This online version is for convenience; the official version of this policy is housed in the University Secretariat. In case of discrepancy between the online version and the official version held by the Secretariat, the official version shall prevail.
Approving Authority: Board of Governors
Original Approval Date: February 18, 1992
Date of Most Recent Review/Revision: April 22, 2021
Office of Accountability: Vice President: Finance and Administration
Administrative Responsibility: Safety, Health, Environment and Risk Management
1.01 Wilfrid Laurier University is committed to protecting its students, faculty, staff and visitors by providing a safe and healthy Workplace and educational environment. All applicable occupational health and safety, and environmental regulations will be adhered to by the University community.
2.01 Fitness for Work: An employee is in a state (physically and psychologically) to perform the essential duties of their job competently and in a manner which does not compromise the safety and health of themselves or others.
2.02 Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA): the Ontario legislation that outlines the Workplace health and safety responsibilities of employers and employees.
2.03 Supervisor: A person who has charge of a Workplace or authority over a Worker.
2.04 Workplace: Any site at which the employee works including any property or buildings owned, leased or managed by the University and any other place an employee is located while performing work for the University or while representing the University. This includes operating University equipment or a personal vehicle when the employee is on duty.
3.01 This policy applies to all members of the University community, including the Board of Governors, employees, volunteers, students, and visitors. Contractors hired by Laurier are also expected to observe and comply with this policy.
4.01 Everyone at Laurier, regardless of position, has a legal responsibility to adhere to health and safety laws. Wilfrid Laurier University will take every precaution reasonable for the protection of all faculty, staff, students, volunteers and visitors by minimizing hazards, preventing Workplace injuries or illnesses, and protecting the environment by the following:
a. Identifying and addressing Workplace hazards, including activities in off campus settings;
b. Operating in an environmentally conscientious manner and minimizing impacts to our environment where feasible;
c. Achieving and maintaining compliance with federal, provincial and municipal environmental, health and safety laws, and standards of regulatory authority respecting the OHSA;
d. Attaining a high standard of institutional accountability for environmental, health and safety stewardship;
e. Providing comprehensive and effective training to employees and students; and
f. Ensuring employees and contractors are Fit for Work while performing their work.
4.02 It is the primary duty of all faculty and staff who are Supervisors to ensure that any persons performing work under their direction are made aware of, and comply with, all applicable health and safety policies and procedures. They are responsible for ensuring that all aspects of the Workplace, including teaching and research sites, are safe and that any risks, hazards and safety violations drawn to their attention are investigated and mitigated promptly.
4.03 Everyone, regardless of position or role, has a part to play in creating and maintaining a hazard-free environment. This is achieved through the successful implementation of the internal responsibility system, which is the underlying philosophy of the OHSA, wherein responsibility for health and safety is shared by all parties in the Workplace.
4.04 Employees of the University shall be aware of and work in full compliance with their respective duties and responsibilities under the OHSA, Environmental Protection Act, their regulations, and other statutes. They shall participate in all required health and safety training.
4.05 Employees must wear protective equipment or devices where required, and report any safety hazards, accidents, or near misses to their Supervisors. Employees also have the right to refuse unsafe work.
4.06 Students, visitors, volunteers, and contractors of the University are also required to comply with all relevant health and safety legislation and University policies.
4.07 Under the OHSA, Laurier is responsible for administering and enforcing a policy in which students are provided with a safe environment to learn and work.
4.08 Failure of employees to meet their obligations concerning health and safety, including to be informed, to comply, and/or to supervise, may be subject to disciplinary measures, in accordance with Laurier policies, procedures and/or collective agreements governing their employment.
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