Protecting Young Workers

Every day in Ontario, an average of 70 workers under the age of 25 are injured on the job, and some lose their lives. That’s three injured each hour.

Young workers – and new workers of any age – are often keen to learn and can bring new ideas and renewed energy to a workplace. But if you hire workers, you have obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act to protect them.

“Young workers often can’t recognize health and safety hazards and hesitate to ask questions,” says George Gritziotis, the chief prevention officer at Ontario’s Ministry of Labour . “The truth is new and young workers are much more likely to be injured on the job. They need to be provided training and they need to be supervised.”

Seton Job Safety

Red Cross Month

March is Red Cross Month and that’s a good reminder that First Aid is as important as any other safety training in the workforce.

Last year, 1 in 68 construction workers were injured on the job. Whether it’s a slip and fall or a heart attack, time is of the essence.

The Canadian government has longstanding legislation that dictates workplace requirements for on-site First Aid responders, kits and/or facilities.

Being prepared and quick EMS response can reduce the severity of an injury by as much as 50%.

A basic First Aid kit and training can make construction a safer industry.

First Aid


Safety Videos

Sign Here
From the 1950’s to our YouTube era, the work safety video has been part of the work landscape. Some are better than others, but here are a few that have caught our eye in the last while for one reason or another.

Safety Starts With Me!

This low budget safety video is as fun as it is kitschy.

It was submitted for the “Safety Starts with Me Competition 2009” (organized by the Workplace Safety and Health Council, Singapore).

It didn’t win. While the video doesn’t offer any new info into the world of safety there’s definitely something undeniably catchy about it. Also: Everyone dances – a lot!

Highlights include:

1. Song lyrics like: “Don’t you look away to that pretty young maid/Keep your eyes focused on the job instead”
2. Safety tips that advise not to use a handsaw as a hammer
3. Choreographed moves that include dancing with a power drill made out of paper

If nothing else, we dare you not to find yourself humming the theme song later in the day.

Donald Duck – How To Have An Accident At Work

Cartoons have long been a staple of the training film genre and this 1959 film teaches us that while ducks may be maniacally responsible when it comes to safety around the house – around the workplace, meh, not so much…

When Donald arrives at the plant “he checks in and his mind checks out.” This is the point in the film where Mr. Duck literally turns off his gray matter and starts looking like a featherbrained mallard that’s coming off a three day binge.

Next thing we know, Donald is refusing to wear his PPE (“Aw phooey on all that unnecessary equipment!”) and falling down the stairs. From there he’s dropping his cigars in paint thinner; daydreaming on the job; shamelessly leering at women (and he’s a married duck!), and enduring run-ins with a punch press, conveyor belt and a monkey wrench. Oh, that Donald!

A product of its time, it’s a fascinating look at how earlier cartoons were used to disseminate the safety message.

The Pain Game

WorkSafe Victoria makes some of the finest safety videos out there.

Whether it’s hitting the funny bone at just the right angle with the dark humour in The Pain Game or effectively tugging at the heartstrings and focusing on the aftermath of a tragic accident, WorkSafe constantly deliver top-drawer safety videos.

Think About This

There is no denying that this is one violent safety video.

Screaming workers are crushed, mutilated, and blown up. Their skin is sliced, diced, and doused in toxic chemicals. Fingers are lost, toes are severed, and skulls are crushed

Also a product of its time, I half expected an army of zombies to arrive and start feasting on the corpses scattered on the plant’s floor.

But do these scare tactics work? Some safety experts love them, although many others say that, for the most part, the science suggests that trying to scare people into adopting better safety habits doesn’t work.

Professor Cathy Denomme from Algoma University says that her survey results indicate that people remember the gore but not the message. She says a series of gruesome ads that were run on TV a few years ago, “gave me nightmares,” she adds “The students didn’t even remember what the message was about. In my opinion we need to take a different tactic. Young people truly believe two things: first, it won’t happen to them, and second, adults will not put them in a position where they could get hurt. Both not true.”

Dumb Ways To Die

This animated train safety video for Metro Trains Melbourne has gone viral (40 million views and counting) and with good reason. It’s very funny and pretty darn cute – even with all the grizzly death (and grizzly bear death, for that matter).

The video has its fans and its detractors. Some think it misses the mark completely and is more concerned with iTunes sales than teaching us about train safety. Others believe it’s an innovative and fresh approach to safety videos. Marie-Claire Ross from Digicast has particularly strong feelings about the video.

There are arguments to be made on both sides. Not many safety videos can boast a viewership of 40 million, so even if a tiny fraction of those viewers get a safety message out of it, it may achieve more than many other safety films.

But its critics do raise a valid point when they say it doesn’t offer any take away message of what to do, only that certain behaviours around trains might get you killed. And without following up that negative message with a replacement behaviour (what to do to be safe), some experts think it missed the boat.

What do you think?

You and Office Safety

This 1950’s office safety film teaches us that the common work office is the most dangerous place in the universe.

The lesson? We’re taught to beware the perils of hot coffee, felt markers, pencils, umbrellas (red and green), typewriters, swinging doors, and actors mugging shamelessly to the camera.

The slapstick factor is set on ultra-high and the film is scored to a cartoon soundtrack that would fit perfectly in Fred Flintstone’s hometown of Bedrock. (Or Donald Duck’s safety film, for that matter.)

Sight gags and physical comedy abound: People get hit by doors – again, and again, and again, and again, and again. Plus more! A “pretty little thing” trips over a floor socket. Filing cabinets are transformed into lethal weapons and deadly office chairs put unsuspecting officer workers in mortal peril.

Meanwhile the lines on the office Efficiency Chart continue to plummet…

It’s a hoot. And in fact, it helped inspire our very own recently released safety video about proper job safety signage.

Got a video you’d like to share with us? We’d love to see it.

Sign Here

Who doesn’t love the retro safety training videos of the 1950’s and 60’s?  We thought we’d pay tribute to them while helping anyone involved in job safety and safety signage remember what goes into a good safety sign program.

Sign Here

WSIB Coverage Benefits

As of January 1 2013, in Ontario, Workplace Safety Insurance Board coverage is required by law, Bill 119, for almost all people working in the construction sector. For the first time, that includes business owners, who likely have private insurance. Now these independent operators, sole proprietors, partners in a partnership and executive officers without workers (general contractors) need WSIB coverage as well and it’s much more comprehensive than any private insurance.

WSIB coverage provides benefits that private insurance often does not. With the WSIB, coverage provides:

Job Safety Seton WSIB

In addition, those covered by the WSIB are part of the health and safety prevention system, and the corresponding educational and training supports provided to the construction sector by the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association. WSIB coverage will allow you to benefit from these services.

Workplace Compliance: 9 Key Points

Compliance isn’t as easy as seems. It involves increased awareness of requirements, enforcement, training and, most of all, attitude. If your workers think about safety 24/7, they’re better equipped to make sound safe choices on the job, on the way to and from work, and at home.  Here are nine key points to keep in mind…

Seton Canada

Mining: Key Responsibilities

Seton Canada

According to The Ministry of Labour, other dangerous mining incidents have stemmed from a lack of required written procedures to protect workers, including “poor communication of known hazards, lack of identifying unsafe areas, lack of warning signs and any additional information needed to protect workers.”

Seton Canada: Giving Back To The Community

Seton Charities
Ho, ho – whoa!  Here come the holidays!

Yup, it won’t be long until we’re all cracking open presents, eating too much and spending time with the ones we love.

And as old Ebenezer Scrooge learned (and Scrooge McDuck, for that matter), the holidays are also a time to remember all that we have, and to help those who are less fortunate.

The good people at Seton Canada know this.

“We’re so fortunate to have good jobs and the lifestyle that comes with them,” says Caroline Winnel, Account Manager at Seton Canada, and one of the volunteer committee members.  “There are so many who are less fortunate. I think it’s our responsibility to give back and contribute to the community.”

Every month, staff members at Seton Canada select a charity to donate to.  The donations might be money, food, or clothing.

This December, the Seton charity of choice is The Richmond Hill Food Bank an independently run non-profit agency that is staffed by volunteers and helps those in need.

The food drive runs until December 14th.

Working alongside with Winnel on the Seton volunteer committee is Linda O’Donnell from Seton’s Customer Service department and Sherry Currie, the company’s Quoter.

In order to do all they can to boost donations for the food drive, and as a fun incentive, the entire Seton team can wear jeans to work to every day – as long as they bring a food donation every day. That means there’s been a lot of denim in the office recently.

On top of that, all donations that the Seton Canada team brings in are matched by the corporate office in the United States.

But December 15th doesn’t signal an end to the work that Seton does for charity.

Each month the Seton volunteers meet to choose a charity that they will be supporting for the following month.  Their choices are usually based on seasonal charities such as Movember and Breast Cancer Month.

Along with raising money and food, they help organize and facilitate different ways for people to get involved in the organization. “We like to do special things to raise money but we also need to get people involved to make it work,” says Winnel.

Other worthy causes that they have supported include:

Winnel is excited about her upcoming work tutoring high risk youth through JVS. “Both myself, Sherry Currie and volunteer leader, Shehzad Hamza will be trained as tutors by Frontier College,” she says. “And once the training is complete, we will each be tutoring a student, once a week for a 10 week period to help them in attaining their GED. At the end of the ten week period, we will be attending the graduation ceremony for the students that we have tutored.”

And there’s a lot more coming up for 2013 says Winnel. “We have lots of plans for the new year. We’re hoping to get more people donating more of their time. We’ll be getting more involved in the community, there will be more memorable moments ahead of us. I look forward to them. Those are the times when you get life changing moments.”

What causes do you support?  Tell us about them and we might run a feature on your charitable endeavours.



Job Safety And An Aging Workforce

Job Safety

If you see that some of your older workers may not be as fast anymore, with their experience and wisdom, they could be reassigned to work that’s more suited to their skills.

Calgary-based Colin Steadman, Senior Safety Advisor for Southern Alberta at the Alberta Construction Safety Association says, “Older workers can teach younger workers while they’re young,” Steadman says. “They’ll learn. Older workers can prove to younger workers that they’re not invincible. If we don’t teach them and mentor them young, they’ll never learn that they’re not invincible.”



Caring For Safety Eyewear: 5 Must-Do’s

Seton Canada Safety

Just like any other piece of equipment, personal protective equipment and specifically safety eyewear has to be kept in top-notch condition and worn the right way for maximum protection.

You can find all your eye safety solutions here.