Canadian Occupational Safety

May/June 2020

Canadian Occupational Safety (COS) magazine is the premier workplace health and safety publication in Canada. We cover a wide range of topics ranging from office to heavy industry, and from general safety management to specific workplace hazards.

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Page 27 of 35

F E A T U R E 28 in a holistic nutritionist to talk about how nutrition affects mental health and the importance of gut health. The committee also provides links to podcasts, books, guided meditation online, etc. They go on company hikes and "Beat the Blues" bowling every January. The committee acts as a bridge between workers and mental health resources, says Grant. "None of the members of the committee see themselves as being mental health professionals; we're a compassionate ear when needed and bridges to resources. There are so many resources available. If I could have my wish, it would be that mental health is a standard part of education in high schools." Grant adds, "While men are less likely to talk about these things, I'm finding that's really changing. When I first started on the mental health committee at Scott [Construction Group], the first thing I did was a site rollout on suicide awareness and prevention. I was going to a job site with young men in our company who I hadn't met before — I thought it might be a very awkward. It ended up being the exact opposite. They were hungry for information; it was so different than what I expected, and they inspired me to continue." Started in 2008, Gullestrup's group, MATES, is an industry-based organization and a collaboration between trade unions and employers' organizations. "This program is speaking directly to the workers. One of the weak points is that we don't have a strong relationship with the employers. Quite often when we talk to employers, they don't actually know what they're doing. We realized we had to fix this ourselves as an industry — workers, unions, employers and employer associations … We want to be the ones who ride the bus and then pull in the most suitable and the most qualified for the job. It has to be on our terms and with our unique cultural understanding," he says. © 2020 Thomson Reuters TR1046566-NM Available Risk-Free for 45 Days Online: Call Toll-Free: +1 800 387 5164 | In Toronto: 416 609 3800 Your responsibility to ensure compliance has never been more critical New Edition Pocket Ontario OH&S Act & Regulations 2020 – Consolidated Edition Your peers rely on this bestselling pocket resource for invaluable guidance on workplace safety law. From preparing job hazard analyses and creating safety training programs to performing violence risk assessments, this edition will help your organization meet all your OHSA obligations under the new changes. The "Green Book" is a must-have resource for every Ontario organization. To see what's new in this edition, visit The eBook* version on Thomson Reuters ProView® is available through your web browser, or can be downloaded to your computer, tablet, or smartphone. Learn more at *eBook not available to trade bookstores, third-party distributors, and academic institutions. Order # 42728597 $27 Softcover April 2020 approx. 1140 pages 978-0-7798-9428-4 Also available in French Call for details Also available Large format edition with tabs Order # 42728294 $27 Softcover April 2020 approx. 860 pages 978-0-7798-9430-7 Shipping and handling are included. Price(s) subject to change without notice and subject to applicable taxes workers see that it won't be detrimental to their jobs to have mental health issues. We also need to make sure there's access to mental well-being programs with multiple ways of access both inside and outside of the traditional employment structures. People need to trust the program and take the time to understand it. Essentially, actors in the industry need to open up a dialogue among employers, workers and legislators. Grant is optimistic. "I think we're doing better than we were." But she says construction firms need to "reduce the stigma. It's what keeps people suffering in silence. Forty per cent of people suffering from depression and anxiety are not telling their managers. Fifty per cent of people over 40 will experience a mental illness in their lifetime." As a member of her firm's mental health committee, Grant says they spend at least as much time on mental wellness topics as they do on mental illness topics. They encourage people to make that mind-body correlation. For example, the committee brought "There's very little connection between employees and employers. They might invest in a small core, but most people come and go… This is a highly competitive environment." Jorgen Gullestrup, founder and CEO of MATES in Construction

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