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Health and Safety Conference

 
 
 
 

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Thursday, October 12, 2017


Registration and Breakfast 7:45 AM - 8:45 AM  
Introductory remarks by Co-Chairs 8:45 AM - 9:00 AM  


Panel 1


Major Caselaw and Legislative Update: Legalization of recreational marijuana, health and safety prosecutions, and other key developments

9:00 AM - 10:45 AM

David Law
Employer Counsel
Gowling WLG
James Robbins
Union Counsel
Cavalluzzo Shilton McIntyre Cornish

Panel Summary

In this session, experienced counsel will review the most important decisions in occupational health and safety law over the past year, including key cases on OHSA prosecutions and sentencing. Highlights will include evolving approaches to criminal investigations and to laying criminal charges in situations involving the death of a worker. Panelists will also explain how employers and unions should respond to the workplace safety challenge posed by the impending legalization of marijuana. Additional topics may 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)

10:45 AM - 11:15 AM

Thursday, October 12, 2017


Registration and Breakfast 7:45 AM - 8:45 AM  
Introductory remarks by Co-Chairs 8:45 AM - 9:00 AM  


Panel 2


Workplace Strategies for Preventing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A medical expert discusses best practices

11:15 AM - 12:00 PM

Dr. Lori Gray
Clinical, Forensic, and Rehabilitation Psychologist


Panel Summary

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has emerged as a serious occupational health and safety issue. In recognition of the well-established link between exposure to traumatic events on the job and PTSD, workers' compensation legislation in both Ontario and Alberta create presumptions that PTSD diagnosed in first responders is work-related. Manitoba's Workers' Compensation Act goes even further, creating a presumption that PTSD diagnosed in any worker who is exposed to certain traumatic events at work is work-related. Such increased recognition of the link between workplace trauma and PTSD begs the question: beyond preventing exposure to trauma, which is not always possible, what, if anything, can workplace parties do to prevent workers from developing PTSD? In this session, a leading expert on the disorder will answer this question and address issues such as:

  • What types of traumatic events are recognized PTSD triggers? Must the events involve extreme physical danger or is the PTSD diagnosis appropriately applied to someone who has experienced bullying or harassment that did not pose a "threat to the physical integrity" of that person or others?
  • How common is it for a worker to develop PTSD in response to workplace trauma? How common are other types of psychological reactions? What risk factors make a worker more vulnerable to developing PTSD?
  • What strategies are most frequently used to prevent workers from developing PTSD? What are psychological debriefing and critical incident stress management? What role, if any, do they play in preventing workers from developing PTSD? Is "resilience training" a proven method of preventing workers from developing psychological disorders, including PTSD?
  • What treatments are most effective for workers with PTSD when prevention has not been effective? To what degree do early intervention and treatment diminish workers' needs for long-term accommodation or disability benefits?

NETWORKING LUNCH

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Thursday, October 12, 2017


Registration and Breakfast 7:45 AM - 8:45 AM  
Introductory remarks by Co-Chairs 8:45 AM - 9:00 AM  


Panel 3


When Disaster Strikes: Lessons from a seasoned accident investigator

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Kevin Sedore
Detective
Toronto Police Service

Panel Summary

In a Christmas Eve 2009 tragedy, four Toronto construction workers plunged to their deaths and a fifth was seriously injured when a swing-stage scaffold collapsed while they were repairing balconies at a high-rise apartment building. The Ontario Court of Appeal ultimately imposed a $750,000 fine against the employer, Metron Construction, for criminal negligence causing death, seeking to send a strong message of general deterrence and highlight the importance of worker safety. In this panel, Detective Kevin Sedore, the award-winning lead investigator into the tragic scaffolding collapse, will provide an overview of this landmark investigation and offer invaluable tips and insights for workplace parties.

Thursday, October 12, 2017


Registration and Breakfast 7:45 AM - 8:45 AM  
Introductory remarks by Co-Chairs 8:45 AM - 9:00 AM  


Panel 4


When Spheres Collide: Dealing with domestic violence in the workplace

2:05 PM - 2:35 PM

Barb MacQuarrie
Community Director, Centre for Research and Education on Violence against Women and Children, Faculty of Education, Western University


Panel Summary

In Canada, approximately 3,491 women and 2,724 children sleep in shelters each night because it isn't safe at home. The effects of domestic violence are felt not only by the individuals who are the direct targets of abuse but also extend into the workplace and potentially compromise the safety of co-workers and colleagues. In this panel, Barb MacQuarrie, Community Director for the Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children, will discuss practical steps that employers and unions can take to support individuals who experience domestic violence and to promote a safe work environment for all employees.

BREAK (with refreshments)

2:35 PM - 2:50 PM

Thursday, October 12, 2017


Registration and Breakfast 7:45 AM - 8:45 AM  
Introductory remarks by Co-Chairs 8:45 AM - 9:00 AM  


Panel 5


Ending Sexual Harassment and Abuse: Complying with the requirements of Bill 132

2:50 PM - 4:00 PM

Meghan Ferguson
Lawyer and Workplace Investigator

Andréane Chénier
National Representative, Health and Safety
Canadian Union of Public Employees
John Illingworth
Employer Counsel
Ogletree Deakins
Donna Marshall
Chief Executive Officer
BizLife Solutions

Panel Summary

Recent high profile events have raised societal consciousness about the pervasiveness of sexual harassment in employment. To address this widespread problem, the Ontario government passed Bill 132, amending the Occupational Health and Safety Act to impose additional obligations on employers with respect to harassment policies, programs, and investigations. In this panel, experts will discuss the legal responsibilities placed on workplace parties to prevent and respond to harassment and highlight best practices employers and unions can adopt to combat workplace sexual harassment, including:

  • How is sexual harassment defined under provincial and federal occupational health and safety law?
  • Following the amendments to the OHSA under Bill 132, what obligations are placed on Ontario employers to protect employees from sexual harassment in the workplace? How does this compare to the federal sector? How have employers' legal responsibilities under provincial and federal legislation been interpreted in recent caselaw?
  • What elements must be included in an organization's workplace harassment policy and program? How do obligations under Ontario legislation differ from federal law?
  • What role should an organization's health and safety representative or joint health and safety committee play in developing workplace harassment policies and responding to complaints or incidents of sexual harassment? In unionized work environments, what role should the union play?
  • What best practices should parties adopt to ensure workplace sexual harassment investigations comply with federal and provincial occupational health and safety law? What constitutes an investigation "appropriate in the circumstances" as required under Ontario's OHSA?
  • What additional measures should organizations implement to combat workplace sexual harassment? How can organizations facilitate and encourage reporting sexual harassment in the workplace? What training should be provided to employees on intervening when they witness incidents of sexual harassment?

CONFERENCE ENDS

4:00 PM

NETWORKING RECEPTION

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Keynote Speakers


Wednesday, October 11, 2017


Effective Anti-Harassment Programs and Investigations: An interactive workshop

9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Meghan Ferguson
Lawyer and Workplace Investigator

Andréane Chénier
National Representative, Health and Safety
Canadian Union of Public Employees
John Illingworth
Employer Counsel
Ogletree Deakins

Workshop Summary

The effects of violence and harassment in a workplace can be devastating, not only for the immediate targets of this aggressive behaviour but also for co-workers, other bystanders, and workplace morale. In recent years, many Canadian jurisdictions have sought to strengthen their health and safety laws in an effort to combat this threat to health and safety. For example, in Ontario, the passage of Bill 132 and amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act have imposed new obligations on employers with respect to harassment policies, programs, and investigations. In this workshop, experienced counsel will review Ontario and federal requirements for addressing workplace violence and harassment and advance best practices for creating a safe work environment for all employees.

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

  • Draft workplace violence and harassment policies in compliance with provincial and federal law
  • Develop and maintain suitable violence and harassment programs
  • Communicate policies, programs, and expected behaviour to employees
  • Conduct fair and appropriate investigations
  • Prepare credible and properly structured investigation reports
  • Identify the root cause(s) of an incident of violence or harassment in the workplace and when to update policies and programs in response

Please note: This event may be eligible for CHSC CE Maintenance Points.



Wednesday, October 11, 2017


Winning Cases at the WSIAT: A hands-on tutorial with the experts

9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Sean Ryan
Vice-Chair
Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal
Angus Patterson
Vice-Chair
Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal
Mary Christie
Employer Panel Member
Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal
Mary Ferrari
Worker Panel Member
Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal
Traudi McDonald
Employer Consultant and Paralegal

Ivana Petricone
Staff Lawyer
Industrial Accident Victims' Group of Ontario

Workshop Summary

There are no "do-overs" for advocates who don't present their best case at the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT), the final level of appeal for both workers and employers disputing workplace safety and insurance decisions in Ontario. Given the finality of the WSIAT's decisions and the significance of those decisions to workers and employers, it behooves advocates to present polished, convincing arguments supported by appropriate evidence every time they appear before the Tribunal. Employer and worker representatives also require effective negotiation skills to make the best use of the WSIAT's new mediation procedures.

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

  • Craft an effective advocacy strategy at all stages of an appeal, from receipt of a file to the end of the hearing
  • Make effective use of WSIAT's new mediation procedures
  • Gather and present persuasive evidence
  • Present compelling opening and closing statements
  • Effectively cross-examine witnesses
  • Deal with weaknesses in the case
  • Comply with professional obligations
  • Review WSIAT decisions for errors that warrant a request for reconsideration or an application for judicial review

Please note: This event may be eligible for CHSC CE Maintenance Points.



CPD


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

This event may be eligible for CHSC CE Maintenance Points.