Ted Weidner is assistant vice chancellor of facilities management & planning, University of Nebraska– Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska and president of Facilities Asset consulting, Amherst, Massachusetts. He can be reached at tweidner2@unlnotes.unl.edu.

Safety and security are issues that affect facilities officers more and more these days yet it seems as though we can never have enough reference materials. This month we look at the broad issue of security and specifically at hazardous materials. I appreciate the contribution of John DeLaHunt, from Colorado College, who shares with us his expertise in chemistry and hazardous materials in the second book review. Don’t think these are the only books on safety and security; there will be more reviews in the coming months.


Jane’s Property & Facility Managers’ Workplace Security Handbook, United Kingdom: Jane’s Information Group (www.janes.com), 2004. 368 pages, spiral bound. Available through www.bomi-edu.org.

The work of facility officers never seems to be done. They have to be concerned about employees, training, building security, disaster planning, communication, and now terrorist threats. As we all learn more about our facilities and how to keep them economically operational, we also learn that we don’t know enough about keeping them secure. So much has changed in the last three years and yet so much is still the same.

Jane’s Property & Facility Managers’ Workplace Security Handbook is intended to be a helpful reference for a wide variety of security issues that face property owners and managers. What are the external and internal threats? How can they be addressed? That’s the easy description. The closing keynote speaker at APPA’s 2004 Educational Facilities Leadership

Forum, Darin Goodwiler with the Federal Protection Services Division of the Homeland Security Office, outlined some of the issues the federal government faces and suggested that as higher education facility officers we have some of the same issues.

This handbook is designed to be handy; it’s small, almost pocket sized (although perhaps a little fat for most pockets), with tabs for the major subject areas. While it would be nice to think that the book can be used as a quick reference in the event of a workplace security event, the authors make it clear that planning first for an event is critical. Chapters provide some checklists and samples of what an organization’s manual should include. These items are helpful to get through the writer’s block that often accompanies planning for hypothetical events. Most importantly,  the book provides examples of workplace security events that can easily be overlooked by property owners and managers because “it won’t happen here.”

For those who spent the time in 1999 to prepare for the “millennium bug” the planning effort generally evolved into other emergency plans. These plans were extremely helpful on 9/11, not because there was a similar foreseen event, but because in these plans, there may have been some procedures to address decisions to close the campus, erect a security perimeter, or organize counseling for employees. Those who didn’t have an emergency plan in 2001 may have since developed one. For these folks, this handbook should be useful to evaluate an existing campus emergency manual and make improvements or additions. For those who are still thinking about developing emergency plans, this book should provide sufficient information to get started on your own plan.


Proctor and Hughes’ Chemical Hazards of the Workplace, 5th Edition, Nick H. Proctor and James P. Hughes, edited by Gloria J. Hathaway and Nick H. Proctor. Hoboken, New Jersey:

Wiley, 2004 (www.wiley.com), 785 pages, cloth.

Like most chemical hazard references, Chemical Hazards of the Workplace is substantial and incomplete. This is not a fault. No chemical hazard reference can possibly cover all the detailed descriptions of chemicals in every level of hazard. As a result, health and safety managers looking for such a work had better start getting used to the idea of keeping several reference books on their shelves; Chemical Hazards should probably be one of them.

Chemical Hazards devotes a few (a very few) pages to basic elements of toxicology. The brief introduction to toxicology is good background information for non-specialists looking for a quick rendering of the topic. The book quickly moves into the toxicological hazards of a long list of industrial and other common chemicals. A chemical name index and a CAS number index support the substantial bulk of information. The reference omits basic information about chemical hazards, such as physical data, fire safety data, reactivity, chemical compatibilities, and warning properties. It does, however, provide substantial detail on toxicology, carcinogenicity, mutagenicity, and teratogenicity and the effects of exposure; the content within each entry in the book is substantial and well documented.

This is clearly a work designed to assist industrial hygienists with their projects, as opposed to lay people or those with more general concerns about hazardous chemicals. Since the toxicology information is so substantial, users of this reference may rely on this book to be the “health” tile in a comprehensive chemical health and safety mosaic.

Reviewed by
John DeLaHunt
Assistant Director for Environmental
Health & Safety Services
The Colorado College
Colorado Springs, Colorado