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Prevention Council Meeting: April 11, 2013

  • Issued: April 2013
  • Content last reviewed: April 2013

PREVENTION COUNCIL MEMBERS PRESENT:

  • Colin Grieve, Ontario Professional Firefighters Association
  • Bryan Neath, United Food & Commercial Workers of Canada
  • Graeme Norval, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Toronto
  • Linda Vannuci, Health & Safety Legal Clinic
  • Mike Oxley, DuPont Canada Company
  • Nancy Hutchison, Ontario Federation of Labour
  • Roy Slack, Cementation Canada
  • Susanna Zagar, Workplace Safety & Insurance Board
  • Patrick Dillon, Provincial Building & Construction Trades Council of Ontario
  • Gloria Rajkumar, SIMAC

OTHER:

  • George Gritziotis, Ministry of Labour
  • John VanderDoelen, Ministry of Labour
  • Brian Lewis, Ministry of Labour
  • Cordelia Clarke Julien, Ministry of Labour
  • Alex Alwin, Ministry of Labour
  • Jessica Harper, Ministry of Labour

1. OPENING REMARKS

The Chair, Alternate-Chair and Chief Prevention Officer (CPO) welcomed the Prevention Council (PC) members to their fourth meeting. The Alternate-Chair was asked to chair the meeting.

2. MEETING NOTES

The February 13, 2013 meeting notes were approved.

3. CHAIR SELECTION PROCESS - FUTURE

Members discussed the process for selecting a Prevention Council Chair in the future. Alternative language was proposed and approved by the members, which would limit the respective re-appointments of the Chair and Alternate-Chair to maximums of two one-year terms.

Council Members were presented with a revised Prevention Council brochure that incorporated their feedback from the December 4 meeting. It was noted that the brochure will be printed on cardstock and 250 copies would be mailed to each member for their use. Some members indicated the need for additional copies, along with a final electronic version of the brochure.

4. INTEGRATED OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT

Prevention Council was updated on the development of the integrated occupational health and safety (OHS) strategy. Feedback on the consultation papers has been coming in, and is expected to continue until May 17, 2013. Consultation sessions held to date have been a success and several more are scheduled over the next month. PC Members were invited to attend any of the upcoming consultation sessions. The Prevention Office is attempting to reach out to stakeholders who have not been engaged with the ministry in the past. Two members of the Prevention Council who are professional engineers expressed an interest in engaging Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) to raise awareness about the integrated occupational health and safety strategy.

Prevention Council was updated on the development of the integrated occupational health and safety (OHS) strategy. Feedback on the consultation papers has been coming in, and is expected to continue until May 17, 2013. Consultation sessions held to date have been a success and several more are scheduled over the next month. PC Members were invited to attend any of the upcoming consultation sessions. The Prevention Office is attempting to reach out to stakeholders who have not been engaged with the ministry in the past. Two members of the Prevention Council who are professional engineers expressed an interest in engaging Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) to raise awareness about the integrated occupational health and safety strategy.

Action Item: Prevention Office to provide PC Members with information regarding the upcoming Partners in Prevention Conference and Trade Show.

Action Item: Prevention Office to provide PC Members with list of opportunities to attend upcoming consultation sessions across the province.

Action Item: The two PEO members of the Prevention Council will consider ways to engage the PEO, and the Prevention Office will support them as needed.

5. OHS RESEARCH PRINCIPLES AND PRIORITIES

Prevention Council Members were invited to provide advice about future principles, policies and priorities related to oversight and funding of occupational health and safety (OHS) research by the Prevention Office. PC Members were largely supportive of the principles, policies and priorities tabled by the Prevention Office, with a number of suggestions for improved language around these. PC Members agreed that there should be transparency about the types of OHS research funded, availability of OHS research to the public, cross-jurisdictional sharing of information and post-research evaluations to ensure application of OHS knowledge.

Members indicated that they would benefit from hearing about what types of OHS research were funded in the past by the WSIB, and whether/how any of those findings have been implemented to the benefit of workplace health and safety. Members requested additional background information about past OHS research principles, experience of the Research Advisory Council and lessons learned by the WSIB in order to provide constructive feedback about proposed future OHS research principles and priorities.

Members were updated about the Prevention Office holding a ‘Research Day’ in February 2013, and that a report is under development.

Action Item: Prevention Office to provide members with information on research projects and resources devoted to research, and share information about the interim Prevention Office transition structure in place for current OHS research call.

Action item: Prevention Office to forward the OHS ‘Research Day’ report to members.

Action item: Prevention Office to bring forward as an agenda item at the next PC meeting a discussion about the design and scope of a research program once members have a chance to review background materials.

6. JOINT HEALTH AND SAFETY COMMITTEE CERTIFICATION TRAINING STANDARD UPDATE

Prevention Council was updated about key developments related to a new Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) Certification Training Standard, including review of key changes in the new standard, preparations underway to launch the new standard in the near future, and future consultations about its implementation. Members took the opportunity to ask questions and provide comments on the recent developments and next steps related to the JHSC standard, as well as other safety training in small workplaces, in the construction sector and Health and Safety Representative training.

7. WORKING AT HEIGHTS TRAINING PROGRAM STANDARD UPDATE

Prevention Office has been working on a training program standard that will set out the requirements that must be met by working at heights training programs in order to be approved for delivery to Ontario workers. Members were updated on developments related to work on the draft standard by the cross-industry development group, planned future public consultations on the standard, and the need for future regulatory support. Members took the opportunity to ask questions and provide comments about identifying and tracking new workplace hazards, about training providers, training content and quality, as well as modern and accessible training delivery methods. PC Members also indicated interest in the consultation process going forward, including discussions about appropriate length of time for training.

8. TRAINING AND SAFETY PROGRAMS UPDATE

Prevention Council Members were updated about a number of training and safety program developments. These include the successful migration of JHSC certified member training program administration to the Ministry of Labour (MOL); a recent Infrastructure Ontario procurement pilot; development and consultation about awareness training programs, resources and consultations. Members took the opportunity to ask questions and provide comments about these developments, including those related to evaluating health and safety performance during procurement.

Action item: Once beta version of e-learning module for worker and supervisor awareness training is ready, Prevention Council Members will be invited to participate in pilot testing of the e-modules.

9. PREVENTION PROGRAM REVIEW

Prevention Council Members were provided with a status update of the Prevention Program Review Group (PPRG) work, Terms of Reference, review timelines and meetings-to-date. Current and proposed PPRG membership was reviewed and discussed, and planned consultations were mentioned.

10. VULNERABLE WORKERS TASK GROUP AND SMALL BUSINESS TASK GROUP UPDATES

Prevention Council Members were updated about progress to date relating to the two Task Groups, including their inaugural and future meetings. It was noted that the Vulnerable Workers Task Group will be reviewing the recent Law Commission report on Vulnerable Workers and Precarious Work. Members also indicated interest in attending future Task Group and other MOL advisory body meetings.

Action item: Prevention Office to provide members with a list of upcoming dates and locations on monthly basis of Task Group meetings, other relevant health and safety events; and to report back on potential for attending other MOL advisory body meetings (Section 21 Committees).

11. DEFINITION OF SUPERVISOR

MOL is currently preparing guidance material that would assist in determining “Who is considered a ‘supervisor’ for the purposes of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.” Members were provided with background information, including stakeholder requests for additional clarity regarding this issue, and were updated about future consultations with stakeholders about the guidance material. It was communicated that the guidance material, once developed with stakeholder input, will be shared as an information item at the next Prevention Council meeting or shortly thereafter.

12. OTHER BUSINESS – FOR DISCUSSION

The Chief Prevention Officer (CPO) raised additional business items. The CPO communicated that John Sauger had stepped down as a member of the Prevention Council. The CPO indicated that a new employer representative would be selected according to the formal Public Appointments Process, and both existing and new applications for this position would be considered.

In addition, the CPO spoke about the upcoming Day of Mourning, asked members about their participation in related commemorative events, and offered to assist the members in preparing resources and announcements regarding the Day of Mourning. Members noted an interest in developing a Prevention Council message for the Day of Mourning that could be posted on the website. Members also indicated that related speaking points would be useful.

Action item: Prevention Office to coordinate PC Member feedback regarding the proposed Day of Mourning message from the Prevention Council, and to provide related speaking points to members for their use.

PC Members also raised the need to stay informed about recent OHS data related to worker injuries, illnesses and fatalities, as well as OHS enforcement in Ontario. Several members indicated that in the past, WSIB Board of Directors meetings opened with a review of prevention and injury data. Members expressed keen interest in reviewing similar data at the beginning of future Prevention Council meetings, though noted that time lags may be a factor. The CPO communicated that the Prevention Office is currently building its data capacity, but will work within the Ministry and with the WSIB to provide members with available OHS data.

Action item: Prevention Office to provide a review of workplace injury and operational activities at the next PC meeting.