Occupational Health & Safety Department
The role of the occupational health & safety department is to promote and maintain the highest possible degree of health and safety for all employees, physicians, volunteers, students and contractors. This is a collaborative, multidisciplinary and proactive approach that contributes to the organization's effectiveness and the quality of working life.
The occupational health & safety team is comprised of registered nurses (some of which are certified occupational health nurses), Canadian Board Certified occupational health physician, Certified Kinesiologist, office assistant and volunteer. The department operates Monday to Friday 7:30 to 4:30 pm.
Many of the activities undertaken by the department are driven by legislation from:
- Ministry of Labor
- Occupational Health & Safety Act (Industrial & Health Care regulations)
- Workplace Safety & Insurance Act
- Pubic Hospitals Act
- Personal Information & Privacy Act
Some of the programs / services are as follows:
- Initial Health Assessment (for new employees)
- Communicable Disease Management
- Hazard Recognition
- Incident / Accident Management
- Health Promotion
- Return To Work Assessments
- Transitional Work Program
- Disability Case Management Program ( Workplace Safety
& Insurance Board & Non-Work Related Cases)
Injury Prevention Program
- Hygiene Surveillance Program
- Ergonomic Evaluations
- Work Hardening
- Physical Demands Analysis
- Employee Assistance
- Taking Care - Child & Elder
- Employee Fitness
- Advisor to Departments On Health & Safety Issues
Initial Health Assessment:
Each new employee will undergo an assessment within 2 weeks of being hired. This process allows the nurse an opportunity to review the worker's immunization history, communicable diseases, and physical abilities. This process ultimately provides the hospital assurance that the new employee is safe and fit to perform the job they have been hired to do.
Communicable Disease Management
Under the Public Hospitals Act, regulation 965, the hospital must ensure that all employees are free from infectious / communicable diseases. During the initial health assessment we ensure that staff are immune to rubella, measles and chickenpox and that their immunizations like tetanus is up to date. As well, because of the hospital environment it is necessary to have tuberculosis skin testing done on all employees -- the frequency will depend on whether they provide direct patient care. This allows us to track and monitor that employees are free of infection / disease as well as allowing us to ensure that systems are in place to protect workers from communicable diseases that may be present in the hospital settings.
Flu Vaccination Program:
Under the umbrella of the communicable disease management program, the department runs seasonal programs such as the flu vaccination program. In the fall, the department promotes the flu vaccine through a variety of ways, which include visiting every area of the hospital with a mobile flu cart and offering the vaccine to all staff. As well, the department hosts a flu vaccine community clinic to the members of the community.
The hospital's success rate in vaccinating most of the staff has been higher than other Peel hospitals.
The department hosts lunch n' learn sessions and other events to provide staff with information to promote their health as well as an opportunity to identify staff who would benefit from making lifestyle changes or seeking medical attention. These programs include, blood pressure testing, nutrition, exercise, stress management and more.
Injury Prevention Program (MSIPP):
The MSIPP allows the hospital to be proactive in the area of musculoskeletal injuries, which is an area that is most challenging for health care settings based on the type of work activities. This program looks at the various jobs, helps to identify areas of risk and develop strategies to prevent further injuries. Under this program the kinesiologist and nurses perform work site evaluations when workers are experiencing problems. They are also involved in the design planning of new areas or renovations so that proper ergonomics are considered. The department also has a standardized seating program for chair, so that anyone purchasing a chair must go through the department to select and trial a chair. The purpose of this process is to ensure proper chairs are being purchased and that only ergonomically approved chairs are being utilized throughout the hospital.
The hospital offers a confidential counseling service free of charge to all staff and their family. The EAP provides assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The service includes counseling for personal, career, substance abuse, stress as well as providing information on health issues, child and elder care, legal as well as financial.
Taking Care - Empowering
people for personal solutions
The hospital offers this free and confidential service to all staff and their family. This service helps staff to find the right professional to care for their family, which can be time-consuming, confusing and distracting. This service provides staff with the information and tools on a full range of child and elder care services available anywhere in Canada.
In 1999, CVH opened the new 1700 square foot state of the art fitness centre, which is fully equipped with cardio and weight equipment, free weights and a variety of fitness and relaxation classes. The centre is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for a nominal fee to staff. It also provides services such as personal trainers and access to a seated massage practitioner.
Helpful Website Links:
The Region of Peel
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Occupational Safety & Health Administration
CCOHS: The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety
Health Care Health and Safety Association of Ontario
Industrial Accident Prevention Association
Canadian Health Network
WSIB: The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board
Author: Lina Di Carlo, Manager, Occupational Health and Safety
Updated: June 2002