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: President
Original Approval Date: December 2004
Date of Most Recent Review/Revision: September 16, 2019
Office of Accountability: Vice-President: Finance and Administration
Administrative Responsibility: Safety, Health, Environment and Risk Management (SHERM)
1.01 Wilfrid Laurier University is committed to providing a safe and healthy Workplace. The University will implement reasonable Risk Assessment and management processes to support continuity of University activities where Workers may regularly work alone. All applicable occupational health and safety legislation and regulations will be followed, including restrictions on Working Alone for hazardous or high-risk activities and as prescribed.
2.01 Buddy System - A cooperative arrangement whereby individuals are paired or teamed up so that they are able to monitor and assist each other.
2.02 High Risk Activities – Work that places a Worker at an increased risk of physical or psychological harm, uses potentially dangerous machinery, or exposes the Worker to a hazardous location or materials.
2.03 Low Risk Activities – Work of an administrative, professional, or clerical nature that does not require substantial physical exertion or exposure to work processes, substances or other conditions that are potentially hazardous.
2.04 On Duty - An employee is considered on duty any time they are conducting university business and undertaking duties and responsibilities associated with their contract of employment.
2.05 Risk Assessment - A process that involves the identification of hazards, analysis or evaluation of the risk associated with the hazards, and the development of appropriate ways to eliminate or control the hazards.
2.06 Supervisor – A person who has charge of a Workplace or authority over a Worker.
2.07 Working Alone - A work situation that involves a person who cannot be seen or heard by another person, and cannot expect contact from an employee or by a prearranged contact person for over one (1) hour.
2.08 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.
2.09 Worker - includes all University employees (whether full-time, part-time or contract) and as defined under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).
3.01 This policy applies to all Workers at all Laurier campuses and locations and at other locations where Workers perform work for the University and are Working Alone.
4.01 Supervisors will endeavour to eliminate or minimize Working Alone situations whenever possible. Supervisors will make every effort to re-schedule work involving hazardous tasks that must be performed by a Worker while alone. Potentially hazardous work should be scheduled during times when supervision and appropriate assistance are available.
4.02 A Working Alone Risk Assessment is required when:
4.02.01 Workers are engaged in High Risk Activities when Working Alone;
4.02.02 Workers are engaged in Low Risk Activities at the discretion of the Supervisor or if the Worker requests one.
The Supervisor, in consultation with the Worker, will conduct the assessment to identify hazards involved in the work, and will develop methods to remove or control the hazards.
4.03 The Supervisor should conduct reassessments at at time appropriate intervals according to the changing conditions and circumstances of the Work (e.g. changes in work organization, physical environment, equipment or tools).
4.04 Workers will participate in the assessment of the risks associated with the work environment, and follow any procedures outlined by the assessment. Workers must report any change in circumstances they become aware of that may pose a risk to their safety and affect their ability to Work Alone. Workers must also advise their Supervisor of any change in conditions or where controls identified in a Working Alone Risk Assessment or associated written instructions are not being followed. The OHSA gives a Worker the right to refuse work that they believe is unsafe to themselves or another Worker.
4.05 Working Alone is prohibited for the following:
4.05.01 Live electrical installations, equipment, or conductor operating at a nominal voltage of 300 volts or more, except while testing equipment or trouble shooting (R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 851)
4.05.02 Electrical transmission systems or outdoor distribution systems rated at more than 750 volts (R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 851)
4.05.03 Use of portable ladders that exceed six (6) metres in length and are not securely fastened, or work with a ladder that is likely to be endangered by traffic (R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 851)
4.05.04 Suspended scaffolds or when using fall arrest equipment
4.05.05 Highly toxic material with immediate toxic effects as described by the Material Safety Data Sheet e.g. inorganic cyanides, fumigants etc.
4.05.06 Work requiring the use of supplied air respiratory equipment or self-contained breathing apparatus
4.05.07 Where a person is at risk of drowning (O. Reg. 213/91 & R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 851)
4.05.08 Where the operator of a vehicle, crane, mobile equipment, or other similar material handling equipment does not have a full view of the intended path of travel (R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 851)
4.05.09 Where a vehicle, crane or similar equipment is operated in a location where the vehicle or its load could come into contact with a live power line (O. Reg. 213/91)
4.05.10 Work involving welding operations where a fire watcher is required
4.05.11 Tasks which, based on the Risk Assessment conducted by the Supervisor is deemed to require more than one person.
4.06 Working Alone Risk Assessment procedure:
4.06.01 Supervisors will complete a Working Alone Risk Assessment form (hyperlink to be inserted) by referring to the Working Alone Risk Assessment Guide (hyperlink to be inserted) for step by step instructions.
4.06.02 The assessment will include the identification of communication systems available, and duties that will be prohibited based on the associated risk.
4.06.03 Completed Working Alone Risk Assessments must be signed by both the Supervisor and the Worker. The Supervisor’s signature will signify approval for the work to take place and should be retained on file. The Worker’s signature indicates that they have participated in the assessment and agree to comply with the safe work practices established during the assessment process.
5.16 Risk Management Policy
7.1 Environmental/Occupational Health and Safety
7.11 Emergency Management Policy
7.13 Contract Labour Policy
7.16 Laboratory Health and Safety Policy
7.18 Workplace Violence Prevention Policy
7.20 Fitness for Work Policy
Working Alone Risk Assessment Guide
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