Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Working Alone

Purpose / Scope

1. Purpose: To describe the procedure for ensuring TRU workers and students who work alone are kept safe.

2. Scope: This procedure applies to all employees of TRU who work alone, outside of regular office hours or in isolated locations including administrators, faculty, staff, graduate and work study students.

Potential health and safety hazards


1. Critical Injury – an injury that places life in jeopardy, produces unconsciousness, results in substantial blood loss, involves a fracture or amputation, burns to a major portion of the body or loss of sight.

2. Hazardous Activities – include the use of high-speed power tools, moving machinery, radioactive materials, exposure to high voltage, electrical equipment, heavy duty equipment, heavy lifting, hydraulics, and machinery on hoists.

3. PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) – Includes lab coats, goggles, face shields, gloves, work gloves, steel toe footwear, hearing protection, etc.

4. Regular working hours – At TRU, regular working hours will be defined as 7am – 7pm Monday through Friday.

5. Safe Work Procedures (SWP’s) – written procedures that define the techniques, processes and best practices required to conduct work safely. SWP’s are required where individuals are working alone in situations that could accidentally result in a critical injury, health impairment or foreseeable life-threatening emergency.

6. Supervisor - a person authorized by the University to oversee or direct the work of others including research supervisors, department chairs, deans, directors, managers and any other persons in position of authority.

7. TRUsafea web-based system for employees to log in their location and estimated time of departure to allow security to know where people are located on campus. This will allow security to check on the well-being of staff as per the WorkSafe BC Regulations.

8. Worker – person who has entered into or is employed under a contract of service or apprenticeship, written or oral, express or implied, manual labour or otherwise.


Department Risk Health and Safety Hazards
Office Low Medical emergencies, tripping, falling and fire
Computer Operations Low Medical emergencies, tripping, falling and fire
Lab Medium Chemical exposures, medical emergencies, tripping, falling and fire
Shipping/Warehouse Medium

Driving forklifts and pickers, medical emergencies, tripping, falling and fire



Operating and working on various equipment, getting caught in or under equipment, may work on energized equipment, working at heights, chemical exposures, hot work/welding, medical emergencies, tripping, falling and fire.
The above identifies areas at the Kamloops TRU campus may be in a situation to work alone depending on production requirements. It assesses the risk and identifies health and safety hazards that employees “ought to be aware of.”
General rules

Supervisors are required to ensure that they:

10. Identify those who are required to work alone or in isolation

11. Together with other workers, or members the safety committee, identify the hazards from the nature of the work and assess the risk. Perform a task-oriented risk assessment and communicate the results to all affected workers including others conducting similar work.

12. Eliminate hazards, if possible.

13. If unable eliminate hazards, minimize the risk by:

a) Providing written instructions as to the scope of work that can be done while alone or in isolation,

b) Ensure adequate documented training and instruction for safe work procedures,

c) Ensure an adequate level of competence for work that will be done, maintain training records

d) Ensure a knowledge of, and documented training in, the proper use of PPE

e) Develop a written procedure for checking in on the worker if the TRUSAFE login system is not appropriate – i.e. work in the field. The frequency of checks will be determined by the risk of the work being done.

f) Ensure adequate emergency and survival supplies for working in remote outdoor worksites.

14. Ensure that workers on campus utilize the TRUSAFE login system when working alone or after hours.

15. It is strongly recommended that handling of hazardous materials or performing hazardous activities be prohibited when employees are working alone.

Department Chairs are required to:

16. Ensure SWPs are developed and readily available for the safe operation of all equipment or tasks being performed in their areas. Such SWP’s should be dated, signed, and reviewed and updated annually or more frequently as required

17. Ensure SWPs are read, understood and followed by all people working in an area.

18. Ensure the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is available, operating effectively and used.

19. Identify areas/tasks where working alone is not allowed and communicate to all affected people.

Working alone is prohibited when the work involves:

Confined Space entry

Installation, equipment or conductor operating at a nominal voltage of 300 volts or more

Electrical systems rated at more than 750 volts

Excavations (trenches)

A portable ladder exceeding 6 meters in length and is likely to be endangered by traffic. A 6m ladder should be secured alone or with people

Using fall arrest equipment and movable scaffolding above 4 meters (3 sections)


20. Is an automated way that staff working alone after hours can report to Security, so fulfilling the Work Safe BC requirement that procedures are in place for checking the wellbeing of a worker.

21. TRUSAFE is accessed through myTRU on computers at the Kamloops campus.

22. When you are working on campus after hours or alone

a) Log in using your normal user name and password.

b) On the employee resources page in the lower left column is a link called Working Alone Reporting.

23. A page displays with a number of option boxes. Fill in, along with the estimated duration, i.e., how long you will be on campus.

24. When you have completed your time and are ready to go home, you will need to go back to the TRUSAFE log in through myTRU and log out. If you do forget to logout, you can login into the TRUSAFE system from your home computer and logout from there.

Related forms and documents

Procedures Forms Records
    Risk Assessment Worksheets Risk Assessment worksheets 2
    Training/Orientation Records
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