About the ‘Commitment to Safer Workplaces’
Ensuring that workers in Ontario end each workday unharmed is everyone’s responsibility – requiring collaboration between the Government, business, and employees.
That’s why BCRSP is running a ‘Commitment to Safer Workplaces’ campaign for Ontario Election 2018. We are asking all election candidates to take some time to learn more about occupational health and safety (OHS) and to take the pledge to prioritize policies to improve OHS outcomes as a Member of Provincial Parliament.
Making a Commitment to Safer Workplaces is a simple yet meaningful way to raise awareness about the importance good OHS practices. To drive the discussion, we are asking Ontario election candidates to:
- Take the pledge to prioritize policies to improve OHS outcomes as a Member of Provincial Parliament; and
- Complete a hazard assessment of their campaign office, to ensure the safety of the staff and volunteers that will pass through these facilities during the election campaign.
Candidates can make their Commitment to Safer Workplaces by completing these four steps:
- Identify potential safety hazards in your campaign office using the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety fact sheet on office workplaces;
- Use the RACE model to Recognize, Assess, Control, and Evaluate any identified hazards. The RACE model is recognized by the Ontario Ministry of Labour as a good tool for addressing workplace hazards in a collaborative way with volunteers or employees;
- Sign the take the pledge form to prioritize policies to improve OHS outcomes; and
- Join the conversation on social media and verify your commitment by posting a picture of you with your completed pledge or a picture or video of you conducting your office RACE assessment on Twitter or Facebook, using the hashtag #IStandForOHS
We look forward to engaging in this important policy discussion in the coming weeks!
BCRSP sets certification standards for OHS professionals, by certifying qualified safety practitioners as Canadian Registered Safety Professionals (CRSP)®, and is launching a new certification standard later this year to certify Canadian Registered Safety Technicians (CRST). There are over 1,400 CRSPs in Ontario, many of whom are engaging with their local election candidates during the election. BCRSP will share with its certificants which candidates participated in the Safer Workplaces campaign prior to Election Day.
Next Steps: Improving OHS Outcomes in Ontario
In 2015, 852 Canadians died in workplace-related fatalities, according to the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada – and that number only covers workplaces providing Provincial compensation benefits, so the real toll is likely far higher. Reducing the frequency of such tragedies should be a high priority for governments, employers, and workers.
There are several steps that the next Government of Ontario can take to modernize our province’s OHS framework and improve OHS outcomes.
For example, a major shortcoming of the current OHS regulations in Ontario is that people who are not properly qualified to practice OHS are permitted to brand themselves as OHS professionals. Many of those people are hired by employers in all sectors to implement and manage workplace safety, thereby endangering workers.
The next Government of Ontario could improve on that situation by:
- Acting on the recent Ministry of Labour consultations on Occupation Health and Safety Management Systems, including by requiring specific credentials for persons implementing or managing such systems.
- Establishing title protection for OHS professionals, including creating mandatory educational and experiential requirements for the field.