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
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.
Engagement and Empowerment
OHCOW’S Temporary Foreign Worker Engagement and Empowerment Projects (which combine OHCOW management coordination and professional expertise with ESDC-funded regional and cultural outreach staff) continued in 22/23 with the wrap-up of the 1.5 year Kairos project in Q1 and Q2 and then the launch of new partnerships with The Neighbourhood Organization (TNO Worker Support Services) and Workforce Windsor Essex (WWE TeaMWork) in Q3 and Q4.
Delivering services with dedicated teams
These projects have collectively built our capacity to deliver OHS services and resources across the province, primarily to migrant agricultural workers across the Southwest, South Central and Eastern Regions with recent expansion to other TFWs, especially in ESDC target areas of the and Ottawa and Thunder Bay. Plus, we have been able to connect more with workers for individual case support.
The Project teams includes Project Management by OHCOW’s Community Outreach and Program Coordinator, executive and accounting oversight, plus involvement of Nursing, Hygiene and Ergonomic staff, along with three subject matter experts in occupational, public and worker mental health acting as Regional Coordinators and 12 outreach workers to reach the Thai, Caribbean, Latinx and Filipino communities.
Over the course of the year more than 3000 workers were contacted at community events organized by partners as well as at their workplaces and gathering spaces and we have expanded our social media reach as well. We also provided more than 30 workshops on subjects like Rights and Responsibilities, Eye Safety, and Air Cleaning, plus distributed thousands of print and digital resources on those and other subjects which can be found on the Migrant and Temporary Agricultural Workers Landing Page.
Connecting workers to services
Along the way, we listened to and supported workers and community groups with information and knowledge to help address gaps they identified. We delivered, and contributed to, webinars and capacity building workshops, and connected workers and community groups to stakeholders and service agencies who provided additional support. This included connecting workers to WSIB, healthcare services, vaccination clinics, and healthcare professions who have provided vaccine related information and consultation to workers.
We have continued funding in 23/24 for the Southwest project funded through WWE and the pan-Ontario project funded by TNO and are especially grateful for the continued support of the ESDC which allows us to expand our reach and impact and improve occupational health and safety for workers across the province.