Labour unions have a long history of fighting for health and safety rights for workers; in fact, protecting the safety of employees in the electrical industry was one of the reasons that workers joined together to found the IBEW in 1891.
Local 1928 cooperates in every way with employers to help make workplace a safe and healthy. And today many employers are taking the lead: they recognize that it makes good business sense to promote the best in safety and health--the costs are too high to do anything less.
In Canada, each province has legislation specific to occupational Health and Safety. This legislation includes regulations that ensure employers maintain a safe workplace. It also protects workers against violence, harassment and discrimination. But safety is a two-way street and workers also have obligations. Provincial legislation outlines the rights and responsibilities of workers related to hazardous materials, safety equipment, and training.
Each unionized workplace should have a Health and Safety Committee and/or representative. A Health and Safety Committee can give you advice on how to stay safe at work, and it can work with the employer to deal with complaints about possible health and safety violations. A Health and Safety Committee can help ensure that your employer is in compliance with Health and Safety legislation and can make effective recommendations to improve workplace safety.
For more information about safety in your workplace, contact your Health and Safety Committee, shop steward, or union representative.