OHS Insider delivers hundreds of useful tools that will save you both time and money, while also ensuring that your business is compliant with the latest laws and regulations in your area and/or industry.
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Adapt this model food and beverage policy for your workplace to encourage workers to make healthy choices.
To announce your company’s commitment to workplace safety, issue this proclamation in recognition of NAOSH Week. It should be signed by senior management.
Give this safety talk to workers to educate them on the hazards posed by lift trucks and the precautions they should take to protect themselves and others.
Use this checklist before disciplining a worker for a safety infraction to ensure you’ve thoroughly assessed the situation and considered all legal and safety issues.
Use this checklist to audit your OHS program and determine whether it has the necessary components, complies with the OHS laws and is effective.
Healthcare workplaces face unique safety challenges, especially as to safe patient handling. Adapt this model policy to protect your workers when moving patients.
Use this checklist of key questions to ask at each step of the process to ensure that your efforts to switch to safer chemicals are successful.
In the event of an emergency, you should call the involved workers' emergency contacts. Use this form to ensure that this contact information is on hand.
Use this form to assess the fall hazards posed by work on a roof and ensure that the proper safety measures are used to protect workers from them.
Give this safety talk handout to workers to teach them how to use the S.A.F.E. approach to assess possible hazards in the workplace.
Adapt this handout for your OHS program, collective agreement and the requirements in your jurisdiction’s OHS laws on PPE. Give it to all workers.
Use this checklist to assess the safety of the home offices or work areas of telecommuters. Make sure to address any hazards that are identified.
Adapt this handout and give it to workers as part of a safety talk on ways they can endanger themselves while using forklifts and how to avoid doing so.
Have workers use this form to inspect their hard hats, noting any defects or other issues. If there are any issues, the PPE should be repaired or replaced.
Give this handout to workers to educate them on the types of lasers, the hazards these devices can pose and the steps they can take to protect themselves.
Use this form to conduct a hazard analysis of jobs that workers perform, prioritize the identified hazards and ensure the appropriate controls are in place.
Use this questionnaire to get a sense of areas of weakness in your OHS program that may make all or certain workers more vulnerable to illness or injury.
Give this handout to managers and supervisors to help them understand what they should and should not do when discussing mental health issues with employees.
Use this checklist to ensure that your workplace and all staff are adequately prepared should a hurricane (or any other natural disaster) strike the area.
Adapt this handout and give it to workers as part of a safety talk on the hazards that can injure their heads and how they can protect themselves.
Question from a member:
I have one question about the new training requirements in Bill 160. Regarding the jhsc. . . . currently it's stated that only the co-chairs need to be certified. I would consider this specific health & safety training. Under Bill 160, will this certification be required for all members of the jhsc? (not just the co-chairs) Tina Borghese <email@example.com******** OHSI's response: Good question, Tina. Bill 160 would change the OHS Act (Sec. 7.6(1)(a)) to give the MOL authority to require certification of JHSC members. When and if Bill 160 is officially approved by the end of the current Assembly session on June
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According to CCOHS, an estimated 60% of the workers killed in confined spaces were would-be rescuers. For example, of the four workers killed in a BC barge, three entered the confined space as rescuers. So it’s hardly a surprise that OHS confined space regulations require measures to ensure the safety of not only the workers who enter the confined space to perform work operations but also the ones who might have to go in to rescue them. Having an effective emergency plan for confined spaces is the key to protecting both of these groups. We’ll explain the confined space emergency plan
On Oct. 1, 2008, the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) launched a two-year pilot project offering free online access to its OHS standards to increase accessibility and improve safety in Canadian workplaces. Registered users could view OHS standards referenced by their jurisdiction’s OHS laws through the CSA View Access page and links on the various workers’ compensation boards. But users couldn’t copy them or print them out.
Free access was valuable because it gave stakeholders a chance to review a standard to determine if it applied to them before buying the whole standard. It was also appropriate given that some
a home office safety checklist created by Alberta Employment and Immigration that you can adapt to conduct a hazard assessment of a telecommuter’s home office.
I’m going to try out my new Julia Child approach to OHS compliance with a recipe favorite from the WHMIS food groups—MSDS Liability
All employers in Canada have a duty to prevent and protect workers from violence. The OHS laws impose this obligation in one of two ways. In seven jurisdictions—Fed, AB, BC, MB, NS, PEI and SK—the OHS laws specifically say employers must take steps to address workplace violence. (Québec requires employers to prevent “workplace psychological harassment,” including physical violence.) In the remaining jurisdictions, this duty is implied by the OHS law’s “general duty clause.” Ontario currently falls in the latter group—but its status is likely to change soon. The government recently introduced a bill that would add new language to the
We all know about the dangers of using a cell phone while driving. But if you think driving a car while talking on a cell phone is dangerous, imagine the hazards of operating a forklift, working on an assembly line or performing other safety-sensitive jobs while chatting away on a cell phone. In fact, many workplace incidents occur because workers weren’t concentrating on the task at hand.
Cell phones aren’t the only source of distractions but they’ve made the problem much worse. So if you’re a safety coordinator, you need to restrict the use of cell phones by workers at
Warn Employees of Office Party Alcohol
An operator refused to drive an aircraft de-icing vehicle because a notice on the machine said the brakes weren’t working. The operator also claimed there had been other problems with that vehicle model, including jerky brakes. The safety officer investigated and found no danger; the brakes were working fine and the notice had been put on the machine by mistake. The arbitrator didn’t fault the operator for not knowing that the notice had been left on the machine by mistake. But he agreed with the safety officer that the vehicle was safe. “There was no evidence that the [company] took
Sec. 50 of the OHS Act bans employers from firing workers in reprisal for exercising their OHS rights. A security guard claimed he was fired in reprisal for complaining about being harassed by his supervisor. Although protection from harassment has been part of the OHS law since Bill 168 took effect on June 15, 2010, the alleged harassment in this case occurred before that. And since the right to be free from harassment didn’t exist yet, the Board ruled that the guard didn’t have a valid case of reprisal for exercising an OHS right [Barton v. Commissionaires (Great Lakes), 
An employee, who was a member of the JHSC, engaged in a work refusal. Less than a month later, he was fired. Another employee and member of the JHSC tried to help the first employee with regard to the work refusal and she too was fired. The employees filed a grievance, arguing that they’d been fired in retaliation for exercising their rights under the OHS Act. The company didn’t respond to the grievance by the deadline required in the Act. So the Board was forced to accept the employees’ version of what happened. It ordered the company to reinstate the
A city reassigned a worker from Radiation Supervisor to Shift Supervisor. The worker filed a grievance, claiming that he’d been reassigned in retaliation for safety issues he’d raised about the city’s handling of radioactive waste. The Ontario Labour Relations Board ruled that the reassignment wasn’t retaliatory. The worker had complained that the Radiation Supervisor position wasn’t a one-person job and he couldn’t complete all the required tasks for that position. Thus, he was reassigned. There was no evidence that he was reassigned because of his safety complaints, which the city had, in fact, considered and, where appropriate, taken steps to
If there’s an accident at your workplace, your first instinct might be to clean up the mess and get operations back on track as soon as possible. This is especially true if the accident appears minor and your workplace is a store, restaurant, hospital or other establishment frequented by members of the public. Unfortunately, immediate cleanups can get you into big trouble. That’s because the OHS laws of every province impose a duty not to disturb the scene of an accident until a health and safety inspector looks it over and gives the all-clear. True, you can move
A horse farm worker filed a complaint, claiming that he was fired in retaliation for seeking compliance with the OHS Act. But the complaint was vague and lacked specific details. So the Labour Relations Board ordered the worker to state in writing by a set deadline the specific acts he undertook to get the farm to comply with the law and why he thought retaliation for these acts was part of the farm’s motivation for firing him. Otherwise, the complaint would be dismissed [Holder v. 1022248 Ontario Ltd.,  O.L.R.D. No. 3325, Aug. 12, 2008].
A fork lift operator had had several incidents. She’d been warned and temporarily demoted on three separate occasions. After yet another incident, the employer permanently demoted the worker. The union filed a grievance. The arbitrator concluded that the demotion was appropriate. The employer had taken many steps to try to make the worker a safe fork lift operator. But those steps failed and there was no reason to believe that lesser discipline would make the worker a safe driver now [Butcher Engineering Enterprises Ltd. v National Automobile, Aerospace, Transportation and General Workers Union of Canada, Local 195,  CanLII 28393
An employee was suspended after he was arrested. When the criminal charges were dropped, he asked to be reinstated, but the employer refused. So the employee filed a complaint accusing the employer of suspending him because, in a safety training orientation, he’d pointed out flaws in the protective equipment it supplied. The Labour Relations Board dismissed his complaint, ruling that there was no evidence that the employee’s suspension was a reprisal for his comments. In fact, there was no evidence that the employer even knew about the employee’s safety concerns [Czerniak v. Ontario (Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services),
With warnings about the deadly Hantavirus posted all over the country, a worker refused to clean walkways that were strewn with dead rodents and rodent feces. He was also worried that lead paint or asbestos would flake off the structures around the walkways. The health and safety officer found no danger. The worker appealed, but the appeals officer agreed with the safety officer. Among other things, he noted that the lead chips were unlikely to get ground into a fine powder and that the worker had adequate PPE, including a half-face respirator with a HEPA filter [Genereux and
You all know about C-45. But there’s another important new criminal law that’s been flying under the radar. It’s called C-13 and, like C-45, it turns certain OHS violations into potential crimes. C-13 took effect on September 15, 2004. The reason you might not know about it is that it’s primarily a corporate stock fraud law. But it spills over into other areas, including workplace health and safety. So you need to be aware of the law and what to do about it.
We’ll explain how C-13 affects you and how to protect your company.
You may need to be more creative to get your safety training through to young workers. Consider using zombies.
If you're ready for zombies, you're ready for a disaster! Many of the same preparedness principles apply. Video created by WorkSafeBC.
Just how widespread is workplace violence? Consider this: Nearly two-thirds of human resources professionals recently surveyed by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) said that they had experienced some form of violence at their organization since January 2000. Most of the time the violence was limited to verbal threats and inappropriate language. But sometimes it took more severe forms, including physical assaults, stabbings and shootings. While most of the survey respondents were American, Canada is hardly a haven from workplace violence. On the contrary, only three other countries experience workplace violence incidents more often than Canada.
Zero tolerance has
Just how widespread is workplace violence? Consider this: Nearly two-thirds of human resources professionals recently surveyed by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) said they had experienced some form of violence at their organization since January 2000. Most of the time the violence was limited to verbal threats and inappropriate language. But sometimes it took more severe forms, including physical assaults, stabbings and shootings. While most of the survey respondents were American, Canada is hardly a haven from workplace violence. On the contrary, only three other countries experience workplace violence incidents more often than Canada, according to a recent
Employers across Canada are struggling to find a solution to the problem of workplace violence. One popular approach is to adopt a so-called "zero tolerance" policy. Zero tolerance has a lot of appeal because it’s a claim to the moral high ground and makes a company feel like it’s taking a real stand. But is it really an effective way to combat workplace violence and harassment? This article will try to answer that question. It’ll examine what zero tolerance means, whether it’s legally enforceable, what its limitations are (as a practical policy) and how to overcome them. There’s also a
Just how widespread is workplace violence? Consider this: Nearly two-thirds of human resources professionals recently surveyed by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) said they had experienced some form of violence at their organization since January 2000. Most of the time the violence was limited to verbal threats and inappropriate language. But sometimes it took more severe forms, including physical assaults, stabbings and shootings. While most of the survey respondents were American, Canada is hardly a haven from workplace violence. On the contrary, only three other countries experience workplace violence incidents more often than Canada, according to a recent International Labour Organization study.
The Westray mining tragedy, in which 26 workers died in an explosion at a Nova Scotia coal mine, had a big impact on the world of workplace safety. The resulting inquiry lead to changes in Nova Scotia’s and other jurisdictions’ OHS laws and Bill C-45, which amended the Canadian Criminal Code to make it easier to hold corporate executives who fail to take steps to protect the lives of their workers criminally liable. It was also one of the things that drove Yvonne O’Reilly, an OHS consultant and Conference Chair of the OHS Summit 2011, into the
LAW OF THE YEAR New & Young Workers On Jan. 1, a new Code of Practice for New and Young Workers took effect, which explains the minimum orientation, training and supervisory requirements employers must provide for young and new workers and provides practical guidance to help employers comply with these requirements. OTHER NOTABLE REGULATORY CHANGES Workers’ Compensation On Jan. 1, 2011, changes to the Workers’ Compensation Act took effect that provide re-employment protection for injured workers once they’re medically able to perform their pre-injury duties or other suitable employment and outline employers’ obligations to re-employ. Traffic Safety On April 1, 2011, amendments to the
As of April 1, Yukon drivers must stay off their cell phones while driving or face a $250 fine. The ban bars drivers from talking or texting with their handheld cell phones or other messaging devices while they’re operating a motor vehicle.
Effective July 1, leukemia, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, bladder, brain, colorectal, esophageal, kidney, lung, ureter and testicular cancers will be presumed to be occupational illnesses for full-time firefighters. And for all firefighters, a heart attack suffered up to 24 hours after an emergency