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Wednesday, April 30, 2003

  • Safety now includes 'environment'
  • 'Procedures to address concerns'
  • Continuing education courses listed
  • On the last day of the fiscal year
Chris Redmond

Louisiana Purchase bicentennial

[Hunched over artwork]

'Sentenced to Life' is a new production of the National Film Board that will have its English-language premiere tomorrow at 7 p.m. at Siegfried Hall, St. Jerome's University. Says the NFB: "A decade ago, for her documentary 'Twice Condemned', Marie Cadieux filmed several female inmates and their lives behind bars. 'Sentenced to Life' explores her friendship with one of these women, Diane Charron, whose story is both poignant and disturbing." The showing at St. Jerome's is sponsored by the Church Council on Justice and Corrections.

Safety now includes 'environment'

UW's Policy 34, which has been about "health and safety" since it was written in 1970, now has a third key word: it's a policy on "health, safety and environment".

A revision of the policy was approved by the president early this year, and is supposed to be posted in departments across campus. Officially dated January 20, 2003, it's shorter than the previous policy, as some material has been taken out to be included instead in a more detailed "Health, Safety and Environment Management System" document.

Here's some of what the revised Policy 34 says:

"The University of Waterloo strives to provide a safe, healthy work and educational environment for its students, employees, visitors and contractors. The University insists on compliance with legislative requirements and regulations contained in, but not limited to, the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Fire Prevention and Protection Act and the Environmental Protection Act, and University of Waterloo policies and procedures. . . .

"The University insists that all persons associated with the University (including those who are employees and those who are not, e.g., students, adjunct professors, visiting professors, contractors, subcontractors) adhere to the pertinent municipal, provincial and federal legislation and standards, and University policies and procedures.

"Each faculty member, staff member, student, visitor and contractor has primary responsibility for their own safety and actions, and for others affected by their actions. Supervisors and other persons in authority must provide for the health and safety of those under their authority, including training in specific work tasks and must take necessary measures to comply with environmental requirements.

"All members of the University community must report to their supervisor any hazardous conditions which are contrary to good health, safety or environmental practices or which contravene any legislative requirements. Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that corrective action is taken at once.

"Each member of the University community must minimize the impact of University operations on the environment and respond diligently to incidents resulting from University activities."

The policy also notes the existence -- as required by law -- of a joint health and safety committee, including "managers" and "workers" from among faculty, staff and students. The joint health and safety committee will hold its monthly meeting at 1:30 today in Needles Hall room 3043. Agenda items range from SARS to vehicles driving on walkways.

'Procedures to address concerns'

Here's more of what the new Policy 34 says about health and safety, and how problems are to be dealt with:

"All members of the University community must report to their supervisor any injury or illness related to their work or assignments. It is the supervisor's responsibility to ensure that prompt first aid and health care treatment is obtained, if necessary, and that University reports are completed by the end of the next University business day.

"Members of the University community have the right to refuse work or assignments that they believe are unsafe. In such cases the refusal must be immediately reported to their supervisor. The supervisor must investigate the situation as prescribed by University procedures.

"All members of the University community have the right and obligation to bring, without prejudice, health and safety concerns to their supervisor. After their supervisor has been informed and if a concern remains unresolved, a member of the University community may take the concern to the Director of Safety or the Joint Health and Safety Committee.

"The Director of Safety or designate is empowered to deal with dangerous circumstances, including the authority to stop any process or procedure, or to correct any condition.

"Unsafe buildings and grounds conditions shall be reported to the Plant Operations Department.

"Most health and safety concerns identified by the Director of Safety or the Joint Health and Safety Committee will be addressed by members of the University community acting through established University channels. When a health and safety concern cannot be solved in this manner it will be reported in writing by the Director of Safety to the senior University administrator accountable for the area, usually with a recommendation. The action on a recommendation rests with this senior administrator. The senior administrator's decision shall be communicated in writing to the Director of Safety.

"In addition to receiving periodic reports from the Director of Safety, the Provost reviews University-level health and safety concerns coming from the Joint Health and Safety Committee. Based on the advice received through whatever mechanism the Provost deems, the Provost shall determine the appropriate action, and shall inform the Joint Health and Safety Committee of the decision."

Continuing education courses listed -- from the UW media relations office

Professional development, communication, computing skills and personal development are highlighted in the latest University of Waterloo continuing education courses.

The public can sign up for the spring offerings including Customer Service and Making the Most of Your Meetings, both taught by Patsy Marshall. Other new offerings are Accounting Fundamentals for Non-Financial Managers, taught by Bob Sproule of UW's school of accounting. There's also Understanding Human Behaviour and Career and Professional Development for You.

"Hot" courses include Project Management and Effective Business Communication, while under personal development there's the Beauty Myth; Editing and Selling Short Stories; the Hero Within; and Tracing Your Irish Ancestors.

Other offerings are Personal Growth and Personality Types (Myers Briggs); Leading People to Effectiveness; Team Building; Listening with Understanding; Sell, Negotiate, Improve Your Future; and Innovation: Thinking Out of the Box.

Among the on-line courses are Computer Skills for the Workplace; Introduction to Microsoft Powerpoint 2002; and Business and Marketing Writing.

"UW Continuing Education offers a variety of on-campus and on-line courses to meet your lifelong learning needs both personally and professionally," said manager Maureen Jones. "I am pleased with the response to our courses and the quality of the instructors that facilitate these offerings. We are committed to responding to the community's educational needs in as many areas as possible," she added.

On the last day of the fiscal year

Since it's a Wednesday, there's a new "Positions Available" list of staff jobs from the human resources department. This week it's a brief one, with just two listings: Detailed information is available on the HR web site.

The Kitchener-Waterloo Software Quality Association will hold its monthly meeting today at 11:30 in Davis Centre room 1304. . . . Health services will be closed today until 1 p.m., for staff in-service training. . . . A media event is taking place at noontime at St. Jerome's University as part of the four-day Enterprise Boot Camp that's now in progress. . . .

I've just learned that an exhibition of work by Master of Fine Arts student Kasia Piech ("Party of Relations and Non-Toxic") is on display in the East Campus Hall gallery, winding up tomorrow. . . . The team behind UW's Formula SAE race car will unveil this year's vehicle tomorrow at 5:00 in parking lot A. . . .

The information systems and technology department (IST) is offering computing courses in May to UW faculty, staff and students. The following courses are being offered for students: Introduction to Unix, Creating Web Pages Using HTML and Unix, Connecting Your Laptop to the Campus Network. The following courses are part of the Skills for the Academic e-Workplace program, and are offered to faculty, grad students, and staff with instructional responsibilities: Scientific Computing Using Mathcad, Scientific Computing Using Maple, Statistical Analysis Using SPSS, Introduction to Parallel Programming. Information about the courses, along with a registration form, can be found on the web.

A few weeks ago I reported on the arrival of new software at the "call centre" in UW's development office. Here's a bit of a progress report from manager Bob Copeland: "Before installation of Campus Call, all calls were based on paper files. The transition has involved periods of downtime (especially during implementation), and a gradual phase-in of calling on the new system. Our goal is to have 100% of all appeals on Campus Call at the beginning of next term. Because of Campus Call implementation downtime and transition, it was reported in the last update that calling results for the Winter term would be lower than usual. Moreover, we continue to monitor the effects of the economy, and other geopolitical factors on donor participation. At an Annual Fund conference of Canadian universities last month, many schools reported declines in giving. One school recently reported a 36% year-over-year decline in annual giving. Despite a period of considerable transition this term in the Call Centre, we still remain hopeful of achieving our ambitious Annual Fund fiscal year-end targets."

The official opening (and naming) of the Co-op Education and Career Services building is scheduled for next Monday, May 5. (In yesterday's Daily Bulletin, I said the event was "a week from today", which was wrong.) It's definitely Monday, starting at 2:00, in the lobby of the new, landmark building. "There will be speeches by dignitaries," says Olaf Naese of the CECS department, in one of the less surprising announcements of the year, "unveiling of donor recognition plaques, an announcement with the name of the new building, a ribbon cutting, and self-guided tours of the building. Light refreshments will be served." Everyone is invited.


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