Health & Safety

ETFO is committed to improving and maintaining awareness of Health & Safety issues in all workplaces. Employees are entitled to go to work in a safe and healthy environment each day.

The Ontario Health and Safety Act (OHSA) sets out consistent standards that must be followed by employers and employees. This is the legislation that requires employers to have a Joint Health and Safety Committee (JH&SC). The Joint Health & Safety Committee meets four times per year and discusses issues such as violence and other unsafe working conditions. For example, every time an employee fills out the Employee Violent Incident form, the committee will review and discuss it. This is why it is so important that members fill out the appropriate forms in order to be in compliance with the OHSA and bring attention to incidents.  The goal of the JH&SC is for employees and employers to be mutually committed to improving health and saftety in every workplace across the Rainbow District School Board.

In 2013, due to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), a task force was struck to develop a report and make recommendations. From that report, 24 recommendations were made and ETFO continues to work diligently to implement each one.

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When a student demonstrates high risk behaviours that could harm themselves or others, a Safety Plan should be developed to assist with managing those risks.  The Student Safety Plan is implemented to protect the student and others, including staff.  Violence in any form is never OK.  A safety plan should be developed regardless of the child's age or special designation.

The Student Safety Plan includes vital information such as a description of the unsafe behaviours; preventative strategies; how to get immediate assistance; steps to protect the student, staff and other students from injury; crisis response; first aid; emergency procedures; and reporting requirements.  The Student Safety Plan is developed in consultation with the staff who know the student best. It is revised as often as necessary to ensure that the protections are working.


According to the Occupational Health and Safety Act

Workplace violence means:

  • The exercise of physical force by a person against a worker, in a workplace, that causes or could cause physical injury to the worker
  • An attempt to exercise physical force against a worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker
  • A statement or behaviour that it is reasonable for a worker to interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against the worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker.

Workplace harassment means:

  • Engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.
  • Workplace harassment may include bullying, intimidating or offensive jokes or innuendos, displaying or circulating offensive pictures or materials, or offensive or intimidating phone calls.

The Rainbow District School Board Online Health & Safety Reporting System can be found at