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CUPE members face a wide range of on-the-job health and safety hazards. The Health and Safety Branch, through its National Office staff and Health and Safety representatives, provides expertise and assistance to locals, provincial divisions and staff representatives to protect members from occupational diseases, illness and injury.

Improving the occupational health and safety conditions of CUPE members is a planned and continuing program for the National Health and Safety Branch. We believe that as long as workers continue to have little or no control over occupational health and safety, they will continue to be injured, maimed or killed on the job.

The Branchs ongoing activities include:

maintaining up-to-date information banks and reference material on hazardous substances;

providing CUPE organizations with detailed information of on-the-job hazards;

developing and assisting in health and safety and occupational disease surveys;

conducting inquiries and inquests into accidents, illnesses or deaths;

assisting CUPE National to obtain more progressive health and safety legislation at the provincial and federal levels.

Databases and library

The National Health and Safety Branch maintains a broad range of current occupational health and safety databases. Through the National Office staff and the Health and Safety representatives, members and locals can request access to information from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, the Ontario Workers Compensation Appeals Tribunal Decision Digest Service, Medline, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration and other health and safety related sources.

In addition, a comprehensive library containing general, technical and legislative information is maintained at the National Office.