Risk Mitigation - Planning and Approval Process

Food & Conference Services (“FCS”) have oversight of all activities on the University’s campuses that fall outside the University’s regular academic and research operations.  We are open to all of your innovative events on campus! Using the variety of facilities, grounds & amenities on campus through your events showcases the truly unique venues we have in Thunder Bay and Orillia. With innovative ideas, outdoor events or athletics programming come elements of risk: our duty is to assist in the risk assessment & mitigation process to ensure your event is not only successful, but also safe!

Every proposed event should have a Primary Event Organizer (“PEO”) who is responsible for organizing and overseeing the event and for serving as liaison with FCS and other University authorities with responsibility for activities on campus (for example, Security Services and Physical Plant).  Within their general commission the PEO coordinates the assessment and mitigation of the risks associated with the event, and, to these ends, will find helpful the risk analysis framework provided by the University’s Risk Management Planning & Approval Form (“RMPAF”).

We are open to all of your innovative events on campus! Using the variety of facilities, grounds & amenities on campus through your events showcases the truly unique venue we have here in Thunder Bay. With innovative ideas, outdoor events or athletics programming comes elements of risk: our duty is to assist in the risk assessment & mitigation process to ensure you event is not only successful, but also safe. Discuss your event in detail with your coordinator & see which forms or waivers may be required for your event. For your reference & review, see below our standard forms that assist with safety & planning for your event. 

When do I need to fill in a Risk Management Planning & Approval Form? 

You can discuss with your Coordinator on if your event requires a Risk Management plan if you are unsure.

Risk Management plans should be submitted for events that include unique elements or equipment and/or activities in areas that are not regularly used for that purpose.

A risk is measured according to its severity, which is the product of the likelihood of the risk materializing and the gravity of the consequences of that materialization.  PEO’s should submit an RMPAF for every event that carries potentially greater risk severity - for example, car smash, bus pull, tug-o-war, water sports, slip & slide, racing events, team sports, drone use, nature exploration/hiking, activities that require protective equipment, activities in normally high-traffic vehicle areas or road closure areas, etc., or activities using equipment  such as dunk tanks, hot tubs, trampolines, major audio, chainsaws, other motorized/gas powered equipment, sledge hammers, canoes, propane or other combustible substance tanks, etc.

To ensure thorough review FCS requests that an RMPAF be received a minimum 10 business days prior to the event date: please plan your time accordingly and ensure you submit the form with ample time for review and advice.

Here is the standard RMPAF: 

Planning and Approval Form (word document) 

Planning and Approval Form (google form) 

Additional risk management measures (insurance or waivers)

The most important risk management always consists of direct mitigation and control of risks, but in cases where the potential gravity of a risk may, after all reasonable mitigation, still be substantial, for example, in terms of liability exposure with a high monetary measure, consideration of ways to transfer at least some of the risk becomes important.  Three standard means of risk transfer are insurance, waivers, and indemnification. 

As far as insurance is concerned, the University has its own liability insurance to protect it and its employees, but when external entities are involved in activities on campus that expose the University to liability, and where those entities are large enough to carry their own insurance, or at least to be able to afford their own insurance, it is reasonable and fair to require those entities to use their own insurance to protect both themselves and the University. The amount of insurance required depends on the severity of the risk. Typically the University asks the external entities to carry a minimum of $5,000,000 insurance per occurrence for physical activities with significant risk of injury and/or property loss and, for food services for which food poisoning or allergies are concerns, $2,000,000.  In such cases the University’s standard practice is to ask the external entities to prove their coverage with a certificate of commercial general, or simply general, liability insurance including Lakehead University as an “Additional Insured” for the purposes of the event in which they are involved. 

When there is serious liability exposure but smaller entities or individuals who cannot afford significant amounts of liability insurance are involved, alternatives are waivers and indemnification.  In such cases individuals are required to read and sign agreements called waivers that release the University from liability in the event that the individuals themselves suffer injury or property loss.  They may also agree to indemnify the University in the event that they injure or cause property loss to third parties. 

Insurance is the standard method of risk transfer.  Discussion with FCS and the Director of Risk Management will determine whether waivers and/or indemnification are also required for particular events

What risks are involved with bringing in my own catering for my event? 

Lakehead University has mutually beneficial contracts with Food Service Providers on both of our campuses (Aramark Canada and Dana Hospitality). To respect these contracts, it is incumbent on us to utilize their services where possible and refrain from using outside vendors to continue to foster and grow a healthy relationship with these two providers.

If you do decide to bring in an Alternative Caterer or provide food on your own (e.g. potluck), the liability and risk will fall upon the PEO for any food safety requirements and/or health inspection infractions. This includes proper hand washing stations, temperature checks (hot food, fridges/coolers, or food left to the elements), and ensuring food is removed once it has been left out past the 'danger zone'. For more information on bringing in your own food, please go to the section for  'Non-University Food Services'. 

Other Forms or Considerations for your event

Alternative Food Providers

Supervision of Minors

For more information or for Off-Campus Events/Excursions please visit the website for Office of Risk Management

















































For more information - please go to Lakehead University's Office of Risk Management page at https://www.lakeheadu.ca/faculty-and-staff/departments/services/risk-and...