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Civil Engineering

Health and Safety Management at Queen's

1.1 Policy Statement on Health and Safety

Queen's University is committed to the prevention of illness and injury through the provision and maintenance of a healthy and safe campus. The University endeavours to meet its responsibilities for the health and safety of the members of its community by complying with relevant health and safety standards and legislative requirements, and by assigning general and specific responsibilities for workplace health and safety.

The University takes all reasonable steps to acquaint its employees with their rights and duties in the workplace and applicable regulations and procedures for protecting their health and safety. Where appropriate, the University establishes policies and programs to assist in maintaining safe conditions and work practices and facilitating employee participation in health and safety activities, including health and safety committees.

All individuals shall protect their own health and safety by complying with prevailing regulations and standards and with safe practices and procedures established by the University. Employees must report any health hazards and unsafe conditions or practices to supervisory staff for corrective action.

It is a primary duty of all faculty and staff who are supervisors, as defined under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, to ensure that any persons under their direction are made aware of and comply with all applicable health and safety policies and procedures. They are responsible for ensuring that all aspects of the workplace, including teaching and research sites, are safe and that any risks, hazards, and safety violations drawn to their attention are investigated and corrected promptly.

This policy statement was approved by the Board of Trustees at its regular meeting held on May 2, 2014.

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1.2 Policy Statement on Environmental Management

Queen's University is committed to the protection of the environment through the implementation of an effective environmental management program. At a minimum, the University will comply with all applicable environmental legislation and will make every reasonable effort to exceed its formal obligations for protecting the environment, out of a sense of responsibility for the safety of the environment as a shared resource. Members of the University community shall be aware of the manner in which their activities must be conducted in order to have the least possible impact on the environment.

All departments and persons utilizing University premises shall comply with, and if reasonably possible, exceed all environmental statutes and regulations as well as Ministry of Environment policies and guidelines and internal University policies and procedures. Furthermore, it is the duty of all employees or students who are defined as a person responsible under the Environmental Protection Act to ensure that any person under their direction are made aware of and comply with all applicable environmental statutes and legislation. They shall be responsible for ensuring that all aspects of Queen's premises, including teaching and research sites, pose minimal environmental impact and that any environmental risks and/or hazards are investigated and corrected promptly.

The University shall take all reasonable steps to acquaint its employees with their duties and obligations to prevent, contain and clean up the release of pollutants generated at Queen's or as the result of Queen's activities and with the applicable regulations and procedures for protecting the environment. Where appropriate, the University shall establish special procedures and programs to assist in preventing releases of pollutants, the containment of pollutants, cleaning up spills, recycling materials and reusing them. The University shall facilitate and encourage participation in activities to protect and preserve the environment.

This policy statement was approved by the Board of Trustees at its regular meeting held on May 2, 2014.

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1.3 Occupational Health and Safety Act

The Occupational Health and Safety Act came into effect in Ontario in 1979. The purpose of this Act is to protect workers from health and safety hazards on the job. Both workers and supervisors have responsibilities under the terms of the Act.

Supervisors and their duties

Definition of a Supervisor:

A "supervisor" is defined in the Act as a person who has charge of a workplace or authority over a worker. A supervisor: is qualified because of knowledge, training, and experience to organize work and its performance, is familiar with the Act and the regulations that apply to the work, and has knowledge of any potential or actual danger to health or safety in the workplace.

A worker is an employee of the supervisor or their institution or firm. A professor who directs the research of a graduate student, postdoctoral fellow or other research associate is the direct supervisor of that individual if that individual is paid a salary for the research. A graduate student, postdoctoral fellow, or other research associate who does not receive a salary, being supported through other funds, is considered to be under the supervision of the professor who directs the individual's research.

Duties of a Supervisor:

(1) A supervisor shall ensure that a worker,

  • works in a manner and with the protective devices, measures and procedures required by this Act and the regulations; and
  • uses or wears the equipment, protective devices or clothing that their employer requires to be used or worn

(2) Without limiting the duty imposed by subsection (1), a supervisor shall

  • advise a worker of the existence of any potential or actual danger to the health or safety of the worker of which the supervisor is aware;
  • where so prescribed, provide a worker with written instructions as to the measures and procedures to be taken for protection of the worker; and
  • take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker.

A supervisor also has special responsibilities in dealing with accidents involving personal injury or death; see REPORTING OF ACCIDENTS.

Workers and their duties

Definition of a Worker:

A "worker" means a person who performs work or supplies services for monetary compensation, which includes faculty, staff, teaching assistants, lab demonstrators, post-doctoral fellows, research associates, technicians, technologists, graduate students but NOT undergraduate students taking courses or visitors to the Department.

Duties of a Worker:

(1) A worker shall,

  • work in compliance with provisions of this Act and the regulations,
  • use or wear the equipment, protective devices or clothing that their employer requires to be used or worn;
  • report to their employer or supervisor the absence of or defect in any equipment or protective device of which they are aware and which may endanger themselves or another worker; and
  • report to their employer or supervisor any contravention of this Act or the regulations or the existence of any hazard of which they know.

(2) No worker shall,

  • remove or make ineffective any protective device required by the regulations or by their employer, without providing an adequate temporary protective device and when the need for removing or making ineffective the protective device has ceased, the protective device shall be replaced immediately;
  • use or operate any equipment, machine, device or thing or work in a manner that may endanger himself/herself or any other worker; or
  • engage in any prank, contest, feat of strength, unnecessary running or rough or boisterous conduct.

Right to Refuse or to Stop Work Where Health or Safety are in Danger:

(1) A worker may refuse to work or do particular work where he or she has reason to believe that,

  • any equipment, machine, device, or thing the worker is to use or operate is likely to endanger himself, herself or another worker;
  • the physical condition of the workplace or the part thereof in which he or she works or is to work is likely to endanger himself, or herself; or
  • any equipment, machine, device or thing he or she is to use or operate or the physical condition of the workplace or the part thereof in which he or she works or is to work is in contravention of this Act or the regulations and such contravention is likely to endanger himself, herself or another worker.

(2) Upon refusing to work or do particular work, the worker shall promptly report the circumstances of the refusal to the worker's employer or supervisor who shall forthwith investigate the report in the presence of the worker and, if there is such, in the presence of one of;

  • a committee member who represents workers, if any;
  • a health and safety representative, if any; or
  • a worker who because of knowledge, experience and training is selected by a trade union that represents the worker, or if there is no trade union, is selected by the workers to represent them, who shall be made available and who shall attend without delay.

Students

Undergraduate students taking courses and unpaid graduate students are not employees (workers) under the Act. It is however the policy of the Department of Civil Engineering that the instructors in under graduate courses and research directors of graduate students shall act as the direct supervisors of these students, and shall assume the same responsibilities towards the students doing laboratory work under their direction as if the students where employees, AND the students shall act as workers and follow the duties of a worker.

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1.4 Safety Officer Duties and Responsibility

  • Main communication link between their department and EH & S
  • Inspect the work place
  • Circulate material received from EH & S
  • Respond to reports of unsafe conditions
  • Ensure deficiencies are corrected
  • Ensure that the JH & S committee member is informed, if needed, to investigate accidents, unsafe conditions or work refusals
  • Accompany staff from EH & S during their site visits
  • Accompany inspectors from outside agencies
  • Keep Department Head informed of all issues
  • Workers Compensation Accident Information - forward to EH & S
  • Ensure staff in the department receive the needed information with respect to:
    • Fire Safety
    • Chemical Safety
    • Mandatory Training
    • Biohazard Safety
    • Radiation Safety

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1.5 Department Head Duties and Responsibilities

  • Advise staff of existence of any potential hazards to the health and safety of a worker
  • Provide staff in their department with proper training and written instructions on proper safety procedures
  • Ensure use of the appropriate personal protective equipment
  • Ensure staff work in accordance with the set rules, policies and procedures
  • Introduction and maintenance of systems and measures to identify, monitor and control risks
  • Maintain appropriate records to demonstrate compliance with required regulations
  • Provide proper supervision of all staff and students

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1.6 Safety Officers

DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH AND SAFETY

  • Dr. Dan Langham: Director, ext.74980

DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL ENGINEERING

  • Lloyd Rhymer, ext. 32123
  • Kent Novakowski ext. 36417

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