Unionized workplaces are safer workplaces. Studies prove that – and it’s not hard to understand why.
Workers in a union are better able to refuse unsafe work than those who fear losing their job if they say anything. But it’s more than that. Workers in unionized workplaces take an active role in setting out the conditions of work.
This helps to prevent things from getting unsafe or unhealthy in the first place, which benefits everyone. With a union, you’ll have a chance to raise health and safety concerns before anyone gets hurt. Because sometimes it’s not just the work that’s unsafe – sometimes, speaking out isn’t safe, either. And a union can address both kinds of safety.
Your union is here to help you stay safe
The Unifor Health, Safety and Environment department is responsible for the content of health and safety training programs at the Unifor Family Education Centre and courses offered in the regions. The department leads campaigns for better laws and enforcement, provides information on workplace hazards, and provides programs to help members identify, eliminate and control hazardous workplace conditions.
See below for events and resources related to workplace health and safety. Further resources are available by contacting @email
Health and Safety Resources
Repetitive Strain Injury Day
Repetitive Strain Injury Day is a day to mark the importance of proper workspaces and ergonomic equipment. Whether working on your feet, at a desk, at home, or on the go, every worker can be at risk of a repetitive strain injury.
Linked below are Fact Sheets to help you prevent RSIs in the workplace:
April 28 National Day of Mourning
Each day we benefit from the labour of thousands of essential workers who give large proportions of their lives to provide us with everything that makes up modern life, from power to textile. And every year, hundreds suffer injury or illness because of their working conditions. Some of these workers die on the job.
“Mourn the Dead, Fight for the Living”
The slogan for the Day of Mourning reflects the need to remember those who have lost their lives but also contains a strong reminder of the need to press for improvements in health and safety in our workplaces, ensuring workers are protected from the workplace hazards that lead to preventable, needless deaths, serious injury or illness.
Read the 2023 Day of Mourning Statement which includes memoriam for the Unifor members lost to workplace death this year.
Bud Jimmerfield Award
“Don't mourn my death, fight for the living.”
This is the challenge that Bud Jimmerfield passed on to all Unifor brothers and sisters prior to his death from occupational illness.
Do you know someone who exemplifies this commitment to health and safety in the workplace? The 2023 nominations are open now! Complete this form to nominate a member in your Local.
The recipient must demonstrate strong leadership and a proven commitment to prevent future occupational diseases, deaths, and injuries, be a current Unifor member and be nominated by their Local union leadership or Local unit/workplace leadership.
Read about the 2023 Bud Jimmerfield award recipient, Dave Churchill, from Local 28, Unifor’s Health and Safety Policy Committee Co-Chair for Bell Technical Solutions (or BTS) Ontario. Dave received his award at the 2023 Canadian Council in Halifax, NS.
Read about the 2022 Bud Jimmerfield award recipient, Marc Roussel, from Local 219 in Nackawic, New Brunswick. Marc received his award at the 4th Unifor Constitutional Convention.
Read about the 2021 Bud Jimmerfield award recipient, Ed Steers from Local 199, who received his award at the Ontario Regional Council.
- Accident and Incident Investigation
- Climate Change and Our Jobs
- Environment Community
- Introduction to Ergonomics
- Health and Safety (one week course)
- Health and Safety 101
- Health and Safety for Federal workers
- Health and Safety for Provincial workers
- Health and Safety for Women
- Stress - the Workplace Hazard
- Toxic Substances in the Workplace
- Workplace Bullying - an Occupational Hazard
Materials and publications
- Heat Stress Fact Sheet
- Bill C-65 Guide
- Occupational Cancer Booklet
- Health and safety fact sheet list
- Sun Safety
- Ticks and Lyme Disease
- Monkeypox Fact Sheet
- GE Canada Advisory Committee Report
- Executive summary of the of the GE Canada Advisory Committee Report
Fact sheets on additional topics are available by contacting @email