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Keynote speaker addresses substance abuse

Second topic outlines legal requirements flowing from federal legislation
Keynote speaker addresses substance abuse

A safety symposium will explore topics relevant to both employers and employees in all industries.

Safety Symposium 2011 has two themes: Bill C-45 and drugs and alcohol in the workplace. The all-day event will take place on Tuesday, February 8 in the Evergreen Theatre at Powell River Recreation Complex. It is designed to address issues relevant to every industry and appeal to employers, employees and representatives of these groups.

Organizer Roger Whittaker said attendees will have an opportunity to acquire the latest information regarding legal requirements imposed by Bill C-45 and the much misunderstood substance abuse issues that are prevalent in the workplace. “Renowned experts will equip attendees with factual information and dispel misconceptions,” he said. “Safety Symposium 2011 is designed to offer attendees an overall awareness of rights and obligations in the workplace. This will serve to make workers safer as they gain better understanding of the environment they work in.”

Bill C-45 is federal legislation that established new legal duties for workplace health and safety and imposed serious penalties for violations that result in injuries or death. The bill provided new rules for attributing criminal liability to organizations, including corporations, their representatives and those who direct the work of others.

Safety Symposium 2011 is the second safety event Whittaker has organized. In 2009, he organized the first safety symposium in Powell River and subsequently was given an award by BC Forest Safety Council, presented by BC’s minister of labour.

Norm Keith, one of only two practicing lawyers in Canada who have received Canadian Registered Safety Professional designation, is the keynote speaker. He has written a number of books on both topics, including Alcohol and Drugs in the Canadian Workplace and Canadian Health and Safety Law. He will talk about substance abuse issues in the morning, followed by workplace occupational health and safety crimes in the afternoon.

The event includes displays from national, provincial and local agencies and businesses and a catered lunch.

The cost of the event is underwritten by sponsorships, mostly from local businesses and organizations.

There is no fee to attend, but people must register in advance. Registration forms can be downloaded.

For more information, interested readers can contact Whittaker at 604.414.6266.

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