Board Joint Health and Safety Committee Members 2021/2022:
Peter Pendli – Co-Chair , Colin Wackett, VP – Lynda Hockley, VP – Pam Beetlestone
- Flow Chart for ALL Accident/Incidents at Work (rev Sept 2021)
- Work Refusal Flowchart (Refer to Policy Procedure 540.0; Sect 2.4.3 )
- H&S School Inspection Steward Letter
- H&S School Inspection Survey Letter
Teacher surveys are sent out to Stewards approximately one month prior to school inspections providing our members the opportunity to voice their concerns and participate in the process.
If a health/safety issue/hazard regarding your school exists at any time during the school year, report it at once to the principal as required by law (Health and Safety Act).
General Information (UPDATED Sept. 2021)
Anytime an accident or near miss incident occurs at work, including near miss incidents and accidents related to COVID PPE or disinfectants, report the incident to the Principal and complete an online Accident Incident Report e-Form. Forms are completed electronically on the BWW. Go into “Self Serve” and then “E-Forms”. All incidents of Violence directed toward a worker must be reported using this Form. “Violence” is defined in the H&S Act as a) the exercise of physical force by a person against a worker in a workplace that causes or could cause physical injury; b) an attempt to exercise physical force against a worker in a workplace that could cause physical injury to a worker; or c) a statement of behaviour that is reasonable for a worker to interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against a worker in the workplace that could cause physical injury to the worker.
It is mandatory that all Violent Incidents (as defined above) directed at a worker are reported using the Board Accident/Incident Reporting Form NP540-02 regardless of the offending persons age or other mitigating circumstances.
During Site Inspection pre meetings with Administrators we ensure that Safety Plans, Truncated Plans and Individual Action Plans are in place and that they have been communicated / shared with all staff that may be expected to encounter the person in the course of their work. Staff members are to sign off on a Notification of Risk of Injury Form A or B to indicate that the Plan has been shared with them.
A Formal Work Concern requires that teachers notify their administrator of a health and safety hazard/concern and if unresolved contact their Health and Safety representative. The H&S representative may fill out Form P540-01 in consultation with the worker. Work Concerns have focused around – cold temperatures in the building (less than 68), air quality, drinking water, Pediculosis, Public Health Outbreaks, insufficient parking stalls, and rodents. The most frequent Concerns are related to student violence (Safety Plans are not in place or shared, shortage of staff, PPE not provided, and there is confusion around duties to Report)
There has also been a focus on Reporting Violent Incidents as per the Responsibility of workers through the Ministry of Education PPM 145 using the Safe School Incident Reporting Forms. Safe Schools Incident Reporting Form Part 1 must be completed on line electronically on the BWW (Self-Serve, E-Forms) by any Board Employee who witnesses or becomes aware of any student behavior that has a negative impact on school climate, and could lead to possible Suspension or Expulsion. A list of the behaviors is included on the Reporting Form. A response Form, Part 2 is completed by the Administrator and returned to the Employee within 72 hours to confirm receipt of Part 1. The Administrator may use Mitigating circumstances when considering their decision to suspend or expel a student. Administrators are responsible for ensuring that the parents of victims are notified when an incident has been reported and a student (victim) has been harmed.
WHMIS training was provided for employees to introduce WHMIS 2015. The new WHMIS legislation updates/modifies the system of controlled products (chemicals) in our workplaces. It addresses New classifications, requirements for labeling & Safety Data Sheets. MSDS/ SDS Binders (Art, Science and Office General) are kept in the main office.
Sites are required to participate in two annual Lockdown Drills. The first drill to be completed during Safety Week in September. The second, early in the Second Term. Lockdown Procedure Posters should be posted in all occupied rooms. Classroom keys are to be made available to OT’s. Sites are also required to practice one Hold and Secure Drill annually (Fall Term).
The Plant Department has developed a Guideline/Q & A for summer classroom clean-up expectations, for teachers moving classrooms and for schools moving buildings. It outlines expectations for principals, teachers, and caretaking staff, and deals with curriculum materials, furniture and personal items. It is important that staff have permission from the Principal to be in the building outside of the regular school hours (evenings and weekends), and over the summer holidays.
For concerns with cold temperatures in the classroom and winter conditions , members can refer to the Q & A on “Shoulder Months”, and Board Procedure NP464.
All sites built prior to 1987 have an Asbestos Management Program (Binder). Information is to be shared with staff on an annual basis. Notification of all abatement work is to be shared with appropriate staff prior to work being done.
All torn and missing screen windows must be reported to caretaking and Admin. Immediately to prevent wasps from entering into the classroom.
When members become aware of evidence of rodents/mice they are to contact Caretaking immediately and notify the Principal. They (members) are “not” to clean it up. There is a Board Procedure for Caretaking to follow when cleaning.
All entrances to the school and to Portables require adequate floor matting to prevent water being tracked in and to prevent slips, trips and falls. If there is not adequate matting , notify your administrator.
Health and Safety is everyone’s responsibility. You are part of the Internal Responsibility System.
- Medical Grade ASTM masks and non-fit N95 will continue to be provided to staff
- Unless directed to wear for specific circumstances, the wearing of masks is optional
- Staff may wear their own personal masks.
- Eyewear protection must be worn when disinfecting
- Staff will continue to use PDQ for disinfecting. As schools run out of PDQ they will be switching over to ”PREempt”, a product that is already being used in the Special Education classrooms.
- As with the PDQ, Instructions for use for the PREempt must be posted in classrooms, gyms, libraries and anywhere the product is used.
- PDQ and PREempt must be properly stored away from students.
- Tech wipes cannot be used to sanitize materials, equipment or surface areas. They can only be used to sanitize hands.
- Report any missing or torn screen windows to Admin so that they can be replaced/repaired to prevent wasps from entering
“Violence” is defined in the H&S Act as:
a) the exercise of physical force by a person against a worker in a workplace that causes or could cause physical injury;
b) an attempt to exercise physical force against a worker in a workplace that could cause physical injury to a worker; or
c) a statement of behaviour that is reasonable for a worker to interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against a worker in the workplace that could cause physical injury to the worker.
It is mandatory that all Violent Incidents (as defined above) directed at a worker are reported using the Board Accident/Incident Reporting Form NP540-02 regardless of the offending persons age or other mitigating circumstances ***(eg. Age or Cognitive Ability) ***
The Accident/Incident Report Form is found online on the BWW in the Employee Self-Serve section under the My eForms tab.
Incidents of violence involving students may also have to be reported using the Board online Safe School Reporting Form
Sites with individuals with a history of violence are required to develop a site NVCI Plan. For individuals with a history of violence, a Safety Plan/Truncated Safety Plan or an Individual Action Plan must be created, and shared with all staff who can be expected to encounter the individual in the course of their work.
Where any member develops Covid-like symptoms requiring them to stay home from work, and believes the symptoms were the result of a workplace encounter, they should complete a Board online e-form – “P540-02 Accident/Incident Reporting Form”. The member should indicate on the Form that it is a “possible exposure”. Include the date and times of the possible exposure to/transmission of Covid-19, and give the details of the individuals they were in contact with and the symptoms that these individuals were exhibiting at that time. Do not use individuals’ names (refer to them as staff and/or students). Notify your Principal if you have confirmation of Covid through testing. Continue to watch for announcements and Q & A’s on the Board’s “School Reopening Staff Site” on the BWW for information and direction on reporting.
If you believe you were exposed to Covid in the workplace you can also complete a “WSIB Workers Exposure Incident Form”, available on the WSIB website.
Any worker has the individual right to refuse work that they believe is unsafe. There are resources available on ETFO’s Health and Safety website to help understand the process at http://etfohealthandsafety.ca/site/workers-rights/. The resources include:
- A tip sheet of worker rights including the right to refuse;
- A checklist for members to help determine if their workplace is safe; and
- A video explaining the right to refuse.
YRDSB Policy/Procedure 540 Work Concern/Refusal Process
- As per the Health and Safety Act – You must inform your Supervisor/ Principal of all workplace health and safety hazards. If your concern is not resolved you should contact the ETFO-YR Health and Safety Officer (contact information is on the Health and Safety Board). After investigating the concern, a Work Concern Form P540-01 may be completed by your ETFO-YR Health & Safety Officer.
- If you are in imminent risk of danger and you have “reason to believe” that your work is “likely to endanger” your health and safety, you have the Right to Refuse unsafe work. Contact the ETFO-YR Office or Health and Safety Officer if you have any questions regarding the Work Refusal process. (Policy/Procedure 540.0; Sect 2.4.3).
- PDQ replaces ES15 (If ES15 is found, stop using it and return the bottle to caretaking for replacement with PDQ) PDQ Instructions must be posted in your work area.
- Eye Protection is required for use (face shield, safety glasses or goggles)
- In academic areas this product must be secured (ie stored to prevent student access such as in a locked cupboard, office or cabinet) by staff when not in use.
- Elementary students must not use disinfectant products.
- Special education classes will continue to use PREempt for cleaning and disinfecting classroom shared items and items contaminated with bodily fluids.
- Staff now have the option of wearing an ASTM-rated medical mask or non-fit-tested N95 masks
- Must wear Board issued PPE
COVID Protocol Highlights
1. Designated Eating Rooms
- Ensure occupancy load is posted for all designated eating rooms: Occupancy load is to allow for 2m distancing between unmasked individuals
- Chairs must face the same direction
- Ensure there is sign in system that included “Date and times” for the purposes of contact tracing: All members (Board Employees) must sign-in when eating in designated eating rooms
2. Disinfectant (ES15)
- Ensure ES 15 instructions are posted in all rooms where disinfectant is used (PreEmpt instructions will be posted in Special Education rooms where used)
- Ensure that members are following instructions/protocols when using the product: Ensure that ES15 is put on to the paper towel and not directly onto the surface of the item being disinfected. Allow for 5 min. contact time
- ES15 must be properly stored (out of sight and out of reach of students) when not in use
- Students MUST NOT use ES15 or any other sanitizing/disinfecting products
- Board Employees are expected to wear Board provided PPE (Face Masks and Eyewear Protection) unless they have a Board approved accommodation
- When within 6 ft of an unmasked student, eye protection must be worn ie. When working with unmasked kindergarten students, or engaging with unmasked students during recess or snack time
- Members should have eyewear protection with them at all times, in case they encounter an unmasked individual and cannot maintain 2m physical distancing.