseum on the campus, the Auburn University Parkerson Mill Creek was transformed in 2014 into an area used as outdoor classrooms for environmental research. It is up to the Auburn University community to keep this living stream vibrant, clean and beautiful.

Volunteers for the event should meet in front of the Wellness Kitchen in the Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum parking lot, next to the creek, at 1:00pm. Gloves and bags will be available for collecting, but participants will be responsible for bringing appropriate footwear, such as rubber boots or waders. Students will need to sign a Volunteer Release & Acknowledgement of Risk waiver prior to collecting; forms will be available the day of the event.

To register, please visit

For more information or to request a waiver, please contact Tom McCauley at

Risk Management and Safety Encourages Recycling of Used Electronics

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – RMS encourages recycling of used electronics.

Many old electronic devices such as computer monitors, television, printers, etc; contain toxic and harmful elements including chromium, mercury, lead, and cadmium. Electronics also contain valuable raw materials and by recycling these items you can reduce impacts from mining and manufacturing.

For recycling of electronics owned by AU departments contact Surplus Property at 334-844-4984 to arrange drop-off of your electronics.

To find out where you can donate or recycle your personal electronic devices go to

2019 Winter Holiday Waste (chemical, medical and pathological) Service Protocol

In anticipation of this year’s winter holiday break, please note and communicate to your areas the following protocol:

Both chemical and medical waste pickups will be temporarily suspended throughout the AU recognized holiday period.  Any chemical and/or medical waste generated during the holiday break should be properly containerized, labeled and stored per guidelines found on the RMS/EHS webpage .  Chemical and medical waste pickups will resume January 6, 2020 on an as requested basis.

  Pathological waste pickup service will be provided throughout the holiday period on an as needed as requested basis.  Pickup requests shall be submitted through the AiM work management system (  Preferably and if possible, advance notice shall be coordinated with Steven Nolen (334-703-3859) as the primary contact and Billy Cannon (334-703-0419) as the secondary contact to ensure the timely removal of pathological waste from your areas during this period.    

If you anticipate your areas needing servicing over the observed holiday break, please contact Tom McCauley, Environmental Programs Manager, at 334-844-4870 so that Risk Management and Safety may coordinate in advance to better accommodate your needs.

Risk Management and Safety warns against use of Methylene Chloride Paint Remover

On November 22, 2019, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued regulations on the consumer use of methylene chloride paint removers. The methylene chloride chemical was commonly found in many popular solvent-based strippers/removers due to the effectiveness. Paint removers containing methylene chloride could strip up to 15 layers in paint in as a little as 15 to 30 minutes.

It is now unlawful for any person or retailer to sell or distribute paint removal products containing methylene chloride. This includes e-commerce retailers such as Amazon or E-Bay. These EPA regulations prohibit the manufacture, import, processing, and distribution of these products. The EPA has taken action because of acute fatalities that have resulted from exposure to the chemical. Additional information on the risks associated with methylene chloride can be found here: .

Most retailers phased out the selling and distribution of affected products by the end of 2018. This includes Ace Hardware, Amazon, Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot, and Sherwin-Williams. However, many consumers may have purchased affected paint removers. Because of this, Auburn University Risk Management and Safety recommends reviewing any solvent-based paint removers/strippers you may have in your home or workspace. If you have any of these products, do not use them and ensure their containers are sealed and puncture free.

If you are in possession of any methylene chloride based solvents on campus, please contact Risk Management and Safety at 334-844-4870 or

If you are in possession of any methylene chloride based solvents in your home, please contact your city or community’s environmental services office.

Stay Safety Smart with Fall HRD Courses from RMS

Risk Management and Safety is offering three informative and unique Human Resources Development courses this fall to help University faculty and staff become safer, smarter, and better protect both themselves and Auburn University.

“Risk Management 101: Protecting the University” is a brief overview of what risk management is and why it is an important concept for everyone. Auburn University Risk Manager Patrick White will cover the use of waivers, certificates of insurance, minors on campus, the University alcohol policy, fleet safety, and how you can link management to strategic goals. No matter your role at Auburn, you have a role in limiting risk on campus. RM101 will be offered on Tuesday, November 5th at 2:30pm.

“Social Media Safety and Security” will give guidance, examples, and recommendations to keep your social media safe and protect both your personal and non-identifying information. RMS Communications and Marketing Specialist Kevin Ives will detail what you can and can’t do on social media and what could put both your position as a University employee and your personal security at risk. RM150 will be offered on Tuesday, November 12th at 9:30am.

Lastly, have you ever considered what you should do as an Auburn employee if you or your employees are injured on the job or if you need to report an incident/property damage that occurred? RM110 “Reporting Incidents, the On-the-Job Injury Program, and Managing Minors on Campus” will cover that and more. This course is great for HR Liaisons, supervisors and new employees looking to gain an understanding of some of these vital University systems, programs, and policies. Risk Management Specialist Brooke Patton will lead, give examples of best practices, and answer any potential questions that may arise. RM110 will be offered on Tuesday, November 19th at 1:30pm

Sign up today for any or all of these Fall HRD Course offerings from Risk Management and Safety through AU ACESS and Fast Train. For more information or questions, please contact Kevin Ives at 334-844-2502 or email


Building surveys to be conducted the week of October 21st, 2019

Risk Management & Safety will be working with Duff and Phelps, LLC to survey properties insured by the State Insurance Fund.  Representatives will be on campus from October 21st, 2019 – October 25th, 2019 to assess current condition and valuation of select buildings.   You may notice the surveyors entering mechanical rooms, electrical closets, and other restricted areas; however, they will be accompanied by AU Facilities Management.  Every effort will be made to schedule surveys at times that are convenient for building occupants.  


Questions or concerns may be directed to Risk Management & Safety at 844-4533. 

PHOTON1 Coming to Campus for Laser Safety Awareness Day

Auburn University Risk Management and Safety (RMS) Department will be hosting Campus Laser Safety Awareness Event on October 16th, 2019 from 11 am to 2 pm at the back parking lot of Broun Hall and Woltosz. Auburn University professors and their laser users are all invited. Through this campus event, we hope to build awareness around laser safety and provide an opportunity for laser users to deepen their understanding of laser safety as laser use and application diversifies on campus.

 This year we will be hosting Kentek, one of the leading companies in laser safety products. Kentek will bring the company’s laser safety expertise and educational capabilities to AU campus. Kentek’s PHOTON1 van will be filled with an interactive display of all of laser safety products. Kentek Laser safety specialist will demonstrate their products and answer some questions. This will be a unique "hands-on" learning experience for AU laser users and students.

More on PHOTON1:

LASER CURTAINS:  Suspended from the 6.5’ high ceiling are four examples of laser curtains including high power EVER-GUARD® all metal laser barrier curtains (1200 Watts/cm2 ), heavy duty FLEX-GUARD™ fabric laser barrier curtains in black (250 Watts/cm2 ) and tech blue (100 Watts/cm2 ), plus laboratory-friendly blackout curtains. The laser curtains demonstrate operating interlocks and several modes of attachment including Kentek’s unique “curtain door” which enables construction of a secure and interlockable entry in any laser barrier curtain. PHOTON1 also displays dozens of hardware components so visitors can see how Kentek’s curtains can be suspended, attached to wall, or built up from the floor in an open environment.

LASER WINDOW COVERINGS: The laser viewing window displays built into one of PHOTON1’s walls show:

  • Fully interlocked roller shade with clutch-driven mechanism and both side and bottom channels.
  • FLEX-GUARD™ window block with magnet and Velcro® type fasteners.
  • Semi-transparent and laser safe viewing window fabricated from cast acrylic sheet.

LASER ENCLOSURE and ACCESSORIES:  A small optical table in PHOTON1 carries a Class1 laser enclosure with an operating low-power infrared laser. This display area demonstrates some of Kentek’s capabilities in enclosure design including ports, doors, and windows. The laser can be operated to show several products from Kentek:

  • Zap-It® paper burns can be achieved with the laser.
  • Beam images are visible on the View-It® infrared detector products.
  • Laser power is calculated in live time on a Gentec-EO power meter with graphic display.

LASER ACCESSORIES: A second optical table features Kentek’s Bench-Guard and Table-Guard optical table barriers which serve as end stops, bench partitions, or optical table surrounds to help keep stray radiation away from personnel. PHOTON1 also demonstrates several Trap-It™ beam dumps including both air-cooled and water-cooled versions. PHOTON1 shows both infrared and UV variants of Kentek’s View-It® laser detection and imaging products.

LASER INTERLOCK SYSTEM: Kentek’s Entry-Guard™ laser safety interlock system (SIS) is mounted on a wall in PHOTON1 and is fully functional. The control panel is connected to multiple switches and controls and oversees access to the enclosed laser display on board Kentek’s showroom vehicle. The interlocks on the laser curtains and the roller shades are connected and operational. The laser, the laser shutter, the enclosure interlock, and two lighted signs are controlled by the main panel of Kentek’s interlock system. Visitors can explore how the many components and options available with Kentek’s Entry-Guard™ system might work in their environment.

LASER SAFETY EYEWEAR: PHOTON1 is stocked to demonstrate more than 50 laser safety eyewear options including goggles and spectacles, glass and polycarbonate. Specialists can help visitors not only pick the optimal laser eyewear filter, but also to try on multiple options to ensure fit and comfort.