Are You Working Alone?

For UCalgary academically employed graduate students
An article by the GSA Labour Relations Committee

While some employees are returning to work on campus, COVID-19 is keeping many of us home.  This means that many employees will be working alone on campus this semester. 

The hazards of working alone are not limited to those working with toxic substances or heavy machinery.  In fact, the number one cause of workplace injury is slips, trips, and falls. Falling objects are also a major concern; these accidents can happen anywhere.  The following are specific risks to working alone:

  • If you are hurt, no one is nearby to assist you;
  • If you have an allergic reaction, seizure, or other unpreventable emergency, you may not receive the immediate care required to save your life; and/or
  • You are more likely to be a victim of violence.

If you are working alone, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Will someone hear you if you call for help?
  2. If you fall unconscious, will someone find you?

Whether working alone in a lab or an office, you should have a plan in the event that you are incapacitated by injury.  Make sure someone knows where you are, and when you are expected to leave.  When possible and safe to do so, leave doors open so that others can easily reach you. 

For your safety, each time you work alone on campus you should fill out a Work Alone Registration Form.  This ensures that your designated contact is aware of your location and can send security to check on you if they don’t hear from you.

If you feel unsafe while walking on campus alone, campus security offers Safewalk: a free service to all students.  By calling 403.220.5333, you can have two experienced safewalkers (male/female pairs) will accompany you as you travel anywhere on campus, 24/7.

Click here for more information on UCalgary’s current Work Alone procedures and to access the Work Alone Registration Form.