Canadian Occupational Safety

January/February 2021

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 4 of 47

U P F R O N T Ontario increases direct care hours for LTC residents Ontario is increasing the hours of direct care for each long-term- care resident to an average of four hours per day. The announcement means that direct hands-on care will be provided by nurses or personal support workers to support individual clinical and personal care needs. The government also committed to establishing hard targets set over the next four years to achieve this standard by 2024-25 and to educate and recruit the tens of thousands of new personal support workers, registered practical nurses and registered nurses that will be required. Casual use of cannabis rising among workers: study A recent study by the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) has revealed a nine-per-cent rise in cannabis use among workers in the past 12 months but only a marginal increase (one per cent) in at-work use. There was also no evidence that workers are using cannabis more frequently. The research also found that not all workers use cannabis for recreation. Of those who reported cannabis use in the past year, 16 per cent said they did so to help cope with a work-related injury or illness. "We are very proud of the fact that we have a multi-racial, multi-cultural and incredibly diverse workforce in Ontario's construction industry." Richard Lyall RESCON president AFTER witnessing incidents of bigotry and discrimination, the Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON) has decided to launch a campaign aimed at bringing employers, unions and governments together to address racism in the construction industry. RESCON's Construction Against Racism Everywhere (CARE) campaign is geared toward educating construction employers and workers about racial bias. "We have always taken a leadership role in fighting racism and discrimination in the construction industry," said Richard Lyall, RESCON president. "We are very proud of the fact that we have a multi-racial, multi- cultural and incredibly diverse workforce in Ontario's construction industry and racist behaviour of any kind or in any form will not be tolerated by any of our employers." As part of its campaign, the group staged a webinar Sept. 10 that discussed employers' legal obligations when dealing with incidents involving racial discrimination. A separate panel discussion focused on anti-racism, and diversity efforts were also undertaken by builders and labour groups. RESCON said the recent discovery of nooses at several construction sites in Ontario was among the major drivers of its campaign. "Our industry responded quickly and was the first to condemn racist acts that occurred recently on Toronto construction sites," said Lyall. "The webinar brought together employer, union and government voices needed to make meaningful change." RESCON also plans to organize a coalition of employers, unions and sub-trades that will focus on finding effective measures to combat industry racism. "We intend to work closely with construction employers and unions, the provincial and municipal governments to address racism in all forms," said Bruno Giancola, chair of RESCON's board of directors. "While the recent incidents in no way exemplify the majority of the 400,000 workers, contractors and builders who work in Ontario's construction industry, RESCON is aware that there is a problem and will continue to do all that we can to learn and educate the workforce." In addition to this campaign, Canadian condominium developer Tridel announced in November that it would be launching an anti-racism campaign in partnership with construction firm EllisDon, the Labourers' International Union of North America – Local 183, RESCON and the Building Industry & Land Development Association (BILD). The initiative, entitled "Build for Respect," aims to tackle and eliminate racism in the construction industry. Tridel says the industry-wide campaign will work to build clarity on what is and is not tolerated behaviour in the workplace, as well as provide training on the matter. CONSTRUCTION GROUP LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN TO FIGHT RACISM The campaign aims to educate the construction industry about racial bias and was spurred by the recent discovery of nooses on Ontario worksites 5 W O R K P L A C E N E W S

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