University Health and Safety


April 7, 1988

Revision Date

March 21, 2019


GP 17

Version No.


Policy Authority: Vice-President, Finance and Administration

Associated Procedures: 

  • Appendix A: Informing Students of Risk
  • Appendix B: Guidance on Safety Risk from Impairment

1.0       PURPOSE

1.1       Simon Fraser University is committed to providing a healthy and safe learning, teaching, research, and work environment for all members of the university community.

1.2       This Policy aims to promote the safety of the campus community, its members and the public, and to ensure that appropriate measures are in place to provide relevant and current information and guidance to its community regarding safety.

1.3       This Policy aims to ensure that Simon Fraser University complies with applicable federal, provincial and/or municipal regulation of safety in the larger university context and more specifically in relation to workplace safety.

2.0       SCOPE

2.1       The University health and safety policy and procedures and the regulations, codes and statutes of the regulatory authorities apply to all members of the university community (including university employees, students, visitors, contractors and subcontractors).


3.1       Impairment means the modification of an individual’s physical or mental function such that the performance, judgement or behaviour of the individual is affected so that they are unable to safely and acceptably perform responsibilities and/or assigned duties.  Impairment may be caused by fatigue, use of alcohol or drugs (legal, prescription or illegal) or a medical condition;

3.2       Incident means an event or occurrence including accidents, injuries, occupational illness and hazardous material spill or release;

3.3       Near miss means a close call where there is potential for accident, injury, occupational illness and hazardous material spill or release;

3.4       Supervisor means any person who instructs, directs and controls workers in the performance of their duties.

4.0       POLICY

4.1       The safety of all members of the university community as well as visitors to campus is a major concern of the university. It is, therefore, the policy of the university to:

4.1.1    protect the safety of all faculty, staff, students and visitors against unsafe conditions, behaviours and occupational hazards;

4.1.2    formulate and carry out continuing effective safety programs appropriate to university operations, including instructional activities in off-campus settings;

4.1.3    give priority to a safe work environment in the planning, direction and implementation of university activities; and

4.1.4    comply with all relevant statuses, regulations and standards of regulatory authorities representing occupational health and safety.


5.1       Responsibilities of Deans, Directors and Chairs  

5.1.1    Deans, Directors and Chairs are responsible for:

a.         providing the management support and leadership necessary for the overall implementation and execution of the University health and safety policy within their areas of responsibility;

b.         incorporating adequate provisions for safe working practices and conditions in operational policies and procedures and in programs, projects and off-campus instructional activities; and

c.         monitoring and evaluating safety performance within their areas of responsibility and recommending measures to bring about improvement.

5.1      Responsibilities of Faculty, Instructors, Managers and Supervisors

5.1.1   Faculty, Instructors, Managers and Supervisors are responsible for:

a.        planning and executing all activities in a manner that promotes compliance with the University health and safety policy;

b.        informing students of the nature of potential risks involved if a course has an off-campus activity (see Appendix A);

c.        ensuring that individuals in their areas of assignment, whether on or off campus, have been given adequate direction, training and instruction in the safe performance of their work and that it is performed without undue risk;

d.       ensuring that work areas are inspected at regular intervals to prevent the development of unsafe conditions and practices and that inspection reports are forwarded to Environmental Health and Safety;

e.       authorizing the action necessary to correct substandard conditions or procedures;

f.        ensuring that all incidents and near misses are reported and investigated, and action is taken to prevent a recurrence; and

g.       ensuring that medical treatment is received for all injuries.

5.3      Responsibilities of Employees

5.3.1      Responsibilities Employees are responsible for:

a.      practicing safe work habits;

b.      observing all safety rules and procedures established by the regulatory authorities, the University or an individual with supervisory authority;

c.      promptly reporting hazardous or unsafe equipment, conditions, or procedures or behaviour to a supervisor; making suggestions for their correction or taking corrective action where authorized; and

d.     immediately reporting to a supervisor all work related incidents or near misses and obtaining medical treatment without delay.

5.4      Responsibilities of Environmental Health and Safety

5.4.1      Environmental Health and Safety is responsible for:

a.     developing, instituting and maintaining safety programs, policies and procedures to ensure compliance with occupational health and safety standards in conformity with both university policy and statutory requirements;

b.     reviewing and providing assistance to departments and areas to ensure that effective safety programs and safety committees are maintained;

c.     considering suggestions from the work force and recommending implementations where warranted;

d.    ensuring inspections of university facilities are conducted at appropriate intervals to identify potential hazards and determining that procedures, equipment and facilities meet accepted occupational health and safety standards;

e.    ensuring all incidents and near misses are investigated and advising WorkSafeBC of all reportable incidents; and

f.     training or arranging for training in safe work environments and procedures and the use of protective equipment.

5.5      Responsibilities of Health and Safety Committees

5.5.1      The Central University Health and Safety Committee, consisting of worker and employer representatives is responsible for:

a.     reviewing University occupational health and safety policies and programs;

b.     addressing health and safety issues with University-wide implications, including health and safety issues arising in public spaces;

c.     overseeing the implementation of Local Joint Health and Safety Committees; and

d.    reviewing operation of the Local Joint Health & Safety Committees and addressing issues that are not resolved by these committees.

5.6      Responsibilities of Local Joint Health and Safety Committees

5.6.1       Local Joint Health and Safety Committees shall be constituted in designated areas and shall be composed of worker and employer representatives from each group. These committees are responsible for:

a.     reviewing University occupational health and safety procedures, programs and policies:

b.     assisting in issues relating to health and safety, including personal safety and emergency response, within their areas;

c.     promoting the implementation of health and safety programs and monitoring them for effectiveness;

d.    reviewing arising health and safety concerns and recommending appropriate action to the area Supervisor or Manager;

e.    conducting annual workplace inspections; and

f.     participating in incident investigations and recommending corrective actions.

5.7      Responsibilities of Research Safety Committees

5.7.1       Research Safety Committees shall be composed of representatives of groups requiring special safety consideration (e.g. radiation and radioisotope safety, biological hazards). These committees address specific regulatory requirements that must be met to engage in research activity.

6.0       REPORTING

6.1       Senior Director, Environmental Health and Safety

6.1.1    The Senior Director, Environmental Health and Safety will provide an annual update to the SFU Board of Governors, through the Chief Safety Officer each June on activities undertaken to demonstrate due diligence and compliance and to highlight SFU’s safety performance over the previous calendar year.

6.2       Health and Safety Committees

6.2.1    The Local Joint Health and Safety Committees make recommendations for corrective action to the supervisor or manager responsible for the area where the hazard or deficiency was identified.

6.2.2    The Central University Health & Safety Committee reports to the Chief Safety Officer.

6.2.3    The Research Safety Committees report to the Vice President, Research and International.


7.1       The legal and other University policy authorities and agreements that may bear on the administration of this policy and may be consulted as needed include but are not limited to:

7.1.1    Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act;

7.1.2    Student Conduct Policy (S. 10.05 Non-Academic);

7.1.3    Employee Collective Agreements and relevant human resource policies;

7.1.4    The University’s Information Policy Series which includes:

a.         Access to Information and Protection of Privacy (I 10.04); and

b.         Collection of Personal Information (I 10.05).

8.0       AUTHORITY

8.1       This policy is administered under the authority of the Vice-President, Finance and Administration.


9.1       This policy is subject to review at least once every three years.


10.1     Questions of interpretation or application of this policy or its procedures shall be referred to the Vice-President, Finance and Administration whose decision shall be final.


11.1     Appendix A: Informing Students of Risk.

11.2     Appendix B: Guidance on Safety Risk from Impairment.