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516 - Environment, Health & Safety

Section: 516-12.2
Effective: 05/01/1998 *minor revision on 07/02/2010 to update department name to Facilities Management
Supersedes: 02/01/1989 516-7.1
Next Review Date: TBD
Issuance Date: 05/01/1998 *minor revision on 07/02/2010 to update department name to Facilities Management
Issuing Office: Environment, Health & Safety

PPM 516-12.2 Policy [pdf format]


I.           REFERENCES


A.       “Safety Tips for Earthquakes” and “Earthquake Safety Checklist,” Federal Emergency Management Agency


B.       California Code of Regulations, Title 24


C.       University Seismic Policy, dated January 17, 1995


II.          POLICY


It is the policy of the University of California, San Diego to provide reasonable levels of earthquake safety to the maximum extent feasible under present engineering practices and available funding.  This policy includes the following program for the reduction of seismic hazards expected during a moderate‑level earthquake.




A.       All appurtenances over 42 inches in height and having a height which is three or more times greater than the smallest dimension of the base shall be adequately secured. These include furnishings and equipment which pose a seismic toppling hazard due to having a small base as compared with the height, and often a center of gravity which is not low enough to preclude toppling during a moderate‑level earthquake. Examples are bookcases, wall and display cabinets, file cabinets, lockers, compressed gas cylinders, and heavy or large laboratory, hospital, or shop equipment. Other items which may not be over 42 inches in height, but which may present a problem if movement occurs, should be appropriately secured.


B.       Lockers, cabinets, and other furnishings or equipment are not permitted in campus or UCSD Medical Center corridors. In those few cases where an exception has been granted by the campus Fire Marshal, these items must be adequately secured against falling or breaking. Vending machines and other equipment posing a seismic hazard shall not be located within six feet of an exit doorway.


C.       Shelving containing chemicals, glassware, hazardous equipment, etc., shall be provided with seismic restraints to resist shelf content movement, breakage, and reaction of chemicals. Shelf lips should extend at least two inches above the shelf surface. Shelf lips extending at least one inch above the shelf surface are recommended in low hazard areas such as offices, especially over employee work stations.


D.       Storage of large, heavy items must be maintained as low as possible. Heavy items that must be maintained at an elevated level must be attached or restricted in a manner which precludes falling during an earthquake.


E.       Departments shall conduct periodic earthquake training for their personnel. The Office of Environment, Health and Safety (EH&S) is available to assist with this training. Personnel shall also be apprised of the Seismic Hazard Reduction policy and program and the need for compliance. For information concerning methods of attachment of furnishings and equipment, contact EH&S for a copy of the “Standard for Attachment of Furnishings to Resist Moderate Earthquake Forces.”




Overall responsibility for compliance with this policy and funding rests with department chairs. Consultation is available from EH&S as to the type of furnishings or equipment that require restraints, as well as for assistance with safe practices and planning emergency procedures. Facilities Management should be consulted for the best methods to secure items and is available to do the work. The EH&S Training Officer will provide earthquake preparedness training sessions as requested.