Welcome to the SEIU-West Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) page. At this page, you will find resources related to OH&S. If you have any questions or think a resource should be added to this page, be sure to contact the Member Resource Centre (MRC) by phone at 1.888.999.7348 ext. 2298 (province-wide) or use our online contact form.
Workload is an Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) issue: At SEIU-West, we know our members face unsafe staffing levels regularly. And we know these insufficient staffing levels contribute to unsafe environments for both staff and those requiring care. That’s why your SEIU-West bargaining team has prioritized workload issues and we are hopeful these efforts will lead to better processes for addressing our heavy workloads.
SEIU-West has many resources to help you address workload at the Occupational Committee (OHC) Level - please email [email protected] if you would like assistance addressing workload at the OHC.
We also encourage you to fill out our workload tracking forms.
Did you know it is a provincial requirement in Saskatchewan for every work site to have an Occupational Health Committee (OHC)? The OHC is the process for the Employer and Employees to work together to resolve health and safety concerns.
SEIU-West has developed this OHC Fact Sheet – it contains a lot of important information, including your OH&S rights, the role of the OHC, and provincial requirements around OHC. Please post it on your union board as well!
The right to participate is one of the three ways you can engage with Occupational Health and Safety at work.
A worker has the right to refuse to do any specific job or task which they have reasonable grounds to believe is unusually dangerous to themselves or to other workers. What are the steps in exercising the right to refuse?
SEIU-West has put together a right to refuse resource - check it out here.
The right to refuse is one of your three rights found in our Right to Know document.
Your SEIU-West Worker Safety Committee (WSC) is committed to supporting safe workplaces and communities. As a result, the WSC has developed a series of Stand for Safety posters that they encourage you to post on your union bulletin board. Check them out:
The Saskatchewan Employment Act (SEA) includes mental health in its definition of “occupational health and safety, as follows:
- the promotion and maintenance of the highest degree of physical, mental and social well-being of workers.
We understand many SEIU-West members and workers around the world experience high levels of stress and poor mental health due to work. Stress and mental health concerns can stem from workload, workplace harassment, and many other factors that occur on the shop-floor. In response, each employer should have mental health policies as it is their responsibility to provide safe workplaces, as per the Occupational Health and Safety regulations (section 12).
SEIU-West also has many resources that can support you, including talking points for workload as an OHS issue, and anti-harassment training. Please contact the Member Resource Centre (MRC) at 1.888.999.7348 ext. 2298 for more information. Your family doctor can often recommend a professional for you as well. Other examples of supportive organizations include the Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) or associations such as the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) or the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) to name just a few.
- EAP programs are confidential, short term, counselling services for employees with problems that affect their work performance. The services of EAP providers are often purchased by your company. Check with your human resources department (or equivalent) for contact information.
- CMHA's programs are meant to ensure that people whose mental health is endangered will find the help needed to cope with crisis, regain confidence, and return to community, family and job.
- The CCSA promotes informed debate on substance abuse issues, and disseminates information on the nature, and assists organizations involved in substance abuse treatment, prevention and educational programming (resource: Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety).
- Anti-Bullying course: SEIU-West has developed an Anti-Bullying course that we've hosted at many workplaces. We also have an Anti-Bullying lunch and learn. Use our contact form to ask more about these courses.
As always, your union is here to support you – know that you are never alone with SEIU-West at your back.
For OH&S information, you can always contact an Occupational Health Officer (OHO) at the OH&S Division at 1-800-567-7233. When you call, ask for the Duty Officer. The Duty Officer is an OHO who is assigned to answer the public’s questions about the OHS legislation via telephone or e-mail and may be able to help.
Did you know your workplace must, by law, post a copy of meeting minutes as well as a list your Occupational Health Committee members or the health and safety representative in your workplace? This must be posted in a conspicuous area where workers can easily access the information, and where it will likely come to workers' attention.
Reviewing this posted information is one of the ways you can stay informed as part of your Right to Know about safety issues in your workplace.
When you have a safety concern, you should reach out to one of your OH&S committee members to discuss. Some workplaces have an incident reporting line as well, and if they do then this is the primary avenue to bring such concerns forward.
For more information on OH&S posting requirements, here is a list by jurisdiction from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety.