Accident Reporting - Field Work

Guidelines for Reporting Injury Accidents, Incidents and Occupational Illness in the Field



The purpose of this guideline is to enhance workplace safety by centralizing the reporting procedures in the department to help:

  • minimize or eliminate hazards
  • inform others of potential hazard
  • ensure proper accident reporting to the Alberta Workers' Compensation Board

The following procedures are designed to cover the response and reporting requirements for situations that result in (or have the potential to result in) personal injury including:

  • accidents
  • incidents (near misses)
  • occupational illnesses

These guidelines apply to departmental employees, students and volunteers when engaged in a work-related activity inside or outside of the building as well as to visitors to our building.

Three aspects to consider in dealing with an injury are:

  • first response: treating the injured person
  • recording details of the accident (who, where, when, treatment)
  • notifying the department safety officer, APO, and possibly the Workers' Compensation Board (WCB

The Alberta WCB requires notification of serious accidents within 72h. This applies both to salaried employees, graduate students as well as to undergraduate students in teaching labs or on field trips.

First Response:


The nature of the accident affects the response:
A. Minor injury:back to top

e.g. a small cut that is unlikely to become infected, skin contact with a dilute chemical solution (low toxicity), or something that is unlikely to cause any loss of work time.

A1. in the field/camp:


1. locate a first aid kit (personal kit, kits stored in vehicles or camp)
2. treat the injury
3. record information in Accident log (or form) stored in the first aid kit and Daily Field Safety Log Book
4. inform your supervisor

Note: you should record basic accident information even for a minor accident in case problems develop later and we have to complete the WCB forms.

B. More serious injury: back to top

e.g. a larger cut (may require stitches), higher possibility of infection, chemical spill involving eyes, severe allergic reaction, person will likely need treatment at a medical facility, person may be unable to work after the accident.

B1. summon appropriate local help:


1. contact people in the group/camp who have first aid training (names are listed in the Field Activity Plan - FAP)
2. locate a first aid kit and treat the injury

B2. calling for an ambulance:

if it is apparent that an ambulance is needed (e.g. a serious cut, person immobilized, having trouble breathing), contact local emergency response providersand tell them what you need. Give accurate location coordinates or send someone to help guide the ambulance to your location.

B3. as soon as possible, contact:

Ø your supervisor


Ø U of A Protective Services (UAPS) 780-492-5050

Ø the Department safety officer (if not available, inform the Associate Chair, Administrative (ACA) or Chair).


C. Potentially Serious Incident (a close call that could have resulted in serious injury):


Contact the

Department Safety Officer (if not available, see the ACA or

Department Chair)

D. Occupational Health Concerns:

Workers Compensation Board reporting : back to top

  • this applies to all U of A employees, graduate students, and undergraduate students (if they become injured in a course- or work-related activity)

The WCB-Alberta is a mutual insurance organization that is funded by employers in the province. Its role is to provide workplace liability and disability insurance for its members. All university of Alberta employees are covered under the WCB if they are injured while doing their work but in addition, students are also covered if they are injured while engaged in activities related to their educational program (i.e. in a laboratory or while on a field trip). If a university employee is injured at work, the WCB may reimburse the university for the employee's wages while recovering. For students injured while engaged in some aspect of their program, the WCB (or the employer) may reimburse them for wages lost because they could not continue a part-time job, for an ambulance or for prescription drugs (this coverage for students is paid for by the Alberta Government, not the University of Alberta since students enrolled in a degree program are considered employees of the Government for WCB purposes).

The Workers' Compensation Board requires notification of all worker accidents in which:

  • a worker requires medical attention at a medical facility, or
    · a worker cannot continue working on the day after the injury
There are two options for reporting - by fax or email
A. Fax printed form: download this form, fill in all required information and fax one copy each to WCB - (780) 427-5863 and Organizational Health and Effectiveness - (780) 492-0798.
B. In the event you can't complete forms right away, send an email to the Safety Officer ( or Lori Damman ( with the basic details (date, time, name of injured, SIN and type of injury. The claim will be started and further information can be submitted later.

If Tom is not available, submit the Worker form to Dianne Payeur in the main office (CW420). Also, if the injured person seeks medical attention, inform the doctor that the accident/injury occurred at work so that a Physician report can be submitted.

PLEASE NOTE: These WCB forms need to be submitted within 72 hours of the incident or a fine up to $25,000 may be levied against the employer (some workplaces try to suppress accident reporting to avoid having their WCB premiums increase). Such a fine could be handed down to the immediate supervisor who failed to submit a report.



Volunteers and Collaborators:
We frequently have people who are not employed by the University of Alberta working on projects conducted by U of A employees. This may be in a laboratory, at a field site or while travelling in a U of A vehicle. Since they are not our employees, WCB reports do not need to be submitted to the University of Alberta if they are injured during their work. However, because they are not employees and not covered by our WCB plan, there are some very important potential legal consequences if they do get injured during work.

Read more about Volunteer waivers here.


Alberta Workplace Health and Safety Reporting:
The Government of Alberta office that is responsible for worker safety must be notified in the event of certain major incidents such as a building collapse or the failure of a crane. Of more relevance to us, they must be informed if a worker is hospitalized for more than two days or if there is a death resulting from an injury

Location of Departmental First Aid Kits: back to top

All kits have an accident log book / form for recording information on minor injuries.


Should be with you at all times while in the field. Keep it restocked.
Appropriately sized kit stored in vehicles or camp. Consult this document from Alberta Occupational Health and Safety for more information.

Departmental Contacts: back to top

Safety Officer

Assistant Chair


Tom Hantos

Dianne Payeur

David Coltman

CW315A tel: 780-492-2399

CW422B tel: 780-492-1256

CW422A tel: 780-492-7255