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  • Approval Dates:  October 1992, September 2003, November 2011
  • Approved by:  Board of Governors
  • Jurisdiction:  Vice President, Administration and Finance, Integrated Risk Management (IRM)

Introduction

This document describes the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Management System to be implemented at Ryerson University.  An Environmental Health and Safety System is comprehensive; covering all functions, positions and activities, and is workplace-specific. 

It consists of:

1.       an EHS Policy statement that provides the overarching norm that the EHS System is designed to promote;

2.       a set of prescriptive principles that further develop the meaning and intent of the EHS Policy statement;

3.       organizational statements that outline the distribution of authority, responsibility and accountability for EHS throughout the organization; and

4.       an interlocking set of EHS programs, where each program is associated with a set of EHS concerns and details the responsibilities, procedures, standards and so forth that address those EHS concerns.

The EHS management system is incorporated within the University’s EHS risk management strategy and is designed to facilitate due diligence under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act and Ryerson’s commitment to a duty of care for the learning environment. 

The system establishes the means by which each member of the Ryerson community can achieve their personal legal responsibilities within the statutory duties of the internal responsibility system and obligations inherent in their relationship with Ryerson.

Definitions

Civility: Civility involves treating others with dignity and respect, and acting with regard to other's feelings.

Disrespect must not be confused with legitimate comment and/or advice from managers and supervisors on the work performance or work-related behaviour of an individual or group. Feedback on work performance or work-related behaviour differs from incivility or harassment in that feedback is intended to assist employees to improve work performance or the standard of their behaviour.

Civility requires that even the most critical feedback be delivered respectfully, privately, and courteously.

Due Diligence: taking all steps that are reasonable in the circumstances to avoid harm.

Harassment: a course of unwanted remarks, behaviours, or communications in any form, where the person responsible for the remarks, behaviours or communications knows or ought reasonably to know that these are unwelcome.

Hazard: a dangerous object, event, behaviour or condition which can interrupt or interfere with the expected orderly progress of an activity. The Ontario OHS Act recognizes that persons’ behaviors can constitute a workplace hazard where such behaviors are likely to expose a worker to physical injury.

Internal Responsibility System: the philosophical approach to health and safety, which underlies the Ontario OHS Act, whereby responsibility for health and safety is shared by all parties in the workplace.

Officer: the following persons are officers of Ryerson:  The President, Provost and Vice Presidents and the Secretary to the Board.

Program: an integrated set of responsibilities, measures and procedures, standards and major activities required to accomplish objectives and fulfill principles under a system.

Remuneration: financial compensation or acknowledgement of any form including bursaries, stipends or salary for work or activity performed on behalf of the University.

Safe:  a condition where risks are as low as reasonably practicable, with no significant residual risk.

Supervisor: a person who has charge of an area or activity involving a worker, or authority over a worker.

System:  an organized or complex whole, whereby the parts (programs and principles) perform in an integrated manner so as to affect the overall purpose of the system (the Policy Statement).

Worker:  a person who performs work, or supplies services for monetary compensation and includes an employee of Ryerson, and students or other individuals receiving any remuneration from Ryerson.

Workplace:  any land, premises, location or thing at, upon, in or near which a worker works.

Workplace Violence:  the exercise of physical force by a person against a worker, in a workplace, that causes or could cause physical injury to the worker, an attempt to exercise physical force against a worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker or a statement or behaviour that it is reasonable for a worker to interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against the worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker.

Note: force applied that is authorized by law, is not considered workplace violence.

Purpose

The purpose of the EHS Management System Policy is:

1.       to affect compliance with the legal duty on employers (Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) s.25(2) (j) to develop a written health and safety policy and implement supporting programs;

2.       in addition, the described EHS System, insofar as it is implemented and maintained current, is the means by which the Board of Governors and the senior officers of Ryerson may comply with their personal legal duties (OHSA s.32) to ensure that Ryerson complies with the OHSA and regulations; and demonstrate their commitment to a duty of care for the learning environment; and

3.       by formalizing and clarifying the health and safety responsibilities of each individual in the Ryerson community; and detailing specific prudent actions within the system, our individual efforts and shared accountability for due diligence should result in the reduction of injury and illness at Ryerson and the promotion of individual health and well-being.

Scope

This policy applies, but is not limited to, the Board of Governors, the President, Provost and Vice President, vice presidents, vice provosts, deans and senior directors, chairs, academic directors and managers, principal investigators, research personnel (post doctoral fellows, research associates and research assistants), managers and supervisors, faculty, staff and students. 

The University community is made up of students, staff, faculty, instructors, scholars, researchers and a variety of visitors and guests, including, but not limited to, visiting professors and scholars, adjunct professors, guest lecturers and volunteers who are conducting work or activity on behalf of the University.

While the OHS Act is primarily focused on rights and responsibilities of the employer and employees, the University expressly promotes the health, safety and security of all members of its community through internal policy and measures.

Policy Statement

The University recognizes that, integral to the attainment of its mandate, is the assurance of a healthy and safe work, learning, research, teaching, living and recreational environment and a community culture of civility in the workplace.

In achieving this commitment, the University shall do everything reasonably practicable by ensuring that measures are in place to support the internal responsibility system, whereby every member of the community shares responsibility for health and safety, security, harassment prevention and preservation of a civil and respectful environment.

The University will enable this shared responsibility by integrating EHS due diligence into all planning and decision-making processes, establishing management policies, programs, procedures and practices to identify and address health and safety risks. This includes risks of workplace violence and providing support to our community members who must take appropriate actions for the prevention of illness and injury and response to accidents, incidents, near misses and concerns.

It is recognized that the University has other policies and agreements in place that pertain to health and safety, including, but not limited to the,

  • Student Code of Non Academic Conduct,
  • Discrimination and Harassment Prevention policy,
  • Workplace Civility and Respect Policy,
  • Safe and Secure Campus policy;
  • Collective Agreements,
  • Evacuation of University Buildings in the Event of Fire or Other Emergency,
  • Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), and
  • Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, Illness and Disability Management System.

This policy provides a health and safety management system framework for such policies and related prevention programs.  These programs integrate relevant provisions of other University policies, under the authority of the OHS Act and the Employers internal responsibility system.

Statements of Principle

The following statements of principle are to guide the implementation of the Policy Statement:

1.       The underlying philosophy of Ryerson’s Environmental Health and Safety Management System is that of “internal responsibility”, wherein health and safety hazards can best be dealt within the University itself through communication and cooperation; that is, the responsibility for risk management is shared by the entire Ryerson community.

2.       Every individual at Ryerson has the right to work and conduct research, teach, live and participate in recreational activities in a healthy and safe environment, where hazards are identified and managed, including violence and harassment. In turn, is expected that individuals be actively involved in integrating EHS risk management into all their activities.

3.       It is recognized that there is a continuum where harassment or incivility can lead to violence if not dealt with appropriately. Therefore, addressing incidents of harassment or incivility in a timely manner is an important preventative measure to reduce incidents of workplace violence.

4.       The achievement of due diligence will be encouraged by the provision of an adequate infrastructure, assurance of core competencies, integration of a comprehensive and adaptable EHS risk management system into all administrative and academic activities and implementation of an EHS system performance audit program.

5.       The Environmental Health and Safety Management System will be audited through evaluation of the constituent programs of the EHS System, and through evaluation of the performance of each party in the workplace who has specific responsibilities under the EHS System.

6.       The EHS Management System will be coordinated with Ryerson’s policies and programs regarding the health, safety and security of students, visitors and others who are present at Ryerson but who are not workers within the meaning of health and safety legislation.

7.       Ryerson will develop, implement and maintain current, an Environmental Health and Safety Management System, consisting of specific EHS policies, programs, and guidelines which will fulfill Ryerson’s EHS Management System Policy statement.

Roles and Responsibilities

The following statements outline the distribution of authority, responsibility and accountability for EHS throughout the Ryerson community. These arrangements constitute the legal internal responsibility system and supporting resources.

These measures are the means by which due diligence of the employer, its workers and supervisors, as prescribed under the OHS Act can be demonstrated.

Further, they constitute the University’s expressed expectations of all members of the Ryerson community.

Governors and the Officers of Ryerson

Every Governor and every Officer of Ryerson shall take all reasonable care to ensure that Ryerson complies with EHS legislation, as well as the orders and requirements of Ministry of Labour personnel in their administration of the EHS legislation.

Ryerson Board of Governors

The Board is responsible for ensuring that:

1.       an EHS management system and supporting programs are established and are comprehensive, adaptable and adequately resourced;

2.       systems are in place to ensure the competency and viability of the internal responsibility system;

3.       due diligence is demonstrated through documentation and audit; and

4.       the subject of the development, implementation, maintenance and effectiveness of the Environmental Health and Safety Management System appears annually on the agenda of the Board’s review of the University’s operations.

President

The President is responsible to the Board for directing the health and safety activities of the University and for ensuring that:

1.       an Environmental Health and Safety risk management strategy for the University is developed and implemented;

2.       health and safety risk management is integrated into all strategic planning processes of the University;

3.       the annual performance review of those persons reporting to the President includes measurement of the performance of applicable responsibilities under the Environmental Health and Safety Management System; and

4.       the subject of the development, implementation, maintenance and effectiveness of the Environmental Health and Safety Management System appears annually on the agenda of the President’s review of the University’s operations.

Provost and Vice Presidents

The Provost and Vice Presidents are responsible to the President for directing the health and safety activities of the University and for ensuring that:

1.       an Environmental Health and Safety Management System is developed, implemented and maintained current for the University;

2.       a Joint HS Committee is established;

3.       the portfolios of University Chemical Safety Officer, Radiation Safety Officer and Bio-safety Officer are appointed;

4.       the annual performance review of those persons reporting to the Provost and Vice Presidents includes measurement of the performance of applicable responsibilities under the Environmental Health and Safety Management System; and

5.       the subject of the development, implementation, maintenance and effectiveness of the Environmental Health and Safety Management System appears semi-annually on the agenda of the Provost and Vice Presidents’ review of the University’s operation.

Vice President, Administration and Finance

The Vice President, Administration and Finance is responsible to the President for coordinating the University’s activities regarding the development and implementation of the University’s EHS risk management strategy and system and for assuring the competency and performance of the internal responsibility system.

Director, Integrated Risk Management (IRM)

The Director, Department of Integrated Risk Management (IRM), is responsible to the Vice President, Administration and Finance, for developing the University’s risk management strategy, system and programs and for directing the University’s activities relating to EHS due diligence.

Deans, Senior Directors, Registrar, and Chief Librarian

The deans, senior directors, the registrar and the chief librarian are responsible to their respective Vice President, for ensuring that:

1.       EHS risk management is integrated into all aspects of planning and decision-making within their respective faculties and departments;

2.       the EHS policies and programs applicable to their faculties and departments are developed, implemented, evaluated, maintained current and are adequately resourced;

3.       the internal responsibility system within their areas is competent and its performance is evaluated;

4.       the annual performance review of those persons reporting to the deans, senior directors, registrar and chief librarian includes measurement of the performance of applicable responsibilities under the Environmental Health and Safety Management System; and

5.       the subject of the development, implementation, maintenance and effectiveness of the applicable EHS programs appears annually on the agenda of their review of operations.

Chairs, Academic Directors and Managers

Each chair, academic director and manger is responsible to their respective dean or senior director for ensuring that:

1.       the EHS policies, programs and practices set out in the Environmental Health and Safety Management System are implemented and maintained within the department where applicable;

2.       EHS risk management is integrated into all aspects of planning and decision-making within their respective areas;

3.       risk assessments are performed for all activities which have actual or potential hazards, including those associated with undergraduate, graduate and research programs and projects conducted at Ryerson and within locations outside of Ryerson;

4.       EHS procedures and practices are developed, implemented and maintained current to manage the EHS risk specific to the activities occurring within their respective areas;

5.       the competency and performance of the internal responsibility system within their areas, as outlined in guidelines established by the Department of Environmental Health & Safety and Security, is achieved and maintained;

6.       adequate supervision, training, written instructions, and information is provided to all individuals working and learning within their areas to manage EHS risk and demonstrate due diligence;

7.       annual EHS management system performance reviews are conducted.  These include examining accident profiles, workplace inspection findings, health and safety concerns, training activities and other factors to assist in determining EHS performance and planning priorities;

8.       a Departmental Safety Officer is appointed to assist them in fulfilling the requirements of the Environmental Health and Safety Management System; and

9.       where necessary, a Departmental Safety Committee is formed to assist them in fulfilling the requirements of the Environmental Health and Safety Management System.

Supervising Faculty and Staff

Any faculty or staff member having charge over an area or activity, or with any degree of authority over an individual receiving any form of remuneration, is responsible to their respective chair, academic director or manager for ensuring that:

1.       the hazards associated with the area or activity have been identified and the necessary risk control and emergency response measures are identified, documented, communicated and implemented;

2.       all individuals under their supervision have been informed of hazards and instructed on the necessary risk control and emergency response measures, including hazards posed by individuals with a history of violent behavior when the risk of workplace violence posed by such behaviors is likely to expose a worker to physical injury;

3.       the applicable University and departmental EHS policies, programs, procedures and practices associated with the area and activity under their supervision are communicated and implemented;

4.       workplace inspections, monitoring and accident reporting and investigation are routinely conducted to ensure the integrity of risk control and emergency response measures; and

5.       any observed hazards or lapses in the functioning of an EHS program, and other EHS concerns are responded to promptly.   

Principal Investigators

Principal Investigators are responsible to their respective chair or academic director for ensuring that:

1.       risk assessments are performed on all research projects which have actual or potential hazards;

2.       all individuals engaged in activity associated with the research project are informed and instructed on the hazards and related risk control and emergency measures;

3.       any individual assigned to a supervisory role is competent according to guidelines established by the Department of Environmental Health & Safety and Security;

4.       the applicable University and departmental EHS policies, programs, procedures and practices associated with the area and activity under their supervision are communicated and implemented;

5.       workplace inspections, monitoring and accident reporting and investigation are routinely conducted to ensure the integrity of risk control and emergency response measures; and

6.       any observed hazards or lapses in the functioning of an EHS program, and other EHS concerns are responded to promptly.

Faculty Members and Instructors

Insofar as a member of the teaching faculty or an Instructor is a “worker”, the member shall exercise the rights and duties of a worker within the meaning of the OHS legislation and as further developed in this document.

Where a member of the teaching faculty or an Instructor is a “supervisor”, the member shall exercise the rights and duties of a supervisor within the meaning of the OHS legislation and as further developed in this document.

In the circumstance where a member of the Teaching Faculty or an Instructor serves in an administrative role that is identified in this document as having responsibility, authority and accountability for an OHS program (or part thereof), they shall fulfill the requirements of the EHS program with a view to fulfilling the intent of the EHS Policy.

Consistent with these obligations and a duty of care for their students, each faculty member and instructor is responsible to their respective chair or academic director for ensuring that:

1.      the curriculum is designed and conducted to ensure that the management of risk to students reflects the policies, procedures and practices established by the University, the Department of Environmental Health & Safety and Security, the Faculty and academic department, school or centre;

2.      risk assessments are performed for any activity with inherent EHS risk; and

3.      students are informed of their rights and responsibilities and the hazards associated with the course activity or environment and are instructed on risk and emergency control measures.

Supervisors of Independent Contractors

Any employee of Ryerson who is responsible for overseeing a contract for goods or services between Ryerson and an independent contractor shall ensure that:

1.       the contract documents refer to applicable requirements under Ryerson’s Environmental Health and Safety Management System and state that Independent contractors will be responsible for meeting applicable requirements of Ryerson’s EHS Policy and programs, when their workers are present in the Ryerson workplace, so as to protect both their workers and the members of the Ryerson community;

2.       relevant EHS information is communicated between Ryerson and the independent contractor; and

3.       that contract requirements for complying with Ryerson’s EHS Management System are monitored and, wherever possible, enforced.

All Employees and Individuals Receiving Financial Remuneration

Every Ryerson employee is a “worker” within the meaning of the Ontario OHS Act and therefore has the rights and responsibilities outlined in the Act. Employees are also responsible for:

1.       complying with the rules and procedures developed within the EHS Management System for performing the work in a safe and healthy manner;

2.       taking an active role in protecting and promoting his or her health and safety;

3.       refraining from activities which may jeopardize the health and safety of others;

4.       taking an active role in fulfilling the requirements of applicable EHS programs under Ryerson’s EHS Management System with a view to fulfilling the intent of the EHS Policy; and

5.       reporting forthwith to his or her supervisor, any observed EHS hazards or lapses in the functioning of an EHS program.

Individuals Responsible for Volunteers

Any employee, contractor or student who is responsible for volunteers, including guest lecturers, visiting scholars, student volunteers, etc. on campus shall ensure:

1.       agreements refer to applicable requirements under Ryerson’s Environmental Health and Safety Management System;

2.       all individuals engaged in volunteer activity are informed and instructed on the hazards and related risk control and emergency measures;

3.       any individual assigned to a leadership or coordinating role related to volunteer activity is competent according to guidelines established by the Department of Integrated Risk Management (IRM);

4.       relevant EHS information is communicated between Ryerson and the volunteer; and

5.       compliance with Ryerson’s EHS Management System are monitored and, where necessary, enforced.

Employees and Individuals Responsible for University Facility Bookings

Any employee, contractor or student who is responsible for approving bookings of University facilities (including leased facilities), shall ensure:

1.       agreements are established with event sponsors that identify responsibility for the health and safety of individuals attending the event, in accordance with Ryerson’s Environmental Health and Safety Management System, including responsibility for risk assessment and control, and emergency measures.

Event Sponsors

Any employee, contractor, student or individual responsible for an event taking place on University premises (including leased facilities), where University employees will be working at the event, or where the event location constitutes an extension of the workplace shall ensure:

1.       risk assessments are performed for the event, identifying actual or potential risks and hazards and planned control measures;

2.       all individuals engaged in activity associated with the event are informed and instructed on the hazards and related risk control and emergency measures specific to the event;

3.       any individual assigned to a supervisory role related to the event is competent according to guidelines established by the Department of Integrated Risk Management (IRM);

4.       the applicable University and departmental EHS policies, programs, procedures and practices associated with the event and activity for which they are responsible are communicated and implemented;

5.       any observed hazards, risks or lapses in the functioning of an EHS program and other EHS concerns are responded to promptly.

Students

Consistent with the intent of the Student Code of Non Academic Conduct, each student must take all reasonable care to ensure a healthy and safe learning, work, research, living and recreational environment.  Their responsibilities therefore are the same as those of all University employees.

Where students are paid to perform work they become workers under the Ontario OHS Act and therefore have the same rights and responsibilities outlined in this document and the OHS Act.  In addition, any individual performing work on university premises, not for pay, but for educational and other purposes that are not prohibited, are considered by the University to have rights and responsibilities under the University EHS Management System and supporting programs.

Standards and Guidelines

The Department ofIntegrated Risk Management (IRM) integrates, guides and coordinates the efforts of the Ryerson community toward achieving EHS due diligence by researching, developing and applying best practices in risk management.  Established as formal University policies, these practices are further refined and articulated through performance standards and guidelines developed and communicated through the Department of Integrated Risk Management (IRM).

EHS Performance Review

The University’s EHS Audit Program details the criteria and processes for examining health and safety performance at two distinct levels: the management of EHS within specific departments, schools and centres and measurement of the effectiveness of the University due diligence strategy and system.  EHS performance is also integrated within the University Internal Audit system.

In addition to these formal audits which are conducted through the Department of Integrated Risk Management (IRM), reviews of key performance indicators such as accident and near-miss profiles, EHS inspection findings, and core competency levels should be conducted annually by each department, school and centre.

Performance of EHS responsibilities for each position within the Ryerson community is measured against clearly defined performance indicators, as outlined in the Department of Integrated Risk Management (IRM) Guideline 02-2001 Evaluating the Performance of EHS Responsibilities.

Jurisdiction

This policy falls under the jurisdiction of the Vice President, Administration and Finance. The application and interpretation of the policy is the responsibility of the Department of Integrated Risk Management (IRM).