The high number of employment injuries among healthcare professionals alone shows just how important it is to take preventive measures in occupational health and safety. When you also consider the ever-growing workload and all of the organizational changes nurses, licensed practical nurses, respiratory therapists and clinical perfusionists have to deal with, it becomes crucial that we take action to prevent work accidents and occupational diseases.
Occupational health and safety prevention is the main concern of the joint committee composed of your union team representatives and the employer’s representatives. Whether it is an inter-union committee or a committee established as a local joint committee under the FIQ 2016-2020 collective agreement, its main objective is to identify situations that are dangerous for workers and to recommend any and all measures needed to correct them. The members of this committee can also agree on workplace inspection methods and receive OHS complaints from workers.
Your union team’s role isn’t limited to working on tasks on the joint committees. It offers broad support for occupational health and safety, which can take many forms.
Work accident or occupational disease
No one is completely safe from employment injuries caused by a work accident or occupational disease. However, if this should occur, a team will be there to guide you through the different steps of your OHS case.
That said, the first step to take after declaring an accident or illness is to contact your union team. They can help you properly fill out the forms required by the employer and by the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) and provide you with information concerning your case.
Next, your union team will be able to ensure that your income replacement indemnity complies with the Act and that you receive the appropriate medical assistance and rehabilitation for your condition.
Furthermore, if necessary, your union team can advise you on or help you to contest a potential temporary assignment proposed by the employer, until you are able to perform your job, even if your injury has not yet been consolidated.
In addition, in the event that you are left with a permanent functional impairment that prevents you from returning to your pre-injury job and that there is a mandatory accommodation process, your union team can guide you through these steps with your employer and the CNESST.
Preventive reassignment of pregnant or breast-feeding workers
Moreover, consulting services are also offered when a healthcare professional is pregnant or breast-feeding and would like to exercise her right to preventive reassignment. The union team and, as needed, a FIQ union consultant can provide the required support to the worker and make sure that the reassignment proposed by the employer is free of danger for the unborn or breast-feeding child and for the healthcare professional.
A member of the FIQ’s OHS legal team will also be able to represent you before the CNESST and other authorities.
This way, you can rest assured that at the FIQ you’re never alone when it comes to occupational health and safety!
Is OHS in the know?
To explain the different steps in processing an OHS case, the FIQ created the brochure Your OHS File in 10 Steps.
Pregnant and breast-feeding workers can read the FIQ’s brochure A Safe Maternity Experience to learn how to request a preventive withdrawal or protective reassignment.
As soon as a worker files a claim with the CNESST, a compensation agent is assigned to the case. To contact the compensation agent at the CNESST, call: 1-844-838-0808.