Occupational Health & Safety

Health and safety is an essential part of our union’s work. CUPE health care members face a wide range of hazards. We provide tools, resources, and training to help members stay healthy and safe and to encourage activism. We also conduct research on current and emerging health and safety hazards.

If you have a health and safety concern, check out this check list ( http://cupe.ca/what-do-if-you-have-health-and-safety-problem ) and read Article 15 of the collective agreement

Stella Yeadon | CUPE Communications

Across Canada, incidents of workplace violence against health care workers happen daily. From verbal abuse to aggravated assault and sexual violence, rates are spiking in all health care settings from hospitals, emergency response, and home and long-term care. Studies show those most at risk are nurses and personal support workers who have the most direct contact with patients and their families. Indeed, all the Ontario registered practical nurses and personal support workers in attendance at a CUPE health care conference specifically focused on violence, said they have experienced workplace violence.

As 2016 comes to a close, we’re happy to take a moment to celebrate the resounding success of CUPE’s “Year of Health and Safety.”

We were busy this year. We organized over 150 workshops across the country, with 4500 participants taking part. Alongside these educationals, locals haves taken steps to recognize their health and safety activists through the presentation of Appreciation Awards. This raises the overall profile of health and safety – and gives activists more visibility to do their work. (You can nominate someone for an award by visiting cupe.ca.

“Working together to make workplaces safer.”

That’s the health and safety motto for Kyna MacInnis, Jed Burt and Kelly Williams, workplace occupational health and safety committee representatives and paramedics in Prince Edward Island.

A study from the United Kingdom links privatized hospital cleaning to higher rates of a dangerous drug-resistant superbug.

The wide-ranging research tracked how often patients were infected with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in UK facilities, and whether the facility had public or privatized cleaning services.

A Saskatchewan arbitrator ruled that including first and last names on employee nametags endangers workers and violates provincial workplace health and safety law.

The ruling was a major victory for CUPE 5111 (Prairie North Regional Health Authority). The local filed a grievance after their employer introduced a new policy in 2012 that required employees to wear nametags with both their first and last names.

The health region claimed the change was made to improve patient interactions. But many members of CUPE 5111 were concerned that including their last name on the nametags would allow them to be stalked, harassed or subjected to violence outside of the workplace.