FIQ (Fédération Interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec)

OHS Week:reminder of the Employer’s responsibility

October 14 to 20 is Occupational
Health and Safety Week 2007,
but activities will be organized throughout the month in various
health-care institutions.

Each year, the Federation highlights OHS Week in a special way.
In 2007, the theme is “the right of care professionals
to optimal protection in the case of avian flu pandemic.” Although
the risk of avian flu pandemic is real, some people question
its imminence. Be that as it may, the employer must demonstrate
due diligence, and take all the necessary and reasonable measures
to ensure the protection of the personnel in the event of such
a pandemic.

This applies to a potential avian flu pandemic, but also to
other hazards. The Criminal Code stipulates that the person in
charge of the performance of work or the accomplishment of a
task must take the measures needed to ensure the safety of others.
Failure to respect this obligation can result in criminal charges.
Thus, the Employer must ensure that the premises, the organisation
of work and the methods used to perform the work are safe. Moreover,
he must inform the care professionals adequately regarding the
health hazards related to their work and provide the needed training,
measures and equipment.

Within the context of its mandate, the FIQ works, throughout
the year, to enforce the right of care professionals to physical
safety and integrity as workers. Through its work, in particular
its work on overtime, the organisation of work, violence at work,
burnout, infection control and the safety of the work premises,
the Federation makes the defence and promotion of members’ interests
a priority. The FIQ promotes and staunchly defends the right
to decent working and living conditions and the right to work
in a safe environment; it makes it its duty to denounce all forms
of abuse.

Although the obligation to offer protection to personnel is
incumbent on the employer, it is in the interest of care professionals
to be informed of the measures taken to protect their health
and ensure their safety. They are entitled to clear, pertinent,
coherent, reliable and complete information. It is vital that
care professionals demand to receive such information.

In solidarity and safely,