Industry Spotlight: Mining

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News of mining industry tragedy has been making headlines all over the world. A Quebec man recently died following a June 25th mining accident, and the May incident at Sudbury’s Lockerby Mine resulted in two deaths. Ontario officials are conducting thorough health and safety reviews in both cases. In response to the Lockerby situation, employees participated in a safety reorientation intended to convey the company’s commitment to providing a safe working environment. The Ministry of Labour is leading the investigation into the Lockerby deaths, and has requested training records, a shift lineup, level plans, shifter log books, seismicity records, and ground control inspection reports.

The mining capital of the world, Canada’s long term prosperity and employment landscape depend heavily on the more than 60 minerals and metals produced there. A government report released late last month revealed that  five new energy and mining projects potentially coming to New Brunswick could transform the province, generating $8.6 billion and thousands of new jobs. A thorough investigation and subsequent strengthening of workplace safety regulations will help stop repeat violators and protect workers so that the mining industry can continue to flourish.

The second annual Health and Safety Excellence in Mining conference is taking place July 23rd & 24th in downtown Toronto. Learn from senior-level health and safety experts how to create an observation-based, proactive safety program that will significantly reduce incident rates and maintain compliance while advancing safety management goals.

Product Spotlight: Lockout/Tagout

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To ensure the safety of workers, it is crucial to perform the correct lockout/tagout procedures on equipment before it is serviced.

According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), lockout/tagout programs help prevent:

  • Contact with a hazard while performing tasks that require the removal, by-passing, or deactivation of safe guarding devices
  • The unintended release of hazardous energy (stored energy)
  • The unintended start-up or motion of machinery, equipment, or processes

Seton has a full selection of lockout/tagout products to ensure the safety and security of workers.

In addition to lockout signs, tags, and labels, Seton also offers protective clothing that keeps workers safe from exposure to electrical arc flash.

Changes to Hazardous Products Act (HPA): Better Protection for Workers

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The Government of Canada announced new legislation that would mean changes to the Hazardous Products Act (HPA) and help move Canada further along in its implementation of GHS (Globally Harmonized System of Classification) standards.

The changes are part of the government’s Economic Action Plan 2014.

GHS is a global system that standardizes the classification and labeling of chemicals. It was developed to improve safety by requiring that chemical hazards be communicated in a way that is understood by workers on a global scale, regardless of the language they speak. The US, Brazil and Australia are among many countries currently working to implement GHS standards.

Canada already had WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System) in place as a chemical safety standard before GHS was introduced. Manufacturers, suppliers, and users of chemicals are required to comply with GHS standards.

The deadline for training employees on new label elements and the safety data sheets (SDS) format was Dec. 1, 2013, and additional deadlines must be met over the next several years.

By June 1, 2015, countries must be in compliance with modified provisions of the final rule, and by Dec. 1, 2015, distributors can’t ship containers labeled by a chemical manufacturer or importer unless they have GHS labels. By June 1, 2016, companies must update their alternative workplace labeling and hazard communication program, as necessary, and provide additional employee training for newly identified physical or health hazards.

Preventing Slips, Trips, and Falls: Keep Workers Safe on the Job

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According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), falls cause more than 42,000 worker injuries each year.

Since slips can be caused by wet surfaces or even loose rugs, good housekeeping can easily prevent such scenarios. It can also help prevent trips that can be caused by clutter, an obstructed view, or even poor lighting. Proper footwear can also help keep feet firmly on the ground.

CCOHS offers these suggestions for reducing the risk of slipping and tripping:

  • Take your time and pay attention to where you are going
  • Adjust your stride to a suitable pace for the walking surface and tasks you are doing
  • Walk with feet pointed slightly outward
  • Make wide turns at corners
  • Keep walking areas clear from clutter or obstructions
  • Keep flooring in good condition
  • Always use installed light sources that provide sufficient light for your tasks
  • Use a flashlight if you enter a dark room without light
  • Ensure things you carry or push don’t prevent your view of obstructions or spills

New Year, New Seton Catalogue, New Beginnings

Happy New Year everyone! At Seton Canada, we like to celebrate the start of a year by renewing our commitment to safety. It’s an exciting time when we go over our different safety policies, replace worn out equipment, and find better ways to keep our people safe. We encourage you to do the same, and keep this year accident-free and safe for everyone in your facility.

Now, you might have a hard time replacing worn out gear and reworking some safety protocols without knowing what is easily available. That’s understandable, but fear not, we’re here to help.

Seton Canada just released a catalogue which contains a wide selection of equipment you can use in making your facility safer and more secure.  The good news is, we can send you a free catalogue and even do you one better by providing a free sample of some of our best selling safety and identification products.  All you have to do is fill out a form online (here’s a link to it) and we’ll get you one ASAP.

Here’s a sneak-peek into what you can expect to find in this year’s selection:

First up, the Labeltac 4 Industrial Label Printer. This printer allows you to print your own custom labels and signs ½” to 4” tall and an impressive 40’ long. It even comes with a 4 year warranty AND unlimited lifetime support! Want to know more? Well either hit up the product page or wait for the catalogue.

Next, we have the Skipper™ unit. Forget the old safety barriers that look terrible and take forever to setup.  These barriers have everything you might need: 30’ barrier tape, button locks to allow the tape to remain stable in windy conditions, and compatibility with 99% of all traffic cones! If you need a lightweight barrier, then be sure to check this one out!

Last, but not the least, we have the Modular “Bee” Column Protector. This protector is designed to protect columns sized 4”x 4”, 6”x 6”, or 8” x 8”. Installation is a snap with no tools required and can be stacked to whatever height you may need!

You can find all those products and more on both our website and our catalogue. With over 101,000 safety solutions, let Seton help you celebrate the start of a new year by keeping everyone safe and sound!

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Connect with Enrico Santos on Google+.

Safety Products: Customization is the Way To Go

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In today’s world, consumers are king. People know exactly what they want and they demand nothing less. Everyone wants to have their own identity – from the clothing we wear, to the house we live in, and even the food we eat. In fact, the term “one size fits all,” that we are all familiar with growing up, no longer seems applicable. The article that Huffington Post did on customization brought up good points to back up their statement that “every customer is his own market.”

Consumers are always looking for more product choices that reflect who they are and fit their particular needs and wants. This same concept applies to safety and identification products. There are times when a standard identification or safety product just won’t do. In these situations, customization is the way to go.

Customized products give you the versatility that ready-made goods can’t. You can put your own specific message to help communicate what you need to say more effectively. Putting your own mark on the product will also help you target your audience and users better.

Seton Canada’s custom line of safety and identification products lets you experience that. From pipe markers, safety signs, traffic and parking signs, tags, labels, and more, you have the option to make your product exactly how you want it. Seton Canada even has a very user-friendly online tool called Design-Your-Own where you can configure how you want your products to look like and see how it looks like as you create it. You can opt to:

Customize your text. If you have a specific message you need to communicate but can’t find the right product for this, then this is your solution. You can put your own safety message, company name, or the user’s name on your safety product. You can even choose the text alignment, font type, font size, and font colour to make it your own.

Choose your size. For large areas that needs signage visible from anywhere in the room, you will need a very large sign format. On the other hand, if you need to mark small items in your office, then you need a small enough label or tag that will fit the available surface of the items you need to label and still be readable.Custom-Shaped-Traffic-Signs-X85-ba

Add in logos or graphics. Putting your own logo or company graphics on your safety products is not only a theft prevention solution but also a smart marketing strategy. Displaying your company logo on your safety signs, labels or tags also help in promoting your organization, which can lead to more revenues and instant brand recognition.

Select the colour. You can customize the colour of your safety or identification product to match your company branding, colour-coding system or the products’ function. Or maybe you just have a favourite colour you want to use for your specific items. Whatever the reason for picking your colour, Seton Canada has got you covered.

Pick your own material. You need to make sure the material you pick for your safety signs, tags or labels is suited to the environment the product will be exposed to. For outdoor use, you should pick materials that can withstand harsh weather conditions. For indoor use, you can go with more budget-friendly materials and even save money as well.

Upgrade your topcoat. When making purchases, we all want to get the best value for our buck. Investing in a Duroshield topcoat for your sign or label guarantees a lifetime protection against harsh chemicals, UV rays, and even graffiti or Seton Canada will replace your item for free!

Choose the mounting method. Do you want your signs to be posted on the wall, mounted on a pole, or stuck to a door? There are a lot of choices to choose from – from self-adhesive mounting to sign poles to screws and nails. You just need to determine what is required for your safety sign or label.

Customizing not only addresses your specific needs when it comes to safety and identification products. Personalizing your own products can also be a fun, creative and liberating experience. When customers get what they want, then they are happy and satisfied. And when they are satisfied, they will be more likely to come back and do business with you again. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

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Connect with Maria Marnelli G. Medina on Google+

Seton volunteers at RMH Toronto

SCA volunteers at RMH Toronto

On Saturday, June 8, 2013, employees of Seton Canada and IDenticam came together to participate in the Home for Dinner program for the Ronald McDonald House Toronto.

Ronald McDonald House Toronto provides out-of-town families with a “home away from home” while their seriously ill children receive life-saving medical treatment at local hospitals.

The Home for Dinner program invites groups of volunteers to prepare a meal for the families staying in the House. A total of 7 Seton Canada and IDenticam employees, as well as their family and friends, participated in the event.

“It was amazing, it was a great experience,” said Sherry Currie, a Seton Canada Volunteer Program team member.

After shopping for groceries in the morning, the team met at the RMD house at 2:30 pm and started preparing dinner for approximately 135 people. The menu consisted of a green salad, grilled vegetables, and pasta with meatballs and red sauce for the main course, as well as fruit and ice cream sandwiches for dessert.

“Overall there was a desire for us to work together, especially in the community. This was an opportunity for everyone to get together to donate time, rather than just money,” said Seton Canada’s Employee Volunteer Program Coordinator, Shehzad Hamza.

Some of the volunteers were also given a tour of the House, located in downtown Toronto. The House offers amenities such as a playground, a small movie theatre, laundry services, a gym and even a school that both children undergoing treatment and their siblings can attend.

“We had a lot of fun,” Hamza said. “The best part was the families; a few came over and thanked us for their meal.”

“I highly recommend it,” Currie said. “I think we’re going to try to do it again. And a lot of other employees want to be involved.”

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Connect with Seton Canada on Google+

 

BCWWA Takes Water Safety Seriously

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We all take water for granted. Turn on the tap and out it comes, clean and clear water.

But the BC Water and Waste Association (BCWWA) takes its water dead seriously.

BCWWA is British Columbia’s leading resource water and wastewater news, information and events for the people working in this vital industry and for the public.

Representing 4,700 members – “the people who ensure water quality and quantity from source to tap and back to the source” – in British Columbia and the Yukon, this not-for-profit association is mandated to “safeguard public health and the environment on all matters related to water and wastewater.”

“British Columbians are making great strides towards becoming more aware of their water and the need to value and protect it, but we still have a long way to go,” BCWWA CEO Daisy Foster said recently.

“British Columbians use more water per day on average than the rest of Canada. People may think we have an abundance of water here in BC, but that’s not true for all areas of our province.”

Climate change, population growth, industrial and agricultural use, and aging infrastructure all put pressure on the water supply and the ability to get clean safe water to our taps and return used water safely to our environment, she said.

BCWWA is responsible for number of important initiatives that endeavor to educate the public and ensure that water and wastewater workers are at the top of their game, maintaining the highest safety standards and providing a voice for their industry.

Here’s what the BCWWA does:

  • An educational resource, BCWWA offers a wide variety of training workshops and seminars to its members.
  • Through its wide range of committees they can further their education and expand their skills, share expertise and knowledge, facilitate for change and network with each other. These committees also provide them with a mechanism to engage governments to inform them about water policy and other water issues.
  • The BCWWA hosts the largest annual water industry conference and trade show in Western Canada. This year’s 41st conference One Water: Endless Opportunities  took place last week in Kelowna.
  • Every year, BCWWA organizes Drinking Water Week and other public awareness initiatives.
  • BCWWA certifies cross connection control testers  in BC.

Water conservation and what happens to water when we’re finished with it are both significant concerns for the BCWWA and the costs associated with them are felt by all of us, in every province.

Enform: The Go-To Place for Safety

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With a major corporate shuffle, revitalized objectives and a new product focused on occupational safety for young and inexperienced workers, a long overdue spotlight is shining on Enform, the premier safety association for Canada’s upstream oil and gas industry.

When Cameron MacGillivray took Enform’s helm as President & CEO last year, he brought a clear commitment to give this association a higher profile and a more powerful voice as a safety advocate, training, product and service provider and the leading resource for the Canadian Petroleum Industry.

“Our goal is for Enform to be the go-to place for safety,” MacGillivray said. “Even though Enform is a non-profit organization, we are running a business and that means defining clear objectives and priorities and continually improving.”

These new objectives include:

  • Improving performance.
  • Enhancing operational integrity.
  • Raising organizational effectiveness.
  • Evolving with the industry.

Another addition to Enform’s corporate team is geophysicist and business analyst Jeff Rose, Chief Operating Officer, who will oversee business practices and implement a new strategic plan.

“I have been where safety hits the road – from offshore drilling to seismic, from building pipelines to fracking. I know the importance of safety,” he said.

Enform has four major priorities:

  • As the upstream oil and gas industry’s leading resource for proven safety and training programs last year, 220,000 certificates were issued to oil and gas workers across three western provinces.
  • As a strong safety advocate, with a number of safety resources  that promote and foster a safety culture, Enform is staying ahead of the learning curve, transforming attitudes and changing behaviours on the job.
  • As a facilitator Enform is structured to bring groups together to communicate openly about safety issues and reach consensus on shared challenges in this rapidly growing and developing sector.
  • As a provider of wide range of important and timely products and services that will continually improve worker safety performance and company systems within the industry.

Enform recently introduced a free online safety awareness-training program, eGSO – Electronic General Safety Orientation – to complement employers’ existing orientation programs for new and inexperienced workers.

“The industry is our customer and Enform has a wealth of resources that can be used to its advantage,” MacGillivray said.

Those resources and a wealth of knowledge will be the focus of Enform’s 2013 Petroleum Safety Conference “Owning Safety” from May 5-10 in Banff, Alberta.

Though a thorough evaluation of systems and processes to crystallize how Enform can best meet the industry’s needs is being conducted, management activities ultimately boil down one basic fundamental – making sure people go home safely every night.

A Health and Safety Plan Success Story

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At Winnipeg’s St. Boniface Hospital, a steady 15-20 per cent decline in reported job-related injuries and accidents over the last four years has significantly reduced costs associated with those incidents.

This on-going downward trend is the result of a thorough, dynamic and resilient occupational health and safety program at one of Manitoba’s oldest and the second largest healthcare and research facilities, a 530-bed teaching hospital with a campus of 4,000 health care professionals and support personnel.

Safety advisor, Quim Reis, CRSP joined St. Boniface Hospital in 2005 as part of the Occupational Health and Safety Team to design, implement and maintain its workplace health and safety program. He sums up the impetus of this plan in one word, “communication.”

Hospitals are uniquely challenging workplaces, completely different from industry, he said. Occupational health and safety in a hospital includes the safety of workers, patients, visitors and volunteers in an environment filled with medications and highly hazardous laboratory chemicals like Formaldehyde, radioactive materials for cancer treatments, Ethylene Oxide for sterilization and anaesthetic gases, to name a few.

Operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, workers face a vast array of potential, risks and hazards:

  1. Physical – lighting, electricity, vibration, noise, temperature, humidity, radiation
  2. Chemical and Mineral – gases, mists, vapours, solids, dusts, fumes, liquids
  3. Communicable and Biological – blood-borne diseases, viruses, bacteria, moulds, sharps/needles sticks
  4. Ergonomic – repetition, awkward and static posture, force (including contact stress), work environment, patient handling
  5. Safety – slips, trips and falls, housekeeping, moving equipment and parts, anything that can cause traumatic injuries
  6. Work Organization and Psychosocial Environment – pace/intensity, social support/relations, workload/demands, control/latitude flexibility for non-work responsibilities, violence.

This recent reduction in reported workplace incidents at St Boniface Hospital reflects a number of improvements in workplace safety including real-time reporting of injuries; interim and long-term corrective action plans to prevent future injuries; a broad array of prevention programs and systems.

“We’ve shifted the culture at St. Boniface Hospital to support workplace safety,” he said.

Bringing more than 20 years of occupational health and safety planning experience and leadership to St. Boniface Hospital, mainly in industry, “I live and breathe safety,” Reis admitted.

“But developing a workplace health and safety program is just the first step,” he stressed. “A health and safety program won’t be effective if it is kept in a binder collecting dust. Resources are required to ensure its sustainability and continuous improvement.”

The goal of St. Boniface Hospital’s Occupational Health and Safety plan is to maintain a workplace free of hazards that could cause injury, illness or property damage, through:

  • Compliance with the province’s health and safety laws and regulations,
  • Educating staff, physicians, researchers, students and volunteers about workplace hazards and teach safe work practices
  • The expectations that all staff follow safe work practices in their daily work and protect themselves and their fellow workers while doing their jobs.

The St. Boniface Hospital occupational health and safety program includes, but is not limited to the following components:

  1. Health and safety training, awareness and education
  2. Accident/incident reporting and investigation
  3. Workplace safety inspection programs
  4. Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) and Safe Work Procedures (SWP)
  5. Occupational Hygiene Program
  6. Chemical Safety Program
  7. Musculoskeletal Injury Program
  8. Disability Management Program
  9. Respiratory Protection Program
  10. 10. Occupational Health Program

Mandatory occupational health and safety training begins with a two-day General Hospital Orientation for all new employees.

On Day One, they are given a review of St. Boniface Hospital’s “health and safety commitment,” workers rights, a review of emergency codes and evacuation plans, general Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) training and testing.

On Day Two, patient care providers receive specific training on patient handling and other employees learn about safe material handling and office ergonomics.

It’s impossible to explain all the complex systems contributing to the cultural shift in workplace safety at St. Boniface Hospital and the reduction in accidents and injuries, but here are some highlights.

All St. Boniface Hospital workers in its 120 departments and units participate as members of a multi-tiered Central Workers Safety and Health Committee. It includes many sub-committees throughout the hospital programs and involves continuously monitored mini-training programs that help maintain the overall plan. Workers constantly report to each other, at training sessions and to OH&S.

One mini-program is a “How to Conduct Safety Inspections” training session held three times a year to ensure that new committee members and newly-hired managers and supervisors know their responsibilities for safety inspections held each quarter, Reis said.

Workers are trained to complete and review Job Hazard Analyses (JHA) and must take JHA competency tests. They consult and contribute to the development of health and safety policies related to their specific jobs and provide input on specific Safe Work Procedures (SWP). They attend annual Health and Safety refresher training courses throughout the year.

“One of the challenges in a hospital is ensuring all employees are able to attend education and training sessions,” Reis said. “This can be difficult for nurses and healthcare aides as they cannot leave their work responsibilities to attend a training sessions and it can be frustrating at times.”

An electronic system is used for reporting all injuries, illnesses and “near misses,” creating an instant “incident report,” Reis states.

This report is automatically emailed to OH&S staff, occupational health nurses and the Workers Compensation Board representative in Human Resources. These reports include interim corrective actions, root cause analysis and long-term corrective actions.

Recently a major crisis was averted because of the speed and efficiency of this electronic reporting system.

During an Asbestos Management refresher training session a couple of property management staff reported that some asbestos insulation on our ventilation piping systems was crumbling in several of our mechanical rooms.

“This prompted an investigation and immediate action was taken,” Reis said. “An Asbestos Abatement Contractor was hired and is removing the asbestos containing materials in the mechanical rooms as we speak. This prevented our ventilation systems from possibly spreading carcinogenic asbestos fibres throughout the hospital.”

St. Boniface’s Occupational Health and Safety motto is “continuous improvement,” Reis said. “We regularly review and look for ways to improve our programs.”

How do you measure success?

“We can say that over the last four years our WCB rates have consistently gone down every year, but for a program to work, it needs commitment, support and cooperation from all levels of employees and management – organizational commitment, not any individual in particular.”

How do you measure commitment and support from management?

Quim Reis

Quim Reis

“When they let you do your job as a safety professional. We have that at St. Boniface,” Reis said.

How do you measure support and cooperation from workers?

“You ensure their involvement and you thank them for their contribution. You let them know their contribution is valued. You always provide feedback and demonstrate that as a safety professional, you take their concerns seriously.”