Health and Safety conference tackles new approaches


Unifor’s first biennial Health and Safety conference took place August 22–24 at the Unifor Family Education Centre in Port Elgin.

Nearly 150 worker compensation and health and safety representatives from across Canada participated in the meeting.

The theme for this year’s conference – Partners in Prevention, No Half-Measures – put the focus on shifting the balance of power in the workplace. An emphasis was put on making connections with fellow representatives in other parts of the country and giving attendees the tools to be better advocates.

Keynote speaker Todd Conklin from Los Alamos Labs shared his work on human performance and debunking “behavior-based safety” (BBS).

According to Conklin, the BBS model blames the worker rather than responding to different variables in each workplace. He suggested that workplace accidents simply bring out the flaws in the existing health and safety regime.

Participants responded well to the approaches presented by Conklin and a good dialogue followed his remarks.

The next national conference will take place in 2016, with several regional conferences taking place in 2015.