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Occupational Health and Safety Challenges for the Mobile Workforce: Policy and Practice in Canadian Jurisdictions

Free 1 Hour
This webinar will: Present key findings from a program of research on employment-related geographical mobility (E-RGM) in the Canadian context looking at its impact on the effectiveness of occupational health and safety (OHS) legislation in a selection of Canadian provinces. Distinguish challenges for the protection of the health of workers who are engaged in E-RGM, including those engaged in a long daily commute, intraprovincial and interprovincial workers and temporary foreign workers in Canada or Canadian workers engaged in work outside of Canada. Examine the OHS challenges that arise in four aspects of workers’ lives: getting to work, at work, living at work and living at home.

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Take-home messages:

  • Occupational health and safety regulation and systems in Canada were designed with a sedentary workforce in mind.
  • Some of the hazards to which members of the mobile workforce are exposed are not addressed by our current regulatory frameworks.
  • We found that many of these workers are invisible to regulators because of the mobility associated with their work, and that prevention strategies need to be adapted to the reality of mobile work.

Learning Outcomes

Mobile workers are exposed to multiple hazards while getting to work yet these hazards are not on the radar of regulators
Some mobile workers are obliged to live at or near their workplace for extended periods of time, and this raises new health and safety challenges
Multiple jurisdictions overlap in the regulation of some of these workers
Health and safety inspectorates and health and safety committees need to adapt their practices when workers are engaged in E-RGM


Katherine Lippel
Katherine Lippel is co-investigator with the On the Move Partnership. The Partnership is a 7-year national scale research program with international links, investigating employment-related geographical mobility and its consequences for workers, families, employers, communities, and Canadian municipal, provincial and federal governments. Professor Lippel leads the policy component of the On the Move team's research program and is author of the On the Move reports on Occupational Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation. Professor Lippel holds the Canada Research Chair in Occupational Health and Safety Law and is professor of law in the Civil Law section of the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa. She specializes in legal issues relating to occupational health and safety and workers' compensation. She has been a member of the Québec Bar since 1978.

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