Safety News You Can Use


More than 2,200 safety orders were issued and work was stopped more than 200 times during an Ontario enforcement blitz in late 2015.

The purpose of the blitz was to increase safety compliance when heavy equipment was used on construction sites.

Ontario inspectors issued 2,277 orders for violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations. Included in the violations were 268 orders to stop work due to either heavy equipment, fall protection or excavation violations.

Learn more here.

Steel Company Fined After Worker Injured

A steel company was fined $100,000 after a worker had an amputation as the result of an injury.

A truck driver was standing on the back of a truck, attempting to help load a steel slab onto the truck. When the slab was over the truck’s flatbed, the electromagnet on the crane carrying the slab released the slab unexpectedly.

The slab then fell onto the flatbed, which caused the driver to fall off the truck and onto a concrete floor.  In addition to fractures, the driver suffered an infection, which led to the amputation.

Read more here.

Working Outside Again: Stay Safe in the Work Zone


As the winter weather starts to become a memory, more and more work zones will appear as the warmer weather arrives to Canada.

It’s your responsibility to ensure the safety of your workers on the job site.  Effective traffic control—using signs, flashing arrow boards, barricades, cones, traffic lights, traffic control persons (TCPs), and other methods—is one way in which to manage traffic flow.

According to the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Regulation, employers must provide effective traffic control when traffic could put workers at risk.

When traffic control is required, employers must follow these rules related to the placement of traffic control signs and devices:

  • Traffic control signs and devices must be positioned and used as specified in the Traffic Control Manual and signs and devices must be located to allow traffic to move by or through the work area in a controlled manner and, if necessary, to come to a controlled stop with due regard for the prevailing weather and road conditions.
  • Unless otherwise specified, all traffic control signs and devices must be installed and removed in a sequence which best protects workers during this phase of a traffic control operation.
  • A sign advising of a traffic control person ahead must be placed in advance of each traffic control person’s station, and this sign must be removed promptly when a traffic control person is no longer on duty at that station. *

* The previous rule does not apply during emergency or brief duration work when it is not practicable to place such a sign, provided that sight lines and traffic speed allow oncoming traffic adequate warning of the work activity taking place.

Safety News You Can Use


  • The Ministry of Labour announced a new training standard which includes hazard identification, ladder safety, the proper use of PPE, and the rights and responsibilities regarding working at heights. The Working at Heights Training Program Standard, which goes into effect on April 1, will be mandatory for all provincial worksites that fall under the Regulations for Construction Projects. The standard applies immediately to all Ontario construction workers who have not already been trained under the Regulations for Construction Projects. Those who already have this training have until April 1, 2017 to qualify for the new requirements.
  • Also in Ontario, businesses should prepare for two upcoming Health & Safety blitzes, both running from Feb 2 – March 15. Industrial sector will see a Slips, Trips and Falls blitz, and Mining businesses should anticipate Water Management inspections.
  • The Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE) has called on all employers in the province, including the provincial government, to review and revise safety protocols. The initiative comes in response to two recent courts decisions on OH&S violations which resulted in fatalities. In both cases, charges included failure to provide proper information, training, PPE, instruction and supervision, in addition to other charges.
  • BC’s Southern Railway (SRY) has shut the gates at work sites and hired security guards to remove over 100 workers. Managers are now in charge of operating trains for a service area that stretches from Vancouver to Chilliwack. There are concerns over whether or not managers, who are qualified on paper, have the experience necessary run trains safely. The lockout is a result of unresolved health and safety concerns around fatigue, overtime, wages, and working conditions.



A Who’s Who Of OH&S Responsibilities


This month, we turn our attention (and yours) to compliance. What better way to start off than to give you a basic rundown of Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) responsibilities? The elements of your safety program can only be effectively implemented if you and your workers understand your responsibilities. What you don’t know CAN hurt you!

Jurisdictional and organizational requirements will dictate specific program needs, but these basic elements should almost always be considered:

  • Joint occupational health and safety committee
  • Health and safety rules and promotion
  • Workers responsibility, orientation & training
  • Reporting, investigating, inspection, and emergency procedures
  • Medical and first aid

Health and safety responsibilities should be shared among management and workers. Carefully determining and detailing responsibilities in the safety program will help everyone understand and carry out duties. Below are some examples that will help determine who should handle what.

Management responsibilities include:

  • providing a safe and healthful workplace
  • establishing and maintaining a health and safety program
  • providing workers with health and safety information, training, and certifications
  • reporting accidents and occupational disease incidents to the appropriate authority
  • providing personal protective equipment and medical & first aid facilities
  • supporting & evaluating the health and safety performance of supervisors

Worker responsibilities include:

  • using personal protection and safety equipment as required by the employer
  • following safe work procedures
  • knowing and complying with all regulations
  • reporting injury or illness immediately
  • reporting unsafe acts or conditions
  • participating in joint health and safety committees

Safety News You Can Use


  • The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) announced last month that premium rates will not increase for most employers. Maintaining current rates for the second consecutive year can be attributed to improvements in return to work outcomes, more timely adjudication, and lower claim volumes. Only Local Government Services will see rates increase.
  • A Newfoundland and Labrador fishing company that pled guilty to several Occupational Health and Safety breaches has been fined $90,000. Provincial court ruled that the 2012 death occurred as a result of failure to provide necessary employee safety training.
  • Alberta’s provincial Ministry of Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour has begun inspecting gravel crushing worksites following two unrelated deaths in July. The previously scheduled inspections began several weeks early, in response to the two incidents, and will run through September.
  • Results from the May 2014 Ministry of Labour excavation hazards blitz revealed a decrease in the number of orders and requirements (per workplace visited and per field visit), as compared to the 2013 blitz. While this is a sign of overall improvement, there were still frequent compliance issues in the areas of: support systems, personal protective headwear, and emergency procedures.

Safety News You Can Use

  • safetyglobeThe Ministry of Labour will start industrial sector Material Handling blitzes on September 15th – are you and your workers ready? 
  • Owners of a sawmill that exploded in Prince George, B.C., have been fined more than $720,000 by WorkSafeBC. The mill was in violation of the Workers Compensation Act and occupational health and safety regulations as a result of the explosion that killed two workers and injured twenty-two others in April of 2012.
  •  The Ministry of Labour has published a new version of the “What You Should Know About The Ontario Employment Standards Act” poster. Employers are required to have the newest version of the “ESA Poster” posted in the workplace at all times. Failure to comply with posting requirements can result in compliance orders and fines.
  • In the wake of 15-year-old Chris Lawrence’s death at a construction site near Drumheller, Alberta Occupational Health and Safety officials are being urged to toughen worker laws. The Alberta Federation of Labour called the fatality a “tragic reminder of Alberta’s unsafe work laws”.
  • Effective July 1st, Saskatchewan employers who violate Occupational Health & Safety regulations will now receive summary offence tickets carrying fines ranging from $250 to $1,000 plus victim surcharges. Two designated occupational health officers can now issue tickets for 12 specified offences.


Feeling Okay? Learn More About Occupational Diseases


The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) defines occupational illness as a condition that results from exposure in a workplace to a physical, chemical, or biological agent to the extent that the normal physiological mechanisms are affected. Not to be confused with occupational injuries, which are the result of a trauma, an occupational disease is a chronic ailment that develops over time. In 2011, occupational diseases contributed to 73% of all allowed Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) fatality claims.

Construction site workers are often at increased risk for infectious disease because of exposure to bacteria and viruses from unsanitary jobsite conditions. In order to help avoid things like Salmonella, E. coli, and Hepatitis A, the Occupational Health and Safety Act mandates that workers must have access to toilets and clean-up facilities. During warmer months especially, Lyme disease is an occupational concern for outdoor workers, namely construction and utility workers, utility arborists, and powerline technicians. Occupational cancer is cancer that is caused wholly or partly by exposure to a carcinogen at work, and the most common types are: lung cancer, bladder cancer and mesothelioma.

Familiarize yourself with the materials being used in your facility and how to work safety with and around them. Also, be alert to symptoms or changes in your health, and keep a list of all the jobs and industries in which you have worked.

Seton Recognized for Job Safety Videos with Bronze CPRS ACE Award


Congratulations to Reimagine PR! Their Seton Job Safety Video Series won the Bronze Canadian Public Relations Society’s Achieving Communications Excellence (ACE) Award for Best Digital Campaign of the Year. The complete press release is below. 

TORONTO, ONTARIO — (Marketwired) — 05/15/14

Seton and Reimagine PR have won the Bronze Canadian Public Relations Society’s (CPRS Toronto) Achieving Communications Excellence (ACE) Award in the Best Digital Campaign of the Year category for the Seton Job Safety Video Series. Job Safety equals boring to many who tune out during critical job safety meetings, putting themselves and others at risk. Seton wanted to give Safety Engineers and Safety Managers tools to better engage workers and supervisors in the job safety message. So Seton teamed up with Second City Alumnae and a television comedy writer to create safety videos workers and supervisors might actually want to watch.

The video series has also been selected as a finalist for PR Daily’s Video Awards in the Safety Video Category. Winners will be announced at the end of May. The videos live in the website Seton created to promote Job Safety at The site is filled with helpful tips and articles for safety managers, safety engineers, managers, workers and anyone with a vested interest in keeping workers safe on the job.

“Job safety is critical. We wanted to give safety engineers and everyone responsible for job safety extra tools to help them ensure both young workers and managers go home safe to their families once their job is done,” said Rebecca Gounaris, Director of Industry Marketing for Seton. “We’ve had such a positive response from safety experts who have incorporated the videos into their work which was reward enough. To then also win an award from CPRS is really gratifying.”

The videos were executive produced by Rebecca Gounaris and produced by Susan McLennan of Reimagine PR. They were directed by Chris Earle (Second City) and star David Huband (The Rick Mercer Report) and Adam Cawley (Second City) in “Don’t Lose Sight of Safety” and Marty Adams (I, Martin Short, Goes Home) and Adrian Truss (Totally Spies!) in “Sign Here.” The filmmakers were Tash Baycroft and Jesse Bone from Filter Studios and the scripts were written by Mike Erskine-Kellie (Pucca) of Reimagine PR.

For 28 years, Seton Canada has been helping responsible employers keep their workers safe with signs (both custom and stock), labels, PPE, and first aid kits and much more. The company ships Canada wide, often the same day, and provides expert assistance in navigating the complex, time-consuming-but-all-important task of job safety. Seton Canada is a proud partner to thousands of companies striving for a culture where zero accidents and 100% compliance are the norm, and offers compliance solutions that reduce lost-time accidents, raise productivity and improve insurance rates out on the floor, in the field, and from behind the desk.


Susan McLennan
(416) 699-1846; Cell: (416) 568-5974



“Make Safety A Habit” during NAOSH Week 2014!

NAOSH Week 2014This week we are celebrating the North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week. From May 4 -10, employers, employees, and occupational health and safety stakeholders from across the continent come together to promote injury and illness prevention in the workplace, at home and in the community.

This year’s NAOSH Week theme is “Make Safety A Habit!”, and it is a call to action to implement and improve safety habits in the workplace. In British Columbia alone, an estimated $17 million in claim costs are paid annually for long term care brought about by workplace injuries in the health care sector. NAOSH Week aims to bring awareness to the habits in the workplace and how these habits help or hinder accident and injury prevention. The end goal is to cultivate a culture where being safe is already a second nature – like putting on your seatbelt upon getting in a vehicle.

For the workplace, safety should be a top priority for everyone – employers and workers alike. If you haven’t done so yet, now is the perfect time to assess the state of safety in your workplace. Celebrate NAOSH Week by jump-starting a campaign on safe habits. Put up workplace safety signs all around your facility and promote safety habits by following these guidelines:

  1. Set your own safety standards and stick to it. As an employer, make sure the safety regulations established are being followed. As a staff member, make sure you observe safety practices and don’t let others influence you otherwise. If you are not wearing the proper equipment because others don’t, the potential injury you may suffer will be yours alone to live with.
  2. Operate equipment only if qualified. Working with equipment can be a hazard, which is why training on how to operate them is a must. If you are tasked with handling certain equipment, and have never underwent training before, you need to inform your supervisor so the necessary training can be provided.Safety Signs
  3. Maintain a healthy respect for machinery. Before using any piece of equipment, makes sure it is in the best condition to operate. Check if the machine is clear of any obstruction that can damage the machine, and potentially injure you or others. Report if you see any problems. Check that all guards are in place, and don’t forget to de-energize the power before operating the equipment.
  4. Take the initiative to initiate safety procedures. It is your responsibility to call your supervisor and alert management to any problems or potential hazards that you encounter on the job. Report any broken equipment or machinery you may see, and ask for PPE or additional training if it is needed.
  5. Speak up. Ask questions if you are uncertain of tasks or procedures that you need to do. Do not accept answers that contain “I guess, I think, I assume”. Be certain.
  6. Exercise care and caution when lifting. Most back, muscle and spinal injuries are from over-straining while lifting, pulling or pushing. Know your limits and do not attempt to exceed them.
  7. Practice good housekeeping. A clean and organized workplace makes for a safer one. Keep your work areas clean and orderly at all times.
  8. Dress sensibly and responsibly for your work. Wearing the proper personal protective clothing and other PPE can save your life. In addition to that avoid wearing loose clothing, dangling jewelry and keep your hair tied back so these items don’t get caught in machinery.

The success of NAOSH Week in your workplace depends on your willingness to participate. Your positive attitude can help encourage others to do so as well and plays a major role in preventing accidents and injuries from happening. All you need is a commitment to make safety a habit, and be consistent in practicing it every day, until this new habit becomes second nature. At the end of the day safety is everyone’s responsibility, including your own, so make safety a habit. Do it for yourself  and for those around you. 


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Material Handling Equipment: An Overview


Did you know that three out of four Canadians whose job involves Manual Material Handling (MMH) have suffered pain due to back injury during their career? According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), several thousands of Canadian workers are permanently disabled by back injuries each year. These MMH-related injuries account for about one third of all lost work and even more in compensation costs.

Material handling equipment (MHE) plays a vital role in addressing hazards related to MMH. These versatile tools make it easy to move, transport, store, protect, handle, and dispose goods, materials, and products in your facility. It also simplifies the tasks of manual workers, which results to increased worker performance and productivity. Even incidents of serious MMH-connected injuries and accidents such as muscoskeletal injuries are reduced. As such, it should come as no surprise that material handling equipment is a necessity for industries such as warehousing, shipping and logistics, food industry, construction, and manufacturing .

Investing in proper standard material handling equipment makes for good business. But, as with any investment, you need to be smart about your purchases. Before buying, figure out  your needs carefully. One way to do this is by educating yourself on the different types of material handling equipment and their functions:


This covers any industrial handling equipment that moves material from point A to point B. Transportation items such as conveyor belts, carts, hand trucks, forklifts, and loaders let your workers move goods with ease and speed – whether from one end of your facility to the other, or from your docking platform to a storage area. Trucks can move material anywhere, for example, while conveyor belts move material along a single path.


Positioning tools ensure that a material to be transported is positioned appropriately for moving. This can mean turning, pivoting, or stacking the material using tools to ensure worker safety as some of these goods are dangerous, heavy or awkward to move manually. Examples of this type of MHE include lift tables, dock levelers, part feeders, hoists, and balancers.

Unit Loads

Unit loads such as pallets, bags, baskets, crates, and straps help stabilize or hold goods to avoid movement during transport or storage. This type also allows more than one item of the same material to be held by one unit load equipment.


Storage equipment lets you store or hold goods for a set period of time until the said items are needed. Bins, racks, frames, shelves and pallets are common examples of storage tools. With these, you can keep surplus goods from overproduction, allowing production to still continue. You can even customize your packaging and shelving scheme to save up on space while products are still in inventory.

Identification and Control Equipment

Large manufacturing, storage, and disposal facilities need a system to keep track of all their goods. This is where identification and control equipment come in. Bar codes, radio frequency tags, magnetic strips, portable data terminals, and machine vision are just some examples of this type of MHE that collects information and coordinates flows inside your facility.

Every piece of material handling equipment is designed to meet the varying needs of your facility but you must also know its limitations. To get the most out of your MHE, you need to comply with the regulations in the Canada Labour Code. Lastly, always follow the safety instructions mentioned by the manufacturer.  It’s always better to be safe and sure!


Connect with Maria Marnelli G. Medina on Google+