Frequently Asked Questions

The Health & Safety Office will regularly update its Frequently Asked Questions to reflect current information related to occupational health and safety at Acadia University. Please review the FAQs listed below:

What is occupational health and safety (OHS)?

OHS is the monitoring of a workplace to prevent disease and injury from affecting anyone who works there. At Acadia, we consider this to include the prevention of harm to faculty, staff and students involved in both on-campus and off-campus work-related activities sanctioned by the University.

What is the Internal Responsibility System (IRS)?

The Internal Responsibility System (IRS) is the foundation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Under the IRS, since all "workplace parties" influence what a workplace is like, they must all share responsibility for making the workplace safer and healthier. The Act sets out the responsibilities and duties of all workplace parties.

What are my health & safety rights and responsibilities?

The answers are in this easy-to-read booklet called Your Rights, Responsibilities, and the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

What is the University Joint Occupational Health & Safety Committee (JOHSC), and what is its role?

The University's JOHSC serves as an advisory group to Administration. In this steering committee role, it continuously reviews and recommends improvements to the University's health and safety management practices. The JOHSC is supported by a range of ad hoc sub-committees. These are working groups that provide a broad base of health and safety participation and representation from across the University community.

What is a Health and Safety Management System (OHS System)?

An effective OHS System provides the blueprint and the mechanisms needed to meet the University's legal responsibilities and to fulfill our Statement of Commitment to Health and Safety.

Acadia's OHS System includes:

  • clear authority, responsibility, lines of communication and accountability for H&S at all levels within the University,
  • a process for involving faculty and staff (through the JOHSC and Sub-committee structure) in the development and implementation of the OHS System,
  • a process for identifying applicable regulations, standards and "best practices", and the development and implementation of programs and procedures for achieving compliance,
  • a process for ensuring that faculty, staff and students have appropriate training and adequate supervision to ensure that they comply with all health and safety requirements,
  • a process for proactively identifying health and safety hazards, issues and other concerns, the assessment and evaluation of risks, and the application of appropriate risk control strategies,
  • a process for monitoring the implementation and effectiveness of approved corrective actions,
  • a process for occurrence reporting, investigation, analysis and corrective action,
  • a process for periodic inspection, to monitor controls and identify new hazards,
  • maintenance of documentation describing the health and safety activities undertaken by the University, and
  • procedures for assessing the University's health and safety performance (audits, etc).
I'm interested in taking a more active role in health and safety. Who should I talk to?

We're always looking for interested people who want to make a positive contribution! Let your supervisor know, and offer to assist at a local level. Also contact Acadia's H&S Office healthandsafety@acadiau.ca.

There is a fire extinguisher in my building that needs to be recharged. How do I arrange this?

Let your supervisor or residence assistant know. Supervisors and RAs should call Physical Plant Services at local 1444 and give full details of the fire extinguisher location.

We have a first aid kit that requires replenishing. How do I arrange this?

Let your supervisor or residence assistant know. Each department is responsible for checking and replenishing its own kits. If supervisors need information on how to obtain replacement first aid supplies, they should contact the Safety Office at healthandsafety@acadiau.ca.

What do I need to know about asbestos on campus?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was frequently used in older construction materials. It is commonly found in floor tiles, thermal insulation, ceiling tiles, wallboard, and other construction materials that were used before the early 1980s.

If asbestos-containing materials are disturbed, asbestos fibers may become airborne and can then pose a potentially serious health hazard. As many of Acadia's buildings were constructed before the harmful effects of asbestos were known, asbestos-containing materials were quite commonly installed in many of those buildings.

Acadia University recognizes the health concerns associated with airborne asbestos and has taken precautions to manage and control the risk. In many cases, asbestos containing materials have been removed from our buildings. Where asbestos does remain, active steps are being taken to ensure that no one is exposed to harmful asbestos fibers. Click Here to visit Acadia's on-line Asbestos Management page

Is there a maximum allowable temperature for office and other campus buildings?

Acadia follows the approach outlined by The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety: http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/phys_agents/max_temp.html.

If you have a health or safety question that’s not included in the FAQs…

Discuss the question with your supervisor, or contact Acadia's Health & Safety Office healthandsafety@acadiau.ca.