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Prevention Council Meeting: September 28, 2012

  • Issued: September 2012
  • Content last reviewed: September 2012

PREVENTION COUNCIL MEMBERS:

  • Bryan Neath, United Food & Commercial Workers of Canada
  • Colin Grieve, Ontario Professional Firefighters Association
  • Gloria Rajkumar, SIMAC
  • Graeme Norval, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Toronto
  • John Sauger, Bruce Power
  • 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

OTHER:

  • George Gritziotis, Ministry of Labour
  • David Zurawel, Ministry of Labour
  • Brian Lewis, Ministry of Labour
  • John VanderDoelen, Ministry of Labour
  • Ana Matos-Clark, Ministry of Labour

1. INTRODUCTORY REMARKS

The Chief Prevention Officer welcomed the Prevention Council Members to their founding meeting and relayed the Minster of Labour’s gratitude to the members for taking on such an important role in helping improve workplace health and safety in Ontario. The Minister looks forward to meeting the Prevention Council Members at their next meeting, schedule permitting.

2. OVERVIEW & VISION FOR THE PREVENTION COUNCIL

The Chief Prevention Officer referred to Bill 160 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and highlighted the important role of the Prevention Council. In particular, that the Council will largely function at a strategic level by providing advice in the development of a province wide integrated occupational health and safety strategy, and in the prevention of workplace injuries and occupational disease. It was noted that the foundation of the integrated strategy will be the Tony Dean Expert Advisory Panel Report. Prevention Council Members discussed priority areas of focus for the strategy, including, but not limited to, the needs of vulnerable workers, supports for small businesses, challenges related to high hazard occupations, and addressing the underground economy.

The Chief Prevention Officer indicated the importance of the Prevention Council reaching out to all stakeholder groups; employers and workers, business and labour groups, health and safety experts, education and training, community organizations, all levels of government, etc.

3. OVERVIEW OF THE MINISTRY OF LABOUR

Ministry of Labour staff provided an introductory briefing on the Ministry, including its business lines and programs, agencies, and the Health and Safety Associations.

Action Item: Prevention Office staff to provide Prevention Council Members with an electronic copy of the power point deck.

4. PRELIMINARY TRENDS IN WORKPLACE INJURIES AND FATALITIES IN ONTARIO (2001 TO 2011)

Prevention Council Members were provided a high level snapshot of workplace fatalities and injuries. It was noted that the data is preliminary (from 2003-2010) and for illustrative purposes only. It showed that since 2003, fatalities have declined, but that there has been an increase in critical injuries. Some members indicated that in the future data provided to the Prevention Council should ideally include explanatory notes and should indicate the source(s) of the data.

5. OVERVIEW OF THE EXPERT ADVISORY PANEL REPORT

Prevention Council Members were provided a briefing of the Tony Dean Expert Advisory Panel (EAP) Report. It was highlighted that the EAP report was the culmination of significant stakeholder consultations across the province over a twelve month period. It provides the groundwork for the development of the integrated strategy and much of the work ahead for the Prevention Council. Prevention Council Members emphasized the need for continued stakeholder engagement/ consultations and, as highlighted in the EAP, better alignment between prevention and enforcement. One area of concern consistent among the Prevention Council Members is the underground economy.

6. MEDIA PROTOCOL

The Chief Prevention Officer highlighted the importance of Prevention Council Members providing consistent and unified messaging on the work of the Prevention Council when contacted by the media. A draft Prevention Council Media Protocol was presented. It was emphasized that this will help minimize negative publicity or stakeholder reaction and would respect Prevention Council members’ full time positions of responsibility.

It was noted that the Prevention Office will provide support to Prevention Council Members if approached by media. Members are asked to contact the Stakeholder & Partner Relations Branch for support when contacted by media.

Prevention Council Members were asked to review the draft media protocol and provide feedback at the next meeting. Some members recommended that the Prevention Office provide members with key stock messaging and other support materials.

Action item: Add Prevention Council Members to the “What’s New” and “Safe at Work Ontario” (SAWO) newsletter e-distribution lists.

Action item: Prevention Office staff to provide Prevention Council Members with proposed media messaging to be discussed at the next meeting and contact information for the Stakeholder & Partner Relations Branch.

7. PREVENTION COUNCIL: OPERATING FRAMEWORK

Prevention Council Members were presented with a draft Prevention Council Operating Framework. It presents a governance and accountability framework that would guide the Prevention Council in its work. The draft framework was produced by the Interim Prevention Council with some additions from the Chief Prevention Officer. Members were asked to review the Operating Framework and to be prepared to provide feedback at the next meeting.

Action Item: The Prevention Office is currently drafting the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Prevention Council and the Minister of Labour (as required under Bill 160), including a Confidentiality Agreement. Currently being drafted and will be presented at the next Prevention Council meeting on December 4, 2012.

8. SELECTION OF PREVENTION COUNCIL CHAIR

It was noted that under the Act (as amended under Bill 160) Prevention Council Members are required to select a Prevention Council Chair. The roles and responsibility of the Chair were presented, and members with an interest were asked to submit their names to the Chief Prevention Officer. Discussion on a process for selecting a Chair will take place at the next meeting.

9. INTEGRATED OHS STRATEGY FRAMEWORK

Proposed process for developing an integrated occupational health and safety strategy was presented. It will have a system wide focus spanning prevention through to enforcement with an early focus to consult on strategic priorities. It was noted that the implementation plan will require ongoing discussions with stakeholders. A consultation proposal will be tabled at the next meeting.

10. MEETING DATES

Action Item: Prevention office will survey the Prevention Council Members and the Chief Prevention Officer for dates of availability to the end of 2012. For 2013, the prevention office will propose a series of dates at the next meeting.

Action item:Provide members with meeting dates for 2013.