WHSC Consultation

Local 199 Health and Safety Committee Report – Dec 2017

 Dan Potts from Local 4212 (Seaway) and myself attended WHSC Consultation Session Nov. 30 / Dec.1, 2017 in Niagara Falls.

WHSC Consultation discussion centred on the status of 12 (of 46) priority recommendations from the Expert Panel (Dean) Report, identified for implementation.  After update concluded discussion focused on “Where do we go from here?” as it pertains to WHSC, OHCOW and other Health and Safety Associations.

WHSC struggles to influence MOL policy decisions without being seen as “too political”, thereby jeopardising their funding. Looking for “Champions” such as OFL and Unifor.

Discussion focused on following topics:

  • Safe Work (Employer responsibility to provide a safe work environment (pro worker – supported by WHSC/OHCOW)) vs. Work Safe (Worker’s responsibility  – BBS (Pro employer – supported by MOL))
    • When discussing with MOL – Can’t even agree on hashtag: MOL – #Worksafe / WHSC – #Makeworksafe
    • Hazard Control (or elimination) vs Risk Management (makes risk manageable – rates risk factors, frequency, severity – treats symptoms rather than hazard – money drives system with goal to reduce claims)
    • Mental Injury vs Mental Illness –the Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL) Website: http://thinkmentalhealth.ca/ – touchy, feely, makes you think they are doing something about it
      • Like phrase “Mental First Aid” – Participant quotes John Oudyk of OHCOW, “If you see a lot of injuries, you don’t go out and do more first aid…!”
      • Limiting resources to increase profits increases stress on everyone – resulting mental issues, workplace violence, substance abuse to cope
      • Internal Responsibility vs Individual Responsibility – IRS not defined in OHSAct – but can be defined by using Part III – Duties of Employers and Other Persons – Individual Responsibility driven by BBS (MOL supports)
      • Health and Safety Program vs Health and Safety Culture – How do you define or measure H&S Culture?
        • To change the safety culture there must include tangible metrics such as number of ESC reported and closed, with G/L feedback to concern originator
        • Quality Training vs Information – watering down training (MOL supports)
          • WHSC struggles delivering sector specific part II Certification training to all of Ontario especially smaller centers.

December 8, 2017, I attended Small Unit Council meeting for Local 199, for introduction to Unit Chairs and provide contact information for H&S resources.

Resulting contact by H&S Reps from Assemble-Rite, but still looking for more contacts.

Edward Steers
Chair Local 199 Health and Safety Committee