A Culture of Care: Safety Action Plan

The University of Alberta's three-year safety action plan will embed health and safety as a core value within the university community.


To empower U of A employees to own their safety performance and that of others so everyone can go home safely each day.

Employees have every right to expect they will return to their families healthy and safe at the end of their day. The same holds true for members of the public who access university services. An embedded safety culture means elevating health and safety to a core value within the U of A – it means a university commitment to the physical, psychological and cultural safety and well-being of the university community.

Creating a safe workplace environment across our One University requires specific attention to several factors. Safety involves not only the physical environment, but also cultural and psychological well-being, which are equally critical aspects of feeling safe in the workplace.

Physical + Cultural + Psychological

Join in on Safety Day on May 8

The University of Alberta will host Safety Day on May 8. Safety Day is a new initiative that provides faculty and staff an opportunity to participate in a university-wide conversation on safety. This one-day event will be facilitated by leaders and will contextualize the importance of safety within each respective work environment.

Learn More

Initiatives in action

The following initiatives are underway to help us create a safe workplace across our One University. This list is updated as initiatives are launched. Quarterly updates are provided to both executive leadership and the board audit and risk committee as part of the accountability structure for the action plan.

Buy-in and Organizational Alignment

Employee Empowerment

  • Enhance employee understanding of rights, roles, responsibilities and blame free approach through updated Working Safely eLearning.

Recognition and Rewards

How we got here

The university has a comprehensive Health, Safety and Environment Management System (HSEMS) and a stated commitment from the president confirming that safe behaviour is the shared responsibility of all University of Alberta faculty, staff, students and visitors.

In response to an increase in reportable, preventable and serious near-miss incidents in 2021-22 and to acknowledge gaps in our safety culture, the university established a Safety Strategy Advisory Committee, a supporting working group and engaged other stakeholders representing a broad cross section of the university community including students, staff and faculty. The advisory committee developed a three-year action plan that includes a series of initiatives with measurable outcomes.

building a culture of care

Human Resources, Health, Safety and Environment (HRHSE) has built an annual implementation and initiative plans that will support the implementation of the Culture of Care action plan. The action plan is built on four pillars: Buy-in and Organizational Alignment, Employee Empowerment, Recognition and Rewards and Reporting Systems.

The successful implementation of the action plan is a coordinated effort, with shared responsibilities across the university, leading to a robust and integrated safety culture. An embedded safety culture means a university commitment to the physical, psychological and cultural safety and well-being of the university community. This is achieved by integrating this action plan with other ongoing plans and strategies including (but not limited to) the Indigenous Strategic Plan, the Strategic Plan for Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity, Suicide Prevention Framework and the Healthy University Strategic Plan.

“At the University of Alberta, we prioritize safety to protect the health and well-being of our students, employees and visitors. Safe behaviour is our shared responsibility and our legal obligation — but more importantly, it is also our ethical obligation.”