Under the direction of the Government of Canada and the Province of Manitoba, the University of Manitoba has worked to develop policies and procedures related to health and safety and in particular, working alone or working in isolation. Those working alone or working in isolation not only includes staff but also students and visitors to the University. The Faculty of Architecture is taking the steps necessary to eliminate or reduce the identified risks as they relate to our staff and students. In part this is accomplished through education and awareness but also through assessment of our personal situations. These policies are not designed to restrict working on campus at any time but to raise awareness regarding one’s safety.

UM Working alone policy      FAQ


The Faculty has identified areas where students and staff are considered at risk if working alone and will be posting notices to remind those in those areas to take appropriate steps to avoid being in a situation of risk. While the University has a responsibility to address this issue, the importance of self awareness in terms of personal safety cannot be underestimated. You need to take reasonable care to protect yourself and others. For example, if you are working in studio, a library area or a computer lab with others present and they leave, you may be the only person left. Students should alert their peers when they leave and if alone, you should take whatever steps are necessary to ensure you are safe. That may mean leaving the area or alerting a friend or family member you intend to stay and work but will be leaving at a particular time. If you have a tendency to work with headphones on, you may not notice others have left or other circumstances have changed. Would you hear a fire alarm with your headphones on? When fire alarms ring, do you wait to see if it’s a legitimate alarm or do you safely make your way out of the building and alert others along the way?

Other situations that create risk include but are not limited to:

  • Use of power tools – ensure proper and safe operation in appropriate work areas and notify others if you are working alone in these types of situations
  • Walking to your car or bus – if you are leaving the campus and are not comfortable walking alone, contact the Safewalk Program at 474-9312. You will be safely escorted to your car, a bus stop or other location on campus.

To help ensure your personal safety and to protect your belongings:

  • Never block the open entrance doors to buildings. All students and staff in the Faculty are provided with the ability to access the Russell and Architecture 2 Buildings at any time with their swipe card. Blocking open a door not only creates risks for all those in both buildings, in winter months, it may (and has) been the cause of freezing waterlines and may result in serious damage to the building. If you do not have a card yet, contact Laura Kryger at 474-7462 for information.
  • Never leave your laptop, camera, cell phone, purse, wallet or other valuables unattended or unsecured in your studio area. Each year students report thefts of this type – you can easily avoid being the target of individuals “shopping” for new gear.
  • Report suspicious behaviour or unknown individuals to Security Services