The Workers Health and Safety Centre, the Durham Labour Council and the Ontario Federation of Labour has honoured OPSEU’s campaign for workplace safety at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences with two awards.
Local 331 President Yvonne Lewis has won her regional health and safety award for her tireless advocacy on behalf of staff at the Centre.
Norma Gunn has won the OFL’s disability rights award after sharing the story of her struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder. Norma was the subject of a recent video by Operation Maple.
Ontario Shores was fined $37,500 in September after a worker suffered a serious injury while cleaning ventilation hoods in the kitchen.
The hospital is also under major investigation by the Ministry of Labour following numerous complaints about workplace violence.
Lost time injuries are almost double the rate of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and total paid sick time hours are higher than the other three major stand-alone psychiatric hospitals in Ontario.
The hospital is beginning to respond to concerns raised by Lewis, Gunn and others. A number of recently announced initiatives are welcome. Some appear to have been prompted by Ministry of Labour orders and suggestions.
The awards will be presented at a ceremony in Port Hope on November 15.