Panel discussion Wednesday on workplace safety

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Health and safety in the workplace are the focus of an event happening downtown next week.

A screening of the film A Day’s Work, along with a panel discussion, takes place Wednesday at Market Hall from 7 to 9 p.m.

It’s a chance for residents to learn more about where the responsibility of health and safety lie within a workplace.

The hour-long documentary tells the story of Lawrence DaQuan (Day) Davis, a temporary worker hired to work at the Bacardi bottling plant in Florida. The 21-year-old was killed 90 minutes into his first day of the job.

The film includes interviews with family members, investigative reporters and health and safety experts.

After the screening, there’ll be a discussion led by health and safety advocates.

Marion Burton is chairwoman of the Peterborough Workers’ Action Centre, the host event host.

The centre focuses on workers who aren’t unionized or a collective agreement that spells out working conditions.

It partners with a number of other organizations, such as the Peterborough and District Labour Council, Trent OPIRG and Peterborough Public Health, to ensure resources and educational opportunities are available in the city for non-unionized workers.

Burton said more than half of workers in the area aren’t unionized, so it’s important for health and safety to be top of mind.

The event aims to highlight that importance and with World Day for Decent Work on Oct. 7, the timing was fitting.

For non-unionized workers, Burton said it’s often unclear who’s responsible for their health and safety. Is it the employer or the temp agency they work for?

Burton thinks the Ontario Liberal government’s planned changes to the Employment Standards Act and the Labour Relations Act won’t make it any clearer, she added.

That means it’s up to workers to protect themselves.

Through the film and discussion session, attendees will learn how to protect themselves from psychological and physical health hazards in the workplace.

The event is also ideal for health and safety representatives.

Burton said she hopes attendees walk away informed and empowered to take charge of their health and safety.

The event is free, but residents are asked to register through Eventbrite at www.eventbrite.ca/e/decent-work-series-a-days-work-film-screening-and-panel-discussion-tickets-37551448393#tickets

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