Outside Storage for Flammable Fuels

Fire codes prohibit storage of camp fuels of any type inside University Buildings

Therefore the University has provided the field-intense departments outside storage cages which are located at South Campus near the Vehicle Pool Building. Cage # 2 is labeled EAS; keys can be signed out from Room 1-26 ESB. The cage is available from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. weekdays. Vehicle Pool locks the compound after­ hours and on weekends so you need to organize your field trips so that you have removed your camp fuels prior to lock down.

The outdoor storage cage is provided to store gasoline and propane cylinders.

Once field season is over, you can aerate gas containers and store them in your storage areas, but be sure that all gasoline fumes have been eliminated. Engines and machinery that contain fuels should be drained prior to storing them away for the winter.


Forms Cabinet

Injury Forms:

All incident and injury forms can be found on the Office of Environmental Health and Safety site.­  ­Always report an incident or injury to the Acting Chair (Admin) or to the Department Safety Officer.

Minor Injuries: Forms­

Minor injuries are those injuries that do not involve medical attention. If someone is uses any item from a Lab or Field First Aid Kit, that person must report what they are using from the kit on the First Aid Report Sheets. By recording the incident you have a record of the injury should the incident become more severe that first realized; then there is a permanent record. The First Aid Report Sheet  must be filled out and given to the Assistant Chair (Admin). These records must be kept for three years.

First Aid Form

Serious Incidents and Injuries:

There are many EAS Personnel who have First Aid Training. (All EAS personnel involved with any EAS Field School are required to have current CPR and First Aid Training.)

When a serious injury has occurred it is important to know where the nearest First Aid Kit is located and who to call. If an ambulance is required, call 911 immediately. If you are working in the field, call the local ambulance or contact the STARS Emergency Link Centre @ 1-888-888-4567 or #4567 on cellular. Once the situation has been controlled and dealt with, the Incident & Investigation Reports need to be filled out and sent to the appropriate personnel on campus.  If the injured person needs to seek medical attention, then WCB forms have to be filled out and filed within 72 hours.

Faculty/Department Incident & Investigation Report

Workers Compensation form – Employer’s Form

Worker’s Compensation form – Worker’s Report

Both the injured worker and the employer have forms to fill out and submit to the U of A’s Human Resource Department.  Injuries requiring a WCB form need to be reported to your department,  EH&S and  Human Resources.

When reporting an incident or injury, you must take steps to protect people’s privacy. The information surrounding an incident can be given only to those individuals who are directly involved with ensuring an injured worker’s safety and those persons involved in ensuring that a repeat occurrence does not occur.


Chemical Spills Form

The following form can be used to report a chemicals spill in the lab. There are three objectives to the form:

  • Were there any lab personnel injured, if so did they seek first aid or medical treatment for the injury?
  • How did the spill occur and what steps are necessary to avoid a repeat occurrence?
  • Follow up – has a new protocol been established to prevent a repeat accident and were all safety supplies replenished after the event?

Spill or Environmental Release


Laboratory Close Out Forms:

The following form must be filled out whenever a Faculty Member:

  • Retires and vacates the lab
  • Moves to another lab
  • Renovations are being done in an existing lab

The purpose of the form is for the safety of new occupants to a lab, where the old chemicals and dangerous goods have been removed prior to their occupying of the space. When renovations occur, the Physical Plant workers must not be endangered by existing chemicals or equipment in the lab.

Lab Closeout Guidelines


Clearance to Work in Hazardous Areas Forms:

When minor renovations are to be done in an existing lab, the following form must be filled out. This form is intended to keep the renovator safe from the dangerous goods stored or dangerous equipment in the lab.

Clearance to Work Form


Checklist for Workstation Form:

This checklist is intended to provide you with basic information so that you can check the current set up of your furniture and equipment. It may help to reduce your risk of repetitive strain injury from working at a desk. If you require an assessment, contact your supervisor who will contact the Occupational Health Nurse for an assessment.

Ergonomic Assessment form


Respirator Health Questionnaire:

Before you begin to wear any type of respirator, you need to be sure that you do not have health conditions that would cause you to have serious problems donning a mask.  The appropriate  type of mask to use will depends upon the hazards of the material/s you are working with.  You need to fill out a questionnaire form and sent it to the Occupational Health Nurse;  then a Respirator Fitting Test can be done.

Respirator Health Screening Form


STARS Emergency Link Center

STARS Air Ambulance

June, 2011

The STARS Air Ambulance is now in three western provinces, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.  The Alberta STARS helicopter bases are located in Calgary, Edmonton and Grande Prairie and can services almost all areas of Alberta and some areas of north eastern British Columbia. Saskatchewan has two STARS bases; one in Regina and the other Saskatoon.  The Manitoba base for STARS is in Winnipeg.  Click to view STARS Coverage Area.  Please be aware that STARS will only provide their full service [communication and transport] in their Coverage Area.  Once you are outside of their service area, STARS provides only communication.  STARS will host your call and put you in contact with the appropriate medical provider for the area you are working in as long as your Research Area is in Canada.)  See below for research area’s outside of Canada.*        

For University Researchers, this means that when you make a phone call to STARS you have activated an important link in the Chain of Survival.  This one-call activation saves valuable time if someone is seriously injured in the field.  However, researchers must remember that STARS is not a replacement for local 9-1-1 services.  Activate STARS only if you have a serious medical emergency. 

If you have a remote research site of multiple day occupation you should register your site with STARS.  Registering the site allows STARS to locate you faster and know important information about who is at this site and the level of medical training available at the site.  Please click on their link to view what information they will need to register your site.   Use the phone that you have in the field to contract them so you cans see if their numbers will work with your Satellite phone:  (1-888-888-4567) or cellular:  (4567).  If the cellular phone number does not work with your Satellite phone, then use the STARS alternate phone number (1-403-299-0932).  (All researchers need to know that some SAT phones will not dial out to 9-1-1 or to a 1-800-number.  Therefore, when you are planning your field research you must know your equipment, know the alternate phone numbers for emergency dispatch in the area you are working in and develop an Emergency Response Plan that includes and prominently displays this information.)

*Research Area’s Outside of Canada:

STARS does not have emergency dispatch or medical facility information readily available for areas outside of Canada. STARS cannot support you with any other service except to host a call using phone numbers which you must provide. You must do the research and located the Emergency Response Phone numbers that STARS will need to contact in the event of a medical emergency. 

 Visit the University of Alberta Field Research Office for information regarding STARS. 

 For more information, please visit the STARS website.



Hypothermia is a very real and potentially deadly condition if not recognized and treated promptly.

  • Hypothermia occurs when the body loses more “core” heat than it can produce and retain.
  • An uninsulated h­uman body losses most heat from the head, neck and chest [especially sides and armpits] and to a lesser degree the groin.
  • Hypothermia can occur at any time during the year, winter or summer and is not restricted to cold weather. Hypothermia can occur at temperature of 10 C or less.
  • As the body cools, your ability to generate heat is reduced because a colder body doesn’t generate as much heat as a warmer body. Shivering stops, the body cools further and eventually the victim’s heart fails. [Wang]
  • Untreated, the condition will progress to where there is decreased level of consciousness, body functions gradually cease and death will result.


  • Shivering
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Behavioral changes
  • Numbness of hands and feet
  • Followed by unconsciousness


  • A severely hypothermic patient must be handled very gently.
  • Cover the patient well.
  • It is especially important to cover/insulate the patient from the ground, as significant heat loss will occur through conduction (heat transfer from a warm body to a cold surface). If a spinal injury is suspected, a “body role” can be used (with proper assistance) to place blankets under the patient.
  • Constantly talk to and reassure the patient.
  • If having to remain in one place for an extended period of time awaiting assistance, a fire for warmth should be considered.
  • Fires should be strategically placed to warm both the patient and the responder(s), but remember that your patient may have lost some feeling or may be in a decreased level of consciousness, and may not be able to communicate well. Consequently you must be alert to the condition of your patient and that they are not too hot or burned by the fire’s radiant heat.


Heat Stress/Hyperthermia


  • Elevation of body temp due to the “resetting” of the hypothalamic set poin­t in response to endogenous or exogenous pyroxenes


  • Elevation of body temp above the hypothalamic set point due to the failure of the body’s heat dispersing mechanisms

Physiologic Response to Heat

Hypothalamus signals for:

  • Sweat production which causes evaporative heat loss
  • Peripheral vasodilatation which causes increased skin blood flow
    • this results in the removal of heat from core through convective heat loss

Heat exhaustion vs. Heat stroke

  • Important to think of heat exhaustion and heat stroke as two ends of a spectrum
  • The point at which heat exhaustion becomes heat stroke – when thermoregulatory mechanisms fail or are overwhelmed
  • Heat exhaustion can easily progress to heat stroke if not adequately treated
  • Thus early recognition and treatment essential!

Heat exhaustion

  • Two types classically described
  • Water depletion
  • Salt depletion

Water depletion heat exhaustion

  • Occurs in patients who do not drink enough fluids when exposed to heat stress
  • Salt depletion heat exhaustion
  • Occurs in patients who have sweated profusely in response to heat stress
  • These patients have attempted to hydrate themselves with water, but did not compensate for the salt lost in their sweat

Heat exhaustion-diagnosis

  • Very nonspecific symptoms
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, headache
  • Nausea, vomiting, weakness, malaise
  • Mild disorientation, clumsiness

Heat Stroke

  • Total breakdown of body’s thermoregulatory system
  • Leads to multi-organ damage if left untreated
  • A true medical emergency
  • 2 forms described
  • Exertional
  • Non-exertional/Classical

Exertional Heat Stroke

  • History of increased endogenous heat production eg. Strenuous exercise
  • Heat dispersing mechanisms are intact but overwhelmed by the heat stress
  • Athletes, military personnel, miners & other labourers are at risk

Classical Heat Stroke

  • History of increased exogenous heat gain (eg. hot day with no air conditioning) combined with decreased heat dispersing ability (eg. history of cardiac disease)

Initial management for both Exertional and Classical heat stroke


  • The key to successful outcome in heat stroke
  • Prognosis in heat stroke is directly related to how quickly the body can be cooled down
  • Slowly cool – Goal is to cool by 0.1-0.2 degrees/min

In the field …

  • Move the patient to a cool, shady environment
  • Remove clothes
  • Keep the patient wet
  • Ice packs
  • During transport –> open windows
  • Immersion
  • Evaporation

Evaporative Cooling

  • Fans positioned beside an undressed patient while warm water is sprayed/sponged on
  • Patient kept continually wet for continued cooling
  • Can achieve cooling rates comparable to immersive techniques
  • For all methods, cooling should be discontinued when temp hits 39-40 degrees
  • The ABC’s…
  • Airway, Breathing
  • Cooling
  • Evaporative/Immersive +/- adjuncts
  • Circulation
  • Cautious rehydration


  • Altered mental state + hyperthermia = heat stroke until proven otherwise
  • ABC’s = Airway, Breathing, Cooling
  • Think of heat exhaustion and heat stroke as ends of a spectrum
  • Important to recognize heat exhaustion early – can easily turn into heat stroke!


  • Rosen’s 5th edition, pages 1997-2009
  • Tintinalli’s 5th edition, pages 1235-1242
  • Khosla et al, “Heat-Related Illnesses”, Critical Care Clinics, 15(2), 251-263
  • Tek et al, “Heat Illness”, Emergency Medicine Clinics of North America, 10(2), 299-309
  • Wexler, Randall K, “Evaluation and Treatment of Heat-Related Illnesses”, American Family Physician, 65(11), 2307-2313

Links for more information on Hyperthermic Conditions:

WCB of BC:  additional information

NIOSH – National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health:   http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/heatstress/

Helicopter Safety

This is a very brief overview of safety tips picked up from reading helicopter safety informa­tion. If you are going to be involved in a helicopter mission you must do further research. The links below contain useful information regarding helicopter usage/safety.

Helicopters are exciting and dangerous:

  • keep your head [figuratively and literally]
  • pay close attention to the pilots’ pre-flight briefing
  • outside of North America ensure there is a pilots’ pre-flight briefing

If the rotors are turning or about to turn

  • you should always approach in the pilots’ visual field [front]
  • approach a helicopter walking uphill or crouching if on the level
  • never approach a helicopter from above [main rotor]
  • never approach a helicopter from the rear [tail rotor]
  • hold onto all light weight items as they could be blown away
  • if an item does get blown away do not chase it – it’s not worth your life unless you have been specifically designated as a helper

You are cargo – do what you are told:
keep your head down your mouth shut and keep your hands to yourself

Helicopter links



The Department of Earth & Atmospheric Science is a field research intense depart­ment and many of our Researchers and Students have a need for carrying non-restricted firearms in the field.

All University personnel, when on university business, must comply with the Government of Canada; Firearm Act, (1995), and the University’s Firearms Policy, Firearms Maintenance Procedure, Firearms Issuance/Approval Procedures, Firearms & Ammunition Procedure and Firearms Incident Reporting Procedure, May 31, 2004. You must familiarize yourself with the U of A policies BEFORE considering the purchase or usage of a firearm before/while conducting research in the field.

Highlights of University Policies:

  • The policies apply to University owned and Personal firearms used for University business.
  • Approval by the Chair/Dean/Director of Protective Services is required for the acquisition/disposal and use of firearms
  • Ammunition consistent with the type of firearm must be purchased; no hand-loaded ammunition may be used.
  • Unspent ammunition must be given to Protective Services for storage, etc.
  • An incident report must be filed with Protective Services whenever the firearm has been discharged, lost or stolen or when firearm safety procedure has been violated
  • All firearms purchased from University funds or Grants held by Researchers must be stored at Protective Services.  You are responsible to understand the concepts of the University’s Policies and Procedures and to comply.

The following web-links are provided:

University of Alberta – Policies and Procedures Online:


Possession & Acquisition Licence (PAL Licence)

If you need to carry a firearm when you are out in the field, you will need to get your Possessions & Acquisition Licence or PAL licence. You will need to take a course from a certified Firearms Instructor. The course and the application for the PAL Licence must be done well in advance of field season. In order to get a firearms licence, the police will run a background and securities check on you; this can take up to 6 months. Therefore, if you are intending on doing field research next summer, take a PAL course in the fall.

There are several places in Edmonton you can go to take such a course.

The Alberta Hunter Education Instructor’s Association; Edmonton Conservation Education Centre for Excellence offers both the Non-Restricted and Restricted courses.  They are located at #88, 4003-98 St. Edmonton, AB.   Phone:  (780) 466-6682.  Please check their website for available courses:  www.aheia.com

Phoenix Gun Club: phone number 780-466-0307, 4706-76 Avenue, Edmonton. The Gun Club offers both the non-restricted and restricted weapons courses- on separate weekends. You will need to contact the Phoenix Gun Club yourself to see when they are offering PAL courses.

Foreign students are advised to take the PAL course and apply for the licence in the fall before field season. A background check, which can take up to 6 months for Canadian Citizens, is often much longer if you are a non-Canadian.

Cellular Phones Outside of Major Centers

When you are working outside of a major center, such as Edmonton, Calgary or Vancouver – your cell phone may not help you in reaching emergency assistance as it would when you are in a major city. Many, but not all,  rural areas have the 911 emergency phone numbers in place – but some locations do not. You must check the area you will be working in to see what the local emergency phone numbers are.

IF the area you are working in has a local 911 system and you call using your cell phone  you may be linked to the local emergency centre. However, if your provider is located in Edmonton, the call may be routed to the Edmonton EMS services.


IF the area you are working in does not have the 911 system and you dial 911 using a cellular phone, you will be routed to a toll operator who will transfer the call to the appropriate local emergency department. The toll operator may be an operator in the nearest major city or they may be an operator from your cell phone’s home-base. (e.g. Edmonton.) This can use up valuable time in the event of an emergency.


You need to check with your mobile provider and ask how 911 calls are routed when you use your cell phone outside of major centers.

You need to know the direct phone number of the local emergency department when you are working in the field if the local area does not use the 911 system.

You need to check as to whether the area you are working in has the 911 system or not.

You are advised to click on the following link which will take you to the information regarding the Star’s Emergency Link Centre if you are working in the field. Be familiar with how they operate and how to reach them in the event of an emergency. Stars can be reached using a cell phone and your call will not be rerouted.

The Stars Air Ambulance Phone number is:   1-888-888-4567 or #4567 (cellular)

visit our Stars Emergency Link Centre

Boating Safety


The Competency of Operators of Pleasure Craft Regulations Card is now   required.

A Pleasure Craft Operator Card is now requ­ires for operators of pleasure crafts fitted with any type of motor and used for recreational purposes.  You must carry proof of competency on board.  These requirements were introducted in early 1999 in response to boating deaths and injuries.  The goal was to improve the safety on Canadian waterways through education and training.

Proof of Competency can be any of the following:

New Requirements for Safety Equipment and Pleasure Craft Licensing came out May 12, 2010

Pleasure Craft License:  A pleasure craft license is a set of identification numbers displayed on a pleasure craft.  They numbers must be placed above the waterline on both sides of your boat in block characters that are:

  • at least 7.5 cm (3 inches) high
  • in a colour that contrast with the colour of the bow

The Small Vessel Regulations require all pleasure craft powered by an engine 10 Hp or more to have a pleasure craft license.  Pleasure Craft Licenses are free and are valid for 10 years and can be obtained through Service Canada.  A pleasure craft license is different than a Vessel Registration.

The Pleasure Craft Licensing system allows Search & Rescue access to the information 24/7 in the event of an emergency.  This could mean the difference between life and death!

You must carry a copy of your Pleasure Craft License on board.

Safety Equipment Update:

The Small Vessel Regulations set out the minimum safety equipment required on board a pleasure craft depending upon the type and length of the craft.

Click on the link and select the appropriate category to see what the minimum safety requirements are for your vessel.


For more information on Boating Safety & Regulations contact the Canadian Coast Guard at: http://www.ccg-gcc.gc.ca or go to the Transport Canada site at: http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/debs-obs-menu-1362.htm

How to Obtain your Pleasure Craft Operators License:

Below are  accredited Boating Course providers:

National Boating Safety School

Boat Canada Course

Boater Exam.com


Updated May 4, 2011

All Terrain Vehicles (ATV)


ATV Training

All Terrain Vehicles are extremely useful to use for field research, but University personnel must be properly trained on the safe operation of the unit befor­e going out in the field.

There are several places University personnel can go to obtain ATV training.

Fleet Safety at the Univeristy offers ATV training on request. Contact Kenji Kinoshita, Fleet Safety Officer for more information. kenji.kinoshita@ualberta.ca or phone 780-492-1233.

If your group will be renting or using ATV’s in the field you can provide training for your field personnel by sending them to the Alberta Safety Council to take their ATV rider course. They offer both an instructor level course or a rider course.  Go to their website of see when they are offering courses and enroll early to ensure that you can access a course that fits your schedule. Check their website for cost and course dates at: http://www.safetycouncil.ab.ca

ATV World, Offroad Training & Rentals, St. Albert, AB offers ATV,UTV and Snowmobile training.  ATV World also has a Chief Instructor who can train your personnel to become  Certified  ATV, UTV and snowmobile instructors.   Contact them by phone: 780-220-7577,  Fax: 780-459-7557 or   e-mail: atvworld@shaw.ca to set up a course.  Class sizes are limited to 8 people per day.  Visit their website at:  www.atvsafety.ca