Programs and services
USAFE is the university's safety app. It gives you direct access to Protective Services and other important safety tools, and information including USask Alerts mass notifications, safewalk, work alone and more.
Safety training and equipment
Safety Resources offers many safety training courses and can assist you and identifying an appropriate preventative and protective measure for a hazard in your workplace. They can also help in selecting safety equipment.
Crime and crisis prevention
There are programs and services that can help make work spaces more safe and training available so you can know what to do when dealing with individuals who may pose a threat to themselves or others and other emergency situations.
Procedures and guidelines
Discrimination and harassment
The University of Saskatchewan is committed to creating and maintaining a positive environment for working and learning that is free of discrimination and harassment
Sexual assault and misconduct
The Sexual Assault Procedures document sets out procedures and a response protocol to incidents of sexual assault and sexual misconduct at the University of Saskatchewan.
Environmental hazard and safety
Procedures and guidelines
There are many procedures and guidelines available to support your safety.
Allergies and sensitivities
Most exposure to scents is not problematic, but for people with chemical sensitivities, allergies, asthma or other medical conditions, exposure to scents can cause a range of health effects.
Symptoms can vary from severe upper respiratory and breathing problems to reactions such as migraine headaches, skin irritations, anxiety, nausea, inability to concentrate, coughing and
fatigue. Even the smallest amount of exposure to scent can trigger an attack.
Common Scented Products
Scented products most commonly used include:
- personal hygiene products (ie. Shampoos, conditioners, hairsprays, deodorants,
- colognes, after-shaves, fragrances, lotions, soaps, cosmetics, lotions);
- industrial and household/laundry chemicals and cleaners;
- air fresheners (ie. seodorizers, oils, candles, potpourri); and
- various household products.
What You Can Do
- Choose unscented or fragrance free products.
- Be aware of the types of products you use that are scented, and eliminate usage when coming to or on U of S campuses.
- Inform external clients that your office is scent free.
Having a scent sensitivity and/or medical condition related to environmental sensitives has been designated as a disability by Canadian Human Rights Commission (2014). The University of Saskatchewan has a legal duty to offer reasonable medical accommodation up to the point of undue hardship.
Please speak to your supervisor/professor so that they are aware and can ensure your department is scent-aware. If you are a USask faculty or staff and require a medical accommodation, then please read The University of Saskatchewan Medical Accommodation Guidelines regarding the process. If you are a U of S student and require a medical accommodation, then please contact Disability Services.
As well, you may want to speak directly to any individuals who may be using scented products. Please see Guiding Process When Scents are a Concern.
Dealing with a scent situation can be a sensitive undertaking and topic to bring up. There is a delicate balance between expressing your concern to the individual and appearing confrontational. At all times, it is important to deal with this type of situation in a respectful and caring manner.
The following is a process outline to follow if someone is wearing scented products or there is a scent in the workplace or area of study that is of concern:
Guiding Process When Scents are a Concern
The following are some recommended approaches to handle these types of situations on the USask campuses with your supervisor, co-worker, professor or classmate.
Direct Approach – Establishing General Awareness of Concern
If you are a person who reacts negatively to scented products and there is a scent in your surroundings that is causing you to have a reaction try the following:
- approach the person in a positive manner and share your concerns about the scented product being worn
- express to the person wearing the scented product how it is affecting your health (education is key). Talk to the person in a respectful civil manner.
- suggest that the person visit the Wellness Resources website to review the guidelines for further information
- ask the person to consider switching to unscented products or refrain from wearing that product to work
- if the situation is not resolved, speak to your supervisor, professor
- request materials from Wellness Resources or Disability Services to be posted in surroundings
If you feel that direct contact with the person wearing the scent would worsen your reaction or if you are not comfortable having the conversation, speak to your supervisor/professor about your concerns and let him/her know:
- what causes your reaction
- the problem(s) you are currently experiencing
- what you have tried to do in an attempt to resolve the issues
- self-refer to Wellness Resources or Disability Services to pursue a medical accommodation
Supervisor/ProfessorIf you are approached by an employee or student who has a negative health reaction triggered
- respond as quickly as possible
- ask the employee/student what may help them in eliminating a reaction from scent
- remove the employee/student from the scented area that is causing a reaction until an accommodation plan is developed
- if the reaction is triggered by a specific individual (s), then discreetly approach the individual or department and create general awareness of the scent concern and the USask Scent Awareness Guidelines
- talk with your FMD Zone Manager about using scent-free soap and cleaning supplies
- encourage employees/students to review the Scent Awareness Guidelines and remain scent free on USask campuses, explaining reactions co-workers/students can have
- ask the person to consider switching to unscented products or refrain from wearing scented products on USask campuses
- invite Wellness Resources to present “Becoming Scent Aware – Creating a scent-free environment on campus” to your unit
- get back to the employee/student who is experiencing a reaction with an update of what has been done on his/her behalf. Continue to follow up and monitor the situation
Remember that the perfect solution may not be possible or even practical. For employees and students who are experiencing serious adverse reactions due to a medical condition or disability, further intervention and/or medical accommodation may be needed. The University of Saskatchewan has a legal Duty to Accommodate medical restrictions and limitations in the workplace. If a medical accommodation is required, contact Wellness Resources or Access and Equity Services.
Individuals who have been approached about their use of scented products
- Do not take offense to this conversation – this is about the impact of scent on people, not personally about you.
- Work with others to find out what product(s) are causing or can cause a reaction.
- Learn more about scents from reading the Scent Awareness Guidelines.
- Become part of the solution and switch to a scent free alternative and refrain from wearing or using scent products on U of S campuses. Many scent-free products are available at your local supermarket or pharmacy. Others are available in speciality stores or online.
Be aware of your surroundings.
Only carry essential cash/credit cards with you.
Be familiar with the location of all emergency phones on campus.
If you are concerned about walking across campus, contact Safewalk for an escort.
Try to stay in well-lit, higher traffic areas.
- Consider taking a self-defense course
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