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7.2.1 Emergency/Accident Procedures

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This Guide Memo was approved by the Vice Provost and Dean of Research.
Last Updated

Formerly Known As Policy Number: 25.2

This Guide Memo is a general compilation of Stanford's emergency procedures, including those for injuries and accidents, fires, earthquakes, and hazardous materials releases and spills. For more detailed information on disaster preparedness, please see the Department Emergency Planning Guidelines published by Environmental Health & Safety or contact Emergency Preparedness, 725-1409. 

1. If an Employee is Injured at Work or a Student is Injured

a. Emergency First Aid

The Palo Alto Fire Department provides emergency first aid and resuscitation. From campus phones dial 911 or 9-911 for assistance.

b. Medical Assistance

(1) Employees

(including student employees)In case of an injury requiring medical attention, medical services designated by Stanford University Risk Management must be used for the first 30 days unless the injured person has previously predesignated* a personal physician in writing.

For serious illness/injury, Stanford Hospital Emergency Room (24-hour service: phone 723-5111) or Prompt Care Unit (8 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays; phone 723-2568) may be used if needed. For other medical services, the providers are subject to change with the most recent updates and information available at the Risk Management website or the Occupational Health Center website.

*Predesignation forms may be obtained on the Risk Management website or by calling Risk Management at 723-7400.

(2) Students (who are not Stanford employees)

Vaden Health Center, located at 870 Campus Drive. Phone number is 724-2273 (4-CARE), ext. 4. Hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday from mid September through mid June.From mid June to mid September hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. A physician and a mental health counselor are available on call when the health service is closed.

c. Transportation

The Palo Alto Fire Department or Stanford Police Department will arrange for ambulance service if required.

d. Reporting Serious Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses

(1) All Injuries

All injuries must be reported to the Department of Risk Management. See Guide Memo 7.6.1 for information on how to report injuries.

(2) Serious Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses

A serious injury or illness is defined as any accident resulting in:

  • 24 hours or more of inpatient hospitalization
  • loss of any member of the body
  • permanent disfigurement
  • death

After emergency treatment has been administered to the victim, a serious occupational injury or illness must be reported immediately by the supervisor by telephone to the Environmental Health and Safety Department at 723-0448. In the event that the victim is not hospitalized immediately following the accident, but is later hospitalized and the stay is 24 hours or longer, the supervisor must notify the Environmental Health and Safety Department immediately after learning of this change in status. This will enable Environmental Health and Safety to contact the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA). Serious accidents may be investigated by both Environmental Health and Safety and Cal/OSHA.

2. Preparedness

Supervisors have the specific responsibility to see that individuals for whom they are responsible are trained in proper emergency response procedures and that the work areas for which they are responsible are properly posted with emergency response procedures. Department administrators or building managers are responsible for working with the University Fire Marshall (at EH&S 723-0609) to designate an Emergency Assembly Point (EAP) for each department and for arranging departmental emergency response procedures and training.

3. Fires

Call 9-911 from University phones (911 from pay phones or 286 from the Medical Center) and activate the nearest fire alarm to alert all building occupants. Exit the building according to building evacuation procedures. Gather at the Emergency Assembly Point for your area and wait for the fire department to arrive and to assume command of the scene. Assembled evacuees should try to determine if there is anyone missing, and the department administrator or building manager should advise the fire department if someone is believed to be still inside the building.

4. Emergency Definitions

Emergency: An unforeseen event that calls for immediate action to protect individuals, the environment, or property.

Health-Threatening Emergency: An emergency in which there is a clear potential for serious injury to a person or release of contaminants to the environment if immediate action is not taken. (If in doubt, consider the emergency health-threatening.)

Non Health-Threatening Emergency: An emergency in which there is not a clear potential for serious injury to any person. (If unsure whether an emergency is health-threatening or non health-threatening, assume it is health-threatening.)

5. Procedures for Emergencies Involving Hazardous Materials

In all cases, when any person becomes aware of an emergency involving hazardous materials, regardless of its location:

a. If Health-Threatening

Call 9-911 from University phones (911 from other phones or 286 from the Medical School) and activate the nearest fire alarm if the building needs to be evacuated or if a telephone is unavailable.

  • If involving radiation or radioactive materials call Health Physics at 723-3201.
  • If unsure of the health-threatening nature of the emergency, assume it is health threatening and proceed accordingly.
  • If the emergency is a chemical spill or hazardous material release, in addition to contacting emergency personnel, notify the Principal Investigator responsible for that area as soon as it is practical to do so. If the Principal Investigator is unknown or unavailable then notify the Department or Building Administrator, Safety Committee Chairperson, or Department Chairperson. When possible, leave appropriate messages in each case. (The work and home phone numbers of these people should be posted near every room containing hazardous materials.)

When 9-911 (Police/Fire Communications) or 286 (Stanford University Medical Center Security Office) receives a report of an emergency involving hazardous materials they will notify the Department of Environmental Health and Safety immediately. 9-911 will notify the Health Physics Office in the event of an emergency involving radiation or radioactive materials.

b. If Not Health-Threatening

Call Environmental Health and Safety at 5-9999 for consulting and clean-up assistance.

6. Earthquakes and Disasters

Department administrators or building managers should draw up disaster plans for their department or building. This includes establishing an Emergency Assembly Point (EAP) for each building, posting evacuation maps, securing building contents, distributing emergency contact information, purchasing or preparing emergency kits, and creating a plan for emergency recovery. For help in drawing up these plans, contact the Environmental Health and Safety Department at 723-0448. Handouts can also be obtained from the Department of Public Safety at 723-0569.

When an earthquake occurs, stay calm. If indoors seek protection under a desk or table; stay away from glass. When the shaking has stopped completely, carefully exit the building according to emergency evacuation procedures for your building. Gather at the Emergency Assembly Point for your area and start to implement your department's emergency plans. (If outdoors, move away from buildings and utility wires. After the shaking stops, report to the Emergency Assembly Point (EAP) in your area.)