BCTF Workshops

Health and Safety Training Program

Goals and objectives of the BCTF health and safety training program

  1. To ensure that the BCTF has effective courses available for joint health and safety committee members who take educational leave under Section 135 of the Workers Compensation Act.
  2. To provide joint health and safety committee members with the skills and knowledge necessary to fulfill their roles as joint committee members.
  3. To ensure that joint health and safety committee members and school union representatives receive relevant health and safety training that is reflective of the occupational hazards of working in schools and of school district worksites.
  4. To familiarize joint health and safety committee members and school union representatives with the Workers Compensation Act, the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, and other health and safety policies, procedures, and programs.
  5. To provide joint health and safety committee members and school union representatives with skills and knowledge aimed at preventing worker illness and injury in the public education system.

All BCTF workshops are suitable for a tripartite audience—teachers, support staff, and administrative officers.

Workshops offered

The BCTF and WorkSafeBC have signed a Letter of Understanding that allows the Federation to produce and facilitate health and safety workshops which meet the educational leave requirements of Section 135 of the Act. In addition, all workshops are suitable for School Union Representative Training (SURT). 

To book a workshop: Contact the BCTF Professional and Social Issues Department (PSID), Michele Hope at 604-871-1860 or 1-800-663-9163, local 1860 to book School Union Representative Training (SURT) workshops in health and safety.

To inquire about types of workshop and/or content: Contact Toni Grewal, BCTF Health and Safety Officer, Income Security Division (ISD) at 604-871-1891 or 1-800-663-9163, local 1891.

Bookings must be made at least three weeks prior to the training.

Contact the BCTF Health and Safety Officer at 604-871-1891 or 1-800-663-9163, local 1891 to book a workshop for joint committee training.

Contact the BCTF Professional and Social Issues Department (PSID), Michele Hope at 604-871-1860 or 1-800-663-9163, local 1860 to book School Union Representative Training (SURT) workshops in health and safety.

The following information is required at the time of booking:

  • date(s) and time(s) of training
  • number of participants
  • to what audience the workshop will be presented
  • location of training
  • which workshops are required
  • name and contact information of the school district official who can authorize payment for tri-partite training. if the request is received directly from a local

The BCTF will confirm the booking by e-mail, including the name(s) of the health and safety trainer(s). The health and safety trainer(s) will contact the organizer and others, as appropriate, to finalize details. Sessions of more than 40 will be booked with two trainers in one day or two days with one trainer.

Cost of the workshops

Education leave for health and safety training
Section 135 of the Workers Compensation Act states:

Education Leave
1) Each member of a joint committee is entitled to an annual educational leave totalling eight hours, or a longer period if prescribed by regulation, for the purposes of attending occupational health and safety training courses conducted by or with the approval of the board.
2) A member of the joint committee may designate another member as being entitled to take all or part of the member’s educational leave.
3) The employer must provide the educational leave under this section without loss of pay or other benefits and must pay for, or reimburse the worker for, the costs of the training course and the reasonable costs of attending the course.” (emphasis added)

Actual cost of the workshops

This section applies only to joint committee training.

As part of its commitment to provide cost-effective training, the BCTF will bill the school district a flat fee of $1,000 per day or $500 per half-day, to cover all the costs of our facilitators.
The school district is responsible for any reasonable travel, meal, and room costs of participants. In addition, the school board is expected to pay for the photocopying of all workshop materials.

What if the employer refuses to allow a member an educational leave to attend BCTF courses?
Contact the BCTF Health and Safety Officer immediately at 604-871-1891 or 1-800-663-9163, local 1891.

BCTF Policy

13.D.01—That locals be advised that all workplace health and safety committee meetings must be held during instructional time.*
13.D.03—That locals be advised that the annual eight hours’ educational leave for health and safety committee members be provided during instructional time.*
13.D.05—That locals be advised that health and safety training required under the Workers Compensation Act is not an appropriate use of Professional Development days and must be done during instructional time.*
13.D.09—That locals and district health and safety committee members:
(a) encourage all health and safety representatives to utilize their entitlement to an eight-hour annual educational leave under S.135 of the Workers Compensation Act, and
(b) request the BCTF/WorkSafe course as the content for the educational leave.
*Note: Time off in lieu is an acceptable alternative to release time.


General Health and Safety (suitable for Tri-partite, SURT, or Professional Development)

An In-depth Look at the Role of Joint Health and Safety Committees

(5 hours)

This workshop expands on Module 2 of the basic workshop. It looks at the duties and functions of the joint health and safety committee in the context of the four basic rights and of the general duties of employers, workers, and supervisors. Participants will discuss common difficulties committees face and will examine the effectiveness of their own committees. 

Incident Investigations and Reports

(3 hours)

The legal requirements of accident/incident investigations and reporting will be reviewed. Various types of incidents and causes of incidents will be discussed. Participants will discuss a case study in order to proceed through the stages of investigation—necessary facts, investigative tools, visiting the scene, interviewing, and evaluating. 

Joint Health and Safety Committees/Worker Representatives

(3 hours)

The provisions of the Workers Compensation Act will be reviewed. Scenarios and discussion of duties and responsibilities, including committee terms of reference, will be included. Participants will go over successful strategies for effective committees, including organization of meetings and reporting responsibilities. 

Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) Program

Length: 1.5 hours

School health and safety issues will be reviewed in the context of the workplace and necessary policies and procedures. The basic elements of an OH&S program are covered. Sample or actual school district policies and procedures will be reviewed. 

Refusal of Unsafe Work

(1 hour)

The process of refusal of unsafe work will be covered in the school context. Scenarios and examples will be reviewed in order for participants to understand the kinds of circumstances under which refusal may occur. 

Safety Inspections

(3 hours)

This module reviews the pre-inspection, inspection, and post-inspection stages. School-related checklists and other materials are used. Participants will learn how to identify hazards during safety inspections. Pictures of school activities will be used as a basis of discussion. 

Specialty Workshops (suitable for Tri-partite, SURT, or Professional Development)

Changes in WCB: an Overview of Changes to WCB Legislation, Policies and Regulations

(2 hours)

This workshops examines the changes to the Workers’ Compensation Act, WCB Policies and Occupational Health and Safety Regulations in recent past.  The workshop looks at changes as a result of Bill 35, Bill 9, Bill 14, and Bullying and Harassment Policies. The changes impact teachers and other workers around areas such as prevention, investigation, enforcement and participation in processes.

Ergonomics

(3 hours)

British Columbia is one of only a few jurisdictions in the world that has comprehensive workplace ergonomics regulations. This workshop provides basic information about ergonomics and looks at the ergonomics requirements in the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation. Participants will learn: how to identify ergonomic problems in their workplaces, some risk assessment techniques, and some effective control measures that can be implemented to reduce the risk to workers of musculoskeletal injuries.

Incident Reporting

(1.5 hours)

Dr. Jennifer Newman, a workplace psychologist, states that workplaces should have zero harm policies. Harm is preventable and unacceptable. All incidents must be reported and investigated to take steps to prevent further injuries or an exacerbation of injuries. The most important incidents to report are the near misses so that whatever caused the near miss is eliminated or controlled and does not cause a more serious accident or injury. This workshop will cover what should be reported, how to report, and what should come from reporting.

New and Young Workers

(2 hours)

This workshop covers Occupational Health and Safety Regulation Part 3 which defines young and new workers and the requirement to provide orientation and training prior to beginning work. Checklists, scenarios, and a review of the role of the joint health and safety committee will be included.

Risk Assessment

(3 hours)

The primary focus of a health and safety program is the prevention of occupational injuries and disease. To be able to prevent something from happening, the hazard must first be identified and the risk of being injured or contracting a disease must be determined. Then prevention plans must be put into place to either eliminate or control the risk. This workshop will cover a thorough risk assessment of the school environment, work practices and human factors to develop prevention plans and inspection schedules based on the needs of the work place.

Role and Function of the School Site Health and Safety Rep

(2 hours)

The School based health and safety rep is more than just another body around the Joint Occupational Health and Safety committee table. This workshop explores the role of the health and safety rep from the union activist perspective. The Health and safety rep is an advocate, an advisor, and an assistant. This workshop explains these roles and how they fit in the union role.

Successfully Navigating the WCB Claims Process

In this workshop, participants will learn how to give WCB claims a greater chance of success.

Violence in the Workplace

(3 hours)

Workplace violence is becoming a growing concern in the education sector. Every year dozens of workers in schools are victims of threats and violence in the performance of their jobs. This workshop explores the definition of violence, types of violence, and what is required to assess and plan to reduce and eliminate risks. The workshop discusses risk assessment, safety plans, privacy issues, and the right to know, all with a focus on keeping workers safe.

En Français

Module 1: Aperçu du programme de santé et sécurité au travail

(1,5 heure)

Les questions de sécurité et de santé à l'école seront réexaminées dans le contexte du lieu de travail et des politiques et procédures nécessaires. Les éléments de base d'un programme S & S sont couverts. Des échantillons ou les politiques réelles des conseils scolaires et les procédures sont examinées. 

Module 2: Comités mixtes sur la santé et la sécurité des travailleurs

(3 heures)

Les dispositions de la Loi sur les accidents du travail seront examinées. Seront inclus, scénarios et discussions autour des devoirs et des responsabilités, y compris les termes de référence des comités. Les participants passeront en revue les bonnes stratégies pour des comités efficaces, y compris l'organisation de réunions et la responsabilité de reporting.

Module 3: Les inspections de sécurité

(3 heures)

Ce module examine les étapes de pré - inspection, d'inspection, et de post - inspection. Les listes de contrôle et autres matériaux liés à l'école sont utilisés. Les participants apprendront à identifier les dangers lors des inspections de sécurité. Les photos des activités scolaires seront utilisées comme base de discussion.

Available by Special Request

Risk Assessment

(3 hours)

The primary focus of a health and safety program is the prevention of occupational injuries and disease. To be able to prevent something from happening, the hazard must first be identified and the risk of being injured or contracting a disease must be determined. Then prevention plans must be put into place to either eliminate or control the risk. This workshop will cover a thorough risk assessment of the school environment, work practices and human factors to develop prevention plans and inspection schedules based on the needs of the work place.

School Construction/Renovation

(2 hours)

This workshop deals with health and safety issues that should be considered when construction or renovation work is being done. Topics include fire safety, emergency escape routes, indoor air quality, noise, fumes, electrical equipment, and mould removal. This workshop can also be modified for presentation to the staff at schools where construction or renovation is being planned.

Violence Prevention

(5 hours)

This workshop reviews the WCB section on violence protection. Emphasis is on completing a risk assessment and on processing reports of violence, up to and including a WCB claim. In addition, the workshop discusses the law on the release of a student’s history of violence in the context of a violence protection program.