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HEALTH AND SAFETY COMMITTEES. STRATEGIES FOR EFFECTIVE ENFORCEMENT. UNDE-OTTAWA (SEPT-2012). ROD NOEL. Health and Safety Officer -24 years Southwest Ontario PSAC Local 258 member Previous CN Rail/DND-Mechanical Trades Over 30 Years as an Activist Ryerson OHS Certificate

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  2. ROD NOEL • Health and Safety Officer -24 years • Southwest Ontario • PSAC Local 258 member • Previous CN Rail/DND-Mechanical Trades • Over 30 Years as an Activist • Ryerson OHS Certificate • Ontario WHSC OHS Instructor

  3. Health and SafetyWhy an “Activist”- • A social justice issue…from experience • My early work exposures-1973-88…leather tannery - acids, ammonia, chemical burns • Carcinogins - ie. chromium • Factories/forklifts/hydraulic presses • As Steamfitter/gasfitter (asbestos)

  4. Railway Union H&S ..70’s and 80’s • Union OHS training/ Canada Labour Code • Inherently Dangerous work….. • Unsafe movement of trains • RTW-discipline=escorted off the property • CLRB case-ruled danger

  5. Late 80’s to now • H&S Training…as an HSO-and union • Other HSO’s - good backgrounds/expertise • Many Investigations/accidents/fatalities • Multiple fatalities-from diving work to communication tower collapse • To confined spaces/fires/many others • Prosecutions/Inquests • Court fines (50,000-280,000)

  6. Canada Labour Code is Stronger…….and • Westray mine (26 deaths) led to the Criminal Code and criminal negligence charges • Employer must prove due diligence defence.…Courts take strong view on OHS • Stronger Regulations: • Regulation 19 – HAZARD PROTECTION(HPP) • Regulation 20 – VIOLENCE PROTECTION (VPP

  7. Understand how the CODEand OHS law works • KNOW THE CODE-and Regulations • KNOW SECTION 122 – PURPOSE is prevention • ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROLS • ENGINEERING • PPE-AS A LAST RESORT • SECTION 134 and 135 –COMMITTEE POWERS

  8. The Code • 125. (1)  • states in respect of every work place controlled by the employer and, • in respect of every work activity carried out by an employee in a work place that is not controlled by the employer, to the extent that the employer controls the activity,

  9. Employer’s legal duty to: • (z.07) ensure the availability in the work place of premises, equipment and personnel necessary for the operation of the policy and work place committees; • (z.08) cooperate with the policy and work place committees or the health and safety representative in the execution of their duties under this Part;

  10. Health and Safety Committees Are….Essential !! • A Committee must be allowed to do its work • Employers must provide……facilities • Ie. Computers/records storage/file cabinet • A Minute taker -accurate signed minutes • Time - to attend meetings • And Prep Time………!!

  11. Strategy – Insist on accurate minutes!! • Minutes are a legal record • Minutes must be signed by the employer • Minutes are evidence……..

  12. If minutes are not accurate?? • Employee Co-Chair should not sign • File complaint with Labour Program • Provide details of inaccuracy to HSO – request enforcement of the Code.

  13. AT Committee MEETINGS • Put the Canada Labour Code and Regulations …on the table. • Refer to Code/ Regs / OPD’S AND IPGS • Also …OHS publications and Guides • TB OHS Policies/Employer policies, etc • Ensure accurate Minutes (Insist!!)

  14. Committee Rights and Duties • KNOW Sections 134 and 135 of the Code • All the duties • The SHALLS……and the MAYS……

  15. All the shalls……!!! • (4) A policy committee • (a) shall participate in the development of health and safety policies and programs; • (b) shall consider and expeditiously dispose of matters concerning health and safety raised by members of the committee or referred to it by a work place committee or a health and safety representative; • (c) shall participate in the development and monitoring of a program for the prevention of hazards in the work place that also provides for the education of employees in health and safety matters; • (d) shall participate to the extent that it considers necessary in inquiries, investigations, studies and inspections pertaining to occupational health and safety; • (e) shall participate in the development and monitoring of a program for the provision of personal protective equipment, clothing, devices or materials; • (f) shall cooperate with health and safety officers; • (g) shall monitor data on work accidents, injuries and health hazards; and • (h) shall participate in the planning of the implementation and in the implementation of changes that might affect occupational health and safety, including work processes and procedures. • Information

  16. And some Mays…… • (5) ………….. committee may request from an employer • any information that the committee considers necessary • to identify ……….hazards ……….in any of the employer’s work places. • If requested – An employer must provide

  17. The Code and Employer Records • Section 135(9) states…..a Committee shall have full access to ……….. • all …government and employer reports, studies and tests relating to the health and safety of employees. • But not to medical records….without employee’s consent.

  18. Committee functions - • Chairpersons to assign functions • (b) if (only) one member is designated, the member shall be an employee member.

  19. The HPP - Reg19 is the Key to knowing your workers and your workplace) • Hazard Prevention Program • 19.1 (1) The employer shall, in consultation with and with the participation of the policy committee, or, if there is no policy committee, the work place committee or the health and safety representative, develop, implement and monitor a program for the prevention of hazards, including ergonomics-related hazards, in the work place that is appropriate to the size of the work place and the nature of the hazards and that includes the following components:

  20. Hazard Prevention Program • (a) an implementation plan; • (b) a hazard identification and assessment methodology; • (c) hazard identification and assessment; • (d) preventive measures; • (e) employee education; and • (f) a program evaluation.

  21. Labour Program • HSO’s (Health and Safety Officers) will need PROOF /seeking evidence of what has been happening. • Your statements……… • Documentation (minutes / e-mails) • Ensure minutes are accurate • Employer must respond in 30 Days………..

  22. EVIDENCE • WHAT IS EVIDENCE? • Documents/ • Visual inspection/photos • Absence of records/procedures/JHA • Absence of Training Records

  23. HSO’s duties • 141.1 (1) A health and safety officer shall conduct an inspection of the work place in the presence of • (a) an employee member and an employer member of the work place committee; or • (b) the health and safety representative and a person designated by the employer.

  24. How we enforce the Code • OPD’S AND IPGS • Our DIRECTIVES AND GUIDELINES • Are Available to the public • Know the Labour Program WEB-SITE: WWW.LABOUR.GC.CA • USE AT MEETINGS WITH HSO’S


  26. The VPP • VIOLENCE PREVENTION IN THE WORK PLACE • For another day……..

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