Canada Employment and Immigration Union -
October 19, 2009

Health and safety notes: fire safety planning and reassignment of pregnant workers

Two important topics should be noted by members, especially those involved with workplace health and safety committees. The first concerns fire safety planning, an issue that was reviewed critically by the Auditor General of Canada. The second deals with the issue of leave with pay for pregnant workers facing the risk of the H1N1 virus.

The Auditor General found that the government had failed to protect the safety of the public and federal workers through its weak enforcement of fire safety rules and regulations. The PSAC has provided materials to assist health and safety representatives in ensuring compliance with fire safety requirements.

The heightened risk faced by pregnant women to the H1N1 virus has been taken up with the government by the PSAC. Current rules allow pregnant workers to be reassigned if their working conditions threaten their health or safety. However where a suitable reassignment is not possible, the affected worker faces leave without pay. The Alliance is calling on the government to amend federal legislation to provide leave with pay in the event that a reassignment cannot be made.


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