Issues of workplace health and wellness are an ongoing priority for the Canadian Labour and Business Centre (CLBC), which is a joint organization founded on strong membership from the main workplace parties - business and labour. The CLBC and its Board of Directors believe that approaches which promote workplace health and wellness are in the best interests of both employers and workers - a clear ‘win-win’. In particular, in a period of anticipated growing skill shortages, those employers who pay attention to workplace health issues will have a competitive advantage over others in recruiting and retaining workers with much-needed skills.
As part of its efforts to improve our collective understanding of healthy workplace concepts and to promote healthy workplace practices more broadly within the business and labour communities, the CLBC carried out case studies on the safety and health initiatives of 12 Canadian workplaces. The cases were selected because their approaches to workplace health are innovative and effective in improving workplace safety and health, and in improving business performance. It was felt that the case study approach would be a persuasive way to promote these practices and encourage their adoption by other organizations.
The case studies were carried out between September, 2001 and December, 2002. The 12 organizations that participated in the studies were drawn from six provinces, varied in size from 30 to 7,300 employees, reflected public and private sector organizations ranging from hospitals to steelmakers, and included both unionized and non-unionized workplaces. This variety reflected an important objective of the study, which was to explore the form that workplace health initiatives took in vastly different types of workplaces and try to derive common features of these.
Each of the 12 case studies features:
In addition to the individual case studies, the CLBC prepared an overall summary document outlining the key features common to these workplaces and their workplace safety and health initiatives. The case studies and the overall summary document are available on the CLBC’s website.