Safety

Occupational Health and Safety Program

Our department is committed to providing its employees a safe and healthy workplace. To ensure that this objective is accomplished, we have developed and will maintain a department specific Occupational Health and Safety (OHCS) program.

Our Department`s OCHS Program contains fourteen elements which meets the requirements of the University of British Columbia and Workers` Compensation Board of British Columbia. These elements include:

  1. Safety Policy
  2. Management Meetings
  3. Local Safety Committee
  4. Orientation, Training and Supervision of Workers
  5. Hazard Assessments and Work Site Inspections
  6. Accident Investigations
  7. Safe Work Procedures
  8. First Aid and Emergency Services
  9. Personal Security and Public Safety
  10. Hazardous Materials
  11. Health Promotion and Return to Work
  12. Records and Statistics
  13. Program Review
  14. Environmental Protection

The OCHS Program is documented in the Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences Safety Program Manual which:

  • describes the requirements of each element 
  • lists the names of individuals designated as being responsible for the various program elements
  • outlines the roles and responsibilities of all levels of employment.

All department employees should familiarize themselves with the Manual to ensure that they are aware of their responsibilities and safe work procedures. The Manual will be reviewed and updated annually by the Departmental Safety Program Administrator and by the Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences Local Safety Committee.

Note the following elements of the Safety Program:

  1. Due Diligence

    Due diligence means taking all reasonable care to protect the well being of all employees. To meet the standard of due diligence, our Department takes all reasonable precautions in the circumstances to carry out departmental work and safety and health responsibilities. This is the standard of care required to comply with the safety and health regulations and orders made under the BC Workers Compensation Act and enforced by the WorkSafe BC. The courts will recognize a formal defense of due diligence in prosecutions. In practice, the WorkSafe BC will also recognize a defense of due diligence and may relieve employers of monetary penalties for violations of the regulations-if employers can establish that they were duly diligent.

  2. Right to Refuse

    No member of the faculty, staff or student should be doing any activity if they believe that the activity would create an undue hazard to themselves or to others. Current regulations make it clear that all employees must be trained and have relevant hazard information on the materials they are working or exposed to.

    When a faculty, staff or student member has reasonable cause to believe that the activity they are about to do would create undue hazard to the health or safety of any person, including themselves, they have the right and responsibility to:

    1. Report the circumstances of the unsafe condition to his/her supervisor (or principle investigator).
    2. The supervisor will investigate the matter and:
      1. ensure that any unsafe condition is remedied without delay or 
      2. if in his/her opinion the report is not valid he/she shall inform the person who made the report.

If there are any questions regarding the Safety Program Manual or the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences OCHS Program, please contact your safety committee representative or the DSPA.

Emergency Response Plan and Disaster Preparedness

See the EOAS emergency response plan here.

Emergency Contacts

Fire, Police, Ambulance, Hazardous Materials Response 911
First Aid 822-4444
Hospital Emergency Department 822-7222
Poison Control 682-5050
UBC Security Services 822-2222

ESB

Renee Haggart 2-2789
Tim Morgan 604-362-7988

EOS Main

Renee Haggart 2-2789
Tim Morgan 604-362-7988
Rich Friedman, PCIGR 2-6654

EOS South

Cecilia Li 2-4296

Biodiversity

Amy Chan 2-0583

Safety Committee

Renée Haggart (Safety Committee Co-chair)
Director of Resources and Operations
ESB 2022 | Local: 2-2789

Roger Francois (Safety Committee Co-chair)
Faculty/Professor
ESB 4067 | Local: 2-6355

Tim Morgan
Assistant Director, Facilities
EOSM 225 | Cell: 604.362.7988

Mike LeBlanc
Research Associate - Technician
ESB 3053-1 | Local: 2-4678

Richard Friedman
Research Associate; EOAS
EOSM 303 | Local: 2-6654

Murray Allan
Research Associate; EOAS
ESB 5103-2 | Local: 7-3223

Larisa Pakhomova
Research Asst./Tech., CUPE 116
ESB 2045 | Local: 2-8465

Amy Chan
Research Scientist, EOAS
Biodiversity 347 | Local: 2-0583

Alicia Warkentin
Safety Committee Secretary, CUPE 2950
ESB 2020 | Local: 2-3146

Kate Blackburn
Faculty of Science
ESB 2178 | Local: 2-3336

Denise Feighan
Manager, Finance & Administration
Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences (PIMS)
ESB 4172 | Local: 2-1522

Peggy Ng
Administrator
Statistics
ESB 3194 | Local: 2-6880

UBC has more than 400 laboratories across campus and all those research activities require a significant amount of energy, water and materials. Campus labs account for about 50% of the total energy consumption, about 25% of the total water consumption, and generate more than 95% of UBC’s hazardous waste. UBC’s Policy 6 and Policy 9 require researchers to adopt practices to prevent pollution and reduce the amount of dangerous substances in University research activities.

The disposal of hazardous waste is governed by strict local, provincial, and federal regulations as well as UBC policies and procedures. Canada’s current Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Regulations, section 2, is used to classify the hazardous waste in this manual. The current manual and procedures can be found under the Risk Management Services (RMS) Environmental Hazardous Waste Management webpage.

RMS operates the Environmental Services Facility (ESF) which manages and handles the hazardous waste generated by UBC core research, education and operational activities. The facility safely manages hazardous waste in accordance with local, provincial, and federal regulations. For more information, please contact the Advisor, Environmental Services at 604-822-9840.

 Disposal Location

You can dispose of hazardous waste in EOAS in the rear of rooms ESB B1054 and B1055. Rooms 29B and 29C in EOSM are no longer used for disposal pickup.

Room B1054 is for non-flammable waste including:

  • Glass Waste
  • Acids and Bases
  • Biological Waste
  • Autoclaved Waste
  • Dry Chemicals
  • Silica Waste

Room B1055 is for flammable waste including:

  • Solvents
  • Old oil (tagged for disposal)
  • Old gasoline (tagged for disposal)

Access to these rooms is through key sign out through EOAS Stores. Please contact Pablo Stolowicz for access. Regular inspections of theses rooms will be conducted by members of the EOAS Safety, Security and Sustainability Committee.

Procedures for Waste Types

Tags and barcode stickers can be obtained through the UBC Environmental Services Facility at 604-827-5389

Biological Waste

Risk Group 1

  1. Autoclave in clear, unlabeled autoclave bags
  2. Double bag with clear bags and ensure no leaks
  3. Affix biological waste disposal tag (red)
  4. Indicate Risk Group 1 on tag
  5. Attach generator barcode sticker on tag

Risk Group 2

  • Autoclave and package in orange biohazard bags
  • Double bag with clear bags and ensure no leaks
  • Affix biological waste disposal tag (red)
  • Indicate Risk Group 2 on tag
  • Attach generator barcode sticker on tag.

Not sure which risk group your biological waste falls into? Contact Biosafety Risk Assessments for more information.

Sharps Waste

  • Collect in red or yellow autoclavable sharps containers
  • Ensure lid is securely closed/locked
  • Autoclave
  • Affix biological waste disposal tag (red) with generator barcode

Human Anatomical / Human Blood & Fluids

  • Double bag in red bags; ensure no leaks
  • Affix biological waste disposal tag (red) with generator barcode
  • Store in freezer for pickup

Pathological Waste

  • Package in a black 6 mil polypropylene bags
  • Double bag to ensure no leaks; do not exceed 10 kg
  • Affix biological waste disposal tag (red)
  • Attach generator barcode sticker on tag
  • Store in freezer for pick-up

Chemical Waste

  • Check if the chemical is included on the “non-hazardous” list! Some chemicals can safely be thrown out with your normal garbage or down the drain.
  • Obtain approval through the online Chemical Inventory System
  • Segregate chemical by hazard class
  • Package the material in a heavy duty cardboard box
  • Fill the box with packaging material (Styrofoam , vermiculite or other)
  • Ensure package is less than 10kg
  • Tape the box closed
  • Affix the approval form to the box (in an envelope)
  • Print generator contact info on the envelope
  • Print hazard class and authorization number on the top of the box
  • Bring boxes to your building hazardous waste designated collection area

Solvent/Oil Waste

  • Collect in red jerry cans
  • Ensure cap is tight and there are no leaks
  • Affix flammable liquid tag (blue)
  • Indicate halogenated, non-halogenated or oil waste
  • Attach generator barcode sticker on tag

Non-Regulated Contaminated Solid Waste

  • Double bag waste in thick clear garbage bags
  • Ensure no liquid; do not exceed 10 kg
  • Package in a heavy duty cardboard box
  • Affix non-regulated contaminated solid waste tag (yellow)
  • Indicate waste type on tag
  • Attach generator barcode sticker on tag

Please do not use rocks to prop open doors in EOS Main, EOS South and ESB. This is in violation of fire safety regulation. Should you need to dispose of a large number of rocks, please contact Tim Morgan (604-362-7988).

  • An EOS Technician is to accompany students and other personnel who are unfamiliar with shipboard safety procedures, at least on their first field trip.
  • All new personnel, including students, must be given a copy of the attached excerpt from the Coast Guard Familiarization Manual for Supernumeries on CCG Vessels as required reading before embarking on a sea voyage. (A complete copy of the Manual can be obtained from the EOS Main Office, 6339 Stores Road or from the CCG web site.)
  • Once on board, the Deck Officer or EOS Technician will gather all personnel and explain the safety procedures and the operation of ship-board machinery.
  • Safety apparel must be worn at all times. These include, but are not limited to, steel-toed boots when heavy gear is being used, a hard hat (with chin strap fastened), and a life jacket or floater coat.
  • Fire station and abandon ship procedures are to be explained and actual drills performed when appropriate.
  • Personnel must never work alone on deck at night, even under well-lit conditions.
  • Personnel must be aware of moving lines and cables (particularly when under tension), overhead loads, and operating winches and cranes. These can pose dangerous situations and everyone on deck should stay well clear.
  • Wear protective cloithing appropriate to the work area, including a lab coat, long pants, and closed toe shoes.
  • Use ear protectors and/or a face mask working with machinery.
  • Remove all jewelry, secure loose clothing, and tie up long hair when working with moving machinery.

General Requirements

Tools

  • When not in use, the tool must be unloaded and the tool and power loads must be securely stored and be accessible only to qualified and authorized persons.
    • A tool must not be stored when loaded
  • Each tool must be legibly and durably marked to show the tool manufacturer's name or trademark and the model and serial number.
  • All guards for the tool must be legibly and durably marked to show the tool manufacturer's name or trademark, and model.
  • A powder actuated tool must only be operated by a person who has:
    • Been trained in the use of the specific make and model of tool,
    • Satisfactorily demonstrated to the supervisor the effective and safe use of the tool,
    • The required personal protective equipment and uses it.

Fasteners

  • Only fasteners recommended by the tool manufacturer for use in the particular tool shall be used with that tool.
  • Only equipment designed for use with a particular fastener or for a particular application as recommended by the tool manufacturer must be used with the tool.
  • Each box of fasteners must be marked with the fastener manufacturer's name and the type and size of fastener.

Powder Loads

  • Number and colour identification of power level of the powder load, must be displayed on each of the powder load packages.
  • Only those powder loads and strengths recommended by the tool manufacturer and properly identified are to be used in the tool.
  • Powder loads of different strengths must be kept in separate boxes or containers; they must never be intermixed in the same box or container.
  • Where means other than powder loads of differing power levels are to be used to control penetration, only those methods recommended by the tool manufacturer must be used.

Tool Handling and Use

  • When a condition arises which creates any doubt about the safe procedure to follow, bring the matter to the attention of the supervisor. If the supervisor is unable to solve the problem, the tool manufacturer's representative should be contacted.
  • Only a competent worker, or a trainee authorized by the employer and who works under the direct supervision of a competent worker, is to operate a powder actuated tool
  • Appropriate personal protective equipment must be worn by tool operators, helpers and other workers exposed to the danger.
  • At a minimum: eye protection, safety headgear, hearing protection.
  • A powder-actuated tool must not be used in an explosive or flammable atmosphere.
  • When using the tool in a confined space, make sure that adequate ventilation is provided.
  • Operators of powder actuated tools must:
    • Inspect the tool before using it to determine that it is in proper working condition:
      • Testing methods recommended by the tool manufacturer should be followed
      • Defective tools must be removed from service and repaired or replaced.
    • Use the proper shield (guard) or fixture for the job:
      • Only use special guards or fixtures where the standard shield does not provide suitable protection.
    • Consider possible dangers to nearby workers before using the tool:
      • Never load a powder-actuated tool until ready to make the fastening.
    • Always keep the tool pointed in a safe direction - loaded or not.
    • Never carry loaded tools to and from the job.
    • Always hold the tool perpendicular to the work surface when fastening into any material:
      • For special applications, follow the practices prescribed by the tool manufacturer.
    • Misfired and unused live loads must be returned to safe storage or immersed in either water or oil prior to disposal.
  • When there is a misfire, the operator must hold the tool firm against the work surface for a period of not less than 30 seconds and then follow explicitly the tool manufacturer's instructions for such occurrences.
  • Fasteners must not be driven into:
    • Very hard or brittle materials such as, cast iron, glaze tile, hardened steel, glass block, natural rock, hollow tile, and most brick.
    • Pretensioned and post-tensioned concrete surfaces without first obtaining written instructions from a professional engineer.
    • Concrete materials:
      • at a distance closer than 2" to the edge of the material,
      • with concrete less than 2 ½" in thickness,
      • at a distance closer than 3" to a point where a former fastener has failed.
    • Steel:
      • when steel is less than 3/16" in thickness,
      • at a distance closer than 2" to a weld.
      • Corner brick or mortar joints.

Safety by Tool Type

Hand & Electric

  • Do not attempt to bypass or remove manufacturer-installed safety devices. These are there for a purpose - worker protection.
  • Do not operate tools beyond their rated limits, or try to increase their capacity with bypasses, cheaters or other modifications.
  • Always maintain hand and power tools in a safe, top-notch working condition.
  • Where contact with moving parts of machinery or equipment could injure workers, maintenance including adjusting, cleaning and lubricating shall not be done until the machinery has been properly locked-out.
  • Make sure the proper tools is being used for the job; for example, never use a wrench as a hammer or a screwdriver for prying:
    • Use the correct size and type of tool - an oversize wrench could slip and cause injury
  • Worn or damaged tools are dangerous:
    • Do not use impact tools such as drift pins, wedges and chisels that have mushroomed or tools with cracked or loose handles
    • Turn them in for repair or replacement

Power Operated Tools

  • Ensure that they are in good repair, and always provide grounding for tools that are not build to double insulation standards
  • Do not use an electric hand tool in the rain or under wet conditions
  • Where possible use ground fault interrupter circuit breakers or receptacles.
  • Clamp or otherwise secure small or light materials before attempting to ream, drill, tap or do similar work.
  • Always keep moving parts of power tools away from your body.
  • Never leave an unattended power tool running and never set it down before it has fully stopped.
  • Be careful where you set tools down - don't put them where they can fall or be knocked over.
  • Take particular precautions when using power tools while standing on a scaffold or other work platform:
    • Watch your footing
    • Use both hands, keep electric cords clear of obstructions and do not over-reach.
  • Only a trained, licensed qualified worker can operate a powder actuated tool (Standard Practices of Powder Actuated Tools)

Never use compressed air for cleaning purposes unless there is effective chip guarding and appropriate personal protective equipment is worn:

Abrasive Tools

  • Never use compressed air to clean clothing or skin.
  • Make sure grinder stones and discs have an adequate protective guard.
  • Ensure that grinder stones and discs are matched to the RPM rating of the grinder:
  • A low RPM stone or disc on a high RPM grinder may shatter.
  • Wear a proper face shield or eye protection during all grinding operations; use respirators when required.
  • Check grinder stones and discs daily for nicks, cracks or other defects - replace immediately if damaged.
  • Handle grinders carefully - if dropped, inspect the grinder and stone/disc immediately for damage.
  • Abrasive wheels may shatter if incorrectly handled:
    • Wheels must be carefully stored, gently handled and properly installed,
    • Always test start the new wheel where it can do not harm.
  • Do not use the side of a wheel for grinding unless it is specifically designed for such use.
  • Make sure a portable grinder is turned off and all motion stopped before setting it down.

Hoists and Cranes

  • The safe working load of equipment must be determined before it is used:
    • The working load must never be exceeded.
  • Each day, machinery and equipment must be inspected by the operator before use:
    • Ensure that proper rigging practices and correct components are used at all times.
  • The operator is responsible for the safe condition of the machine:
    • When there is any doubt as to the safety of a lifting task, the operator must stop the machine and not handle the load until the safety of the lift has been assured.
  • The rigger and the operator are jointly responsible for safe rigging.
  • The operator must avoid swinging loads over workers:
    • He must warn workers and other persons to move away if the load must pass over them.
  • Tag lines must be used to prevent loads from twisting or swinging.
  • Do not handle rigging lines that are in motion or are under the load:
    • Stop the hoist if it is necessary to adjust slings or shackles,
    • Never guide lines onto drums with your hand or foot - use a stick or iron bar for this purpose.
  • Never allow loads, booms rigging or workers to come within the limits of approach to high voltage electrical conductors.
  • Only authorized, competent workers must operate hoisting equipment.
  • Do not stand near any rope, wire rope or chain under load - the whipping action of a broken line has often been the cause of death.

Powder Actuated

The Industrial Health and Safety Regulation require that these tools be used in accordance with the ANSI Standard A10.3-1995, American National Standard for Construction and Demolition Operations - Safety Requirements for Powder-Actuated Fastening Systems, or other acceptable standard. The following practices are not intended to replace the CSA Standard, they are to be used as a ready reference to acceptable practices when powder actuated tools are used.

The University of British Columbia is wholly supportive of academic pursuits that entail travel within and outside our Canada's borders. Risk Management Services has developed a website to provide guidance to UBC faculty members and staff who are engaged in teaching and learning opportunities outside the UBC community. In foreign environments one can expect that the social, political and environmental milieu will vary significantly from the Canadian experience. It is therefore essential to ensure that appropriate preparatory steps have been taken to minimize situational risks and the potential consequences of events that may negatively affect the outcomes of your studies locally and abroad. It is crucial that those documented processes are then fully engaged in the field. If you are a supervisor of staff or students who accompany you, there are associated legal and ethical responsibilities that must be managed and processes to be established and followed that ensure their safety and well being as well as your own. Whether you will be supervising others or will be pursuing your academic or research Program individually, by fully engaging the processes described in this document your endeavors will have the greatest likelihood of success and should untoward events occur, you will be prepared to respond effectively.
 
This guidance website has been developed by Risk Management Services Okanagan Campus in collaboration with the Field Safety and International Travel Steering Committee, Risk Management Services Vancouver Campus, in conjunction with Human Resources, and Go Global resources from both campuses. Input from the University of Alberta and WorkSafeBC is gratefully acknowledged.
 
The website can be reached here.

New Employees

Please complete the Personal Safety Information (PSI) Checklist and your Safety Training Record forms as soon as possible following the commencement of your employment in EOAS. Send/bring your signed and dated PSI Checklist and Safety Training Record to the Secretary of the Safety, Security and Sustainability Committee, c/o Room ESB 2020, 2207 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4. Your key and card key access requests will not be processed until these forms have been received.

Everyone in EOAS is responsible for promptly reporting any accident or incident (including near misses) to the EOAS Safety, Security and Sustainability Committee. In addition every accident or incident must be reported on-line using the UBC CAIRNS system.

We take the completion of the PSI Checklists, the Safety Training Records, the Monthly Lab Inspection Checklists and the on-line Accident/Incident Report Forms very seriously. Proper safety training will help to ensure you remain accident-free. In addition, in the event that WorkSafe BC inspects or investigates the Department for any reason, a lack of proper documentation showing adherence to safety regulations could result in substantial fines.

Supervisors

If you are a Supervisor, you are responsible for ensuring personnel under your management are properly trained. Your personnel should read the safety material and attend relevant UBC safety courses.  You are responsible for ensuring they understand the material by going over it with them, either individually or as a group.

Please ensure that you complete an EOAS Workplace Safety Orientation and a Safety Orientation Guidelines form for every new staff member, including all student workers and practicum students. Please send the original to the Secretary of the Safety, Security and Sustainability Committee, c/o Room ESB 2020 and keep a copy for your records.

You are also responsible for safety in your labs and the completion of the Monthly Lab Inspection Checklists; there should be a red binder in each lab containing these lists and they must be kept up to date.  You may designate someone in your research group to complete the checklists.

Thank you and work safely.

– Your EOAS Safety, Sustainability and Security Committee

Existing Employees

Please immediately complete the Personal Safety Information (PSI) Checklist and your Safety Training Record form if you have not done so within the past 12 months. As soon as possible send/bring your signed and dated copy of your PSI Checklist and also your Safety Training Record to the Secretary of the Safety, Security and Sustainability Committee, Room ESB 2020, 2207 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4.