Archives for October 2015

Avoid Contaminants in the Air: Develop a Respirator Program for Your Workers


When there are contaminants in the air, workers are at risk for respiratory hazards. Some of the airborne contaminants of concern include biological contaminants, dusts, mists, fumes, and gases, or oxygen-deficient atmospheres.

According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), respirators should be used to protect against those contaminants if other hazard control methods aren’t effective. Some of those control methods include mechanical ventilation, enclosure or isolation of the process or work equipment, proper control and use of process equipment, and process modifications, including substation of less hazardous materials.

It’s helpful to have a written respirator program so employees know how to choose a respirator, if that is the desired manner in which they can protect themselves from contaminants.

If you’ve never created a written respirator program before, CCOHS offers this list of what such a program should contain:

  • Hazard identification and control
  • Exposure assessment
  • Respirator selection
  • Respirator fit-testing
  • Training program
  • Inspection and record keeping
  • Cleaning and sanitizing respirators
  • Repairing and maintaining respirators
  • Proper storage of respirators
  • Health surveillance
  • Standard operating procedures (available in written form)
  • Program evaluation

If you don’t already have one, develop your respiratory program today and encourage the proper use of this and all PPE (personal protective equipment) in your workplace.

Report: Cost of Preventable Injuries Grows


A report by national charity Parachute claims that financial costs of preventable injuries are rising at the same time human costs are catastrophic. Information from The Cost of Injury in Canada Report shows that the economy loses $27 billion every year.

Injury is the top killer of Canadians aged 1-44; 43 people die each day.

Parachute expects the amount of money lost to the Canadian economy and the number of Canadian deaths will continue to increase in the coming years, reaching $33 billion and 46 deaths per day this year, and $75 billion and 71 deaths per day by 2035.

This report was published in collaboration with The Conference Board of Canada and support from The Public Health Agency of Canada.

Parachute urges a focus on preventing injuries, noting that 90% of injuries are “predictable and preventable.”

Study: Federal Funding Cuts Putting Workers in Jeopardy


According to a study released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, the federal underfunding and understaffing of safety inspectors is putting workers at risk.

The study noted that 151 inspectors oversaw health and safety in federally regulated employers across the country in 2005. Figures provided by the Labour Program of Employment and Social Development Canada show 90 inspectors currently in place. But the study also details that figures obtained by the Public Service Alliance of Canada show no more than 67 inspectors.

The study explores amendments to the Canada Labour Code that have reduced the power of health and safety inspectors.

According to the study, overall provincial disabling injury rates dropped by 45% from 2002 to 2012. At the same time, the federal rates were just 12%. There were nearly 21,000 disabling injuries in the federally regulated sector in 2012. And 684 employees died as a result of workplace injury between 2002 and 2013.

The study focused on industries such as banking, communications, broadcasting, postal services, road, air, rail and water transport, and the federal government.

Safety News You Can Use


A company was fined $80,000 after a worker suffered injuries from falling into a storage bin that collapsed while it was being pushed.

A Ministry of Labour investigation uncovered that the side of the bin the worker was pushing had latches that are designed to collapse the bins for shipping. The worker was apparently unaware that the latches could be hazardous and that many workers push the bins in the same way this worker did.

Learn more here.

Contractor Fined After Workers are Burned

A contractor was fined $80,000 after two workers were burned while working on electrical equipment that was not properly shut off. While the workers performed their duties, an arc flash within the switch gear unit occurred. Both workers suffered second- and first-degree burns and one received third-degree burns.

Read more here.

Roofing Company and Owner Violate Worker Safety

A roofing company and its owner were fined for various workers safety violations. The company was fined $33,000 for failing to ensure workers wore fall protection, protective headwear and protective footwear. The owner was fined $14,000 for failing to ensure workers wore fall protection.

Click here for more details.