Spring 2017 Safetalk

Attached is the spring safetalk from USW District 3. Please take a look and since it is now 25 years since the Westray Mine explosion there has been a book put out called Hell’s History about the Westray explosion. If anyone would like a copy please come down to the office or email m.day@usw5890.com.

 

Safetalk – Spring 2017

Workers Compensation

Your Union executive is looking for any members who have had issues with their Workers Compensation claims. That could involve any number of reasons, but not through any fault of your own. If you have or know someone who has been or is on Workers Compensation and have had any issues please either email m.day@usw5890.com or call the office @306-569-9663

In Solidarity.

Safety in Steel Slab Crane

There is a crane on the steel side called the “Slab Crane” which has the main task of transferring slabs from rail cars to the ground then from the ground to the entrance to the reheat furnace. Most cranes that people are familiar with in our plant that carry the operator of the design of having the Cab on one end of the crane bridge. The slab crane is different and has the cab in the middle of the bridge beam.  Because of this placement the cab is more prone to vibration and bouncing around. This is crane arguably the busiest crane in the plant. It runs almost continually.

The crane is over 25 years old and has always had complaints that it was a rough crane to operate. The operators in the last year or so have reported the vibration and ride on the crane has become intolerable. In response operators have lodged and stronger and stronger complaints in an attempt to get the Company to engage in repairs to the crane.

Over the last few months the Company has attempted repairs to remove the vibration and rough ride only after a work refusal but efforts have only been partially successful. Our Safety department had a vibration analysis performed by the Saskatchewan OHS over a two hour period and it reportedly passed.

Since the repair the operators almost unanimously agree that not enough was done to remove the vibration and there is still severe. Three operators have reported that they have sustained injuries they believe are as a result of operating the slab crane and two have requested that they run other cranes as an accommodation until the crane can be fixed.  One Operator refused to run the crane under Section 23 of the Saskatchewan OHS act. The Company has refused to re-address the vibration and rough ride with any more possible solutions stating the repair is good enough.

The Union believes that in response to these accommodation requests the Company has begun a pattern of persecution. One operator was removed from all cranes and forced to work outside of his line of progression and the other moved to another crane in the LOP but is still expected to run the crane occasionally even though it contributes to his injury and pain. Both have sustained a loss in pay.

As a result of most of the operators dissatisfaction of the repair and injuries sustained the Union has intentions of contacting the OHS branch to request another vibration test be done under conditions that are more consistent to actual operation conditions of the crane and for a longer period of time.

As well the Union intends to file grievances and/or contact the Sask OHS branch to address the alleged persecution of accommodation requests and work refusal of the crane. The Union will also grieve that the reduced wages and the violations of members seniority rights regarding lines of progression is a Human Rights Violation as it is not an undue hardship for the Company to accommodate our members injuries.

Haztech on Site

The Haztech worker ( Becky ) that was our medical contact on Evraz property has been removed. The local doesn’t know why she was removed but wishes her luck in her new position with Haztech.

 

Evraz cited by Sask OHS Branch

Evraz was served a Notice of Contravention by the Government of Saskatchewan Occupational Health and Safety branch on May 25, 2015.

The issue of the 24 inch final inspection bench was referred to an Occupational Health Officer because the issue could not be resolved internally through the Occupational Health Committee in the Tubular division.

This has been an ongoing battle to resolve this problem with Management since October 2014. Since that time, this work area has recorded a serious injury and seen repeated near miss accidents occur. All of which could have been prevented had management acted on the concerns of employees and our OHS union rep Brother Rob Desnomie.

Instead, he was told he was outright wrong when he pointed out the OHS Regulations the company was continuing to violate and repeated ignored by management on this subject afterward. We are proud to say, Brother Desnomie was vindicated in that regard when the Branch agreed with his position.

It is because of his tireless efforts that we have a decision in this matter. A decision that will make a safer work area for everyone involved. Of course, the company does have the opportunity to appeal this decision. One would hope that they put their money where their mouth is when it concerns safety, practice what they preach and get this fixed promptly!

Navigating A Lost Time Injury At Work

When you are injured at work, it is very important that you do the following. Always make sure you report your injury at work by documenting it. This information will assist in processing any future Compensation claims for the injury if there is any further complications were you may require time off work.

If you are deemed unfit to return to work by your physician, a specialist or surgeon because of a injury you sustained on the job. Make sure the doctor is specific when documenting any restrictions you may have and the amount of time off work that they recommend. We strongly advise that you follow ALL the recommendations of the physician including remaining off work until they have cleared you for a return. Continue reading Navigating A Lost Time Injury At Work

United Steelworkers National Health, Safety and Environmental Conference Oct 6-8, 2014

October 8, 2014 Toronto:

Our union has a fatality approximately every 9 days.

Bringing this sad reality even closer to home for the delegates on this third and final day of this conference was the families of three members. Jordan Fram, crushed by 350,000 tons of muck (water, sand and mud). Sam Fitzpatrick, crushed by a boulder the size of a car. John Savinkoff, drowned when his excavator overturned into a slough.

Continue reading United Steelworkers National Health, Safety and Environmental Conference Oct 6-8, 2014

United Steelworkers National Health, Safety and Environmental Conference Oct 6-8, 2014

Oct 6, 2014 Toronto:

Today marked the opening day of this conference that has brought together hundreds of USW delegates from across Canada who are hearing about the latest issues and trends affecting workers. They are participating in workshops, sharing ideas and gaining new incite to practical skills and knowledge that will help make our places of work safer. Continue reading United Steelworkers National Health, Safety and Environmental Conference Oct 6-8, 2014

Provincial OHS Branch Does Unannounced Inspection

On July 24th, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety of the Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) branch, conducted a surprise safety inspection of the Evraz Pipe division operations by two of their officers. Union OH&S representatives accompanied the officers along with company officials while they conducted their tour of the facility. Discussion’s followed about ongoing concerns of air quality, investigative procedures of safety incidence and other documented safety/hazard reports from our members.

Within twenty four hours, the company was served a “Notice Of Contravention” by the Ministers office on 8 separate violations of OHS Provincial Regulations. These included such things as a lack of proper load limits on crane hooks, safeguarding of machines, water pooled in front of an electrical panel and a chair welded to the floor at a work station of all things.

By law, a full list of the violations is required to be posted by the company for all employee’s to review. They have until August 23, 2013 to comply with provincial regulations to correct these problems and we expect they will take full accountability.

The union was assured by the provincial OHS officers, that concerns of air quality would be addressed and further unannounced inspections will take place. These will include more time talking randomly with members on the floor of the departments they work in.

Always report hazards and unsafe conditions.

Stand Up! Fight Back!