Health & Safety
As care givers, nurses often think of the health and safety of their clients/patients but forget to ensure their own health and safety while at work. According to the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB), nurses have the most hazardous profession in Saskatchewan.
In Saskatchewan, the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations are the most important laws dealing with workplace health and safety. Your collective agreement also provides protection and works in concert with the OH&S legislation. Article 61 is specific to occupational health and safety issues.
Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) is more than proper equipment. It also covers working conditions, your environment, musculoskeletal injury, infectious diseases, violence, harassment, latex allergies, needlestick injuries, antineoplastics, surgical plumes and more.
The first step in protecting your patients is to protect yourself. You have the power to protect yourself, be safe and treated fairly. SUN ecourages all workers to assist in building a prevention-focused safety culture.
When you start a new position, or if you change positions in the same organization, your employer or manager should:
- provide you with an orientation to the health and safety issues of your new position. OH&S training is part of your working hours;
- instruct you about the hazards you will encounter and how to protect yourself;
- instruct you about what to do if there is an accident, an injury, needle poke, emergency or any near-accidents or potential injuries at work; and
- provide you with (or explain where it is available), and provide education regarding, any personal protective equipment you may need in your work, for example fit-testing and training for the N95 respirator, and emergency travel equipment if you travel in your work.
December - Glutaraldehyde Requires Engineering Controls and Special PPE
November - Hazards in the Workplace
November - Fit-testing Required for All Nurses
June - The Employer has an obligation to provide you with a safe workplace and must consult with the Occupational Health and Safety Committee/Rep to develop and implement a written policy statement to deal with potentially violent situations, and to provide appropriate training.