Joint Health & Safety Protocol


1. It is a requirement of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (“The Act”) to establish a policy that encourages the active participation of all employees in the prevention of accidents and the promotion of health and safety in the workplace.

2. York University and the York University Faculty Association have established a Joint Health and Safety Committee under The Act and have reached an understanding as to the guidelines for the composition, practices and procedures thereof.

3. York University agrees to promote and assist the YUFA Joint Health and Safety Committee and committee members by providing such training and assistance and, where regulations governing confidentiality permit, information as may reasonably be required for the purpose of carrying out their responsibilities.

4. York University and YUFA acknowledge that a Joint Health and Safety Program can only be successful when everyone in the workplace is committed to these responsibilities. Therefore, the parties undertake to cooperate in ensuring that these Guidelines and the full intent of The Act will be carried out by their respective organizations.

York University and YUFA hereto adopt these Guidelines in good faith.






1.1 The YUFA Joint Health and Safety Committee (referred to hereafter as the “Joint Committee”) shall consist of up to six YUFA members, at least one of who shall be from Glendon plus a YUFA staff person and up to six management members. It is agreed that these members shall, as much as possible, represent a cross section of the faculties/departments in the University community and that the number of management members shall not exceed the number of YUFA members. Alternates may be allowed as substitutes, upon notification of the co-chairs. Each party will exchange lists of their alternates.

1.2 The Joint Committee shall normally meet at least three times per term on a regularly established schedule. The co-chairs must approve any changes to the schedule.

1.3 There shall be two co-chairs, one from management and one from YUFA, who shall alternate the chair at meetings.

1.4 A co-chair may, with the consent and approval of his/her counterpart, invite additional persons to attend a meeting to provide additional information and comment, but invited persons shall not participate in the regular business of the meeting; consent shall not be unreasonably denied.

1.5 York University will ensure that at least one management and one YUFA members of the Joint Committee are certified members as defined in the Ontario Occupational Health & Safety Act. The University will further provide funding for ther certification of a second YUFA member of the Committee.


2.1 To attain the spirit of The Act, the functions of the Joint Committee shall be:

a) to identity, evaluate and recommend a resolution of all matters pertaining to health and safety in the YUFA workplace to appropriate senior management;

b) to recommend adequate education and training programs in order that all employees are knowledgeable of their rights, restrictions, responsibilities and duties under The Act; and

c) to address matters related to The Act and attendant Regulations (for example: Designated Substances and Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System -WHMIS) and to receive reports or portions of reports that relate to health and safety.


2.2 YUFA members of the Joint Committee shall designate one of their members or alternate to inspect the physical condition of a portion of the YUFA workplace. Where and when possible, a manager shall accompany the YUFA representative.

The YUFA workplace, or part thereof, shall be inspected once per month. Workplace inspection schedules shall be undertaken in accordance with a schedule established by the Joint Committee, with the entire YUFA workplace being inspected at least annually. Efforts shall be made to coordinate inspections with other bargaining unit joint committees.

2.3 All health and safety concerns raised during the physical inspection shall be recorded on a “Workplace Inspection Report” form (sample attached), signed by the Joint Committee member performing the inspection.

2.4 The “Workplace Inspection Report” form will be forwarded to the appropriate area Health & Safety Officer and to the Department of Occupational Health and Safety (“DOHS”) for inclusion in the Joint Committee file, normally within two days of the inspection. The Area Health & Safety Officer shall return copies of the completed report to the inspecting representative and Joint Committee file, in care of DOHS, normally within 14 days of receipt of the report.


2.5 The Vice-President (Finance) or appropriate designate(s) shall respond, in writing, within 21 days of receipt, with regard to written Joint Committee recommendations. A copy of the recommendations shall be attached to the minutes (sample attached). The written response shall indicate the Employer’s assessment of the Joint Committee’s recommendation and specify what action will or will not (with explanations) be implemented as a result of the recommendation. Any proposed action by the Employer shall include details of who will be responsible for such action and a proposed time frame.


2.6 (a) YUFA members of the Joint Committee will designate one of their members and/or alternates to investigate accidents, which have caused or have the potential to cause serious injury in the YUFA workplace.

(b) Co-chairs may approve the investigation of other incidents, which have the potential for serious injury. Approval will not be unreasonable denied.

(c) The investigating member shall submit a written report of the findings and recommendations to the Joint Committee and, if appropriate under Section 9(31), to the Ministry of Labour (MOL).

(d) If no qualified YUFA committee member is available and the situation warrants it, a certified worker member from another Joint Health and Safety Committee may be asked to assist in the investigation. This member shall submit a written report of the findings to the YUFA Joint Health and Safety Committee, and if appropriate under Section 9(31), to the MOL.

2.7 Management and YUFA members of the Joint Committee will each designate one of their own members and/or alternates, if necessary, to accompany the MOL Inspector while carrying out Ministry inspections of the workplace.

2.8 YUFA members of the Joint Committee will designate one of their members and/or alternates, if required, to be present during a work refusal investigation.

2.9 The Joint Committee shall be consulted concerning proposed workplace testing strategies related to industrial hygiene. A YUFA member from the Joint Committee shall be entitled to be present at the beginning of such tests if the member believes that his/her presence is required to ensure that valid testing procedures are used or to ensure that the test results are valid.


3.1 The Employer shall provide a secretary to record the minutes of the meeting and be responsible for having the minutes typed, circulated and filed, normally within two weeks of the meeting or as the Joint Committee may, from time to time, instruct. Minutes of the meeting will be reviewed and edited by the co-chairs. The edited minutes will be circulated to all Joint Committee members and to senior management on the Joint Committee mailing list. The approved minutes will be kept readily available in a proper filing system in DOHS. YUFA will continue to receive copies of all Joint Health and Safety Committee minutes.

3.2 Agenda items will be identified by a reference number.


4.1 A Joint Committee meeting must have a quorum of 50% of the members, with a minimum of two members from each party and least one co-chair, in order to conduct business. If a co-chair is absent, his/her counterpart will chair the meeting. The two parties will have an equal number of votes.


5.1 The Employer will provide one course release to be allocated to the committee members.


6.1 The co-chairs will prepare an agenda and forward copies to all Joint Committee members at least one week in advance of the meeting.

6.2 The Joint Committee may accept any item as proper for discussion and resolution pertaining to health and safety, except to amend, alter, subtract from or add to any terms of the YUFA Collective Agreement or the policiees and regulations of the University. It is understood that the foregoing will not include any issue being dealt with pursuant to the grievance and arbitration procedure.

6.3 All items raised from the agenda in meetings will be dealt with on the basis of consensus.

6.4 All items that are or are not resolved will be reported in the minutes. Unresolved items will be minuted and placed on the agenda for the next meeting.

6.5 It is understood that any unresolved Health and Safety issue can be the subject of a grievance.


7.1 These Guidelines provide a framework for an effective, functioning Joint Health and Safety Committee. References can be made to The Act and its Guidebook.

7.2 Subject to the introduction of new legislation, the committee on an annual basis should review these Guidelines.

7.3 Any amendments, deletions or additions to these Guidelines must have the approval of the University and the Union. The approved changes shall be incorporated into these Guidelines.

7.4 All employees will be encouraged to discuss health and safety problems with their Area Health and Safety Officer before bringing them to the attention of the Joint Committee.

7.5 The Joint Committee members will thoroughly investigate all complaints and will discuss the facts when searching for a resolution to the complaints. All problem resolutions will be reported in the minutes.

7.6 All Joint Committee members will keep confidential all medical information, secret manufacturing processes or trade secrets acquired, obtained, made or received under the provisions of the Occupation Health and Safety Act.

7.7 The Employer must prepare and review at least annually a written Occupational Health and Safety policy and must develop and maintain a program to implement that policy [Section 25(2)(J)]. It is the responsibility of the Joint Committee to make recommendations to the Employer concerning the establishment, maintenance and monitoring of these programs [Section 9(18) c].

Signed at North York, Ontario, this 13th of September 2001.







TO: Vice-President (Finance)




COMMITTEE FINDINGS: (background information including attachments if appropriate)

Please note that under Section 9(20) and 9(21) of The Occupational Health and Safety Act (see overleaf) you are required to respond in writing to this Committee Recommendation within 21 days.

Management co-chair

YUFA co-chair


Section 9 (20)

A constructor or employer who receives written recommendations from a committee shall respond in writing within twenty-one days.

Section 9 (21)

A response of a constructor or employer under subsection (20) shall contain a timetable for implementing the recommendations the constructor or employer agrees with and give reasons why the constuctor or employer disagrees with any recommendations that the constuctor or employer does not accept