5273.0: Wednesday, November 15, 2000 - 5:00 PM

Abstract #8168

A joint labour-management model for improving occupational health and safety outcomes in the healthcare sector

Annalee Yassi, MD, MSc1, Aleck Ostry, MA, MSc, PhD2, and Robert Tate, PhD1. (1) Community Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, S112, 750 Bannatyne Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3E 0W3, Canada, 204-789-3289, annalee@ohsah.bc.ca, (2) Department of Healthcare and Epidemiology, University of British Columbia, 5804 Fairview Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3, Canada

Most research on the influence of work organization on injury rates has recognized the importance of joint labour-management cooperation and infrastructure (such as safety committees) on the potential to reduce these rates. Joint action between management and labour (when it occurs) usually occurs at the level of the organization. Rarely is such joint action organized at the regional (state or provincial) level or within one sector. The Occupational Health and Safety Agency for Healthcare in BC (OHSAH), created in June 1999, was conceived in a joint labour-management accord arising from shared frustration with rising injury rates for healthcare workers as well as a need to reduce rapidly rising workers’ compensation costs in this sector. This model of approaching occupational health issues allows healthcare sector-specific OH&S expertise to be brought to bear through province-wide efforts. This expertise uses evidence-based methods developed by identifying and linking “best practices” in OH&S throughout the province with rigorously reviewed evidence from the international literature. Direction in all these efforts is provided at the Board level by a unique partnership of provincial employers and unions which in turn is partnered with research scientists to provide leadership in addressing these issues. This paper describes this unique model in terms of its governance structure as well as the programs and evaluative elements which have been put in place to effect reductions in both the rate and duration of workplace injuries and illness in this sector.

Learning Objectives: Partcipants in this session will: Develop an understanding of this unique regional and sectorally organized occupational health and safety program. Learn of new ways in which occupational health and safety delivery can be organized with complete and equal participation from both labour and management

Keywords: Occupational Health, Health Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA