Health, Safety and Environment
Minimum Unifor Position
1) Employer Duties
The employer shall institute and maintain all precautions to guarantee every worker a safe and healthy workplace. The employer shall comply with all applicable health safety and environment legislation and regulations in effect on the effective date of this agreement, as minimum standards.
2) Joint Health and Safety Committee
1. A Joint Health and Safety Committee shall be established which is composed of a minimum of two union members chosen by the union. At no time shall the number of employer members be allowed to outnumber the amount of union members.
2. Two co-chairpersons shall be elected by and from the members of the committee. One co-chair shall be a union member, the other shall be an employer member.
3. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the committee shall:
- determine that inspections have been carried out at least once a month by the co-chairs or designates. These inspections shall be made of all places of employment, including buildings, structures, grounds, excavations, tools, equipment, machinery and work methods and practices including ergonomic assessments. Such inspections shall be made at intervals that will prevent the development of unsafe working conditions.
- Recommend measures required to attain compliance with appropriate government regulations and the correction of hazardous conditions.
- Consider recommendations from the workforce with respect to health and safety matters and recommend implementation where warranted.
- Hold meetings at least once a month for the review of reports of current accidents, occupational diseases and sprains and strains injuries, their causes and means of prevention; remedial action taken or required by the reports of investigations or inspections, and; any other matters pertaining to health and safety.
- Record the minutes of the meetings which shall be signed by the co-chairs, distributed to the committee members, posted on the bulletin boards and sent to the local union and national union representative.
- Have access to and promptly receive copies of all reports, records and documents in the employer’s possession or obtainable by the employer pertaining to health or safety.
- Time spent by members of the committee in the course of their duties shall be considered as time worked and shall be paid in accordance with the terms of this agreement.
- The union health and safety committee shall meet without employer representatives for at least one hour prior to the committee meeting.
3) Right to Refuse
The employer shall ensure that all employees are informed that they have the right to refuse hazardous work which may harm them or any person and that signs are posted in the workplace advising them of this right.
When a worker exercises his or her right to refuse he or she shall notify the supervisor who shall promptly notify the union co-chair or designate who shall participate in all stages of the investigation. The worker shall stand by at a safe place and participate fully in the investigation of the hazard.
The employer shall ensure that no other worker is asked or permitted to perform the work of the worker who refused unless the second worker is advised of the reasons for the work refusal in presence of the co-chair and refusing worker.
If the union co-chair and the supervisor cannot agree on a remedy to the work refusal, the government inspector shall be called in.
No employee shall be discharged, penalized, coerced, intimidated or disciplined for refusing hazardous work or for acting in compliance with the act or the regulations.
4) Accident and Incident Inspections
Every injury or near-miss which involved or would have involved a worker going to a doctor or hospital must be investigated. The co-chairs or designate shall investigate the accident or incident.
5) Education and Training
No employee shall be required or allowed to work on any job or operate any piece of equipment until he/she has received proper education, training and instruction. Such training shall include ergonomics training and chemical hazard training.
During the life of the agreement, the union members of the committee shall be allowed one week paid leave per year to attend courses or conferences given by or chosen by the union. The employer shall pay the lost time and course fees.
Each year a union member of the committee shall train all employees for eight (8) paid hours.
6) Disclosure of Information
The employer shall provide the union and the committee with written information which identifies all the biological agents, compounds, substances, by-products and physical hazards associated with the work environment. This information shall include but not be limited to the chemical breakdown of trade name descriptions, relevant information on potential hazards, results of testing to determine levels of contamination, maximum allowable levels, precautions to be taken, symptoms, medical treatment and antidotes.
7) Right to Accompany Inspectors
The union co-chairperson or designate shall be allowed to accompany a government inspector on an inspection tour and to speak with the inspector out of earshot of any other person.
8) Access to the Workplace
Union health and safety staff or union consultants shall be provided access to the workplace and to attend meetings of the committee or union committee or for inspecting, investigating or monitoring the workplace.
9) National Day of Mourning
Each year on April 28 at 11:00 a.m., work will stop and one minute of silence will be observed in memory of workers killed or injured on the job.
10)Protective Clothing and Equipment
The employer shall provide all employees whose work requires them to wear protective devices with the necessary tools, equipment and protective clothing chosen by the committee, required including safety footwear (replaced at least once a year) and safety glasses (prescription, if necessary). These shall be maintained and replaced, where necessary, at the employer’s expense. It is recognized that such protective equipment and clothing are temporary measures. The conditions necessitating their use shall be subjected to further corrective measures through engineering changes or the elimination of the hazard.
11) Lockout and Machine Guarding
The employer shall ensure that all equipment is locked out and guarded. The JHSC shall develop lockout and test procedure and machinery guarding program. All employees who may be at risk will receive training specific to their job. This training will be given by the instructor chosen by the union.
12) Employment of Disabled Workers
The employer agrees to offer every disabled employee a suitable job upon the employee’s return to work which shall continue as long as the disability lasts.
13) First Aid Attendants
There shall be first aid attendants present on all shifts who shall be members of the bargaining unit. The employer shall pay for the fees, textbooks and lost time of all first aid attendants who successfully complete a first aid course.
14) Injured Workers Provisions
An employee who is injured during working hours and who is required to leave for treatment or is sent home as a result of such injury shall receive payment for the rest of the shift at his/her regular rate of pay. Such employee shall be provided with transportation to his/her doctor’s office or hospital and to his/her home.
15) No Working Alone
No employee shall be required or permitted to work alone.
16) Unifor Health & Safety Training Fund
The employer shall contribute three (3) cents per hour paid into the Unifor Health & Safety Training Fund.