CAW Calls on Ontario Government to Amend Health & Safety Act

October 28, 2008, 10:46 AM EST

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The CAW is ramping up its campaign to strengthen the Ontario Occupational Health & Safety Act by including workplace violence prevention.  The union is calling on the Ontario Ministry of Labour to amend the Act to ensure that employers are held accountable for creating safe workplaces so that workers are protected from both incidents and threats of violence.  

The campaign follows the 2005 murder of nurse Lori Dupont, who was killed at work by her ex-partner who was also employed at the Hotel Dieu Grace Hospital in Windsor.  

Recently the Ontario Ministry of Labour released a consultation paper calling for discussion on workplace violence with the possibility of amending the Act as it pertains to violence prevention in the workplace.

The consultation paper follows meetings with Assistant to the CAW National President Carol Phillips, CAW Health, Safety and Environment Director Sari Sairanen and Women's Director Julie White as well as lobbying of local MPPs by women's advocates and activists across the province. The CAW is joined by the Ontario Nurses Association and several other unions in calling for amendments to the Act.

According to the 2004 Statistics Canada study "Criminal Victimization in the Workplace," almost 20 per cent of all incidents violence directed at another person -including physical assault, sexual assault and robbery occurred while the victim was at work.  One-third of all incidents involved someone working in social assistance or health care services, fields which are dominated by women.

In addition to workplace protections, the union is also recommending the inclusion of a Code of Conduct, which would apply to all workers, management personnel, clients, patients, family members, volunteers and any other person on the employer's premises.

To send a letter to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, Ontario Minister of Labour Peter Fonseca and your MP (Ontario residents), click here:

To read the CAW's submission to the workplace prevention consultation process, click here:

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