As a key employer within the education sector, school boards are safety leaders. They have strong policies and procedures in place to address occupational health and safety concerns, which includes training for their employees and for students in co-op placements. Also, most school boards have Health & Safety Professionals who connect regularly with their counterparts across the province to ensure consistency in best practices.
OPSBA has participated in numerous discussions about health and safety and provided many submissions for various legislation and regulations.
- May 2013 – Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA) submission regarding An Integrated Occupational Health and Safety Strategy for Ontario
- February 2013 — Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA) submission regarding the proposal to introduce a regulation regarding Mandatory Health and Safety Training for all Workers and Supervisors
- April 2011 — Ontario Public School Boards’ Association submission regarding to Bill 160, Occupational Health and Safety Statute Law Amendment Act, 2011
- November 2009 – OPSBA presented a Submission to the Standing Committee on Social Policy regarding Bill 168 Occupational Health and Safety Amendment Act (Violence and Harassment in the Workplace), 2009. This submission was a joint effort between the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA), the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association (OCSTA), Association des conseils scolaires des écoles publiques de l’Ontario, (ACÉPO), l’Association franco-ontarienne des conseils scolaires catholiques (AFOCSC), and the Ontario Association of School Business Officials (OASBO).
Ministry of Labour Workplace Inspections
On Jan. 17, 2013, the Ministry of Labour posted results of their recent school and school board inspections that took place between September 2011 and June 30, 2012. The inspections were focused on secondary schools and elementary schools (grades 7 and 8) that had technological facilities and science labs.
Student Injury/Prevention Initiatives
On Jan. 30, 2013, the Deputy Minister issued a memo to all school boards detailing the allocation of one-time funding in the amount of approximately $20 million for the 2012-13 school year to be used for the purpose of student injury prevention initiatives. There are two funding sources:
- improving student safety in technological education facilities and science labs
- securing entry to elementary schools (Safe Welcome Program)