Newcomers to Canada are at an increased risk of workplace injury and illness, due in part to a lack of knowledge about their rights and responsibilities in occupational health and safety (OHS). As an established resource for newcomers in labour market integration, settlement agencies are well-positioned to promote OHS awareness among newcomers entering the workforce. However, some settlement agencies may lack the resources and capacity to provide this information. To support the agencies, a working group comprised of representatives of Ontario's OHS and immigration systems was formed. Its purpose was to help build OHS capacity among settlement agencies and to support them in providing key OHS information and resources to their clients.
This presentation will discuss the development and delivery of the OHS capacity-building workshops for settlement agencies and an evaluation capturing the experiences of service providers and newcomer clients. Presenters Dr. Basak Yanar and Eduardo Huesca, of Institute for Work & Health and Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers respectively, will also discuss how system resources and supports can be made more accessible and effective in protecting newcomers in their first jobs. They will also identify opportunities and explore roles that the Ontario’s OHS system partners can play in further supporting the settlement sector.