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Report a Near Miss or Hazard

A hazard is an object or situation with the potential to cause harm to a person or to Ryerson property. A near miss is an unplanned event that has the potential to cause a leak, spill, explosion, release or unexpected contact with a chemical/substance/object that did not result in an incident or injury/illness.

Reporting near misses and hazards are important as it allows changes to be implemented to prevent future incidents and injuries from occurring. This includes but is not limited to:

  • the reporting of unsafe working conditions or habits; 
  • improper use of or malfunctioning equipment; and/or
  • hazardous emissions or the detection of such. 

It is everyone’s responsibility to report and correct these hazards immediately in order to prevent an incident or injury from occurring.

Imminent hazards

Imminent hazards have the potential for causing serious and immediate injuries or property damage. Examples of such hazards include exposed electrical wires, major chemical spills generating dangerous fumes, machine guarding removed from a piece of equipment, or an exposed open manhole.

What the employee should do

If you are an employee who has identified an imminent hazard, follow these steps:

Only if it is safe to do so, immediately shut down or turn off the equipment, close the door, and quickly and calmly leave the area along with any other occupants. Place caution tape on the door to prevent unauthorized access during the investigation.

Inform your supervisor (e.g. manager, principal investigator, faculty member, chair, event organizer) using the google formInternal Near Miss, Incident and Injury Form, external link to document the concern or issue. They will be required to consult with the department chair/director and/or the departmental safety officer to resolve the concern.

Your supervisor or others in charge (e.g. professor, instructor, teaching assistant, chair, academic director, event organizer) are responsible for addressing the hazard as soon as possible, which may include providing protection to you and other workers until the hazard is eliminated or controlled.

They will also be required to follow up with Environmental Health and Safety immediately when notified of this type of concern. 

General hazards

In some cases, hazards are more general and do not pose imminent danger to people or property. Regardless, they should still be reported to the university for action to prevent incidents or accidents.

Follow these steps and use the google formInternal Near Miss, Incident and Injury Form, external link to document the issue or concern.

Hazards related to laboratories, fire safety or ergonomics

For hazards related to laboratories, fire safety or ergonomics (e.g. chemical, radiation, X-ray and laser safety; minor spills and waste disposal; fire safety, equipment malfunctions; and/or ergonomic hazards) please contact Environmental Health and Safety at ehs@ryerson.ca or 416-979-5000, ext. 553770.

Hazards related to facilities and building maintenance

For hazards related to facilities and building maintenance (e.g. non-hazardous spills, temperature variances, repairs or maintenance, fire extinguisher maintenance, pest control, non-toxic waste-related issues and/or asbestos) please contact the FMD Help Desk at fixit@ryerson.ca or 416-979-5091.

Inform your supervisor (e.g. manager, principal investigator, faculty member, chair, event organizer) using the google formInternal Near Miss, Incident and Injury Form, external link to document what you have witnessed. They will be required to consult with the department chair/director and/or the departmental safety officer to resolve the concern.

Your supervisor or others in charge (e.g. professor, instructor, teaching assistant, chair, academic director, event organizer) are responsible for addressing the hazard as soon as possible, which may include providing protection to you and other workers until the hazard is eliminated or controlled. They may follow up with Environmental Health and Safety upon notification of this type of concern.

Escalating unaddressed safety concerns

Notify Ryerson Environmental Health and Safety

If you are unable to resolve a health and safety concern with your supervisor, please contact Environmental Health and Safety at 416-979-5000, ext. 553770 or ehs@ryerson.ca for support. You may also notify your Joint Health and Safety committee member.