General Health & Safety
Next Gen is actively working to create a high-functioning safety culture and wants to ensure, to the best of their ability, that all employees feel safe within camp, during transportation to and from the block, as well as feel safe while planting.
To uphold Next Gen’s due diligence in safety, each crew will have a designated Health & Safety Employee (HSE) who’s main responsibility is the health and wellness of other employees. Each Project Manager and one worker representative will also be trained in Next Gen’s Health & Safety program.
The HSE training for Next Gen includes upholding provincial Health and Safety Act & Codes, Emergency Response, Hazard Assessments, Incident Investigations, Injury Reporting, Injury Management, and Right to Refuse Unsafe Work.
Each crew will also have a Joint Health & Safety Committee made up of planter representatives and management. The Health & Safety Committee will meet regularly to review previous injuries, incidents and concerns as well as discusses innovative ways to help improve the overall health and safety of the crew. Since the health and safety of employees is a collective effort, each employee at Next Gen will receive an overview of the Health & Safety program as a part of orientation.
In the spring of 2021 the management of Next Gen, Project Managers and Field Staff, will continue to develop leadership skills. These skills will help us to better manage stress and continue to foster a work environment centered on respect. These workshops will be provided by professionals outside of Next Gen.
Our Head Health & Safety Employee, Sam, will continue to provide Sexual Violence Prevention Training for management as well Awareness and Response to Mental Health Training prior to the season.
Planter Training & Online Requirements Pre-Season
General orientation will again be provided online. However, this year the large orientation will be broken up into smaller parts. This will mean that it does not need to all be completed in one session. The orientation modules will be available later in the spring, closer to the start of the season so material is fresher. Orientation will open mid March.
It was clear from the Feedback Survey that some planters missed in person orientations, especially a formal one for new planters. There will be an in-camp orientation in 2021 based on the pertinent material from the online modules, mandatory for New Planters and optional for others.
This year, contracts and tax forms will be done online through the website. These will go live at the same time as the orientation and are to be completed prior to arriving on camp.
Those who have completed the general orientation, contract and tax forms prior to April 20th will receive $30 on their first pay check.
Approach to Mental Health & Wellness
Planting is intense and can be stressful. Creating networks of support for all levels of employees is important to pull some stress out of the system. Rest, and breaks from the intensity are also important. We are working to build a better implementable structure around both concepts.
Last year, there was an open Peer Support training module available online to anyone interested. This year, it will be the same. However, there will be at least one or more official Peer Support person(s) on each camp. This person will be an interested planter who will receive additional training and support from the Head Health and Safety Employee. They will be available for planters to reach out to, listen, connect people with resources and consult with Sam for ongoing guidance and support.
Approach to Sexual violence Prevention
Sexual violence prevention starts with fostering an environment of respect throughout the workplace. One where people are free to be who they are and have a voice. Maintaining an environment where people can bring issues to their field supervisor or camp manager is important. All management are receiving training in how to effectively support employees, how to hear complaints and how to better look after themselves so we can listen without being reactive.
Next Gen has developed many avenues for someone to disclose a sexual harassment or assault in case a person is not comfortable with one way of disclosing. There are crew Health and Safety Employees, Peer Support individuals, the Project Manager, the Field Staff as well as the Head Health & Safety Employee. The contacts for the Human Rights Commissions for each province area are also readily available.
Both Management and planters receive training in Sexual Violence prevention. They are two different trainings delivered to Next Gen employees. With management training focusing on fostering a healthy environment, what to do when there is a disclosure as well as how to address inappropriate attitudes and behaviours. Planter training also covers what a healthy environment looks like and how to help create safe spaces within camp, bystander intervention, as well as how the policy is implemented once a complaint is initiated.
Approach to Wind
Next Gen is working internally and with contractors to create a better safe work practice regarding working in windy conditions, particularly around standing dead timbre. We will better define stop work conditions and explore other risk mitigation options. Some anemometers, devices for measuring wind speed and directions, will be available for use in the field in 2021 for reliable and objective decision making.