Sitting and working on a desktop computer may seem harmless, but if you are not in the proper position and don’t get up and stretch frequently enough it can be a serious health and safety hazard leading to muscle injury, back and neck pain, and compression of spinal discs among others. Please see the attached infographic on proper posture and other tips. It is essential to have an office chair and other equipment that are adjustable so that you can be in the proper position. If you do not have adequate equipment please request it from your department. If they refuse please contact our health and safety reps and they will be happy to assist you.
Engineering and Applied Science
Alexandria Tsimiklis, email@example.com, representing unit TAs/TFs
Hadiseh Bolkharighehi, firstname.lastname@example.org, representing Post Docs
Jordan Babando, email@example.com, representing TAs/TFs
Dusan Bucevac, firstname.lastname@example.org, representing Post Docs
University Administrative Services
Jacob DesRochers, email@example.com, representing TAs/TFs
Arts and Science
Yagya Paudel, firstname.lastname@example.org, representing TAs/TFs
Matt Norris, email@example.com, representing TAs/TFs
Additional resources on ergonomics may be found at
https://uwaterloo.ca/safety-office/programs-and-procedures/ergonomics/office-ergonomics (excellent illustrations)
Health and Safety Newsletter (Most Recent)
The Public Service Alliance Canada Local 901 Union (PSAC 901) is seeking TAs/TFs and Postdoctoral Scholars to serve as union members on joint health and safety committees (JHSC). These are paid positions with an hourly rate of $39.31. TAs/TFs are sought for the University Administrative Services committee (Law, Business, and Religion faculties) and the Health Sciences Committee. Preference will be given to TAs and TFs from those faculties but should those from other faculties are welcome to apply if they have health and safety experience. Postdoctoral Scholars are sought from all faculties to serve on all four committees: Arts and Science, Health Sciences, Engineering and Applied Science, and University Administrative Services. Postdoctoral Scholars will be paid the same rate.
JHSC members conduct safety inspections in teams of laboratories, offices, and buildings specific to their committee. They report hazards observed, as well as hazards communicated to them by students and staff in writing and at committee meetings. At meetings the hazards are discussed and consensus is reached on a course of corrective action recommended to the university. By taking part in JHSC, PSAC 901 representatives provide the points of view of TAs, TFs, and Postdocs to the committees and thus broaden their perspective, which improves the safety of everyone.
Aside from their committee work, PSAC901’s JHSC reps also encourage the adequate education and training programs of TAs/TFs in order that they know their rights, responsibilities, and duties under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Experience with JHSC, knowledge of technical safety aspects or of the Occupational Health and Safety Act are not necessary as training will be provided. Reliability, objectivity, approachability, and an interest in safety are necessary.
For specific duties of the position and qualifications go to http://psac901.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Joint-Health-and-Safety-Committees1.pdf Interested TAs/TFs and Postdocs should send a max 300 word statement of interest explaining why they want the position and how they fulfill the required qualifications to firstname.lastname@example.org . Prospective members must be available to serve for at least 12 months. Applications are due September 16th, 2016. All applicants shall receive a response. If more than one application is received per position interviews will be conducted.
Inspect your space!
Every worker has the right to work in a safe and healthy environment. Every worker also has the right to refuse to do work in an unsafe environment. While it is the Employer’s responsibility to ensure that working conditions are safe, we can do our part by telling the Employer what is and is not safe
All PSAC 901 members should spend some time looking around the environment in which they work. Is there something in the space that you are uncertain about? Not sure if that paint dust has lead in it? Maybe you see water damage and wonder if there is mold behind the walls. Maybe you know that the only fire exit in your department has a big desk sitting in front of it. Maybe you see people eating food in workspaces where no food is allowed. Maybe you’ve noticed animal droppings in or on your desk. Maybe you don’t know who to talk to or if these things are problems or that they can be taken care of.
All members who have any Health and Safety concerns should bring them to our attention. Nothing is too big or too small. Health and Safety issues can and do get big when they are left unattended. Members who see anything in their workspaces that they believe might pose a health and safety hazard should contact us. We’re here to help and we’re here to get action from the Employer to fix these problems. Get in touch with us:
PSAC 901 office Mon to Friday 12:00 to 14:00: in person at 138 Union St, Queen’s University, Robert Sutherland Hall, Room 547, Kingston, ON, K7L 3N6
By phone: 613-533-6000, ext. 77010
Keep an eye out for Health and Safety Updates from PSAC 901 in the 901 Bite, our website, and social media. In the case of discovered hazards (e.g. bats; lead paint), we will email members directly with information.