Archives for September 2015

Temporary Worker Safety: What You Need to Know


Because temporary workers are new on the job, they are often at the most risk for injury. According to the Canada Safety Council, temporary workers are injured more frequently than permanent workers. And those injuries are typically more serious.

Temporary workers are usually hired by a staffing agency, and their health and safety is protected by the OHSA. So, temporary workers do have the same rights as permanent workers. That means that temporary workers have the right to know about any workplace hazards to which they could be exposed. They can also participate in identifying workplace health and safety concerns and ask a supervisor if they are concerned about their own health and safety. Temporary workers can also refuse to perform unsafe work.

Staffing agencies and client employers must:

  • Provide temporary workers with information, instruction and supervision to protect their health and safety
  • Tell temporary workers or someone in authority about any hazards they ask them to do, as well as hazards they may be exposed to in the general work environment
  • Ensure that equipment, materials and protective devices provided are maintained in good condition

Do you currently employ any temporary workers? If so, what additional steps do you take to ensure their safety on the job?

Avoid Falls: Basic Facts About Fall Protective Equipment


If your workers could fall three meters or more while doing their job, they need fall protection. If fall protection is required at your job site, it’s important that you create a fall protection program. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) suggests a program include training workers, as well as selecting, fitting and inspecting fall safety equipment.

Here are some basics about the general care of fall protective equipment:

  • Inspect your equipment before each use.
  • Replace defective equipment.
  • Replace any equipment, including ropes, involved in a fall.
  • Inspect and certify (at least yearly) every piece of fall arrest equipment. Keep written records of inspections and approvals.
  • Use energy absorbers if the arresting forces of the lanyard alone can cause injury.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions (this includes instructions and limitations on use, as well as instructions for fitting and adjusting).
  • Use the right equipment for the job. Refer to the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Standards Z259 (regarding body belts, full body harnesses, and other fall prevention PPE).

If your workers require fall protection to do their jobs, do you know if they are using the right equipment? When was the last time you inspected your fall protection equipment?

Safe Lifting Rules: Preventing Back Injuries on the Job


One of the most common injuries associated with manual materials handling (MMH) is a low back injury. While unnatural postures and repeated movements can cause these injuries, the implementation of safe work practices can reduce the occurrence and severity of such injuries.

When possible, mechanical aids should be used. In addition, reducing MMH demands can help. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) offers these suggestions:

  • Decrease the weight of handled objects to acceptable limits.
  • Reduce the weight by assigning two people to lift the load or by splitting the load into two or more containers. Using light plastic containers also decreases the weight of the load.
  • Change the type of MMH movement. Lowering objects causes less strain than lifting. Pulling objects is easier than carrying. Pushing is less demanding than pulling.
  • Change work area layouts. Reducing the horizontal and vertical distances of lifting substantially lowers MMH demands. Reducing the travel distances for carrying, pushing or pulling also decreases work demands.
  • Assign more time for repetitive handling tasks. This reduces the frequency of handling and allows for more work/rest periods.
  • Alternate heavy tasks with lighter ones to reduce the build-up of fatigue.

Do you have any other suggestions for how to keep workers injury free? What are some additional strategies that have helped your workers?

Safety News You Can Use


Manitoba recently appointed Dennis Nikkel as its new chief prevention officer. Nikkel will provide guidance regarding workplace injury and illness prevention.

Nikkel has held many roles for the Manitoba government, including environmental control officer and director of occupational health for Workplace Safety and Health. He has also been the chair of the Minister’s Advisory Council on Workplace Safety and Health since 2011.

Learn more here.

Manufacturer Fined After Worker Death

A manufacturer has been fined $100,000 after a worker was killed at the company’s facility. The worker was fatally wounded after coming into contact with a moving machine part that should have been guarded. It was determined that the guard was broken.

The company pleaded guilty to the change that it failed to ensure that a machine with a moving part was guarded to prevent worker injury.

Click here to read more.

Company and Supervisors Fined After One Worker Died, Another Injured

A company and two supervisors pleaded guilty and were fined $133,000 after one worker was killed and another worker was injured during a fall.

The workers were insulating overhead pipes in a mechanical room of a garage. They were positioned on a scissor lift near a door. When the door hit the lift, both workers fell 20 feet below to a concrete floor. One worker died from blunt head trauma injuries and died days later. The other suffered broken bones.

The company was fined for failing to protect workers’ safety and the supervisors were also fined for not properly protecting workers.

Learn more here.