UCR Brings Home Two Awards for Campus Safety

The President’s Award for Environmental Health and Safety and the Spotlight on Collaboration awards were both from the UC Office of the President

Albert Vasquez (center), executive director of Enterprise Risk Management, along with his team, proudly show the awards received from the UC Office of the President. sandra baltazar martínez

The UC Office of the President recognized UC Riverside’s low worker injury rates – the lowest in the UC system – and awarded the coveted President’s Award for Environmental Health and Safety to the campus.

This recognition, along with an additional Spotlight on Collaboration award, were presented during the annual Risk Summit on June 15 in Palm Springs. The President’s award recognizes the UC campus with the lowest worker injury rates, officially referred to as a total case incident rate, or TCIR. The Spotlight award highlights collaborative projects that create safety initiatives.

Systemwide in 2016, the recordable injuries, normalized at 100 full-time equivalent employees, was an average of 2.9. At UCR, the TCIR stood at 1.3 in 2016. It’s the lowest injury rate recorded for any UC campus, said Albert Vasquez, executive director of Enterprise Risk Management, or ERM.

This is the second time UCR receives the award; the first one was awarded in 2012. The same award is granted to UC medical centers; UC Davis Medical Center was this year’s award recipient.

“Campus safety is our highest priority, and this award is a testament to that commitment,” said Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox. “Tremendous credit is due to our Enterprise Risk Management team, but you can’t get these kinds of results without the entire campus working to create a culture of safety. This is truly a team effort.”

The President’s Award highlights 2016 achievements.ucr

The Spotlight on Collaboration award recognizes a campuswide effort. ucr









Vasquez agrees with Wilcox. What’s triggering the success, Vasquez said, is the cross-campus collaboration.

All the departments under ERM: UCR Risk Management, Environmental Health and Safety, Office of Emergency Management, the UCOP Center of Excellence for Training & Education, and the UC Police Department (UCPD), are working together in a proactive manner to innovate solutions, prevent injuries, and educate the campus community about safety. The ERM concept was championed by Ron Coley, vice chancellor of Business and Administrative Services (BAS), Vasquez said.

There has also been a reorganization of BAS departments, which included pulling ERM under the same roof, at the new Environmental Health and Safety building off Linden Street.

Other changes that have contributed to the low injury rates, is strategic hiring, Vasquez said. For example, there were 10 new full time positions filled: and executive director of ERM, an administrative specialist, four safety mentors, a chemical inventory specialist, two hazardous waste technicians, and an emergency management coordinator.

On June 15 UCR also came home with the Spotlight on Collaboration award for its “sobering center,” a collaborative effort along with the Office of Emergency Management, Student Affairs, and UCPD.

This sobering center is activated at The Grill at Latitude 55 space during music festivals at UCR: the annual Block Party, Heat, and Spring Splash. The space becomes a medical center, fully staffed by an EMT physician, nurses, paramedics, EMTs and EMT students. The focus: safely and promptly respond to inebriated students.

“We have to create something so that we protect ourselves and mitigate our risks. The sobering center changes the whole dynamic,” Vasquez said. “We are very excited as we move forward with this collaborative effort.”

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Tel: (951) 827-2653
E-mail: SandraB.Martinez@ucr.edu

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