Health and Safety

The University of Western Ontario strives to foster the development of a safety consciousness in all members of the University community for the purpose of minimizing the risk of injury to persons or the damage to property or facilities. As safety standards change the University is committed to keeping abreast of these changes, to communicating these standards within the campus and to ensuring compliance on an ongoing basis.

The Occupational Health and Safety Act is the primary legislation governing workplace health and safety in Ontario. The Act is designed to protect workers against health and safety hazards. It outlines the rights and responsibilities of all parties in the workplace; it establishes procedures to deal with workplace hazards; and it provides enforcement of the law when compliance has not been achieved voluntarily.

Additional information is available:

Emergency Information

  • Police/Fire/Ambulance: 911
  • Non-Emergency: 519-661-3300
  • Facilities Management 519-661-3304

Emergency Equipment

  • First Aid Kit: Warntz Lounge, SSC 2411
  • First Aid Representative: Erika Hill, SSC 2212, x80578
  • Chemical Spill Kit: Outside SSC 1302
  • Safety Shower and Eye Wash Stations: Inside chemical laboratories
  • Fire Alarm: At building exits and stairwells
  • Fire Extinguisher: Inside chemical laboratories and close to building exits
  • Nearest exit: Make sure you know your nearest exit and an alternate

Accident/Incident Reporting

All accidents, incidents and close calls must be reported on an official Accident Incident Report Form within 24 hours in accordance with the Accident Incident Investigation Procedure.

Critical injuries must be immediately reported to Occupational Health and Safety (x88730) and Campus Police (911).

Required Training

All faculty, staff (includes work study students, graduate teaching assistants and any other person who has an employment relationship with Western) and volunteers are required to complete the following online training programs:

  • Supervisor OR Worker Health and Safety Awareness Training
  • WHIMIS - Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System
  • Western Safe Campus Community
  • Building Inclusivity through Anti-Racism
  • Supporting Disclosures of Gender-Based and Sexual Violence at WEstern
  • AODA - Accessibility in Service OR Teaching
  • Cyber Safety Awareness

Complete training online through Human Resources Required Training and email certificates to Erika Hill

Additional training may be required for individuals completing specialized work such as working in a chemical laboratory. Speak with your supervisor or Health and Safety Representative Erika Hill to determine your training needs.

Hazard Communication Form

All employees must fill out a Hazard Communication Form with their supervisor. This form is the Department's communication to Occupational Health and Safety and the employee, of the known potential hazards in the workplace. The form must be completed: a) when a new employee is hired; b) when an employee is reclassified; c) when the hazards change; and d) when the position changes.

Fieldwork Safety

The Department of Geography and Environment has a Fieldwork Safety Policy which applies to all members of the department engaged in fieldwork. It is designed to assist in the prevention of work-related injuries and ensure that emergency plans are both coordinated and communicated.

The Acknowledgement and Assumption of Risk Form must be completed by all individuals participating in fieldwork. This includes class field trips, field camps, undergraduate and graduate fieldwork, and/or work study fieldwork. Completed forms are to be given to the main office staff (SSC 2322), prior to departure.

A Safety Plan must be completed by the fieldwork supervisor and participants prior to departure. More complicated and potentially hazardous fieldwork will require more extensive safety plans. Completed forms are to be given to main office staff (SSC 2322), prior to departure.

First Aid Kits and Personal Protective Equipment

First aid kits and a variety of personal protective equipment are available for loan from Erika Hill, Laboratory Manager.

International Travel

Western has established a Safety Abroad Policy to help ensure safe experiences for Western undergraduate and graduate students who travel internationally as part of a university activity. More information is available through Western International.

Vehicle Rentals

The University’s Non-Owned Auto Insurance is applicable to University employees traveling on University business. The University employee must be a licensed and qualified driver over the age of 21.

Purchasing has negotiated preferred rates with Enterprise Rent-a-Car. Prior to booking your vehicle you must register the rental with the Corporate Insurance office to be covered under the University’s Non-Owned Auto Insurance Policy. In the event of an accident, contact the University’s Insurance Office immediately at 519-661-2111 ext. 85631. The accident should also be reported to the Police, Rental Agency and, if applicable, the VISA PCard claims office.

Laboratory Safety

The Occupational Health and Safety Act states that the University, as an employer, is responsible for ensuring compliance with the Act and for taking every reasonable precaution to protect workers. The Laboratory Health and Safety Manual provides a minimum set of health and safety standards for the operation of campus laboratories. Please read through the manual and speak with your supervisor if you have any questions or concerns.

All laboratory workers must complete a Safety Checklist with Erika Hill, Laboratory Manager, prior to working in a laboratory. Your supervisor will provide you with hazard-specific training and safe operating procedures.

Safety Data Sheets

A Safety Data Sheet must be available for each hazardous material found in the lab. SDS may be stored electronically, however, it is recommended that for the highest risk/largest volume materials a hard copy of the SDS be kept on hand for immediate access.

The Safety & Well-being website can asssist you in locating the SDS you require.

Personal Protective Equipment

The Laboratory Health and Safety Manual outlines Western University’s policy on minimum personal protective equipment to be worn by all personnel in all laboratories.

Non-prescription safety glasses, goggles and forms for prescription safety eyewear may be obtained from Occupational Health and Safety in Support Services Building room 4159. These items are free for all employees (including graduate students).

Hazardous Waste Disposal

Follow proper hazardous waste disposal procedures as described online at Safety & Wellness Hazardous Waste. Contact Erika Hill, Laboratory Manager, to coordinate pickup.