Responsibilities, Policy, and Legislation


University of Calgary Occupational Health and Safety Policy

The university's Occupational Health and Safety Policy outlines the university's commitment to:

  • provide, promote, and maintain a safe work environment
  • establish and maintain an Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS) that meets or exceeds applicable standards established by the Partnerships in Injury Reduction Program (or any successor or replacement program) and all applicable laws
  • incorporate occupational health and safety considerations into daily job duties and business decisions as appropriate
  • require individuals, corporations, and other entities subject to this policy to cooperate in the success of the OHSMS by complying with the OHS Act, Regulation, Code, all other applicable laws, this policy, and all components of the OHSMS.

Legislation governing health and safety in Alberta’s workplaces, including the University of Calgary, fall under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Regulation, and Code.

OHSMS Department Manual

The university’s Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS) is the framework for providing, promoting, and maintaining a safe work environment at the University of Calgary and meets standards established by the Alberta Government’s Partnerships in Injury Reduction Program

The purpose of the OHSMS Department Manual is to aid departments in:

  • understanding and communicating the responsibilities and requirements set forth in the university's OHSMS
  • understanding the types of health and safety documentation and records required to be retained
  • centralizing health and safety related documentation and records
  • ensuring that health and safety related documentation and records are readily available for regulatory compliance and audit purposes
  • tracking implementation and demonstrate compliance with the university's OHSMS
  • preparing for Certificate of Recognition (COR) audits.

OHSMS Manuals have been distributed to departmental OHS Coordinators. Contact ucsafety@ucalgary.ca to request a manual/binder.


All employees at the University of Calgary have a shared responsibility for maintaining a safe and healthy work environment. As a part of the university’s Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS), the following responsibilities for health and safety have been defined for employees, supervisors, and managers at the University of Calgary. See the occupational health and safety responsibilities for all university employees (Revised: May 12, 2015).

  1. Supervisors and Managers

    Understand and comply with the university’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) policy.

    Understand and comply with applicable health and safety laws, including the Alberta Occupational Health Safety Act Part 1 “Obligations of employers, workers, etc.”

    Know and understand your health and safety responsibilities.

    Provide regular and ongoing feedback to your direct reports regarding their health and safety performance.

    At least twice annually, informally tour work sites of your direct reports and reinforce health and safety practices and the university's commitment to health and safety.

    Provide your direct reports with resources such as training materials, equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE), etc. as reasonable to ensure that work can be performed safely.

    Understand and comply with the Contractor Accountability Safety Program (CASP) and Visitor Health and Safety Standard.

  2. Employees

    Understand and comply with the university’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) policy.

    Understand and comply with applicable health and safety laws, including the Alberta Occupational Health Safety Act Part 1 “Obligations of employers, workers, etc.”

    Know and understand your health and safety responsibilities.

    Understand and comply with the Contractor Accountability Safety Program (CASP) and Visitor Health and Safety Standard.

  1. Supervisors and Managers

    Complete Hazard Assessment Training.

    Complete Hazard Assessment and Control Forms (HACF) for, and discuss with, your direct reports. Involve affected employees when completing HACF. Updates are required at reasonably practicable intervals, after an incident or when changes to operations / equipment are implemented.

    Read and review the HACF for your job description and provide feedback to your supervisor/manager. Participate in completing HACF when requested.

    Provide, implement, and enforce the use of controls for hazards identified in HACF.

    Use hazard controls identified in HACF, including engineering controls, administrative controls and personal protective equipment.

    Complete training in the use, care, maintenance, and limitations of required personal protective equipment identified in the HACF.

    Implement or participate in a preventive maintenance program and process to maintain equipment and ensure defective equipment is not used.

  2. Employees

    Complete Hazard Assessment Training.

    Read and review the HACF for your job description and provide feedback to your supervisor/manager. Participate in completing HACF when requested.

    Use hazard controls identified in HACF, including engineering controls, administrative controls and personal protective equipment.

    Complete training in the use, care, maintenance, and limitations of required personal protective equipment identified in the HACF.

  1. Supervisors and Managers

    Complete laboratory and/or workshop self-inspection training (if applicable).

    Conduct annual laboratory and/or workshop self-inspections (if applicable).

    Conduct faculty/unit specific inspections (if applicable).

    Correct deficiencies identified during laboratory, workshop and/or faculty/unit specific self-inspections.

    Share inspections results and the corrective actions taken to address inspection deficiencies with affected employees in the laboratory, workshop, and/or faculty/unit.

    Report unsafe or unhealthy conditions/practices.

  2. Employees

    Complete laboratory and/or workshop self-inspection training (if applicable).

    Conduct annual laboratory and/or workshop self-inspections (if applicable).

    Conduct faculty/unit specific inspections (if applicable).

    Report unsafe or unhealthy conditions/practices.

  1. Supervisors and Managers

    Review qualifications and training as part of the hiring process to ensure work activities can be performed safely.

    Complete site-specific health and safety orientation checklists with direct reports to address critical health and safety issues before they start their normal job responsibilities.

    Complete the university’s health and safety orientation within the first week of employment.

    Provide job specific and ongoing training to direct reports as identified in Hazard Assessment and Control Forms (HACF).

    Complete all job-specific training as identified in HACF including ongoing training such as re-certification.

  2. Employees

    Complete the university’s health and safety orientation within the first week of employment.

    Complete all job-specific training as identified in HACF including ongoing training such as re-certification.

  1. Supervisors and Managers

    Complete and review departmental emergency response plans (ERP). This is applicable only to those individuals with identified responsibilities for ERPs.

    Understand and comply with university emergency instructions and emergency response procedures specific to your work area. 

    Participate in emergency response training and drills.

    Confirm that the appropriate number of trained first aiders and first aid supplies are available for your area and that certification is current.

    Identify and communicate to your direct reports where to find first aid kits/supplies and identify who is trained in first aid.

  2. Employees

    Understand and comply with university emergency instructions and emergency response procedures specific to your work area. 

    Participate in emergency response training and drills.

  1. Supervisors and Managers

    Report all work-related accidents, incidents, and occupational illnesses to your Supervisor/Manager and in the Online Accident Reporting System (OARS) and, if necessary, to the Worker's Compensation Board (WCB).

    Conduct and close incident investigations as reported in the Online Accident Reporting System (OARS) and include employees in incident investigations.

    Complete incident investigation training.

    Focus incident investigations on identifying root causes and corrective actions.

    Implement corrective actions identified in incident investigations.

    Communicate findings of incident investigations to applicable employees.

  2. Employees

    Report all work-related accidents, incidents, and occupational illnesses to your Supervisor/Manager and in the Online Accident Reporting System (OARS) and, if necessary, to the Worker's Compensation Board (WCB).

  1. Supervisors and Managers

    Incorporate health and safety as a regular agenda item at faculty/ departmental/unit meetings, document and retain meeting minutes.

    Retain all health and safety records for a minimum of three years and ensure they are readily available for regulatory compliance and audit purposes.

  2. Employees

    N/A


OHSMS Fillable Worksheets


Worksite Tours by Supervisors and Managers

For a health and safety management system to be effective, it is essential that management at all levels demonstrate their support of the health and safety program. One way for managers to demonstrate due diligence in their commitment and support is by participating in worksite tours.

At the university, managers and supervisors are responsible to informally tour the work sites of their direct reports at least twice annually to reinforce health and safety practices and the university's commitment to health and safety.

These tours provide opportunities to: reinforce safe work practices, enable and engage in communication of health and safety concerns with employees, promote safety awareness in the workplace, observe and identify ongoing safety initiatives, improvements and opportunities, demonstrate leadership commitment.

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Hazard Assessment and Control Forms (HACF) by Job Description

HACFs are required for all job descriptions, laboratories, and workshops as outlined in the university's Hazard Assessment and Control Procedure. All job descriptions (positions) must be tied to a HACF – however, one HACF may be completed for a number of job positions with similar tasks.

HACFs must be reviewed and updated at reasonably practicable intervals to prevent the development of unsafe and unhealthy working conditions, post-incident, or when changes to operations are implemented (i.e. new equipment or a process in introduced to the work are).

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Incident Reports in OARS

All work-related accidents, incidents, and occupational illnesses are to be reported to your supervisor or manager, as well as the University of Calgary's Online Accident Reporting System (OARS). Use the table provided to track incidents reported in OARS and confirmation that incident investigation findings and corrective actions were completed and communicated to employees.

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OHSMS Department Manual Checklist

The OHSMS Department Manual Checklist is an informational job aid outlining all documentation(s) required to be included within each faculty/department/unit OHSMS Manual. Refer to the checklist regarding documentation/records which may be kept separate from the OHSMS Manual. These must be available for auditors to view.

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First Aid

The Alberta Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Code requires employers to provide first aid and have designated first aiders at work sites. Supervisors and managers are required to confirm that the appropriate number of trained first aiders and first aid supplies are available for their area and that certification is current.

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OHS Legislation

Relevant current health and safety legislation is required to be readily available. Use the table provided within the worksheet to indicate the legislation applicable to the department and locations where it is available to employees.

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New Hires

The Occupational Health and Safety Orientation (OHS) must be completed within the first week of employment for new hires. Use the table provided in the worksheet to track orientation and training for new hires.

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OHSMS Coordinator Guidance Manual

The OHSMS Coordinator Guidance Manual is intended to assist departmental OHSMS Coordinators in understanding the requirements and in being successful in maintaining their OHSMS Department manual.

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Departmental OHS Objectives/Action Plan

Departments are encouraged to identify objectives and action which will promote health and safety in the department and facilitate implementation of the OHSMS.

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