Health and Safety
Always remember to work smart and work safe.
Health and Safety Representative
OHSA Article 28. (1)
Duties of workers
(a) work in compliance with the provisions of this Act and the regulations;
(b) use or wear the equipment, protective devices or clothing that the worker’s employer requires to be used or worn;
(c) report to his or her employer or supervisor the absence of or defect in any equipment or protective device of which the worker is aware and which may endanger himself, herself or another worker; and
(d) report to his or her employer or supervisor any contravention of this Act or the regulations or the existence of any hazard of which he or she knows.
The better educated we are as workers, the safer our workplace.
Action on Workplace Stress—Mental Injury Prevention Tools for Ontario Workers
Mental illness is the fastest-growing reason for short- and long-term disability claims, accounting for about 30 per cent in Canada and costing business $6 billion in lost productivity and absenteeism in 2011, according to the mental health commission. In its national strategy last May, the commission listed new health and safety standards among its key recommendations.
The new standard — which is free and available by download — has guidelines to help companies identify potential hazards to mental health and where they can improve policies and practices.
TALKING TO YOUR DOCTOR
You know more about your job, your work practices and your symptoms than anyone else. What should you tell your medical practitioner to help sort out the information that you need to provide to your employer.
Talk about your symptoms
- How you feel
- When your problem started
- When you got your symptoms
- Do you have your symptoms only at work? After work?
- Are the symptoms worse at the beginning of the week or at the end of the work week?
- Does it make any difference what time of day it is? What day of the week it is?
- Does the problem go away when you are on holidays?
- Do you notice the symptoms only when doing certain tasks at work or home?
- Did your symptoms start after changing a work procedure or work area?
- After using different equipment
- Whether or not your health problem caused you to miss time from work?
- Do any co-workers have the same symptoms?
Give information about your job
- Where you work
- What your employer makes or does
- What your regular job duties are
- When you started your present job
- What hours you work
- What days you work
- Provide a job spec. if you have one
What hazards you may be exposed to
- Anything in your work that could be harmful to your health (dust, heat, noise, stress, flu, conflict etc…)
- What supplies and equipment you work with
- Are there any hazards that have been brought to the attention of the Joint Health & Safety Committee
- What protective equipment you use – do you wear a mask, gloves, lab coat, coveralls or other protection if necessary
- Do you eat in your work area?
- Exposures you might have outside work -your personal habits – Do you smoke, take drugs/medications or consume alcohol
- What are your eating habits?
- Do you exercise?
- Do you work a second job, volunteer?
- What are your hobbies?
Information you should have on your doctors note to the employer
- Your name – the patient
- The doctors name, address and phone number
- The date of the medical examination
- Whether you were examined in person by the health care professional
- The date when you can return to work
- Specific restrictions which indicate the doctors knowledge of your job requirements
- How long (as specifically as possible) the restrictions will apply. Are the restrictions permanent?
- Are you’re absences likely to be sporadic. Will there be flare-ups due to your condition
- When, if at all, you will be able to return to regular duties
Remember – the employer is NOT entitled to a diagnosis. They are entitled to a prognosis along with duration and specifics about your medical restrictions as they relate to your job.
The employer is also not entitled to know what medications you are on – they are only entitled to know if the medication causes a restriction, eg. causes drowsiness.
Information for Workers Health and Safety Representative’s
The employer will request that you fill out a monthly inspection report. This report is to be filled out by the workers health an safety representative and is designed to report any health and safety issues that you or your co workers have noticed.
Many of the managers are insisting that they are to complete the report with you. They are also telling members that you are not allowed to fill out the comment section on the second page. This is completely wrong information. The second page of comments is where you write the issues you have noticed and to recommend a way to fix the problem. The manager in turn resolves the problem and write in the date of resolution and what was done to rectify the problem.
If the problem is not rectified or if a problem arises that requires attention, you can fill out this recommendation form and give it to the manager and send a copy to your district manager.
more to come……