University of Saskatchewan


Working Alone

Health, Safety and Environment

Authorization: Board of Governors
Approval Date: Jun 25, 2004


To provide for measures to protect the health and safety of, and minimize risk to, any worker that works alone or at an isolated place of employment as defined in The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 1996 (Section 35). Strict adherence to this policy will help to meet health and safety legal requirements and demonstrate due diligence in work alone situations.


Supervisors shall review each worksite under their control to identify individuals who work alone and ensure all reasonably practicable steps are taken to protect the health and safety of those workers. Deans and Division Heads are responsible for ensuring a site specific Working Alone Policy is developed, implemented, communicated and enforced. Workers must comply with the site specific Working Alone Policy.


The University reserves the right to take any action it deems necessary in the enforcement of this policy. A complete copy of the procedures is available at


"normal working hours" means the hours of the University of Saskatchewan when there are typically people available to help in the case of an incident, normally between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. However, some departments have normal work hours that do not fall within this range. In such cases, a departmental Working Alone Policy should be formulated and the department should stipulate what they consider normal work hours to be.

"supervisor" means a person authorized by an employer to oversee or direct the work of workers, including research supervisors, principal investigators, department heads, deans, managers and any other persons in positions of authority.

"worker" means any person who is engaged in an occupation in the service of an employer including graduate students.

"working alone or at an isolated place of employment" according to The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 1996 means "to work at a worksite as the only worker of the employer or contractor at that worksite, in circumstances where assistance is not readily available to the worker in the event of injury, ill health or emergency." The University campus is considered one worksite, however there may be situations which may pose additional risks to a worker even though the worker is not strictly working alone. In these circumstances extra precautions and requirements may be warranted. Various work environments and situations call for various interpretations of "working alone". For example, a worker who comes in alone after normal working hours to perform paperwork duties may not be considered to be "working alone". However, if a worker comes in after normal working hours to do laboratory testing with hazardous substances, the worker may be considered as "working alone" and require limitations on his/her duties through a site-specific Working Alone Policy.

"worksite" means any place where work is performed, including locations such as laboratories, offices, or field work.

Related Documents

There are no other documents associated with this policy.

Contact Information

Contact Person: Director, Workplace Safety and Environmental Protection (WSEP)
Phone: 306-966-8495