Depending on your role at the University of Waterloo, there is specific mandatory training you need to complete as part of Waterloo's Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Program. The Safety Office serves as the primary resource for health and safety training for staff, faculty, and students. Choose a category below to continue.

Determine required training

It is the responsibility of each department and supervisor to ensure that employees, students and volunteers receive training that is appropriate to the hazards present in their area of work/study. 

To assist departments and supervisors, the Safety Office developed a training matrix. The training matrix outlines the training required based on the role and the hazards present in the workplace.

Supervisors can modify and use the matrix to meet their department's needs. 

Download the training matrix

Training Renewal

Retraining is the act of providing previously given instruction, or updated instruction, to an individual or group of individuals to either update their competencies or ensure their competencies are maintained. It can be a valuable tool for these purposes.

Common examples of when retraining is used include:

  • If a process has been changed with an altered step, material, equipment, etc.
  • When legal requirements or standards necessitate a change to how things must be done
  • When individuals have been absent for an extended period of time – examples include a medical absence, sabbatical, secondment, or other such leave
  • As a corrective action to an incident or near miss (*note retraining should never be the only corrective action for an incident)
  • As identified as periodic refresher training by any University of Waterloo training matrix

Safety Office training modules

Choose a category for more information on health & safety training available through the Safety Office.

Mandatory health and safety training (for all employees)

Emergency Preparedness Information

Supervisor training

All supervisors must complete:

Supervisors working in higher risk areas (e.g., laboratories, technical and maintenance shops, areas where hazardous materials are used, commercial kitchens, custodial) must also complete the following training:

Supervisors of higher risk areas are also strongly encouraged to complete:

*Supervisors must complete Risk Assessment (SO2500) before enrolling in SO1007, SO1012 or SO2501.

Research and laboratory training

Hazard-specific training

Emergency response training

Supervisor provided safety training

New worker orientation training

Supervisors are expected to provide a physical orientation of the workplace to new employees. This orientation will show workers where important safety equipment is located and how to use it, such as:

  • Spill kits
  • Fire extinguishers
  • First aid kits
  • Eyewash and emergency showers
  • Alarms (a description of the alarms that are present and what to do if they are triggered)
  • Working alone procedures
  • Hazardous waste disposal
  • Chemical use
  • Emergency response
  • Spill response
  • Incident reporting

New Employee Orientation Worksheet is available to document your training.

The supervisor should also set up probationary periods during which the new worker is closely supervised. When the supervisor deems the worker is ready, they may begin performing procedures and working without close supervision.

Site/task-specific (practical) training

It is also the responsibility of the supervisor to conduct site/task-specific (practical) training for their workers and students to ensure that all tasks are completed in a safe manner.

In order to conduct site/task-specific training, supervisors should:

  1. Ensure that all necessary mandatory and hazard-specific training has been completed (this can be done in advance)
  2. Researchers with permits (biosafety, radiation, laser, x-ray, chemical, or other) must use the Annual Emergency Training Refresher Form to document completion of annual training provided to individual researchers that are using the facilities they are responsible for. 
  3. Instruct the worker to read the relevant safe operating procedures (SOP), risk assessments, job hazard analysis and operating manuals
  4. Demonstrate how to complete the task as per the SOP and have the worker observe
  5. Instruct the worker to perform the task and observe the worker to verify that they meet the performance expectations for safety
  6. Document the training provided

It is the responsibility of the supervisor to maintain the training records of the site/task specific training. This Site-specific Training Form is available for supervisors to aid in their record keeping.

Specialty training

Training that is not listed on this page can be arranged as specialty training for departments and individuals. Contact the Safety Office for additional information. Please note that any costs associated with specialty training are the responsibility of the individual or department.

Scheduled classroom training sessions

Emergency First Aid (SO1038)

Scheduling note: Emergency First Aid (SO1038) is offered four times each year (May, June, November, December). May and June dates will be posted by April 16th and November and December dates will be posted by October 16th.

Date Time Location

Incident Investigation (SO1012)

Date Time Location

Inspecting the Workplace (SO1007)

Date Time Location
Thursday, July 18, 2024 1:30pm-3:30pm COM 116E
Friday, October 4, 2024 1:30pm-3:30pm COM 116E
Friday, November 1, 2024 1:30pm-3:30pm COM 116E

Ladder Safety (SO1050)

Date Time Location

Risk Assessment Application (SO2501)

Date Time Location
Thursday, July 11, 2024 9:00am-11:00am COM 116E

Training roles and responsibilities

Department heads (Deans/Chairs/Directors/etc.)

  • Ensure supervisors and managers are competent
  • Provide resources and direction necessary to support health and safety training programs within their area of responsibility


Ensure workers are competent to perform their tasks by:

  • Reviewing the training matrix to ensure that health and safety training for specific hazards related to tasks is delivered to workers
  • Ensuring the workers they supervise have completed health and safety training before commencing work
  • Identifying need for additional training including refresher training or site-specific training
  • Providing and maintaining records of site-specific training that they require that is not in the training matrix

Employees, students, visitors, volunteers, post-docs

  • Participate in health and safety training required by their supervisor
  • Follow established safe operating procedures (SOP) when operating equipment, performing tasks, or procedures
  • Only complete tasks within their training and expertise

Additional resources and information