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Preventing Workplace Meltdown: An Employer’s Guide to Maintaining a Psychologically Safe Workplace

HR Domains (Career GPS): Occupational Health and Safety; Employee Relations; Organizational Design and Development

2012 will see the issue of a new National Standard on Psychological Health and Safety in theCanadian HR Reporter Workplace (CSA Z1003/BNQ 9700).

This standard calls for the routine assessment and abatement of hazards to mental health originating in the way work is managed and organized. It addresses unnecessary and avoidable mental injuries that can result from careless, negligent, reckless and sometimes intentional acts and omissions leading to depression, anxiety, burnout and worse.

In this webinar, the authors of Preventing Workplace Meltdown (Carswell 2011) talk about ways in which employers can prevent the loss and liability associated with mental injuries by nurturing psychologically safe working environments.

Through the lens of actual case examples participants will:

  • See how mental injuries can arise even in otherwise well run workplaces
  • Learn how these injuries can often be prevented through the adoption of well established practices and policies
  • Understand the “must dos” of the psychologically safe workplace


Presenters: Dr. Martin Shain, Neighbour at Work Centre and Mary Ann Baynton, Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace

Dr. Martin Shain is principal of the Neighbour at Work Centre®, a consulting agency in the area of workplace mental health and safety [].
Martin is trained in both law and social science. He was for many years a senior scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. He has published four books and, over his career, more than 75 scholarly, trade and popular articles.

Currently he holds appointments in the departments of public health at the University of Toronto and Simon Fraser University where he is involved in research, development and teaching.
Martin helps private and public sector employers and unions understand and meet their new legal obligations to provide and maintain psychologically safe workplaces. His discussion papers for the Mental Health Commission of Canada on this subject are available on that organization’s website. []

The metric that he developed for Health Canada to assess high psychological risk areas called the SSOS or Stress Satisfaction Offset Score (yielding the Business Health Culture Index or BHCI) has been used extensively across Canada and elsewhere. It is embedded in at least two commercial Health Risk Appraisals as well as in Guarding Minds at Work []

As part of his mission to enhance the protection of mental health at work, he is a member of the Technical Committee that is developing Canada’s first national standard on psychological health and safety in the workplace.

Mary Ann is a co-author with Dr. Martin Shain of Preventing Workplace Meltdown:  An employer’s guide to providing a psychologically safe workplace and provides consulting services to organizations and unions that wish to improve or address issues related to workplace mental health. 

These services include individual return to work planning, conflict management, management training, keynote addresses, workshops, strategies that assess and address organizational mental health risk factors and project management.

As the former Director of Mental Health Works, an initiative of the Canadian Mental Health Association of Ontario, Mary Ann helped to create a multiple award-winning national training program. 

She serves as the Program Director for the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace which is a long-term public service commitment by Great-West Life to this very important social and economic issue. Projects through the Centre are making valuable tools, resources and information publicly available through the Centre’s website to all Canadians.

Mary Ann also serves as a member of the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s Workforce Advisory Committee and co-chair of the Technical Committee on the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace.

Her background includes over 20 years in the business world and 6 years in the non-profit sector and over 8 years as a workplace relations specialist.  Today she helps workplaces find solutions unique to their particular dynamic and reality.

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65 Minutes
Domain (Primary)
Occupational Health & Safety
Event Type
On-Demand Webinar
Continuing Professional Development

Continuing Professional Development 

1 Hr
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