Safety News You Can Use

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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.

Safety News You Can Use

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A three-year $400,000 study, Mining Mental Health, has kicked off, with the goal of developing strategies to promote positive mental health for workers at the Ontario location of Vale, a mining company.

Vale has partnered with the United Steelworkers (USW) and the Centre for Research in Occupational Safety and Health (CROSH) at Laurentian University to complete the study.

Information for the study will be collected from worker surveys. A CROSH research team will work with the Vale/USW Joint Occupational Health Committee (JOHC) on the project.

To learn more, click here.

Feedback Sought on Standards for Vape and Vapour Products

The Standards Council of Canada (SCC) is looking for feedback on the International Organization for Standardization’s (ISO) development of standards for vape and vapour products.

Vape or vapour products includes devices such as electronic cigarettes and e-cigars. According to the SCC, the standardization will “increase the safety of users and surrounding persons, by setting safety and quality requirements of the devices, consumables and emissions and by improving consumer information.”

Feedback is requested by September 18, 2015.

Click here for more details.

Transportation Department Charged in Worker Death

A department of transportation and works was recently charged as the result of a worker death in July 2013.

The worker, who was working with a paint crew, was hit and killed by a pickup truck on a highway.  The Occupational Health and Safety Act charges include failure to provide a safe workplace, instruction, supervision and effective traffic control.

The case will head to court on September 21, 2015.

Learn more here.

 

Don’t Get Blindsided by a Blitz

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As part of its continued commitment to preventing workplace injuries and illness through the Safe At Work Ontario initiative, The Ministry of Labour is running several blitzes that we thought should be on your radar. Please visit labour.gov for a full schedule and details.

Machine Guarding Blitz From November 3 through December 14, Ministry of Labour inspectors will visit wood and metal fabrication, manufacturing, chemical and plastics and automotive plants and other industrial sector workplaces. The blitz will focus on hazards that could lead to crushing and other injuries as well as occupational disease. The ministry will check for hazards involving guards or other devices, and improper lockout of machines and equipment. Inspectors will look to see that employers are taking appropriate action to assess and address these hazards, as required by the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and the Regulations for Industrial Establishments.

Ground Control Blitz – The ministry will continue the October/November blitz focusing on ground control in Ontario’s mining sector. The blitz will address hazards affecting the stability of excavations in underground and surface mines. Mining inspectors and engineers will focus specifically on the stability of the ‘face’ and ‘slope’ of mining sites. To prepare, please take a look at the Fact Sheet.

The ministry aims to protect workers’ rights under both the OHSA and the ESA (Employment Standards Act), and enhance employers’ awareness of their responsibilities. The blitzes and initiative were designed to generate long-lasting improvements in compliance, fewer injuries, and fewer breaches of employment standards. Findings are generally reported soon after completion.

Only Two Weeks Left to Complete Mandatory OHSA Training

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Ontario regulation 297/13 requires that all workers and supervisors complete Occupational Health and Safety Awareness Training by July 1st, 2014. Training modules are different for workers and supervisors, and it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that everyone participates, even those in jobs that are not considered hazardous. Training can be conducted using the Ministry of Labour’s online “e-learning” modules or by in-person sessions with employees. Workbooks and other resources are available online, or employers may choose to use their own training materials, provided they cover all required topics in their entirety. To that end, employers who already provided safety training are not required to participate, but it is highly recommended, in order to avoid future Ministry of Labour disputes. Topics included in the new regulation that may have changed or been overlooked during standard employee training are: roles of the ministry, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), and Health and Safety Associations. The deadline for employees hired after July 1st is “as soon as practicable” after they start working, whereas new supervisors have only one week to complete the training.

Safety News You Can Use

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  • A recent amendment to Manitoba’s Highway Traffic Act has modified the requirements to mark and sign construction zones. Additionally, it created an offence for speeding in a designated construction zone, penalties for which are double the fines for speeding elsewhere.
  • Alberta launched a new campaign, Work Right, encouraging workers and employers to question what they know about occupational health and safety. The campaign comes in response to a common lack of understanding, and aims to create a culture of compliance, fairness and safety in the workplace. The initiative overlaps with an inspection campaign focusing on residential construction, launched after a man was badly injured in a construction shaft accident last month. It will run from mid-June through the end of summer construction season.
  • Seton’s Job Safety Videos won a Canadian Public Relations Society Award for Digital Campaign of the Year – watch, laugh, and learn!
  • The Ministry of Labour continues its series of Blitzes & Initiatives. Take a look at the full schedule and do your part to help raise awareness, increase compliance with the OHSA and ESA, and protect workers.
  • Canada Day 2014 is right around the corner. Make it a happy and safe one with Seton!

Fall Protection/Hazards Blitz Coming to Construction Companies

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Nearly 20% of Canada’s time-loss injuries are due to slips, trips, and falls (based on statistics from the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada, 2011). The majority of falls occur on the same level (commonly called slips and trips), and are often caused by slippery surfaces, uneven ground, unsecured mats, poorly lit or cluttered areas, and unsuitable footwear. The remaining third are falls from an elevated area like a ladder, roof, or stairs.

During July and August, the Ontario Ministry of Labour will focus on Fall Protection & Hazards in the construction industry. The Ministry hopes to protect workers under both the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and the Employment Standards Act (ESA), by enhancing employers’ awareness of their responsibilities. In the event that you receive a blitz, you will want to have proper fall protection equipment and procedures in place. Seton has everything you need, from lanyards and harnesses to custom signage to floor markers and barricades. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety (CCOHS) and Ministry of Labour have ample resources on how to reduce risk and stay in compliance. 

‘Tis the Season for Young Workers

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New and young workers make up a large segment of the workforce, especially during summer months. The experts at Seton created a list of facts and tips which will help you communicate effectively with them, and comply with related regulations.

  • Ontario’s Ministry of Labour remains focused on the safety of new and young workers during a four-month enforcement blitz of industrial sector workplaces that ends in August. Inspectors will ensure that employers comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), and specifically that new and young workers: are being instructed, trained and supervised on the job; meet minimum age requirements; and are following required safety measures and procedures to prevent injuries.
  • As of June 1st, 2014, Ontario increased the minimum wage to $11/hour, and the student minimum wage to $10.30/hour
  • The best way to obtain age information is via written application
  • In many cases, an unpaid internship will be contrary to Ontario’s Employment Standards Act (ESA), and could have legal and financial implications
  • Higher costs may be incurred if an approved student intern is injured on the job
  • Ontario’s Infrastructure Health & Safety Association (IHSA) reports that new and young workers (ages 15 – 24) are four times more likely to be injured during the first month of employment than at any other time
  • Training, information, instruction and supervision are paramount when it comes to young workers, as they are often unfamiliar with their surroundings, afraid to ask questions, and more inclined to take risks
  • Proper display of safety procedures and WHMIS labeling of hazardous products will help young employees understand the importance of workplace safety and feel comfortable speaking about the subject

New OHSA Training Requirement for Ontario Employers

Safety TrainingStarting July 1, 2014, Ontario businesses will be required to ensure their employees have completed an OHSA (Occupational Health and Safety Awareness) safety training program. The new regulation requires that supervisors and workers take a basic program covering updated industrial safety and health awareness standards, and that these trainings will be documented.

If you haven’t made plans for the transition yet,  Health and Safety Ontario recommends that you start by comparing your team’s current level of safety and health awareness with the new material. After you discover what training is needed, create an action plan to provide the needed education. Don’t forget to document participation, provide the trainees written proof, and complete all activities by July 1, 2014.

To make training your employees a breeze, take advantage of Seton CA’s WHMIS video training kit. This complete package consists of materials you need to teach your staff about Canada’s Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) such as:

  • a 35-minute educational video in DVD
  • printed supplementary materials
  • five self-study guides with quizzes
  • a WHMIS poster
  • five wallet cards
  • five certificates
  • an administrator’s guide

Approved by the Industrial Accident Prevention Association and Liftow, these learning materials cover:

  • WHMIS basics
  • workplace hazards
  • hazard symbols
  • material safety data sheets
  • controlled products
  • training requirements and responsibilities

With Seton CA’s WHMIS video training kit, you’re one quick and easy step away from complying with Ontario’s regulations and cultivating a safe and healthy working environment!

Safety News You Can Use

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Avoid worker injuries and lawsuits by keeping workers safe. Learn why a manufacturer and a roofing company were fined after workers suffered severe injuries on the job.

Manufacturer Fined for OHSA Violation: A manufacturer was fined $60,000 for violating the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). The company was fined after a worker was injured after a press used to bend sheets of metal fell on the worker’s hands, leading to the loss of several fingers.

The company admitted guilt for failing to ensure the press was guarded properly to avoid access to its pinch point.

Roofing Company Fined After Worker Falls: A roofing company was fined $60,000 by the Ministry of Labour after a worker’s lower limbs were injured after a fall from a roof. The approximately 13-feet fall caused the worker to suffer broken heels.

The worker’s travel restraint system was attached to the roof by a single nylon anchor strap not wrapped around a structural member, as directed by an instruction manual. It was screwed into wood and the strap detached from the roof, causing the worker—who was untrained on anchor strap usage—to fall.

The company was not in compliance of Ontario’s construction regulation that requires tools and equipment to be used according to manufacturer instructions. The roofing company was also guilty of failing to protect its workers with the proper information, instruction and supervision needed to keep them safe.