The UAB Department of Occupational Health & Safety's mission is to ensure that our customers have a safe workplace by providing them with the service and knowledge necessary to protect themselves, the UAB community, and the environment.

Birmingham and UAB storm drain labeling update

storm-drain-labelThe UAB Department of Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) and the city of Birmingham have collaborated on a project to label storm water drains on the UAB Academic and Medical Campuses. The project aims to protect the receiving water bodies from pollution and to elevate environmental compliance and awareness at UAB. The storm water drain inlets are to be labeled with markers that discourage the public from illegally dumping chemicals and trash into storm water drains (picture below). These markers are unique to UAB.

The first phase of this project has been completed, and a team of OH&S and City of Birmingham employees have labeled thirty storm water drains around campus that have been identified as high and medium dumping risks. The team will start working on labeling the rest of the medium dumping risk drains this month as a part of the project's second phase.

You can always play a part in improving the quality of the environment at UAB and the city of Birmingham by using proper methods to dispose of chemicals, trash, and cigarette butts. If you witness illegal dumping of chemicals, please notify OH&S.

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Fight the Bite

mosquito image
public domain mark image by James Gathany
As we enjoy the outdoors, it's important to remember to protect ourselves from mosquitoes and ticks that may spread the viruses or bacteria that cause serious illness such as West Nile virus, Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

Fortunately, we can all take steps such as:
  • use an effective insect repellent on skin and clothing
  • wear long sleeves and long pants (when it's not too hot)
  • take care of our yards to get rid of standing water where mosquitoes lay their eggs
  • reduce brush, tall grasses, leaf litter, and harborage where ticks may like to hang out
OH&S Safety Short: Fight the Bite

Hurricane Preparedness

During the hurricane season, our concern in the Birmingham area is not storm surge but rather the effects of tornadoes as they make landfall.

Each year as hurricanes impact the coastal communities directly with storm surge, flooding, and high winds, inland communities such as Birmingham and surrounding areas face spin-off tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, lightning, and flooding. People are killed and lives are changed forever due to the effects of hurricanes on inland communities.

Hurricanes can create a situation whereby your power is cut off and drinking water contaminated. They can also create a scenario that would force you to evacuate your home and community. Emergency workers may not be able to access your community if it were to be impacted by the effects of hurricanes.

Are you prepared for these types of stressful events? The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has prepared a list of tips to help people prepare for hurricanes and aid in their awareness. The same information can be used to prepare for other emergency response events.

NOAA: Hurricane Preparedness - Be Ready