Texas Tech University


[Minor revision–posted 11/16/22 (replaces 9/24/20 edition)]
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Operating Policy and Procedure

OP 61.07: Access to Building Equipment Rooms and Tunnels

DATE: November 16, 2022

PURPOSE: The purpose of this Operating Policy/Procedure (OP) is to establish a standard procedure for controlled access, security, and general housekeeping of all university equipment rooms and tunnels. Authorized personnel have access to these areas in order to maintain security of facilities and equipment, safety of employees and students, and to meet housekeeping standards outlined by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

REVIEW: This OP will be reviewed in September of even-numbered years by the Senior Managing Director of Facilities Maintenance & Construction, the Managing Director of Utilities, the Assistant Vice President for Environmental Health & Safety, and the Associate Vice President for Operations with substantive revisions forwarded to the Senior Vice President for Administration & Finance and Chief Financial Officer.


1.  The goal of this OP is to maintain security and safety standards within building equipment rooms and tunnel systems. It is the responsibility of all supervisors and administrative heads to implement and maintain the policies and procedures outlined in this document to control unauthorized access to these highly dangerous areas. Security and safety must be an integral part of all programs at Texas Tech University.

2.  Texas Tech University will endeavor to comply with the intent of appropriate federal and state legislation, including the National Fire Protection Codes, Industrial Security Regulations, Life Safety Code, and other federal and state laws that relate to the university safety and security programs.

3.  Responsibilities for the control of access and general housekeeping of building equipment rooms and tunnels:

a.    General

(1)    Under safety classifications, equipment rooms and tunnel systems are considered restricted access spaces that have the potential for causing injury and/or illness for persons not properly protected and/or lacking the knowledge for safe operation.

(2)    Equipment rooms and tunnel systems will be secured at all times. Security is essential for safety and for the security of the entire building.

(3)    Access to campus building equipment rooms and tunnel systems is restricted to authorized personnel only. Authorized personnel are defined as Operations Division, Environmental Health & Safety, Texas Tech Fire Marshal, Texas Tech Police Department, and approved Auxiliary Services employees required to perform operational checks and maintenance on mechanical room equipment. Any exemption to this restriction will be made in writing to the Senior Managing Director of Facilities Maintenance & Construction and the Managing Director of Utilities and approved by the Associate Vice President for Operations.

b.    Administrators, Deans, Department Heads

It is the responsibility of all administrative heads to ensure observance of the following safety procedures:

(1)    Department property is not stored in aisles, stairwells, equipment rooms, or tunnel systems.

(2)    All department personnel are fully aware that equipment rooms and tunnel systems are highly restricted and will not be used for storage of surplus property.

(3)    Any equipment room or tunnel that is not or cannot be secured should be reported to Operations Division at 806.742.4OPS (806.742.4677).

c.    Physical Plant and Approved Auxiliary Services Supervisors

These supervisors are responsible for instructing personnel under their direction to maintain security, maintenance of equipment, and safe housekeeping standards in all campus equipment rooms and tunnel systems. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1)    Ensure that the only items stored in equipment rooms and tunnel systems are emergency standby parts critical to that equipment.

(2)    Ensure that equipment rooms and tunnel systems are secured and lights are turned off when not occupied.

(3)    Maintain equipment rooms and tunnel systems in a clean and orderly manner, ensuring that equipment is maintained at the highest standards.

d.    Faculty, Staff, and Students

University faculty, staff, and students are subject to all campus security and safety regulations. Compliance is vital to the security and safety of campus personnel and facilities. Rules to be followed include:

(1)    Use only authorized storage areas for personal property.

(2)    Do not enter any equipment rooms or tunnel systems unless authorized or accompanied by authorized personnel or given special approval.

(3)    Report unsafe conditions, practices, or equipment to the appropriate department supervisor.

Operating Policies & Procedures