SARS Commission Recommendations Spark OFL Campaign
The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL), workers, their representatives and others are calling on the Ontario government to adopt the recommendations presented in the final report of the SARS Commission.
More than 80 recommendations were outlined in Spring of Fear, the SARS Commission final report released in January 2007. According to the OFL and many others, these recommendations would improve health and safety systems for all workplaces, including those in the health care sector. The OFL also points out the government to date is considering action on just three of the recommendations.
Unions representing Ontario health care workers are also concerned for the health and well-being of their members and the public. They explain, in the more than four years since the SARS outbreak and tragedy there has been little change in the attitudes of health care employers regarding occupational health and safety.
More than 400 cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) were reported in Canada during the outbreak in 2003. More than 40 deaths were reported. The majority of the cases and deaths were in Toronto or surrounding communities. Most of the reported "occupational" cases were health care and hospital workers who worked in close contact with SARS patients.
Occupational Health and Safety Officer
United Nurses of Alberta