You are here

Thinking outside the box with safety

I have been a safety rep and co-chair on our JHSC for 28 years, and I am always amazed at what new and innovative steps we take towards a safer workplace.  With monthly meetings we review the injury reports and look at the “who, what, where and how’s”, to get to the root cause of an injury, but sometimes it requires that extra step.  

At local 1106 in Kitchener, our union committee met with our national rep, Dave Reston and our local president, Ruth Pryce to discuss workplace injuries.  Two of the concerns discussed were: WSIB claims that are denied and union reps not having enough information to investigate an injury properly.  

The problem we were encountering was that we do not have enough information from the injury reports to investigate the severity of the accident.  When we investigated the injury with the employee, we were made aware of information that was not captured on the injury report.  

Upon further investigation, the injury was more significant than what was recorded.  We determined that our members needed more education on how to report injuries. It is very hard to educate everyone on the importance of proper reporting in a large local.  We needed guidelines for reporting injuries to be at the finger tips of the injured worker, so that injuries are reported properly.

At the time of an injury, it can be very overwhelming.  The employee may be stressed, or in pain and it is hard to remember all of the important facts that must go along with an injury report, especially to validate a claim to WSIB. 

It was during these discussions that we came up with the idea of developing “Fast facts to injury reporting” and a pamphlet on, “Frequently asked questions about workplace injuries and WSIB.”  Ruth Pryce, our local president, asked me to work in conjunction with Vinay Sharma, Unifor National Rep for Health and Safety,  to develop a lanyard card to put onto our name badges as well as a pamphlet to hand out to our members when we present this card.

Have you ever wondered why a WSIB claim does not get approved?

There are various reasons why a claim is denied: lack of information reported; timelines that are not met; not reporting your injury while at work; not seeking medical attention, and many other reasons.  We hope that these pamphlets answer many questions about workplace injuries and WSIB claims and that the “Fast facts to reporting” lanyard card will help our members through the unpleasant experience of being injured at work.

Local 1106 had all of these lanyard cards and pamphlets ready to distribute on Tuesday March 19th to our members with hopes that it will inform our members about the importance of injury reporting and how to make a workplace injury/illness claim.

- Patricia Leslie, Local 1106