Useful risk management information from Risk Management Services
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February 2019

We're moving!

Enterprise Risk Management, Insurance & Risk Assessment, and Environment, Health & Safety will be moving to the Materials Management Building in March 2019.
Stay tuned for our new address!

Improving Security on Campus

A working group has found that university security systems and practices could use some upgrading, and they have a plan to achieve it.

Last June we told you about the working group, led by Risk Management Services and Facilities and Operations, which was charged with examining and making recommendations about the increase in reports of crime and other concerning behaviour in some university buildings last winter. The group has nearly wrapped up its work and has begun to share its findings with university stakeholders (see the reporting of the SU presentation in the Gateway).

Recommendations include:

  • A pilot project to increase the number of available UAPS staff on campus
  • Upgrading security systems and physical barriers to vulnerable areas in university buildings
  • Modifying late night access in some areas
  • Increasing education efforts to the whole community on such things as crime prevention and reporting
Administration will also be evaluating solutions to residents' long-standing concerns about building security in HUB. Please watch for more on this important initiative in the months ahead. 
From left: Katherine Zwicker (Student Affairs), Emma Zwaigenbaum (UAFAR), Helen Wu (UAFAR), Roseanne Abele,
Dr. Randall Abele

Congratulations to the University of Alberta First Aid Responders (UAFAR), winners of the 2019 Suzanne Abele Memorial Team Safety Award. UAFAR is a student-run organization that provides first aid services and training to the U of A community.

The Suzanne Abele Memorial Team Safety Award is presented by Risk Management Services and Facilities & Operations to a deserving group dedicated to enhancing university safety culture.

Suzanne Abele lost her life in 2011 while working as a university field research coordinator. We were honoured to welcome Suzanne's parents to the presentation.

Hidden Hazards

Every year, Insurance & Risk Assessment and the University of Alberta’s insurer complete an inspection of randomly-selected campus spaces to identify physical hazards that could result in injury to people or loss of property, including potential loss of valued research. The most common-but-easily-avoided hazard on our campuses in 2018 was the use of extension cords or power bars for permanent equipment such as fridges and freezers.

This is so commonly practiced that you may not realize that extension cords and power bars cans pose a serious hazard when used as permanent connections. When they are used for anything that draws power continuously they can fail and cause electrical overload, fire, or electrocution. 

If you see extension cords or power bars being used as permanent electrical connections, confirm with facility staff that the cord is rated appropriately for its use. A permanently installed electrical outlet should always be used for equipment such as fridges, freezers, microwaves, and space heaters.  

For more information about insurance and risk issues, contact

Time to Report!

The Government of Canada regulates the use, production, and storage of certain chemicals and nuclear materials. 

Anyone who conducts laboratory research at the U of A should review the following list of substances and complete the appropriate declaration form(s):

  • Chemicals, asbestos, or asbestos-containing products (declaration form)
  • Nuclear materials (uranium, thorium, plutonium); preparations that contain these materials; and any research and development pertaining to the nuclear fuel cycle (declaration form)
Deadline for submission is Friday, Feb. 15, 2019. For more information, visit the EHS website or contact

Property Crime: Trends & Tips

In 2018, there were 479 reports of property crime (thefts, break-ins, mischief to property) at the U of A, a 16% increase since 2017. Property crime activity was highest in January (48), April (50), and October (50). Thefts (all types) accounted for 62% of all reported property crime, followed by mischief (24%) and break-ins (14%).

Approximately one third of all 2018 thefts related to bikes (64) or computers (32). Here are two simple ways to reduce property theft:

  • Use a high quality U-lock to secure your bike frame to a bike rack
  • Take your laptop or device with you any time you leave your study space -- even if it's just for a moment!
Learn more

New eLearning Courses

EHS offers dozens of free eLearning courses to U of A staff and students. Here's what's new for 2019:

WHMIS: New requirements for labeling, documentation, and training are now in effect -- take the revised course to make sure you're in compliance. 

Supervisory EHS Professional Development: Revised in late 2018 to include updates to OHS legislation. 

Review the EHS training page to determine what courses are appropriate for you and for anyone that you supervise. 

Emergency Notifications: Get the App

Did you know that you can receive U of A Alerts emergency notifications on the My UAlberta app? Be prepared and download it today! 

Policy & Procedure: What's New?

Legal Hold Procedure (NEW)

The U of A has an obligation to identify, preserve, collect and produce record(s) in its custody or control that relate to an existing or anticipated legal proceeding. This obligation is met, in part, by a legal hold notice that informs employees and other affiliates, who may hold such records, about the legal proceeding and the obligation to identify, preserve, collect and produce those records.

The Legal Hold Procedure describes the steps for issuing a legal hold notice, the responsibilities of employees and other affiliates under a legal hold notice, and when they may be released from those responsibilities. The procedure applies only to records which are in the university’s custody or control or to records in which the university has a right of access.  

This procedure has the potential to affect each administrative and academic unit, faculty, department, centre, institute and ancillary operations and any employees named or implicated in a legal proceeding. Read the procedure.

Training & Competency Procedure (NEW)

According to Alberta occupational health and safety legislation, all workers must receive training and demonstrate that they are competent to perform work safely. The Training and Competency Procedure describes who is responsible for delivering and undertaking workplace training and outlines training requirements. Read the procedure.

For  more information about RMS policy and procedures, contact

Upcoming Events

Field Research Info Session: Wednesday, February 13

Learn what's new in field safety, insurance, driving, incident reporting, and more!

1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
ECHA L1-490
Register to attend

Safety Pop-Up

In 2019, you'll find an EHS safety pop-up in a new location each week, Wednesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. We'll be demonstrating our Hazard Assessment Web App and fire extinguisher simulator and answering all of your environment, health and safety questions. Find out where we'll be each week.

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