Volunteer and Collaborator Injuries:

The requirement for timely reporting of University of Alberta worker injuries (staff and student) to the WCB has been covered on the Accident Reporting page, but the situation for volunteers and collaborators is somewhat different.

Although this is not directly a safety issue, it is important in avoiding potential lawsuits resulting from people being injured while participating at UofA related worksites (in a lab, at a field site or while travelling in UofA vehicle). A lawsuit might name co-workers, immediate supervisors, principal investigators, as well as the University Board of Governors and could have a major financial impact on many people.

University of Alberta Employees and Students: Employees are covered by the Workers Compensation Board (WCB) legislation and they cannot sue their employer, nor can the employer sue the employee regarding work related injuries. Students registered for an academic degree are considered employees of the Government of Alberta regarding WCB issues.


Collaborators are employees from institutions other than the University of Alberta and should be covered under the WCB plan from their employer. If they are injured while engaged in collaborative work, their employer's WCB plan coverage will apply to them. To ensure that employees from outside the UofA have WCB coverage, the University of Alberta requires a letter from the person's Human Resources department attesting to that fact.
Here is a sample letter (DOC, 22kb) that needs to be sent to the Insurance and Risk Management Office at the UofA before any collaborative work begins (laboratory, field site or travelling in a UofA vehicle). If a collaborator is injured, they should report it to their Employer's Human Resources department


Volunteers are not UofA employees but are covered by WCB legislation. Before they are allowed to work on any UofA worksite, they must complete a Volunteer Registration and Waiver of Liability Agreement. This is a very important document that may prevent an individual from suing the University of Alberta if they are injured while volunteering. Once completed, the signed original must be delivered to the Safety Officer for safekeeping (for 5 years). Because of the importance of this form, it should not be stored in a private office or taken into the field.

If this form is needed later, it will be because of a lawsuit.

Important Note: remember that regardless of liability waivers, everyone in your group deserves a safe workplace and prompt first aid/medical attention when injuries are incurred.

collaborator sample letter (DOC, 22kb) send to the Insurance and Risk Management Office at the University of Alberta
Volunteer Registration and Waiver of Liability Agreement deliver the signed original form to the Department of Biological Sciences Safety Officer, CW 317A, Biological Sciences Building