Working Alone Policy

Effective: September 2000
Review: July 2017
Revised: July 2017
Signature/Position: Vice-President, Finance, Administration and Risk

Applicable Legislation:

Occupational Health and Safety Act, (OHSA), R.S.O. 1990
Industrial Establishments
Regulation 851. R.R.O. 1990
Construction Projects Regulations 213/91


This policy applies to all University of Guelph faculty, staff, students, volunteers and visitors who are performing work or activities alone that have the potential to result in exposure to hazardous materials or equipment or to environments that pose a risk of injury or illness due to hazardous conditions or violence.

Policy Statements:

  1. Working alone is prohibited where prescribed by regulation or a University policy, program or procedure.
  2. Departments are responsible for developing working alone safety plans and/or procedures as required to safeguard those individuals working alone.
  3. Working alone safety plans and/or procedures shall be reviewed by the (local) joint health and safety committee or health and safety representative as applicable.
  4. Supervisors shall be made aware of and approve all working alone situations.
  5. Supervisors shall work cooperatively with employees, students and/or visitors to identify and assess working alone situations.
  6. Supervisors shall put appropriate measures in place to mitigate, minimize or control risks identified with working alone situations.
  7. Supervisors shall provide employees, students and/or visitors with appropriate training and instruction on the requirements for working alone.


Term Definition
Working Alone Working by oneself such that assistance is not readily available in the event of injury, illness or other emergency.  Working alone may include work in both University and field locations and can occur during both during and outside of normal working hours.

Working Alone Guidelines

WorkAlone Feature in SAFEGryphon

WorkAlone is a brand new feature to the SAFEGryphon AppWorkAlone is a way for anyone to virtually check in with a family member, friend, co-worker or anyone you choose if the user is working late at night or is working alone or would feel safer if they were being checked up on during this time.  WorkAlone is fully customizable and allows the user selects how long the work alone session will last and how many times a “check in” is required.

Here is how it works….

1. The end user selects the work alone button in the app. There they enter important information such as how long they’re working, how often the app should check in on them, and who their emergency contact should be.

2. Once they’ve made their selections, they “start” their WorkAlone session. The app will send them a push notification at the frequency they’ve selected.  So for example, if I indicated that I’m working alone for 3 hours and I want a check in every 30 minutes, then the app would send me a push notification every 30 minutes. When the app sends the user a push notification, it will ask them to “check in”. If the end user checks in to confirm they’re OK, then the app will not contact the users’ emergency contact or Campus Community Police. If the end user ignores or doesn’t reply to the check in within a 5-minute period, the app will make an outbound call using an automated call system and contact the end users’ emergency contact and/or Campus Community Police.

3. The friend who receives the call has the option to call the end user back, simply by pressing “1” or to call the campus emergency services, simply by pressing “2”.

4 .Otherwise, the end user simply continues to work alone and their work alone ends as scheduled.

WorkAlone is free to use and is in our latest updated version of SAFEGryphon

1. To update, open SAFEGryphon on your smartphone and wait for a black update box to appear at the bottom of your screen. 

2. Tap that and the latest version of the app will be available on your device.

3.  You may also see updates through your App Store on your device.