Health and Safety

Finally, we each have the legal right to refuse work, or part of our work, when there is a reason to believe that it’s likely to put ourselves in danger. Keep in mind that a teacher’s right to refuse work must take into account the safety of students. Before refusing work, you should really seek the advice of your local. If you believe you’re in danger, get immediate assistance and report your concerns to your principal right away.

If the incident is also a serious student incident under the Education Act you must do the same for a Safe Schools Incident Reporting Form.


In the Bluewater District School Board, this form can be accessed here:


Remember, if you’re blocked in anyway from getting immediate assistance, reporting an incident or getting action, call your OT Local President at:

 1-519-377-8018 or contact ETFO Provincial Professional Relations Services at: 

1-888-838-3836  for support.


Your principal must investigate and deal with your report. These actions can include an assessment or reassessment of the risk of violence; development of a safety or behaviour plan in consultation with affected staff; progressive discipline for a student; or a review of emergency response procedures including police contact.


If you become injured or ill due to workplace violence, complete and submit your school board’s injury and illness reporting form and don’t forget to get medical attention if it’s needed.


In the Bluewater District School Board, this form can be found on Sharepoint > BWDSB Home Site > Forms & Templates >


You should also be aware that you have a right to know about a person with a history of violence in your workplace that is if you can be expected to encounter that person in the course of your work, and the risk of violence from them is likely to cause you physical injury. Your school board and principal are required to provide you with as much information about this person as is reasonably necessary to protect you from injury.


In the Bluewater District School Board, every school has a binder in the office to review any safety plans that are written for students whose behaviour poses a risk of injury to themselves and/or others. 

Ensure that workplace violence incidents get reported.


Under current legislation, school boards, principals, and ETFO members have legal responsibilities when it comes to reporting procedures for violence in schools. Which means, ETFO members are required to report a violent incident, whether the physical force is actual, attempted or threatened. 

One of the first steps is to complete and submit the school board’s workplace violence reporting form as soon as possible.


In the Bluewater District School Board, this form can be accessed here:

When you are in a school and have, or notice a health and safety concern, please report it to the Administrator. There is a Worker Concern Flow Chart (AP3804-D) that specifies the steps to follow. This form is posted in the staff room at all schools.



  • Please remember to sign in and out in the Visitors’ Log when reporting to, and finishing assignments.  


  • Get a classroom key upon arrival and return at the end of the assignment. 

    • Page 18 of our Collective Agreement: “School boards will achieve the compliance level regarding Occasional Teacher ability to lock and unlock the classroom door as set out in the Provincial Model for a Local Police/School Board Protocol (2015) by December 31, 2015.” 


  • Binders are kept in the office with pictures of students whose behaviours are known to pose an ongoing risk of physical injury to him or herself, staff and others in the school community. 



  • Report any slips, trips, or falls no matter how minor. It may feel like nothing, but in a few days, it could become worse. This way it is documented. 


Health & Safety Collective Agreement Clauses:


21.03 If a pregnant Member, during her regular duties, is exposed to diseases or physical dangers which may cause harm to the unborn child, or, if a Member who has returned to work after a pregnancy leave, is exposed to diseases or physical dangers which may cause harm for the child whom she is breastfeeding, a solution to this situation will be realized by:

a) consideration of altering the commencement date of the pregnancy leave if the dangerous condition relates to the Member’s physical abilities;

b) temporary assignment to another location or duties;

c) use of sick leave credits.


14.04 The board will endeavour to ensure the automated callout will include the names of the teacher(s) being replaced, the grade(s) to be taught, the assigned time including scheduled supervision, and any special information including communicable diseases as per Article 21.03

Bluewater Occasional Teachers' Local

Local President: Andrew Chittka


Call/Text: 1 (519) 377-8018

Get Social: #ETFO #BluewaterOT

ETFO Professional Relations Services

Toll Free: 1-888-838-3836


ETFO professional relations staff provide information, advice, support, and intervention for members who are experiencing professional difficulties covering a broad range of issues.

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