Tag Archives: OH&S

Long-Term Cares Contest: Enter to win an iPad

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UPDATED: Just the Facts: Summary Offence Ticketing (SOTs) – Starting July 1, 2014

For a printable PDF of this post, click on the link below:

Poster: Just the Facts Summary Offence Ticketing (SOTs) – June 4, 2014

Are you aware that the Provincial Government plans to change the way that safety legislation is enforced in Saskatchewan?

Originally, the Government had planned to implement the SOT scheme on January 1, 2013. Thanks to you and our lobbying efforts, we were successful in delaying the onset of these tickets. However, we have just learned that the government plans to implement SOT’s on July 1, 2014. A summary offence ticket is a fine ranging in cost from $250 to $1000 that will be issued by Occupational Health Officers (OHO) for violations under health and safety. It will either be issued on the spot or sent by mail depending on the circumstances. Tickets may be issued to workers, employers, contractors, owners, self-employed persons and suppliers.

There is some relief for SEIU-West members though. After hearing your concerns about fines for violations of TLR or fines being issued to Supervisors, the government has made changes. Questions that were raised at the government information sessions last year, as well as, your letters and phone calls to your MLAs all helped. Thank you again to all the SEIU-West Members who participated. Your voices were heard!

There is now only one offence that applies to workers! You may be issued a ticket for $250.00 if you do not use personal protective equipment (PPE).  Before issuing a ticket, the OHO is to ensure that the PPE was provided by the employer, that you were trained on its use, that there has been a clear directive to use the PPE and, in spite of all of this, you chose not to use it.

The only option a worker will have is to pay the ticket or fight the ticket through the court system… at your own expense! Also, for every ticket issued, the OHO will also file a Notice of Contravention which will identify the exact violation of the Act or Regulations and the required remedial action. We have also been informed that there is no increase in the ticket amount if a person is issued a subsequent ticket.

What should you do at work?

  • Always wear required personal protective equipment (high visibility vests, gowns, gloves, masks, proper footwear, hard hat, and/or fall protection gear).

Continue to:

  • Follow all safety rules, procedures and protocols.
  • Use patient lifts and follow TLR.
  • Comply with any orders issued by the OHO or the Occupational Health and Safety Branch.
  • Provide any requested information to the Occupational Health and Safety Branch.
  • Cooperate and do not obstruct an OHO in any way.

WHAT IS SEIU-West DOING?

SEIU-West has:

  • Sent two submissions to the Minister of Labour Relations & Workplace Safety asking him to reconsider the SOT scheme. Copies of these documents are posted on our website – www.seiuwest.ca – on the Worker Safety Committee page.
  • Met with representatives of the OH&S Division and further shared our concerns about the negative effect that SOT’s will have in the workplace.
  • Asked your employer to partner with us so as to ensure that all workers receive clear communication.
  • Continued to share all information with all SEIU-West representatives who sit on their workplace Occupational Health and Safety Committees.
  • Continued to lobby the government to remove these punitive tickets.
  • Asked for clarification of the appeal process in the event a worker wishes to dispute the Notice of Contravention and how that might affect the SOT. We will post any new information as it becomes available.

WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT?

  • Follow all safety rules!
  • Write, call or email the Minister and tell him this is unfair.

Minister of Labour Relations & Workplace Safety
Mr. Don Morgan (MLA, Saskatoon Southeast)
Phone: 306-955-4755 (Constituency Office) or
Call collect: 306-787-5353 (Legislative Assembly)
Email: dmorgan@mla.legassembly.sk.ca and
cc: kelly.harrington@seiuwest.ca.

  • Support each other when taking the time to do your job safely and encourage others to do the same. Call the Member Resource Centre (MRC) 1.888.999.7348 (1.888.999.SEIU) immediately if you receive any negative feedback from management or co-workers for taking the necessary time to do your job according to safety procedures.
  • For Health Care, never lift a patient alone or violate TLR. If there are unsafe staffing levels, advise your Manager that you require assistance as soon as possible. Please complete a Workload Tracking Form and return it to your local union office. Most importantly, continue to report all injuries and incidents as usual.

PLEASE remember:

All workers have the right to:

  • Know the safety hazards at work – the precautions needed to reduce or eliminate the hazards – all safety training.
  • Participate in the day to day detection, evaluation and reduction of workplace hazards – on your committee, as elected by your peers or appointed by your trade union.
  • Refuse unsafe or unusually dangerous work without fear of repercussions.
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Day of Mourning

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Just the Facts: Summary Offence Ticketing SOTs – Starting July 1, 2014 (Update)

For a printable PDF version of this Just the Facts document, click on the link below:

Just the Facts: Summary Offence Ticketing – UPDATE (March 21, 2014)

Are you aware that the Provincial Government plans to change the way that safety legislation is enforced in Saskatchewan?

Originally, the Government had planned to implement the SOT scheme on January 1, 2013. Thanks to you and our lobbying efforts, we were successful in delaying the onset of these tickets. However, we have just learned that the government plans to implement SOT’s on July 1, 2014. A summary offence ticket is a fine ranging in cost from $250 to $1000 that will be issued by Occupational Health Officers (OHO) for violations under health and safety. It will either be issued on the spot or sent by mail depending on the circumstances. Tickets may be issued to workers, employers, contractors, owners, self-employed persons and suppliers.

There is some relief for SEIU-West members though. After hearing your concerns about fines for violations of TLR or fines being issued to Supervisors, the government has made changes. Questions that were raised at the government information sessions last year, as well as, your letters and phone calls to your MLAs all helped. Thank you again to all the SEIU-West Members who participated. Your voices were heard!

There is now only one offence that applies to workers! You may be issued a ticket for $250.00 if you do not use personal protective equipment (PPE).  Before issuing a ticket, the OHO is to ensure that the PPE was provided by the employer, that you were trained on its use, that there has been a clear directive to use the PPE and, in spite of all of this, you chose not to use it.

The only option a worker will have is to pay the ticket or fight the ticket through the court system… at your own expense! Also, for every ticket issued, the OHO will also file a Notice of Contravention which will identify the exact violation of the Act or Regulations and the required remedial action. We have also been informed that there is no increase in the ticket amount if a person is issued a subsequent ticket.

What should you do at work?

  • Always wear required personal protective equipment (gowns, gloves, masks, proper footwear).

Continue to:

  • Use patient lifts and follow TLR.
  • Follow all safety rules, procedures and protocols.
  • Comply with any orders issued by the OHO or the Occupational Health and Safety Branch.
  • Provide any requested information to the Occupational Health and Safety Branch.
  • Cooperate and do not obstruct an OHO in any way.

WHAT IS SEIU-WEST DOING?

SEIU-West has:

  • Sent two submissions to the Minister of Labour Relations & Workplace Safety asking him to reconsider the SOT scheme. Copies of these documents are posted on our website – www.seiuwest.ca – on the Worker Safety Committee page.
  • Met with representatives of the OH&S Division and further shared our concerns about the negative effect that SOT’s will have in the workplace.
  • Asked your employer to partner with us so as to ensure that all workers receive clear communication.
  • Continued to share all information with all SEIU-West representatives who sit on their workplace Occupational Health and Safety Committees.
  • Continued to lobby the government to remove these punitive tickets.
  • Asked for clarification of the appeal process in the event a worker wishes to dispute the Notice of Contravention and how that might affect the SOT. We will post any new information as it becomes available.

WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT?

  • Follow all safety rules!
  • Write, call or email the Minister and tell him this is unfair.
Minister of Labour Relations & Workplace Safety
Mr. Don Morgan (MLA, Saskatoon Southeast)
Phone: 306-955-4755 (Constituency Office) or
Call collect: 306-787-5353 (Legislative Assembly)
Email: dmorgan@mla.legassembly.sk.ca and cc: kelly.harrington@seiuwest.ca.
  • Support each other when taking the time to do your job safely and encourage others to do the same. Call the Member Resource Centre (MRC) 1.888.999.7348 (1.888.999.SEIU) immediately if you receive any negative feedback from management or co-workers for taking the necessary time to do your job according to safety procedures.
  • For Health Care, never lift a patient alone or violate TLR. If there are unsafe staffing levels, advise your Manager that you require assistance as soon as possible. Please complete a Workload Tracking Form and return it to your local union office. Most importantly, continue to report all injuries and incidents as usual.

PLEASE remember:

All workers have the right to:

  • Know the safety hazards at work – the precautions needed to reduce or eliminate the hazards – all safety training.
  • Participate in the day to day detection, evaluation and reduction of workplace hazards – on your committee, as elected by your peers or appointed by your trade union.
  • Refuse unsafe or unusually dangerous work without fear of repercussions.

Related Content:

Letter to Don Morgan Re: Summary Offence Ticketing

JTF: SOTs Update – March 2013

JTF: SOTs Update – January 2013

JTF: SOTs Update – November 2012

JTF: SOTs – May 2012

Submission to Government: Worker Safety – Summary Offence Ticketing

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Day of Mourning Quiz for SEIU-West Members

The National Day of Mourning was established in Canada and is recognized in over 80 countries. April 28th is the day that workers and unions mourn for the dead and fight for the living. On this day, we find inspiration to intensify our efforts to keep workers both safe and healthy.

Unfortunately, just observing this day does not make Canadian workplaces any safer. Approximately 1,000 workers die each year because of workplace injuries or illnesses in Canada.canary-in-birdcage

Successive governments have pledged their support to workers and their unions. Over the past several decades, they have announced new workplace health and safety laws and regulations — some of the best in the world. Regrettably, the resources needed to enforce those laws have not always been provided.

In Saskatchewan, we can proudly say we were the first province to have Occupational Health and Safety Legislation and we are the home of the three workers’ rights (outlined in the “Safety Tip” to the right). Sadly, we still have the need to fight to keep these rights.

The health care industry, which includes group home workers, has the highest rate of WCB injury claims – more than any other industry in the Province!

Your SEIU West Worker Safety Committee asks you to recognize this important day. Please watch for posters and notice of Day of Mourning events in your community, or check with your local Labour Council. If you have something planned in your area please let us know. 

Based on the information provided in this post and this downloadable Day of Mourning Poster, SEIU-West members are asked to fill out the Day of Mourning Quiz 2014 and return it to Christine Miller by fax (306-652-1392) or by email (christine.miller@seiuwest.ca) on or before Monday April 28, 2014 to be entered into a draw for some fantastic prizes!

 

Related documents:

Day of Mourning Poster

Day of Mourning Quiz 2014

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SEIU-West Members Influence Changes to Government’s SOT scheme

Back in 2012, the government of Saskatchewan announced plans to implement a new ticketing scheme under Occupational Health and Safety regulations, known as Summary Offence Ticketing (SOTs). These tickets or fines would be issued to workers when they violated safety protocols while they were performing their duties. This new plan was to begin January 1, 2013 and would involve 71 violations that could result in fines against employers ($1000), supervisors ($400) and workers ($250) across the province.

On December 20, 2013, we received a copy of the Saskatchewan Gazette (a publication produced by the government of Saskatchewan which announces changes in legislation and regulations) which advised that the number of violations that would lead to a fine had been reduced from 71 to 12. On of these is a worker fine based on a failure to use personal protective equipment.

Why did the government reduce the number of violations?

Because of input from Unions and their members, Employers and working people.

What did you and your Union do to help influence these changes?

SEIU-West sent a submission to the Minister of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety in May 2012 indicating our objection to the scheme and highlighting it as a ‘blame the worker’ strategy.  We began sharing info in the format of ‘Just The Facts’ with our members who are active on Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) committees and your union executive. Members of SEIU-West participated in the SOT training sessions offered by the OH&S Division of the government of Saskatchewan where they asked questions and raised concerns that the government just couldn’t ignore.

At the same time, SEIU-West members made calls and signed petitions while Union leadership and staff continued to meet with representatives of the OH&S Division to share our concerns about the effects of the SOTs in the workplace. The SEIU-West Worker Safety committee got involved and we were in contact with your employers to ensure clear communication. A letter was sent to the Minister of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety seeking reconsideration of SOTs in May of 2013.

Your Local President Barbara Cape, subsequently met with the Health Minister to highlight our concerns with unsafe staffing levels and the ticketing scheme.  With the help of the Union, your OH&S committee representatives stepped up communication in the workplace so that more members knew where and who to go to with questions regarding the SOT legislation. All of these activities culminated in a further review of the plan by the government of Saskatchewan.

We want to applaud all of you who assisted us in getting a review of SOTs. We believe that all workplaces should be safe and healthy and will continue to follow this important topic and share information freely.

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Survey: Professional Assault Response Training (PART)

Please take a few minutes to fill out this important survey on the effectiveness of Professional Assault Response Training (PART).

The feedback from this survey will be received and analyzed by the Saskatchewan Association of Safe Workplaces in Health (SASWH). Your information will be utilized to evaluate, modify or address any areas that need improvement.

As front line health care providers and support staff, you are the workers that they need to hear from. Lori Johb is our SEIU-West representative on the SASWH Board of Directors, as well as, Chair of the SEIU-West Worker Safety Committee.

She has requested your action on this issue so that the feedback received is solid and reflective of the needs of all SEIU-West members. Now is the time to have your voice heard. Survey deadline is February 15, 2014.

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Letter to the Editor: Joint Frustration

By Lori Klus, The StarPhoenix – November 27, 2013

As a care provider who works in a long-term care facility in Saskatoon, I am both frustrated and perplexed to read that Saskatchewan’s health minister is frustrated by the poor care provided for seniors.

Minister Dustin Duncan claims an additional 700 full-time workers have been hired in the health sector, but I would like him to tell me where they went…

To read this article on-line, click on the link below:
Joint Frustration – link to Star Phoenix
To download a printable PDF of this article, click on the link below:

Joint Frustration

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MEDIA RELEASE: Long-Term Care Unsafe Staffing Levels – A Daily Frustration for Health Care Providers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – November 18, 2013

Saskatoon – SEIU-West members who work in long-term care facilities in Saskatchewan are frustrated by the comments made by Health Minister Dustin Duncan in an online CBC article that claims that the government has “significantly increased the full-time complement of workers within long-term care”.

“I have no idea why the Minister is making this statement,” said Barbara Cape, President of SEIU-West. “In our members’ experience this does not accurately reflect the reality in long-term care. Very recently we identified to the Saskatoon Health Region (SHR) the situation at Saskatoon Convalescent Home where our members have told us they work short constantly because there aren’t enough care providers to do the work that needs to be done.”

“This problem is not unique to SHR. Many of our members from long-term care facilities in other Health Regions continue to report back, through the use of workload tracking forms, just how often and why they are working short staffed,” continued Cape. “We have attempted to share this information with the Regional Health Authorities and the Minister. As of yet we have not had satisfactory responses nor any solid steps on how to move forward to improve staffing levels.”

When the results of the government’s long-term care review were released in October, SEIU-West members and leaders were hopeful that the government had finally received a concrete signal that maintaining safe staffing levels in this sector is a challenge that needs to be addressed immediately.

“We are not aware of any long-term care facility where they have enough staff to handle all the day-to-day care needs of the residents. We’d like the Minister to show us where the 700 full-time positions were created,” continued Cape. “The goal of our membership, in this sector, is to provide professional, timely care to the residents who live in long term care facilities. We need an increase in staff hours per resident to match the complexity of care requirements and to share the workload. The current situation is not healthy for the residents and the workers who grapple with this issue daily.”

SEIU-West represents approximately eleven thousand health care providers in the province of Saskatchewan. They include Continuing Care Assistants, Licensed Practical Nurses, diagnostic and therapeutic technologists, food service workers, laundry, housekeeping and activity personnel, maintenance, sterile processing workers and administrative staff, among others.

– 30 –

For more information, contact:

Christine Miller

Phone: 306.652.1011 ext. 2250

For a printable PDF of this media release, please click on the link below:

MEDIA RELEASE: Long-Term Care Unsafe Staffing Levels: A Daily Frustration for Health Care Providers

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Occupational Health Committee Level 1 Training

The Saskatchewan Association for Safe Workplaces in Health (SASWH) is holding Occupational Health Committee (OHC) Level 1 training in the following health regions:SASWH-Logo

  • Cypress
  • Five Hills
  • Saskatoon

All OH&S committee members must complete Level 1 training sessions. If you have not done so, the employer is required to allow you paid time off to attend such training, as per Section 46 of the Occupational Health And Safety Regulations.

Please visit the SASWH calendar of events to find the one closest to you.

 

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