Off Campus Activities/Travel

Off Campus Activities

Off campus activities, including conferences, class trips, varsity athletic trips, and practicums, require the completion of an Off Campus Form One. The link to this form and a guide on how to complete the form are below. Please contact us at riskmanagement@mtroyal.ca with any questions.Click here for the Off Campus Form One

Please note: this form is a fillable pdf file. Please download the form to fill it out electronically. The completed form must be submitted to riskmanagement@mtroyal.ca and security@mtroyal.ca at least four weeks before the activity start date.  

 

Off Campus Process Frequently Asked Questions                                                                                                 

ASSESSING RISK ASSOCIATED WITH OFF CAMPUS ACTIVITY

The extent of advance planning, preparation and approvals required prior to embarking on an off campus activity is commensurate with the level of risk associated with the activity.

 

In relation to reoccurring activities, the Activity Coordinator/Principal Investigator should ensure that, during the planning process, they consider changes in any relevant factors that have occurred since the activity last took place.

 

Risk assessment requires the exercise of good judgment, based on expertise and experience, and, where necessary, consultation with suitably qualified individuals. Risk assessment is a process that involves:

 

a.                   What are the Risks?

-Identifying hazards associated with the activity;

 

b.                   How serious are the Risks?

-Analyzing the risk related to each of the hazards; and,

 

c.                   What can I do about it?

-Determining how to manage the risks effectively.

 

For each off campus activity, the Activity Coordinator/Principal Investigator must undertake a risk assessment.

 

Following the completion of a risk assessment, the Faculty/Department Head must decide whether or not the proposed activity is considered to be manageable (low, medium or high) or unmanageable (trip does not take place without drastic alterations). 

 

MANAGEABLE RISK

 

Low-Risk Activities

 

a.                   Low-Risk Activities includes any activity that entails hazards no greater than those encountered by the participants in their normal onsite campus based activities. Minimal planning and preparation are required for such activities. If the risk assessment assists to conclude that the travel/activity is that of a Low-Risk nature, Form One does not need to be completed.

 

b.                   Advanced briefing of participants in Low-Risk activities is required. Consultation with Risk Management is at the discretion of the Activity Coordinator/Principal Investigator.

 

Approval: Verbal/Email approval by Faculty Department Head

 

Medium-Risk Activities

 

a.                   Medium-Risk Activities includes any activity that has the potential to expose participants to hazards that are greater than those likely to be encountered in their normal onsite, campus-based activities. Activities which have any of the factors set out in Appendix A: Elevation of Risk should be considered at least a Medium-Risk Activity.

 

b.                   Form One must be completed by Principal Investigator/Activity Coordinator, and approved by the appropriate authority before being submitted to Security Services and Risk Management.

 

c.                   Advanced activity briefing and orientation of participants in Medium-Risk activities is required. Consultation with Risk Management is at the discretion of the Activity Coordinator/Principal Investigator.

 

Approval: A completed Form One must be approved by the Faculty/Department Head

 

High-Risk Requiring the Review of Risk Management

 

a.                   High-Risk Activities includes any activities which are identified in Form One as being “High-Risk” activities. These are activities that have the potential to expose participants to hazards that are significantly greater than those encountered in their normal onsite, campus-based activities. Legislation often requires the Activity Leader, Principal Investigator and the activity participants have a higher level of preparation for these events. In some cases, MRU’s Insurers will not automatically extend insurance coverage for these activities and additional coverage may need to be obtained through Risk Management.

 

b.                   Form One must be completed by Principal Investigator/Activity Coordinator, reviewed by Risk Management and approved by the appropriate authority.

 

Approval: A completed Form One must be reviewed and signed by Risk Management, and then approved by the Faculty/Department Head.

 

UNMANAGEABLE RISK

  

Following the completion of a risk assessment performed using Form One, the Faculty/Department Head must decide whether or not the risk associated with the proposed off campus activity is manageable through the use of planning, training and preparation.

 

If the Faculty/Department Head concludes that the risks associated with the proposed off campus activity cannot be effectively managed or mitigated, the activity must not proceed.

 

The Faculty/Department Head should consult with Risk Management for further guidance.

Procedure for Low-Risk Activity

Action

Responsibility

 

1. Notification of group travel/activity plans to offer

     a Low-Risk off campus activity through the Pre-Travel Authorization.

 

Activity Coordinator/Principal Investigator sends memo/email to Faculty/Department Head for approval.

 

2. Risk assessment made and determined to be Low-Risk

 

Activity Coordinator/Principal Investigator reviews risk assessment with Supervisor.

 

3. Plan and prepare participants for an off campus activity by providing an orientation or briefing session.

 

Activity Coordinator/Principal Investigator.

 

4. Proceed with off campus activity and make appropriate arrangements.

 

Activity Leader(s).

 

Procedure for Medium and High-Risk Activity

Action

Responsibility

 

1. Notification of plans to offer a Medium-Risk Off Campus Activity

 

Activity Coordinator/Principal Investigator sends memo to Faculty/Department Head for approval of request to proceed with a Risk assessment.

 

2. Conduct Risk assessment and seek advice from appropriate experts (Risk Management, International SOS) as appropriate.

ALL High-Risk Off Campus Activities

will need to be reviewed and signed by Risk Management

 

 

Activity Coordinator/Principal Investigator completes Form One, and sends to Risk Management for signature; if required, before submitting to Faculty/Department Head for approval.

 

3. Submit Completed Form One with Risk assessment to Faculty/ Department Head.

 

Activity Coordinator/Principal Investigator submits to Faculty/Department Head who can then;

1. approve;

2. requests additional Risk Management strategies, or;

3. deny the activity if the Risk is Unmanageable.

 

4. If an activity has Unmanageable Risk, the activity will need to be modified to eliminate the Unmanageable Risk or the activity will not proceed.

 

The Faculty/Department Head will advise the Activity Coordinator/Principal Investigator not to proceed or to modify the activity.

The Activity Coordinator/Principal Investigator will need to submit a new Form One to show the changes in activity and how the Unmanageable Risk has been mitigated or transferred.

 

5. If given approval, Plan and prepare participants for an off campus activity by providing an orientation or briefing session.

 

Activity Coordinator/Principal Investigator.

 

(Informed Consent Form template available in P:\FORMS\OFF-CAMPUS ACTIVITY SAFETY)

 

PROCEDURE FOR INTERNATIONAL OFF CAMPUS ACTIVITIES

 

All members of the university community participating in university sanctioned international programs or international travel deemed Low, Medium, or High-Risk, involving students, or faculty-lead student groups, in addition to all requirements listed under Medium and High-Risk Activities, must:

 

i.                     Complete International Education application and registration forms if applicable.

 

ii.                    Attend mandatory pre-departure orientation session.

 

iii.                  Participants leading students groups must refer to the International Education International Field School Manual which outlines all of the logistics associated with the development and implementation of international field school/study programs.

 

PROCEDURE FOR ACTIVITIES DEEMED AS UNMANAGEABLE RISKS 

Action

Responsibility

 

Risk assessment deems the planned activity to be an Unmanageable Risk.

 

The Dean/Director will advise the Activity Coordinator/Principal Investigator that the activity has Unmanageable Risk and that they aren’t to proceed, or that they must amend the activity to adequately address the risk.

 

Subsequently, the Dean/Director will send a memo to the Activity Coordinator/Principal Investigator, the department Chair/Manager and the appropriate divisional Vice-President/ Executive Director outlining the decision.

  PROCEDURE FOR EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING ACTIVITIES  

Action

Responsibility

 

1.     Notification of plans to participate/offer Experiential Learning.

 

Participant/Experiential Learning Coordinator.

 

2.     Conduct risk assessment. If deemed to be High- Risk, Risk Management will need to review and sign before proceeding for signature from Faculty/Department Head.

Seek advice from appropriate experts as required.

 

Participant/Experiential Learning Coordinator and Faculty/Department Head.

 

4.     Plan and prepare as per department procedures.

 

Experiential Learning Coordinator.

 

5.     Proceed with activity and maintain regular communications.

Experiential Learning Coordinator and Student

 

9.     Maintain written documentation for all steps.

 

Experiential Learning Coordinator.

An Organizational Unit’s Dean(s), Director(s) or Associate Vice-Presidents

 

a.                   Ultimately accountable and responsible for any Off Campus Activities for their staff and students; and,

 

b.                   Are required to formally approve the Risk assessment and mitigation documentation (Form One).

 

The Activity Coordinator/Principal Investigator

 

The individual with direct responsibility for an academic/extra-curricular activity including all preparations/coordination of related Off Campus Activities. The Activity Coordinator/Principal Investigator is responsible for and must:

 

a.                   Design the Off Campus Activity and plan the travel itinerary;

 

b.                   File itineraries and subsequent changes with appropriate areas, regardless of assessed level of Risk;

 

c.                   Make a preliminary determination of the Risk level of the activity (using Form One);

 

d.                   Approve the Participants or request approval from the Faculty/Department Head, including any dependents of Participants;

 

e.                   Provide briefing, orientation, protective equipment and training to ensure that each Participant is aware of the Risk, their responsibilities and safety issues;

 

f.                     Establish a clear chain of responsible leadership that is communicated to and understood by all Participants;

 

g.                   Ensure that the needs of Participants with disabilities and medical conditions are considered in the activity plan;

 

h.                   Identify methods to deal with any emotional or psychological distress issues during the Off Campus Activity;

 

i.                     Develop an emergency response and communication plan;

 

j.                     Obtain written acknowledgement and informed consent from all the Participants in the activity (using an informed consent form);

 

k.                   Ensure that incidents are reported to Security Services and to the Faculty/Department Head in a timely fashion;

 

l.                     Provide Participants an opportunity for post-activity debriefing and completion of the Feedback/Evaluation Forms (Form Two);

 

m.                 Ensure that the Post-Activity Incident Report (Form Three) is completed and submitted to Risk Management and to the Faculty/Department Head if a Critical or Non-Critical Incident has occurred; and,

 

n.                   Maintain written documentation of the steps taken above.

 

 

The Activity Leader(s)

The University faculty or staff member(s) is in a supervisory role acting as the direct report for Participants. The Activity Leader is the individual who leads the Off Campus Activity. This individual may be the same individual as the Principal Investigator or Activity Coordinator.

 

The Activity Leader(s) is/are responsible for:

 

a.                   Understanding and complying with all relevant components of this Policy;

 

 

b.         Ensuring implementation of the Risk-management procedures established by the Activity Coordinator/Principal Investigator;

 

c.                   Ensuring that the Participants use the appropriate safety equipment, follow appropriate safety procedures, and take medical precautions as necessary;

 

d.                   Conducting ongoing Risk assessment during the Off Campus Activity and report any new Hazards to the Activity Coordinator/Principal Investigator;

 

e.                   Update changes to itinerary which would affect the Activity Coordinator/Principal Investigator’s abilities to contact or respond to group, if the Activity Coordinator/Principal Investigator is not available to receive updates, then the updates should be directly forwarded to Security Services;

 

f.                     Dealing with and resolving any safety concerns which arise in the field;

 

g.                   Conducting on-site briefings and orientations for Participants as needed when new safety issues or changes of plan arise;

 

h.                   Ensuring Participants provide written acknowledgement of Risk and informed consent;

 

i.                     Provide Participants an opportunity for post-activity debriefing and completion of the Feedback/Evaluation Forms (Form Two);

 

j.                     Maintaining regular contact with the Activity Coordinator/Principal Investigator and/or the Faculty/Department Head (or delegate) when possible;

 

k.                   Immediately reporting all incidents to Security Services;

 

l.                     Completing a Post-Activity Incident Report (Form Three) at the conclusion of the Off Campus Activity in the event of an Incident either Critical or Non- Critical and submitting it to Risk Management, the Activity Coordinator/Principal Investigator and/or Department/ Unit Head no later than ten (10) days following the completion of the activity.

 

Participant/Non-MRU Participant

 

All Participants are responsible to act in a safe and responsible manner throughout the course of the Off Campus Activity, taking into account instructions received and the welfare of others.

 

Participants and Non-MRU Participants are responsible for:

 

a.                   Acknowledging and being familiar with the Risks of the Off Campus Activity;

 

b.                   In the case of a person with a disability or medical need, bringing to the attention of the Activity Coordinator/Principal Investigator any special needs requiring accommodation;

 

c.                   Attending preparatory briefings, orientation and training sessions;

 

d.                   Providing evidence of a satisfactory state of health, immunization status, health/travel insurance and/or police information checks, as required, prior to undertaking the activity;

 

e.                   Providing written acknowledgement of Risk and Informed consent, as required;

 

f.                     Using the appropriate protective equipment, following the safety procedures established and take medical precautions;

 

g.                   Acting safely and in a responsible manner by exercising good judgment to prevent harm to self and to others;

 

h.                   Immediately reporting any incidents or newly identified hazards to the Activity Leader(s)/Experiential Learning Coordinator;

 

i.                     Providing post-activity feedback informally or, if requested, by completing a Feedback/Evaluation Form (Form Two); and,

 

j.                     Promptly advising as per the Safe Disclosure policy of any concern that appropriate safety preparations have not been made, or that an Off Campus Activity is not being conducted with due regard to safety.

 

Faculty/Department Head(s)

 

Faculty/Department Head(s) are responsible for:

a.                   Ensuring that the Activity Coordinator/Principal Investigator are aware of and comply with the provisions of this Policy;

 

b.                   Approving the Safety Planning Record (Form One);

 

c.                   Advising the Activity Coordinator/Principal Coordinator to cancel the activity or revise the plan if an activity has Unmanageable Risk. The Faculty/Department Head shall ensure that a new Form One is submitted for the modified activity;

 

d.                   Forwarding a copy of the approved Form One to Risk Management;

 

e.                   Ensuring that occurrences are reported to the appropriate Mount Royal office (Security Services and Risk Management) in a timely fashion;

 

f.                     Ensuring that information about Hazards that are encountered and incidents that occur during an Off Campus Activity are communicated within the Department/Unit so that these are taken into account in the planning of future activities.

 

 

Experiential Learning Coordinator

 

The Experiential Learning Coordinator is responsible for:

 

a.                   Ensuring that the host organization is compliant with safety policies and procedures as outlined in program specific manuals, handbooks and relevant documents;

 

b.                   Ensuring above noted information is current and adheres to Mount Royal University’s Off Campus Activity Safety Policy;

 

c.                   Ensuring a Risk assessment and Form One is completed with student(s) if required;

 

d.                   Immediately addressing safety concerns brought forward by student;

 

e.                   Ensuring that Workers Compensation Board (WCB) requirements are met prior to placement; and,

 

f.                     Reporting Critical incidents to 911 when appropriate, Risk Management, and the Person in Authority (Dean/Chair).

 

Risk Management

Risk Management is responsible for:

 

a.                   Educating members of the University Community about planning, Risk assessment and the implementation of this policy;

 

b.                   Providing advice and expertise to those engaged in planning Off Campus Activities;

 

c.                   Disseminating information that may be relevant to the broader University Community about Hazards identified or incidents that have occurred;

 

d.                   Reviewing, approving (when high risk), and archiving the Form One;

 

e.                   Investigating incidents and fulfilling external reporting requirements;    

 

 

Security Services

 

Security Services is responsible for:

 

a.                   Receiving and processing calls from Off Campus Activity Participants;

 

b.                   Assessing received information to determine appropriate response/communication;

 

c.                   Checking database or Form One on file;

 

d.                   Contacting appropriate parties as indicated in database or Off Campus Travel form on file;

 

e.                   Advising Manager, Security Services of report or their designate;

 

f.                     Advising Risk Management of the report; and,

 

g.                   Notifying Director of Emergency Operations Centre, if deemed necessary

The Form One Risk Assessment is comprised of 3 steps.

1. Hazard Identification

The Form One has a number of pre-loaded common hazards listed. If applicable, check the box and complete the next two steps. You can also add additional hazards if they’re not listed.

 

2. Risk Analysis

In this field you analyze the hazard and why it is a concern. How could this become an issue? What are the variables?

 

3. Risk Management Plan

How will you manage the hazards associated with this risk. This should include pre-planning as well as contingency plans if something were to occur during the activity.              

 

Examples of completed FORM ONE Risk Assessment

 

HEALTH:

The examples given below relate primarily to international activities, but similar Hazards may arise in domestic situations.

A. Hazard Identification

B. Risk Analysis

C. Risk Management Plan

 

Illness

 

I/we could get sick, temporarily or permanently.

The trip could be cut short.

I am not yet sure of which regions are affected so I don’t know if I/we will be exposed.

There is potentially a lot of risk. The risk is high if I/we go to those regions, but less if I/we avoid them.

The warnings on International SOS have confirmed this.

I don’t know how all these diseases are transmitted.

 

I will visit a Travel Health Clinic to research and get necessary immunizations and learn how diseases are transmitted.

I/we will try to avoid areas where there is greater risk of infection. I will research area affected.

 

 

ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS:

List identified Hazards associated with the environment (e.g., issues relating to weather; extreme heat/cold; water potability; natural disasters such as earthquakes; wild animals).

A. Hazard Identification

B. Risk Analysis

C. Risk Management Plan

 

Natural Disaster

 

Typhoons occur regularly all over the country.

They will be difficult to avoid during the rainy season.

Some areas will be at more risk than others.

People living in less built up regions at more risk.

Homes are often destroyed, and people can be injured by flying debris.

Driving during typhoons is not recommended.

Uncertain when a typhoon will hit.

 

I will talk to local Embassy to find out what steps need to be taken in case of a typhoon and plan accordingly.

I will pay close attention to weather reports.

I will contact International SOS and/or tour representatives and hotels to ensure that all services are available.

 

 

LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS:

List identified Hazards associated with the laws and legal system of the country in which you will be living (e.g., laws relating to drugs/alcohol, sexuality; severity of punishment for crimes; nature of the legal system; obtaining legal assistance).

A. Hazard Identification

B. Risk Analysis

C. Risk Management Plan

 

Photography at airports, railway stations, naval bases, air bases, military installations, public water and energy plants, police stations, harbors, mines and bridges is prohibited in the host country. Laws are strictly enforced and all restrictions should be observed. If in doubt,

look for an official and ask for permission.

 

Traveler could be fined or jailed. Travel could be delayed.

Traveler could be deported. Risk is very preventable.

Awareness of the laws is the key to avoiding trouble.

Foreigners are more likely to be at risk than locals.

It is likely I/we will visit one of these locations at some point during the activity.

 

I/we will avoid taking photos at such locations.

I/we will observe locals for behavioral etiquette.

I/we will research penalties and other laws.

I/we will ask permission before taking pictures.

 

 

PERSONAL RISKS AND EMERGENCIES:

List any identified Hazards that may not have been covered in other sections (e.g., Hazards arising from regarding personal choices, language differences, recreational activities, sexuality, accidents, violence).

A. Hazard Identification

B. Risk Analysis

C. Risk Management Plan

 

Theft, Kidnap

 

Violent crimes, such as car hijacking, assault, and armed robbery are frequent.

This is likely to happen to a lone traveler alone, or one who looks as though they have a lot of money, is wearing flashy clothes, etc.

Women and travelers are probably more at risk.

Impacts could be financial, or threat to personal safety.

 

 

I/we will avoid travel alone.

I/we will consider other forms of currency, e.g., traveler’s cheques. I/we will avoid areas known for crime.

I/we will dress conservatively. I/we will be aware of surroundings and people.

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

 

The following list outlines some of the resources and programs presently in place on the Mount Royal Campus and available more broadly to assist organizers in identifying and managing Risks associated with Off Campus Activities, and in educating Participants in advance of the activity.

 

1.1                International SOS https://www.internationalsos.com/ PLEASE CONTACT RISK MANAGEMENT FOR MEMBERSHIP NUMBER AND CARD.

 

1.2                Travel and Health Advisories and Information

 

a.                   Global Affairs Canada – Travel Advice and Advisories

https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories

 

b.                   Health Canada – News http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

 

c.                   Public Health Agency of Canada

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/pphb-dgspsp/tmp-pmv/pub_e.html

 

d.                   World Health Organization - News Updates http://www.who.int/csr/don/en/

 

e.                   National Center for Infectious Diseases - Traveler’s Health Center (includes vaccination information by country) http://www.cdc.gov/travel/vaccinat.htm

 

f.                     Travel Medicine Program http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

 

g.                   The Weather Network http://www.theweathernetwork.com

 

1.3               News Outlets

 

a.                   CBC http://www.cbc.ca/

 

b.                   Listing of CBC short-wave frequencies for travelers abroad http://www.rcinet.ca/

 

c.                   BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/index.shtml

 

d.                   BBC short-wave frequencies for travelers http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/schedules/frequencies/index.shtml

 

1.4               Diplomatic Missions

            a.       Embassy Locator (any country of citizenship - not just Canadian)  http://www.embassyworld.com/embassy/directory.htm

PREPARING FOR OFF CAMPUS ACTIVITY

 

1.                   ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND CONSENT FORMS AND INDEMNIFICATION AGREEMENTS

 

1.1               Acknowledgement and Consent Forms

 

The Safety Planning Record (Form One) contains an acknowledgement and consent section. This is adequate for lone travelers or faculty/staff only trips.

 

Other Participants must be advised of the known and reasonably foreseeable risks inherent in the activity, and they must acknowledge that they consent to the assumption of these risks. All Participants must therefore complete in full, sign and date an appropriately worded Acknowledgement of Risk and Consent form before being allowed to participate in the activity.

 

1.2               Hold Harmless and Indemnification Agreements

 

a.                   Indemnification Agreements are used by the University to transfer liability to another (third-party) organization through an agreement that identifies the services and responsibilities for which the third party will assume sole responsibility.

 

b.                   Departments organizing field-study activities that involve third-party contractors, including private groups and/or companies, for delivering services must have these contractors sign a Hold Harmless and Indemnification Agreement. Legal Services and Risk Management should be consulted before an Indemnification Agreement is drawn up.

 

2.                   ORIENTATION AND TRAINING

 

2.1               Overview

 

a.                   Participants in Off Campus Activities must be provided with appropriate orientation and briefing prior to embarking on an activity. The briefings should be tailored to the nature of the Off Campus Activity and the experience of the Participants, and must be presented by individuals with the requisite level of knowledge and expertise.

 

b.                   Participants in a Low Risk Off Campus Activity must be given advance information about the activity, the travel plan, the chain of leadership and the emergency procedures that have been established. The scope and timing of delivery of such information are expected to reflect the nature of the activity and the experience of the Participants. The information will normally be provided by the Principal Investigator(s)/Activity Coordinator(s) or Off Campus Activity Leader, whether through oral briefings or in written format. Participants who so request should have the opportunity for a face-to-face briefing.

 

c.                   Participants in a High Risk Off Campus Activity must be provided with an opportunity for face-to-face briefing about the Risks associated with the activity. The briefings may be conducted at the Department/Unit level by the PI, AC, team coach or other suitably qualified individual. It may be appropriate or necessary for the Department/Unit to call upon Risk Management or to engage the services of an external consultant or agency to provide such training. Participants may be required to take additional training (e.g., first aid, fire-arms safety, boating safety, SCUBA certification, avalanche safety), and show proof of competence by presenting current certifications, before they may participate in certain activities.

   


2.2               International Travel

 

a.                   International Education provides education, training and support in the area of international travel safety and operates a comprehensive Pre- Departure Orientation Program for members of the Mount Royal Community participating in credit programming. Students participating in a credit international Off Campus Activity must attend a face-to-face Pre-Departure briefing outlining foreseeable health and safety Risks associated with international travel. Participants must also attend a debriefing session.

 

b.                   It is recommended that non-student Participants (i.e., faculty, staff) in international off-campus activities also participate in International Education’s Pre-Departure Orientation Program.

 

2.3               Travel Health and Immunization Guidelines

 

a.                   Immunization may be required for travel outside Canada depending on the travel destination, length of stay and whether or not routine immunizations are up-to-date. Since it can take several weeks or months for an immunization to protect against a disease, the family physician or travel clinic should be consulted at least two to three months before the trip.

 

b.                   Employees and students of the University may contact the Calgary Health Region Travel Clinic Health Unit.

 

c.                   When groups of students are travelling to areas where additional immunization is required, it is recommended that the Principal Investigator/Activity Coordinator contact Health Services to facilitate meeting the health needs of the group.

 

d.                   Through its Travel Medicine Program, the Health Protection Branch, Laboratory Centre for Disease Control of Health Canada provides information regarding immunizations in addition to other travel health information (e.g., disease outbreaks, prevention, treatment) for persons traveling outside Canada on their web site at https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/health-safety/vaccines

 

 

3.                   SAFETY BRIEFINGS

 

a.                   The Activity Coordinator is responsible for ensuring that all students receive a general safety briefing before field activities commence. The level of detail may be modified for short trips, but any day trip or extended field activity will be prefaced by a discussion of the general field safety guidelines. All students will receive site or Hazard-specific safety briefings when appropriate. The Risk should have an associated consequence.

 

b.                   Examples of a site specific briefing include:

 

i.                     “There is a hidden cliff located on the south end of the ridge in today’s mapping area. You will be injured if you fall over it.

 

ii.                    “There are rattlesnakes throughout the entire field area, their bite is painful and their venom poisonous although fatalities are rare. If you are bitten, this is what you do…….”

 

c.                   Examples of a Hazard-specific briefing include:

 

i.                     “If you touch that antenna you will be seriously injured or killed, do you understand?”

 

ii.                    “This outcrop has many loose rocks, do not work above another student, you may injure or kill them.”

 

d.                   It is the Principal Investigator(s)/Activity Coordinator(s) responsibility to supply each student, well in advance of departure, a complete itinerary which includes accommodation information. The students are responsible for communicating this information to friends or family members.

What else do I need to consider?                                                         

The following is a brief outline of the types of insurance that should be considered when undertaking Off Campus Activities. Included is a description of the various policies the University maintains, as well as additional coverage that is available through separate purchase as necessary. For practical reasons, these descriptions are necessarily general and any specific questions should be directed to Risk Management.

 

                                         i.        Property Insurance

 

Direct physical loss or damage to Mount Royal-owned equipment and materials is insured under the University's insurance program, which covers most situations of fortuitous loss. Coverage applies worldwide, except for certain restrictions; however, is subject o applicable deductibles which in many cases will exceed the cost of the actual loss. Personal property of faculty, staff or students is not covered by the program, and independent insurance should be obtained if required.

 

                                        ii.        Liability Insurance

 

The purpose of liability insurance is to protect against lawsuits arising from accidental or unintended occurrence affecting someone else's person or property. The University's comprehensive general liability policy includes as insured the Board of Governors of Mount Royal University, all faculty, staff and students while performing any activity that is part of their educational or employment duties, including Field Research. This Policy applies on a worldwide basis and insures specifically against bodily injury, personal injury, death, or damage to property of others. It includes the personal liability of an individual insofar as the conduct that caused the loss was part of the individual's employment or academic duties.

 

                                       iii.        Accident Insurance

 

Participants in Off Campus Activities should evaluate the required level of insurance needed to cover potential medical emergencies. Coverage against sickness or accidental injury, hospitalization, doctor's expenses, medicine and drugs, etc. is provided to University employees by a combination of Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP), WCB, and group health benefits maintained through the Department of Human Resources. Employees are also covered by an accident policy while traveling on University business. The Activity Coordinator is responsible for ensuring that students and other non-employees (approved volunteers) have adequate insurance coverage. The Person in Authority must confirm the adequacy of the coverage for approved volunteers with Risk Management. Travel accident and health insurance outside Canada, trip cancellation, and other specialized policies are available from various sources.

 

                                       iv.        Automobile Insurance

 

a.                   When renting vehicles for University business Mount Royal employees, students, volunteers and board members are responsible for ensuring adequate insurance (collision, comprehensive and liability). The minimum third-party liability insurance coverage is $2,000,000. The extra insurance coverage must be obtained either from the rental agency directly or through options available on the Mount Royal University corporate credit card.


b.                   For rental vehicles, if the vehicle is to be used for non-University business (even if only in part) or will be driven by individuals who are not affiliated with the University, the extra collision and comprehensive perils coverage must be purchased from the rental agency. All drivers, whether employees or not, should be listed on the rental contract.

 

c.                   All drivers should obtain and carry with them the appropriate University insurance contact information when using a fleet or rental vehicle.

 

                                        v.        Private Vehicles

 

The University does not provide insurance for the use of private vehicles on any University business, including private vehicles used by individuals for class field trips or internships. Users of private vehicles on University business must ensure that they have third-party liability coverage of at least $2,000,000.

 

                                       vi.        Out-of-Country Health Insurance

 

Supplemental health insurance which covers international travel is necessary for all persons participating in international activities to protect them from significant financial problems while abroad, and to guarantee optimal emergency health care. Supplementary health insurance plans normally require that Participants also be covered by a basic health insurance plan, (e.g., a provincial government health plan (AHCIP for Alberta residents). It is the responsibility of the Participants to ensure that they are covered by a basic health insurance plan and have adequate supplementary health insurance that covers international travel. Participants must ensure that they remain fully covered by their provincial, or basic, and supplementary health insurance programs for the entire time they will be out of the country.

 

                                      vii.        Miscellaneous Insurance Issues

 

a.                   Certain off-campus situations require special insurance arrangements. The following is a list of some special cases:

 

i.                     Use of aircraft: when leasing or chartering aircraft special liability policies need to be arranged (this does not apply to passage on commercial aircraft).

 

ii.                    War zones: insurance policies generally have exclusions in some form regarding war Risks, political insurrection, terrorism, etc., which requires special policies to be put in place. Insurance may not always be available, however, or may be prohibitively expensive.

 

iii.                  Marine research: trips involving ocean-going activities also necessitate special handling.

 

iv.                  Extreme activities: health/accident/life insurance policies commonly have exclusions in some form regarding certain High- Risk Activities (e.g., SCUBA diving, mountaineering, full-contact sports), and special coverage may need to be arranged.

 

v.                   Search and Rescue/Med-Evac: in certain circumstances the cost of Search-and-Rescue or Med-Evac operations may be charged


back to the victim or the organizers of the activity. The potential for the need of such services should be evaluated and the purchase of insurance should be considered in advance of the activity.

 

 

                                     viii.        Continuance of Employee Health Insurance Coverage While Travelling

 

a.                   An employee who is traveling is covered by the provincial health care plan to a certain extent; however, it is highly recommended that out-of-country medical insurance be purchased for a period of out-of-country travel to ensure full protection.

 

b.                   The Mount Royal University supplementary health-care plan (Supplementary Medical) supplements the provincial plan by covering the reasonable and customary costs of medically necessary services or supplies. To be eligible for coverage, the employee must be covered under the provincial health care plan of the province in which he/she is employed.

 

c.                   As certain Mount Royal University employee benefit plans are optional, it is imperative that the Department of Human Resources be contacted prior to the employee’s departure from the country to ensure appropriate coverage.

 

                               ix.                Alberta Health Insurance Plan (AHCIP) Coverage

While Outside of Alberta and/or Canada

 

a.                   Outside of Alberta but Inside Canada

 

i.                     Under a federal-provincial agreement, the staff member will be insured for benefits offered by the province in which he/she is treated. The agreement covers every province (except Quebec) and all three territories. The attending physicians will fill out a special out-of-province charge card and send it to their provincial health ministry for payment.

 

ii.                    In Quebec: when eligible expenses are incurred in Quebec, the employee should request detailed receipts (in duplicate if possible). The employee should retain one set for his/her records and send the other set of the receipts to AHCIP for their review and payment.


b.                   Outside of Canada

 

i.                     For employees who will be out of Alberta for less than 183 days in a twelve-month period, it is not necessary to notify the Ministry of Health.

 

ii.                    For a period of more than 212 days in a 12-month period, the Ministry of Health provides for the continuation of an employee’s AHCIP coverage during a temporary work assignment outside of Canada. Please refer to the Alberta Health and Wellness web site at http://www.health.alberta.ca/AHCIP/absence-from-Alberta.html or call the Ministry 1-780-427-1432 (Toll-free in Alberta at 310- 000, then (780) 427-1432).

 

iii.                  AHCIP covers only emergency health services outside of Canada. Emergency health services are those given in connection with an acute, unexpected condition, illness, disease or injury that arises outside Canada and requires immediate treatment. The limitations to the levels of coverage are described on the AHCIP web site: http://www.health.alberta.ca/AHCIP/out-of-country-health-services.html

 

iv.                  The information in this document is accurate as of September 30, 2018. The number of days in which one may be out of the country/province while retaining AHCIP coverage may change. Please refer to the Ministry web site quoted above to confirm the limitations.

 

v.                   For further information on the University Supplementary Plan Coverage While Outside of Alberta and/or Canada contact the Department of Human Resources.

Safe field practices are paramount. All activities must abide by the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Code and Regulations. Students, staff, faculty and volunteers will adhere to all University, departmental and provincial safety regulations. The Principal Investigator(s)/Activity Coordinator(s) and any accompanying staff are responsible for enforcing field safety. Students who disregard safety regulations will first be warned and if they continue to endanger themselves or others, they will be dismissed from the field for the day. If there is no improvement the next day, they will be sent home. Faculty or staff acting in an unsafe manner, or knowingly placing their students at Risk will be subject to University or provincial discipline.

Regulations require a responsible person to have current first aid training and first aid supplies sized according to the group. They are available through Environmental Health and Safety, and should be kept with the group at all times.

In the event of any serious injury, hospitalization or a fatality, University policy is to contact Security Services as soon as possible after dealing with the emergency. 24 hour Security personnel will initiate the appropriate procedures.

 

An incident report must be completed in every instance. It requires input from the Principal Investigator(s)/Activity Coordinator(s) the accident victim and the principle first aid responder. The accident report must be completed as soon as possible after the incident.           

 

Most traffic accidents must be reported to local police and all must be reported to the University through Security Services and Risk Management. All non-injury incidents that could have resulted in an injury are to be reported to the Department Chair and Risk Management.

                                         i.        All equipment will be inspected and documented by the Activity Coordinator prior to use.

 

                                            ii.    The Activity Coordinator will keep a written record of all equipment assigned to individual students.

 

                                           iii.    Personal Protective Equipment

 

a.                   Throughout the Occupational Health and Safety Code and Regulations are requirements for personal protective equipment such as:

 

i.                     Coloured/reflective vests - reflective vests must be worn by everyone working beside roads or streets.

 

ii.                    Protective footwear.

 

iii.                  Safety glasses.

 

iv.                  Hard hats or helmets.

If you are considering any other type of motorized transportation, such as all-terrain vehicles, motorcycles or boats, contact Risk Management for further information and to deal with safety and insurance considerations.

                               i.                Principal Investigator(s)/Activity Coordinator(s) will discuss with their students what will occur in the event of accidents and other emergencies. Each site is unique and the Principal Investigator(s)/Activity Coordinator(s) may need specific emergency response information for each. All emergency plans must be reviewed and filed with Risk Management and Security Services.

 

                                ii.                Before field activities begin, you should:

 

i.                     Determine how to most quickly contact help;

 

ii.                    Discuss with your students what will happen in the event of an emergency;

 

iii.                  Advise your students of their freedom of action in the event of an emergency;

 

iv.                  Put the first aid kit(s) in an accessible location and share that information;

 

v.                   Determine who has first aid training;

 

vi.                  Ask students with medical conditions to consult with you, privately; and,

 

vii.                Review or renew your first aid training.

 

                               iii.                After you have dealt with the immediate situation by administering first aid and transport or hand-off to professional medical personnel, you must contact the University. You must also contact local law enforcement in the event of a fatality.

 

a.                 Fire safety will be reviewed with students and other Participants when the Risk of fire is higher than normally expected (i.e., during dry periods and/or when ignition sources and fuel are present). Principal Investigator(s)/ Activity Coordinator(s) must be aware of any local fire bans.

 

b.                   Preventing fires is superior to fighting them, and the following are the essentials:

                                                - be prudent when driving over dry grass fields and ditches;

                                                                - do not leave engines running when vehicles are stationary;

                - do not fill gasoline tanks in the same location you’re using portable   equipment;

            - if a spill occurs, let the gas evaporate and the fumes dissipate completely  before starting the engine. Any gas powered equipment will be accompanied by a fire extinguisher capable of extinguishing gasoline fires.

Many locations require specific permissions to either visit, or use for specific activities. This should be attained from either the land owner, or in the case of crown land, the Government agency which controls the area. 

An example of this is Kananaskis Country who require all parties using their land carry an annual permit detailing all activities and locations. Risk Management applies annually, and maintains this permit for MRU. All activities and locations must be cleared and approved prior to the permit renewal cycle or heavy fines could be levied.

 It is the responsibility of the Activity Coordinator/Principal Investigator as well as the Activity Leader to ensure all permits are current and available for presentation if necessary.

                                  i.        Itineraries

 

File your itineraries with your department, Risk Management, and Security Services.

 

                                ii.                Communication Check Points

 

Set up a regular call-in schedule with a University contact to ensure that if you are in trouble, someone will be looking for you.

 

                               iii.                Communication Options

 

Ensure that you have a form of communication readily available that is appropriate for your area (i.e., cell phones, satellite phones, etc.) and that you have the appropriate numbers for emergency response.

 

                               iv.                Emergency Response Plan

 

a.                   Prepare an Emergency Plan. If you are traveling as a group, this should be prepared by the Principal Investigator(s)/Activity Coordinator(s) and communicated to all individuals in the group.

 

b.                   This should include an emergency evacuation plan if someone in your group gets hurt or if an incident occurs or what to do if the trip leader becomes incapacitated.

 

                                v.                Mode of Transportation

 

Plan for appropriate transportation to meet any safety concerns including conditions of the road, experience of the drivers, and hazard warnings (such as snow, fire or avalanche) on your route.


                               vi.                Driving

 

a.                   Be aware of any increase in risk in the areas to which you are driving (i.e., night driving or lack of a road maintenance program on a particular road may increase your risk).

 

b.   &