Archives for January 2015

The People of Seton

Seton Canada Team

Here at Seton, we are certain that people are at the core of our business. Not only do we place a tremendous amount of value on our customers, but we think OUR team is pretty terrific too. Here’s a little more about the folks who make safety easy on a day-to-day basis.

  • Michael Duenas specializes in solution selling, providing product advice and tips to safety management professionals.
  • Blaze Gentile specializes in custom signage, labels and tapes. He joined Seton two years ago as a Customer Care Specialist before transitioning into his current role.
  • Michel Ethier is new to our business. He specializes in workplace safety and compliance products. Michel assists his customers in any way, providing product advice to help them choose the right solutions for their needs.
  • Garvin Richards has more than 12 years in account management roles and he strives to manage the needs and requirements of his customers. Garvin uses his passion for sales, along with a consultative and strategic thinking style, to best serve those customers.
  • Kriti Mistry specializes in health and safety, providing product advice to healthcare/hospital professionals and other top Seton customers.
  • Marie-Claude Beaudry is Seton Canada’s Sales Manager. She began her career with Seton as a Product Specialist before transitioning into her current role as the head of the Canadian site.
  • Nic Santamaria has over 15 years of sales experience. He has served customers in many industries, from health and safety to print media, and strives to provide excellent customer service.
  • Ranji Cader specializes in on-the-job safety solutions and provides product advice to customers serving a variety of industries.
  • Reggie Campbell is focused on enhancing sales with new customers. He was previously a Key Account Manager at Seton.
  • Winston Kwong is a Key Account Manager. He brings several years of account management experience to his Seton customers.
  • Tina Webster is a new bilingual Campaigns Representative, focused on new customers and specific campaigns. She specializes in solution selling, providing product advice and tips to safety management professionals.
  • Travis Landry has recently joined the Seton team. He specializes in solution selling, providing product advice and tips to safety management professionals.
  • Romain Petit specializes in solution selling and provides customers with high level expertise and knowledge in French.

Utilizing the National Labour Operations Resources


The National Labour Operations Resources (NLOR) is essential for federally-regulated organizations to remain informed and in compliance with the Canada Labour Code and related legislation. It is a customized bilingual collection of documents developed by The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC).

The Canada Labour Code affects public sector employees in federally regulated industries including:

  • Public Service
  • Crown Corporations
  • Broadcasting
  • Banking
  • Shipping
  • Telecommunications

NLOR is a trusted source for information on:

  • Canada Labour Code and related legislation
  • CSA & CGSB standards referenced in the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations
  • Fair Wages and Hours of Labour Act
  • Labour Standards
  • Unjust Dismissal Decisions
  • Appeals Officer decisions
  • Canada Industrial Relations Board decisions
  • Fire Protection Standards
  • Operations Program Directives (OPDs) & Interpretations, Policies and Guidelines (IPGs)
  • CASE LAW Decisions
  • Related HSRDC publications

Annual subscriptions are available on either CD-ROM, Intranet, or the Internet and include:

  • Daily web updates
  • Unlimited free technical support
  • Bi-monthly e-newsletter Liaison

The CD-ROM is updated every 6 months and the online version is updated bi-weekly. Web subscribers can sign up for the Legislation Notification Service to receive email notifications when a change occurs to documents they are tracking.

Stay On Top of Fall Hazards


Falls from elevation hazards are present at almost every job site, and many workers are exposed to these hazards daily.

An unprotected side or edge that is 6’ or more above a lower level should be protected from falls by the use of a guardrail, safety net or personal fall arrest system. These hazardous exposures exist in many forms, and can be as seemingly innocuous as changing a light bulb on a step ladder to something as high risk as connecting bolts on high steel at 200 feet in the air.

Employers should design and use comprehensive fall protection programs to reduce the risk of serious or fatal injuries. At a minimum, employers should 1) identify all fall hazards at a work site; 2) conduct regular safety inspections; 3) train employees in recognizing and avoiding unsafe conditions; and 4) provide employees with appropriate protective equipment.

Again, any worker who may be exposed to a fall hazard should be properly trained. The training should enable each worker to recognize fall hazards and the procedures to follow for minimizing such hazards. The training should be provided by a person qualified through education and/or experience.

Utilize these basic ladder rules as a guide –

  • Inspect ladders before each use
  • Maintain ladders free of oil, grease and other slipping hazards
  • Keep metal parts lubricated
  • Make sure braces, bolts and screws are in place and secure
  • Do not load ladders beyond the manufacturer’s rated capacity
  • Use ladders only for their designed purpose
  • Use ladders only on stable and level surfaces unless secured to prevent accidental movement
  • Set ladder feet parallel to the surface that the ladder rests against
  • Clear areas around the top and bottom of ladders
  • Extend ladders at least 3 feet above the top support
  • Angle the ladder so that the distance from the bottom of the ladder to the wall is one-fourth the ladder’s working length
  • Do not move, shift or extend ladders while in use
  • Use ladders equipped with nonconductive side rails if the worker or the ladder could contact exposed energized electrical equipment
  • Face the ladder when moving up or down
  • Wear shoes with non-skid soles
  • Maintain three points of contact with the ladder — either both feet and one hand or one foot and two hands
  • Do not carry objects or loads that could cause loss of balance or falling

Simple Precautions to Avoid Serious Electrical Accidents


Because it is so essential to nearly every type of operation, electricity can be a serious workplace hazard. Almost every employee is exposed to some level of electricity. What is the best way to protect your employees against electrical hazards? Education and training. Start with the basics.

A Look at Insulation

Insulators, such as glass, mica, rubber or plastic used to coat metals and other conductors, help stop or reduce the flow of electrical current. This helps prevent electrical shock, fires and short circuits. To be effective, the insulation must be suitable for the voltage level involved and appropriate for conditions, such as temperature and other environmental factors like moisture, oil, gasoline, corrosive fumes or other substances that could cause the insulator to fail. Before connecting electrical equipment to a power source, it’s a good idea to check the insulation for any exposed wires or defects. Insulation covering flexible cords is particularly vulnerable to damage.

Where Guarding Comes Into Play

Another form of protection is guarding. This involves locating or enclosing electrical equipment to prevent workers from accidentally coming into contact with its live parts. Recommended locations include a room, vault or similar enclosure; a balcony, gallery or elevated site. Sturdy, permanent screens can also work as effective guards. Conspicuous signs must be posted at the entrances to electrical rooms and similarly guarded locations to alert workers to the electrical hazard and to forbid entry to unauthorized people.

What about Grounding?

Grounding a tool or electrical system means intentionally creating a low-resistance path that connects to the earth, which prevents the buildup of voltages that could cause an electrical accident. Grounding is normally a secondary protective measure and does not guarantee that a worker won’t get a shock or be injured or killed by an electrical current. It will, however, substantially reduce the risk, especially when used in combination with other safety measures. A service or system ground is designed primarily to protect machines, tools and insulation against damage. An equipment ground helps protect the equipment operator.

Circuit Protection Devices

Circuit protection devices limit or stop the flow of current automatically in the event of a ground fault, overload or short circuit in the wiring system. Common examples of these devices are fuses, circuit breakers, ground fault circuit interrupters and arc-fault circuit interrupters. Fuses and circuit breakers protect conductors and equipment by breaking the circuit automatically when too much current flows through. Ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) are used in wet locations, construction sites and other high-risk areas. These devices interrupt the flow of electricity within as little as 1/40 of a second to prevent electrocution. Arc-fault devices de-energize the circuit when an arc-fault is detected.

Remember Safe Work Practices

Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind is that electrical accidents are largely preventable through everyday compliance and training. Remember and pass on the following: always de-energize electric equipment before inspection or repair; keep electric tools properly maintained; exercise caution when working near energized lines; and use the appropriate protective equipment.

The 411 On Young Workers


Training and compliance are essential at all levels of experience, but young workers are statistically more likely to be involved in accidents. Newly published results from the Ministry of Labour’s 2014 New and Young Workers Blitz revealed workers are three times more likely to be injured during their first month on the job than at any other time. Here’s the latest buzz around young workers. Do your part to help this critical sector of the workforce thrive!

  • The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives recently released a report concluding that young people need more student aid and more help transitioning into the workforce. The key takeaways were that work experience, gender issues for women, student debt, and poor information can prevent young people from achieving stable employment after graduation. It was suggested that companies modify their qualification requirements to better include young people with less experience.
  • A contracting company in the Calgary region is facing several OH&S charges, including inappropriately employing a person younger than 15 years old, following a July incident in which a 14-year-old employee fell from a roof. The province also came under fire over the summer when a 15-year-old was killed in a conveyor accident near Wintering Hills.
  • Responding to increases in non-unionized, part-time and contract work, a new non-profit hopes to help workers understand their rights, navigate legal and bureaucratic systems, and file insurance claims. The Sudbury Workers Education and Advocacy Centre specifically aims to help young workers understand their rights and protect themselves from being taken advantage of by employers. The organization will present educational workshops in high schools throughout the year.

Opening up opportunities to young workers can certainly be beneficial, but it comes with the additional responsibility of ensuring they have been properly trained and educated BEFORE they go to work. Learning on the job is not sufficient.

Keep in mind that everyone learns differently, and at different speeds. Also remember how valuable seasoned employees can be in sharing their stories and guidance with those just starting out.

Safety News You Can Use


  • The Ministry of Labour announced a new training standard which includes hazard identification, ladder safety, the proper use of PPE, and the rights and responsibilities regarding working at heights. The Working at Heights Training Program Standard, which goes into effect on April 1, will be mandatory for all provincial worksites that fall under the Regulations for Construction Projects. The standard applies immediately to all Ontario construction workers who have not already been trained under the Regulations for Construction Projects. Those who already have this training have until April 1, 2017 to qualify for the new requirements.
  • Also in Ontario, businesses should prepare for two upcoming Health & Safety blitzes, both running from Feb 2 – March 15. Industrial sector will see a Slips, Trips and Falls blitz, and Mining businesses should anticipate Water Management inspections.
  • The Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE) has called on all employers in the province, including the provincial government, to review and revise safety protocols. The initiative comes in response to two recent courts decisions on OH&S violations which resulted in fatalities. In both cases, charges included failure to provide proper information, training, PPE, instruction and supervision, in addition to other charges.
  • BC’s Southern Railway (SRY) has shut the gates at work sites and hired security guards to remove over 100 workers. Managers are now in charge of operating trains for a service area that stretches from Vancouver to Chilliwack. There are concerns over whether or not managers, who are qualified on paper, have the experience necessary run trains safely. The lockout is a result of unresolved health and safety concerns around fatigue, overtime, wages, and working conditions.



A Look at PPE and Why It Is Essential


Personal protective equipment, or PPE, is designed to protect employees from serious workplace injuries or illnesses resulting from contact with chemical, radiological, physical, electrical, mechanical or other workplace hazards. Besides face shields, safety eyewear, hard hats and safety shoes, PPE includes a variety of devices and garments, such as coveralls, gloves, vests, earplugs and respirators.

In order to know what kinds of PPE workers need, it is important to know what kinds of hazards they may encounter on the job. A thorough hazard assessment of the workplace will help to determine what hazards are present that require the use of PPE. Once hazards are identified, supervisors must select protective equipment that fits properly and then communicate PPE expectations and procedures to all workers.

Employees required to wear PPE must be trained on the following:

❑ How to use, maintain, and dispose of PPE properly

❑ When PPE is necessary

❑ What kind of PPE is necessary

❑ The limitations of PPE

❑ How to put on, adjust, wear and take off PPE

PPE can protect workers from head to toe, and protect YOU from compliance-related fines and shut downs. All PPE should be of safe design and construction, and be maintained in a clean and reliable fashion. Most protective devices are available in multiple sizes and care should be taken to select the proper size for each employee. Taking fit and comfort into consideration will encourage employee use. If several different types of PPE are worn together, make sure they are compatible. If PPE does not fit properly, it can mean the difference between being safely covered or dangerously exposed.

Workers’ Comp: Protection For Everyone


Even in the safest of workplaces, accidents can and will happen. When employees encounter on-the-job injuries or diseases, they may need to rely on workers’ compensation to help with associated costs. In Canada, workers’ comp is a system of compulsory no-fault insurance for workplace injuries. The following concepts, known as the Meredith Principles, underlie most workers’ compensation legislation in Canada today.

  1. No-fault compensation, which means workers are paid benefits regardless of how the injury occurred.
  2. Security of benefits, which means a fund is established to guarantee funds exist to pay benefits.
  3. Collective liability, which means that covered employers, on the whole, share liability for workplace injury insurance.
  4. Independent administration, which means that the organizations who administer workers’ compensation insurance are separate from government.
  5. Exclusive jurisdiction, which means only workers’ compensation organizations provide workers’ compensation insurance.

The basic idea of these principles is to create a system in which the employer funds the workers’ compensation system (based on their payroll, industry sector, and history of workplace injuries), in exchange for workers surrendering their rights to sue if injured. Each province and territory has its own legislation (generally the Workers’ Compensation Act), created by the local government and administered by Workers’ Compensation Boards/Commissions (WCBs). You can access online versions of workers’ compensation legislation here.

Be sure you know your local laws in order to stay in compliance and protect yourself and your workers during times of unexpected hardship.

A Who’s Who Of OH&S Responsibilities


This month, we turn our attention (and yours) to compliance. What better way to start off than to give you a basic rundown of Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) responsibilities? The elements of your safety program can only be effectively implemented if you and your workers understand your responsibilities. What you don’t know CAN hurt you!

Jurisdictional and organizational requirements will dictate specific program needs, but these basic elements should almost always be considered:

  • Joint occupational health and safety committee
  • Health and safety rules and promotion
  • Workers responsibility, orientation & training
  • Reporting, investigating, inspection, and emergency procedures
  • Medical and first aid

Health and safety responsibilities should be shared among management and workers. Carefully determining and detailing responsibilities in the safety program will help everyone understand and carry out duties. Below are some examples that will help determine who should handle what.

Management responsibilities include:

  • providing a safe and healthful workplace
  • establishing and maintaining a health and safety program
  • providing workers with health and safety information, training, and certifications
  • reporting accidents and occupational disease incidents to the appropriate authority
  • providing personal protective equipment and medical & first aid facilities
  • supporting & evaluating the health and safety performance of supervisors

Worker responsibilities include:

  • using personal protection and safety equipment as required by the employer
  • following safe work procedures
  • knowing and complying with all regulations
  • reporting injury or illness immediately
  • reporting unsafe acts or conditions
  • participating in joint health and safety committees