Article 33: Health and Safety

33.01 The Board, consistent with its rights and obligations in law, recognizes its responsibility to provide a safe environment in which to carry out the University’s functions.

33.02

(a) The Board agrees to continue the Dalhousie University Environmental Safety Committee. Each bargaining unit within Dalhousie University shall be invited to appoint one member of the committee, except the Association may appoint two members, one of whom shall be an instructor Member. The Board shall appoint members of the committee, not to exceed in number those named by the bargaining units. The committee shall be empowered to add from time to time those further members it deems necessary for its function in such a manner as to preserve the principle of parity between the bargaining units and the Board. The chairperson of the committee shall be elected annually from amongst its members, and shall have a vote. The committee may invite a nonvoting observer from the Dalhousie University Student Union, and from each interested non-union staff group which applies.

(b) A Director of Safety shall be appointed who shall be a non-voting member of the Environmental Safety Committee. The Director normally shall attend all meetings of the committee, and shall normally provide a written record on issues of safety relayed to the Director’s office, and shall report on the steps being taken to deal with those issues, and any additional measures required. This record shall form part of the minutes of the committee meetings.

(c) A copy of the minutes of the committee meetings shall be provided to the Association.

33.03

(a) The Environmental Safety Committee shall be empowered to recommend policies, guidelines and/or codes of practice for all aspects of health and safety within the University, including work practices. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the committee may identify any toxic, radioactive or otherwise dangerous substances present on the campus, and recommend policies, guidelines and/or codes of practice for the presence, use, transportation and disposal of all such substances.

(b) The Environmental Safety Committee shall be empowered to make recommendations to the Board for alterations to physical facilities or actual work practices, if it deems such alterations necessary or desirable for carrying out the University’s functions in a safe and healthy manner.

(c) The Environmental Safety Committee shall be empowered to make recommendations on mechanisms that the committee considers necessary for investigating any complaints or allegations about unsafe or unhealthy working conditions.

(d) The Environmental Safety Committee shall be empowered to set its own procedures.

33.04 The Board shall consider the recommendations of the committee pursuant to Clause 33.03; if the action of the Board varies from the recommendations of the committee it shall report its decision and reasons in writing to the committee. All original policies, recommendations, guidelines and/or codes or practice recommended to the Board by the committee and the Board’s above-mentioned report to the committee shall be maintained by the chairperson of the committee who shall advise the Board and the Association of the location of these documents which shall be available to members upon reasonable request; a copy shall also be kept in the Association office. No Member shall be penalized or have his or her employment terminated due to any of the Board actions resulting from recommendations of the committee.

33.05 The Board agrees to publish to all appropriate employees any policies, guidelines, and/or codes of practice adopted or approved by the Board pursuant to Clause 33.04.

33.06 Subject to Clause 33.04, Members shall assume appropriate responsibilities to respect, comply with, and assist in the implementation of Board-approved policies, guidelines and/or codes of practice as provided in Clause 33.05, and the Association shall encourage Members to comply with these policies, guidelines and/or codes of practice. Willful disregard of such policies, guidelines and/or codes of practice shall be grounds for disciplinary proceedings.

33.07

(a) No Member shall be laid-off, have his or her employment terminated, or be disciplined for refusing to work where in the reasonable opinion of the Member there is an imminent danger to health, or for refusing to participate in any work practice which does not conform to guidelines provided in Clause 33.05. Any evidence of such health or safety hazard shall be reported immediately to the appropriate authority for investigation and remedy, and the committee shall be notified of any such report. The Member(s) involved may be requested to accept temporary assignment to appropriate alternative duties and/or workplace pending investigation and any necessary remedial action, and such requests shall not be unreasonably denied.

(b) Where a Member believes that a health or safety hazard may exist in the working environment or in work practices, the circumstances shall be reported to the committee for immediate assessment, and to any appropriate authority. Where the committee confirms that a health or safety hazard exists, the Member(s) affected may be requested to accept temporary assignment to appropriate alternative duties and/or workplace until any necessary remedial action is taken, and such requests shall not be unreasonably denied.