Purpose and Responsibility

The Hanover School Division Workplace Safety and Health Committee enables employees and administration of the division to work together to provide and to maintain safe and healthy places of employment and learning for all who use divisional facilities.


  • To assist workers and the employer to identify, record, examine, evaluate and resolve safety and health concerns in the workplace;
  • To develop practical procedures and conditions in the workplace to help achieve the highest possible degree of safety and health for all.
  • To promote education and training programs that develop the knowledge and skills required for all individuals in the workplace to exercise their rights and responsibilities in maintaining a safe and healthy environment.

To ensure that all personnel are required to support the workplace safety and health program of the division and that all employees, volunteers and students make health and safety part of every activity.  They are required to follow the policy and regulations of the Hanover School Division, which were established in accordance with provincial and local health and safety laws and regulations.

Divisional Workplace Safety and Health Committee History

In 2004, the division applied for a variance under the Workplace Safety and Health Act to allow for the establishment of a centralized workplace safety and health committee for the school division.  The request to establish a single workplace safety and health committee at the Division level was approved.  The term of the variance was established as a three years.  The Division will continue to make application to the province every three years to continue with this structure.

Each workplace has one employee Safety and Health Representative (chosen by the employees) and one employer representative (site administrator or designate), who work together on local safety and health concerns, inspections and investigations of serious injuries and dangerous occurrences.

Only one school, the Steinbach Regional Secondary School, offers multiple programs, including vocational programs.  This school also stands out as having a staff and student count which is roughly double of our next largest school.

The Steinbach Regional Secondary School has a separate WSH committee at the school. The committee is identified as a sub-committee of the divisional WSH Committee.  The sub-committee has two representatives that are sitting members of the divisional committee..  The sub-committee has a minimum representation as follows:

  • Employer:  School Administrator
  • Employee:  Science teacher, Vocational teacher, custodial representative.

The Divisional Committee meets quarterly and committee minutes are submitted to the provincial WSH division and distributed to all worksites for posting on the WSH bulletin board.

All representatives are voted in by their union/work group for a three year term (length of the variance) and prior to the application renewal of the variance, groups must re-elect their representative and approve of the continuation of a single WSH committee representing the division.

HSD Divisional Workplace Safety and Health Committee Membership

Divisional Administration:

  • 1 Trustee – Chair of Board WSH sub-committee
  • 2 Trustee – Vice-chair of Board WSH sub-committee
  • 3 Assistant Superintendent in charge of WSH
  • 4 Division Maintenance Supervisor and Safety Office

Employee Representation:

  • 5 – 1 Hanover Teachers’ Association Representative (MTS)
  • 6 – 1 Hanover Council of School Leaders Representative (MTS – COSL) (may also serve as HTA representative)
  • 7 – 1 Bus Drivers  Representative  (CUPE)
  • 8 – 1 Custodial / Maintenance/Technology Representative (non-organized)
  • 9 – 1 Secretarial / Librarian / Clerical Representative (non-organized)
  • 10 – 1 Educational Assistant / Noon-hour Supervisor Representative (non-organized)
  • 11 – 1  SRSS School Committee Representative  to the Divisional Committee (vocational teacher)
    1 Industrial Arts / Home Economics Teacher from schools with labs  (technical support – non-voting)
    1 Science Teacher representative from schools with wet labs   (technical support – non-voting)

Employee representatives on the divisional committee may also serve as the school safety representative in their schools if chosen or ratified by the staff.

Steinbach Regional Secondary School Workplace Safety and Health Sub-Committee

As a requirement of the HSD WSH variance the SRSS is required each year to create a WSH sub-committee that reports to the Hanover School Division WSH Committee.  The committee acts as a sub-committee of the divisional WSH committee.  The divisional WSH committee is the official committee that is recognized by the province.

The HSD WSH variance requires that the SRSS sub-committee have the following minimum representation: Employer: School Administrator, Employee: Science Teacher, Vocational Teacher and Custodial representative.

To ensure a comprehensive representation of all areas and employee responsibilities in the school additional members may be appointed or elected to the sub-committee as members at large as outlined in the HSD WSH variance.

The Sub-Committee was established as one of the components of the HSD Workplace Safety and Health variance:  The role of the sub-committee is to:

  • Assist workers and the employer to identify, record, examine, evaluate and resolve safety and health concerns in the workplace;
  • Develop practical procedures and conditions to help achieve the highest possible degree of safety and health in the workplace; and
  • Promote education and training programs to develop detailed knowledge of safety and health concerns and responsibilities in each individual in the workplace.

The Committee shall have a continuing concern with respect to the safety and health of staff and students in the workplace.

Terms of Reference:

  • To receive, consider and act on concerns and complaints respecting the safety and health of workers.
  • To participate in the identification of risks to the safety or health of workers or other persons, arising out of or in connection with activities in the workplace.
  • To develop and promote measures to protect the safety, health and welfare of persons in the workplace, and check the effectiveness of such measures.
  • To cooperate with any outside agency; if such a service has been requested, such as occupational health, rehabilitation services, MTS etc. in assisting both students and or staff in the workplace.
  • To cooperate with a safety and health officer who is exercising his/her duties under the Act.
  • To develop and promote and communicate programs for education and information concerning safety and health in the workplace.
  • To maintain records in connection with receipt and disposition of concerns and complaints.

SRSS WSH Sub-Committee Membership

  • The Act provides for the designation of Worker Safety and Health Representatives, with representation from management and workers.
  • The committee is co-chaired by an appointed representative from management and one worker representative who are elected from among committee members.
  • Committee members will serve a two-year term and are eligible for a further term(s).
  • Committee at large members should be elected to the committee by representing various areas of the school, and if due to a lack of nominees or volunteers representatives may be appointed.
  • The responsibility of the committee co-chairs is to create an agenda and chair committee meetings.

Variance Sub-committee Area Representatives:

Science Teacher                                          1
Vocational Teacher                                     1
Custodial Representative                           1
Management (vocational)                          1

Variance Sub-committee Members at Large:

Physical Education Teacher                                 1
Light Vocational Teacher                           1
Office Staff                                                    1
Student Services Support Staff/ EA                     1
HSD WSH Employee Rep                         1
Management (academic)                            1
Selection Process of Committee Members:

To ensure comprehensive representation of all bargaining groups and areas in the school, members may be appointed or selected to the sub-committee.  In addition to the minimum variance representation, employees from the Physical Education, Light Vocational, Office Staff and Student Services Support Staff areas will be selected by staff as Variance Sub-committee Members at Large.

Any employees interested in submitting their name to participate in selection process of the SRSS WSH  sub-committee, should forward their name to – SRSS WSH Employee Representative.  The process of establishing the representation from the different bargaining groups and areas in the school is the responsibility of the employees under the guidance of the SRSS WSH Employee Representative.

Review of Terms of Reference:

  • The committee terms of reference are bound by the regulations of the Workplace Safety and Health Act.

In order to help provide a safe and healthy workplace, the following people have been designated as HSD Safety Officers, who are responsible for helping identify, assess and control hazards.  They will be conducting scheduled and un-scheduled inspections, as well as talking with employees and contracted workers about any safety or health concern.  Any concerns that are identified and need to be addressed will be reported to the school / building supervisor who will make all the necessary arrangements to deal with any concern.  The safety offers may also, if the situation warrants, immediately restrict or shut down an activity.

HSD Divisional Safety Officers:

  • Randy Dueck, Superintendent/CEO – Chief Safety Officer
  • Chris Gudziunas, Assistant Superintendent – Assistant Safety Officer – Student Program Safety
  • Bob Proulx , Assistant Safety Officer – Maintenance Supervisor / Buildings and Grounds
  • David Rushforth, Human Resources – Safety Program Coordinator
  • Gary Black – Divisional Safety Consultant