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Health and Safety Conference

HRPA Continuing Professional Development

HRPA Continuing Professional Development

The Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) has approved Lancaster House as a Continuing Professional Development Partner, guaranteeing that participation in our conferences, workshops and audio conferences will be accepted by the HRPA for CPD credit.

Register today to earn your CPD credits with Lancaster!

In association with: https://www.cirhr.utoronto.ca/

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Registration and Breakfast 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM  
Introductory remarks by Co-Chairs 9:00 AM - 9:10 AM  

Panel 1

Health and Safety Highlights: Major caselaw and legislative update

9:10 AM - 10:25 AM

Shaheen Hirani
Legal Counsel
United Steelworkers
Ronald Landry
Provincial Coordinator and Manager, Industrial Health and Safety Program
Ministry of Labour
Deanah Shelly
Employer Counsel
Mathews Dinsdale & Clark

Panel Summary

In this session, experienced counsel will review the most significant health and safety caselaw and legislative developments over the past year, including the latest prosecution and sentencing cases under OHSA and the Criminal Code; key developments in drug testing and impairment/fitness for duty; the legal definition of "workplace"; and remedies for health and safety violations. Additional topics will be added in the weeks leading up to the conference to ensure coverage of the latest and most important developments in workplace health and safety.

BREAK (with refreshments)

10:25 AM - 10:40 AM

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Registration and Breakfast 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM  
Introductory remarks by Co-Chairs 9:00 AM - 9:10 AM  

Panel 2

Charting the Course to a Psychologically Healthy and Safe Workplace: Practical advice from the experts

10:40 AM - 11:55 AM

Jan Borowy
Union Counsel
Maria Gergin
Employer Counsel
Borden Ladner Gervais
Martin Shain
Neighbour at Work Centre

Panel Summary

While occupational health and safety programs have traditionally focused on preventing physical injuries and illnesses, employers and unions have become increasingly aware of workplace risks to psychological health and safety. Recent studies have found that one in five Canadians experiences a psychological health issue in any given year and that psychological health issues are now the leading cause of disability in Canada, highlighting the need to protect employees' psychological as well as physical health and safety at work. In this session, experts will examine the duty to provide a psychologically healthy and safe workplace and discuss best practices for identifying and minimizing workplace psychosocial hazards.

  • Concepts and duties: What is psychological health and safety, and how does it relate to occupational health and safety? What are the sources of the legal duty to ensure psychological health and safety in the workplace? Why should workplace parties prioritize psychological health and safety?
  • Identifying hazards: What are common hazards to psychological health and safety in the workplace? What workplace conditions may endanger employees' psychological health and safety? How can employers, unions, and employees assess and measure the risks to psychological health and safety in their workplaces?
  • Reactive and proactive measures: What are indicators that a person might be experiencing a psychological health issue? How can an employer or union representative initiate a helpful conversation with a distressed employee? When is it necessary for employers or union representatives to make enquiries about an employee's mental health? What are examples of measures that employers, unions, and employees can take to reduce psychosocial hazards and promote psychological health and safety in the workplace? What kinds of support or resources can be provided to employees?
  • Remedies: What remedies can tribunals and arbitrators order to address workplace conditions that pose a risk to psychological safety? What legal remedies are available to employees who have developed a psychological problem as a result of work conditions? Do employees have access to remedies for psychological harm that falls short of an identifiable mental illness?

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Registration and Breakfast 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM  
Introductory remarks by Co-Chairs 9:00 AM - 9:10 AM  

Keynote Address

Work-Related Deaths in Canada: Estimating the true extent of the problem

12:00 PM - 12:30 PM

Keynote Speaker

Steven Bittle
Associate Professor of Criminology,
Faculty of Social Sciences

University of Ottawa


In this keynote address, Professor Steven Bittle critically examines official statistics on workplace fatalities in Canada. Each year, the Association of Workers' Compensation Boards of Canada reports on the number of workers who die from a work-related injury or illness/disease. The problem, however, is that these data report the number of deaths that were accepted for compensation; it is not a system for tracking all work-related deaths. Drawing from a range of data sources and employing a broad definition of what constitutes death at work, this research attempts to generate a more accurate estimate of the number of work-related fatalities in Canada. In so doing, the goal is not to produce a definitive number of annual deaths at work – an impossibility given the paucity of data sources – but instead to challenge dominant ways of conceptualizing what constitutes a work-related fatality and thus contribute to ongoing efforts to raise academic, political, and public awareness about this important issue.


12:30 PM - 1:00 PM


1:00 PM

Keynote Speakers

Monday, September 30, 2019

Breakfast 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM  

Recognizing and Responding to Drug-Related Impairment: An in-depth training session for employers and unions

Workshop Leaders

Steven Maxwell
Drug Recognition Expert and Chief Consultant
Steven Maxwell Drug Recognition Expert Consulting
Niki Lundquist
Legal Counsel
Erin Porter
Employer Counsel

Workshop Summary

The legalization of recreational cannabis has highlighted the need for employers and unions to address workplace impairment while respecting employee rights. In this essential session, an experienced Drug Recognition Expert will be joined by management and union lawyers to provide expert guidance on the impairing effects of cannabis and other drugs, how to recognize the signs of impairment, and tips for ensuring legally compliant policies and testing.

Learning outcomes include the following:

  • Understand the seven recognized drug categories and how they impair one's abilities
  • Recognize common signs and symptoms of impairment
  • Identify aspects of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests that may be applicable to the workplace
  • Be aware of the legal framework for regulating recreational cannabis
  • Develop legally compliant policies and procedures that respect employee rights
  • Apply knowledge and skills to a realistic scenario, and receive expert feedback

Please see our Skills Training Sessions for more information.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Breakfast 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM  

Handling Personal Health Information: An in-depth training session for employers and unions

Workshop Leaders

Colin Johnston

Sara Malkin
Employer Counsel
Mathews Dinsdale & Clark
Elichai Shaffir
Union Counsel
Medical Expert TBA

Workshop Summary

Medical reports and health care records contain highly personal, sensitive information. As a result, a request for medical information from an employee raises a host of privacy and human rights concerns. Nevertheless, employers and unions are often required to handle employees' personal health information in order to facilitate accommodation, sick leave, and/or disability benefits. In these instances, it is crucial for workplace parties to strike an appropriate balance between obtaining the required information and respecting employee privacy.

Working through interactive exercises and realistic scenarios with the guidance of experienced counsel and medical experts, participants will gain the skills and knowledge to:

  • Craft effective requests for medical information that comply with human rights and privacy law
  • Understand health records and respond appropriately to vague or deficient medical reports
  • Identify when medical information from a specialist, psychologist, or psychiatrist is required for the purposes of sick leave, accommodation, or disability benefits
  • Comply with federal and provincial privacy legislation and protect confidential medical information in the workplace
  • Avoid wasted time litigating over the collection, storage, and disclosure of medical information
  • Use medical evidence effectively in the grievance and arbitration process

Please see our Skills Training Sessions for more information.


Click here to find out more information regarding CPD and the hour requirements in your province.

Conference Sessions

  • This program has been approved by the Human Resources Professional Association (HRPA) for 3.0 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours.
  • Members of the Law Society of New Brunswick may count this program for 3.0 Continuing Professional Development hours.