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Mental health, opioids on the docket for workplace safety conference

Timmins hosting second annual health and safety conference Sept. 18
Steve Howe (left) and Big Daddy Tazz will speak to guests during the second annual Timmins Health and Safety Conference on Sept. 18. (Supplied images)

Mental health, opioid use, and preventing violence and harassment are among the topics to be discussed during the second annual Health and Safety Conference being held in Timmins this September.

The conference, slated for Wednesday, Sept. 18 at the Senator Hotel, is being jointly hosted by Workplace Safety North (WSN) and Public Services Health and Safety Association (PSHSA).

The event will feature guest speakers, workshops, and a tradeshow, among other acitivities, noted Mike Parent, vice-president of prevention services at Workplace Safety North.

“Conference delegates have the opportunity to learn about trending topics in health and safety, attend the tradeshow, and network and share knowledge with professionals from diverse industries,” Parent said in a news release.

Keynote speakers include Big Daddy Tazz, a Canadian comedian and mental health advocate, and Steve Howe, a safety consultant who shares his personal story of healing from a workplace injury.

Other topics of interest include:

  • Burnout in the workplace: A focus on prevention;
  • The opioid crisis: Challenges in the workplace 
  • Preventing violence and harassment in the workplace: A legal perspective;
  • Track switch indicator: New technology improves pedestrian safety in underground mines;
  • Critical incident: Managing the media;
  • How to hold a difficult conversation;
  • How to build an effective Joint Health and Safety Committee;
  • From space shuttles to the twin towers – What I’ve learned about systems and culture;
  • DrugTest 5000: What’s your tolerance;
  • Navigating the system: Where do we go in times of struggle and how do we get there; and
  • Discussion Panel: Navigating substance use and impairment in the workplace.

A half-day workshop on Substance Use Awareness Training for Supervisors is also being held on Thursday, Sept. 19, which combines two courses developed by CannAmm, one of the most experienced and knowledgeable organizations in the drug- and alcohol-testing field.

Facilitated by a WSN health and safety specialist, participants will learn about the basics of a fit-for-duty program, as well as how to recognize the signs and symptoms of drug and alcohol use and abuse. The workshop is valued at $157.50, and you can only attend if you purchase the workshop with your conference pass.

For registration information, contact Carol Lessard at 1-888-730-7821, ext. 265, or

WSN and PSHSA are provincial health and safety training associations responsible for province-wide health and safety training and services for specific industry sectors.

WSN is based in North Bay and serves Ontario mining, forest products, and Northern Ontario communities. PSHSA is based in Toronto and serves the public sector, including schools, health care, first responders, and municipalities.