Postgraduate Student Safety

What safety resources are available for postgraduate students working on campus?

UBC is committed to a safe, healthy and secure environment in which to carry on the University’s affairs (Policy SC1 (PDF)). In addition to UBC policy, various legislation applies to UBC as a workplace to ensure the safety of workers and other persons present at workplaces from work-related risks to their health and safety. For example, although Workers’ Compensation Legislation does not extend to undergraduate students, provisions of the OHS Regulation do apply and support student safety at UBC. WorkSafeBC is a great resource for workers and students alike.

Basic expectations include:

  • training and orienting students to their environment and any associated hazards
  • steps being taken to reduce any risks
  • what to do in case of an emergency
  • related to any hazards present or handled during the course of the work.Individual departments may also hold in-person training sessions addressing one or more of these requirements. Talk to your supervisor about what resources are available in order to meet WorkSafeBC legislation and the requirements of the work.

What safety resources are available for postgraduates in learning spaces?

Safety in laboratories/workshops

Laboratories/workshops often contain hazardous material, equipment and processes that might results in injuries and impact your health. Your instructor or supervisor is required to provide you with safety orientation, training and supervision to support you in staying safe.

This orientation will vary depending upon the hazards that exist in the environment and the nature of the activity you are expected to perform, but at minimum should include:

  • what to do in the event of an emergency
  • the potential hazards you might encounter, and
  • any additional safety training you might need to complete.

Safety in classrooms & lecture theatres

Classrooms and lecture theatres are often considered non-hazardous with minimal opportunities of an injury. However, accidents happen and it is important to be proactive in addressing risk to prevent injury to yourself or others. Please report any safety concerns to your instructor.

In an emergency, look to your instructor for direction. Additional emergency contact information signage is found in all classrooms and adjacent to building entrances and elevators in each building.


What should a postgraduate student do if they feel that additional safety measures are needed?

Students are encouraged to speak to their instructor/supervisor if they would like to report a hazard or have safety concerns or feel that additional measures should be taken to reduce risk and enhance safety.

Additional resources include Health, Safety and Environment, a member of one of the University’s Joint Health and Safety Committees and/or the University Omubudsperson.


What measures are in place to protect postgraduate students who are travelling abroad?

  • UBC’s Student Safety Abroad Program supports safe experiences abroad. The Program is based on the requirements outlined in UBC’s Student Safety Abroad Policy (PDF).
  • If you are traveling outside of Canada as part of university activity, including conferences, research, volunteering, service learning, varsity sports, and studying abroad, please visit Student Safety Abroadfor more information.


What steps should be taken if a postgraduate student becomes injured or ill due to their activities at UBC?

Any event involving injury to a person or damage to property, or with the potential to do so, must be reported through UBC Central Accident Incident Reporting System (CAIRS) within 24 hours of occurrence.

Where postgraduate students are being paid for the work that they are performing at UBC, the provisions of the Workers’ Compensation Act and BC Occupational Health and Safety Regulation will apply. Where the incident results in medical care (beyond first aid) or time loss (beyond the date of injury), the student should initiate their claim with WorkSafeBC (1.888.967.5377) and an incident investigation must be performed by the supervisor and entered into the CAIRS system (full investigation within 30 days of occurrence). Investigations are not intended to place blame, but rather to prevent reoccurrence.

Postgraduate students continue to have access to all of the resources available to all students as outlined at (insert link to parent page).