The Occupational Health and Safety Act requires that the existence of any hazard in the workplace be reported to the employer or supervisor. Only if a hazard is identified can actions be taken to address the hazard, and hence reduce the potential for the hazard to result in a negative impact on our university community.

The goal of the Hazard Reporting Program is the prevention of injuries from an unaddressed or unreported hazard by providing clear communication directly.

All hazards should be reported immediately to your supervisor, or a person in authority. When the hazards are not in your immediate work area, who do you report them to? To streamline, we have developed the “Good Catch Report” that provides an online environment to identify a hazard and send this directly to EHS for action!

Where a hazard is believed to present an immediate danger, Contact Department of University Safety at extension 4444

The way incidents, hazards, and injuries are reported is changing!

Our online Health & Safety management tool, CU WorkSafe is going live at the end of January. Once live, CU WorkSafe will be where all incidents, hazards (Good Catch), and injuries are reported.

Until CU WorkSafe is live, please follow the procedures outlined below.

Learn more about how CU WorkSafe will work for you.

Incident Reporting

The Incident Reporting and Investigation Program plays a critical role in preventing injuries, by providing a mechanism to identify trends long before they result in injury.  

It is also to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act and the reporting requirements of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB).


Injuries & Incidents


Work-related injuries and/or illnesses are those caused by physical, chemical, or biological hazards in the workplace. They can also include acute psychological trauma resulting from the work.

All workplace injuries and/or illnesses must be reported immediately to the workplace supervisor. This includes reporting all injuries and/or illnesses affecting students, visitors, and contractors at Carleton University.

All worker related injuries and/or illnesses resulting in health care, absences from work or modified duties for more than seven (7) days must be reported to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board through Human Resources.

Incidents resulting in death or a critical injury as defined by the Ministry of Labour must be reported immediately to Environmental Health and Safety for subsequent reporting to the Ministry of Labour and the Joint Health and Safety Committee.

Violence and Harassment

If an incident of violence or harassment is witnessed, it is the responsibility of the witness to report it to their manager/supervisor, or the manager/supervisor of the transgressor. The manager/supervisor is responsible for taking the complaint seriously and taking appropriate steps to ensure the safety of all those involved.

If the complaint is one that could pose immediate risk of physical injury, contact the Department of University Safety at extension 4444.


Incidents are those events where there is no injury or illness, but that with a slightly different set of circumstances might have resulted in an injury or illness to a worker or to students. They are also caused by physical, chemical or biological hazards in the workplace. They may also be caused  by operational practices or other events.

Examples of these include fires or explosions, spills, discovery of an unexpected hazard, slips, trips and falls where there are no injury, or other circumstance that if not remedied could result in an injury.


Worker Responsibilities

  • Immediately report any incident involving injury, illness or the onset of a work-related disease, or other near miss, significant event to the supervisor;
  • Obtain first aid;
  • Obtain medical treatment in the event of a serious injury or illness
  • Provide information regarding the circumstances that resulted in the injury or illness
  • Participate in the investigation and completion of the Supervisor’s Incident Investigation Report Form
  • Complete or have completed the applicable WSIB forms as required by Human Resources.

Supervisor Responsibilities

  • Provide first aid and keep a record of the first aid given
  • If only first aid is provided, completion of the WSIB Form 7 is not required
  • If more that first aid is required, arrange for medical treatment of injured persons and provide transport to a medical facility, doctor, or the workers home as necessary
  • Complete the appropriate sections of the WSIB Form 7 and forward to Human Resources within 1 day
  • Investigate all incidents involving injury and/or illness
  • Complete the Carleton University, Supervisor’s Incident Investigation Report Form and submit it to Environmental Health and Safety within 1 day of the incident
  • Ensure that corrective action has been taken to prevent a recurrence

Critical Injury Reporting

In the event of a critical injury as defined under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Regulation 834 the Supervisor has the following and immediate responsibilities:

  • Call University Safety at 520-3612 or by dialing 4444 to co-ordinate emergency services response (police, fire and ambulance)
  • Call the Director, Environmental Health and Safety at 520-2600 extension 1108 for Ministry of Labour notification.
  • Attend the scene of the incident as soon as possible and secure the area

The Occupational Health and Safety Act states that if a person is fatally or critically injured at a workplace, no person shall interfere with, disturb, destroy, alter, or carry away any wreckage, article, or thing from the scene of an accident until permission has been granted by a Ministry of Labour inspector.

The only exceptions to this are for the following purposes:

  • Saving life or relieving human suffering, maintaining an essential public utility service or public transportation system, preventing unnecessary damage to equipment or other property.
  • Co-operate fully with the police and Ministry of Labour

Critical Injury Defined


For the purposes of the Act and the Regulations, “critically injured” means an injury of a serious nature that,

a) places life in jeopardy;

b) produces unconsciousness;

c) results in substantial loss of blood;

d) involves the fracture of a leg or arm but not a finger or toe;

e) involves the amputation of a leg, arm, hand or foot but not a finger or toe;

f) consists of burns to a major portion of the body; or

g) causes the loss of sight in an eye.

Exposure to Infectious Diseases

Supervisors must also report all cases where a worker suffers a needlestick injury or other possible exposure to an infectious disease unless ther is a surveillance protocol in place. A surveillance protocol is a formal procedure a health care practitioner follows to test and monitor a person exposed to an infectious disease to see if the person develops that disease.

Workplace Inspection Program

The workplace inspection program is one of the programs that implement the health and safety policy. The goal of the inspection program is to prevent injuries and illnesses by identifying and eliminating actual and potential hazards. In addition to identifying hazards, inspection reports are used to monitor standards and procedures and recommend changes. Inspections are needed as equipment and machines wear out, conditions change, most activities involve some risk, and the employer and supervisor have a legal responsibility to provide a healthy and safe workplace. However, an inspection program will only be successful when action is taken to eliminate the hazards found.

Informal inspections are always being done by anyone who notices a hazard and reports it to someone who can take action to correct it. Everyone in a workplace has a legal obligation to report hazards.

The procedures for reporting hazards are contained in the Hazard Reporting Policy.

Formal health and safety inspections at the University are done by the following:

  • Supervisors,
  • Worker Members of the Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC),
  • Fire Prevention Officer, and
  • Radiation Safety Officer

Occasionally health and safety inspections will be done by external agencies such as the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), the Ministry of Labour, City of Ottawa – Public Health, or other government organizations.


Who is a supervisor?

The Occupational Health and Safety Act defines a supervisor as a person who has charge of a workplace or authority over a worker. The President and Vice-Presidents, deans, academic and administrative directors, chairs, managers, faculty, researchers, all of these are supervisors. The department head is responsible for safety in the department. While inspection and reporting may be delegated, the department head retains this responsibility.

Why should a supervisor do inspections?

The Occupational Health and Safety Act places general responsibility on supervisors to inform workers of any hazards in the workplace and to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of workers. Carrying out effective and regular inspections keeps the supervisor aware of hazards and activity in the workplace. Inspections also provide the supervisor with an opportunity to identify, evaluate, report and control hazards in the workplace.

The goals of the inspection are to:

  • Identify actual and potential problems,
  • Identify equipment deficiencies,
  • Identify improper employee actions,
  • Review procedures in action,
  • Review management performance,
  • Involve management.

Supervisors are able to identify hazards by reviewing on-the-job practices, assessing equipment, and listening to concerns.

When should a supervisor do inspections?

 There are two categories of inspections to be done by a supervisor:

  • Informal inspections: An informal inspection occurs every time a supervisor walks through a workplace, notices problems and take corrective action.
  • Planned inspections: A planned inspection is done on a regular schedule, with the frequency depending on the needs of the particular workplace. A laboratory or workshop must be inspected more frequently then an office. An office may be inspected annually. A lab or workshop should be inspected monthly. A schedule developed by the department head will assist in planning.


The Occupational Health and Safety Act mandates that worker members of the JHSC must inspect the workplace at least once every year, with a part of the workplace inspected in each month. (Section 9 (23) – (30).

The JHSC approved the following procedure for inspections at its meeting of September 15, 1999.

1. A schedule for inspections is established by the JHSC as required by Section 9 (28) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
2. Each worker member of the JHSC is to do a workplace inspection in at least one building. It is the responsibility of worker members to note the months in which they are to do inspections.The worker members will contact the building representatives at the beginning of the month and arrange for the inspection. The OH&S Act assigns the responsibility for the inspection to the worker members of the JHSC.
3. The worker member completes the inspection using the standard report form and immediately following the inspection distributes the form as noted.
4. At each meeting the JHSC reviews the inspection reports for the previous quarter. Items that require action are forwarded to the appropriate individual, e.g. department head, Physical Plant, Vice-President, etc.
5. Copies of reports are kept on file in Environmental Health and Safety. For additional information contact the Manager, Enviornmental Health and Safety.


Fire Prevention Officer Inspections

The University Fire Prevention Officer carries out regular inspections of all building fire hose cabinets and stand-alone fire extinguishers as required by the Ontario Fire Code.

Radiation Safety Officer Inspections

The University Radiation Safety Officer undertakes periodic inspections of laboratories where work with radioactive substances is carried out.