Health and Safety Report – The First Six Months Dec. 2016
We, Edward Steers and Mike Pagano, have been your Unifor Health and Safety Representatives for the past six months, and as we should all do from time to time, let’s look back at where we began and look ahead to where we are going in the coming year.
Working together since the election, we have developed an excellent working relationship by sharing everything that happens including notes, pictures, reports and overtime. Giving Mike first opportunity for overtime allows him to be up representing 2 days a week, so he can gain more experience. When he is up, he is completely in the loop and more able to actually carry on working on issues that Ed has been involved in, and not just passing them on. This better serves the Membership because now you have 2 informed Reps instead of one and another one. We’ve both been certified and trained in Health and Safety through the company and the union, and we’ve become friends. These past six months we’ve spent a lot of time building relationships necessary for addressing and resolving issues. Our primary roles, which satisfy the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, are as members of the Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) where we are the worker reps on the committee. In addition to this, we’ve made ourselves available to attend as many in-plant committees as time allows as your Reps, including the Plant Safety Review Board, Safety Star meetings and Departmental Safety talks, for our information and as an additional means of addressing issues.
One example of how this works; At the end of a Gen V Safety Star meeting Oct 24, a member of Gen V Assembly Team 8 presented us with a recently rejected ACE safety suggestion that was submitted by the team. The idea was for adding a mirror across the aisle from the men’s west side washroom, that would give team members increased visibility and vehicle awareness in a blind spot to the south, behind the corner of the women’s washroom. He asked if we could do something, because it was a major concern for the team when they are 2 steps into the aisle before they get a clear look behind the corner, and some people have been surprised by vehicles coming at them. This area was identified as one of the “Hot Spots” in the plant by the Pedestrian and In-Plant Vehicle Committee and as new members of the PIV, this was an obvious place to revisit the issue even though it was the PIV who rejected the suggestion. By doing a thorough investigation of the issue, and writing a detailed report including pictures that could easily explain the issue to people sitting in a boardroom, we were able to get 3 changes made to the area, including the ACE suggestion. We then re-submitted the suggestion so that the group got recognized for their contribution, which resulted in all 8 team members being paid $50 each, and their names entered into the draw for the annual vehicle voucher. Just to remind everyone, the ACE suggestion program is intended for continuous improvement, not for bringing attention to safety concerns outside of the Employee Safety Concern Process, but it can be used in addition to it. For immediate attention to safety concerns, use the ESCP by asking your G/L or T/L to address your concern and if unable to, document the concern on your team’s level 4/5 board, which starts the clock for escalation.
Looking ahead, the JHSC goals for 2017 include: Construction, Nanotech, Heat Stress, ESWP and IH training for JHSC members; rolling out ESWP, EWP refresher training and improved T/L training for team members; a Terms of Reference Doc.; Collaborative Robots review, and a resolve to the plant odour issue, among others.
We wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas
Edward Steers & Mike Pagano