UFCW 1518 develops new workplace health & safety course for community health workers
New Westminster, B.C. – February 1, 2018 – In response to the various hazards that community health workers encounter when servicing clients at their homes, UFCW Canada Local 1518 has developed a one-day, occupational health & safety course designed specifically for health care members working in the community.
Launched last November, Health and Safety Essentials reflects recent changes to British Columbia’s Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, which outlines the legal requirements that must be met by all workplaces that fall under the inspectional jurisdiction of WorkSafeBC.
“This course focuses on giving members resources to be strong advocates of health and safety,” says Fred Scott, a Union Representative for UFCW 1518. “We want workers to be more aware of their rights, the history of these rights, and how to enforce them. Specifically, we teach workers about their right to know, their right to participate, their right to refuse unsafe work, and their right to know discrimination,” he adds.
“The consensus is that this class is a hit,” says UFCW 1518 Union Representative Ashley Campbell. “It is basic enough that participants don’t find it overwhelming, but also clear and factual so that members leave understanding their rights and responsibilities when performing their jobs,” she adds.
Health and Safety Essentials was more than just informative for home support worker Brenda Somerville. “Union courses give you a different perspective than going to your employer’s health and safety presentations,” she says. “This was a good opportunity to exchange ideas and share information with other home support workers. I found it empowering.”
Health and Safety Essentials is open to UFCW 1518 stewards, as well as Joint Occupational Health & Safety representatives. Stay tuned for future updates regarding 2018 course dates on the UFCW 1518 website.