Health and Safety

We make sure you work in a safe and healthy environment.

USW Local 1998 can address your concerns about health and safety in your workplace; return-to-work plans; accommodations for disability or illness; and Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) claims.
As a worker, you have the following Health and Safety rights:

• The Right to Know about all hazards and dangers present in your workplace and how they can affect you. Your employer has a duty to provide the information, training, and supervision needed to safeguard your health and safety.

• The Right to Participate in workplace health and safety, and to report unsafe conditions and practices without fear of reprisal.

• The Right to Refuse unsafe work you believe could endanger you. To refuse unsafe work you must follow certain procedures. If you feel that your work may endanger you, immediately notify your supervisor, who is required to contact the Joint Health and Safety Committee.

If you have been hurt at work:

  • Seek First-Aid, health care, or emergency medical assistance as needed.
  • Notify your supervisor/manager immediately, if possible. Your supervisor/manager will arrange and pay for transportation to seek medical care, if needed
  • Your supervisor/manager will complete the University’s Accident/Incident Form and provide you with a copy.
  • Contact us for more information on completing WSIB forms, accommodation or modification to your regular duties, and return to work issues.

If you believe your workplace is unsafe:

  • Report the situation to your Immediate supervisor/manager.
  • If your concern has not been addressed in a reasonable time frame or manner, contact your respective area Joint Health and Safety committee  and/or the Union’s Health and Safety Officer at or 416-506-9090 ext. 238
  • For building maintenance issues, dial 416-978-3000 or 8-3000 from a University landline phone.
  • Call 911 or Campus police when immediate assistance is needed to address a situation involving workplace violence or threats of violence.  Campus Police can be reached at following numbers.  STG: 416-978-2222, UTM: 905-569-4333, UTSC: 416-287-7398
  • If still you believe that your workplace is unsafe, you have the right to Refuse unsafe work by following these steps:

Getting Involved:

The Local Health & Safety Committee is a standing Committee required under the USW Constitution. Members of the Committee discuss and participate in initiatives and campaigns to improve Health & Safety in the workplace We welcome all members regardless of experience in health and safety.  The Committee meets approximately 6 times a year during the lunch hour or after work.

Worker members on a Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) are appointed/elected by the Union, as per the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Collective Agreement. When there is an opening on a JHSC, a request will be sent to the Union for a member(s) by the co-chairs of a respective JHSC. The Union will then send a call-out to all members in the respective department and/or building(s) for which the JHSC is responsible, advising of the opportunity to join the JHSC. Members can then submit their names for consideration for appointment to the respective committee. The Union can also inquire with the respective JHSC about openings; however, the number of members on a JHSC is set by each committee.

Training: The U of T Staff-appointed unit Collective Agreement allows for one member per JHSC to become certified to meet the legislative requirements of at least one certified worker member per committee. The member designated will complete Part 1, Basic Certification training and Part 2, Workplace Hazard Specific training. Part 2 training must be completed within six months of completing Part 1. The Union also offers Certification training, from time to time.

Other health and safety related training is frequently offered by the Steelworkers Toronto Area Council (STAC) and the Worker’s Health and Safety Centre. Check the weekly newsletter for course offerings.

Various general and work specific in class and online health and safety courses are offered by the University.

Contact Mark Austin, our Health and Safety Officer at or by phone at 416.506.9090 ext. 238.

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