BC Health Care Occupational Health and Safety Society: work underway
BC’s new provincial occupational health and safety organization has been officially incorporated as the BC Health Care Occupational Health and Safety Society. The new non-profit society was established by a joint union-employer Working Group as part of commitments flowing from the 2019-2022 provincial health sector collective agreements and Physician Master Agreement. Its mandate is to develop a provincial framework, systems and programs aimed at improving workplace health and safety across the BC health care sector.
In December 2019, the Ministry of Health announced a commitment of $8.5 million over three years to fund the establishment and operation of the new provincial organization, which is governed by a board of directors representing employers, the six health sector bargaining associations, Doctors of BC and non-voting members from the Ministry of Health and WorkSafeBC.
As recommended by the Provincial Framework on Occupational Health and Safety in Health Care Working Group, Health Minister Adrian Dix appointed Roberta Ellis as the independent Board Chair effective December 31, 2020, and following incorporation and approval of a constitution and bylaws for the society, the first board meeting was held December 10, 2020. The second board meeting was held on January 25, 2021.
After reviewing the history of the establishment of the society, the Board organized its meeting calendar for the next six months and is establishing interim infrastructure for the society.
The Board has established a search committee to recruit a CEO who will work in consultation with the Board to set overall strategy and establish the organization’s permanent infrastructure. As well, the Board has approved terms of reference for a Technical Advisory Committee to provide technical support, advice and recommendations to the CEO and the Board.