From migrant farm and indigenous workers to new, young and aging workers, to vulnerable or injured workers, we cover a variety of worker groups and provide guidance and direction on dealing with workplace situations specific to these groups.
Eye & Oral Health Information Day for Migrant and Temporary Foreign Workers
One of the many events that OHCOW holds in its support of Temporary and Migrant Foreign workers in 2022/23 was Eye & Oral Health Information Day on Sunday March 26th. Invited to the event were partners and stakeholders such as the TeaMWork Project, CARE para Trabajadores Internacionales / CARE for International Workers, The Harrow Health Centre: Family Health Team, Consulado de México en Leamington and the Bayanihan Center. OHCOW presented information around eye care and protection in the workplace, and distributed safety glasses for use in the greenhouse. Smile Wagon Mobile Dental Hygiene was present and spoke about oral health.
Sandwiches and drinks were provided for all in attendance, with a raffle being held and prizes presented by the consul of Mexico, Rodrigo Baez. Music was performed byGrupo Diamante.
Eye Oral Care for Migrant Workers event
A special webinar conference featuring live webinars from OHCOW doctors, hygienists and representatives discussing crucial topics in worker health and safety took place on Friday, April 14. The event was hosted by the Ottawa & District Labour Council with OHCOW’s Eastern Region Local Advisory Committee.
Online Info Sessions:
- Temporary Foreign Workers Eastern Ontario Project
Eduardo Huesca & Leonor Cedillo, OHCOW
- Long COVID- Medical and Worker’s Compensation Implications
Dr. Pravesh Jugnundan, OHCOW & Margaret Keyes, OWA
- Breathing Clean Air is as important as drinking clean water – what can we do?
Kevin Hedges, Hygienist, OHCOW
Air Filters Available for Living Quarters and Communal Areas
Wherever people congregate, good air quality is important to reduce disease transmission and maintain a healthy workplace. When workers are living in close quarters, or working indoors together, using an air filter is a good way to reduce germs and contaminants in the air. Because migrant workers are often housed in dorm-like conditions, air filters are recommended. OHCOW has made obtaining air filtration systems easier!
As of September 13, 2022, employers can receive one free HEPA unit or more depending on the size or the work area, living spaces and number of employees. Employers are also given instructions on how to build the DIY Corsi-Rosenthal box, and instructions are posted on the web site.
The four-filter Corsi-Rosenthal box is an effective air cleaner, and making one is pretty easy. It involves taping a fan and four filters together, with cardboard on the bottom and top. When there’s no space for a four-filter box, a one-filter version is useful. It’s less expensive to make, although the filter needs to be changed more often.
Below are the pdfs that demonstrate how to make two different types of air filters.
The Accessibility and Inclusion Working Group
Accessibility and inclusion benefits everyone. Here at OHCOW, we are committed to identifying, preventing, and removing barriers of all types. In the fall of 2022 The Accessibility and Inclusion Working Group (AIWG) was created. The accessibility and inclusion plan, priority, and practice, would be informed by the experiences of those who use our services, and by those who work for OHCOW. A specific survey was created for OHCOW employees to help the AIWG to identify the visible and invisible barriers that may impact employees, visitors, patients, community partners, colleagues or anyone that may use our services. The survey was entirely anonymous to ensure candid feedback.
Accessibility barriers were described across 6 broad categories: Architectural (physical barriers) , Environmental (Light or noise sensory issues), Attitudinal (unconscious bias towards clients), Employment (lack of accommodation for employees with disabilities, lack of adaptive technologies), Communications (lack of accessible information, non-user friendly web pages) , and Transportation (accessible parking, location).
Thirty-seven people responded to the survey. Some noteable points were; lack of signs in braille, absence of light alarms, perceived inappropriate communication when referring to clients, inequities in client delivery, barriers to recruitment or career advancement, lack of interpreters and lack of accessible formats for OHCOW materials. Not enough parking or expensive parking was also selected as a problem by over half the respondents.
The results will be further analyzed and action items will be recommended by the team.
A New Record Management System for OHCOW
In March of 2020 when working remotely was a must, it quickly became evident that the computer system at OHCOW needed an upgrade. The team began to investigate the different types of electronic record management systems and eventually decided on the TELUS Collaborative Health Record CHR as the best fit.
The CHR offers many benefits, including the ability to securely exchange health information electronically. This enhances the privacy and confidentially of patient data. CHR will promote the use of our resources provincially, as opposed to geographic area and allows for better and more complete documentation. The CHR will be able to accurately capture statistics and through the analytics, and produced better reports on performance measures.
OHCOW put together a team (CHR Prime Team) to work with the Telus to modify their CHR system to match the unique needs of OHCOW. This development phase took place over a year.
Training for the staff took place in throughout the month of March and on April 5th the system went live.
The CHR Prime Team is continuously working to support staff during the transition, creating manuals, data dictionaries and holding weekly support sessions.
The work is far from over, the CHR launch is better described as a ‘roll out’ and as we use this new CHR system and access all the functionality it has to offer we will be able to offer better service to our clients, the workers of Ontario. We are just getting started!