Health and safety issues

Occupational health and safety is a fundamental issue for anyone who works, and employers. As practitioners, our goals should be those set by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 1950. They are based on the WHO definition of health as the condition of being sound in body, mind and spirit.

Manitoba’s Workplace Safety and Health Act borrowed that definition and integrated it with the 1950 goals into the law’s “specific objects and purposes”.

  • the promotion and maintenance of the highest degree of physical, mental and social well-being of workers;
  • the prevention among workers of ill health caused by their working conditions;
  • the protection of workers in their employment from factors promoting ill health; and
  • the placing and maintenance of workers in an occupational environment adapted to their physiological and psychological condition.

(This means that every time the word appears in the act or regulations, it has to be interpreted using that definition, and in accordance with the objects and purposes of this Act. It’s unique in Canada.)

Prevention principles are illustrated and explained here. That’s followed by information about hazards (categories), workers’ rights and employers’ duties and green jobs (an important solution in today’s climate changing environment). Other topics (e.g., behaviour-based safety, just transition) will be added later. For now, check out this presentation about the principles of tackling health and safety hazards, prepared in 2013.