WORKING ALONE OR IN ISOLATION [GP 39]

Date

March 26, 2009

Revision Date

May 19, 2022

Number

GP 39

Mandated Review

May 19, 2027

Policy Authority: Vice-President, Finance and Administration 

Associated Procedure(s): Working Alone or In Isolation Risk Assessment Procedure

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Simon Fraser University aims to provide a healthy and safe work environment for its Employees. Working alone or in isolation is an activity that has the potential to be hazardous. In compliance with provincial health and safety regulations, this policy and its procedure provide a framework and resources for identifying such circumstances, determining the risk level, and implementing appropriate protocols to ensure Employee health and safety.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1.0          PURPOSE         
2.0          SCOPE AND JURISDICTION     
3.0          DEFINITIONS     
4.0          POLICY
5.0          ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES   
6.0          REPORTING       
7.0          RELATED LEGAL, POLICY AUTHORITIES AND AGREEMENTS           
8.0          ACCESS TO INFORMATION AND PROTECTION OF PRIVACY           
9.0          RETENTION AND DISPOSAL OF RECORDS
10.0        POLICY REVIEW
11.0        POLICY AUTHORITY       
12.0        INTERPRETATION           
13.0        PROCEDURES AND OTHER ASSOCIATED DOCUMENTS  
  

1.0    PURPOSE

1.1  The purpose of this policy is to:

1.1.1  ensure that Simon Fraser University (“the University”) and its Employees comply with provincial working alone or in isolation legislative requirements.

1.1.2  provide a framework to protect the health and safety of, and minimize risk to, any Employee who works alone or in an isolated location at their place of employment.

2.0    SCOPE AND JURISDICTION

2.1  This policy applies to those locations on or away from all campuses of Simon Fraser University where Employees conduct university work activities related to research, teaching, or operational services.

2.2  This policy applies to all Employees of the University.  

3.0    DEFINITIONS

3.1  See Appendix A for the definitions of words used in this policy and its associated procedures.

4.0    POLICY

4.1  The risks and consequences associated with working alone or in isolation are a concern of the University. It is, therefore, the policy of the University to:

4.1.1  identify and assess risk to protect the health and safety of, and minimize the risk to, any Employee who works alone or in isolation;

4.1.2  develop site-specific preventative and response protocols that will address the identified risk(s), specify the types of activities that may be conducted, and any limitations on and/or prohibitions of specific activities, and establish procedures for the Employee to secure assistance; and   

4.1.3  document the site-specific preventive and response protocols, communicate to affected individuals, and monitor to ensure compliance and effectiveness.  

5.0    ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

5.1  Deans, Directors and Chairs are responsible for:

5.1.1  directing Supervisors in their areas of responsibility to develop and implement a site-specific protocol with appropriate preventive and response procedures for working alone or in isolation; and

5.1.2  monitoring to ensure the  protocol and measures are communicated, enforced and effective.

5.2  Supervisors are responsible for:

5.2.1  identifying University employees in their area of responsibility who are required to work alone or in isolation;

5.2.2  conducting a risk assessment to identify hazards and assess risk(s) and take any necessary steps to eliminate the hazard(s);

5.2.3  developing a site-specific Working Alone or in Isolation Protocol to address the risk(s);

5.2.4  training all Employees in their area of responsibility on  the site-specific Working Alone or in Isolation Protocol;

5.2.5  review, and revising as needed, the site-specific Working Alone or in Isolation Protocol  annually or more frequently when there is a change in work activities or a report that the procedures, policies or work environment arrangements, as applicable, are not working effectively; and

5.2.6  maintaining documentation of the site-specific Working Alone or in Isolation Protocol .

5.3  Employees are responsible for:

5.3.1  obtaining their Supervisor’s approval prior to working alone or in isolation;

5.3.2  complying with and participating in the development of the site-specific Working Alone or in Isolation Protocol; and

5.3.3  advising their Supervisor of arising concerns or personal factors that may increase the risk of working alone or in isolation.

5.4  Environmental Health and Safety (“EHS”) Department is responsible for:

5.4.1  providing guidance and acting as a resource, if required;

5.4.2  monitoring legislative changes and incident statistics to inform the need to review the policy; and

5.4.3  developing training and resources to assist University Employees and Supervisors to fulfill their responsibilities under this policy.

6.0    REPORTING

6.1  EHS will report annually through the EHS Due Diligence report to the Board of Governors on the implementation of this policy.

7.0    RELATED LEGAL, POLICY AUTHORITIES AND AGREEMENTS

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  University Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 468

7.1.2  Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 165

7.1.3  Workers Compensation Act, S.B.C. 2019, c.1

7.1.4  Occupational Health & Safety (“OHS”) and WorkSafe BC regulations, policies, and guidelines

7.1.5  University Health and Safety Policy (GP 17)

7.1.6  Response to Violence and Threatening Behaviour Policy (GP 25)

7.1.7  Interim University-Related International Travel Policy

7.1.8  Employee Collective Agreements and relevant human resource policies

8.0    ACCESS TO INFORMATION AND PROTECTION OF PRIVACY

8.1  The information and records made and received to administer this policy are subject to the access to information and protection of privacy provisions of British Columbia’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the University’s Information Policy series.

9.0    RETENTION AND DISPOSAL OF RECORDS

9.1  Information and records made and received to administer this policy are evidence of the University’s actions to comply with the legislative requirements for working alone or in isolation.  Information and records must be retained and disposed of in accordance with a records retention schedule approved by the University Archivist. 

10.0    POLICY REVIEW

10.1 This policy must be reviewed at least once every five years.

10.2  The procedure will be reviewed annually. 

11.0     POLICY AUTHORITY

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

12.0    INTERPRETATION

12.1  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.

13.0    PROCEDURES AND OTHER ASSOCIATED DOCUMENTS

13.1  Appendix A contains the definitions applicable to this policy and its associated procedures.

13.1.1  The procedures for this policy are: Working Alone or In Isolation Risk Assessment Procedure