Health and safety is our top priority, but it has taken on a new dimension with this virus. I’m grateful to so many teams for helping to keep our people and Canadians safe, but I’d like to shine a spotlight on our local joint health and safety committees across the country. They’re showing great leadership and commitment in all kinds of ways, and what a positive impact it is having.
Physical distancing is the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In local facilities, which were never designed for keeping employees 2 metres apart, they found ways for employees to maintain distance. In depots, some helped to schedule extra waves in order to do that. When an initial idea didn’t quite achieve its goal, they persevered until a better idea did. They suggested ways to communicate the need for physical distancing on the street, too, and when delivering in apartment lobbies. Cleaning in our facilities has taken on a new importance. Some LJHSC members are helping employees wipe down all those high-touch surfaces, and when supplies were low, some committees made hand sanitizer (which meets public health standards) out of household ingredients.
LJHSC members have been staying in close communication with everyone in their facilities and taking their concerns seriously. They’re determined advocates for our employees. We’ve introduced a lot of change as we adopt many precautions, taking guidance from the Public Health Agency of Canada. The Health and Safety representatives at facilities with fewer than 20 employees are stepping up in the same ways. Our National committee (NJHSC) representatives have worked together well to quickly agree on new and revised policies around leave, delivery practice and protective equipment – which is greatly appreciated.
This is a stressful time for all kinds of reasons. Like team leaders, LJHSC members are having and encouraging honest conversations so that people know that it’s OK to not feel themselves, to talk about it, and to get help. The pandemic is putting unusual strain on many of our colleagues, family members and friends. Let’s acknowledge when we need help and use the Employee and Family Assistance Program, and other resources available. It’s why we have them.
What we’re living and working through is unprecedented in our lifetimes. But at Canada Post, we’re taking care of one another. On the LJHSCs, union and management representatives alike are working together for the good of all. My heartfelt thanks to every LJHSC member and Health and Safety representative for stepping up in this way. If you haven’t already, I hope you’ll find a way to reach out and show your appreciation to them.