Occupational health and safety courses - community social services


The following Occupational Health and Safety courses are being offered over the next few months. Please note that some courses are open only to OH&S Stewards who are members of their worksite's Joint OH&S Committee, while others are open to all HSA members.

1) HSA's Basic OH&S Steward course
This two-day course will be offered at HSA's Vancouver office March 31 and April 1, 2003. HSA pays the costs of attending this course, including wage replacement, so this course can be taken in addition to the eight hours of employer-paid OH&S training to which joint OH&S committee members are entitled each year. Additional information and an application form for this course are attached (PDF file - Adobe Acrobat required). All HSA OH&S Stewards are encouraged to take this course.

2) Community Social Services Workplace Violence Prevention Training
The union/management committee set up to implement the Violence Prevention Accord negotiated as part of the last collective agreement has used the results of a recent survey on workplace violence in Community Social Services to help design Violence Prevention Training specifically tailored to the sector. Two Violence Prevention modules will be offered: a two-hour module for all staff, plus an additional two-hour module for members of Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committees and employers (see enclosed course descriptions - PDF file - Adobe Acrobat required). Training sessions will be offered free of charge at various locations around the province. Each training session will be co-facilitated by a union and an employer trainer.

The first training sessions will be offered February 25, 26 and 27. A list of locations and the registration form (PDF file - Adobe Acrobat required) are attached. Registration forms must be submitted to the CSSEA office through your employer no later than February 19. Additional sessions will be held in March. Dates, locations and application deadlines for these March sessions will be forwarded to your OH&S Steward, Chief Steward and employer, as soon as they are available.

HSA has sent a letter to all Community Social Services members with details of course dates and locations, as well as registration information. We urge all members to attend these training sessions, before the end of March, as we are uncertain whether funding to deliver this training will continue after March 31.

3) BC Federation of Labour Courses

Basic OH&S course and Exposure to Workplace Toxins course
OH&S Stewards who are members of their worksite's Joint OH&S Committee are entitled to take either of these one-day courses as the eight hours of employer-paid OH&S training to which Joint OH&S committee members are entitled each year. Employers pay reasonable costs associated with taking the course, including wage replacement, and the course fee of $85.00 (which includes lunch). The Federation of Labour is offering courses in several locations around the province in February and March (see course schedule on the Occupational Health and Safety page).

OH&S stewards who are not Joint OH&S Committee members, or who have already received their eight hours of employer-paid OH&S training for the year can apply to the HSA Madden fund for financial support to attend these courses (application form attached - PDF file - Adobe Acrobat required). Alternatively, these OH&S Stewards can receive more limited financial support from HSA's OH&S training fund to cover tuition, meals and mileage to attend BCFL courses (contact Carol Riviere at the HSA office).

Other HSA Stewards and members who are not Stewards are also welcome to attend BCFL courses, and can apply to the HSA Madden fund for financial support to attend these courses.

For more information and future course dates, phone the BCFL at (604) 430-1421, check the Federation web site at and follow the links, or e-mail The Occupational Health and Safety Education Project is funded by BC's Workers Compensation Board.

BCFL courses can be taken in addition to the training offered through HSA. Basic OH&S courses offered by both organizations cover the OH&S provisions in the Workers' Compensation Act, the OH&S Regulation, joint OH&S committees, OH&S programs, inspections, accident investigations, and refusing unsafe work. HSA's course also deals with your rights and responsibilities as HSA Stewards.

4) Capilano College Labour Studies Courses

Issues in Women's Occupational Health
Occupational health problems of women in the workplace are often invisible. The course will look at where women work, examine the potential health risks in those jobs, and discuss the political issues involved in recognizing women's occupational health problems. Course content focuses on repetitive strain injuries, the health effects of exposure to toxins, workplace violence and stress. The course is participatory, and emphasizes the importance of women health and safety activists in our unions.
2 Sundays, March 30 and April 6 from 9 am - 4 pm, BCNU office, Burnaby $300

OH&S Panel: What's Happening to Occupational Health & Safety in BC?
Hear from the Workers' Compensation Board staff, the B.C. Federation of Labour, and occupational health and safety activists about the cuts to the WCB Prevention Department, deregulation, and other threats to workers' health. Strategies for protecting health and safety in these times will be discussed.
Saturday, April 5 from 9 am - 4 pm, IBEW office, Burnaby $125

Violence in the Workplace
This seminar will feature a panel of experts on Friday evening and workshops on Saturday. Topics include: assessing your workplace for violence prevention; legal issues following an incident; critical incident debriefing; skills for dealing with victims and perpetrators; and healing the workplace after a violent incident.
Friday, April 11 from 6:30 pm- 9 pm and Saturday, April 12 from 9 am - 4 pm, HEU office, Burnaby $125

All HSA members are welcome to attend Labour Studies courses, and can apply to the HSA Madden fund for financial support to attend these courses (application form attached - PDF file - Adobe Acrobat required). A registration form with contact information for the Labour Studies Program, as well as additional information can be found on their web site at


For further information about any of the courses listed in this bulletin, please phone Carol Riviere, HSA Labour Relations Officer responsible for Occupational Health & Safety at 604-439-0994, or toll free at 1-800-663-2017.