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New guide offers insights on effective health and safety representation

Two worker health and safety representatives
Recent research forms the basis for a new resource guide intended to help worker health and safety representatives participate more effectively in the workplace.

The guide, Health and Safety Representation: Writing the Workers Back In, draws upon research conducted by LOARC, the Labour, Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers, Academic Research Collaboration. The research, funded by the Research Advisory Council of the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board, included a review of existing studies that looked at worker representation and a survey completed by 888 worker health and safety representatives. Fifty-two worker representatives also participated in follow-up interviews. The Workers Health & Safety Centre (WHSC) was among those who helped disseminate the survey electronically and through WHSC training programs.

Researchers set out to examine whether different approaches to worker representation were used and which were more successful. One group, deemed Knowledge Activists, were most effective in addressing health and safety problems. These reps divided their time among a greater range of activities. Beyond attending meetings and conducting inspections, these representatives also spent time building knowledge and relationships and used both strategically in their health and safety work.

Researchers drew upon research findings and in-depth interviews to identify a set of practical operating principles for guiding effective health and safety representation. The authors hope the research and guide will inform and support worker representation recruitment, training and education.

Download LOARC’s Health and Safety Representation Guide.

Want to learn more about LOARC?

Check out WHSC resources for health and safety representatives.

Review the complete WHSC training catalogue.

The Workers Health & Safety Centre offers a full range of health and safety training including programs specifically for joint health and safety committee members and worker representatives. Contact WHSC and ask to speak with a training services representative. 

Call:    1-888-869-7950