Summary Offence Ticketing is being introduced by our government to deal with specific Occupational Health and Safety infractions in the workplace. Tickets can be issued to both workers and immediate Supervisors; we all know that unsafe staffing levels lend to higher injury rates, yet this scheme shifts the responsibility for safety, and the fines, to those who have no control over staffing levels. However, the SEA does not contain any safe staffing provisions – is it fair to make the workers pay for employer decisions?
We can see the difference – can you?
The only time safe staffing levels appear to catch the interest of the government is when workers and their representatives are in the midst of collective bargaining. During our last round of provincial health care negotiations, the Employers deemed almost every worker ‘essential’; this includes casual workers and those away on leaves. In some cases, the Employer deemed more workers ‘essential’ than the normal complement of staff on any given shift. Let’s see a serious response to workplace safety by investing in it: safe staffing levels, needed equipment and appropriate training. This would promote a safer workplace and improve the overall health of everyone in it.