All students have the right to a safe workplace, and the responsibility to educate themselves about health and safety issues related to their research activities. Occupational health and safety is overseen at the University by EHS. At the departmental level, the Physics Health & Safety committee members meet throughout the year to deal with any safety concerns within the building.
All accidents must be reported immediately to the Safety Officer, Peter Hurley or to the McLennan Health & Safety Office at 8-2231. In the event of any life-threatening emergency on campus, call 9-911 for ambulance, fire, or Metro Police services and then notify the local campus Police (St. George campus 8-2222) All injuries must be recorded on http://ehs.utoronto.ca/report-an-incident. Thefts have occurred, so we strongly recommend you keep your door locked whenever you leave the office, even for a few minutes.
Many graduate students here in the Department of Physics work in their office or lab late into the evening, on weekends and statutory holidays. During these quiet hours you could easily be the only person on your floor or in your laboratory, and your personal safety could be at risk. The Campus Community Police at the University of Toronto have thus initiated the Working Alone Program to augment the personal safety of anyone working late here at the St. George Campus. To register for the Work Alone Program, come by the University of Toronto Campus Police Office. For more information contact the University of Toronto Campus Police at 416-978-2323.
Immediately below is the link to the Campus Community Police's web site. Take particular note of the range of Community Service Programs available at the University including Travelsafer (416-978-7233), a service where building patrol or constables from Campus Police will walk you to any location on the St. George Campus and surrounding TTC stations: http://www.campuspolice.utoronto.ca/
Safe operating procedures are mandatory in the laboratory environment. Potential hazards such as high power laser beams, magnetic fields, compressed gases and toxic chemicals all require specific training procedures. Supervisors have an obligation to ensure that employees work in a safe manner and with the protective devices and procedures required by the Occupational Health & Safety Act and its regulations. The Safety committee has information posted on the departmental H&S website about laboratory safety procedures. There is also a machine shop training course for students who need to use the technical facilities. We also conduct annual workplace inspection of the entire building. The university Office of Environmental H&S at the following website, http://www.ehs.utoronto.ca, offers safety programs such as WHMIS training, Laser Safety training, Radiation Protection, Fire Safety and Emergency procedures as well as providing resource material such as MSDS data, Emergency/Accident Reporting policies and service personnel.
The university Laser Safety Committee oversees a laser safety program that applies to all Class 3b and Class 4 lasers and laser systems in controlled areas (indoors) and to all those identified as principal investigators, laser supervisors and laser workers. It is responsible for the registration of all Class 3b & 4 laser and laser systems, requirements for inspection and worker training and education on potential laser hazards and links to other additional resources. It controls the reporting of related accident/incident, administrative and procedural guidelines, provision of medical surveillance, requirements for personal protective equipment and engineering controls. If you are going to use such laser systems, consult your supervisor to arrange appropriate training.
Students with personal safety concerns may wish to contact the Community Safety Office. For more information check the website: http://www.communitysafety.utoronto.ca. They should be aware that graduate student office location and phone numbers are normally available in the departmental directory on the physics web pages (www.physics.utoronto.ca). Students who wish to restrict access to this information should contact Krystyna Biel, in Office MP315. Teaching assistants with safety concerns should notify Dr. Peter Krieger, Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies.
Students who have to travel outside the province or country to do field research or even attend a conference must follow the requirements for “Reasonable Care”. The Safety in Field Research website: http://www.ehs.utoronto.ca/field-research-safety is available to assist in assessing risks, and documenting the precautions that should be taken. It also contains information on topics such as Health Insurance Coverage, continuance of University and Workplace Safety and Insurance Board Benefits as well as Requirements for Reasonable Care.
In addition, the Safety Abroad Office (SAO) offers information on logistics, safety and cultural issues for the student’s time away. To register for a mandatory pre-departure information session and join the Safety Abroad database, visit www.studentlife.utoronto.ca/cie/safety-abroad at least one month before departure.