Policy 77 - Occupational Health and Safety

Revised Administrative Committee 2271.4 



1. This Policy must be applied in conjunction with the applicable health and safety legislation and with the University’s administrative policies and procedures, in particular with the University’s Internal Responsibility Procedure for Health and Safety Issues , which further explains the responsibilities of individuals at the University and sets out the University’s accountability framework for health and safety matters.

2. This Policy applies to all members of the University of Ottawa community, including the Board of Governors, employees, volunteers, students and visitors.  Contractors hired by the University are also expected to observe and comply with this Policy where warranted.


3. It is University policy to maintain a safe work and study environment, and to comply with health and safety legislation, regulations and orders.   The University promotes and seeks to protect the health, safety and well-being of all members of the University community.  The University is committed to

a) continually seeking to better provide a safe and healthy work and study environment and to prevent occupational injuries and illnesses;

b) addressing the health and safety issues of those University employees or students whose place of work or study is located at an another organization or beyond the geographical location of the University’s premises, by continuing to take reasonable steps to ensure such organizations have health and safety policies and procedures in place; and

c) maintaining a learning and work environment that is free from violence and harassment, as required by the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act. Refer to the University policies on violence prevention (#66) and on prevention of harassment and discrimination (#67a).


4. The University and every individual at all levels of its organizational structure have a legal responsibility to adhere to health and safety laws.  (Refer to the administrative procedure entitled  Internal Responsibility Procedure for Health and Safety Issues for further explanations and details on the roles and responsibilities of the University as an employer, and the roles and responsibilities of supervisors, including senior management, professors and principal investigators.)

5. The University has a legal obligation to perform a series of  duties, such as ensuring employee compliance with health and safety laws, informing employees about the existence of potential or actual workplace hazards, and providing training and instruction on preventative procedures.  The University must demonstrate that it has taken reasonable precautions to ensure employees can work in a healthy and safe work environment, and that reasonable steps have been taken to ensure that employees are acquainted with the University’s health and safety policies, procedures, practices and guidelines. 

6. All University employees must protect their own health and safety by working in compliance with the relevant legislation and with safe work practices and procedures established by the University.  Employees must familiarize themselves with legislated and internal safety requirements, use or wear protective equipment or devices where required, and report safety hazards, accidents, incidents or near misses to their supervisors. Employees must support all initiatives for improving workplace health and safety conditions and have the right to refuse unsafe work.

7. The University is also responsible for providing all of its students with a safe and healthy work and study environment. While students are not subject to provincial legislation on occupational health and safety, the University abides by the principles of this legislation in the case of students.


8. Individuals who fail to meet their obligations concerning health and safety shall be subject to disciplinary measures, in accordance with the University policies, procedures and/or collective agreements governing their employment.


9. No individual shall be disciplined, penalized, coerced, dismissed, intimidated or suspended for complying with this policy, University procedures or directives, or the applicable occupational health and safety legislation.


10. This Policy shall be reviewed by the University annually and in accordance with the applicable health and safety legislation.


11. No exception or amendment may be made to this policy without the approval of the Administrative Committee.

Revised October 25, 2017

 (Human Resources)

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