Some classes will resume on campus beginning mid-July
The College recognizes the role of faculty in determining Health & Safety conditions.
The College expects the Joint Health & Safety Committee to conduct inspections before students return to campus.
Update from Health & Safety (H&S)
The Joint Occupational Health & Safety Committee (JOHSC) has formed a sub-group, which includes the 3 H&S co-chairs from each campus, to assist the College in preparation for college re-opening and the fall semester. Discussions within the JOHSC include both “return to campus” issues, as well as continued “work from home” concerns. The JOHSC plans to do H&S inspections during the summer as needed, and in particular, prior to college re-opening in mid-July. There are also plans to update Humber’s website to show which locations have been inspected.
Please note: Your Faculty Health and Safety Reps are:
|North Campus and Carrier Drive|
|*Dileeni Weerasinghe (Worker Co-Chair)||Dileeni@opseu562.ca|
|*Shona Robbins (Worker co-chair)||Shona.firstname.lastname@example.org|
Update from the College
The Ministry has approved for Colleges to re-open in mid-July for a designated subset of students, namely, FAST and FHSW students who are close to graduating from their programs, and who could not complete certain practical components due to COVID-19 campus closures. The College is reviewing details of which programs are applicable, and planning to schedule the courses staggered on campus (Carrier Dr. and North campus only) throughout summer. Once the schedule is confirmed, the College will reach out to specific faculty members to review H&S concerns, as well as preparing the buildings/labs, completing H&S inspections, and ensuring all signage and policies are in place. The Local expects to receive more detailed information regarding these plans and personnel involved over the next 2 weeks.
- Do the College’s decision-makers collectively have the competencies of a “competent person”, as defined by the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA)?
“competent person” means a person who,
(a) is qualified because of knowledge, training and experience to organize the work and its performance,
(b) is familiar with this Act and the regulations that apply to the work, and
(c) has knowledge of any potential or actual danger to health or safety in the workplace;
From the Local’s perspective:
- The Steering Committee, overseeing all operations, meets the first criterion.
- We recommend that at least one (1) individual from each sub-committee have at least a Level 2 Health and Safety certification. If an issue is unique to a specific Faculty or Department, then an individual in that area should have this level of expertise. If certain sub-committees, Faculties, or Departments are lacking in these expertise, we recommend that the JOHSC step in to deal with the deficit.
- On-site specific knowledge of a particular workspace can only come from those who work in that particular area. Someone in a managerial role may not know the full scope of issues of a particular room/lab, and in a particular course. Therefore, we recommend that the College communicate with specific faculty and support staff members who work in these labs/areas prior to start-up.
Initial assessments of all labs were conducted by Facilities, and the results were shared with Senior Deans/Deans from all Faculties. The Deans were instructed to reach out to Program Coordinators, faculty, and staff, and in particular, those who work in the specific rooms/labs, to make further recommendations based on safety concerns, such as safety issues of specific equipment. These conversations should be starting now. “Each lab needs to be assessed by the people who use them.”
If you have been contacted by management to offer input into H&S concerns for your workspace, please let us know at RTC2020@opseu562.org.
2. Faculty have raised concerns about standing water in Humber buildings. If water has not been constantly moving since campus closure, it becomes a breeding ground for germs. How will the college ensure all the water in all the pipes of our buildings will be “fresh”?
The buildings weren’t totally dormant throughout the college closure. Maintenance staff were in buildings on a rotational basis. There is also a start-up protocol that all maintenance staff will go through, including routines that specifically address standing water in equipment.
If you have questions or concerns that you’d like the College to address, please let your faculty union reps know at RTC2020@opseu562.org.