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Workplace Health & Safety

IEC hosts virtual Joint Health & Safety Forum

April 14, 2021/By: Shaun Bisson

The Sarnia-Lambton Industrial Educational Co-Operative welcomed more than 80 Joint Health and Safety Committee representatives to its Regional Joint Health and Safety Forum on Tuesday, March 30.  Hosted virtually, the two-hour Forum gathered worker and management reps from nearly 50 sites, contractors, and building trades in the Sarnia-Lambton area for a recap of the past year and look ahead to the balance of 2021.

With the COVID-19 Pandemic impacting all workplaces over the past year the Forum was headlined by Lambton County Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Sudit Ranade, who provided an informative presentation on who Lambton Public Health is, how they operate, and how the region has responded to the pandemic.  Dr. Ranade’s presentation also touched on steps that workers and workplaces can take moving forward to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and to normalize precautions and infectious disease controls in the long term.

The Forum also provided an opportunity for industry leaders to say thank you to workers and Joint Health and Safety Committees for their efforts over the last year in reacting and responding to everchanging work conditions and implementing controls to keep workers and their families safe.  IEC Chairman and Plant Manager for Imperial Oil’s Sarnia Refinery, Glenn Hayes, opened the Forum with that message of thanks which was echoed by Rob Thompson, NOVA Chemical’s VP of Manufacturing East who also shared an update on the challenges COVID has presented with their major projects.

Andy Pilat, President of the Sarnia Construction Association, and John Swart, GM of the Sarnia-Lambton Construction and Building Trades Council, also shared their thanks to workers and JHSC committees while reflecting on the learnings and collaboration that took place over the past year thanks to the unique tripartite model of sharing that is in place in the Sarnia-Lambton area.  General Manager of CAER, IEC, and SLEA, Vince Gagner provided attendees with a look back at 2020 from an IEC perspective and shared insights on regional incidents that were gleaned from a pre-Forum survey of participants, while also sharing a look at upcoming initiatives with CAER, IEC, and SLEA Communications Coordinator Shaun Bisson.

The IEC would like to thank all of the Forum speakers and attendees for their participation and leadership in helping keep the region healthy and safe.