Committee monitors health and safety

Viewpoint

One injury is one too many at Carleton.

That’s why the university’s Joint Health and Safety committee takes steps every year to ensure the health and safety of Carleton staff, faculty and students.

“We keep an eye and ear out for any safety hazards around,” says Gaston Taylor, co-chair of the committee.

Taylor, who has been a member of the Joint Health and Safety Committee for the past five years and co-chair for the past three years, says it has many duties on campus, including building inspections, making safety recommendations as well as pointing out hazards in the work environment.

“It’s our priority. Whether you work in an office or not, any things that are unsafe could injure a worker.”

The committee was established and operates under the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the university’s Environmental Health and Safety department ensures the committee is in compliance with the act.

Its other main duties include holding meetings five times a year to review reports of workplace injuries involving Carleton employees. Members determine what went wrong and recommend steps to resolve the problem.

“We take every action to prevent the situation from happening again,” says Taylor.

Most recently, the committee has been making recommendations, developing solutions and giving advice to the Carleton community regarding the university’s H1N1 preparedness plan.

“The H1N1 is in the media and a direct concern to the university as a whole,” adds Bruce Marshall, committee co-chair. “Education is a vital step in the communication process.”

The committee also looks out for students who might be working with tools and equipment in workshops or with hazardous chemicals in laboratories.

“Carleton prides itself on being a good place to work and I feel it is a good place to work,” says Taylor. “If people are educated in health and safety around their work environment, it means that there will be less accidents.”

Marshall says the university has a responsibility to maintain a healthy and safe work environment and that when employers and employees work together, they can achieve that goal. And the Joint Health and Safety Committee is there to provide a positive and safe work environment for everyone on campus.

“We would like everyone to know that we are here for their health and safety,” says Marshall. “We must work together to promote a co-operative, positive and progressive approach to dealing with health and safety issues.”

This entry was written by Kristy Strauss and posted in the issue. Tags applied to this article are: , . Leave a comment, bookmark the permalink or share the following short URL for this article via social media: http://carletonnow.carleton.ca/?p=825

Kristy Strauss

By Kristy Strauss

Kristy Strauss graduated from Carleton's journalism program in 2009. She is a regular contributor to Carleton Now. She has worked as a reporter for the Kemptville Advance. She currently reports for EMC Ottawa South.

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