Welcome to the Health and Safety Blog

I would like to welcome you to a new dimension for the Health and Safety office of the Greater Victoria Teachers' Association. Here you will find messages, advice, links and other gadgets related to health and safety, as well as our teaching profession.

Monday, May 9, 2011

May Madness

A    A warm welcome to Michael Colussi, the new Health and Safety Officer for the District. Michael has an extensive background in Heath and Safety. The GVTA looks forward to working with him to continue to improve health and safety in the district. 

     Be sure to send your month meeting minutes into the the District via Mr. Colussi or Dennis Dudley. We review the minutes, fire drill reports and inspections each month to see if  trends are developing that the District Committee needs to take action upon. 

     One area that can have an influence on health and safety is stress. The newly published research report by the BCTF called Worklife of BC Teachers cites the following as major stressors:
  • feeling pressured by the demands of multiple tasks and limited time
  • the complexity of the classroom, in terms of class size and class composition
  • a lack of support for teachers in their efforts to meet students' needs
  • a lack of support to deal with problematic student behaviour
  • relationships with a small number of parents were difficult and strained
  • reporting caused a periodic increase in stress
  • inadequate time for preparation and marking     
     The causes and results of stress may be different depending on career stage, gender and age. Newer teachers, for instance, find the job insecurity stressful. Regardless of the cause, working under stress can lead to illness or cause one to become distract and thus pose a safety risk to themselves or others. Another area of stress that can occur is stress from a critical incident. Staff who are apart of or witness a critical incident can experience emotional or psychological symptoms which may impair their ability to perform well at work or outside of work. WorkSafe BC identifies the following issue as problematic. "After a critical incident, workers’ feelings about their jobs and the workplace can be seriously affected. Workers may become disillusioned with their workplace if they believe that their problems are not being taken seriously, or that they are not being given adequate support." (Coping with Critical Incident Stress at Work: 2002)

     Health and safety is everyone's business. Please look out for each other and speak up when you have a health and safety concern.
Be Safe!