2012 MFL Health and Safety Conference held in Thompson

November 16, 2012

The 31st annual MFL Health and Safety Conference was held last week in Thompson. More than 110 participants from across Manitoba took part. Many rode 11 hours each way on the MFL bus from/to Winnipeg

The conference kicked off with a speech from MFL President Kevin Rebeck, who provided an overview of the MFL’s campaign efforts for safer and healthier workplaces. He outlined the changes being called for by the MFL in the numerous workplace health and safety reviews currently under way in Manitoba. In particular, he emphasized the MFL’s push for:

  • mandatory reviews of workplace deaths and serious injuries;
  • improved safety training for young and newcomer workers;
  • better enforcement of existing workplace safety laws and regulations; and
  • meaningful worker input in workpalce health and safety initiatives;
  • a crackdown on WCB claims suppression; and
  • criminal prosecution of wmployers responsible for workplace deaths;

Brother Rebeck also spoke about the current MFL advertising campaign to promote workers’ fundamental health and safety rights at work.

The conference included seven workshops ranging from the basics of workplace health and safety and workers compensation to more in depth examinations of running effective joint committees, dealing with environmental hazards, and workplace stress/harassment/violence. 

Conference delegates also attended a social to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the United Steelworkers Local 6166 in Thompson. 

Unfortunately, the conference was cut short by a looming winter storm that interfered with travel plans, but keynote speaker Dave Gaudreau and WCB External Reviewer Paul Petrie still had an opporunity to meet with delegates in smaller groups and at the social. Thompson MLA Steve Ashton and Churchill MP Niki Ashton also took the opportunity to speak to delegates, welcoming the many visitors to Thompson. 

The MFL is grateful to the WCB, the Workplace Safety and Health Division, MGEU, CUPE Manitoba, USW local 6166, the Winnipeg Labour Council and SAFE WOrkers of Tomorrow for providing skilled facilitators for conference workshops.