EHS May Newletter


Spring is a great time to "spring-clean" in the workplace by reviewing Safety procedures and updating information. Take time to read and share these new announcements and reminders from the Department of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS).

May 1st-6th, 2023 is Safety and Health Week. This is an ideal time for everyone to focus on the importance of preventing injury and illness in the workplace, at home, and in the community. Whether you are on campus, off-campus, working or studying, take a few minutes to look through our website. Use this opportunity to learn and share with others what you can do to help keep yourself and others safe. Everyone has a role in the prevention of injuries. 

 University launches revised Off-Campus Activity Safety Policy and related online tools and resources

Queen's newly updated Off-Campus Activity Safety Policy (OCASP) is now available to the campus community. The document informs community members of the requirements, roles, and responsibilities related to conducting academic, research, or business travel and associated sanctioned by the university. 

To support community members, EHS created a new website and dramatically transformed the online safety planning tool now called START - the Safe Travel Activity Registration Tool (START). START allows a quick and easy way for students, faculty and staff to register their university-sanctioned low risk off-campus activities, while continuing to facilitate the creation of a safety planning record for higher risk activities. START also enhances the University's ability to provide guidance/emergency support in the event of an incident. 

Learn more about the updated OCASP and its key revisions, as well as related tools and resources on the OCASP website. 

  Working Around Roadways in Ontario

As we head into summer and the field research season begins, this is a reminder that if you are working in proximity to Ontario roadways you may need to have a traffic safety plan in place to comply with the requirements of the OHSA and the Ministry of Transport’s Ontario Traffic Manual – Book 7.  Detailed information can be found in SOP-Safety-22 – Traffic Safety Plans.  If you are working around roadways outside of Ontario, there is the possibility that similar safety requirements exist.  You should consult with the applicable government agency in the jurisdiction you are working in to learn more about what requirements might be in place. 

 New and Updated SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures)

Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) on Campus - *New*

The Department of Environmental Health & Safety has recently partnered with Action First Aid to implement the “Ready for Action” software. This software is an inspection and tracking tool that allows the university keep track of all our AEDs and ensure that the proper inspections and maintenance are occurring.  Departments considering the purchase of an AED will be required to follow the requirements of the AED Program Standard Operating Procedure (SOP-Safety-10) . Additional information on AEDs can be found on the Environmental Health & Safety website.  

Departmental Safety Boards - *Updated*

Departmental Safety Boards fulfill the requirement of the Occupational Health & Safety Act (OHSA) to post certain health and safety information in the workplace. The Safety Board needs to be in a location that all employees have easy access to, such as hallways, common areas or staff rooms.  If departments are in very close proximity they can share a Safety Board, as long as all required materials are posted. The SOP for Departmental Safety Boards has recently been updated and now indicates how to find each item required for your Departmental Safety Board, such as specific policies and Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) documents. Once your Safety Board has been reviewed, updated if needed, then share the location with all employees in the department.  This SOP is located  in the Procedures section on the Resource Index page or can found with this direct link to the SOP-Safety-07 – Departmental Safety Boards

  Services Provided 

Laboratory Waste Disposal Changes

Coming mid-May, there will be changes to the handling of laboratory waste.   These changes will include the opportunity to recycle certain clean plastics and non-contaminated gloves. Other materials such as glass, pipettes, small plastics and potentially contaminated gloves will be collected through the hazardous waste system.  This means in the near future Custodial Services will no longer be picking up glass debris from laboratories and will service only regular waste receptacles. Once details are finalized, a notice will be sent to technical safety officers that will need to be distributed within their departments. As well, a detailed information sheet will be sent out prior to the program changes taking place.

Pest Control

Open, unattended or broken windows are an invitation for birds, bats and bugs to enter buildings.  As temperatures outside go up and interest in opening windows increases, we remind you to first check that your windows have proper working screens.  If a screen is missing or needs repair, do not open the window.  Your department will need to contact Facilities to arrange repairs. If there is evidence of pest activity inside a building, as part of resolution, departments will need to remove any food and ensure areas are clean and dry. If a department needs assistance with a pest infestation or a wildlife capture in their building, contact us  or call x32999

  Health and Safety Training

Whether the safety training you need is mandatory for every employee such as Safety Awareness, or specific to your role, you will find it in the training section of our website.    The only exception to this is the OCASP specific training which is located on the OCASP section of the website.

If your department has Onboarding/Orientation documents and communications, please review your content.  As of last year, the EHS website has a new URL (web address) which means all older web addresses or book marks will no longer function.  Find us at Let us know if there is a link that you are looking for.

Health and Safety Awareness: This training is mandatory for every employees and is always available through OnQ. Ensure that new to Queen’s employees complete this training as part of their Onboarding/Orientation.  This topic needs to be completed one time, so will not been to be repeated for each new position with Queen’s.

Departmental Safety Officers: This unique role within the Internal Responsibility System is a role assigned by Department Heads. The Departmental Safety Officer is a vital communications link between Environmental Health and Safety and individual administrative units (for example, by forwarding this email!).  This training will assist individuals in understanding their role as a Safety Officer, the duties and responsibilities.  If you have been appointed to this role and have not attended previously, the next session is scheduled for May 31st.

Radiation safety training: This is a requirement for any person in Radiation labs and working for Permits. The next session of Open Source Radiation Safety training is scheduled for May 8th.  Please contact Jamie Coad for information or to register.

Biohazard training: This is a requirement for any person in Biohazard labs and working for Permits. All Biosafety training continues to be available for self-registration through OnQ.

JHSC member Certification: Members of Joint Health and Safety Committees have an opportunity to participate in Certification training, provided in accordance with the OHSA.  Part 1, consisting of 3 business days, has been scheduled in June and is now available for registration.

May 1 – 6, 2023

Through the week of May 1 - 6,  take time to consider how safety impacts you.  Discuss with your team what safe practices do you follow, what procedures have been created to keep you and others safe?  Whether you are on campus, off-campus, working or studying, there are many factors that impact your safety.  Look through our website or any of the resources below. Learn what you can do to help keep yourself and others safe.

Free webinars and additional health and safety resources are available at: