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

Campus Emergency Phone Numbers

  • Police/Fire/Ambulance from campus phone: 911
  • Police/Fire/Ambulance from cell phone: 519-661-3300 (Directs through University Police Dispatch)
  • Facilities Management 519-661-3304 or extension 83304

Emergency Equipment

  • First Aid Kit: Warntz Lounge, SSC 2411
  • First Aid Representative: Erika Hill, SSC 2212, x80578
  • Chemical Spill Kit: Outside SSC 1302 and SSC 3318
  • 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 for All Roles

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 using OWL:

  • Supervisor OR Worker Health and Safety Awareness Training
  • Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)
  • Safe Campus Community: Preventing Harassment, Violence and Domestic Violence
  • Accessibility in Service OR Teaching

Complete training online through Human Resources Required Training

Required Training Based on Work/Study Area

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. Register online through Human Resources Required Training

Hazard Communication Form

All employees must fill out a Position 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 (343Y), 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 Supervisor (SSC 2212).

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.

Prior to booking your vehicle rental it is important to register the rental with the Corporate Insurance office for the vehicle to be covered under the University’s Non-Owned Auto Insurance Policy

The Western Purchasing Department has negotiated preferred rates with local rental companies. For more details contact the rental agency or visit Financial Services Travel and see Vehicle Rental.

In the event of an accident/incident with a rental vehicle, the University’s Corporate Insurance Office, Police and Rental Agency should be advised immediately.

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.

Laboratory Safety

Laboratory Health and Safety Manual

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.

Safety Checklist for New Laboratory Workers

All laboratory workers must complete a Safety Checklist with Erika Hill, Laboratory Supervisor, prior to working in a laboratory.

Material Safety Data Sheets

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

The Occupational Health and Safety website can asssist you in locating the MSDS 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 Supervisor, to coordinate pickup.