Procedure 14-1 - Internal Responsibility Procedure for Health and Safety Issues

Date effective: 2016-03-16

Authorized by: Vice-President, Resources

INTERNAL RESPONSIBILITY PROCEDURE FOR HEALTH AND SAFETY ISSUES

PURPOSE

1. This procedure is based on Policy 77- Occupational Health and Safety Policy, which establishes the University policy on occupational health and safety.  The purpose of this procedure is to define the roles and responsibilities for health and safety matters as they apply to members of the University community and to explain the University health and safety accountability structure.

APPLICATION

2. All members of the University of Ottawa community, including University officers, directors, supervisors, professors, workers, students, visitors, volunteers, and learners must comply with this procedure.  Contractors hired by the University are also expected to observe and comply with this procedure where warranted.

INTERPRETATION AND DEFINITIONS

3. This procedure and the definitions set out below must be applied in conjunction with the principles set out in the University Occupational Health and Safety Policy, the applicable health and safety legislation and the applicable collective agreements governing employment conditions.

Accident” means an unexpected event causing injury, illness or even death (see also critical injury), or involving a person’s exposure to harmful substances.

Applicable health and safety legislation” means those statutes and regulations governing occupational health and safety that apply to the University, such as the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations, as amended from time to time, or any similar legislation enacted, whether federally or provincially, on health and safety.

 “Competent person” means a person who,

a) has the knowledge, training and experience to organize and perform the work;

b) is familiar with the applicable health and safety legislation; and

c) has knowledge of any potential or actual danger to health and safety in the workplace.

Contractor” means an individual, company or other entity hired by the University to provide services, and includes a constructor as defined in the applicable health and safety legislation.

 “Critical injury” means an injury of a serious nature that

a) places life in jeopardy;

b) produces unconsciousness;

c) results in substantial loss of blood;

d) involves a fracture of a leg or arm, but not a finger or toe;

e) involves the amputation of a leg, an arm, a hand or a foot, but not a finger or toe

f) consists of burns to a major part of the body; or

g) causes the loss of sight in an eye.

 “Directive” or “procedure” means a University practice, instruction or process to outline specific courses of action or explain how to apply a University policy or applicable health and safety legislation.

Employer” means the University or a person who employs a worker or contracts for the services of a worker, and includes a contractor or subcontractor who performs work or supplies services.  Examples of individuals who may be considered an employer under applicable health and safety legislation are the Board of Governors, the president, deans or directors.

Incident” means an undesired event resulting in damage to property or the environment, for example, a fire, spill, or breakage of material.

Internal Responsibility System” or “IRS” is the University’s accountability framework for occupational health and safety matters as set out in this procedure. 

Learner” means a person who, although not under a contract of service or apprenticeship, becomes subject to the hazards of an industry for the purpose of undergoing training or probationary work. Since January 1, 2015,  a trainee or a learner can be considered a worker (see definition of a worker).

Occupational illness” means a condition that results from exposure in a workplace to a physical, chemical or biological agent to the extent that normal physiological mechanisms are affected and the health of the worker is impaired. It includes an occupational disease for which a worker is entitled to benefits under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.

ORM” means the University Office of Risk Management.

 “Student” means a person who is registered in a course or program of study at the University and who is not receiving remuneration for services.

Supervisor” means a person who has charge of a workplace or authority over a worker or another person.  Depending on the workplace relationship, a supervisor may include, for example, the president, vice-presidents, directors, deans, managers or principle investigators.  The determination as to whether a person is a supervisor does not depend on that person’s job title.  It depends on whether the person is responsible for  a location (for example, an office or laboratory) where the work is performed on a paid or unpaid basis or whether the person  gives direction to complete the work performed  by workers, students, visitors, volunteers or learners.

'University Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee” or “UJOHSC” means the committee established by the University as a consultative forum to review the responsibility systems that govern health and safety, and is described in this procedure.

 “Worker”  means any of the following:

  a)    a person who performs work or supplies services for monetary compensation. This means a University employee and includes a person who performs work or supplies services for monetary compensation. Students hired by the University to perform paid work-study program duties or co-operative education placement duties for the University are considered workers 

  b)    a high school student who performs work or supplies services for no monetary compensation under a work experience program authorized by the school board that operates the school in which the student is enrolled

  c)     a person who performs work or supplies services for no monetary compensation under a program approved by a college of applied arts and technology, university or other post-secondary institution.

  d)    a person who receives training from an employer, but who, under the Employment Standards Act, 2000, is not an employee for the purposes of that Act because the conditions set out in subsection 1 (2) of that Act have been met

  e)    such other persons as may be prescribed who perform work or supply services to an employer for no monetary compensation. 

4. Use of the terms “visitor”, “volunteer” or “learner” in this procedure refers to a person who is not a worker or a student but who performs work at the University workplace to help out or for other reasons associated with education or training. 

INTERNAL RESPONSIBILITY SYSTEM

UNIVERSITY

5. The University has a duty to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances to protect health and safety and to prevent accidents, incidents, occupational diseases and injuries in its workplace.  Due diligence is the level of judgment, care, prudence, determination and action that a person would reasonably be expected to perform under particular circumstances.  The University, as the employer, having regard for the protection of workers, without limiting the requirements imposed by applicable health and safety legislation, must ensure:

a) that equipment, materials and protective devices are provided, and maintained in good condition, and that they are used as prescribed under the applicable health and safety legislation.  When allowed by the granting agency, equipment, materials and protective devices required for research projects will be paid from the grant supporting the research project;

b) that the safety measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace;

c) that information, instruction, and supervision are provided to workers to protect their health or their safety;

d) that when appointing supervisors, they are competent with respect to their responsibilities under applicable health and safety legislation;

e) that assistance and co-operation are provided to the UJOHSC or any of its members in fulfilling their responsibilities under applicable health and safety legislation;

f) that the UJOHSC is provided with the results of reports prepared respecting occupational health and safety;

g) that, where applicable, workers are advised of the results of occupational health and safety reports;

h) that safety measures are in place to safeguard workers from undue exposure to biological, chemical, biomechanical or physical agents as prescribed under applicable health and safety legislation;

i) that workers are provided with written instructions as to the measures and procedures to be taken for the protection of workers, where prescribed in applicable health and safety legislation;

j) that such training programs are carried out for workers, supervisors and  UJOHSC members as may be prescribed under applicable health and safety legislation and that work is carried out according to the established internal directives;

k) that the workplace is monitored to ensure that workers follow the safety directives.

OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY COMMITTEE

6. The UJOHSC is a joint committee comprised of elected workers and nominated management representatives, and is regulated in accordance with the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act.

7. There are three functional occupational health and safety committees segregated according to their activity or function, namely: Laboratory, Office, and Protection and Physical Resources functional occupational health and safety committees.  Each functional committee reports to the UJOHSC.

8. The UJOHSC is predominantly concerned with university-wide issues, with emphasis on health and safety policy recommendations, matters of concern to the functional occupational health and safety committees, and coordination of information received from the functional occupational health and safety committees.

9. Members of the UJOHSC are responsible for:

a) conducting inspections of all work spaces at least once yearly;

b) investigating and inspecting a workplace where a fatality or a critical injury has taken place;

c) investigating a work refusal with the supervisor; and

d) reviewing health and safety reports submitted to the UJOHSC.

10. For additional information, review the terms of reference for the UJOHSC.

SUPERVISORS

11. A supervisor has several legal obligations under the applicable health and safety legislation, including: ensuring that workers comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act; informing workers about hazards; and providing instruction on preventative procedures.  The list below summarizes some of the supervisor’s legal duties. Supervisors must:

a) stay informed of the health and safety needs of workers under their authority

b) initiate the necessary preventive measures to control health and safety hazards associated with activities under their authority

c) incorporate preventive measures into all functions and activities that presents a risk of some incident or accident with health-related consequences

d) ensure that workers under their authority work in the required manner, and with the protective devices, measures and procedures required, under the applicable health and safety legislation

e) ensure the safety of people or workplace areas under their authority

f) before commencing new work or a new task, ensure that health and safety orientation, instruction and information are provided by a competent person to people under their authority

g) ensure that workers under their authority use or wear the equipment, protective devices or clothing required

h) ensure that mandatory safety training is provided by a competent person to people under their authority prior to conducting the task

i) provide safety training opportunities for all their staff or people under their responsibility

j) where health and safety-related training has been provided, maintain an updated list of all those who have received the training, the name(s) of the person(s) who provided the training, the date on which the training was given and the type of training provided;

k) monitor the safety performance of their workers;

l) provide assistance and co-operation to the UJ OHSC and to the functional occupational health and safety committee members in the carrying out of their functions as stipulated in the terms of reference under which they must act

m) report accidents and incidents according to the internal procedure 

n) ensure that fatalities and serious and critical injuries are immediately reported to protection services.  Protection Services will immediately inform the ORM, which will inform the Ministry of Labour

o) ensure, with the assistance of Protection Services, that the scene of an accident where a fatality, serious injury or critical injury has taken place is preserved such that there is no interference, disturbance, destruction, alteration or removal of anything at the scene until an investigation is conducted and ORM indicates that the cleaning or moving of evidence from the scene is allowed; (see the procedures outlined above in 11 m)

p) ensure that Protection Services and/or a designated first-aid responder are contacted immediately for assistance in providing first-aid to injured persons

q) investigate all accidents and incidents to ensure appropriate and necessary action is taken

r) immediately investigate any work refusal process

s) ensure that telephones for emergencies are in working order and accessible in University laboratories with increased risk due to the presence or use of hazardous materials in quantities capable of causing injury, or where the type of activity performed is at a level where there is a risk of injury, or where a room is isolated from public areas and there is limited access to a telephone

t) where they have hired an external contractor, require that the external contractor adhere to applicable health and safety legislation

u) where they have engaged visitors, volunteers or learners, monitor to ensure that such visitors, volunteers or learners adhere to applicable health and safety legislation

WORKERS

12. Workers are also responsible for health and safety issues in the performance of their duties. As well, workers must:

a) work in compliance with the provisions of the applicable health and safety legislation and all health and safety procedures and practices that are made known to them

b) use or wear equipment, protective devices or clothing as required by the University, and report the absence of, or defect in, any equipment or protective device which may endanger themselves or other workers to their supervisors

c) report all known health and safety hazards or any violation of the applicable health and safety legislation or University procedures to their supervisor

d) not use or operate any equipment, machine, device, item or work method in a manner that endangers themselves or other workers

e) not remove or make ineffective any protective device required by the applicable health and safety legislation or by University procedure, without providing an adequate temporary protective device; once the removal of the protective device is no longer required, the original protective device must be reinstalled immediately;

f) not engage in any prank, contest, feat of strength, unnecessary running or rough and boisterous conduct, or otherwise endanger their co-workers or themselves;

g) report accidents and incidents to their supervisor, and complete and submit the University Accident, Incident or Occupational Disease form to Human Resources Service and to the ORM

h) attend mandatory safety training sessions related to their work environment.

13. A worker may refuse to work if there is reason to believe that their working conditions endanger them or another worker (refer to Hazard Reporting Procedure for the section on work refusal)

STUDENTS

14. Students are not workers and are not subject to the health and safety legislation applicable to workers; however, the University applies the principles of this legislation to students.  Students are responsible for conducting themselves in a proper manner to ensure their own safety as well as that of others, and must adhere to University procedures and directives on health and safety.

CONTRACTORS

15. Contractors must adhere to all applicable health and safety legislation and all contracts between the University and contractors must include a requirement that contractors must do so.

VISITORS and VOLUNTEERS

16. Visitors and volunteers  are not workers and are not subject to the health and safety legislation applicable to workers; however the University applies the principles of this legislation to visitors and volunteers.  Visitors and volunteers are responsible for conducting themselves in a proper manner to ensure their own safety as well as that of others, and must adhere to University procedures and directives on health and safety.

IMPLEMENTATION

17. The Office of Risk Management is responsible for the development and implementation of this procedure.

EXCEPTION

18. No exception or amendment may be made to this procedure without the approval of the Office of Risk Management and the Vice-President, Resources     

Revised March 16, 2016

(Human Resources)

Back to top