The Niagara News is the community newspaper of Niagara College located in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada. It is created and produced by the students of the Niagara College Journalism program.
A speaker series organized by the human resource (HR) group HR at Niagara, brings in guests that work in the field to help provide some insight into the real working world.
Dan Pozzobon, 37, met with 23 Niagara College business students Jan. 26 at the Niagara-on-the-Lake campus to discuss Bill 168.
On June 15, 2010, the amendments to Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) came into force and changed the way workplace safety was defined.
Pozzobon has been working in the health and safety field since 1998. Following graduation from Brock University in St. Catharines in 1996, majoring in environmental policy and biology, he took a graduate certificate program at Niagara College in environmental management the following year.
Launching his career at a flour mill in Port Colborne in the health and safety sector he was soon promoted to auditor for the health and safety committee and travelled throughout North America and Jamaica.
When he and his wife, his "high school sweetheart," says Pozzobon, started their family, he decided to leave his travelling lifestyle and accepted a job working as a health and safety specialist for Casino Niagara and Fallsview Casino Resort in Niagara Falls.
He also worked for the Hamilton School Board for about a year.
In February 2008, he joined Brock University’s health and safety team.
"I take pride in making positive changes in my university," says Pozzobon.
He says the OHSA revisions "strengthen protection for workers from workplace violence."
"Workplace violence used to be very black and white, and now we are dealing with more subjective things like people’s feelings," says Pozzobon.
He adds that the best way to deal with subjective matters is to create a team of individuals who have an equal say, instead of leaving it up to one person to make decisions on how to deal with workplace violence and harassment.
The OHSA now defines what workplace violence and harassment are and it also describes the employer’s duties.
Among those are to "prepare a policy, develop and maintain a program, assess the risks and provide information and instruction."
"A one-page policy works best," says Pozzobon, who says a binder-big policy on shelf will not be read by many.
"Workplace respect needs to be promoted. "Employers need to set the tone," says Pozzobon.
Chantelle Mamone, 26, is a human resource management student and part of the HR at Niagara group.
"I really enjoyed the presentation. It was very informative."
Mamone who has attended all the speaker series presentations, says they have helped her complete school assignments.
Dr. Holly Catalfamo, organizer of the speaker series, says Pozzobon did an excellent job."
"His proactive approach to promoting a culture of health and safety is commendable. The participants at this workshop were impressed by Dan’s enthusiasm and invitational approach."