Liability

The University is responsible for providing a reasonably safe environment and warning of known risks. Sponsoring departments have a duty to know as much as reasonably possible about the inherent risks of an activity and to advise participants in advance regarding those risks. Waiver forms are generally not required for normal UW educational activities at UW facilities. As a public entity, the University cannot require students to waive rights to participate in educational programs or activities, nor require employees to waive rights to perform work for the University. Participant Waiver Agreements and Acknowledgment of Risk (AOR) forms may reduce liability exposure subject to inherent limitations. If used correctly, these forms are an effective way to inform of risk and document the decision of participants to assume those risks. Use the guidelines below to select the correct form. Retain signed forms in your department for 3 years. Do not forward signed forms to Risk Management..

Acknowledgment Of Risk Forms

Recommended for activities that involve:
  • UW Students during UW-sponsored activities that involve:
    • Hazardous activity that may result in death or serious injury
    • Use of hazardous materials or safety equipment provided by the University
    • Travel overnight, out of state or the country, or more than two hours away by car.
  • Third parties, including non-UW students at UW facilities
  • Participants knowing and understanding special information to participate safely (e.g., canoeing)

Sample Forms

Acknowledgment of Risk - Adults (PDF)

Acknowledgment of Risk - Adults (Word)

Foreign Study Acknowledgment of Risk – Lower risk areas (Word)

Foreign Study Acknowledgment of Risk – Higher risk areas (Word)

Minor Acknowledgment Of Risk Forms

Required for activities that involve minors under the age of eighteen. Use this form instead of the AOR above for UW students under 18.

Sample Forms

Fieldtrip Acknowledgment of Risk - Minors (PDF)

Fieldtrip Acknowledgment of Risk - Minors (Word)

Participant Waiver Agreements

Optional activities for students and those involving the public may use stronger waiver language than an AOR. Participant waivers are recommended for:
  • Visiting researchers using UW facilities
  • Benefit walks/runs on campus
  • Hazardous Activities involving the public, on and off campus
  • Out of state or foreign activities when vendors provide travel services
  • Activities that last longer than a week

Sample Waivers

Participant Waiver Agreement (PDF)

Participant Waiver Agreement (Word)

Visiting Student (PDF)

Visiting Student (Word)

Visiting Researcher / Scholar (PDF)

Visiting Researcher / Scholar (Word)

Faculty and Staff - No Form Required

Faculty and staff performing work for the University cannot be required to waive their rights and are covered by workers’ compensation for illnesses and injuries. See Workers Comp at UW for more information.

Additional Resources