Health & Safety
The health and safety of ALL workers is a priority for the members of District 15. Ensuring a safe working environment that is free from hazards is a job that all members must work together to achieve.
Health and Safety is EVERYONE's job. The Occupation Health and Safety Act (OHSA) gives workers three very important rights:
THE RIGHT TO KNOW about any health and safety issues present in the workplace. If you have concerns or questions about whether there is something potentially harmful in your workplace, contact your branch health and safety representative, or call the District Office.
THE RIGHT TO PARTICIPATE ensures that members can take an active role in their health and safety. The Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee, established under the OHSA meets to discuss health and safety issues, and to make recommendations to the employer that involve the health and safety of workers. Members participate in their own health and safety through the monthly and annual worksite inspections, and through the reporting of health and safety concerns. Health and safety concerns can be reported to the branch health and safety representative, or to the site supervisor (usually the principal). If you need assistance reporting a concern or a hazard, contact the District Office.
THE RIGHT TO REFUSE unsafe work. Should a worker feel that their safety is in jeopardy, the worker can report this situation to the supervisor who must act to make the situation safe. Teachers bear special responsibility for their students. Before a teacher can refuse work, they must ensure the safety and supervision of their students. Report the safety issue to the principal and relocate the students according to the principal’s direction. The procedure to undertake a work refusal can be found here.
Each OSSTF workplace has a health and safety site representative whose job it is to conduct monthly inspections of the worksite and report any health and safety concerns to the employer. Monthly inspection reports are provided to the principal for response and action. In each secondary school (branch) an occupational health and safety officer is elected each year and is a member of the Branch Executive.