Student Safety and Risk Management

This section deals with some of the practical aspects of managing risk and helping to ensure student safety.  Some of the topics covered are:

  • Due diligence and institutional responsibility
  • Safety considerations in setting up Structured Work Experiences
  • WorkSafeBC coverage
  • Work experience agreements
  • Orientation, training and documentation
  • Checklists
  • Claims process/processes to follow in case of injury
  • Use of personal vehicles
  • Issues related to protection of privacy and disclosure

All workplaces harbor some level of risk. In Structured Work Experience Placements, the objective is to expose students to as many aspects of “real work” as possible, while limiting exposure to the potential hazards that young and new workers face. Each participant in the work experience bears some responsibility for student health, safety and well-being, while on the work-site. When setting up work experiences for students, it is incumbent upon program staff and faculty to do everything possible to ensure student safety and to limit the liability of the institution. Faculty and staff need to ensure that students are properly informed about, and prepared for, any activities and risks involved in work experience placement settings. College and university personnel responsible for locating, vetting and approving the worksite for a student WEP should exercise due diligence. This due diligence should be based on sufficient background and experience when conducting a site inspection prior to placement and when monitoring site safety during each subsequent visit. University personnel should also ensure that the student completes a safety orientation assignment, such as the one provided by WorkSafeBC BC with the employer during the first few days of the work experience (further information included later in this section).

In general, WorkSafeBC BC feels that there are gaps in Occupational Health and Safety training for post-secondary students. According to a study quoted in an article entitled Safety Gaps Found in Higher Education in WorkSafeBC, “Based on our findings, not even a fundamental level of formal education and training is occurring at the university level for many of our post-secondary graduates.” [1] This, however, is one area where ASE ER programs are likely ahead of the curve and safety practices are listed as the first objective in the “Work/Training Experience” skill area in the ASE provincial articulation document.

  1. Johnson, G. (2014, December). Worksafe magazine. Retrieved October 2, 2017, from Worksafe BC:


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Structured Work Experience Placement Handbook Copyright © 2021 by Nicola Soles is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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