As Health and Safety Professionals BCOHS members are acutely aware of the increasing recognition of the significant and wide-ranging mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. While it is normal to feel stressed and worried during uncertain times like this, it is easy to become overwhelmed so it is more important than ever to actively take care of your own mental health, reach out to support others and take advantage of excellent sources of help, such as BEACON digital therapy (iCBT) and AbilitiCBT, which have been made available for free by the Government of Ontario. CAMH also has a hub for information and resources on Mental Health and the COVID-19 Pandemic. Don’t hesitate to reach out and recommend resources to others to make sure we all get through this challenging time not only surviving but thriving.
Health & Safety
The Business Council on Occupational Health and Safety holds every life in the highest regard and upholds the fundamental principles of respect and equity in workplaces and society.
Racism and discrimination have no place in Ontario workplaces.
As health and safety professionals, we have an opportunity and an obligation to fight for a culture of safety and inclusion that respects everyone’s right to a workplace free from any form of racism or discrimination. Let your values of caring for and uplifting all people be shown in your everyday actions and decisions. Do your part. Our workplaces and society don’t change until we all do.
BCOHS member companies are considered essential businesses and have had employees working in our workplaces throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We have also had many employees working from home and have deferred certain projects to limit the number of workers at our worksites. Throughout the pandemic and as we have started to bring workers back to our workplaces, our members have been working extremely hard to determine the best ways to keep their employees safe and have developed guidelines for what they have determined to be important measures and protocols to prevent spread of the virus in their workplaces. It has been a great help to have the guidance provided by the Ontario government for workplaces to develop a COVID-19 workplace safety plan and for sector-specific resources to prevent COVID-19 in the workplace. As we navigate the evolving challenges of the pandemic, our members have benefitted tremendously from the sharing and discussion among our network of H&S professionals during this time. We are all in this together – leverage your network and the guidance provided by the government to make all of our workplaces safe.
The key areas of focus have been:
Prepare the Workplace
Control Workplace Access
Cleaning & Disinfection
Maintain Physical Distancing
Masks when physical distancing difficult
As every employer in the province has had to make major changes to their operations since the outbreak of COVID-19, many companies including BCOHS members have endeavored to identify and share best practices and innovative health and safety solutions to protect their employees and the public.
Throughout this time, BCOHS members have connected weekly to share challenges, information and evolving strategies, which have helped us all be more efficient and provide quality advice to our organizations.
In addition BCOHS member companies have demonstrated leadership in social license through public service, media communications with informative and positive public messaging, and donating many millions of dollars’ worth of personal protective equipment to the province and local health care providers.
This has been a challenging time in health and safety and BCOHS is proud of the contributions and achievements our members have made to help protect their employees and the public, and proud of the value our network of health and safety professionals brings to us as leaders helping the province protect our citizens.
Recently OPG arranged a one day presentation by Todd Conklin for the organization’s Operations and Maintenance managers and safety professionals. The Business Council on Occupational Health and Safety thanks OPG for offering seats to fellow members of BCOHS.
As expressed by our Past President: ” It was refreshing to hear the presentation information and recognize how the principles outlined by Mr. Conklin are closely aligned to much of what is discussed around the BCOHS member table. I was encouraged that many of our members are well on the path to focus on “What failed vs. Who failed” which will undoubtedly lead to elevated continuous improvement within our workplaces and reduce significant injury incidents for our workplaces.
Some of the key points from the day:
- Safety is not the absence of accidents but rather the presence of capacity (Controls)
- Workers don’t cause failures – they trigger latent conditions that lie dormant in organizations
- Shift thinking from “who failed” to “what failed”
- Workers are not problems to be fixed – they are solutions to be harnessed
- Blame and Punish fixes nothing – we need to Learn and Improve
- Events aren’t predictable’ but causative conditions are
- Human error is not a cause of accidents; it’s a symptom of a deeper system problem
- Learn first, then act
- Leadership matters