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Departmental Safety Officers

Toronto Metropolitan University’s Departmental Safety Officers (DSOs) are representatives of a faculty, department, school, centre or zone who are familiar and knowledgeable about the operations in their areas, as well as any related or potential hazards and required controls. DSOs play an important role in supporting the university’s commitment to healthy and safe work environments.

Find your DSO

DSOs are appointed by their department head (e.g. dean, chair, academic/non-academic director, senior officers, managers) to represent their area.

Find out who the appointed  (google sheet) DSO (external link)  is for your area.


DSOs are expected to fulfill the following duties:

  • Assist the department head in fulfilling the intent of the university’s Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) System Policy, related policies, guidelines and supporting programs.
  • Ensure that the environmental health and safety concerns of occupants within their area are addressed by referral to the relevant supervisor, department and/or the department head.
  • Coordinate routine, documented inspections of all areas within the department.
  • Assist department heads and supervisors in investigating accidents, incidents and/or exposures to hazardous materials. This involves confirming that the appropriate forms have been completed and sent to the correct department(s).
  • Respond to reports of unsafe conditions by investigating and reporting to the department head.
  • Assist the department head in ensuring that there are an adequate number of trained first aid responders within the department.
  • Act as primary resource on matters related to health and safety for EHS, the Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) and the department head.
  • In the case of critical injury and/or dangerous work conditions in their area, to contact:
  • In the case of a refusal to work, to contact:
    • their department head; and
    • EHS at 416-979-5000, ext. 553770 or


Training is a key component in empowering DSOs to fulfill their role. Orientation and basic training is mandatory for all DSOs, while hazard-specific training is necessary only for those who require it.


New DSOs will receive orientation training from EHS. Once a new DSO has been appointed, please get in touch with EHS at or 416-979-5000, ext. 553770 to schedule training.

Basic training

Basic training will be provided twice a year for new DSOs and for any who wish to take it as a refresher. DSOs will informed of the training dates via email. DSOs will be introduced to the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act and will learn how to report an accident, incident or injury, how to report a hazard, and about workplace inspections.

Hazard-specific training

Hazard-specific training is ongoing and DSOs will be informed of new training sessions as they become available. Some of the hazard-specific training includes:

  • indoor air quality and mould;
  • musculoskeletal injury prevention;
  • compressed gas cylinder safety; and
  • electrical safety.

Safety tips

EHS has developed a series of safety tips to raise awareness of potential hazards, keep you informed of new safety rules and regulations and most importantly, to help prevent accidents and injuries from occurring. DSOs are encouraged to distribute these tips to fellow staff and colleagues.

Get support

To find out more information about DSOs and more, contact Environmental Health and Safety at or 416-979-5000, ext. 553770.