Workers’ participation in identifying and resolving workplace health and safety issues is critical especially during the current pandemic, but it’s also required by law.
Worker participation is often best exercised collectively
and through worker representatives. The law provides for this too. Most Ontario workplaces require either a joint health and safety committee (JHSC) or a worker health and safety representative (HSR). Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act
also sets out extensive rights and powers for JHSCs (s9) and HSRs (s8)
including conducting inspections, being informed of any testing, receiving copies of health and safety reports including reports of occupational illness such as COVID-19, being present at any work refusal and accompanying MOL during inspections to name just a few.
Research also supports worker involvement finding greater worker participation
in occupational health and safety is associated with better outcomes
and fewer injuries. A study of Ontario workplace representatives found those who fulfilled their legal powers, but also spent time building knowledge and relationships were more effective in their health and safety work
Helping these workplace representatives understand and more effectively use their rights and powers
in preventing COVID-19 outbreaks is the subject of this webinar in the WHSC Confronting COVID-19
series. Be sure to watch and share.
Also check out WHSCs new tool
created to support workplace inspections of COVID-19 hazards and workplace control measures and the PowerPoint
developed in support of this webinar.
WHSC virtual training & COVID-19 docs
WHSC webinars, our virtual training classrooms and many COVID-19 resources
are made available during these unprecedented and challenging times
to help ensure workers, supervisors, joint health and safety committee members and others have access to a trusted source of training and information. Register today
for any one of a growing list of WHSC virtual training classrooms.
Follow us too on social media sites
. There we share important news and insights.
As Ontario’s only designated health and safety training centre
, WHSC supports workers, their representatives, supervisors, contractors and employers in every work sector with comprehensive training programs
and information services
. In all we do, we put workers first. After all, it is their lives and livelihoods that are affected most when workplace hazards, including the COVID-19 virus go uncontrolled.
To learn more: