Environment, Health & Safety
We work collaboratively with University of Calgary clients and stakeholders to promote environment, health and safety strategies and systems. We foster a safe environment through the provision of our services.
Health and safety during COVID-19
As we work to maintain critical functions at the University with many fewer staff on campus, there may be elevated general health and safety risk for a few reasons:
- With so much focus on the hazard of COVID-19 our attention may be taken away from other hazards that our workers are exposed to every day that also need to be controlled.
- With potential staff availability issues and the need to maintain critical functions, we may have staff backfilling roles and doing tasks that are not part of their normal jobs.
- We will likely have more workers working alone than usual.
- Staff may be working longer hours than normal to maintain critical functions, leading to increased potential for worker fatigue.
For these reasons it is extremely important that our occupational health and safety management system be followed to address potentially elevated health and safety risk. For staff that remain on campus to carry out critical functions we ask:
- Where workers are doing work that is not part of their normal job, they should be familiarized with the Hazard Assessment and Control Form (HACF) for the new tasks/role that they are taking on. Supervisors should ensure that workers understand all of the identified hazards and required controls that are on the form and that the controls are implemented (eg. training taken as required). A worker doing a task that is new to them should be supervised by a person experienced at that task until that worker is assessed to be competent at performing the new task.
- If there are new tasks or non-routine tasks being carried out by anyone as part of the COVID-19 response and business continuity activities and those tasks are not included on a HACF, then a separate hazard assessment for those tasks should be completed using the Field Level Hazard Assessment Form (FLHA). Contact your EHS Department consultant for any required assistance in completing the form.
- When workers are working alone on any of our campuses they should follow the Working Alone Registration Instructions which includes completion of a Working Alone Registration Form. Lab personnel must follow their Lab After Hours Operations Policy, retained in their lab Safety manual, where applicable.
- If plans to maintain critical functions include workers working longer hours than normal please be mindful of the hazard of worker fatigue, particularly for safety-sensitive positions. Article 18 and FXT18 of the Collective Agreement between the University and the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, Local 52 establishes requirements for hours of work and rest periods.
- Regarding mental health, it’s normal for people to feel anxious as their sense of control decreases—anxiety is a normal reaction to this abnormal situation. This can show up as changes to typical behavior and performance. Leaders should talk openly and regularly with their team and, when required, offer to help connect their workers to mental health resources described at https://www.ucalgary.ca/risk/staff-wellness/wellbeing-worklife/mental-health.
Please contact EHS at 403 220-6345 (email@example.com ) or Staff Wellness at 403 220-2918 (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions or require assistance. Let’s not take our eye off the ball when it comes to all aspects of health and safety management through the application of our occupational health and safety management system during these difficult times.
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