Working Alone Policy

Effective: September 2000
Review: June 2023
Revised: June 2017
Signature/Position: Vice-President, Finance and Operations

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 employees (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.