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Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Policy

  • Owner:  Facilities Management & Development
  • Approver:  Board of Governors
  • Approval Dates:  October 1992, September 2003, November 2011, June 2022

I.  Purpose

The University is committed to promoting the health, safety, and wellbeing of all members of the University Community, and providing a safe and healthy work, learning, and research environment.  

As part of that commitment, and to meet the University’s obligations under the OHSA, the University has adopted this Policy to ensure that health, safety, and environmental sustainability considerations are incorporated into the University’s operations and planning, and to ensure the protection, safety and wellbeing of members of the University Community. 

In achieving this commitment, the University shall implement an EHS Management System, whereby every  member of the University Community shares responsibility for creating a healthy, safe and sustainable environment at the University.

II.    Scope and Application 

This Policy applies to all members of the University Community, on University Premises. 

This Policy is not to be interpreted to conflict with or supersede any statutes, regulations, or orders applicable to the University.

III.    Definitions

“EHS” means environmental health and safety.

EHS Management System” means a set of policies, processes and procedures that work together to protect and maintain a safe and healthy work, learning and research environment.

“Internal Responsibility System” means the University’s system that outlines each community member’s  roles and responsibilities for health and safety. 

Joint Health and Safety Committee” means the committee required by the OHSA which is composed of University Worker and management representatives and that seeks to improve health and safety conditions within the University Premises.

“Leader” means any person who performs a supervisory function for the University as defined by the OHSA, those who have charge of a Workplace or authority over a Worker.

“OHSA” means the Occupational Health and Safety Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. O.1 including all related amendments and regulations thereto.

University”  means Toronto Metropolitan University. 

“Worker” means any person who performs work for the University as defined by the OHSA, and includes but is not limited to employees and contract workers.

Workplace” means any land, premises, location or thing at, upon, in or near which a Worker performs work.

“University Community” means all students and staff, and faculty and includes volunteers, visitors, contractors, agents and invitees of the University

“University Premises” means any physical indoor space or outdoor grounds that are owned, leased, licensed, operated, or otherwise occupied by the University or its commercial tenants. 

IV.    Policy

  1. The University shall cultivate a culture of wellbeing while promoting a safe, secure, and healthy and inclusive environment that: 
    1. puts people first;
    2. is supportive of the whole person;
    3. enhances the development of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of University Community members; and
    4. recognizes that wellbeing is fundamental to positive social and academic outcomes, and healthy communities.
  2. The University shall work in consultation and cooperation with the University Community to ensure that the requirements of the OHSA and its regulations, and other applicable EHS legislation are fully integrated into the University’s operations, work, and academic and non-academic activities. 

  3. The University shall establish and maintain a Joint Health and Safety Committee.

  4. The University shall maintain a comprehensive EHS Management System to manage risks and reduce harm to the health, safety, and wellbeing of the University Community and University Premises; and to promote health, safety, wellbeing, and environmentally responsible practices on University Premises. 

V.    Roles and Responsibilities

All members of the University Community shall:

  • Share responsibility for creating and sustaining a safe and healthy work, learning, and research environment; 
  • Conduct themselves in a manner which is consistent with their health and safety and that of others;
  • Adhere to established procedures and applicable EHS legislation and  University’s policies and procedures; and 
  • Participate in health and safety training as required by the University.

The Board of Governors shall:

  • Ensure the EHS Management System and supporting programs are established and are comprehensive; and
  • Ensure that systems are in place to ensure the competency and viability of the Internal Responsibility System.

Senior Leadership shall:

  • Support the effective administration of the University’s EHS Management System;
  • Provide leadership by creating, supporting and sustaining a healthy Workplace through a comprehensive EHS Management System; and
  • Integrate EHS culture into the University’s daily operations.

Leaders shall:

  • Support and implement EHS policies and practices for Workers in their areas;
  • Advise all Employees of the existence of potential or actual Workplace hazards, and provide Employees with procedures, equipment and materials that protect them from Workplace hazards, as well as the instruction, training and supervision required to work safely;
  • Investigate all health and safety incidents reported to them and respond to all health and safety concerns brought forward; and
  • Implement corrective actions in response to identified hazards.

The University's EHS and Human Resources Departments shall:

  • Develop and administer health and safety Workplace policies and programs; and
  • Provide advice, guidance and subject matter expertise to the University Community on creating and maintaining a healthy and safe Workplace.

The EHS Unit shall act as the University’s chief resource relating to occupational health and safety regulatory matters.

Commercial Tenants and Contractors shall:

  • Comply with all applicable health and safety legislation and University policies and procedures, and supervise, train, and manage their Workers, staff, subcontractors, guests, or invitees to ensure Workplace safety is maintained at all times. 

The Joint Health and Safety Committee shall:

  • Act as an advisory body to the University on how to improve Workplace health and safety; and
  • Help to stimulate or raise awareness of health and safety issues in the Workplace.

VI.   Compliance

The University  manages compliance and enforcement of this Policy in accordance with existing processes in place. Students are subject to the Code of Non-Academic Conduct; faculty and unionized staff are subject to collective agreements and Human Resources processes, non-unionized staff are subject to Human Resources processes, contractors are subject to contracts, and visitors are subject to the authority of the senior university administrator host.

VII.    Jurisdiction

This Policy falls under the jurisdiction of the Vice-President, Administration and Operations.  The Director of EHS is responsible for the interpretation and application of this Policy, and the creation of such procedures and guidelines as necessary or desirable to give effect to this Policy.

VIII.  Next Review Date

This Policy is subject to review every year.

Last reviewed date: June 26, 2023.