Safety Hazard and Incident Reporting 

At the University of San Francisco (USF), safety is our top priority. Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) and Risk Management are committed to developing a culture where safety and health are core values, adopted and practiced throughout all levels of the University.  

This page serves as a central hub for reporting hazards, unsafe conditions, and incidents on or off campus. All faculty, staff, and students have a role to play - ensuring people under their direction have all that they need to work and study safely, using good judgment, adhering to environmental health and safety precautions, and looking out for each other to avoid injuries, illnesses, and environmental harm.  When something goes wrong or even almost goes wrong and when something just doesn’t seem safe, it is important to report concerns to supervisors and/or EH&S.

What is a "Hazard"?

A safety hazard is an unsafe condition that has the potential to result in or cause injury, illness, or other damage to someone or something.  Hazards can include chemical hazards, physical hazards, biological hazards, and ergonomic risk factors. 

What is an "Incident"?

An incident is an actual event that results in or causes injury, illness, or other damages to someone or something. 

What should I report?

Faculty, staff, and students should report any of the incidents below.  There are slightly different procedures for staff, faculty, and student employees vs. students and non-employees. Reports can include hazards and/or incidents either on or off campus.  

Below you will find the conditions that should be reported along with their definitions:

When an employee is subjected to a toxic substance or harmful physical agent in the course of employment through any route of entry (inhalation, ingestion, skin contact or absorption, etc.).  This also applies to students and non-employees involved in a University-related program or on University business.

Any work-related injury or to students and non-employees involved in a University-related program or on campus.

Fatality can be an employee death resulting from a work-related incident or exposure or this also applies to students and non-employees involved in a University-related program or on campus.

A potential hazard or incident in which no property was damaged and no personal injury was sustained, but where, given a slight shift in time or position, damage or injury easily could have occurred. Near misses also may be referred to as close calls, near accidents, or injury-free events.

Property damage is damage or destruction of real or tangible property caused by negligence, willful destruction, or an act of nature.

A spill is an uncontrolled release of a hazardous substance (i.e. chemical, biological, or radiological).

Individual concerns regarding hazards in the workplace, in a University-related program or on campus.  

An unintended event that causes death, injury, or property damage involving a motor vehicle in transport (in motion or in readiness for motion) on a roadway (a way or place) any part of which is open to the use of the public and/or on campus for purposes of vehicular travel.

Why you should report

  • Prevention: Contacting others raises safety awareness and prevents recurrences.
  • Tracking: We may be able to associate activity with other incidents.  Your report will allow us to provide better statistics.
  • Correction: You may receive technical assistance.
  • Claims Management: Your report helps us to provide you with better documents.  University policies may require you to report the activity.  Reporting incidents is part of your responsibility.  

How to Report a Hazard  or Unsafe Work Practice

Go to the campus Hazard Report/Safety Suggestion form to report hazards, unsafe work practices, or other conditions that have the potential to cause harm.  Employees, students, and non-employees may submit this form without fear of reprisal and/or anonymously. To complete this form, fill in the requested information.

If you are an employee, safety concerns should first be addressed with your supervisor. If your supervisor is unable to assist, contact EH&S.

Once the Hazard Reporting form has been received and reviewed, EH&S will either recommend corrective action and/or follow up with a response with the Hazard Investigation Report Form.

If you spill something, please clean it up immediately.

If you discover a spill or wet floor and need assistance, please contact Facilities Management to submit a work order. Report all other immediately visible trip and fall hazards (malfunctioning elevators, holes in the sidewalk, loose carpet, leaks of any kind, etc.) to Facilities Management.

how to report a Hazardous Material Spill

Report (1) a release, spill, leak, and/or discharge caused by University personnel and operations, or (2) a release, spill, leak and/or discharge that has impacted University personnel, property, or operations.

How to Report an Employee Injury or Illness (includes Student Employees)

Review important information about workers’ compensation and to report work-related injuries or illnesses involving University employees or volunteers.  Immediately inform your supervisor if you have a work injury or illness, accident, or near miss. Reporting your injury promptly helps to prevent delays in receiving benefits, including the medical care you may need to prevent further injury.

How to report Incidents Involving Students and Visitors

Go to 3rd Party Incidents for information on how to report incidents that involve injury or damage to students, visitors, non-USF event attendees, guests, and other unaffiliated third parties who are on University property or engaged in University activities on or off campus.

Reporting 3rd Party incidents- Incident Report Form

  • In the event of an incident, it's essential to act swiftly and effectively. Stay calm and assess the situation carefully, ensuring the safety of yourself and others involved. If necessary, contact emergency services immediately by dialing 911. 
  • After the incident, seek medical attention for any injuries and report the incident promptly to the appropriate University authorities, such as the Department of Public Safety and/or the Department of Risk Management. Public Safety can be reached at 415-422-4222. 
  • Complete the Incident Report Form to report the facts of the incident to the Risk Management Office as soon as possible.  It is easier to collect all the information, while details are still fresh in everyone’s mind.
  • Obtain the names and contact information of any witnesses.
  • The Incident Report Form is a confidential document that is for the exclusive use of the University.  It should not be shared with anyone except the employee’s supervisor and/or the Risk Management office.
  • If a student or visitor asks whom they can contact to talk about the incident, or indicates they want to make a claim against the University, advise them to contact the Risk Management office and/or the Office of General Counsel.
  • If you would like to report an incident that occurred during a lab at USF, please fill out an Arts & Sciences Incident Report Form and send it to the Lab Safety Manager (Harney Hall Room 404).  There is also an anonymous safety concern form that can be found here.

Additional Resources