Four paths forward to address Saskatchewan’s workplace fatalities and injuries crisis

 

September 11, 2019

 

Four paths forward to address Saskatchewan’s workplace fatalities and injuries crisis

 

The Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL) is calling on the provincial government to immediately take action on four important paths forward to address Saskatchewan’s workplace fatalities and injuries crisis:

 

  1. Use the Fall sitting of the Legislature to pass a law requiring all occupational health and safety committees in Saskatchewan to file meeting minutes with the Occupational Health and Safety Division;
  2. Review and rethink how WorkSafe Saskatchewan’s Mission: Zero enforces its Health and Safety Leadership Charter;
  3. Update and expand the Young Worker Readiness Certificate course, and move the course from being from online to being delivered and tested in-person, and;
  4. Expand fundamental workplace rights to include the right to refuse unsafe work on behalf of someone else.

 

“Since the federation of labour rang the alarm on Saskatchewan’s workplace fatalities and injuries crisis last December, some ongoing actions are taking place. While that’s a positive step, much more needs to be done,” said SFL President Lori Johb, “the four paths forward I have laid out today will prevent injuries and save lives,” she added.

 

When the government re-wrote over 100 years of labour legislation, it changed the regulations about filing OH&S committee meeting minutes. The experiment failed. By not filing minutes with the government, employers are less accountable and workplaces are more dangerous.

 

Currently, over 620 companies have signed the Health and Safety Leadership Charter. However, the Charter needs teeth. If signatories are demonstrated to have injured or killed workers, there needs to be accountability and consequences.

 

Updating and expanding the Young Worker Readiness Certificate course, delivering it in-person, and adding the right to refuse unsafe work on behalf of someone else will all drive down the unacceptably high rates of young workers being injured and killed on the job in Saskatchewan.

 

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For additional information, contact:

 

Kent Peterson

Strategic Advisor

Saskatchewan Federation of Labour

1 (306) 570-1855

k.peterson@sfl.sk.ca

Saskatchewan's Labour Movement: the folks who brought you the constitutional right to strike!