Health and Safety Incidents Reported to VIU

  1. Minor Injuries (with or without first aid)
  2. Moderate Injuries (require a visit to a doctor)
  3. Serious Injuries*
  • Serious injuries are those that are life-threatening or could cause permanent injury.
  • Serious injuries include traumatic injuries such as major fractures, amputations, electrocution leading to loss of consciousness, and serious burns.
  • Serious injuries also include incidents such as exposure to chemicals and heat and cold stress, as these could result in life-threatening conditions or cause permanent impairment.

Physical Injury Examples:

-          Allergic Reaction

-          Blister

-          Break/Fracture

-          Burn

-          Concussion

-          Contusion/Bruise

-          Cut

-          Puncture

-          Musculoskeletal

  • Sprain
  • Strain
  • Dislocation
  • Ergonomic injuries: caused by a workstation, work posture, work environment (hot/cold temperatures), tools or equipment that, over time, may cause wear and tear on the body and lead to injury.

-          Mental health injury

  • must have happened at work (believed to be caused by work or due to an incident in the workplace
  • a psychological condition that arises from a work-related incident,
  • a “mental disorder” that arises from a traumatic event or work-related stressor.

An occupational disease is caused by exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace as a direct result of the work that you do at VIU. Microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, etc.) and chemicals (asbestos, mold, lead, etc.) can enter the body through accidental inoculation, ingestion, respiration, direct contact, absorption or aerosols.

Some exposures will not present themselves immediately and have a latent period before symptoms present themselves. (asbestos exposure, etc.).

Includes any inappropriate conduct or comment by a person towards a worker that the person knew or reasonably ought to have known would cause that worker to be humiliated or intimidated. Bullying and harassment can come from co-workers, supervisors, employers or external sources

Workplace bullying and harassment is (WorkSafeBC definition):

  • Verbal aggression or name calling
  • Vandalizing personal belongings
  • Sabotaging work
  • Spreading malicious rumours
  • Humiliating initiation practices / hazing
  • Personal attacks
  • Aggressive / threatening gestures
  • Cyber bullying

What is not workplace Bullying and Harassment (WorkSafeBC definition)

  • Expressing differences of opinion
  • Offering constructive feedback
  • Making a legitimate complaint about another worker's conduct
  • Any reasonable action taken by an employer or supervisor relating to the management and direction of the workers or the place of employment. Reasonable management actions, including decisions about:
    • Job duties and work to be performed
    • Workloads and deadlines
    • Layoffs, transfers, promotions and reorganizations
    • Work instruction, supervision or feedback
    • Work evaluations
    • Performance management
    • Discipline, suspensions or terminations
    • Fulfilling company policies and procedures

Other forms of bullying or harassment

Other forms of bullying and harassment may exist at VIU that do not fit into WorkSafeBC definitions above. Please contact:

"Violence" is defined by WorkSafeBC as the attempted or actual exercise by a person, other than a worker, of any physical force so as to cause injury to a worker, and includes any threatening statement or behaviour which gives a worker reasonable cause to believe that the worker is at risk of injury.

Section 4.25 of the BC Occupational Health and Safety Regulation prohibits "improper activity or behaviour" in the workplace that may create an occupational health and safety hazard. A person must not engage in any improper activity or behaviour at a workplace that might create or constitute a hazard to themselves or to any other person.

"improper activity or behaviour" includes:

(a) the attempted or actual exercise by a worker towards another worker of any physical force so as to cause injury, and includes any threatening statement or behaviour which gives the worker reasonable cause to believe the worker is at risk of injury, and

(b) horseplay, practical jokes, unnecessary running or jumping or similar conduct.

Whenever there is a dangerous incident involving a fire or explosion.

A collapse of a building, bridge, tower, crane, hoist, temporary construction support system, or excavation.

At VIU, all hazardous substances releases must be reported no matter how big or small.

A major release does not only mean a considerable quantity, or the peculiar nature of the release, such as a gas or volatile liquid, but, more importantly, the seriousness of the risk to the health of workers.

  • results in injury or death;
  • convulsions or serious impairment of consciousness during or after a dive;
  • decompression illness;
  • lung overpressurization.
  • any serious mishap, even though the diver escapes actual injury, or a series of events which render equipment or procedures suspect, before, during, or after the diving operation.

Where the potential existed for any of the above to occur

Certain serious incidents must be immediately reported to WorkSafeBC. The employee’s manager, or another individual with knowledge of the incident, must contact Health and Safety Services as soon as possible for assistance with reporting to WorkSafeBC, if the incident meets any of the following descriptions:

  • Serious injury or death of a worker
  • Major structural failure or collapse of a building, tower, crane, hoist, temporary construction support system or excavation
  • Major release of a hazardous substance
  • Fire or explosion that had potential for causing serious injury to a worker
  • Diving incident as required under the BC OHS Regulation 24.34

Contact Health and Safety immediately by phone 250-740-6283 or by email ( during weekday working hours (8:00am – 4:00pm). If there is no response or if the incident occurs after 4:00pm, call VIU Campus Security at 250-740-6600.