Field, Lab and Class Experiential Learning Activities
Principal Investigators (PI’s), Lab Managers and others responsible for research laboratories should be familiar with the requirements, tools, procedures, training and resources described by the Science Safety Program. PI’s and Lab Managers must ensure that all laboratory personnel (which includes students) meet these requirements.
Off campus research is an important part of experiential learning. Supervisors and others responsible for off campus research are reminded that under Canadian law they have a duty to take reasonable steps to ensure these activities don’t cause harm. Tools such as the H&S Orientation Checklist, the Due Diligence Checklist, the Activity Risk Management Policy and the A-Z list of H&S Topics may help with the identification, assessment and control of potential hazards. The requirements of the Science Safety Program apply to any off campus research that is science-related.
Recent changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Act have important implications for off campus research taking place in Ontario: The Act now applies to students participating in experiential learning opportunities at 3rd party workplaces, meaning students have the rights and responsibilities of a worker and the University and the Placement Host have or share employer responsibilities.
Students doing field work in 3rd party workplaces need to complete the Ministry of Labour Health and Safety awareness training course that can be found via Blackboard.
For travel abroad, the Trent International Program (TIP) offers an emergency contact program, advice on how to travel safely and helps to identify study abroad options that suit the needs of each interested student. In addition, anyone traveling out of Canada is strongly encouraged to register with the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development’s ROCA (Registration of Canadians Abroad) program. Once registered, Global Affairs Canada can advise you by email of emergencies in your area that might compromise your safety and can help you leave the area. As noted in the Activity Risk Management Policy and Procedure, Trent will not approve travel to a country with a level 4 Global Affairs Canada travel advisory in effect. Senior administrative approval is required for travel to countries with level 3 travel advisories. As the faculty member responsible for the students in this experiential learning activity, it is your responsibility to weigh the risks and ensure effective risk management measures are in place before approving travel to countries with level 1 or 2 travel advisories in place.