Archives for March 2015

Eye Protection: Reduce the Risk of Injury


Eye hazards exist in many areas throughout a workplace. From dust and dirt to more powerful contaminants, there are plenty of ways in which an eye injury can occur. It’s important for workers to do all they can to protect their eyes and preserve their vision when they are on the job.

The Labour Program for Canada suggests working to eliminate eye hazards to effectively prevent them. Some ways to control eye hazards, include:

  • Use protective screens and wire mesh grids to protect yourself from flying particles.
  • Install safety glass guards on machines to prevent injuries caused by flying chips or splashing liquids.
  • Place moveable shields around grinders, lathes and other similar machines to protect other workers.
  • Enclose sources of fine dusts, mists or vapours.
  • Control dust and fumes using general or local ventilation systems.
  • Isolate hazardous operations in separate areas.
  • For outdoor work, damp down work areas and seal dusty surfaces.

Another important way to protect your eyes is to wear proper eye protection. There are several different protective eyewear options:

Safety Glasses: Protect eyes from flying particles of metal, wood, stone, plastic or glass coming from the front only.

Safety Glasses with Semi-Side Shields: Protect eyes from flying particles coming from the front or the side.

Safety Glasses with Eye-Cup and Side Shields: Protect eyes from flying particles coming from the front, side above or below.

Safety Goggles with Regular Ventilation: Protect eyes from dust, sparks and flying particles coming from any direction.

Safety Goggles with Hooded Ventilation: Form a tight seal around eyes to protect from dust, sparks, vapours, splashes and flying particles.

Welding Helmets and Hand-Held Shields: Protect the eyes, face, ears and neck from radiation, sparks and molten metal.

GHS/WHMIS Update: What You Need to Know Now


Last month, the Government of Canada announced the modifications to the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) to incorporate the new GHS (Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals) regulations.

The Hazardous Products Act (HPA) was amended and was replaced by new regulations, referred to as the Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR).

The modified WHMIS is now being called WHMIS 2015, and it features the new criteria for classifying hazards and the new requirements for labels and safety data sheets (SDSs).  The Controlled Products Regulations (CPR) and the Ingredient Disclosure List were both repealed.

Suppliers, employers and workers in Canada can use a transition period to adjust to the changes. During that time, they must comply with either WHMIS 1988 (repealed CPR/old HPA) or WHMIS 2015 (HPR/new HPA). The classification, label and SDS must comply with whichever law and regulation is selected.  A combination of the two WHMIS systems can’t be used.

A new website focusing on the transition to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System) 2015 has launched, providing a resource for organizations working to transition from the old WHMIS to the new system, which takes on elements of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).

The website,, is targeted to anyone who needs this information, from employers and their workers to suppliers and trainers. was created by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) in collaboration with the Workplace Hazardous Materials Bureau of Health Canada.

Continue to check for additional information you need to know about the GHS transition.

Working Outside Again: Stay Safe in the Work Zone


As the winter weather starts to become a memory, more and more work zones will appear as the warmer weather arrives to Canada.

It’s your responsibility to ensure the safety of your workers on the job site.  Effective traffic control—using signs, flashing arrow boards, barricades, cones, traffic lights, traffic control persons (TCPs), and other methods—is one way in which to manage traffic flow.

According to the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Regulation, employers must provide effective traffic control when traffic could put workers at risk.

When traffic control is required, employers must follow these rules related to the placement of traffic control signs and devices:

  • Traffic control signs and devices must be positioned and used as specified in the Traffic Control Manual and signs and devices must be located to allow traffic to move by or through the work area in a controlled manner and, if necessary, to come to a controlled stop with due regard for the prevailing weather and road conditions.
  • Unless otherwise specified, all traffic control signs and devices must be installed and removed in a sequence which best protects workers during this phase of a traffic control operation.
  • A sign advising of a traffic control person ahead must be placed in advance of each traffic control person’s station, and this sign must be removed promptly when a traffic control person is no longer on duty at that station. *

* The previous rule does not apply during emergency or brief duration work when it is not practicable to place such a sign, provided that sight lines and traffic speed allow oncoming traffic adequate warning of the work activity taking place.

Safety News You Can Use


A wire, cable, communications and security product company was fined $50,000 as a result of a worker injury. The worker was operating a forklift when a pallet entered the operator compartment and injured the worker’s leg.

The company pleaded guilty for not ensuring materials were moved in a manner that would not put worker safety in jeopardy.

To learn more about the violation, read more here.

Roofing Company Fined for Failing to Protect Workers

A roofing company was fined $15,000 for not protecting workers and a violation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

The workers had no fall protection equipment and no guard rails were present around the roof the house on which they were re-shingling.

The company pleaded guilty for exposing workers without fall protection to a height greater than three metres.

Click here to read more about the violation.