Summer Jobs: How Ontario is Protecting Young Workers

youngworkers

As summer begins, so do the careers of many young workers who are entering the workforce for the very first time.

Inexperienced workers, including young workers, are at a greater risk of injury on the job. In response to that risk, the Ministry of Labour has introduced some new initiatives designed to protect young workers.

Those initiatives are:

  • Launch of two province-wide inspection blitzes on health and safety and employment standards.
  • Promotion of “It’s Your Job,” a province-wide online video contest that encourages young workers to voice their views on workplace rights.
  • Support of “Bring Safety Home,” a workplace safety and prevention services program that focuses on parents and networks of young workers.
  • Support #safe4life, a digital media campaign run by Parachute Canada.

These strategies to keep young workers safe are part of a larger Safe At Work Ontario initiative created to help prevent injuries and illnesses in the workplace.

When you need to provide workers with the supplies they need to stay safe on the job, count on Seton. Give us a call at 855-581-1218 or visit http://www.seton.ca and we can help you select the safety products you need.

Get Ready: Be Prepared for Spring and Summer Weather Hazards

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We all look forward to the spring and summer months and the nice weather this time of year brings.

But, in addition to the warmer temperatures and sunshine, many of us have to also expect some unsettled—and sometimes dangerous—weather.

Among the spring and summer weather hazards are thunderstorms, tornados and flooding.

Here are some tips for how to stay safe during these weather events:

Lightning Safety

  • Find shelter when you hear thunder. If you hear it, you’re at risk for a lightning strike.
  • Once indoor shelter is found, avoid objects that conduct electricity, such as electrical appliances and equipment, doors and windows.
  • If you are stranded outside, avoid standing near tall objects or anything made of metal. And avoid open water.

Tornado Safety

  • Find shelter at the first sign of a tornado. The best shelter is in the lower level of a sturdy building.
  • If you are stranded outdoors, lie flat in a ditch, ravine or other low lying area and shield your head with your arms.
  • Close all building doors and windows.

Hail Safety

  • Find shelter in a solid building and avoid windows, glass doors or skylights.
  • Watch for flooding since hail and clog storm drains and cause local flooding.

Do you and your workers know what to do when severe weather strikes during the spring and summer months? If not, now is the time to develop a plan of action.

Looking for a place to start? Think about safety signage that will keep your workers safe in the event of an emergency, whether that emergency is weather-related or not. Seton offers a full selection of evacuation signs that can effectively direct your workers to safety.

If you need help building your emergency kit, look to Seton for complete first aid kits and supplies for your facility. Do all of your preparation now, before severe weather arrives.

A Safety Checklist: Keep Your Workers Safe

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Do you need a little help ensuring that your workers stay safe on the job?

The Ministry of Labour has released a checklist designed to help employers ensure they follow Ontario’s health and safety requirements. The checklist also contains questions that employers can use to determine their success in complying with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).

The checklist is comprised of four areas:

  • Roles and responsibilities: Help employers and workers understand their responsibilities in the workplace.
  • Reporting and records management: Help employers understand reporting requirements when there is a workplace incident, such as an injury.
  • Hazards in the workplace: Ensure procedures are in place to control hazards.
  • Training: Ensure all workers complete mandatory health and safety awareness training, including specific training on hazards found in the workplace.

How do you currently keep track of the required health and safety requirements? Do you think having a checklist will keep you more organized? What items will your checklist contain?

If you want to start with training, Seton has what you need to provide your workers with the knowledge and processes they need to keep their workplaces safe and secure.

Need help getting started? Give us a call at 855-581-1218 or visit www.seton.ca and we can help answer any safety product questions you may have.

See Clearly: How to Select and Care for Your Eye Protection

eyeprotection

Because many eye hazards exist in the workplace, it’s important to provide proper eye protection to keep workers safe.

If eye protection is necessary, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) suggests establishing an eye safety protection program that includes selection, fit testing, training, maintenance and inspection.

CCOHS offers these tips regarding the fit and care of safety glasses:

Fit of Safety Glasses

Eye size, bridge size and temple length vary from person to person, so safety glasses should be assigned and fitted according to individual needs.

Safety glasses should be worn so that the temples fit comfortably over the wearer’s ears. The frame should be as close to the face as possible and supported by the bridge of the nose.

Care of Safety Glasses

It’s important to properly maintain all personal protective equipment (PPE), including eye protection.  To keep safety glasses in good working condition:

  • Clean safety glasses daily and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Store safety glasses in a clean, dry place to protect them from damage. Keep them in a case when they are not being worn.
  • Replace scratched, pitted, broken, bent or ill-fitting glasses.
  • Replace damaged parts only with identical parts from the original manufacturer to ensure the same safety rating.

Before purchasing any eye protection for your workers, assess their needs so you acquire the most effective protection for their jobs.

When you provide eye protection to your workers, do you provide training on how to effectively use it, and do you communicate how to keep it in good condition?

GHS/WHMIS Deadline Moving Closer: Get Prepared Now

GHSbarrels

As we get closer to the final GHS deadline, it’s important to remember what is needed for your organization to be GHS compliant.

First a little background: The Government of Canada created modifications to the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) to incorporate the new GHS (Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals) regulations.

That modified WHMIS is now referred to as WHMIS 2015.

WorkSafeBC explains how WHMIS includes elements of GHS, which has created new standardized:

Hazard Classification Criteria: The new criteria keeps the same level of protection already provided, but incorporates some new hazard classes.

Label Requirements: Supplier labels feature a few new requirements. Most hazard classes and categories have a prescribed signal word, hazard statements, a pictogram and precautionary statements. Supplier labels will still be required in both English and French.

Safety Data Sheet (SDS) Requirements: Safety data sheets (SDSs) will replace material safety data sheets (MSDSs). SDSs have 16 sections.

Final compliance for WHMIS 2015 isn’t required for employers, distributors, as well as manufacturers and importers until December 1, 2018.

While there is still time, what has your company done so far in preparation of the compliance deadline? What else do you need to do?

Working Alone: How to Keep Lone Workers Safe on the Job

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When a person is alone at work, he or she is working in an area where they can’t be seen or heard by anyone else. Depending on the type of work a person does, this can sometimes be dangerous.

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) identifies heights, confined spaces and electricity as sources/areas in which working alone can be hazardous.

If any of your workers are alone in potentially hazardous locations, there are many things you can do to help ensure they are safe on the job. CCOHS offers these suggestions:

  • Assess the hazards of your workplace.
  • Talk to employees about their work to help uncover solutions.
  • Investigate incidents at your workplace and learn from incidents at other workplaces.
  • Avoid having a lone worker whenever possible.
  • Take corrective action to prevent the risks of working alone.
  • Provide appropriate training.
  • Report all situations, incidents or ‘’near misses” where being alone increased the severity of the situation.
  • Establish a check-in procedure.
  • Schedule higher risk tasks to be done during normal business hours or when another worker is present.

Do you have policies in place to help protect any of your workers who are alone on the job? What more do you think you can do to protect them from hazards?

Safety News You Can Use

safetynews

A baking company was fined $60,000 after a worker was injured while cleaning an overhead conveyor on a cookie production line.

A Ministry of Labour inspector found that the conveyor wasn’t stopped when the worker was cleaning the line. This violated a safety regulation.

To learn more, read here.

SAFE Work Manitoba Launches Young Worker Injury Prevention Strategy

SAFE Work Manitoba has launched a Young Worker Injury Prevention Strategy that will focus on the almost 5,000 injuries sustained by workers aged 15-24 each year.

The group of stakeholders involved in this initiative includes employers, educators, families and young workers. The program will be implemented over the next three years with the goal of creating safety awareness around keeping young workers safe on the job.

Read more about the strategy here.

 

Safety News You Can Use

safetynews

YOW Canada Inc., a provider of occupational health and safety training, donated online training to two Employment Help Centres.

Each year, YOW Canada donates its services to not-for-profit organizations to help them more easily provide health and safety training.

Learn more here.

Waste Management Company Under Investigation After Many Worker Injuries

A waste management company is under investigation by the City of Winnipeg after it filed nearly 120 workers compensation claims since 2012.

The company filed 118 claims for injuries, such as sprains, tears and strains, with Manitoba’s Workers Compensation Board.

Read more about the investigation here.

Temporary Worker Safety: What You Need to Know

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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?

Compliance Update: Understanding New Guidelines Regarding Rope Access

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A new Occupational Health and Safety Regulation and guidelines for rope access were released earlier this year. Part 34—Rope Access of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation (OHSR) applies to industrial rope access (such as construction, building maintenance and bridge inspection).

A safety bulletin from WorkSafeBC defines rope access as “a specialized technique for work positioning and rescue where a worker is intentionally and directly suspended on ropes at height, often as a versatile, economically efficient alternative to scaffolding or swing stages.”

The new guidelines focus on training, safe work practices and equipment.  For instance, they address how rope access training relates to other disciplines of work. They also explain how safe work practices related to various types of rope access work. Also included are requirements around rescuing workers after a rope access incident, as well as requirements related to the inspection and testing of permanent anchors used in a rope access system.