Archives for July 2015

Safety Training: How You Can Promote a Safe Workplace


One of the cornerstones of a solid safety culture is safety training. Your employees must be adequately trained so they can safely perform their job duties each and every day.

Safety training is a collaborative effort between employers and employees. Everyone must be dedicated to a strong safety training program in order for it to be effective and successful.

Under Part II of the Canada Labour Code, employers (under federal jurisdiction) must ensure employees receive the information, training and supervision they need to safely get their work done.

Employers must provide:

  • An appropriate understanding of overall work safety procedures
  • Knowledge of the safe use of workplace tools and equipment
  • Awareness of known or foreseeable workplace hazards
  • Whenever possible, training sessions should include documentation

Employees need to use what they learn during that training, and also follow safety procedures to ensure overall safety within their workplace.

Employees must, under the Canada Labour Code:

  • Use all safety materials, equipment, devices and clothing that are provided by the employer and are intended to protect employees
  • Follow procedures relating to the health and safety of employees
  • Follow all instructions provided by the employer concerning the health and safety of employees
  • Co-operate with any person carrying out a duty or function required by the Code
  • Report to the employer any thing or circumstance that is likely to be hazardous to employees or any other person in the workplace
  • Report to the employer all work-related accidents, occupational diseases or other hazardous occurrences that have caused injury to you or any other person
  • Report to the employer any situation you believe to be a contravention of Part II of the Code by the employer, another employee, or any other person
  • Comply with every oral or written direction given by a health and safety officer or an appeals officer; and respond in writing to a health and safety officer’s direction or report when requested to do so by the health and safety officer

How do you coordinate your safety training efforts in your facility?

Emergency Planning 101: Create Your Plan Now


A fire. A flood. An earthquake. An explosion.

There are many events that will require you to put an emergency plan in place. By having that plan, you can hopefully reduce the impact that any emergency will have on your business operations and your people.

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) suggests that an emergency plan contains the following:

  • All possible emergencies, consequences, required actions, written procedures and the resources available
  • Detailed lists of personnel, including their home telephone numbers, their duties and responsibilities
  • Floor plans
  • Large scale maps showing evacuation routes and service conduits (such as gas and water lines)

When determining what procedures should be followed during an emergency, it’s important to take the following into consideration: the nature and degree of the emergency; size of the organization; capabilities of the organization in an emergency situation; immediacy of outside aid; and physical layout of the premises.

As you build and prepare your emergency plan, keep these CCOHS requirements in mind:

  • Identify evacuation routes, alternate means of escape, make these known to all staff; keep the routes unobstructed.
  • Specify safe locations for staff to gather for head counts to ensure that everyone has left the danger zone. Assign individuals to assist employees with disabilities.
  • Carry out treatment of the injured and search for the missing simultaneously with efforts to contain the emergency.
  • Provide alternate sources of medical aid when normal facilities may be in the danger zone.
  • Ensure the safety of all staff (and/or the general public) first, then deal with the fire or other situation.

What steps will you take today to start creating your emergency plan?

Ergonomics: When Work Really Can Be Hazardous to Your Health


Frequent and repetitive motions on the job can sometimes lead to serious injuries to workers’ bodies. Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) are disorders affecting muscles, tendons and nerves.

Work that is done by the arms and hands can impact the health of the hands, wrists, elbows, neck and shoulders. Work done with the legs can affect the legs, hips, ankles and feet. Back problems can also exist.

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) identifies these risk factors for WMSDs:

  • Fixed or constrained body positions
  • Continual repetition of movements
  • Force concentrated on small parts of the body, such as the hand or wrist
  • A pace of work that does not allow sufficient recovery between movements

There are many symptoms of WMSDs, such as joint stiffness, muscle tightness, redness and swelling of the affected area; pain is the most common symptom. Different symptoms can be associated with different disorders. For example, the symptoms of tendonitis include pain, weakness, swelling, burning sensation or dull ache over affected area. DeQuervain’s disease causes pain at the base of the thumb.

CCOHS highlights four main treatments for WMSDs.

One is just avoiding the motions that are responsible for the injury. The next is the application of heat or cold to relieve the pain and speed healing. Cold can reduce pain and swelling, while heat can ease muscle pain.

Exercise is also helpful, as it promotes circulation and reduces muscle tension. Anti-inflammatory drugs can also be effective in reducing pain and inflammation.

Educate your workers on WMSDs so they can recognize the symptoms and receive treatment as soon as possible.

Safety News You Can Use


WorkSafeNB and CCOHS (Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety) have launched an online guide to New Brunswick’s occupational health and safety legislation.

The guide will include 30 topics and will feature links to a variety of resources, such as interpretations, summaries, legislation, hazard alerts and safety talks. Topics include fall protection, guardrails and confined spaces.

For more information, click here.

Construction Company Fined After Young Worker Death

A construction company was fined $120,000 after a young worker was killed after a fall on a construction site.

The worker initially received head and leg injuries, but later died. It was found that the worker did not receive fall protection training and was not using any type of fall protection when the accident happened.

Another company was also fined in the incident, receiving a fine of $90,000 earlier this year for failing to ensure a fall restricting system was used where a guardrail system was not reasonably possible.

Click here to read more.

Accident Takes Life of Construction Worker

A construction worker was killed after he was trapped under clay and dirt following the collapse of a sewer trench.

Prior to the accident, the worker was digging a trench with a backhoe operator. He was buried for many hours before emergency workers were able to free him.

The accident is under investigation by Alberta’s occupational health and safety authorities.

Click here for more details.