The Prairies health and safety tour kicked off last month with worksite visits taking place throughout Saskatchewan from October 20-24, 2014.
Clint Wirth, Regional Representative – Health & Safety, met with hundreds of PSAC members as he visited eight different worksites in five different cities and towns, including Fort Qu’Appelle, Melville, Yorkton, Regina and Prince Albert.
The goals of the worksite visits were to see firsthand the wide variety of work our members do and share experiences and information that will strengthen health and safety (H&S) in the Prairies.
During the visits, Wirth met with local executives and workplace H&S committees, toured the facilities, and had discussions about various H&S topics, such as the right to refuse, definition of danger and how Bill C-4 affects H&S in the workplace, just as the harmful changes are coming into effect.
He also has the opportunity to answer questions and address members’ concerns specific to the workplace, including ergonomics, general safety and security measures, safety supplies, workloads, travel during poor weather conditions, building a H&S network and further H&S training.
Similar information was covered during the evening H&S information sessions held in Regina (Oct. 21) and Prince Albert (Oct. 23). The 90-minute sessions reviewed the significant changes that will affect all of our members on a daily basis with the introduction of Bill C-4. Members appreciated the opportunity to learn more about the topic, as many felt they didn’t know enough about it when they arrived. They committed to taking the information back to their locals and building on the awareness and education.
To cap the week off, a two-day H&S course was held October 24-25 in Saskatoon. The course compiled material from both the “H&S in PSAC Workplaces” course and the “Bill C-4 – Fighting for Our Lives” course. Follow up information was sent to participants on issues of concern that were not specifically covered in the course material
The next evening informational sessions are scheduled for November 25 in Edmonton and November 27 in Calgary. For those who aren’t able to attend a session in person, toll-free call-in capabilities will be provided. Please contact your regional office for the call coordinates.
During that week Wirth will also visit worksites throughout Alberta, including sites in Banff, Calgary, Edmonton and Lacombe.
On November 1, members attended the “Bill C-4 – Fighting for Our Lives” courseheld at the PSAC Winnipeg Regional Office. Many members came into the course with little understanding of what changes were brought on with Bill C-4, but by the end of the course had a much better understanding of the changes and the implications in our workplaces.
While dates have yet to be confirmed, worksite visits and information sessions will be held in Manitoba beginning January 2015. More information will be posted on the Prairies website as it is available.
In the meantime, Wirth will facilitate the new course “Health and Safety in Federally Regulated Workplaces” at the MFL 2014 Health & Safety Conference, held November 17-18 in Winnipeg. The course, specific to federally regulated employees, will deal with H&S committees, their roles and responsibilities, and how to enact change, as well as a thorough review of Bill C-4, both in the changes that will affect employees and looking at the agenda of the current federal government.