Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine
The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) has launched a new internal whistle-blower program to help tackle fraud and theft within its ranks.
The one-year pilot project called Integrity was launched on July 22, 2013 at a cost of $33,000. It allows transit workers to phone in e-mail any concerns of wrongdoing anonymously to Clearview Strategic Partners, a private company contracted to run the program.
While the majority of transit employees are law-abiding, “every once in a while, we have a few individuals who take it upon themselves to engage in illegal behaviour,” TTC spokesperson Brad Ross says. “This puts the whole system in a bad light.”
In January, eight transit enforcement officers were dismissed and five were arrested and charged with submitting false provincial offense tickets to homeless people for infractions such as loitering or trespassing. The officers in question were not at the locations where the tickets were issued and the falsified tickets were never served.
With the Integrity programs online component, a complainant can remain anonymous by creating a password to login and submit a complaint, which will be passed along to TTC investigators. If the transit commission needs more information, Ross says officials can pose questions to weed out perpetrators. If potential fraud or theft is identified, the police could be involved. “It’s in everybody’s best interest,” Ross says.
But Bob Kinnear, Pres. of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113 which represents TTC workers, is not convinced. “My only concern with this new initiative is that it publicly promotes the idea that there is widespread fraud and theft on the part of TT see employees that has yet to be discovered,” Kinnear says in a statement. “There is simply no evidence for this and how this is supposed to improve morale is beyond me.”
If we find that the employees are creating opportunities for criminal activities for themselves then what would be the solution; Self-policing? I do not think so!
Self-policing never works or has flaws in the process that can be used and corrupted if attempted.
The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) should be able to provide a short term plan to weed out verified criminal activity to make the TTC safer for workers and customers. It just makes sense!
Ensure your workplace is a safe place. Help your employer work towards this goal, either you direct or indirect means. A ‘Safety Culture’ is not an impossible goal!
Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.