7-Day Safety Challenge

Since 2020, over 200 staff and students have reported injuries related to working and learning at the U of A. This Safety and Health Week (May 2 to 8) take the 7-Day Safety Challenge towards injury and illness prevention. You'll learn about the top injuries reported each year at the U of A and how to implement control measures, whether you're working from home or on campus. 

Complete the tasks below to reduce your risk of injury at work (and at home)! Skip any that don't apply to you.

Use this handy checklist to keep track and submit this form once you're done -- we'll announce the U of A unit or department that participates the most! 
Day 1

Sunday, May 2 - Lift right!

Every year, HSE receives dozens of reports of back and neck injuries related to lifting improperly. Injuries can be debilitating and difficult to resolve. Kick-off this year's Safety and Health Week with some light lifting, whether you're gardening, playing with your kids, or working out. Before you lift, review the following:

  • What are you planning to carry? Read this information document and make sure you're accounting for personal and workplace factors before you lift.
  • Plan and prepare to carry your load safely: Review this quick video and infographic from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety.
  • Are you wearing appropriate clothing for the temperature? Wear gloves to provide grip and to avoid finger injuries. Ensure you have appropriate footwear to protect your feet and provide traction.
  • Take frequent breaks and accept help from others.

Day 2

Monday, May 3 - Don't get tripped up

Trips and falls are some of the most common incidents at the U of A . Do a hazard assessment of your workplace or home office to reduce your risk:

  1. Identify hazards: note anything that could be a tripping hazard such as cords, cables, or boxes.
  2. Assess the hazards: Can you reduce the clutter? Move boxes to a closet or position under a chair or table. Remove electronics not in use and consider repositioning your station to be closer to outlets.
  3. Control the hazards: Tape the cords down, secure them with velcro or zip ties, or tuck them behind furniture. Wear slip-resistant footwear with treads, whether indoors or outdoors.

For a "plain-language" look at how to reduce trips and falls, check out this video from WorkSafeBC.


Day 3

Tuesday, May 4 - Check your equipment and train to use it properly

In the last year, approximately 30 U of A staff and students reported incidents related to improper equipment usage or maintenance. Before you use research or emergency-related equipment, make sure you are trained and competent to do so, and that the equipment is in working order:

Working in a laboratory, workshop, or field site?

  • Register research-related equipment (lasers, x-rays, biological safety cabinets, etc.) in the HSE database and complete an equipment decontamination form if you need to move or surplus it.
  • Complete appropriate training and demonstrate competency to use the equipment before beginning work.
  • Inspect your equipment for missing and malfunctioning parts. Contact the manufacturer for repairs.
  • For assistance with U of A equipment such as low-temperature fridges, freezers, fumehoods, emergency showers, or eyewashes, contact the Maintenance Desk at 780-492-4833. 
  • Review equipment specifications and make sure you're adhering to the preventative maintenance schedule.
Working from home?

Day 4

Wednesday, May 5 - Watch your waste

In 2020, more than 25 staff and students reported incidents related to broken glass, needlestick injury, exposure to hazardous materials, and other circumstances related to improper disposal of waste. Check your understanding of waste disposal at the University of Alberta:


Day 5

Thursday, May 6 - Reduce the strain

Did you know that 1 in 10 workers suffer from workplace-related repetitive strain injuries (RSI) associated with repetitive tasks, sustained positions, or poor ergonomic techniques? During COVID-19, many U of A staff are working from an improvised office, be it the kitchen table, an ironing board, or otherwise. Take steps to reduce the likelihood of repetitive strain injuries and to maximize the comfort of your work station:


Day 6

Friday, May 7 - Equip your kit

In the last year, HSE has received 20 reports of incidents involving releases of hazardous materials and 15 where first aid was required. Follow the steps below to ensure your kit(s) are ready to go:

Once that's done, sit back and enjoy this spill response crossword puzzle!

Day 7

Saturday, May 8 - Take a road trip (safely!)

Ready for another summer of sightseeing around Edmonton? Before you head out ensure that you've completed the following: