Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S)

Terms of Reference
Name of Committee
The CUPE Local 15 Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) Committee, herein after called “the committee”.
Mission Statement
To promote and increase the profile of worker health and safety through direct contact with our workplace health and safety committees and members, through use of site visits, and by providing education, resources and guidance across all of the CUPE Local 15 sectors.
The committee will be comprised of one CUPE Local 15 member selected from each of the following groups, who will be referred to as the “committee members”.
- City
- Parks
- College/University
- Cultural
- Health
- K-12
As well as one alternate from each group, who will receive all training required and be kept apprised of the work of the committee by email along with the rest of the committee. The alternate will only attend regular meetings of the committee in the absence of the regular committee member from their group, in order to maintain quorum and continue the work of the committee. The alternate committee member will promptly communicate news from the meeting back to the committee member whom they are attending for.
Selection of Committee Members and Alternates
- The CUPE Local 15 General Membership will be requested to express their interest in becoming a committee member or alternate by submitting their name, worksite, and OH&S qualifications and experience in writing to the committee co-chairs for consideration in January of each year.
- A list of recommended committee members and alternates will be forwarded to the Executive Board for appointment, with consideration of the candidates OH&S experience, knowledge, and current level of OH&S activism within their sector.
- In the event of an unfilled vacancy, a members name will be chosen by the remaining committee members from the applicants for that sector and recommended to the Executive Board for appointment.
- In the event of a resignation of a committee member, the alternate form the same sector as the vacancy shall automatically be appointed to the position of committee member for the duration of the remaining term.

- In the event of an unfilled vacancy, a members name will be chosen by the remaining committee members from the applicants for that sector and recommended to the Executive Board for appointment.
Terms of Office
There will be a maximum of six committee members, of which two will be co-chairs and one will be the Recording Secretary. All regular committee members, including their alternates, will sit for two-year terms, with the co-chairs and Recording Secretary chosen annually by the committee at the April OH&S Committee meeting.
Committee members will be provided with ongoing education and training to keep them informed of current OH&S concerns, WorkSafe BC legislation, and worksite policies pertaining to OH&S issues.
- To assist our CUPE Local 15 OH&S worksite representatives to promote safe and healthy working conditions and know their four basic rights to health and safety.
- To compile, establish, distribute, and maintain resource material on OH&S issues and make them available on the CUPE 15 website and at all membership meetings.
- To ensure all discussion items requiring action or follow up are completed.
- To provide resources including, but not limited to, those provided by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety, CUPE BC, CUPE National, CUPE Metro, the Vancouver and District Labour Council, the BC Federation of Labour and WorkSafe BC.
- To recommend any action required by the Executive regarding OH&S issues, policy updates, revisions or changes and education.
- The committee shall meet on a minimum monthly basis, with meetings scheduled when the majority of committee members are available. These dates and times may be adjusted as required but not cancelled and will be scheduled to consider minimizing book off if possible.
- The meeting quorum shall consist of a minimum of two of the current committee members or their alternates, with at least one of the co-chairs present.
- Each sector shall have no more than one committee member or their alternate attend a committee meeting with the exception of a newly appointed alternate for their first meeting.
- The committee meetings shall include the following: Roll Call, Adoption/Revision of the Agenda, Minutes/Business Arising from the Minutes, New Business, Sector Reports, Report to the Executive, Next Meeting Date, Review Upcoming Training
All recommendations on CUPE Local 15 Occupational Health and Safety Policy will be forwarded to the CUPE Local 15 Executive Board for their information, consideration and action. The Executive Liaison will report back to the committee by the next scheduled meeting.

1. OH&S Days To Note
North American Occupational Safety & Health Week 
Check out the BC link to see where events (mostly free) are happening in the Lower Mainland. 

2.  OH&S Education Opportunities
Consider these OH&S Educational opportunities from CUPE 15, CUPE BC, BC FED, and other organizations.

Important:  If you wish to apply to take any of these courses, fill in a CUPE 15 Application for Education Courses form and submit it to the CUPE 15 office well in advance of the course, as these fill up quickly.  Click here for Instructions for applying for education courses.

CUPE Local 15 http://www.cupe15.org

  • Afternoon/Evening courses at CUPE 15  - watch here for upcoming events.

  • Also, CUPE Local 15 often hosts courses (see CUPE BC Education below)

CUPE BC Education
All CUPE BC courses and workshops can be found here.  Below are some courses specifically for OH&S.  See “Important Instructions” above for how to apply for these courses.

CUPE Metro http://metro.cupe.ca/Metro_Education_Info

3. OH&S Links and Resources
If you are looking for information on a OH&S topic for yourself or for others, please check out these amazing links. If you are a steward, get to know what is available on these sites.

CUPE National H&S

  • The Canary: CUPE’s H&S Newsletter

  • H&S Fact Sheets

  • H&S news and links to database 


  • H&S Resources

  • H&S news and WorkSafeBC news

  • List of CUPE BC OH&S Committee members. 

 Occupational Health & Safety – Key Resources and Links

For accident reporting and investigation see https://www.worksafebc.com/en/health-safety/create-manage/incident-investigations and https://www.worksafebc.com/en/health-safety/create-manage/incident-investigations/conducting-employer-investigation and the Reference Guide for Employer Incident Investigations https://www.worksafebc.com/en/resources/health-safety/books-guides/investigations-of-accidents-and-incidents/reference-guide-and-workbook?lang=en

April 28th Day of Mourning See http://www.cupe.bc.ca/ and https://www.healthandsafetybc.ca/resources/day-of-mourning/

Asbestos See https://www.worksafebc.com/en/health-safety/hazards-exposures/asbestos and https://www.worksafebc.com/en/resources/health-safety/books-guides/safe-work-practices-for-handling-asbestos?lang=en and


BC Fed Health & Safety Centre  

Bullying and Harassment See https://www.worksafebc.com/en/health-safety/hazards-exposures/bullying-harassment and https://www.worksafebc.com/en/health-safety/hazards-exposures/bullying-harassment/resource-tool-kit and https://www.worksafebc.com/en/health-safety/hazards-exposures/bullying-harassment/submit-complaint

Canada Labour Code Part II [Federal] See http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-86-304/index.html and https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/portfolio/labour.html

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) See https://www.ccohs.ca/

Canadian Lung Association 

CCOHS Health & Safety Committees Reference Guide See http://ccohs.ca/products/publications/hscomm.html&print=true

Canadian Mental Health Association 

Cost Claims Calculator See https://www.worksafebc.com/en/resources/health-safety/interactive-tools/workplace-incident-cost-calculator?lang=en

Domestic Violence See https://www.worksafebc.com/en/health-safety/hazards-exposures/violence/domestic-violence/resource-toolkit and https://www.worksafebc.com/en/resources/health-safety/books-guides/addressing-domestic-violence-in-the-workplace-a-handbook-for-employers?lang=en and https://www.worksafebc.com/en/resources/health-safety/information-sheets/domestic-violence-risk-assessment-tool?lang=en and https://www.worksafebc.com/en/resources/health-safety/information-sheets/domestic-violence-policy-10-steps-to-creating-a-domestic-violence-policy-for-your-workplace?lang=en

Due Diligence See http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/employment-business/employers/employers-advisers-office/newsletters


Wors=kSafeBC Ergonomics Portal See https://www.worksafebc.com/en/health-safety/hazards-exposures/ergonomics

Exposure Control Plans See https://www.worksafebc.com/en/law-policy/occupational-health-safety/searchable-ohs-regulation/ohs-regulation/part-06-substance-specific-requirements

Joint Occupational Health & Safety Committee Foundation Workbook [PDF] See https://www.worksafebc.com/en/resources/health-safety/books-guides/joint-occupational-health-and-safety-committee-workbook?lang=en

New and Young Workers See https://www.worksafebc.com/en/resources/health-safety/posters/workplace-safety-series/youngnew-workers?lang=en

OHS Regulations [Provincial] See https://www.worksafebc.com/en/law-policy/occupational-health-safety/searchable-ohs-regulation

Reporting Injuries to WorkSafeBC See https://www.worksafebc.com/en/claims/report-workplace-injury-illness

Reporting Safety Issues to WorkSafeBC See https://www.worksafebc.com/en/contact-us/departments-and-services/emergency

Right to Refuse See https://www.worksafebc.com/en/health-safety/create-manage/rights-responsibilities/refusing-unsafe-work and https://www.worksafebc.com/en/resources/health-safety/posters/workplace-safety-series/rights-to-refuse-unsafe-work?lang=en

Violence See https://www.worksafebc.com/en/health-safety/hazards-exposures/violence and https://www.worksafebc.com/en/resources/health-safety/books-guides/take-care-how-to-develop-and-implement-a-workplace-violence-prevention-program?lang=en

WorkSafeBC Claims See https://www.worksafebc.com/en/law-policy and https://www.worksafebc.com/en/law-policy/claims-rehabilitation/compensation-policies and https://www.worksafebc.com/en/law-policy/claims-rehabilitation/practice-directives

Workers’ Compensation Act See http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/lc/statreg/96492_00

WorkSafe Magazine (free subscription) See https://www.worksafebc.com/en/about-us/news-events/worksafe-magazine

Over 70 tools and resources are available on the Sun Safety at Work Canada website - sunsafetyatwork.ca that were designed to complement existing workplace safety programs, with the goal of reducing occupational sun exposure. 

4. CUPE 15 OH&S Committee Members

Note:  Committee members can be reached through the CUPE Local 15 office.

  • City Sector – Ralph Mason (Chair), Mel Kawano (alternate)

  • Colleges Sector – Ken Schmunk

  • Culture Sector – unfilled at present

  • Health Sectors – Allison Bell

  • K-12 (VSB) Sector – Perpetua Siglos

  • Parks Sector –  unfilled at present