Acadia University has established a healthy, safe campus community as one of its values in the University Strategic Plan. This value will be respected through the implementation of an effective Health & Safety Management System.
The University and all employees have a responsibility to comply with the Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Act and all applicable regulations.
All University faculty and staff have a responsibility for their own health and safety, and for the health and safety of others. Everyone has a duty to report, as soon as possible, all hazardous conditions, injuries, illnesses, and near misses related to the workplace. Everyone is encouraged to offer suggestions or ideas to improve health and safety on campus.
Managers and supervisors are directly responsible for maintaining a safe workplace and for ensuring that the employees under their supervision comply with our Health & Safety Management System. Department heads and directors, managers, supervisors, and all employees must take all reasonable care to ensure the safety of our faculty, staff, students, and others who enter our University community.
To ensure that we maintain a safe and healthy work environment, Acadia University commits to working in a spirit of consultation and cooperation with all employees, through our Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee and its sub-committees. They play a critical role in our health and safety success.
This OHS System and Nova Scotia OHS Legislation are founded on the Internal Responsibility System (or IRS). Under the IRS, everyone in the workplace shares in the responsibility for health and safety. The IRS is based on the following six points:
The IRS is the "people framework" within this OHS System. For the system to be successful, the IRS must work like a problem-solving machine. Each person's mission is to identify hazards and opportunities for safety improvement.
Issues should always be dealt with at the lowest possible level. If you're unable to deal with a problem or opportunity because of a lack of authority, resources, knowledge or experience, then report it upwards to the next level. Don't pass the buck! Continue to help solve the problem.
Joint Occupational Health & Safety Committee and Sub-committee members assist in managing health and safety by recommending, advising, and monitoring the effectiveness of this OHS system. JOHSC and Sub-committee members must not be viewed as Safety Cops! Safety is everyone's job, and everyone has individual responsibilities.
Employees have the right to know about hazards in the workplace and to be provided with the information, instruction, and training necessary to protect their health and safety. This openness is essential, so that people can do a better job identifying problems and opportunities for improvement.
Employees have the right to refuse dangerous work, where the employee has reasonable grounds for believing that the act is likely to endanger the employee's health or safety or the health or safety of any other person.
Most safety concerns should be resolved through open communications. If a work refusal does occur, it's an indication that the IRS may not be working properly.
Employees have the right to participate, but that doesn't refer to direct participation in health and safety. Direct participation of each employee is expected through the concept of the IRS. The right to participate really means that employees are entitled to participate in the management of health and safety, through the JOHSC and Sub-committees.
Contractors are important partners in providing and maintaining services on our campus. Contractors are responsible for working safely and meeting the same high standards for OHS that we set for ourselves.
As expressed in our Statement of Commitment to Health & Safety:
"Acadia University has established a healthy, safe campus community as one of its values in the University Strategic Plan. This value will be respected through the implementation of an effective Health & Safety Management System."
The intent of Acadia's Health and Safety Management System, or OHS System is to eliminate or control risks, and its success depends on each person knowing and fulfilling his or her responsibilities for health and safety.
These statements are intended to outline the general distribution of authority, responsibility and accountability for occupational health and safety (OHS) at Acadia University.
Responsibility is the obligation or duty an individual has to do get things done.
Authority, on the other hand, can be defined as the power that an individual has to act and to get others to do things. Ultimately, the authority and responsibility for OHS at Acadia University lies with the Board of Governors and cascades down the organization by way of delegation.
Accountability means determining if individuals properly exercise their authority and carry out their responsibilities. Accountability requires clearly defined standards against which performance can be evaluated. Accountability tends to flow back up the organizational structure.
These three attributes - responsibility, authority, and accountability - go hand-in-hand. All three must be present and defined for each level within the University organization so that the Internal Responsibility System (IRS) can function effectively.
The management of health and safety is not an optional extra to existing management and supervisory activities. In order for this OHS System to be successful, it must be fully integrated into all other management activities. Each level within our organization has an obligation and a responsibility to those reporting to them, and accountability to those whom they report to with respect to health and safety.
The NS Occupational Health and Safety Act and relevant regulations are the guiding documents that define specific health and safety responsibilities for the University and its faculty and staff.
The Governors and the Officers of Acadia: Every Governor and every Officer of Acadia shall take all reasonable care to ensure that Acadia complies with health & safety legislation, as well as the orders and requirements of NS Environment and Labour personnel in their administration of the health & safety legislation.
The Board of Governors of Acadia University. The Board is responsible for ensuring that:
The President and Vice-Chancellor. The President and Vice-Chancellor is responsible to the Board for directing the health and safety activities of the University and for ensuring that:
Members of the President's Advisory Council and Associate Members. The President's Advisory Council and Associate Members are responsible to the President and Vice-Chancellor for directing the health and safety activities of the University and for ensuring that:
Director of Human Resources. The Director of Human Resources, is responsible to the President's Advisory Council for developing the University's risk management strategy and OHS System, and for directing the University's activities relating to OHS compliance and due diligence.
Deans, Directors, Registrar, and University Librarian. The Deans, Directors, the Registrar and the University Librarian are responsible to their respective Vice President, for ensuring that:
Supervising Faculty and Staff. Any faculty or staff member having charge over an area or activity, or with any degree of authority over an individual receiving any form of remuneration, is responsible to their respective Chair, Director or Manager for ensuring that:
Faculty Members. Faculty members must exercise the responsibilities of an employee, as expressed in section 17 of the NS OH&S Act.
In the circumstance where a faculty member serves in an administrative role that is identified in this document as having responsibility, authority and accountability for an OHS Program (or part thereof), they shall fulfill the requirements of the OHS System in that regard.
Consistent with these obligations and a duty of care for their students, each faculty member is responsible to their respective Chair or Academic Director for ensuring that:
Supervisors of Independent Contractors Any employee of Acadia who is responsible for overseeing a contract for goods or services between Acadia and an independent contractor shall ensure that:
All Employees and Individuals Receiving Financial Remuneration. Every person who receives financial remuneration from Acadia is an "employee" within the meaning of the NS OH&S Act and therefore has the rights and responsibilities outlined in the Act and is responsible to:
All employees are also responsible for complying with the rules and procedures developed within the OHS System for performing work in a safe and healthy manner;
Students. Every Acadia student must take all reasonable care to ensure a healthy and safe learning environment. The intent of all Acadia University policies and procedures related to students and student behaviour, including those identified in the Acadia University Judicial Handbook and the Residence Life Handbook, is to ensure reason and responsibility are consistent.
Students who are paid to perform work become employees under the NS OH&S Act and, therefore, have the same rights and responsibilities outlined in this document and the OHS Act. In addition, any individual performing work on University premises, not for pay, but for educational and other authorized purposes are considered by the University to have rights and responsibilities under the University OHS System and supporting programs.
Building Managers play a vital role by facilitating clear, effective communications between the University and the occupants/users of campus buildings. Building Managers provide a forum for discussion and resolution of building related problems, and contribute to the responsible stewardship and improvement of our campus facilities.
Each building on campus is required to have a designated Building Manager. A list of Building Managers shall be kept current by Building Services, and provided to the Health & Safety Advisor for posting and distribution. In buildings that house multiple departments, Building Managers may arrange for the designation of departmental contacts that report upwards to the Building Manager. Building Managers may choose to delegate certain duties and responsibilities, but must retain overall accountability.
Duties and responsibilities of Building Managers include:
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22 October 2019
Chris Callbeck, CPA, CA
Vice-President Finance and Administration
and Chief Financial Officer