Archives for April 2015

Injury Prevention: A Proactive Model

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The key to preventing injuries in the workplace is having a proactive approach. Eliminating and reducing hazards is crucial in keeping injuries from occurring in the first place.

Manitoba’s Five-Year Plan for Workplace Injury and Illness Prevention was recently released, and it can serve as a model for injury prevention in any province.

The plan consists of 10 action areas:

  1. Dedicated Prevention Services:  Making services easier to access and making them more responsive to individual industry and workplace needs.
  2. Nation-Leading Safety and Health Laws: Includes immediate fines for activities that present imminent risk to life or health.
  3. New Tools to Strengthen Accountability, Transparency and Reporting: Manitoba’s chief prevention officer (CPO) will improve the monitoring, reporting, coordination and system-wide accountability of prevention services.
  4. A Renewed Role for Business as a Safety Partner: Manitoba will continue to support safety associations and encourage the development of more industry-based safety associations.
  5. Focus on Manitoba’s Most Vulnerable Workers: Provide support for the young and new workers in the workforce.
  6. New Training Programs; Consistent Training Standards: Manitoba will work to ensure safety and health training meets or exceeds current standards.
  7. Stronger Incentives for Real Prevention: Employers will be recognized and rewarded for positive injury prevention practices and programs.
  8. Improved Supports for Small Business: Ensuring small businesses receive the support and resources they need.
  9. Addressing Workplace Mental Health: Involves developing a toolkit of resources to promote mental health in the workplace.
  10. Measuring Success: Put measures in place to more effectively monitor and track workplace injury and prevention.

Click here to read more about Manitoba’s plan.

Spring-Time Safety: Flood Preparedness

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For most of us, spring-time means a lot of water around our facilities. Whether it’s from massive snow piles that have melted or just rain from those pesky April showers, it’s no surprise when extra water makes its way into and around your building.

To help lessen the damage to your facility, it helps to be prepared before any flooding occurs. Certain steps should be taken during and after flooding to reduce the impact of any flood-related issues.

The Government of Canada has many suggestions on how to prepare for floods and how to recover from them.

Here are just some of those tips:

Before a flood,

  • Put weather protection sealant around basement windows and the base of ground-level doors.
  • Install the drainage for downspouts a sufficient distance from a building to ensure water moves away from the structure.
  • Install a sump pump and zero reverse flow valves in the basement floor drains.
  • Don’t store important documents in the basement.

During a flood,

  • Evacuate when advised by local emergency authorities.
  • Take an emergency kit with you.
  • Never cross a flooded area.

After a flood,

  • Ensure your building’s safety: make sure it is structurally safe. Look for buckled walls or floors. Examine the structure for holes in floor, broken glass and other dangerous debris.
  • Discard items that have been damaged by flood waters.
  • When cleaning up, gather the necessary supplies, such as gloves, masks and other protective gear, as well as pails and garbage bags.

For even more tips, click here.

Safety News You Can Use

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A construction company was fined $90,000 after a young worker was killed after falling from a roof. The worker was helping to deliver concrete blocks to the roof when he fell.

The worker had received fall protection training, but was not wearing any fall protection gear when the accident happened.

The company admitted guilt to not ensuring that a fall restricting system was used where a guardrail system could not be utilized.

Learn more about the incident here.

Mining Company and Supervisor Fined for Putting Workers at Risk

A mining company and a supervisor were fined $88,000 for safety violations in a mine.

Workers backfilling part of the mine were working with sandfill, a substance consisting of sand, cement and water. The cement was known to cause chemical burns when in contact with skin.

A worker removing sections of pipe to help continue backfilling the area became stuck when sandfill poured around the worker. Seven workers freed the stuck worker, but all had burns on their legs and one needed skin grafts.

The company failed to ensure machinery was locked out and tagged before work was done on the pipes. It also failed to educate workers on the safe procedures for backfilling.

Read more about the fine here.

Recycling Company Fined in Worker Death

A recycling company was fined $225,000 after a worker was killed picking up recycling. The worker lost control of the truck he was driving. He was ejected and died from his injuries.

An investigation revealed that an occupant safety restraint device was not being used at the time of the accidents. Also, the truck’s right-side door safety restraint device was not working. In addition, the right side cab door (where the worker was operating the vehicle) was not closed and latched.

Click here to learn more.

Avoid Distracted Driving Mistakes: Keep Your Workers Focused and Off the Phone

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Most provinces prohibit the use of hand held cell phones and text messaging while driving.

While your workers likely want to be accessible at all times, even when they are on the road, it’s important to remind them to avoid being distracted while driving. This especially means they need to avoid the improper use of their cell phones.

The Canada Safety Council offers these suggestions on staying safe behind the wheel while managing cell phone use.

  • Keep your hands on the wheel. Hold the wheel at the 9 and 3 o’clock positions.
  • Use a hands-free model. But still keep your conversation short, since talking can be a distraction.
  • Stay in your lane. Don’t drift into another lane while talking on your phone.
  • Use voice or speed dialing. This requires less handling of the phone.
  • Never dial while driving. Dial manually only when stopped.
  • Never text message while driving. Pull over if you need to respond to a text message.
  • Take a message. Let your voice mail answer you calls.
  • Know when to stop talking. Keep conversations brief.
  • Keep the phone in its holder. Make sure your phone is securely in place.
  • Don’t take notes while driving. Pull off the road if you need to write.
  • Be a wireless samaritan. Use your phone to report crimes and emergencies.
  • Drive defensively. Be prepared for unexpected actions by other drivers, as well as changing driving conditions.