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Office of the Provost Accreditation

Reducing Risk of Falls

Reducing Risk of Falls

Topic: What is WSU doing to reduce the risk of falls from windows, balconies, decks, and other elevated surfaces

Recent challenges/opportunities:  WSU students sometimes suffer injuries as a result of falling from an upper-level area of a residence. A serious injury to a student in August 2017 resulted from a fall from a Residence Hall window.

Recent actions/outcomes:

  • WSU immediately engaged the services of a safety consultant to complete a comprehensive evaluation of fall risks campus-wide and make specific recommendations.
  • The Division of Student Affairs implemented an information campaign to increase student awareness of risks of falls, urging students to look out for one another, and providing steps that can be taken to increase safety.

Current/future areas of emphasis or next steps: Based on the findings and observations of Safety Management Resources Corporation, WSU will implement the following recommendations prior to the start of the fall semester 2018:

  • Require the use of a side rail for all bunk or lofted beds, separating beds from any nearby windows;
  • Conduct inspections of each room soon after move-in for the purpose of identifying safety issues early in the semester;
  • Conduct a review of current policies, practices, and procedures related to the requirement for prior approval of bunking or lofting of beds;
  • Provide additional written guidelines and policies related to the use and placement of lofted and bunked beds;
  • Ensure messages and information given to students about policies and guidance related to window safety and use of bunked and lofted beds is consistent and clear;
  • Continue cohesive education and information campaigns related to the prevention of unintentional falls from windows and other elevated areas as part of ongoing safety trainings in residence halls. Education will also be developed for all on-campus housing facilities.

For more information at WSU: Program review and schedule

NWCCU Standards Reference: 2.D.2


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