Building Inspections

What are the most commonly found deficiencies in campus buildings affecting safety?

The most common deficiencies found in campus buildings affecting safety include:

  • Blocking the means of egress from a building;
  • Fire doors being secured in the open position;
  • Exit and stairway signs not illuminated; and
  • Using stairwells for storage.

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How often are campus buildings inspected?

All campus buildings are inspected on an annual basis by a representative from Environmental Health and Safety. In addition to our inspections, outside agencies such as the City of Chicago’s Fire Prevention Bureau will conduct inspections.

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Are building inspections announced?

All general building inspections are unannounced.

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What is the process for building inspections?

Campus buildings shall be inspected as follows:

  • A representative from Environmental Health and Safety shall tour the building unescorted;
  • When there is a need for additional information and/or clarification during fire/general safety reviews, the facility manager or building contact shall be notified;
  • If any general areas not accessible, the facility manger or building contact shall be notified and directed to provide access to all areas and rooms within the building; and
  • Fire/general safety review results shall be provided to the facility manager or building contact within ten business days of a particular building’s inspection.

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How soon do deficiencies have to be corrected?

Safety concerns identified during the initial inspection shall be corrected within 90 days, unless a shorter period of time is specified due to the severity of concerns or a longer period of time is necessary because of operational considerations. Longer periods of time shall be agreed upon by Environmental Health and Safety.

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Who is responsible for correcting deficiencies?

Each department shall ensure that corrective action plans have been implemented or are in process prior to the timeframe listed on the Fire/General Safety Review for each concern. A written corrective action plan shall be submitted to Environmental Health and Safety for all outstanding deficiencies identified during the follow-up review.

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Will the building be reinspected?

Follow-up reviews are based on risk which is determined by the number and severity of deficiencies. Twenty-five percent of University buildings scheduled each month shall be re-evaluated 90 days after the initial inspection. University buildings selected for re-inspections shall be prioritized based on which buildings have the highest number of concerns noted during the initial inspection. All buildings with serious concerns shall be reviewed in accordance with the timeframe identified on the report. All concerns shall be tracked until corrective action plans have been completed.

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Is there any type of escalation for uncorrected deficiencies?

University buildings failing to correct concerns identified on any inspection report shall be subject to the progressive resolution process. Each identified concern shall be corrected prior to the corrective action date. For concerns not corrected, the following action shall take place:

  • Stage One of Non-Compliance: A letter identifying the concerns not corrected shall be sent to the Department Head with a copy sent to the Department Head’s superior;
  • Stage Two of Non-Compliance: A letter identifying the concerns not corrected shall be sent to the Department Head’s superior with a copy sent to the Provost and Vice President for Administration/Chief Financial Officer; and
  • Stage Three of Non-Compliance: A letter identifying the concerns not corrected shall be sent to the Provost and Vice President for Administration/Chief Financial Officer.

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Can safety “shut-down” a building for unsafe conditions?

Yes, safety has the authority to stop any work, restrict access to any portion of a building or evacuate a building due to any imminent hazards.

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Who shall I contact if a regulatory agency comes to inspect my building?

Contact Environmental Health and Safety at 773-702-9999. A representative from Environmental Health and Safety shall accompany the representative from the outside agency on all inspections conducted and facilitate the necessary corrective action plan.

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