New CCOHS, WSIB heads named

'Their knowledge and expertise will be an asset to the CCOHS's tripartite Council of Governors'

New CCOHS, WSIB heads named

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) has welcomed four new individuals to its Council of Governors, according to the federal government.

The new officials are: 

  • Brenda Baxter, who has been appointed as the chairperson of the CCOHS Council of Governors for a term of five years. She is currently the assistant deputy minister of compliance, operations and program development and is the former director general of the Workplace Directorate within the Labour Program at Employment and Social Development Canada.
  • Jenna Brookfield, who has been appointed as a governor representing employees for a term of four years. She is the health and safety representative of the Atlantic Regional Office at the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), bringing sound knowledge and experience related to health and safety from the worker perspective.
  • Debbie Molloy, who has been appointed as the governor representing the Northwest Territories for a term of four years. She is the president and CEO of the Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
  • Gail Boland, who has been appointed as the governor representing Newfoundland and Labrador for a term of four years. Boland is the assistant deputy minister of the Digital Government and Services Branch of Newfoundland and Labrador, which provides accessible, responsive services in various areas of public health and safety.

Also, James Hall has been reappointed as the governor representing Manitoba for a term of four years. He is the Vice-President of SAFE Work Manitoba of the Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba.

“I congratulate the appointees and look forward to working with them. Their knowledge and expertise will be an asset to the CCOHS’s tripartite Council of Governors,” said Seamus O’Regan Jr., minister of labour. “Together we can and will make our workplaces safer, more fair and inclusive.”

Established in 1978 by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety Act, the CCOHS aims to promote the well-being of working Canadians by providing information, training, education, management systems and solutions that support health, safety and wellness programs.

The tripartite Council of Governors, which represents governments (federal, provincial and territorial), employers and labour, assists in delivering a trustworthy and complete occupational health and safety service, and ensures a balanced approach to workplace health and safety issues.

Meanwhile, on June 23, 2022, Sean McFarling was appointed to the position of chair of Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board’s (WSIB) Health and Safety Committee.

“Sean has dedicated his career to representing the hard working men and women of Ontario,” said Grant Walsh, WSIB Chair. “He is an excellent choice to lead our Health and Safety Committee and I am confident his expertise on the union side will be a strong asset and provide a unique perspective on how we can fulfill our mandate to promote health and safety in the province.”

McFarling serves as General Counsel to the Labourers’ International Union of North America, Ontario Provincial District Council (“OPDC”) and LiUNA’s Central and Eastern Canada Organizing Fund (“CECOF”). His practice focuses on providing strategic advice and overseeing the OPDC’s legal affairs across Ontario and CECOF’s legal matters across Central and Eastern Canada.

“I welcome the opportunity to lead the Committee and help provide strategic direction on how we can continue to work toward the vision of making Ontario the safest place to work,” said McFarling. “Part of improving workplace health and safety is about listening to and understanding the experiences of our stakeholders, I am committed to help share and carefully consider the perspectives of hard working Ontarians.”

Recently, WSIB officially opened nominations for the Elizabeth Witmer Small Business Health and Safety Leadership Awards and doubled the prizes for the winners. The top prize is now worth $10,000, while second and third placers will win $6,000 and $4,000, respectively.

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