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Health and Safety Conference

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In support of efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Lancaster House is moving the 2020 Health and Safety Conference online. Our virtual conference will meet the same high standards to which all Lancaster House events are held.

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/https://www.iwh.on.ca/
 

Friday, September 25, 2020


Registration 8:45 AM - 9:00 AM  
Introductory remarks by Co-Chairs 9:00 AM - 9:10 AM  


Panel 1


2020 Vision: Caselaw and legislative highlights from an unprecedented year

9:10 AM - 10:10 AM

Eric Comartin
Legal Counsel
Ontario Sheet Metal Workers' & Roofers' Conference
Alicia Gordon-Fagan
Counsel, Legal Services Branch,
Ministry of Labour, Training
and Skills Development

Government of Ontario
Norm Keith
Employer Counsel
Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP

Panel Summary

In this session, experienced lawyers will review the most significant health and safety caselaw and legislative developments over the past year, including the following:

  • the latest prosecution and sentencing cases;
  • key developments in drug testing and impairment/fitness for duty;
  • the Supreme Court of Canada's decision in Canada Post Corp. v. CUPW, considering the scope of the requirement under the Canada Labour Code to conduct health and safety inspections; and
  • the new harassment and violence prevention regime for federally regulated workplaces.

Break

10:10 AM - 10:20 AM

Friday, September 25, 2020


Registration 8:45 AM - 9:00 AM  
Introductory remarks by Co-Chairs 9:00 AM - 9:10 AM  


Keynote Address


Protecting Workers during the Pandemic: The latest research

10:20 AM - 11:30 AM

Keynote Speaker

Mario Possamai
Former Senior Advisor, Occupational Health and Safety
and Pandemic Planning

SARS Commission [Ontario]
John Oudyk
Occupational Hygienist
Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers
Dr. Peter Smith
Scientific Co-Director & Senior Scientist
Institute for Work & Health

On June 22, 2020, the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions announced that it was launching an investigation into Canada's failure to protect over 16,000 health care workers from COVID-19 infection. This investigation was led by Mario Possamai, former Senior Advisor to the SARS Commission. In this keynote address, he will provide insight into his pandemic report card and will assess the extent to which Canada has ignored the lessons of the tragic SARS outbreak in 2003. He will examine the measures that must be put into effect now and in the future to address the impact of various pandemic related concerns.

Keynote Speakers

John Oudyk
Occupational Hygienist
Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers
Dr. Peter Smith
Scientific Co-Director & Senior Scientist
Institute for Work & Health

Recent surveys developed by the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) confirm that workers experiencing inadequate personal protective equipment and insufficient infection control report significantly heightened levels of anxiety and depression. In this keynote address, John Oudyk of OHWCOW and Peter Smith, Senior Scientist from the Institute for Work & Health, will present their findings and discuss how these results can provide workplaces with guidance regarding measures that can lessen the mental health burden of the pandemic.

BREAK

11:30 AM - 11:40 AM

Friday, September 25, 2020


Registration 8:45 AM - 9:00 AM  
Introductory remarks by Co-Chairs 9:00 AM - 9:10 AM  


Panel 2


Critical COVID-19 Concerns: Return-to-work protocols, work refusals, and other emerging flashpoints

11:40 AM - 12:40 PM

Gurjit Brar
Legal Counsel
Purolator
Carrie Fletcher
Vice President, People & Experience
The Centre for Addiction and
Mental Health

Lori Harreman
Legal Counsel
Ontario Nurses' Association
Sari Sairanen
Director of Health Safety and Environment
Unifor

Panel Summary

The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for employers, workers, and unions in attempting to resume normal business activities and keep workers safe in the face of rapidly evolving scientific understanding about the virus itself and how it is transmitted. The push to ease restrictions despite the lack of new treatments for the disease has created tension between workplace parties as they seek to reduce risk and satisfy concerns of workers who have varying levels of individual risk tolerance. How can parties mitigate risks while getting back to the "new normal"? Will a general fear of contracting COVID-19 justify a work refusal? Are employers required to follow guidance from public health authorities in order to comply with their obligations under occupational health and safety legislation?

In this session, seasoned experts will discuss the challenges of responding to COVID-19 concerns as workplaces return to the "new normal," addressing issues such as the following:

  • Meeting OHS obligations: Are policies, guidelines, or recommendations from public health authorities enforceable under occupational health and safety (OHS) legislation, meaning that a failure to follow them could result in a finding that an employer failed to comply with its obligations to ensure worker health and safety? Does the answer vary depending on jurisdiction? Can employers prohibit workers from wearing masks or other optional personal protective equipment (PPE) where such use is not mandated by health authorities?
  • Work refusals: Are there any factors that health and safety inspectors consider when deciding whether to uphold a work refusal? What can decisions from the 2003 SARS outbreak tell us about the likelihood that a work refusal for COVID-19 risks will be upheld? Can a general fear of contracting COVID-19 provide sufficient basis to justify a work refusal?
  • Role of JHSCs: How can you engage joint health and safety committees (JHSCs)/workplace health and safety committees effectively as you're adjusting protocols to address COVID in the workplace? Are there any resources that JHSC members should consult to ensure that they are keeping current with the latest scientific information on COVID-19 transmission and prevention measures?
  • Return-to-work protocols and practices: Is there any training or orientation that should be provided when a workplace reopens? What measures and procedures should be put in place for workplaces that are reopening or ramping up services?
  • Remote work: Are workplace parties still required to comply with their obligations under occupational health and safety legislation when an employee is working from home? What are some measures that they can put in place in an attempt to satisfy these obligations?

CONFERENCE ENDS

12:40 PM

WORKPLACE SAFETY AND INSURANCE CONFERENCE BEGINS

1:30 PM

Keynote Speakers


CPD


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 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours.