Ontario Protecting Health Care Workers
McGuinty Government Establishes New Occupational Health And Safety Team
Ontario is creating a new permanently funded team of specialists to help improve workplace safety of health care workers in Ontario.
The 17 new health care specialists will improve enforcement of occupational health and safety regulations in health care workplaces for the more than 480,000 workers in Ontario's hospitals, long-term care homes, doctors' offices, medical laboratories and other health care workplaces.
The new team will:
- Help enforce compliance with health and safety legislation in health care sector workplaces
- Ensure health care providers are better prepared for emergencies, including outbreaks of infectious diseases
- Support a committee of sector representatives who advise the Minister on occupational health and safety matters, and
- Assist employers and employees in health care and all other sectors to prevent occupational diseases.
- The MOL Health Care Team responds to the recommendations in the SARS Commission final report by Justice Archie Campbell, released in January 2007.
- Since 2004, the Ministry of Labour has hired and trained 200 additional occupational health and safety inspectors, bringing the total to 430.
- Chief Physician Dr. Leon Genesove will lead the new team of health care professionals.
- The new Health Care Unit is part of the Safe At Work Ontario strategy that is helping to reduce the rate of injury in provincially regulated workplaces.
- Among many workplace hazards encountered by health care workers are musculoskeletal disorders related to patient handling, violence, radiation (x-rays, nuclear medicine, magnetic resonance imaging), infectious diseases, and accidents with needles.
“Our health care workers work valiantly day and night to protect us. In return, we owe it to them to protect them to the best of our ability. Health care workplaces have unique hazards in addition to those typically found in industry.”
“We are pleased to support an increased focus on improving occupational health and workplace safety conditions in health care workplaces. Health care workers face many hazards that are unique to this sector.”