Volume 12, Number 9 January 7, 2005

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U of S adopts 'working alone' measures

After a couple of years of development, the U of S has now taken steps to increase the safety of campus employees who often or occasionally work alone.

In mid-2004 the Board of Governors passed a new policy on working alone, complying with the Saskatchewan Occupational Health & Safety Act.

And U of S Community Safety Manager Janice Lavoie says the Department of Health, Safety & Environment (DHSE) has developed procedures to help supervisors across campus to carry out the policy and promote safety.

The University has a number of people who work alone at times – sessional lecturers who drive to other cities to teach classes, farm workers, Food Services workers on an early shift, lab researchers checking on an experiment at 3:00 a.m., or some caretakers.

Lavoie notes the policy and procedures state that supervisors are responsible to review who in their area might work alone, assess risks, develop the unit’s Working Alone Policy, ensure those working alone have communications devices like a phone, and ensure all employees in the unit are aware of the policy.

The new procedures strongly recommend that handling hazardous materials or performing hazardous activities be prohibited when working alone.

“We want to make sure that we’ve assessed people’s job duties and ensured their safety as much as possible,” Lavoie says.

For more information, contact communications.office@usask.ca

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