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 believe that your workplace is unsafe:
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 (link to committee page) 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. https://ehs.utoronto.ca/training/
Contact Mark Austin, our Health and Safety Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 416.506.9090 ext. 238.
Click here for Health and Safety Resources.