OHS Staff Safety Initiative

Correspondence from Marika Giesen | Executive Director, Service Delivery Improvement and Integration Dec. 12, 2018

Rhonda and Andrea, thanks for the good discussion on Monday re: moving forward, with the help of a Health & Safety Association, on the social services staff safety initiative. As mentioned, we’ve pulled together some high-level notes below to support your discussions/communications with your respective membership.  I hope this is helpful. If you have questions/comments, let me know.Watch for an update early in the new year.

–          Over the past several months, ALIGN and ACDS have been meeting with government representatives from Labour, Community and Social Services (CSS) and Children’s Services to discuss shared concerns and collaborative strategies related to the safety of staff in the social services sector

–          As a result of these discussions, government will be providing funding to secure the services of a Health and Safety Association (HSA) to develop a variety of resources focused specifically on improving safety for staff in our sector

–          We want to be clear that this is not about establishing a sector HSA that members pay into; rather, to use the expertise of an HSA to develop sector-specific resources for our association(s) and its members

–          These resources will focus on three key areas:

o   Awareness: through provincial and agency-level activities, staff at different levels will be aware of their respective roles and responsibilities regarding safety in the workplace;

o   Tools: creating a variety of common tools and templates (e.g., hazard assessments) that take into account the unique environment our social services staff  work in; and,

o   Training: creating a variety of training resources and identifying training opportunities for all staff that will support their ability to identify and respond to safety issues in the workplace.

–          We have been clear that whatever comes from this work, it cannot introduce additional costs for agencies and it must be informed by and developed in consultation with our sector members

–          We will have more to share in the New Year when the HSA is selected and begins its work, and we hope you will be willing to work with us as we create these important resources

–          If you have any questions, feel free to contact [contact]

 

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