Working alone or in isolation

The Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health (DMCBH) and the University of British Columbia recognize that there may be instances where students and staff must work alone and/or outside of regular working hours.

Volunteers and other non-employees must be supervised and may not work alone.

A comprehensive working alone policy is available at the Risk Management website, and DMCBH defers to the guidelines therein.

Risk Assessment

It is the responsibility of each Principal Investigator to assess the risks of working alone; each task to be accomplished while working alone must be assessed annually for each person within the lab who will be working alone. 

Staff and students share the responsibility of identifying hazards and potential risks.

The working alone risk assessment form can be found here. 


  • All students and staff working alone or outside of regular working hours must have completed all appropriate Risk Management training courses as well as training specific to the tasks being performed.
  • All students and staff working alone must understand which tasks are not to be performed while working alone.


Principal Investigators / Laboratory Managers

  • Minimize risks of injury as much as possible;
  • Ensure all laboratory members who may work alone or in isolation have been trained according to this policy, and the working after hours policy, the activities they will engage in, and the protocols for working after hours and alone.

Trainees, Students and Staff       

  • Work in a safe manner at all times to prevent injury to self and others by following safe work procedures and guidelines;
  • Be aware of, and follow, established procedures for working alone or in isolation;
  • During regular work hours, alert another lab member, preferably one working on the same floor, when you will be working alone. After work hours or on weekends/holidays, alert security (local 7-4777).
  • When calling security, specify UBC Hospital, Koerner Pavilion, or Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health (DMCBH) at the beginning of the call.
  • Request check-ins every two hours if deemed necessary by the risk assessment. Check-ins may be visual or by phone; agree on this with a colleague or with security, as appropriate, before commencing work.
  • Follow all safety, security, and research protocols, using required PPE.
  • Carry their hospital access ID card at all times.

More information can be found here.