Dealing with Occupational Health and Safety Issues/Concerns
Employees have the right to raise concerns regarding health and safety matters in your workplace. The employer is legally responsible to provide Employees with a safe and healthy workplace. The workplace is defined as any place that Employees perform work as directed by the Employer.
The AHS/UNA Collective Agreement sets out a specific process for dealing with OH&S issues/concerns. Article 34: Occupational Health and Safety requires that there be an Occupational Health and Safety Committee with representatives of the Union (Local 196) and the Employer (Alberta Health Services). This committee meets monthly and Local 196 OH&S Committee representatives are elected at the Local Annual General Meeting.
The Local 196 OH&S Committee chair is:
Sandi Johnson: email: email@example.com
Process for dealing with OH&S Issues/Concerns:
1) A My Safety Net report is completed whenever a member experiences a work-related incident, hazard, illness or injury.
2) Once the MSN report has been submitted, they will receive an email back that acknowledges receipt of the report. This email will contain the incident # assigned to their report and a link to the report so it can be viewed. Please have the member obtain a copy of their MSN report, from this email, and send it to you as an attachment to an email. We no longer have direct access to the MSN report via the link in the confirmation email that the member receives.
3)Using the report incident #, have the member send an email to their Manager, in approximately one week after they have submitted their MSN report, requesting a copy of the Corrective Action report for their MSN. This is a report that is automatically generated when the MSN report was submitted. The Manager is required to complete it and share it with the member. Once they receive this, please have them send a copy of it to you as well. The Corrective Action report will determine next steps in the complaint investigation.
4)A completed UNA OH&S form is required for each MSN that is completed (and vice versa). Should the member not be able to or refuse to complete the OH&S form, the Local OH&S Committee can complete it on their behalf. You will find the OH&S form on the Local’s website at: www.local196una.ca
5) Review the complainant’s “story” with the complainant. Send an email to the person advising them that you have received the complaint and would like to discuss it further and/or outline areas where you are in need of more information. This is the step that determines if the complaint is really a valid OH&S complaint or something else. Ask for contact information for the complainant (phone and non-AHS email if not already on the OH&S form). Provide your contact information. The discussion is usually best done by phone.
6) If you have a telephone discussion with a member, send a follow up email summarizing what was discussed and what is to followed up and by whom.
7) If appropriate, send email to the WHS and/or HR advisor for the department where the member works, advising that the Local has received an OH&S and/or MSN complaint about (whatever the issue is) and that you want to set up a meeting to discuss it further. Conclude the email with something like “Please advise as to dates of your availability to meet at your earliest convenience”. Remember to copy the member on ALL correspondence.
8) Attend meeting with member (Manager will usually arrange for member to be there). The purpose of the meeting is for resolution- to review what happened, what has been done since and what has been done to insure that it doesn’t happen again. This may include repair of something, education, policy development, etc. This may take more than one meeting depending on the issue. Before leaving any meeting, always make sure you know what you and the Employer are going to do and when the next meeting will be. You may also have to “poke” the Employer with reminder emails, prior to the next meeting, if promised actions haven’t been delivered on.
9) Once the matter is resolved, send the Resolution/File Closure email to all involved.
10) If resolution isn’t reached, discuss with the Local OH&S Committee Chair as this will have to go the Community Joint OH&S Committee for discussion.
At any time, if you have questions or need assistance at any point in this process, please feel free to consult with the Chair of the Local OH&S Committee.
COMPLAINT INVESTIGATION TIPS
- The most important thing is to GET THE FACTS!
- Sometimes OH&S matters are also PRC matters-talk to Local President or Chair of Local OH&S Committee if not sure.
- Members don’t always want to do something about their complaint-they want someone else to fix it. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. We need the expertise from the member/site regarding the complaint.
- Being a good listener is far more valuable than being a good talker.
Government of Alberta OH&S Documents: