Health and Safety

Current JHSC Representatives

Do you have a safety concern or question? Has speaking to your supervisor about it not worked or you would prefer to speak with a fellow student/TA/TF/PostDoc? Your union is here to help you. We have health and safety representatives in every faculty on campus. If you need help, contact them.

Engineering and Applied Science

Unit 1: Tikang Li, [email protected]

Unit 2: Jean-François Caron, [email protected]

Health Science

Unit 1: Edwin Ocran, [email protected]

Unit 2: Hamid Ghaedi, [email protected]

Administrative / Business & Law

Unit 1: Luna (Lanxin) Wang, [email protected]

Unit 2: Vacant

Arts and Science

Unit 1: Carolyn Bonta, [email protected]

Unit 2: Ross Jansen-van Vuuren, [email protected]


Unit 1: Terrence Ly, [email protected]

Unit 2: Vacant

Isabel Bader Centre

Unit 1: Brittainy Bonnis, [email protected]

Unit 2: Vacant


Call for PSAC 901 Joint Health and Safety Committee Members

***There are currently no Unit 1 Vacancies. Current vacancies for Unit 2 are Administrative (Business, Law), Education, and the Isabel Bader Centre.***

The Public Service Alliance Canada Local 901 Union (PSAC 901) is seeking Unit 1 (TAs/TFs/RAs) and Unit 2 (Postdoctoral Scholars) members to serve as union members on joint health and safety committees (JHSC). These are paid positions with an hourly rate of $42.73.  Unit 1 members must have a current TA/TF/RA contract, had one in the past 12 months or expect to have one in the next 12 months. Unit 2 members must have a current Postdoctoral Scholar Contract.

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, hazards are discussed, and consensus is reached on a course of corrective action recommended to the university.

Experience with JHSC, knowledge of technical safety aspects or of the Occupational Health and Safety Act are not essential as training will be provided. Reliability, objectivity, approachability, and an interest in safety are necessary.

Apply by sending your CV and a max 300-word statement of interest by Friday, September 18, 2020 at 4pm explaining why you want the position, how you fulfill the required qualifications, your current position with the university, and what faculty you are from to [email protected].

Specific Duties of Joint health and Safety Committee Members

  1. Prepare for and participate in Joint Health and safety committee meetings.
    • The preparation time for most committees is 1 hour and consists of reading inspection reports and, if needed, conducting further research into an issue in order to better participate in its discussion.
    • Meeting frequencies and durations are as follows:
      • The Arts and Science Committee meets 5-6 times per year.
      • The Engineering and Applied Science Committee meets 3-4 times per year.
      • The Health Science Committee meets 6 times per year.
      • The University Administrative Services Committee meets 4 times per year.
      • The Isabel Bader Centre JHSC is new for Fall 2020 and has not yet established a meeting schedule.
    • Meetings are typically 1 hour long.
  2. JHSC reps must be able to discuss safety issues objectively, based on evidence, and must be able to reach consensus on recommendations.
  3. Prepare for safety inspections
    • JHSC committee reps conduct safety inspections of university buildings; typically in pairs. The common procedure is to pair a novice member with a more experienced one during inspections. Inspection teams change for different buildings and typically a member will do around 4 inspections per year.
    • Preparation for an inspection consists of planning an inspection route, determining what personal protective equipment is necessary, and arranging to have for use of said equipment on inspection day.
    • During an inspection, immediate hazards must be acted on immediately; such as by cordoning off a hazardous area.
  4. Conduct safety inspections
    • Proceeding at their own pace and seeing what they deem necessary, JHSC members inspect workplaces
    • Hazards or possible hazards are recorded.
    • JHSC reps do not operate equipment but rather ask for it to be demonstrated for them.
    • They verify that adequate safety engineering controls are in place and are being used.
    • JHSC reps prepare an inspection report detailing their findings within 5 business days of an inspection.
  5. Other duties:
    • Attend a paid training. Opportunities for additional paid training as well as training leading to certification exist if the member is interested.
    • Provide copies of all inspection reports submitted to the committee and all committee minutes to the PSAC 901 Health and Safety Executive.
    • Promote worker safety to fellow PSAC 901 members by:
      • Encouraging them to talk to their supervisors first regarding specific safety issues.
      • Reporting issues raised by them to JHSC meetings
      • Encouraging them to learn about their rights, responsibilities, and duties.
    • Create and provide timesheets of activities for remuneration.


SAFETY TIP: Working safely at a computer

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.


Additional resources on ergonomics may be found at (excellent illustrations)


Stay Informed!

Keep an eye out for Health and Safety Updates from PSAC 901 in the 901 Byte, our website, and social media.  In the case of discovered hazards (e.g. bats; lead paint), we will email members directly with information.