Glen Abernethy: GNWT Occupational Health and Safety Program

Déclarations et discours de ministres

Mr. Speaker, the Government of the Northwest Territories is a diverse workplace, with employees working in many different locations and in a variety of capacities.  Regardless of the kind of work they do, all employees have a fundamental right to be healthy and safe in the workplace. Ensuring we have a strong, safe and healthy workforce allows the GNWT to deliver key services and programs to residents of the NWT. 

As the biggest employer in the Northwest Territories, it is important that the GNWT leads by example.  By creating a safe and healthy work environment, the GNWT can maintain its position as an employer of choice. I am committed to ensuring that the Department of Human Resources continues its leadership on the corporate framework that supports implementation of the GNWT’s occupational health and safety program in departments and agencies. 

Mr. Speaker, the Department of Human Resources is developing an overarching occupational health and safety framework that will assist with streamlining GNWT health and safety procedures. More importantly, the framework will put consistent standards and directives into place across all departments and agencies to ensure that we’re all doing the right things for all of our employees.

The Department is also working to strengthen the occupational health and safety culture of the GNWT through the development of a suite of policies that will complement the existing Occupational Health and Safety Policy. 

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce that for 2015-2016 fiscal year, the GNWT has been successful on the Worker’s Safety and Compensation Commission’s Safe Advantage Program and the Management Practice Questionnaire. This is an annual process that involves a 48 point questionnaire, as well as a rigorous audit by the WSCC to confirm our responses. This significant achievement demonstrates our Government’s commitment to health and safety in the workplace and provides us with valuable, objective feedback on how we can continue to improve.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to extend my congratulations to GNWT departments, boards and agencies for our recent success on the Safe Advantage Program, and to challenge our entire government to continue to meet and exceed standards for health and safety in the workplace.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker