The BCGEU is a leader in advocating for better health and safety at the workplace and across the province.
BCGEU OHS Department
The BCGEU's OHS department works to prevent physical and psychological injury to our members, to empower and enable workers to go home safe and healthy at the end of their workday.
The department develops health and safety courses, trains worker facilitators, schedules courses, and supports their delivery. Overall, the BCGEU puts on almost 250 OHS courses, training about 3,000 people each year.
The department also provides support to worker health and safety representatives, BCGEU components and BCGEU staff. Our staff liaise with the WCB to support members' concerns, participate in reviews and provide input into regulatory changes. We work broadly with the labour community to build public support for improved health and safety conditions, and represent the BCGEU at the WCB and on regional and provincial OHS committees in a number of sectors.
Provincial Executive OHS Committee
The provincial executive occupational health and safety committee plays an important role in guiding and supporting the BCGEU's actions on workplace safety. The committee promotes awareness about occupational health and safety at all levels of the union, acts as a resource and contact group on OHS matters, and assists in identifying problem areas needing priority attention.
During its 2017-2020 mandate, the committee has made important recommendations for changes to the BCGEU's OHS committee appointment process and the development of new courses. As well, subcommittees have been created to discuss and make recommendations on how the BCGEU can address mental health and addictions and cyber-bullying.
The terms of reference for the committee is as follows:
- Promotes OHS awareness at all levels of the union;
- Reviews, develops and recommends union policy in OHS;
- Assists in identifying problem areas needing priority attention or action plan;
- Recommends, promotes and assists in the development of OHS collective bargaining proposals and resolutions at convention;
- Reviews and makes recommendations concerning OHS training needs and assists in the budgeting process for training;
- Acts as a resource for the OHS officer;
- Acts as a contact group for and receives and acts on information and requests from component OHS committees;
- Receives and reviews major problems referred from reviews of worksite reports and exchanges information regarding OHS issues and coordinates OHS activities of all components and areas;
- Maintains an awareness of the WCB compensation system; and
- Accepts membership input.
See a list of committee members here.
Help make your workplace safer, become a Health & Safety Rep
Getting involved in occupational health and safety is a great way to make a difference at your workplace. As a BCGEU OHS representative, you will help ensure your employer is following OH&S regulations. You can raise the profile of health and safety, improve your working environment, and build new skills.