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This section offers a growing list of free articles.

WSPS regional events bring H&S to you

WSPS regional events bring H&S to you

Health and safety professionals from across Ontario will gather this fall to connect, collaborate, and create at the 2017 Partners in Prevention regional conferences and one-day symposium.
Aug 10, 2017
9 ways to prevent pallet injuries

9 ways to prevent pallet injuries

The 2016 trial of a respected big box retailer following the death of a worker has raised fresh concerns over pallet safety. The worker died two weeks after he tripped on an empty pallet and hit his head. While this may be an isolated incident, it highlights the potential consequences of unsafe practices involving pallets.
Aug 10, 2017
6 things you need to know about PSRs

6 things you need to know about PSRs

Many employers remain confused by the legal requirements for a Pre-Start Health and Safety Review (PSR) for new or modified equipment, says Michael Wilson, a WSPS technical consultant. “They may not know the requirements exist, even though it’s been around for over 15 years. Or they confuse it with their own company’s pre-start equipment check before each shift.”
Aug 10, 2017
Stop forceful gripping, pinching MSDs

Stop forceful gripping, pinching MSDs

A research project involving 4,300 workers at more than 50 workplaces has found that people who often use a forceful gripping and pinching motion could face a higher risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.*
Aug 10, 2017
Thinkmentalhealth.ca - free resource

Thinkmentalhealth.ca - free resource

In any given week 500,000 Canadians will miss work due to mental health issues. The smaller the workplace, the greater the impact employee absences may have. Supporting and protecting the mental health of your people is a crucial business strategy, and while task can seem daunting it doesn’t have to be. You now have access to a free website, thinkmentalhealth.ca that provides a one-stop shop for acquiring information and tools to help.
Aug 10, 2017
By 2024, 450,000 Canadians could be using medical marijuana. Get ready

By 2024, 450,000 Canadians could be using medical marijuana. Get ready

As medical marijuana becomes more accessible, and recreational marijuana use becomes legal under the federal government’'s anticipated cannabis legislation, what effect could this have on health and safety?
Jul 12, 2017
Preventing work refusals: start with a positive safety culture

Preventing work refusals: start with a positive safety culture

Workers have three guaranteed rights under Ontario's Occupational Health and Safety Act, including the right to refuse to perform work believed to be unsafe. But this right is often enacted as a last resort, when other means to resolve a health and safety concern have failed, says WSPS ergonomist Tanya Muller.
Jul 12, 2017
New and young worker blitz: insights and advice from an inspection veteran

New and young worker blitz: insights and advice from an inspection veteran

The Ministry of Labour's Joe O'Grady has critical advice for employers of new and young workers: "supervise, supervise, supervise!" Follow this advice and you can prevent injuries and save lives, says O’'Grady; these new and young workers are three times more likely to be injured during the first month on the job than at any other time.
Jul 12, 2017
The Dog Days of Summer Are Here. Prepare for the heat now

The Dog Days of Summer Are Here. Prepare for the heat now

These heat waves may last only a week or two, but in this time workers can suffer debilitating effects and even death. A few simple steps taken now can keep your people thriving and productive even in the hottest weather.

Jul 12, 2017
Is it a work refusal or labour relations complaint? Understand the difference

Is it a work refusal or labour relations complaint? Understand the difference

Workers' right to refuse work they believe to be unsafe to themselves or other workers is a mainstay of Ontario's Internal Responsibility System. At their best, refusals can draw attention to hazards not previously recognized, providing additional protection for workers.
Jun 13, 2017
Listen up! Reduce workplace noise in 4 steps

Listen up! Reduce workplace noise in 4 steps

Efforts have recently ramped up to protect Ontario's workers from noise-induced hearing loss. They include a new noise regulation with stricter duties for employers, a year-long noise initiative from the Ministry of Labour, and a new education and awareness campaign from Ontario's Occupational Disease Action Plan.
Jun 13, 2017
GE Canada’s mental health strategy: saving minds and resources

GE Canada’s mental health strategy: saving minds and resources

In 2013, GE Canada launched its Our Minds, Our Health mental health strategy. Its vision: to create a nurturing, stigma-free, respectful and trusting work environment for almost 7,000 employees located in major manufacturing facilities and sales and service locations across the country.
Jun 13, 2017
Dropped tools can kill. Here's how to secure tools at heights

Dropped tools can kill. Here's how to secure tools at heights

Imagine this: one of your workers drops a 3-pound tool from a height of 20 feet. The tool hits a worker below with 336 pounds of force. Just 16 pounds of force can fracture a skull.
Jun 13, 2017
Improve your racking inspections with a new CSA guideline

Improve your racking inspections with a new CSA guideline

High profile fatalities and injuries involving collapsed racks due to damage happen all too often in Ontario. That's why a critical eye on racks is essential.
Jun 13, 2017
Prepare for the heat - You know it's coming!

Prepare for the heat - You know it's coming!

It's just a matter of time before the cold, rainy spring turns into a blistering hot summer.

Jun 01, 2017
MOL extends working at heights training deadline for certain workers

MOL extends working at heights training deadline for certain workers

In response to employer requests, Ontario's Ministry of Labour has extended a deadline for working at heights training. The extension applies only to workers who, before April 1, 2015, met the fall protection training requirements set out in subsection 26.2(1) of O. Reg. 213/91.

May 15, 2017
Partners in Prevention 2017: building a safe and prosperous future

Partners in Prevention 2017: building a safe and prosperous future

Another year and another successful Partners in Prevention Health & Safety Conference & Trade Show.

May 15, 2017
WSPS’ centenary: keeping you safe for 100 years

WSPS’ centenary: keeping you safe for 100 years

Over the last 100 years incredible strides have taken place in workplace health and safety. In that time, WSPS has been an active agent of change - as a provider of innovative, impactful solutions, and as an advocate on behalf of our member firms in Ontario's agriculture, manufacturing and service sectors.

May 15, 2017
MOL Blitz: firsthand advice for keeping new and young workers safe

MOL Blitz: firsthand advice for keeping new and young workers safe

Luis Hernandez felt fortunate to land a job as a maintenance worker at a fast-service restaurant just three weeks after arriving in Canada. And while he acknowledges that his first employer did a lot of things right to keep him safe, more could have been done. But because Luis was new to the country he didn't feel it was his place to offer suggestions.

May 15, 2017
#AvoidNoise - how to prevent hearing loss in the workplace

#AvoidNoise - how to prevent hearing loss in the workplace

Results from a Statistics Canada health study offer disturbing findings regarding adult hearing loss.* Could you or your co-workers be among the 1 in 5 adults aged 19 to 79 who have mild hearing loss or more in at least one ear? Here's another: most people with measured hearing loss were unaware they had any hearing problems. Chances are, with time and continued exposure the problem will get worse.

Apr 10, 2017
6 easy ways to ensure conveyor safety

6 easy ways to ensure conveyor safety

Don't let emergency stop buttons and pull cords lull you into a false sense of security. They're the conveyor equivalent of the engine oil light on your car's dashboard: If the light goes on - or you're reaching for the emergency stop button - it may be too late.

Apr 10, 2017
4 low- or no-cost ways to make mental health a workplace priority

4 low- or no-cost ways to make mental health a workplace priority

The mental health of workers cannot be ignored. In any given week 500,000 people miss work every week due to a mental health issue.

Apr 10, 2017
How to stay ahead of the New and Young Worker MOL blitz

How to stay ahead of the New and Young Worker MOL blitz

Many workplaces see "training" as a formal exercise delivered by outside experts, but it doesn't have to be, says WSPS key account manager Rodola Sibuma. "It can happen in small increments every day or every week, because you already have on-site experts who can deliver this training - your supervisors."

Apr 10, 2017
Partners in Prevention 2017 is almost here! Reserve your spot!

Partners in Prevention 2017 is almost here! Reserve your spot!

The countdown is on! WSPS' Partners in Prevention 2017 Health & Safety Conference & Trade Show is just weeks away, and excitement is building fast. Delegates who have already signed up know that no matter what their role - JHSC, HR, supervisors, safety managers, CEOs - they'll find the answers to their health and safety questions at Partners in Prevention 2017.

Apr 10, 2017
Canada's largest health & safety event is back!

Canada's largest health & safety event is back!

A unique, dynamic, and fun exhibit area awaits you at Partners in Prevention 2017 Conference & Trade Show, May 2-3. Where else can you climb through a dark and dirty confined space? Repel down the side of a trailer? Or drive a pedal cart while wearing goggles that simulate impairment? "There's something for everyone," says WSPS trade show organizer Kristina Toomey, "including interactive activities, demos, games, information sessions, freebies, contests, and much more!"

Mar 15, 2017
FAQs about health and safety management systems

FAQs about health and safety management systems

Bill 70, passed in December, instantly caught the attention of Ontario's business community by enabling an accreditation process for companies with a health and safety management system. But how do you know if implementing a management system is right for your business?

Mar 15, 2017
Lockout: follow this 6 step template

Lockout: follow this 6 step template

The key to preventing lockout incidents, says WSPS consultant Michael Wilson, is understanding which hazardous energies you are dealing with. Up to eight potential sources must be controlled before a worker can safely carry out maintenance and repair tasks.

Mar 15, 2017
Save time and money: create training videos with your own smartphone

Save time and money: create training videos with your own smartphone

For some employers, a new season means a fresh batch of employees who need orientation training to get them up to speed quickly.

Mar 15, 2017
Warehouse safety success story #1: Coca-Cola Refreshments

Warehouse safety success story #1: Coca-Cola Refreshments

How to move, store and ship products safely and efficiently drew a sold-out audience to WSPS' warehouse safety conference, held February 22 at the Centre for Health & Safety Innovation in Mississauga. One of the highlights was a panel of three industry members discussing their health and safety priorities and solutions.

Mar 15, 2017
Help injured workers avoid depression with these 8 suggestions

Help injured workers avoid depression with these 8 suggestions

New research suggests that the first six months after a workplace injury may be critical to an injured worker's ongoing mental health.

Feb 13, 2017
Inspecting robot systems: 7 ways to boost JHSC performance

Inspecting robot systems: 7 ways to boost JHSC performance

The day may come when industrial robots can inspect their cells for hazards that could hurt their human co-workers, but for now it's still the responsibility of joint heath and safety committees (JHSCs).

Feb 13, 2017
Partners in Prevention 2017: register now for Canada’s must-attend health and safety event

Partners in Prevention 2017: register now for Canada’s must-attend health and safety event

Join WSPS on May 2-3 in Mississauga, ON for Partners in Prevention 2017, Canada's leading health and safety conference. It's the place to be to make new contacts and find innovative resources and solutions to keep your workers safe. The largest annual event of its kind, the conference features speakers from across North America, training sessions on a variety of topics, and more than 400 booths showcasing the latest in market trends, products and services for your workplace.

Feb 13, 2017
What you need to know about Bill 70

What you need to know about Bill 70

If your workplace introduces a recognized management system to prevent injuries and illness, you could receive accreditation for your efforts under new legislation passed in December. The goal is to encourage superior health and safety performance by applying business methods already proven to boost quality and productivity.

Feb 13, 2017
Yes, corporations do have a right to a timely trial

Yes, corporations do have a right to a timely trial

Last summer the Supreme Court of Canada's groundbreaking decision R v Jordan set a limit on the time it takes to process a criminal prosecution to trial. If the actual time exceeds the limit, then the right of the accused to be tried within a reasonable time is considered to have been breached, unless certain circumstances apply. A breach invariably results in a stay of proceedings, which has the effect of dismissing the charges and preventing the Crown from laying them again.

Feb 13, 2017

"The Effective Investigator" - Hands-on accident training to help keep your company safe

"Many workplace accident investigations miss critical information, says Alain Langlais, WSPS Director, Eastern Region. Even experienced investigators can be fazed by the chaos and pressure of an accident scene. "It's easy to flounder and lose track of priorities. But if you don't get it right, you lose evidence and you may never find out what happened."

Jan 17, 2017
Canada's new asbestos ban: a call to action for workplaces

Canada's new asbestos ban: a call to action for workplaces

While airborne asbestos fibre has been long recognized as a lethal hazard, a recently announced federal ban on importing and using products containing asbestos has brought the substance back into the headlines - for good reason. Asbestos exposure is the number one cause of occupational cancer, which has surpassed injuries as the leading cause of work-related deaths in Canada.

Jan 17, 2017
New! Revitalized machine safeguarding standard

New! Revitalized machine safeguarding standard

A lot has changed in the last 12 years when it comes to machine safety: technology, hazard combinations, solutions, and even the scope of health and safety. These changes have prompted a comprehensive updating of CSA's 2004 (R2014) machine safeguarding standard.

Jan 17, 2017
7 best practices to create a safe and healthy workplace while increasing your bottom line

7 best practices to create a safe and healthy workplace while increasing your bottom line

"Canada's workers are both overwhelmed and overworked," says mental health expert Dr. Ian Dawe. The resulting stress translates into $6 billion dollars a year in lost productivity and lost time, but Dawe says there is an alternative. "Understanding the human cost of workplace mental health helps employers develop action plans that will improve the bottom line as well as employee well-being."

Jan 13, 2017
New for 2017: Warehouse Safety Conference

New for 2017: Warehouse Safety Conference

Warehouses and distribution centres face unique challenges when it comes to health and safety. It's especially important for these facilities to stay up to date with health and safety best practices because of the nature of their environment. The 2017 Warehouse Safety Conference will tackle the issues specifically facing warehouses and distribution centres in today's ever changing climate. Learn about the latest legislation impacting your company and how to avoid hazards and liability, while networking with your peers at the 2017 Warehouse Safety Conference, February 21-23 in Mississauga.

Jan 13, 2017

"Transformational" - how one company sums up WSPS' Safety Group

Apollo Health & Beauty Care is going on three years with no lost-time injuries, and recently earned a 100% score on a health and safety audit. What's their secret?

Dec 01, 2016
Canada's Best H + S Culture Award winner:

Canada's Best H + S Culture Award winner: "We don't need a better hard hat"

In 2011, New Brunswick Power Corporation (NB Power) launched a new safety campaign - "We don't need a better hard hat" - that galvanized workers to achieve new levels of health and safety performance. It also captured the essence of what is now an award-winning health and safety culture.

Dec 01, 2016
Control warehouse hazards with specialized JHSC certification training (new resource)

Control warehouse hazards with specialized JHSC certification training (new resource)

Warehouses and distribution centres are big business.

Dec 01, 2016
Firing up your JHSC: proven tips from a 24-year veteran (Part 2)

Firing up your JHSC: proven tips from a 24-year veteran (Part 2)

In this second of two parts, Dave Powers offers seven more no- or low-cost tips for getting the most out of your JHSC. The director, health, safety and environment for Oxford Frozen Foods has worked with many joint health and safety committees (JHSCs) over the last 24 years.

Dec 01, 2016
4 ways to get to know your safeguarding options (video)

4 ways to get to know your safeguarding options (video)

You're purchasing a new piece of equipment or upgrading an existing one, and need to know the best safeguarding options. Will a fixed guard do the trick? Or do you need a more advanced solution, such as a perimeter guard and/or light curtain?

Nov 04, 2016
Change-making mental health conversations: 9 tactics for encouraging frank, open talk

Change-making mental health conversations: 9 tactics for encouraging frank, open talk

Ever try talking to someone who doesn't want to listen? You can't force conversation. However, you can create an environment in which positive, solutions-focused conversations occur, whether planned or spontaneous.

Nov 04, 2016
Earn safety and financial returns through WSPS' 2017 Safety Group - only weeks left to register

Earn safety and financial returns through WSPS' 2017 Safety Group - only weeks left to register

Just-released results show workplaces belonging to WSPS' 2015 Safety Group reduced their injury frequency rate by 7% and their severity rate by 11%. In the process they earned a collective $6.2 million WSIB rebate. Become a member and you could achieve similar results.

Nov 04, 2016
Purchasing a robot system? Ask your integrator these 5 essential safety questions

Purchasing a robot system? Ask your integrator these 5 essential safety questions

Introducing a new robot system is a heady moment for any workplace. These sophisticated systems can revolutionize your production process, setting new standards for consistency, precision, and quality.

Nov 04, 2016

"Building your farm's health and safety program" - get going with 3 half-day sessions

Boost your understanding of health and safety and start developing an effective health and safety program by attending three half-day sessions taking place November 7, 14, and 22 in St. Thomas.

Oct 21, 2016
6 low-tech, low-cost ergo solutions for small business

6 low-tech, low-cost ergo solutions for small business

"When it comes to addressing ergonomic issues," says WSPS ergonomist Mike Lanigan, "small business employers tell me they face three big challenges: cost, time, and resources. 'This is why I can't do it,' they say. "These are very real challenges for businesses of any size," continues Mike, "but low-tech, low-cost solutions exist."

Oct 06, 2016
8 ways to protect your people from cyber bullies

8 ways to protect your people from cyber bullies

Could your company's social media channels become a forum in which the public threaten and harass your employees?

Oct 06, 2016
Firing up your JHSC: proven tips from a 24-year veteran

Firing up your JHSC: proven tips from a 24-year veteran

Could your joint health and safety committee (JHSC) use a high-efficiency tune-up? These 14 no- or low-cost tips from a speaker at WSPS' national Partners in Prevention conference and trade show earlier this year could be just the boost your committee needs.

Oct 06, 2016
Machine safety for small business: assess your safeguarding in 4 easy steps

Machine safety for small business: assess your safeguarding in 4 easy steps

It's just 2.5 minutes in length, but WSPS' video Assess Your Safeguarding in Four Easy Steps provides crucial information on how to keep your employees safe from machine hazards.
Oct 06, 2016
WSPS' Safety Group: earn a rebate while finding focus for your health and safety program

WSPS' Safety Group: earn a rebate while finding focus for your health and safety program

"Before joining WSPS' Safety Group, I felt a bit like the Tasmanian Devil," says Drew Douglas, health and safety supervisor, for the Chippewas of Rama First Nation. "We already had a successful health and safety program in place, we just didn't have the management system. I'd start working on one component of our system over here, then spin over and do a little bit of work there. I'd be all over the place."

Oct 06, 2016
12 ways you can make Global Ergonomics Month a game-changer

12 ways you can make Global Ergonomics Month a game-changer

October is Global Ergonomics Month - a perfect time to introduce changes in your workplace that reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and improve productivity, says WSPS ergonomist Sandra Patterson. "MSDs consistently remain the single biggest cause of lost workdays, and they occur in every industry sector and age group. Make big gains against these injuries by launching your own campaign during Global Ergonomics Month."

Sep 08, 2016
8 steps to help you implement new workplace harassment requirements

8 steps to help you implement new workplace harassment requirements

Workplace harassment can have debilitating consequences for victims, their co-workers, and the business. "If there's even an inkling of this behaviour in the workplace, the situation needs to be addressed immediately," says WSPS consultant Charmaine Mitchell. "If workers don't feel safe, it can have widespread repercussions on employee well-being and organizational productivity."

Sep 08, 2016
Busting the myth: health and safety doesn't have to be complicated for small businesses

Busting the myth: health and safety doesn't have to be complicated for small businesses

"Too complicated" is a common misconception that Harry Stewart, WSPS' Director, Small Business, hears when discussing health and safety with member firms, especially small businesses. "Costly, intrusive and inefficient" are others.

Sep 08, 2016
Collaborative robots - 5 ways to help ensure safe operations

Collaborative robots - 5 ways to help ensure safe operations

Collaborative robots are poised to take off in the next few years, says WSPS consultant Robert Vomiero. With built-in safety limits, sensors, and other safety functionality, "cobots" offer exciting benefits: they're able to work more closely with humans, can be cheaper and easier to integrate and maintain, and promise better cycle time and productivity. But this doesn't mean organizations anxious to embrace the new technology can rest easy when it comes to health and safety. Crushing and impact hazards remain, requiring special safety measures and a greater emphasis on certain aspects of your health and safety program.

Sep 08, 2016
How WSPS' Safety Group helps one business send its employees home safe

How WSPS' Safety Group helps one business send its employees home safe

It's a truism that every employer wants their people to arrive home safe at the end of the day. But truisms weren't enough for JSW Manufacturing, a small, family-run metal fabrication company in Bracebridge, Ontario.

Sep 08, 2016
12 questions to help you prepare for this fall’s chemical handling blitz

12 questions to help you prepare for this fall’s chemical handling blitz

From September 19 to October 31, Ministry of Labour inspectors will fan out across the province, visiting workplaces to check records, observe, and ask questions about their chemical handling practices.

Jul 29, 2016
6 ways to prepare for marijuana legalization

6 ways to prepare for marijuana legalization

In just about one year, marijuana is expected to be legalized in Canada. However, there are no details on what this means and what tools will be made available to employers. So far, there has been no indication this will include explicit legislation allowing employers to carry out post-incident, reasonable cause, random or other testing.

Jul 29, 2016
8 tips on holding a mental health lunch 'n learn

8 tips on holding a mental health lunch 'n learn

The introduction of CSA Z1003-Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace in 2013 sent a signal to employers that Canada is taking mental health at work seriously, says WSPS consultant Paul Hartford. "It's time to open up the conversation with your employees, work to eliminate stigma, and convey that you too are serious about mental health at work." One great way to do this is through a series of lunch 'n learns - an informal onsite training or awareness-building session offered at a time when most employees are available.

Jul 29, 2016
Deliver warehouse safety training on the spot with WSPS’ 8 new streamable videos

Deliver warehouse safety training on the spot with WSPS’ 8 new streamable videos

"This is the future of awareness training," says WSPS consultant Norm Kramer. He's talking about eight new videos available on WSPS' own YouTube Channel and on our Videos section. Averaging four minutes each, the videos offer professional insights into distinct aspects of warehouse safety. All you need is a laptop, tablet or smart phone.

Jul 29, 2016
Ontario's New WHMIS regulation: 2 key changes, plus implementation tips

Ontario's New WHMIS regulation: 2 key changes, plus implementation tips

As of July 1, Ontario moved one step closer to full alignment with WHMIS 2015, the new national standard for classifying, labelling and communicating information about hazardous products in the workplace. This was the day on which amendments to Ontario's WHMIS Regulation came into force - amendments that affect your workplace. We can help you understand the changes and start complying.

Jul 29, 2016
12 ways to engage workers in slip, trip and fall prevention

12 ways to engage workers in slip, trip and fall prevention

A recent prosecution resulting from the death of a worker who tripped on an empty pallet is a shocking reminder of how easily things can go wrong. We asked WSPS's Jennifer MacFarlane how warehouses, distributions centres and other workplaces could avoid similar incidents. Her immediate response: involve everyone.

Jul 05, 2016
5 steps to banish the stigma of mental illness

5 steps to banish the stigma of mental illness

One in five Canadians is likely to experience a mental illness at some point, yet fear of being judged is a major barrier to seeking treatment - a critical first step in returning to good health.

Jul 05, 2016
Bring Safety Home: a breakthrough resource on talking to your kids about safety

Bring Safety Home: a breakthrough resource on talking to your kids about safety

Bring Safety Home, a timely new initiative launched by WSPS and the Ministry of Labour, is the first website targeted to parents of young workers. It helps parents of young workers play a greater role in their safety at work.

Jul 05, 2016
New AODA requirements are in effect now. Here's what you need to know

New AODA requirements are in effect now. Here's what you need to know

Under regulatory amendments that took effect July 1, all of an organization's employees and volunteers must now be trained on accessible customer service and how to interact with people with disabilities. "This is a significant shift," says Jennifer Threndyle, a WSPS consultant and AODA compliance expert. "Previously, only members of your organization who work with customers or create policies and procedures on how to interact with people with different disabilities required the training."

Jul 05, 2016
Test how well you support your supervisors with these 10 questions

Test how well you support your supervisors with these 10 questions

"A good supervisor wears many hats," says WSPS territory manager Sandy Ash. "Coach, mentor, employee and employer advocate, production coordinator, HR liaison, health and safety specialist... It's a big job requiring this 'superhuman' to be all these things at the same time."

Jul 05, 2016
2016 young and new worker blitz: 3 essential tips for small business owners and managers

2016 young and new worker blitz: 3 essential tips for small business owners and managers

WSPS consultant Janet Bewers is a pragmatist. She knows that what workplaces need to do and what they're capable of doing right away are often two different things. So, she tailors her message to her audience.

Jun 07, 2016
6 steps to take before Bill 132 comes into force on September 8

6 steps to take before Bill 132 comes into force on September 8

"Don't wait for September. Start preparing your workplace and your workforce now for Bill 132, Ontario's new sexual violence and harassment legislation, before it becomes enforceable," advises WSPS consultant Paul Hartford.

Jun 07, 2016
7 things people need to know when working with robot systems

7 things people need to know when working with robot systems

Robot systems may seem complicated and mysterious, but working safely around them doesn't have to be, says WSPS consultant Robert Vomiero. He offers seven ways for operators to protect themselves while working with a robot system. They're all based on this fundamental principle: robot systems can't work in tandem with us. We have to work in tandem with them.

Jun 07, 2016
Integrating occupational hygiene into your H&S program: a success story

Integrating occupational hygiene into your H&S program: a success story

Like most workplaces, THK Rhythm Automotive Canada doesn't have or need in-house expertise to assess worker exposure to chemical, physical or biological agents. The task requires rigorous scientific methodology, best left to specialists like WSPS occupational hygienist Ilma Bhunnoo.

Jun 07, 2016
Leaders brainstorm strategies for addressing mental health in the workplace

Leaders brainstorm strategies for addressing mental health in the workplace

At a roundtable event in 2015, members of the CEO Health + Safety Leadership Network ranked stress, workplace violence and mental health as top hazards in their workplaces. Their experience is consistent with other Canadian businesses. Mental health problems are the number one cause of disability in Canada.

Jun 07, 2016
7 principles and 2 best practices to keep your kids safe on the farm

7 principles and 2 best practices to keep your kids safe on the farm

Keeping farm kids safe can be a full-time occupation for already busy people. Kids are curious, imaginative and fun-loving, which can quickly put them in harm's way if we're not careful. WSPS Network News recently spoke with Heidi Wagner, secretary of the Waterloo Farm Safety Association, who identified a number of safety principles for keeping your kids safe. To build on those principles, we’ve also provided quick tips on safe play areas and guidelines based on age and developmental level.

May 17, 2016
A 3-step approach to safely driving farm equipment on the road

A 3-step approach to safely driving farm equipment on the road

From the moment we first get behind a steering wheel, we're taught to watch out for other drivers. "A sound strategy if you're driving a vehicle that can accelerate, slow down or change direction at a moment's notice," says Dean Anderson, WSPS' strategic advisor, agriculture initiatives. "But if you're driving slow-moving farm equipment, defensive driving also means making sure other drivers see you."

May 17, 2016
Stop, Think, Act - achieve standout safety results with this simple approach

Stop, Think, Act - achieve standout safety results with this simple approach

In collaboration with Imperial Oil and its network of Esso branded bulk fuel suppliers, WSPS is piloting a simple, easy to remember outreach message that has enormous potential to prevent injuries. Just ask Peter Szmidt, an Imperial Esso safety expert.

May 17, 2016
6 success strategies for keeping seasonal young workers healthy and safe

6 success strategies for keeping seasonal young workers healthy and safe

Golf may be a pastime for millions of Canadians, but it's serious business for ClubLink. The company owns and operates 54.5 18-hole equivalent championship and eight nine-hole academy courses in Ontario, Quebec and Florida.

May 05, 2016
7 ways to jump-start your machine safety inspections

7 ways to jump-start your machine safety inspections

When WSPS machine safety specialist Michael Wilson visits workplaces, he often comes across joint health and safety committee members reviewing machine guarding as part of their regular inspections. "That's a good thing," says Wilson, "but what's common can quickly become routine." This is one reason why, despite workplaces' best intentions, contact with machinery remains a top hazard in Ontario workplaces.

May 05, 2016
9 steps to take after a racking incident

9 steps to take after a racking incident

"If you look at pictures of collapsed racking, it looks like a war zone," says WSPS consultant Norm Kramer. "Just a mangled mess of intertwined metal pieces that can cover a large area." This frightening scenario, with its obvious risks to people and property, can occur when warehouses repeatedly fail to identify and fix racking damage. It's often a case of "one time too many," says Kramer.

May 05, 2016
Benefit from Canada's Best Health + Safety Culture Award - even if you're not applying

Benefit from Canada's Best Health + Safety Culture Award - even if you're not applying

The deadline to apply for Canada's Best Health + Safety Culture Award, the pinnacle of the Canada's Safest Workplace award program, is June 1. But whether you apply this year or not, there's no deadline for benefitting from the best practices that the award recognizes.

May 05, 2016
Get a fast read on employee stress levels with this online tool

Get a fast read on employee stress levels with this online tool

When employee stress levels start outweighing job satisfaction, it can wreak havoc on a workplace. Don't let that happen. Studies consistently show that taking a positive approach to psychological health and safety can generate measurable improvements in employee engagement, retention levels, productivity, and innovation and creativity. And there's a tool to help you stay on top of it.

May 05, 2016
12 action items to implement ahead of the May-June falls blitz

12 action items to implement ahead of the May-June falls blitz

Eliminate hazards that could cause workers to slip, trip or fall - before a month-long Ministry of Labour inspection blitz begins on May 16. With assistance from WSPS consultant Shannon Boston, we've assembled a list of 12 possible action items to help you prepare for the blitz, entrench safe practices, and keep your employees healthy and safe.

Apr 04, 2016
Can your respirator program accommodate hipster beards and other physical changes?

Can your respirator program accommodate hipster beards and other physical changes?

The term "fashion victim" takes on new meaning when the trendy full beards hipsters are sporting start interfering with respirator face seals. Wagish Yajaman, occupational hygienist and supervisor of WSPS' Technical Services, sees this firsthand in workplaces he visits.

Apr 04, 2016
Discover prevention partners at Canada's largest annual OH&S event - April 26 & 27, 2016

Discover prevention partners at Canada's largest annual OH&S event - April 26 & 27, 2016

On April 26 and 27, WSPS will present a whole new world of prevention solutions at Partners in Prevention 2016 Health & Safety Conference & Trade Show. Partners in Prevention 2016 will host celebrated keynote speakers, 70+ cutting-edge sessions, workshops and professional development courses, as well as 400+ trade show booths showcasing innovative solutions to traditional and emerging health and safety challenges. Register today before the conference sells out.

Apr 04, 2016
How to prevent your employees from contracting Canada's most common form of cancer

How to prevent your employees from contracting Canada's most common form of cancer

If it were simple, the short answer would be to keep them out of the sun. But how do you protect people when research shows that even brief exposure to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation can put them at risk of skin cancer?

Apr 04, 2016
Watch out for misleading sales calls and stay on top of compliance

Watch out for misleading sales calls and stay on top of compliance

It's happening again. Or still. A business receives a phone call or visit from someone checking on a compliance matter. The person may be friendly or aggressive, but either way, the business is left to believe it may be falling short on its legal obligations. And guess who has the solution?

Apr 04, 2016
Confirmed! 6 evidence-based leading indicators can predict H&S performance

Confirmed! 6 evidence-based leading indicators can predict H&S performance

Researchers have identified six evidence-based leading indicators that can predict future health and safety performance - and help workplaces achieve maximum results. "Score well on these indicators and you should see it reflected in good performance in the future," explains Illia Tchernikov, WSPS program lead, OHS Research. "Score poorly and you should see an increase in injuries and illnesses."

Mar 03, 2016
Machine safeguarding: understand your risks

Machine safeguarding: understand your risks

"Company Fined… $50,000 After Worker Injured By Machine… $60,000 After Worker Loses Fingers… $110,000 in Death of Electrocuted Worker" - these recent headlines all tell similar stories of preventable safeguarding injuries. We can stop these headlines, says WSPS machine safety specialist Michael Wilson. It's all about being proactive, and that starts with understanding the risks.
Mar 03, 2016
Mental health first aid: how to respond to a mental health emergency

Mental health first aid: how to respond to a mental health emergency

In the first few minutes after an injury, providing first aid can help save limbs and lives. It's an essential act we can all perform with a little training. Now imagine providing mental health first aid. The goal is the same - offering initial support until appropriate professional help is available - and it's just as essential.

Mar 03, 2016
Partners in Prevention 2016 trade show: breaking solutions for emerging hazards

Partners in Prevention 2016 trade show: breaking solutions for emerging hazards

WSPS' Partners in Prevention 2016 Health & Safety Conference & Trade Show stands out as the largest annual event of its kind in Canada, but for trade show visitors what does this really mean? "Walk through our doors and you enter a whole new world of solutions," says WSPS tradeshow and sponsorship specialist Kristina Toomey.

Mar 03, 2016
WHMIS 2015: 4 top training questions from employers

WHMIS 2015: 4 top training questions from employers

Canada's Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) changed on February 11, 2015 to align with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). This new WHMIS is called "WHMIS 2015" and the original version is now referred to as "WHMIS 1988."

Mar 03, 2016
10 proven best practices for managing safety around lifting devices

10 proven best practices for managing safety around lifting devices

Loading docks are one of the busiest spots in any workplace, with trucks, trailers, pedestrians, lifting devices and other equipment regularly moving in and out of the area. These activities often extend into other parts of the workplace, including storage and manufacturing areas, delivery yards, and even retail floor space. How do you keep lifting device operators, other workers, visitors and customers safe amid all this activity?

Feb 10, 2016
A 4-point compliance strategy for Ontario's new noise regulation

A 4-point compliance strategy for Ontario's new noise regulation

A new noise regulation taking effect July 1 will help workplaces better protect employees from the debilitating effects of noise-induced hearing loss. It's more prevalent than you may think. Noise-induced hearing loss claims in Ontario exceed $50 million a year.
Feb 10, 2016
Master robot system safety - with a little help from WSPS

Master robot system safety - with a little help from WSPS

For robot system manufacturers, initiators and end users, CSA Z434 - Industrial robots and robot systems is the definitive tool for mastering robot system safety. It offers vital information on the manufacture, rebuild, installation, safeguarding, maintenance and repair, testing and start-up, and employee training requirements. Trouble is, the 216-page standard is not exactly light reading.

Feb 10, 2016
Partners in Prevention 2016: advancing the frontiers of health and safety

Partners in Prevention 2016: advancing the frontiers of health and safety

The health and safety community is being challenged with issues that didn't exist five years ago - everything from new approaches to core health and safety hazards to industrial robot systems, 3D printing, mental health first aid, nanotechnology, and more. Their impact on health and safety is massive and expanding rapidly. Are you up to speed?

Feb 10, 2016
Register now for WSPS' new MOL-approved JHSC certification training

Register now for WSPS' new MOL-approved JHSC certification training

As of March 1, 2016, new training requirements for certification of joint health and safety committee members take effect. WSPS, the first training provider to receive Ministry of Labour approval for both Part One and Part Two certification training, is standing by to help you act on these new requirements.

Feb 10, 2016
2 high hazard conveyor priorities - just in time for the machinery safety blitz

2 high hazard conveyor priorities - just in time for the machinery safety blitz

Ministry of Labour inspectors will be on high alert for conveyor belt violations during the safe operation of machinery blitz running from January 18 to February 26. Here's a tip for any workplace with a conveyor: most injuries occur during cleaning and maintenance. In fact, two Ontario firms were recently fined $60,000 each after workers were injured while cleaning conveyor belts.

Jan 12, 2016
28 ways to create a safety buzz in your workplace

28 ways to create a safety buzz in your workplace

Communication is key to inspiring a health and safety culture. "But don't just share information with people," says Janet Bewers, a WSPS business developer. "Engage and inspire them."

Jan 12, 2016
Carbon monoxide: 5 ways you and your JHSC can protect everyone against this deadly hazard

Carbon monoxide: 5 ways you and your JHSC can protect everyone against this deadly hazard

"Protecting ourselves from carbon monoxide exposure requires year-round vigilance, but especially now," says WSPS occupational hygienist Ilma Bhunnoo. "In the summer, fresh air from open doors and windows can supplement our ventilation systems. But now that we all keep those door and windows closed against the cold, carbon monoxide from a variety of sources may build up to dangerous levels."

Jan 12, 2016
Inside the Vancouver Airport Authority's award-winning H&S culture

Inside the Vancouver Airport Authority's award-winning H&S culture

Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is a busy place. In 2015, the airport welcomed more than 20 million passengers, a new record for one of Canada's fastest growing airports. "It's like a small city," says Kevin Hong, manager of health and safety for Vancouver Airport Authority, which is responsible for developing and maintaining airport infrastructure and overseeing the day-to-day operations at YVR.

Jan 12, 2016
Mental health at work: 10 best practices from early adopters of CSA Z1003

Mental health at work: 10 best practices from early adopters of CSA Z1003

In any given week, 500,000 Canadians will not make it to work because of a mental health problem or illness. Forty-one companies across Canada are tackling this head on. To promote positive mental health among all employees, these companies are implementing CSA Z1003, Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. They're also sharing their experiences with the Mental Health Commission of Canada. "We all have a chance to learn from this," says Andrew Harkness, WSPS' strategy advisor, organizational health initiatives.

Jan 12, 2016
5 ways to add winter hazards into your slip, trip and fall prevention program

5 ways to add winter hazards into your slip, trip and fall prevention program

Slips, trips and falls consistently rank among the top four causes of workplace injuries. As temperatures drop and rain turns to snow and ice, WSPS consultant Kevin Smith offers tips on how to incorporate winter hazard considerations into your existing slip, trip and fall prevention program.

Dec 07, 2015
6 steps and 4 suggestions to prepare for January's machine safety blitz and beyond

6 steps and 4 suggestions to prepare for January's machine safety blitz and beyond

Prepare now for a January 18 to February 26, 2016 inspection blitz on the safe operation of machinery. The blitz will focus on machines that are not guarded, blocked or locked out during maintenance, repair and other operations. "If it were my workplace," says WSPS consultant Robert Vomiero, "I'd immediately take steps to control high-risk hazards, and then plot an ongoing hazard control strategy."

Dec 07, 2015
How WSPS' Safety Group helped one workplace achieve international recognition

How WSPS' Safety Group helped one workplace achieve international recognition

From his days on the floor of a TRW Automotive plant in St. Catharines, Michael Cocco has always been interested in health and safety. Over time he's turned his interest into a career and helped the plant achieve internationally recognized health and safety performance.

Dec 07, 2015
Manage productivity and safety together and you'll do better in both, research shows

Manage productivity and safety together and you'll do better in both, research shows

Witnessing the aftermath of the death of a co-worker while working years ago as a summer student immediately drove home the value of safety for David Johnston, now an associate professor of operations management and information systems at York University's Schulich School of Business. As he puts it, "On a personal level I know what it means to workers when a really bad thing happens in the workplace." Through extensive research, Johnston has also learned what it can mean to a business: "companies that are really good at safety are usually really good at production, and companies that are really bad at safety are really bad at production."

Dec 07, 2015
Retailers: certification training agreement helps you meet current and new standards

Retailers: certification training agreement helps you meet current and new standards

In the first in a possible series of industry-specific certification training opportunities for WSPS member firms, WSPS and Retail Council of Canada will offer courses on existing Certification Parts One and Two training in January and February 2016, as well as a later course on new training standards that take effect March 1, 2016.

Dec 07, 2015
9 ways to sustain the health and safety - of everyone - during the holiday rush

9 ways to sustain the health and safety - of everyone - during the holiday rush

If retail and hospitality employers get their wish, this holiday season will be hectic and profitable. "For some businesses, particularly small businesses, Christmas makes or breaks their year financially," says Rodola Sibuma, a WSPS key account manager. But with high traffic and demand comes a faster pace and higher volume of work, the introduction of temporary staff into the workplace, and a need to keep extra inventory on hand - all of which can increase the risk of slips, trips, falls, strains and sprains, stress, and more.

Nov 09, 2015
Put evolving health and safety education to work for you

Put evolving health and safety education to work for you

The January 2016 launch of a graduate certificate program at Fleming College's Lindsay, ON campus is just the latest indicator of an evolution in occupational health and safety education. Roughly 50 Canadian educational institutions, including 16 in Ontario alone, offer some sort of post-secondary course, certificate or degree program in occupational health and safety.

Nov 09, 2015
Removing snow from roofs: get ahead of winter with a 10-step plan

Removing snow from roofs: get ahead of winter with a 10-step plan

Ontario winters can sweep in quickly and unexpectedly, and once here they can still be unpredictable, with extreme variations in snowfall and temperature. If snow and ice could accumulate on the roof of your business, be proactive. Preparing a snow removal plan now could make all the difference between a worry-free winter and a frantic, last-minute response that could expose people to injuries, and your business to liability and loss.

Nov 09, 2015
Vancouver Airport Authority wins inaugural

Vancouver Airport Authority wins inaugural "Canada's Best Health + Safety Culture Award"

Vancouver Airport Authority has earned a top national honour for the manner in which it weaves health and safety through its culture. Created by WSPS and Canadian Occupational Safety Magazine and sponsored by Levitt Safety, the Canada's Best H + S Culture Award is the top prize within the prestigious line-up of the "Canada's Safest Employers" awards program.

Nov 09, 2015
WSPS Safety Group members score high, earning $6.4 M in rebates

WSPS Safety Group members score high, earning $6.4 M in rebates

Members of WSPS' Safety Group continue to achieve dramatic success in preventing injuries. Results just released by the WSIB show that members of the 2014 Safety Group slashed their lost-time injury frequency rate by 13.24%, and their injury severity rate by 18.97%. In response to their success, the 433 member firms that successfully completed the 2014 program will receive a combined $6.4 million premium rebate. You could too, by signing up for WSPS' 2016 Safety Group.

Nov 09, 2015
Health and safety: a catalyst for small business growth

Health and safety: a catalyst for small business growth

With the election now behind us, we're all waiting to see which of the promises that have been bandied about for the past several months will stick. And for small business owners, who have factored heavily into election debates, which ones will bear fruit and help you grow.

Oct 16, 2015
New certification training requirements: 4 need-to-know changes

New certification training requirements: 4 need-to-know changes

Ontario's Ministry of Labour has just announced new certification training requirements for joint health and safety committee (JHSC) members that come into effect March 1, 2016. If your business has 20 or more employees, keep reading.

Oct 07, 2015
Decorating your workplace for the holidays? Follow these 12 safety tips

Decorating your workplace for the holidays? Follow these 12 safety tips

Celebrating holidays with decorations introduces a sense of fun and energy into retail outlets, restaurants, offices, and any other place where people congregate. But before you start putting up those decorations - or assign someone else to do it - WSPS consultant Andrew Moffett suggests applying the same health and safety principles here that you would apply to any new workplace activity. Here's what Moffett recommends.

Oct 06, 2015
Translating research into real-world applications for your workplace

Translating research into real-world applications for your workplace

WSPS is currently working with system and research partners on two new practical prevention tools that will help companies to address lifting hazards and identify vulnerable workers, says Illia Tchernikov, WSPS Program Lead, OHS Research.

Oct 06, 2015
WSPS' Safety Group: Implement a health and safety program step by step - and save $$$

WSPS' Safety Group: Implement a health and safety program step by step - and save $$$

Belonging to the Safety Groups program has helped Global Architectural Metals substantially reduce its injury severity rate, even as the Welland, ON firm has ramped up production and tripled its workforce. But for Kyra Moate, the firm's health and safety coordinator, health and safety success is not just about numbers. It's also about process. Global Architectural Metals joined Safety Groups precisely because of what Moate describes as a stepping stone approach to building a comprehensive health and safety program.

Oct 06, 2015
How to manage the menace in your backyard

How to manage the menace in your backyard

Yes, time to do something, and do it fast, before you tempt fate.

Oct 02, 2015
Find It - Health & Safety for Your Small Businesses: Let’s Make This Easier

Find It - Health & Safety for Your Small Businesses: Let’s Make This Easier

Small business owners want to do the right thing and have a keen appreciation for the value of managing risk, especially where it affects people.

Sep 30, 2015
How to

How to "Do It" - Health & Safety for Your Small Businesses: Let’s Make This Easier

Some small business owners believe they'll escape the notice of Ministry of Labour (MOL) inspectors who surely have bigger fish to fry. The truth is that the MOL inspectors can't take their eyes off small businesses - and no wonder. You comprise 90 per cent of Ontario firms and one-third of its workforce.

Sep 30, 2015
How to

How to "Get It" - Health & Safety for Your Small Businesses: Let's Make This Easier

As a small business owner or manager, you face unique challenges. You march every day to the drumroll of cash flow. You juggle hats from accountant to operations to marketing in the relentless imperative to sell, service, and grow. And you're besieged on all sides by legislative requirements. Occupational Health and Safety Act? Stand in line, you say.

Sep 30, 2015
Report It - Health & Safety for Your Small Businesses: Let’s Make This Easier

Report It - Health & Safety for Your Small Businesses: Let’s Make This Easier

The unthinkable has happened. A worker, customer, supplier or guest has been critically injured on your premises. What do you do?

Sep 30, 2015
Watch For It - Health & Safety for Your Small Businesses: Let’s Make This Easier

Watch For It - Health & Safety for Your Small Businesses: Let’s Make This Easier

If you don't manage your hazards, your hazards will manage you.

Sep 30, 2015
When to

When to "Write It Down" - Health & Safety for Your Small Businesses: Let’s Make This Easier

You're satisfied with the way you've identified hazards related to specific jobs in your workplace. You've even assessed your hazards against legislated standards. You've trained your people on the hazard controls - repeatedly, thoroughly. Your Joint Health and Safety Committee, if your business is large enough to have one, meets regularly.

Sep 30, 2015
Cascading safety failures: 7 lessons to help prevent injuries or fatalities

Cascading safety failures: 7 lessons to help prevent injuries or fatalities

At some point, every workplace will have contractors performing work on site. Mostly they work safely and productively. But a recent incident in which a contractor's employee fell to his death and a co-worker sustained injuries shows how a cascading series of failures can have devastating effects. WSPS consultant Lois Weeks offers seven takeaways from this tragic and preventable incident. But first, here's what happened.

Sep 04, 2015
Champions of beer, responsibilities and health and safety

Champions of beer, responsibilities and health and safety

Ted Moroz, President of The Beer Store, first discovered how deeply he felt about creating a healthy and safe workplace when he bumped up against the apathetic attitude of a boss who figured if employees weren't 100%, they should just go off on disability. Moroz believed the employer should do everything possible to care for employees and keep them in the fold. He didn't listen to his boss and he brought people back on modified work. Many still work with him today.

 

Sep 04, 2015
Material handling blitz #1: inspectors' MSD prevention priorities

Material handling blitz #1: inspectors' MSD prevention priorities

During the Ministry of Labour's material handling blitz, running from September 14 to October 23, inspectors are asking employers about manual handling procedures, related worker training, and workplace supervision. "These are fundamental parts of a musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) prevention program," says WSPS ergonomist Sandra Patterson.

Sep 04, 2015
Material handling blitz #2: 6 steps to implement a traffic management plan

Material handling blitz #2: 6 steps to implement a traffic management plan

Traffic management plans are a priority for Ministry of Labour inspectors visiting workplaces during the current material handling blitz, which runs from September 14 to October 23. These plans are also good for business: they help eliminate or control the risk of collisions, allowing you to move goods within your facility safely and efficiently. "It's all part of a managed health and safety system," says WSPS technical consultant Chuck Leon.

Sep 04, 2015
Safety Group 2016: earn a WSIB rebate while building your health and safety program

Safety Group 2016: earn a WSIB rebate while building your health and safety program

Year after year, members of WSPS' Safety Group earn workers compensation premium rebates by improving their health and safety performance. So could you. In the most recent reported year, WSPS Safety Group members earned a collective 5.17% premium rebate - worth $6,763,820 - by reducing their lost-time injury frequency rate by 12.86% and their injury severity rate by 16.35%.

Sep 04, 2015
5 regional WSPS events coming to communities near you. Register today

5 regional WSPS events coming to communities near you. Register today

Workplace Safety & Prevention Services is bringing the latest health and safety solutions to you this fall via a series of regional conferences and trade shows. The operating premise is immediate and impactful: your community • your workplace • your results. Here you can learn, share, network, and find solutions for boosting safety and productivity.

Aug 06, 2015
8 tips on how to be a great supervisor

8 tips on how to be a great supervisor

"Great supervisors mean you have a great culture," says Greg Swan, health and safety officer for Ottawa Community Housing Corporation. Key attributes of great supervisors were the subject of a session Swan led at WSPS' national Partners in Prevention Health & Safety Conference & Trade Show. Here are some highlights.

Aug 06, 2015
Compass Group Canada: what a potential H + S culture award winner looks like

Compass Group Canada: what a potential H + S culture award winner looks like

Every year, as senior management and hundreds of others look on at Compass Group Canada's annual conference, one person from among the company's 29,000 employees will receive the Crystal Award for outstanding contribution to health and food safety. It's an essential moment in the organization’s ongoing commitment to enrich its health and safety culture.

 

Aug 06, 2015
Preventing robot system injuries: 6 pointers from a WSPS expert

Preventing robot system injuries: 6 pointers from a WSPS expert

In July 1984, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published an article, likely the first of its kind, entitled "Preventing the Injury of Workers by Robots." In September 2014, the Boston Consulting Group projected the rise of robot systems to be a US$67 billion market by 2025. The rate of adoption is faster than anticipated. Workplaces, take note.

Aug 06, 2015
September material handling blitz: conduct your own inspection now

September material handling blitz: conduct your own inspection now

On September 14, the Ministry of Labour will begin a 6-week material handling inspection blitz. Get ahead of the ministry by conducting your own blitz now, advises WSPS consultant Sandy Ash. "Turn this into an opportunity by proactively identifying gaps in your prevention program and implementing an action plan. It's all very positive if it's an impetus for improvement."

Aug 06, 2015
BASF Canada's 6-step process for creating a safety culture

BASF Canada's 6-step process for creating a safety culture

As operations manager of BASF Canada's Windsor Paint Plant, Michael Helferty balances multiple management responsibilities all at the same time, but at WSPS' recent Partners in Prevention Health & Safety Conference & Tradeshow in Mississauga, he focused squarely on health and safety. In a fast-paced 90-minute session, Helferty shared a 6-step process for creating and sustaining a health and safety culture that helped BASF's Windsor plant achieve three years without even a recordable incident.

Jul 14, 2015
Create your own skin disease posters with WSPS' online poster designer

Create your own skin disease posters with WSPS' online poster designer

A new interactive online program on WSPS' website allows workplaces to customize and download up to seven different posters on occupational skin disease, including dermatitis. Each poster combines a photo of a recognizable workplace situation with action-oriented prevention practices written in simple language. You can print the standard letter-sized posters as is, or adapt them to suit specific needs.

Jul 14, 2015
Meet your next AODA deadlines with this handy guide

Meet your next AODA deadlines with this handy guide

On track to meet your Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) obligations? Ontario's ambitious program to eliminate barriers for Ontarians with disabilities comes with workplace compliance deadlines. A series of tables below explains what's required to satisfy upcoming obligations. Failure to meet these deadlines puts employers at risk of fines, as well as less traditional but potentially greater consequences, such as being called up before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

Jul 14, 2015
Precedent-setting fine emphasizes need for sexual harassment policies

Precedent-setting fine emphasizes need for sexual harassment policies

A $200,000 fine for an employer who sexually harassed workers holds important lessons about organizational culture, vulnerable workers, and sexual harassment programs. WSPS consultant Margaret Cernigoj offers timely advice in the wake of this case and in light of Ontario's action plan to curb sexual harassment.

Jul 14, 2015
Young and new worker blitz: 5 action items to protect the most vulnerable

Young and new worker blitz: 5 action items to protect the most vulnerable

Workplaces never previously visited by the Ministry of Labour are on the list of stops for inspectors in this year's new and young worker enforcement blitz. The blitz, which began last month and continues until August 31, has become an annual event.

Jun 09, 2015
8 ways to build safety momentum after orientation

8 ways to build safety momentum after orientation

You've already delivered your health and safety orientation program to your young and new workers, but how do you translate it into a self-sustaining health and safety culture? In this follow-up to 7 proven tips to make your orientation training a success, Ken Jorgenson, MPS Property Services' operations manager and health and safety coordinator, describes the company's approach.

Jun 08, 2015
Engaged staff supports your build of a safety culture

Engaged staff supports your build of a safety culture

"Workers are a source of rich data that can be used for applying controls, correcting unsafe practices, and coaching and training," says WSPS consultant Norm Kramer. The best way to mine the data is to create an environment in which people feel safe speaking up, even when reporting a near miss or worse. Otherwise, you’ll never be able to access their experiences and ideas.

Jun 08, 2015
How eBay Enterprise stays LTI-free even during construction

How eBay Enterprise stays LTI-free even during construction

Employees at e-Bay Enterprise's Mississauga facility have checked off almost 1900 days with no lost-time injuries despite explosive business growth and a construction program that tripled the size of the original site, all while the operation was still running. How did they do it? Attendees of WSPS' recent Partners in Prevention Health & Safety Conference & Trade Show heard the story firsthand from Shawn Heroux, the facility's manager of safety and security.

Jun 08, 2015
Managing heat stress: new standard on the way, plus tips for today

Managing heat stress: new standard on the way, plus tips for today

Seasonal heat and humidity is coming, if not here already. We've provided essential tips on how to manage this hazard and links to resources below, but more help is on the horizon. By the end of 2016, employers will have access to a new guideline for protecting workers from a number of extreme conditions, such as high heat and humidity, cold temperatures and severe weather.

Jun 08, 2015
7 proven tips to make your orientation training a success

7 proven tips to make your orientation training a success

A decade ago, MPS Property Services decided to take a more active approach to health and safety. "We jumped in with both feet," says Ken Jorgenson, the company's operations manager and health and safety coordinator. Now, he says, "We're at a place where safety has become an everyday part of how we work." It all starts with orientation training. "For people who join the company, health and safety starts on day one."

May 13, 2015
Improve supervisor performance by eliminating these 5 barriers

Improve supervisor performance by eliminating these 5 barriers

WSPS consultant Gord Leffley identifies five barriers to effective supervision and how to eliminate them so that you can better protect workers and improve your business. "In a well supervised workplace," says Leffley, "you get the performance you want, but you also get better and continually improving performance. Suggestions for making improvements move quickly up the organization, and the responses also move down quickly, engaging workers and encouraging innovation."

 

May 13, 2015
New CSA lift truck standard: your best practices guide to training and more

New CSA lift truck standard: your best practices guide to training and more

Employers now have a new tool for ensuring safe lift truck operation, courtesy of CSA B335-15 Safety standard for lift trucks. This comprehensive document covers the key elements of a lift truck safety program, including operator training, and qualifications for trainers and maintenance technicians.

May 13, 2015
Place your organization in the running for a H+S Culture Award

Place your organization in the running for a H+S Culture Award

Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS), which runs the CEO H+S Leadership Network with several strategic partners, recently unveiled the nomination criteria for what has been described as the country's highest honour among health and safety awards. The new Canada's Best Health + Safety Culture Award will recognize an entire organization - not just an individual - for outstanding contributions to building health and safety cultures and inspiring transformative behaviours within their areas of influence.

May 13, 2015
10 tips for safely delivering goods and materials

10 tips for safely delivering goods and materials

"Non-routine work such as making deliveries to new locations can often be high risk," warns Janet Bewers, a WSPS business developer. "Lack of familiarity with the location is just one risk. Other variables include heavy traffic and poor weather conditions."

Apr 08, 2015
Certification training: why one company isn't waiting for proposed changes

Certification training: why one company isn't waiting for proposed changes

Golf Town, a national retailer with 56 big box locations across the country, has embarked on an ambitious certification training program in Ontario. Why now, and not after the release of new certification training standards expected later this year? "Certification training is not about ticking a box or being in compliance," says Susan Gilpin, Golf Town's manager of human resources. "A key focus of ours is ensuring our associates are trained and understand the importance of safety within our stores."

Apr 08, 2015
Partners in Prevention 2015: a 2-day explosion of trends, insights, strategies and best practices

Partners in Prevention 2015: a 2-day explosion of trends, insights, strategies and best practices

The newest addition to the program for WSPS' Partners in Prevention 2015 Health & Safety Conference & Trade Show - "It's Never OK: Ontario's Action Plan to End Sexual Violence and Harassment" - continues an event tradition of gathering and presenting the latest insights into emerging priorities, opportunities and solutions.

Apr 08, 2015
Turn young, new worker blitz results into a 6-point prevention strategy

Turn young, new worker blitz results into a 6-point prevention strategy

Starting May 1, Ministry of Labour inspectors will be conducting a four-month enforcement blitz focusing on young workers aged 14 to 24 years, and new or reassigned workers on the job for less than six months. These workers are three times more likely to be injured during their first month on the job than at any other time, so convert this annual enforcement rite of spring into a customized injury prevention strategy.

Apr 08, 2015
What you need to know about Ontario's sexual violence and harassment action plan

What you need to know about Ontario's sexual violence and harassment action plan

Under Ontario's proposed new plan, employers will face requirements for preventing sexual harassment. Part of a broader social effort to protect people from sexual violence and harassment, these requirements will come with tools to help workplaces implement changes. Here's what you need to know.

Apr 08, 2015
New working at heights training requirements may affect you. Follow these 6 steps

New working at heights training requirements may affect you. Follow these 6 steps

If you have people working at heights and performing work covered under the construction regulations, get ready to comply with a new training standard that takes effect April 1. The standard requires that people working at heights on construction projects receive training if they are using travel restraint systems, fall restricting systems, fall arrest systems, safety nets, work belts and safety belts. A companion standard sets out requirements for training providers.

Mar 09, 2015
Lung transplant cases cause for alarm over workplace toxins: 7 steps to protect workers

Lung transplant cases cause for alarm over workplace toxins: 7 steps to protect workers

A series of disturbing research results highlights the need for vigilance in preventing workplace exposure to toxics substances. Last month, the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health issued an alert on exposure to silica1. The alert was triggered by reports of silicosis among 45 workers who make or install stone countertops. Ten required lung transplants.

Mar 06, 2015
Meet new WHMIS / GHS compliance deadlines with these 6 steps

Meet new WHMIS / GHS compliance deadlines with these 6 steps

Manufacturers, importers and distributors of hazardous products now have a series of deadlines for complying with changes to Canada's Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) that have been in the works for years. These deadlines, published in a February issue of the Canada Gazette Part II, also apply to federally regulated employers. Employers under provincial and territorial jurisdiction can likely expect the same or slightly staggered deadlines.

Mar 06, 2015
Partners in Prevention 2015: firing up inspiration, opportunities and change

Partners in Prevention 2015: firing up inspiration, opportunities and change

Partners in Prevention 2015 Health & Safety Conference & Trade Show, taking place April 28-29 in Mississauga, is where discoveries begin. In an atmosphere charged with energy and excitement, just one spark - a comment, a new skill, a story, an insight, a presentation, a new perspective, or a new product - can ignite a positive change in how we approach health and safety in our workplaces. With more than 60 conference sessions and 400 exhibits, sparks will be flying.

Mar 06, 2015
BlackBerry thumb, iPod finger, text neck: these repetitive strain injuries are no joke

BlackBerry thumb, iPod finger, text neck: these repetitive strain injuries are no joke

Don't be misled by the flippant labels. Repetitive strain injuries from overusing handheld electronic devices are just the latest in a long list of equipment- and task-related injuries that can cause painful and sometimes permanent damage to our musculoskeletal system, undermining our well-being and productivity. What's new is how these hazards are creeping from our work lives into our personal lives.

Feb 25, 2015
New guideline to help pallet users improve safety

New guideline to help pallet users improve safety "exponentially"

A new safety guideline now in development will help wood pallet users improve safety performance "exponentially," says a member of the WSPS-facilitated industry group responsible for the guideline.

Feb 10, 2015
5 steps to prevent safety-related downtime from eating into your profits

5 steps to prevent safety-related downtime from eating into your profits

Industry estimates suggest that 5% of production capacity is lost each year to unplanned downtime. "This figure is conservative," says WSPS consultant Gord Leffley. While safety-related stoppages are just one type of unplanned event, even minor incidents can slow down or halt production.

Feb 09, 2015
How to protect your people, your business, and your brand from unhealthy behaviour

How to protect your people, your business, and your brand from unhealthy behaviour

Media reports of disturbing behaviour on Parliament Hill and at CBC have created an impression of systemic problems at these two organizations: individuals who abuse their position, people who are reluctant to voice complaints for fear of reprisal, lack of management support, and an absence of policies and procedures.
Feb 09, 2015
Protective toe overshoe gets its own CSA standard

Protective toe overshoe gets its own CSA standard

You wouldn't wear protective overshoes to a fancy-dress gala, but those big unsightly galoshes that briefly turn a pair of pricey dress shoes into circus attire deserve more respect in safety-conscious workplaces. And they're finally getting it. The protective toe overshoe now has its own Canadian Standards Association standard - CSA Z334. The standard was published on January 1, 2015, and manufacturers have a year to comply.

Feb 09, 2015
Spark change in your organization's health and safety performance

Spark change in your organization's health and safety performance

Just one new idea can spark change - a comment, a new skill, a story, a presentation, a new perspective, or a new product. Discover insights and inspiration that will activate knowledge and drive change at Partners in Prevention 2015 Health & Safety Conference & Trade Show, taking place April 28-29 in Mississauga.

Feb 09, 2015
Keeping third parties safe in your workplace: learn from an expert

Keeping third parties safe in your workplace: learn from an expert

Steel manufacturer ArcelorMittal Dofasco routinely has 300 third party employees working on site - and a comprehensive process to keep them as safe as its own employees. "We can't afford third parties on our property not performing to our expectations," explains senior health and safety specialist Steve Hinds. You may not have as many third party employees at your workplace, but ArcelorMittal Dofasco's third party compliance program still offers lots to learn from and apply.

Jan 12, 2015
New law makes employers responsible for temp and unpaid worker safety

New law makes employers responsible for temp and unpaid worker safety

If you hire temporary or unpaid workers, Ontario's just-proclaimed Bill 18, Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act, has expanded your health and safety responsibilities. Some are already in effect. Here’s what you need to know.

Jan 12, 2015
Prevent electrical injuries: new CSA Z462 standard and one-day course

Prevent electrical injuries: new CSA Z462 standard and one-day course

If anyone in your workplace may be exposed to electrical hazards, CSA's newly revised standard Z462 - Workplace Electrical Safety can help you upgrade or set up an electrical safety program, "something many workplaces lack even though electrical incidents and injuries are often serious," says Francis Hardy, a senior safety specialist with the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) and a member of the CSA Z462-15 Technical Committee.

Jan 12, 2015
Safety and business: one award winner’s strategic approach

Safety and business: one award winner’s strategic approach

Peter van Stralen, president and CEO of Sunshine Brands, is the latest recipient of an Ontario Premier's Award (business) for outstanding college graduates in Ontario. Graduating as a landscape technician in 1990, van Stralen has helped turn a family landscape business into a multi-million dollar brand with over 200 locations in Canada and the U.S. under two franchise concepts, The Grounds Guys and the Sprinkler Guys. Van Stralen is also a founding member of the CEO Health + Safety Leadership Network, a new group of forward thinking senior leaders who embrace their role as champions and influencers in the growth of sustainable businesses and communities in Ontario and beyond. He considers safety a critical success factor in sustaining the company's success. Here's what he told WSPS Network News in a recent conversation.

Jan 12, 2015
Slips, trips and falls: 7 steps to prevent them and prepare for the February blitz

Slips, trips and falls: 7 steps to prevent them and prepare for the February blitz

Next month's slip, trip and fall inspection blitz is the second in two years. "There's no question the ministry is taking this hazard very seriously," says WSPS consultant Kevin Smith. "And for good reason: slips, trips and falls consistently rank among the top four causes of workplace injuries."

Jan 12, 2015
Employee engagement: how an award-winning workplace does it

Employee engagement: how an award-winning workplace does it

As maintenance manager and unofficial in-house trainer for Residence Inn by Marriott Downtown London, Tony D'Araino has many tools in his training kit. One of the more unusual tools is a scavenger hunt.

Dec 03, 2014
H&S awareness training: are you missing out on

H&S awareness training: are you missing out on "one of the best tools available"?

Despite having free access to what WSPS account manager Brenda Vrooman describes as "one of the best tools available," some Ontario workplaces still haven't implemented mandatory health and safety awareness training for workers and supervisors. "I speak to WSPS member firms on a regular basis to make sure they've provided the training," says Vrooman, "and I'm getting wonderful feedback from businesses that have." This means businesses that haven't are missing out.

Dec 03, 2014
Winter's coming, and so is a slip, trip and fall blitz. Prepare now

Winter's coming, and so is a slip, trip and fall blitz. Prepare now

Twisted ankles, concussions, broken bones - these are just some of the injuries that people sustain after slipping and falling on ice and snow. Many workplaces already have active housekeeping programs aimed at eliminating indoor slips, trips and falls. In the winter months especially, take that program outdoors to further protect employees and visitors.

Dec 03, 2014
WSPS' 2015 Safety Group can help you maximize the value of your greatest H&S resource

WSPS' 2015 Safety Group can help you maximize the value of your greatest H&S resource

"There are so many things a joint health and safety committee (JHSC) can help improve at little or no cost," says John VanLenthe, a WSPS consultant who leads one of WSPS' 34 Safety Group chapters located across the province. "This is just one of many reasons why they're essential to the safe and efficient operation of any workplace."

Dec 03, 2014
AODA update: January 1, 2015 is the next deadline

AODA update: January 1, 2015 is the next deadline

If your workplace has 50 or more employees in Ontario, you have until January 1, 2015 to comply with a training requirement under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). Not up to speed? "Take heart," says WSPS consultant Jennifer Threndyle. "With online tools and WSPS expertise, you can meet AODA deadlines and avoid the penalties some businesses are already paying."

Nov 06, 2014
CEOs talking safety: measuring performance, holding contractors accountable, and more

CEOs talking safety: measuring performance, holding contractors accountable, and more

"View from the Top," a Q&A session featuring three CEOs, is an annual must-see at WSPS' national Partners in Prevention Health & Safety Conference & Trade Show. CEOs share opinions, insights and advice as they answer such questions from delegates as "How are you able to instill health and safety as a core value in your managers and supervisors?"

Nov 06, 2014
New robot safety standard: best practices for a burgeoning productivity tool

New robot safety standard: best practices for a burgeoning productivity tool

CSA Group's new robot and robot systems safety standard, to be released any day now, includes new user-friendly tools to help workplaces conduct risk assessments, build a safe robot system, and quantitatively measure its functional safety. "This latest version of the standard makes risk assessment priority one," says Tom Eastwood, a WSPS machine safeguarding specialist and chair of the technical committee responsible for CSA-Z434 - Industrial Robots and Robot Systems. "Workplaces need to conduct risk assessments for all aspects of the automation cell they're putting together."

Nov 06, 2014
Over $6.76 million rebate for WSPS' 2013 Safety Group. Sign up now for next year.

Over $6.76 million rebate for WSPS' 2013 Safety Group. Sign up now for next year.

Successful members of WSPS' 2013 Safety Group have just learned they will share a $6,763,820 rebate after reducing their lost-time injury frequency rate by 12.86% and severity rate by 16.35% - in just one year. WSPS' 2014 members are on track to achieve similar results, so now's the time to sign up for 2015.

Nov 06, 2014
WSPS announces a new organizational health + safety culture award

WSPS announces a new organizational health + safety culture award

Workplace Safety & Prevention Services president and CEO Elizabeth Mills has announced a new national award celebrating organizations that excel in leadership and the promotion of health and safety, not just in their own workplaces but in their networks and beyond.

Nov 06, 2014
Building safety into your small business: one franchisee's story

Building safety into your small business: one franchisee's story

Jack Walton, owner of five Midas Auto Service and Tires stores in Markham, Newmarket, Oshawa, Richmond Hill, and Scarborough, is an all-in kind of guy. No half measures here.

Oct 09, 2014
How a JHSC or H&S rep can make a small business owner's life easier

How a JHSC or H&S rep can make a small business owner's life easier

Joint health and safety committees (JHSCs) and worker health and safety representatives may be an untapped human resource for small business owners and managers.

Oct 09, 2014
How prevention saves a small business money

How prevention saves a small business money

All too often, people see health and safety as a cost rather than a savings. But investing in health and safety is a solid business strategy that can protect your people while improving profitability.

Oct 09, 2014
Small businesses too can benefit from WSIB premium rebates

Small businesses too can benefit from WSIB premium rebates

Workplace Safety & Prevention Services' Safety Groups program is an ideal fit for small business owners and managers who want to prevent injuries - and earn a rebate in the process - but are challenged by a lack of resources and expertise.

Oct 09, 2014
CEOs talking safety: view your people as an appreciating asset

CEOs talking safety: view your people as an appreciating asset

"In business," says Sunshine Brands president and CEO Peter Van Stralen, "there are two dominant mindsets. One is the boss mentality, where people are seen more as things." The other mindset is where people are seen as assets. "If you care about people and build them up within your organization, they become one of a company's few appreciating assets."

Sep 05, 2014
Fall machine guarding blitz: 7 tips to help you manage hazards

Fall machine guarding blitz: 7 tips to help you manage hazards

From November 3 to December 14, the Ministry of Labour's Health and Safety Blitz initiative will focus on machine safety in the workplace. "Inspectors will probably apply a straight-forward approach to machine safety," says WSPS machine safety specialist Michael Wilson. "Are there guards in place? Are they, in fact, restricting access to hazardous motion? Are they being properly maintained?"

Sep 05, 2014
Learn business-building secrets from winners of the world's highest health and safety honour

Learn business-building secrets from winners of the world's highest health and safety honour

Every September the U.S. National Safety Council announces the latest winner of the Robert W. Campbell award, the world's most prestigious health and safety honour. But you can learn any time from the collective experience of award winners, as well as WSPS' own team of health and safety management system experts.

Sep 05, 2014
Material handling blitz on now: use past results to manage your hazards

Material handling blitz on now: use past results to manage your hazards

Starting September 15, Ministry of Labour inspectors are conducting the third in a series of material handling blitzes. This follows a warehousing blitz six months ago and a racking and storage blitz three years ago. "This tells me that the ministry very clearly understands the province's injury statistics and has found evidence during previous blitzes to warrant more inspections," says WSPS consultant Sandy Ash.

Sep 05, 2014
WSPS' Safety Group: learning and networking can help you earn WSIB rebates

WSPS' Safety Group: learning and networking can help you earn WSIB rebates

"A lot of our Safety Group members have "ah hah" moments," says WSPS consultant Jon Beveridge. "Especially in their first year." These moments - the product of learning and networking at regular meetings - often lead to dramatic performance improvements and cost savings.

Sep 05, 2014
All the world's a stage: WSPS's newest advisory committee supports Ontario's creative industry - and others

All the world's a stage: WSPS's newest advisory committee supports Ontario's creative industry - and others

Cineplex Entertainment's national health and safety consultant was bitten early by the theatre bug. Or more precisely, the movie theatre bug. "My uncle used to own a movie theatre," says Jerry Mouchian, "and at the age of 10 or 11 I used to help by splicing film and setting up the projector."

Aug 11, 2014
Demystifying safety culture: a practical peer-to-peer approach facilitated by WSPS

Demystifying safety culture: a practical peer-to-peer approach facilitated by WSPS

Case studies consistently show that successful businesses have a strong safety culture, but as WSPS consultant John Hollands notes, "the concept of creating a safety culture to help you grow your business is still pretty fresh." In response to growing interest, he now facilitates a series of networking and knowledge exchange (NKE) meetings for operational leaders - people responsible for managing health and safety in their workplace, regardless of the business size or sector. The next meeting takes place in September.

Aug 11, 2014
Hiring temporary workers? 10 steps to protect your workforce and your business

Hiring temporary workers? 10 steps to protect your workforce and your business

Temporary workers may come and go, but protecting them is just as important as protecting your full time staff. At WSPS's recent national Partners in Prevention Health & Safety Conference & Trade Show, representatives of a human resources law firm, a temporary help agency, and a company that hires temporary workers shared best practices on how to keep these workers safe and protect your business from liability.

Aug 11, 2014
Out of sight but not out of mind: 2 lawyers' perspective on employer obligations for travelling workers

Out of sight but not out of mind: 2 lawyers' perspective on employer obligations for travelling workers

Many workers are required to travel as part of their job duties. They may travel for sales trips, service calls, conferences, client meetings, or even accompanying students on a field trip. Unfortunately, workers are sometimes injured while travelling.

Aug 11, 2014
Unleash the potential of your employees to prevent risky behaviour

Unleash the potential of your employees to prevent risky behaviour

Your safe employees may be your best ally in preventing risky behaviour among co-workers who are impervious to traditional injury prevention approaches, suggests research conducted by the Center for Health and Safety Culture at Montana State University's Western Transportation Institute.

Aug 11, 2014
Assess your OHS performance in just 5 minutes

Assess your OHS performance in just 5 minutes

A new online assessment tool from the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) can help you gauge your current health and safety performance by benchmarking with your peers on a leading indicator of health and safety. With this information in hand, you can help your organization create a safer and more productive future.

Jul 07, 2014
Keeping young and new restaurant workers safe

Keeping young and new restaurant workers safe

Restaurants aim to provide service that looks effortlessly efficient, but work at the front and back of house is intense, repetitive and full of hazards. That's why the Ministry of Labour's annual young and new worker blitz -taking place now - always focuses on restaurants and food services.

Jul 04, 2014
Nail gun safety: how to tame this deadly hazard

Nail gun safety: how to tame this deadly hazard

Nail guns are powerful time savers, but can be as deadly as a weapon. Think about the training and licensing necessary before a person is permitted to purchase and operate a firearm for the purposes of hunting. How much training do we put into ensuring our nail gun operators are competent?

Jul 04, 2014
Sept-Oct material handling blitz: ask yourself these questions ahead of the MOL inspectors

Sept-Oct material handling blitz: ask yourself these questions ahead of the MOL inspectors

From September 15 to October 26, Ministry of Labour inspectors will target workplaces for material handling hazards and infractions. Expect the ministry to release details in early September. In the meantime, WSPS warehouse/material handling specialist Chuck Leon offers a head start on questions inspectors may ask.

Jul 04, 2014
Travelling for work: bring your employees back safe and healthy

Travelling for work: bring your employees back safe and healthy

Despite our increasingly wired world, most business people will take a handshake over a phone call or videoconference any day. A handshake makes creating new business opportunities, smoothing troubled transactions, and closing deals much easier.

Jul 04, 2014
Using leading indicators to prevent injuries: one firm's progress

Using leading indicators to prevent injuries: one firm's progress

Leading indicators - workplace measures that precede or indicate a future event - are rapidly gaining interest as a business tool that can help workplaces anticipate and prevent injuries. "We have in fact decreased our injuries and increased our hazardous occurrence and condition reporting significantly," reports Richard Coleman, national director of business continuity and health, safety, security and environment for Brookfield Johnson Controls Canada.

Jun 10, 2014
From WHMIS to GHS: what you need to do

From WHMIS to GHS: what you need to do

Canada's transition from WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System) to GHS (Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals) inspires both dread and impatience - feelings from "I'm so not looking forward to this," to "Let's just get on with it already."

Jun 05, 2014
Lost in the maze of prevention requirements? Reach for Your Health & Safety GPS

Lost in the maze of prevention requirements? Reach for Your Health & Safety GPS

If you're a small or medium-sized business that needs a fast answer to a health and safety question, what would you rather do: turn to the Occupational Health and Safety Act - or perhaps your bulky health and safety manual - or reach for a simple, at-a-glance resource that quickly and clearly points you to what you need to know?

Jun 05, 2014
Myth buster: clearing up misconceptions about lift devices

Myth buster: clearing up misconceptions about lift devices

Nothing makes Chuck Leon's blood boil faster than hearing someone spout a lift truck myth or misconception. "And there are plenty of them," says Leon. He's a WSPS warehouse/material handling specialist with years of experience as an operator and a consultant, and knows firsthand that misinformation is dangerous. It can put people at risk and cause significant property damage.

Jun 05, 2014
New and young worker blitz: 5 tourism and hospitality tips that work for any sector

New and young worker blitz: 5 tourism and hospitality tips that work for any sector

Jobs in tourism and hospitality hold great appeal for young and new workers: the settings are dynamic, the work fast-paced, and many positions are entry level so newcomers can pick up skills as they go. However, these features can also challenge managers responsible for keeping workers safe.

Jun 05, 2014
Do you work for one of Canada’s safest employers?

Do you work for one of Canada’s safest employers?

Celebrate your workplace’s commitment to health and safety by submitting a nomination for a Canada’s Safest Employers award. But act now. Nominations close Tuesday, June 24, 2014.
May 13, 2014
Just released: MOL's new certification training standards. What you need to know

Just released: MOL's new certification training standards. What you need to know

Ontario's Ministry of Labour has released two new certification training standards expected to take effect in early 2015. The standards build on existing certification training requirements, and aim to ensure consistent, high-quality training delivered by qualified instructors who meet specific delivery requirements.

May 12, 2014
Asleep at the controls: preventing injuries and loss by managing fatigue and shiftwork

Asleep at the controls: preventing injuries and loss by managing fatigue and shiftwork

A recent video showing a Chicago subway train riding up an escalator after derailing at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport graphically depicts what can happen when overtired workers fall asleep on the job. Organizational factors may have contributed. Media reports indicate the driver was often assigned erratic schedules as a fill-in in for other employees, and had clocked lots of overtime.

May 09, 2014
New and young worker blitz: 8 tips specifically for retailers

New and young worker blitz: 8 tips specifically for retailers

Retail operations figure prominently in the Ministry of Labour's recently announced young and new worker inspection blitz, taking place May through August. "There's a good reason for that," says Andrew Moffett, a WSPS consultant with extensive retail experience. "There is a general perception among the public of retail being safe. You also encounter this among employees, supervisors and store managers."

May 09, 2014
Prepare for heat stress now. It's just a matter of time

Prepare for heat stress now. It's just a matter of time

Back in January hot weather seemed a long way off, but it's coming. And more of it every year. The number of extremely hot days has been increasing globally over the past 15 years, a recent study has found.

May 09, 2014
Sunrise Propane: hard lessons for everyone

Sunrise Propane: hard lessons for everyone

The infamous 2008 Sunrise Propane explosions in Toronto's Downsview neighbourhood continue to reverberate as explosions occurred on May 7 at a propane facility in nearby Brampton. Earlier that same day, an Ontario judge began hearing sentencing submissions involving Sunrise Propane directors who had been found guilty of nine offences, including three under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Sentencing submissions will continue in October.

May 08, 2014
Make Mental Health Awareness Week your starting point for a healthier, more productive workplace

Make Mental Health Awareness Week your starting point for a healthier, more productive workplace

Since stigma is often the greatest barrier to seeking or offering help with mental health problems, make May 5-11, the Canadian Mental Health Association's 63rd Mental Health Awareness Week, your first step in promoting stigma-busting conversations at work.

Apr 03, 2014
Medical marijuana and other prescription drugs at work: 9 steps to create a supportive and productive workplace

Medical marijuana and other prescription drugs at work: 9 steps to create a supportive and productive workplace

As of March 31, regulatory changes at Health Canada allow physicians and nurse practitioners to prescribe medical marijuana. No one expects a surge in users, but it's a timely reminder to include prescribed or approved medications in your drug and alcohol policy. Some medications are potentially intoxicating, or may cause nausea, drowsiness or other side effects that could compromise safety and productivity.

Apr 03, 2014
Ministry of Labour blitz: vulnerable workers and awareness training are the focus

Ministry of Labour blitz: vulnerable workers and awareness training are the focus

From May to August, Ministry of Labour inspectors will be conducting health and safety blitzes of workplaces in sectors that employ new, young and temporary workers. Summer is a peak hiring period for these workers, and any worker is three times more likely to be injured on the job during the first month than at any other time.

Apr 03, 2014
Partners in Prevention 2014: leadership insights to help you empower safety and productivity back at work

Partners in Prevention 2014: leadership insights to help you empower safety and productivity back at work

Taking action, making a difference, implementing change… how do we do this day to day in our own workplaces? At Partners in Prevention 2014 Health & Safety Conference & Trade Show, find out from session leaders - CEOs, managers, health and safety coordinators - how they do it and how you can empower yourself and others. Then tour the 400-exhibit trade show for new products and services to help you get it done.

Apr 03, 2014
Slates for Sarah: camera assistant's death catalyzes health and safety in the performance industry

Slates for Sarah: camera assistant's death catalyzes health and safety in the performance industry

Sarah Jones had all the traits and more to be a successful camera assistant: organizational skills, communication skills, attention to detail, agility, and speed. Nevertheless, none could help the 27-year-old escape the path of an oncoming train.

Apr 03, 2014
Boost your H&S training effectiveness

Boost your H&S training effectiveness

Results gleaned from a recent Institute for Work & Health study provides valuable insight to make your health and safety training program more effective. Led by IWH senior scientist Ben Amick, the study compared different ways of delivering ergonomics training. Among the findings: in-person and online training were almost equally effective, and both were more effective if follow-up occurred afterward.
Mar 04, 2014
Collaboration: a key competency for future leaders - a tale of two organizations

Collaboration: a key competency for future leaders - a tale of two organizations

WSPS is fortunate to work with two innovative organizations that are dedicated to building the leadership and health and safety skills of engineering students - the Minerva Summer Institute and Learning Forums and the Institute for Leadership Education in Engineering (ILead).
Mar 04, 2014
First aid: use these questions to assess your readiness

First aid: use these questions to assess your readiness

When an injury occurs, prompt and effective first aid can make the difference between life and death, or permanent and temporary disability. That's why you need to be ready at all times, and why businesses participating in WSPS's Safety Group program believe first aid to be so important they chose it as their common element for 2014.
Mar 04, 2014
Safety coated profit: a best practices case study in performance and profitability

Safety coated profit: a best practices case study in performance and profitability

On April 30, delegates attending Partners in Prevention 2014 Health & Safety Conference & Trade Show will learn how Yorkville Sound's management team and employees achieve unimaginable profits by focusing on safety and efficiency.
Mar 04, 2014
WSPS Partners in Prevention 2014: maximize your trip to the trade show with these tips

WSPS Partners in Prevention 2014: maximize your trip to the trade show with these tips

Whether you're exploring options or ready to close a deal, there's no greater opportunity than Partners in Prevention 2014 Health & Safety Conference & Trade Show for scoping out new solutions for preventing injuries. With 400+ exhibits and 60+ conference sessions taking place April 29-30 in Mississauga, ON, this event is Canada's largest, bringing together innovators from across North America and beyond. Enter the trade show at no cost if you register by April 14.
Mar 04, 2014
Clara Hughes’ Big Ride: fighting the stigma of mental illness

Clara Hughes’ Big Ride: fighting the stigma of mental illness

On March 14, Canadian Olympic cyclist and speed skater Clara Hughes begins one of the most meaningful rides of her life: a 110-day, 12,000 km bicycle tour across Canada. Undertaken as part of Bell Let's Talk, a national mental health initiative, Clara will be stopping at 95 communities along the way to talk with people about mental health and share her own story of overcoming mental health challenges.

Feb 06, 2014
Healthy minds make productive employees. There are tools for that.

Healthy minds make productive employees. There are tools for that.

Two new tools for employers wanting to strengthen workplace mental health are within reach, according to announcements celebrating the first anniversary of CSA's standard on psychological health and safety in the workplace.
Feb 06, 2014
Keep your aging workforce productive with ergonomics

Keep your aging workforce productive with ergonomics

February 28 is Repetitive Strain Injuries Day, a great time to introduce new injury prevention measures and reinforce best practices. Here are some tips for workplaces with a maturing workforce.

Feb 06, 2014
Partners in Prevention 2014: Your best investment in health and safety

Partners in Prevention 2014: Your best investment in health and safety

Check out new resources, find solutions, get questions answered, and map out next steps - all with the help of hundreds of industry-leading experts assembled by WSPS at Partners in Prevention 2014 Health & Safety Conference & Trade Show on April 29-30. Centrally located in Mississauga, ON, it's Canada's largest health and safety event, with 60+ conference sessions and 400 exhibits. Here's what WSPS has lined up for this year.

Feb 06, 2014
No special treatment for complying with the law, appeal court rules

No special treatment for complying with the law, appeal court rules

Complying with Ministry of Labour work orders is no reason for courts to go easy on violators, an Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled. The court overturned an earlier decision that cut an employer's fine in half as a "reward" for complying with work orders.

Feb 05, 2014
Can your shop towels be contaminating workers?

Can your shop towels be contaminating workers?

Shop towels could be exposing people to heavy metals even after they’ve been laundered, reports a study published in Human and Ecological Risk Assessment: An International Journal.

"This serves as an eye-opener," says Wagish Yajaman, a technical specialist at Workplace Safety & Prevention Services. "Exposure to hazardous substances is a bigger issue than people realize."

Jan 10, 2014
Court decision: jail terms may become the

Court decision: jail terms may become the "new norm" for fall protection cases

A recent sentencing decision involving the owner of a small roofing company suggests that the courts may be shedding their historical reluctance to impose jail terms in cases involving the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Jan 10, 2014
Gifts that keep on giving new resources for 2014, courtesy of WSPS's volunteer advisory committees

Gifts that keep on giving new resources for 2014, courtesy of WSPS's volunteer advisory committees

In 2013 more than 100 health and safety advocates representing WSPS member firms pooled their insight and expertise into building a toolbox filled with practical, easily implemented health and safety solutions.

Jan 10, 2014
How MOL's new OHS strategy puts workplaces first

How MOL's new OHS strategy puts workplaces first

A "blueprint" for occupational health and safety released in late December identifies strategic actions for all stakeholders in Ontario's prevention system, including workplace parties. These actions are intended to improve service delivery and support those with the greatest needs, such as small business and vulnerable workers.

Jan 10, 2014
Ministry of Labour releases new training standard for people working at heights

Ministry of Labour releases new training standard for people working at heights

Employers of people who work at heights now have a training standard that they can adopt to prevent falls and improve safety. The just-released Working at Heights Training Program Standard is intended for workers who use travel restraint systems, fall restricting systems, fall arrest systems or safety nets.

Jan 10, 2014
Asleep at the wheel: lessons from the Bronx commuter train derailment

Asleep at the wheel: lessons from the Bronx commuter train derailment

Recent revelations from the fatal derailment in the Bronx, NY points to sleepiness as a possible cause. The union representing the train engineer told media two days later that he dozed off for just a moment prior to the crash. While the investigation may uncover other contributing factors, this may be a good opportunity for us to reflect on our own safety.

Dec 10, 2013
How personal listening devices turn into workplace hazards

How personal listening devices turn into workplace hazards

People wearing personal listening devices (PLDs), such as iPods and other MP3 players, are everywhere - on the bus, walking down the street, ahead of you in line... PLDs are also popular in the workplace, but are users and their co-workers at risk of injury?

Dec 04, 2013
How to fulfill your employer responsibilities to provide a psychologically safe workplace

How to fulfill your employer responsibilities to provide a psychologically safe workplace

Earlier this year, the Canadian Standards Association and Bureau de normalisation du Québec launched CSA-Z1003/BNQ 9700-803 - Psychological health and safety in the workplace. This national voluntary standard, available at no cost, provides workplaces with tools to measurably improve workers' psychological health and safety.

Dec 04, 2013
Ministry of Labour to conduct warehouse safety blitz in February. Will you be ready?

Ministry of Labour to conduct warehouse safety blitz in February. Will you be ready?

In February 2014 - just over a month from now - Ontario's Ministry of Labour will be inspecting warehouse facilities across Ontario. Workplace Safety & Prevention Services consultant Chuck Leon has advice for workplaces on how to get ready now.

Dec 04, 2013
Overdrive is not the only gear: how to curb excessive work hours

Overdrive is not the only gear: how to curb excessive work hours

No car or truck fleet owners would consistently push their vehicles to the limit, so how can we treat ourselves as well as or better than we treat our equipment? Read on to learn more about how overwork affects performance, and how we can prevent overwork while maintaining personal and organizational health and productivity.

Dec 04, 2013
Prevention system leaders weigh in on the evolution of occupational health and safety in 2013

Prevention system leaders weigh in on the evolution of occupational health and safety in 2013

In anticipation of the year's end, WSPS Network News asked key partners in Ontario's prevention system to share with readers key accomplishments and developments in 2013. Their responses appear in this article.

Dec 04, 2013
Ministry update: Deadline for health and safety awareness training is July 1, 2014

Ministry update: Deadline for health and safety awareness training is July 1, 2014

Further to an article that appeared in the November issue of Network News, Ontario's Ministry of Labour announced on November 15, 2013 that all workplaces covered under the Occupational Health and Safety Act must ensure that workers and supervisors have completed a basic health and safety awareness training program by July 1, 2014.

Nov 19, 2013
Compliance with AODA is not just about ramps and accessible doors. Find out what it means to you

Compliance with AODA is not just about ramps and accessible doors. Find out what it means to you

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disability Act (AODA) contains a series of compliance deadlines that affect every employer in Ontario. The first deadline affecting private sector employers was December 31, 2012. In September, non-compliant employers began receiving notices from the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario warning of potentially severe penalties. Workplace Safety & Prevention services (WSPS) consultants are on stand-by to help you meet current obligations and prepare for what's next.

Nov 13, 2013
Mandatory awareness training: 4 essential facts to counter misinformation

Mandatory awareness training: 4 essential facts to counter misinformation

"There's a lot of misinformation out there about the proposed mandatory health and safety awareness training for workers and supervisors," reports Workplace Safety & Prevention Services consultant Kirsi Henry. "I'm hearing this directly from the customers I work with."

Nov 13, 2013
Ministry of Labour blitz on construction in active workplaces could affect you

Ministry of Labour blitz on construction in active workplaces could affect you

If your workplace has scheduled construction or renovation work - including the installation of any machinery - for early this winter, you may be subject to a compliance inspection.

Nov 13, 2013
This year the WSIB distributed $6.3 million in rebates to 595 of our customers. You too could benefit.

This year the WSIB distributed $6.3 million in rebates to 595 of our customers. You too could benefit.

Once again, members of Workplace Safety & Prevention Services' Safety Group program have scored dramatic results, both in premium rebates and injury frequency and severity.

Nov 13, 2013
How health and safety can help you engage your employees

How health and safety can help you engage your employees

In upcoming months, Caesars Windsor will put all of its supervisors, managers, directors, and executives through two days of supervisor training. The focus of the course is on communication and coaching.
Oct 18, 2013
First aid can mitigate the severity of workplace injuries. Safety Group 2014 shows you how

First aid can mitigate the severity of workplace injuries. Safety Group 2014 shows you how

Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS) consultant Betty Lofthouse sees the common element that all WSPS Safety Group members in 2014 will work on as an easy success. The element: first aid.

Oct 16, 2013
Nov-Dec recycling and waste management blitz: converting risk into opportunity for all employers

Nov-Dec recycling and waste management blitz: converting risk into opportunity for all employers

A two-month Ministry of Labour inspection blitz of recycling and waste management facilities may set off alarm bells for some, but for others it could signal an opportunity to boost health, safety and organizational performance. Even if this blitz doesn't include your workplace, there's much here that you can put to your advantage.

Oct 16, 2013
Two-thirds of employees returning from absence due to depression are less productive: CBOC study

Two-thirds of employees returning from absence due to depression are less productive: CBOC study

Two out of three employees who return to work after an absence due to depression have trouble concentrating, remembering things, making decisions, and performing tasks - even though they may no longer be depressed. This is one of several key findings from a recent Conference Board of Canada survey of 2,004 randomly selected people working part or full time, including 727 front-line supervisors.

Oct 16, 2013
5 steps to prevent injuries in mechanical potato harvesting and other farming operations

5 steps to prevent injuries in mechanical potato harvesting and other farming operations

Hoppers are an essential piece of equipment for loading seed or crop onto a conveyor - two of the most critical activities in the planting and harvesting seasons.

In the past few years, several serious incidents have occurred that involve potato hoppers, harvesters and other related equipment. Most recently, a worker who was adjusting the height of a hopper to align it with a conveyor system sustained fatal injuries.

Sep 27, 2013
Appeal court triples fine: economic impact argument dismissed

Appeal court triples fine: economic impact argument dismissed

The Ontario Court of Appeal has sent a clear message that employers convicted of criminal negligence can expect to receive a substantial penalty. This tragic case involved a group of six workers who were repairing the balcony at a Toronto apartment using a suspended scaffold on Christmas Eve in 2009. It came apart when a seventh worker attempted to step onto the suspended scaffold, which tragically resulted in four workers falling to their deaths and another becoming seriously injured.

Sep 19, 2013
Driving as we knew it

Driving as we knew it

Fact 1: Depending on the source you want to quote, driver error contributes to 90-95% of fatal motor vehicle crashes. The other few percentage points are split between vehicle malfunction or driver incapacity. As the design and reliability of cars and tires have improved over the decades, fatal malfunctions are becoming rarer. Driver incapacity due to strokes, seizures and heart attacks are on the rise.

Sep 19, 2013
Securing a business advantage: two firms' Safety Group experience

Securing a business advantage: two firms' Safety Group experience

Lowe-Martin Group and Alpine Ski Club — two businesses different in almost every possible way — had functioning health and safety programs that put them comfortably in the middle of the pack. But that wasn’t enough. Both wanted an edge. Something that would take their programs to a higher level of performance.

Sep 19, 2013
Transforming your OHS performance: WSPS's take on a new strategy for Ontario

Transforming your OHS performance: WSPS's take on a new strategy for Ontario

In response to a public consultation led by Ontario’s Ministry of Labour, Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS) has submitted a series of recommendations that we believe could dramatically change the prevention system’s approach to eliminating workplace injuries and illnesses.

Sep 19, 2013
CSA's OHS standards: tools for enhancing business performance

CSA's OHS standards: tools for enhancing business performance

As progressively more complex issues drive organizational performance, businesses are looking at management systems to help them improve workflow and operational efficiencies, facilitate decision-making, stimulate change and growth, and at the same time complement rather than replace existing business processes. CSA standards are one such management resource.
Sep 03, 2013
Start now to prepare for GHS

Start now to prepare for GHS

As Canada transitions from the national Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) to the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) - sometime in 2015 - workplaces will likely have a one-year period to realign their existing WHMIS program and training.

Aug 06, 2013
Employer's investigation was a reprisal, adjudicator rules

Employer's investigation was a reprisal, adjudicator rules

An internal investigation conducted after an employee appealed a right to refuse decision has been deemed a reprisal by an arbitrator.

Such reprisals violate provincial occupational health and safety acts and the Canada Labour Code. They also risk disengaging employees and undermining productivity. The result can be chaos for workplaces following just-in-time production schedules, says Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS) consultant Gordon Leffley.

Jul 31, 2013
MOL 2013/14 enforcement plans for manufacturing and services

MOL 2013/14 enforcement plans for manufacturing and services

Four different inspection blitzes as well as a focus on vulnerable workers and new businesses are among the Ministry of Labour's recently released enforcement plans for Ontario's manufacturing and services sectors. These plans can help you strengthen and focus your business’s prevention activities. See “8 ways you can put the information to work,” below.

Jul 31, 2013
WSPS Safety Group 2014: fast-track your safety performance

WSPS Safety Group 2014: fast-track your safety performance

“If you want to make your workplace safer,” says Anthony Perrino, director of facilities and mechanical services for Ottawa-based Lowe-Martin Group, “participate in a Safety Group. It will help you generate better results than you probably could on your own.”

Jul 30, 2013
MOL Supervisor Health and Safety Awareness in 5 Steps

MOL Supervisor Health and Safety Awareness in 5 Steps

Supervisors play an essential role in reinforcing safe work procedures and establishing a culture of safety. However, many people holding supervisory duties or who have just been promoted to a supervisory position do not fully understand their rights and responsibilities. This puts both workers and organizational performance at risk.

Jul 16, 2013
Mental health: costly gap between what workplaces think and what they're doing?

Mental health: costly gap between what workplaces think and what they're doing?

A new survey shows a wide gap between Canadian organizations' belief in the importance of workplace health and wellness and the availability of related services for workers. This gap could compromise employee productivity and impose significant costs on workplaces.

Jul 04, 2013
Watch out for misleading sales calls

Watch out for misleading sales calls

It's happening again. Or still. A business receives a phone call or visit from someone checking on a compliance matter. The person may be friendly or aggressive, but either way, the business is left with the impression that it may be falling short on its legal obligations. And guess who has the solution?

Jul 03, 2013
Success(ion) planning at WSPS

Success(ion) planning at WSPS

Some of the faces may be changing, but the focus remains the same for Workplace Safety & Prevention Services' Board of Directors: continued growth and success for WSPS and its customers.

Jul 02, 2013
Supreme Court random drug, alcohol decision: implications for employers

Supreme Court random drug, alcohol decision: implications for employers

A Supreme Court of Canada decision on mandatory, random alcohol testing in dangerous workplaces places the onus on employers to first demonstrate a substance abuse problem exists.

Jul 02, 2013
Giant hogweed and other seasonal hazards

Giant hogweed and other seasonal hazards

Most people know about poison ivy, but there is a new, much more poisonous plant invading Ontario's outdoors and putting workers at risk. It's called giant hogweed. Use this article as a safety talk to inform your workers about the hazards.
Jun 26, 2013
Are those features in that new company car safe?

Are those features in that new company car safe?

Most people are pretty aware of their new car’s features and options. But not so much among people who drive company cars. These features are often chosen without driver input, and this could affect driver safety.
Jun 12, 2013
The future of OHS in Ontario: key messages from Partners in Prevention 2013

The future of OHS in Ontario: key messages from Partners in Prevention 2013

Embracing systemic and organizational change was a dominant theme among speakers at Partners in Prevention 2013 Conference and Trade Show, which took place April 30 – May 1 in Mississauga.
Jun 12, 2013
OHS as business strategy: one company's experience

OHS as business strategy: one company's experience

From one year to the next, Continental Mushroom's claim costs dropped from $165,000 to $2,000 with no significant change in the size of its workforce. Was it by chance? Smart money would bet on a revitalized health and safety program.
Jun 07, 2013
Is unpaid work unprotected work?

Is unpaid work unprotected work?

How does the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act apply to unpaid interns? Are these people workers? Regardless, what are best practices to protect them and your workplace?
Jun 04, 2013
How to avoid risking life and limb in managing the emerald ash borer

How to avoid risking life and limb in managing the emerald ash borer

The invasive emerald ash borer, is laying waste to ash trees and posing a hazard to the people who cut them down, including arborists, landscape contractors, farmers, golf course workers, and homeowners.
Jun 03, 2013
New and young worker training: one firm's prevention program

New and young worker training: one firm's prevention program

Every spring, DeKorte's Landscaping doubles its workforce, hiring seasonal workers to supplement its permanent roster of about 15 employees. This poses unique challenges that many businesses with seasonal workers will recognize: how to get these workers up to speed, keep them and their co-workers safe during the busiest time of the year, and ensure compliance during the Ministry of Labour's annual new and young worker blitz, which began on May 1.

May 16, 2013
Participatory ergonomics: how one business earned a 5.5 : 1 benefit-to-cost ratio

Participatory ergonomics: how one business earned a 5.5 : 1 benefit-to-cost ratio

Involving workers in reducing the risk of musculoskeletal disorders is expected to save one Ontario clothing manufacturer $360,000, according to researchers involved in an onsite participatory ergonomics project. At a cost of $66,000, the project offers the employer a 5.5 benefit-to-cost ratio.

May 16, 2013
Volunteering preview: 3 new ways to network and share

Volunteering preview: 3 new ways to network and share

Canadians are clearly committed to making their communities better places to live, work and play. According to the Canada Survey on Giving, Volunteering and Participating, 2010, 13.3 million Canadians contribute 2.1 billion hours, the equivalent of 1.1 million full-time jobs to worthy causes throughout the country. At WSPS, our volunteers act as safety advocates and champions in communities across Ontario. They help to develop cultures of safety in their workplaces, their own homes, and the communities in which they live.

May 16, 2013
Wentworth Metal: when executives aren't insured against injury or illness

Wentworth Metal: when executives aren't insured against injury or illness

One employer’s failure to provide workers compensation for executives has led to a string of lawsuits and at least one appeal. Are your executives covered?

May 16, 2013
Clara Hughes at Partners in Prevention: behind the smile

Clara Hughes at Partners in Prevention: behind the smile

Everybody loves Clara Hughes. The world’s first Olympian to earn multiple medals at both the winter and summer games, and Canada’s top ranked Olympic medal holder alongside Cindy Klassen, Clara could just as easily be the neighbour who helps you unload your groceries, or the woman in the coffee shop who gives a hand to the new mother struggling with a stroller.
Apr 22, 2013
Have your say on a new provincial OHS strategy

Have your say on a new provincial OHS strategy

Ontario's Ministry of Labour is inviting public input as it formulates the province's first system-wide integrated occupational health and safety strategy. Deadline for input: May 17.

Apr 22, 2013
Member firm briefing: Ontario's prevention program review

Member firm briefing: Ontario's prevention program review

A review of Ontario’s prevention programming now underway could lead to changes that will benefit Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS)’s member firms. HSO Network Magazine spoke with Cordelia Clarke Julien, director of training and safety programs in the Ministry of Labour’s recently established Prevention Office about the review and its anticipated contributions to health and safety in Ontario. Find out how your workplace could benefit from these changes.

Apr 22, 2013
New and young worker blitz starts May 1

New and young worker blitz starts May 1

If you hire new or young workers, you may receive a visit from a Ministry of Labour inspector. The ministry’s sixth new or young worker safety blitz starts May 1 and continues until August 31. The goal: raise awareness of specific hazards and encourage compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and regulations. Find out more about the blitz, and how to protect young workers aged 14 to 24, and workers of any age newly hired or recently reassigned, and seasonal and temporary workers.

Apr 22, 2013
Partners in Prevention: the big show

Partners in Prevention: the big show

On April 30 and May 1, 4,500 health and safety professionals will gather at Partners in Prevention 2013 Health & Safety Conference & Trade Show, Canada's largest annual health and safety event, to learn, share and network. Put this opportunity to work for you.
Apr 22, 2013
The world according to Target

The world according to Target

Nobody does things quite like Target, the upscale discount retailer. Since the 1962 opening of its first outlet, in Roseville, Minnesota, Target has evolved into a retail powerhouse with almost 1800 U.S. locations.
Apr 18, 2013
Access WSPS resources anywhere, sooner

Access WSPS resources anywhere, sooner

Interested in accessing online health and safety information any time, not just when you’re in front of your laptop or desktop? Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS) has two new options for that.

Launching April 1: a WSPS Twitter feed linking you to news, resources and expertise as issues and opportunities arise. Available soon: a WSPS mobile website interface for smartphone users.

Mar 20, 2013
Drug and alcohol testing: case update

Drug and alcohol testing: case update

Two high profile court cases involving random testing of workers for drug and alcohol use have brought renewed attention to an ongoing concern: how to protect worker safety while respecting human rights.

Both cases are ongoing. Learn more about the issue, the cases and the implications of the decisions for workplaces considering drug and alcohol testing.

Mar 20, 2013
Lakeshore Sand: what's behind its winning safety performance

Lakeshore Sand: what's behind its winning safety performance

In late 2012, the Canadian Foundry Association presented Fairmount Minerals’ Lakeshore Sand operation in Hamilton, ON, with its annual CFA/WSPS Health and Safety Award, Certificate of Recognition. The processing and packaging operation has achieved 13 years without a single lost-time injury.

HSO Network News spoke with Bob Van Wyngaarden, the general manager, for insights on how Lakeshore Sand sustains its health and safety performance.

Mar 20, 2013
Preventing MSDs: keeping it simple

Preventing MSDs: keeping it simple

February 28 is Canada's national RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) Awareness Day. To avoid the fear factor involved in launching a musculoskeletal disorder prevention program, consider simplifying the solutions. Here are eight ideas to consider. Together, they can significantly improve health in your workplace and give you something to celebrate on next year's RSI Day.
Feb 19, 2013
Sometimes a swimming pool is just a swimming pool: Blue Mountain wins appeal

Sometimes a swimming pool is just a swimming pool: Blue Mountain wins appeal

On February 7, 2013, the Court of Appeal for Ontario handed down its highly anticipated decision in Blue Mountain Resorts Limited v. Ontario (Ministry of Labour and Ontario Labour Relations Board), 2013 ONCA 75. It found that Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act does not require employers to report every fatal or critical injury to any person at a workplace. Read on to learn more about the case, as well as suggested best practices for employers and constructors.
Feb 19, 2013
WSPS Safety Group: one business’s audit experience

WSPS Safety Group: one business’s audit experience

This is the time of year when Ontario's Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) releases a list of businesses that will undergo a validation audit of their Safety Group activities. Time to panic?

Not necessarily, says Hanson Brick Ltd.'s John Lourenco. "Any time you go into an audit, you plan for the worst and hope for the best."

Feb 19, 2013
Due diligence defence: the

Due diligence defence: the "unforeseeability" factor

Three recent court decisions acknowledge unforeseeability - the inability to anticipate the event that occurred - as a valid consideration for workplace parties mounting a due diligence defence.
Jan 22, 2013
Engaging workers in reducing motor vehicle incidents

Engaging workers in reducing motor vehicle incidents

You and your co-workers may be an untapped resource in reducing the risk of motor vehicle incidents and a proven way to enable and sustain change, according to the results of a survey conducted for Health & Safety Ontario by Montana State University's Center for Health and Safety Culture.

Jan 22, 2013
Ontario proposes mandatory health and safety training

Ontario proposes mandatory health and safety training

The province’s Ministry of Labour is seeking input on a proposed regulation that would make specific training mandatory for all workplaces covered under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The first training to be specified: occupational health and safety awareness for workers and supervisors. The ministry anticipates filing the regulation by July 1, 2013, and having it come into force on January 1, 2014. Other types of mandatory training would follow.
Jan 22, 2013
Creating a safety culture

Creating a safety culture

All the standards, safeguards and safety committees in the world won't help an employer keep employees safe if the company doesn't have a culture of safety. That’s the key takeaway from the group of 10 safety experts who headed to Aurora, ON in late September to take part in Manufacturing AUTOMATION's fourth annual machine safety roundtable.

Jan 17, 2013
Next inspection blitz: slips, trips and falls

Next inspection blitz: slips, trips and falls

In February and March 2013, Ministry of Labour inspectors will be visiting Ontario workplaces to look for slip, trip and fall hazards. Of particular interest: hazards involving ladders and falls from heights. Take advantage of the time remaining to ensure you have the right measures in place to protect your employees.
Dec 13, 2012
Protecting working students: research spotlights H&S issues

Protecting working students: research spotlights H&S issues

Students who work while still in school face a range of health and safety risks, according to recently released research. Among the health affects reported: cuts, burns and other physical injuries, symptoms or musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), psychological distress, and fatigue.
Dec 13, 2012
HSO website: accessing resources now easier, faster

HSO website: accessing resources now easier, faster

A round of improvements to the Health & Safety Ontario (HSO) and Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS) websites enhances your ability to locate, access and purchase essential health and safety resources. HSO comprises four partner organizations, including WSPS, that serve Ontario's 236,000 Ontario businesses.
Nov 15, 2012
New psychological H&S standard - plus implementation tools - available at no cost

New psychological H&S standard - plus implementation tools - available at no cost

A new voluntary national standard provides workplaces with the tools needed to continuously and measurably improve workers' psychological health and safety. "It will help workplaces prevent mental harm by enabling them to identify and address root causes," says Andrew Harkness, a healthy workplace specialist with WSPS. "It's a strategic approach, with all the long-term benefits that come with strategic planning."
Nov 15, 2012
OLRB rejects appeal of material handling orders

OLRB rejects appeal of material handling orders

An Ontario brewery has lost an appeal of orders issued after a Ministry of Labour ergonomist observed a driver handling product on a routine delivery route. Most male workers would be physically incapable of performing some of the driver's tasks, the ergonomist noted in her report. Read on for more about the OLRB decision and what workplaces can learn from it.
Nov 15, 2012
WSPS Safety Group: 2011 results show

WSPS Safety Group: 2011 results show "profound" safety improvement performance

In just one year, businesses participating in WSPS's 2011 Safety Group collectively cut their injury frequency rate by 13.64%, and their injury severity rate by 19.82%. "These results demonstrate that participating businesses can make profound improvements to their safety performance," says WSPS's Safety Group program lead Lisa Graham.

As a result of their improved performance, WSPS businesses that successfully completed the 2011 program will share in a $7.3 million rebate of their 2011 WSIB premiums.
Nov 15, 2012
Certification training: If changes were announced this month, would you know what to expect?

Certification training: If changes were announced this month, would you know what to expect?

Changes to the current certification program have been discussed and reviewed for over three years. Results of these long anticipated changes are expected to be announced very soon. They are expected to help workplaces improve their injury prevention efforts by strengthening committee effectiveness and engagement.
Oct 18, 2012
More workers feeling bullied, study finds

More workers feeling bullied, study finds

An online survey of 4,000 full-time U.S. workers reports an increase in bullying compared to a similar survey conducted last year.
Oct 18, 2012
WSPS Safety Group: Inside scoop from a former member

WSPS Safety Group: Inside scoop from a former member

"To be honest," says Krista Schmid, an early member of WSPS's Safety Group, "I joined the group for the potential rebate. But you're not going to quote me on this, are you?" Schmid is concerned on two counts. First, she realized soon after joining that injury prevention was a much greater benefit. Second, Schmid is now a WSPS consultant who facilitates a Safety Group chapter, and whose top priority is prevention.
Oct 18, 2012
How Miller Technology stared down its Workwell audit

How Miller Technology stared down its Workwell audit

On its first Workwell audit, Miller Technology scored 17%. "It was quite an eye-opener," says Chad Miller, vice president of operations. On its second audit, the firm scored 96.3%. How did Miller Technology close such a gap? First: the firm realized that success was less about the score and more about developing a sustainable, top-down and bottom-up health and safety program that protects its people. Second, the firm recognized it couldn't do it alone.
Sep 19, 2012
Is WSPS’s Safety Group a good fit for my business?

Is WSPS’s Safety Group a good fit for my business?

This is just one of many questions Workplace Safety & Prevention Services consultants are fielding as registration for the 2013 Safety Group begins. WSPS consultant and Safety Group chapter lead Janet Bewers has her own take on the question, but first, more on the program itself. WSPS's Safety Group helps active members improve their safety performance, lower costs, and earn Workplace Safety and Insurance Board rebates through networking meetings and one-on-one access to consultants.
Sep 19, 2012
Work organization and health: recent findings call for action

Work organization and health: recent findings call for action

Two recent research reports add to a growing body of research showing that how we organize work can affect worker health. "For workplaces already investing in employee health," says Andrew Harkness, Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS)'s healthy workplace specialist, "these reports provide reassurance that you're on the right track. But for workplaces unaware of the relationship between work organization and worker health, take note that doing nothing could adversely affect your business."
Sep 19, 2012
October-November inspection blitzes: machine hazards • MSDs • violence and harassment…

October-November inspection blitzes: machine hazards • MSDs • violence and harassment…

Throughout October and November, Ministry of Labour inspectors will be checking workplaces in the manufacturing and service sectors for priority hazards such as inadequate machine guarding practices and lockout procedures, musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), compliance with Bill 168, which introduced new requirements for preventing workplace violence and harassment, and more.  Instead of conducting individual inspection blitzes on each of these issues, inspectors will widen the scope of each visit to take these and other hazards into account.
Sep 06, 2012
Build on the MOL’s sector-specific enforcement plans

Build on the MOL’s sector-specific enforcement plans

Just-released 2012/13 sector-specific enforcement plans from the Ministry of Labour provide insights into what it believes are the high-priority hazards for your industry and sub-sector. These plans can help you strengthen and focus your business’s prevention activities.
Aug 15, 2012
MSD prevention: how Natrel won over its Orleans workforce

MSD prevention: how Natrel won over its Orleans workforce

Last fall, Natrel’s Orleans, Ontario plant embarked on an ambitious musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) prevention program. At its core: ergonomic assessments on which the facility could build an MSD hazard reduction strategy. A key success factor for plant manager Craig Levia was ensuring employees understood and bought into the process. Read about the steps Natrel took to help workers and supervisors understand what causes MSDs and how to prevent them.
Aug 15, 2012
Protecting older workers: a productivity imperative

Protecting older workers: a productivity imperative

While accommodating our aging workforce may be a rising priority for the health and safety community, Ian Howcroft, vice president of CME Ontario, says it’s not just about health and safety. “We have to address the productivity gap that we’re facing globally,” says Howcroft. “One way is to ensure employers have the skilled workers they need, and continue investing in their workers so that they’re working to full effectiveness and efficiency." Find out how.
Aug 15, 2012
Safety Group 2013: leveraging the power of networking

Safety Group 2013: leveraging the power of networking

Beth Harrington, occupational health and safety coordinator for Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. in Belleville, is about to sign up for WSPS's 2013 Safety Group. This will be her fourth year. For Harrington, the link between WSPS's Safety Group and stronger corporate safety performance is clear: "I'm more knowledgeable and more skilled as a result of being a Safety Group member, and I bring that back to the workplace."
Aug 15, 2012
Are safety and operational systems compatible? Ontario study goes on site

Are safety and operational systems compatible? Ontario study goes on site

Researchers have studied 10 Ontario business operations in the first of a two-part examination of business perspectives on health and safety. One perspective contends that organizational excellence is premised partially on leveraging your human capital. So, if you don't take care of your human capital, you can't create a distinct competitive advantage. Another perspective contends that, to produce more, you have to run the system faster and take shortcuts. Find out what the researchers learned.
Aug 13, 2012
Heat stress: protecting yourself

Heat stress: protecting yourself

When it comes to safeguarding workers from heat stress, employers are responsible for developing, implementing and enforcing policies and procedures. However, workers also have an opportunity and responsibility to protect themselves. Many of these opportunities complement what employers can do.
Jul 24, 2012
Pleading guilty to criminal charges sets Ontario precedent

Pleading guilty to criminal charges sets Ontario precedent

A corporate guilty plea to criminal negligence following a fatal workplace incident marks the first such plea in Ontario, and sends a signal to workplaces that criminal prosecution is a reality in Ontario and poses serious consequences. In this case, the Crown prosecutor had asked for a $1 million penalty. There is no limit under the Criminal Code on the amount of a fine that may be imposed upon a corporation.
Jul 24, 2012
Protecting workers from domestic violence – the #2 cause of workplace fatalities among U.S. women

Protecting workers from domestic violence – the #2 cause of workplace fatalities among U.S. women

While U.S. workplace fatalities have fallen 27% since 1992, workplace homicides among women increased 13% in 2010 alone, say researchers from NIOSH and West Virginia University. "Personal relations" came in a close second to "criminal intent" as the most prevalent type of homicide. This research reinforces the critical role of workplaces in protecting women from violence, including domestic violence at work. Learn more about the study results, challenges facing employers, and available solutions.
Jul 24, 2012
9 tips on conducting a hazard assessment

9 tips on conducting a hazard assessment

You've already conducted at least one assessment, right? "It's the foundation piece of a health and safety program," says Jan Hill, a consultant with Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS). "You can't assess and control something if you don't know it exists." Make your assessment a living document that will help protect your workers and your operations on an ongoing basis.
Jun 18, 2012
Webinar:

Webinar: "Are You Ready for the MOL Blitz on New and Young Workers?"

In a 30-minute webinar broadcast by Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS) last month, Ministry of Labour Provincial Specialist Roy Ford told participants that inspectors are taking a "zero tolerance" approach to certain contraventions. WSPS consultant Lois Weeks spoke on training challenges and opportunities.
Jun 18, 2012
WSIB independent review: tackling the unfunded liability and more

WSIB independent review: tackling the unfunded liability and more

An independent funding review of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) makes a series of recommendations on the board’s unfunded liability, as well as employer incentives, the existing rate group structure, and other compensation-related concerns. The recommendations draw on extensive public consultations and, if accepted, could dramatically change the way your premiums are calculated.
Jun 18, 2012
WSPS three-year strategic plan puts solutions within reach

WSPS three-year strategic plan puts solutions within reach

A new three-year strategic plan, approved last month by the Workplace Safety & Prevention Services' (WSPS) Board of Directors, sets out a roadmap for reaching 154,000 businesses, as part of the organization's overarching mission to put health and safety solutions within reach of every employer and employee in Ontario.
Jun 18, 2012
New Legislative Requirement for Ontario Workplaces

New Legislative Requirement for Ontario Workplaces

The Ontario Ministry of Labour has released a "Health & Safety at Work: Prevention Starts Here" poster that must be displayed in all workplaces effective immediately.
Jun 04, 2012
Are You Ready for the MOL Blitz on New and Young Workers?

Are You Ready for the MOL Blitz on New and Young Workers?

Throughout the months of May - August 2012, the Ministry of Labour (MOL) will be conducting an enforcement blitz on new and young workers. 
May 18, 2012
Just released MOL's 2012/13 inspection blitz schedule

Just released MOL's 2012/13 inspection blitz schedule

Ontario's Ministry of Labour will be conducting inspection blitzes on 13 different hazards, according to a newly published schedule for the 2012/13 fiscal year. Five of these blitzes affect member firms of Workplace Safety & Prevention Services.
May 15, 2012
Picture this: new, no-cost downloadable pictograms and training material

Picture this: new, no-cost downloadable pictograms and training material

A pictogram project led by Workplace Safety & Prevention Services promises to provide new training resources - at no cost to workplaces - that can help them address key health and safety issues while bridging literacy and educational differences among workers. Pictograms are visual representations of an action, thing, or idea, and deliver a message to viewers.
May 15, 2012
Study links overtime to depression

Study links overtime to depression

If you regularly work more than 11 hours a day, you could be twice as likely to experience a major depression compared to a colleague who works seven to eight hours a day. So says a study that examined the careers of 2,000 middle-aged British civil servants.
May 15, 2012
Young and new worker blitz starts now

Young and new worker blitz starts now

Keeping new and young workers safe continues to be a priority for Ontario's Ministry of Labour. The fifth in a series of young and new worker inspection blitzes began May 1, and continues until August 31. Last year, almost 3,000 workplaces received visits from inspectors, who issued almost 10,000 orders. Anticipate as many or more this year.
May 15, 2012
Racking blitz results: maintenance #1 issue

Racking blitz results: maintenance #1 issue

Results of a November 2011 inspection blitz of hazards involving racking and storage systems suggest many employers are falling short on ensuring equipment, materials and protective devices are maintained in good condition. While on site, the inspectors focused on five priorities. How would your pallet and racking system measure up? See “How to improve racking safety in your workplace” for sample tips.
Apr 17, 2012
Small business guides — 6 steps to a safer future

Small business guides — 6 steps to a safer future

An about-to-be-released series of small business guides developed by Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS) and key industry partners promises to simplify the process of developing or enhancing a workplace health and safety system. “Allocating time and resources to any priority is an ongoing challenge for most small and medium-sized businesses,” says Linda Sukk, a senior industrial designer with WSPS. “With these guides, we’ve created a manageable step-by-step process businesses can take on without feeling overwhelmed.”
Apr 17, 2012
Supporting employees with health conditions

Supporting employees with health conditions

With Canada’s aging workforce and a now delayed retirement in all of our futures, says research scientist Monique Gignac, watch for greater effort to prevent work loss due to pre-existing health conditions. A list of steps that employers can take to help employees remain productive contributors to the workplace appears below. But first, learn more about the effect of conditions like arthritis on employees and the workplace.
Apr 17, 2012
Take a path to safety at the Health & Safety Ontario booth

Take a path to safety at the Health & Safety Ontario booth

If you’re attending Health & Safety Ontario’s Partners in Prevention Health & Safety Conference & Trade Show – be sure to visit the HSO booth. Stop by for information or a conversation with a consultant about compliance, building knowledge, getting help, best practices and emerging issues. While there, visit the Top 4 Hazards to find out how to make your prevention program better.
Apr 17, 2012
Getting ready for a new season: taking a safe first step

Getting ready for a new season: taking a safe first step

Seasonal workers are often enthusiastic, energetic and eager to learn, bringing a fresh energy into the workplace. However, many are also inexperienced, which can put them and their co-workers at risk. Now’s the time to minimize or eliminate the risk through orientation training, and ongoing hazard and skills training, supervision and coaching.
Apr 02, 2012
Partners in Prevention 2012:  the year's must attend OHS event

Partners in Prevention 2012: the year's must attend OHS event

Health & Safety Ontario's Partners in Prevention 2012 Health & Safety Conference & Trade Show, Canada’s largest annual health and safety event, offers more exploring, learning, and networking in one location, than any other opportunity. The event takes place May 1-2 in Mississauga. More than 60 sessions and 350 exhibit booths put Canada's most informed and advanced health and safety expertise at your disposal.
Apr 02, 2012
Will you be

Will you be "Workwelled"?

Any time now, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) will be mailing out letters to firms that will be subject to a 2012 Workwell audit. The letters go out to firms whose compensation experience indicates a greater risk of injury compared to other firms doing similar work.
Apr 02, 2012
Workplace violence: anticipating bear repellant and other hazards

Workplace violence: anticipating bear repellant and other hazards

Recently, a would-be thief assaulted the owner of a computer store in St. Catharines with bear repellant, a form of pepper spray. An accomplice also punched an employee in the head as the thieves were escaping with store merchandise. Police eventually arrested two people, but in the interim the store owner and two employees sustained minor injuries from the spray and required treatment for eye and skin irritations.
Apr 02, 2012
2011 young and new worker blitz results

2011 young and new worker blitz results

From May 1 to August 31, 2011, almost 3,000 workplaces in the industrial and health care sectors received visits from inspectors looking for violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act involving young and new workers.
Feb 16, 2012
Advance notice: new CSA-ISO nanotechnology guideline

Advance notice: new CSA-ISO nanotechnology guideline

In late spring, the Canadian Standards Association expects to publish a guideline on nanotechnology, which involves developing and using materials the size of 1 to 100 nanometers. One nanometer is a billionth of a meter.
Feb 16, 2012
Is your industry acting on group OHS opportunities?

Is your industry acting on group OHS opportunities?

The recent renewal of a 14-year strategic alliance between Workplace Safety and Prevention Services (WSPS) and the Ontario Automobile Dealer Association (OADA) highlights opportunities for workplaces from many sectors to receive customized health and safety products and services.
Feb 16, 2012
Partners in Prevention 2012: 400+ reasons to attend

Partners in Prevention 2012: 400+ reasons to attend

More than 60 conference sessions and 350 exhibit booths make Health & Safety Ontario Partners in Prevention 2012 Conference & Trade Show, May 1-2, Canada’s most informative and solutions-oriented annual health & safety event.
Feb 16, 2012
Advance notice: new CSA workplace ergonomics standard

Advance notice: new CSA workplace ergonomics standard

A new CSA ergonomics standard scheduled for release in March will help workplaces reduce the risk of repetitive strain injuries by providing information and tools on identifying ergonomic hazards, assessing risks, and implementing a prevention and control program.
Jan 23, 2012
Are You Ready for the MOL MSD Blitz on Manual Material Handling?

Are You Ready for the MOL MSD Blitz on Manual Material Handling?

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are injuries and disorders of the musculoskeletal system and can affect the muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, joints, cartilage, and/or spinal discs that may be caused or aggravated by various hazards in the workplace.
Jan 23, 2012
So, you got a ticket

So, you got a ticket

It’s no fun getting a ticket. Coming under scrutiny is no fun either, either from an inspector or, after the inspector’s gone, your employer. But scrutiny can be a good thing if it helps identify systemic problems that, left unchecked, could lead to injuries and other consequences.
Jan 23, 2012
Tribunal expands entitlement to traumatic mental stress benefits

Tribunal expands entitlement to traumatic mental stress benefits

A recent decision of the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal has significantly expanded the scope of entitlement for benefits arising from workplace events that cause traumatic mental stress.
Jan 23, 2012
What do you think of these new MOL prevention tools?

What do you think of these new MOL prevention tools?

Ontario’s Ministry of Labour seeks your input on two new health and safety tools for employers and workers: “Prevention Starts Here” Worker Awareness Workbook and Employer Guide, and “Prevention Starts Here” poster. Deadline for comments: February 17, 2012.
Jan 23, 2012
11 tips for maximizing training

11 tips for maximizing training

Employers may be tempted to postpone training when budgets are tight, but with today’s unlimited training options, try maximizing your return on investment instead. The ultimate return on that training investment is a safety-savvy workforce that applies what it learns, shares its knowledge and skills with others, and creates a safe, productive and profitable workplace. Here’s how to make every penny count.
Dec 13, 2011
Advance notice: CSA to launch hazard identification standard

Advance notice: CSA to launch hazard identification standard

Advance notice: CSA to launch hazard identification standard In early spring, CSA is expected to launch a new standard that will help users apply a systematic approach to identifying hazards, assessing the risk they pose, and eliminating or controlling them.
Dec 13, 2011
MSDs: first MOL blitz of 2012

MSDs: first MOL blitz of 2012

In February, the Ministry of Labour will conduct a month-long inspection blitz on musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). This MSD blitz, the ministry’s third, will concentrate on manual material handling, especially in the industrial, construction, mining, and health care sectors.
Dec 13, 2011
Safe winter driving: six hazards and how to manage them

Safe winter driving: six hazards and how to manage them

Unpredictable winter weather conditions and fewer hours of light can place extra demands on your vehicle and your driving skills. Heed the following hazards and precautions.
Dec 13, 2011
Housekeeping injuries and the employee satisfaction factor

Housekeeping injuries and the employee satisfaction factor

A bill working its way through California’s legislative process has brought public attention to a repetitive strain issue facing a key demographic in the hospitality industry: hotel and motel housekeepers. Although the issue may seem narrowly defined, the solution applies to all industry sectors.
Nov 18, 2011
Reusable bag guide: responding to a new hazard

Reusable bag guide: responding to a new hazard

Scanning and bagging groceries is such a commonplace activity that shoppers barely notice the process. But grocery retailers monitor it closely for its impact on customer service, employee well-being, and productivity. Recently, a new concern has arisen: potential health and safety implications of reusable bags.
Nov 18, 2011
Understanding breakthrough change: new study examines why and how

Understanding breakthrough change: new study examines why and how

Identifying critical factors behind breakthrough change in health and safety performance is the goal of an Institute for Work and Health (IWH) study now nearing completion. “If we can identify success factors that other firms may be able to adopt,” explains IWH associate scientist Dr. Lynda Robson, “it could lead to more effective prevention of work injuries and illnesses.”
Nov 18, 2011
WSPS Safety Group 2012: proven performance booster

WSPS Safety Group 2012: proven performance booster

Ontario agriculture, manufacturing and service operations looking for a proven, expert-led and peer-supported forum for boosting health and safety performance will have at least 40 opportunities in 2012. Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS) is now accepting applications for an anticipated 40 2012 Safety Group chapters located throughout the province.
Nov 18, 2011
Ministry of Labour Racking & Storage Blitz Details

Ministry of Labour Racking & Storage Blitz Details

The MOL Racking & Storage blitz will take place from November 1, 2011.  This article provides details to help you get prepared.
Oct 17, 2011
E-courses: a high value, low-cost option

E-courses: a high value, low-cost option

High quality e-courses provide a convenient, low-cost option for employee awareness training - any time, anywhere there's a computer. Given Workplace Safety & Prevention Services' 50+ course list, your options are extensive.
Oct 11, 2011
November blitz: racking

November blitz: racking

Any workplace with pallet racking is a potential target for inspectors during a month-long blitz starting November 1. “If you have lift trucks and pallet racks,” says Don Brown, a provincial specialist with the Ministry of Labour’s Industrial Health and Safety Program, “we’ll be interested in having inspectors visit your workplace.”
Oct 11, 2011
October blitz: personal protective equipment

October blitz: personal protective equipment

In October, the Ministry of Labour (MOL) will be conducting a month-long inspection blitz on personal protective equipment (PPE), which includes anything workers wear to protect themselves from dangers in the workplace. For example: respirators, gloves, earplugs, hard hats, safety goggles, and safety shoes or boots. Find out what inspectors will be looking for, and how to mount a PPE program.
Oct 11, 2011
Partners in Prevention: learning and networking at your doorstep

Partners in Prevention: learning and networking at your doorstep

Six Partners in Prevention conferences and trade shows taking place this fall across Ontario bring health and safety insights, expertise and opportunities to you. Locations include Burlington, Kitchener, Ottawa, Rama, Thunder Bay and Windsor.
Oct 11, 2011
Putting Canada's Healthy Workplace Month into ongoing practice

Putting Canada's Healthy Workplace Month into ongoing practice

October is Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month, but don’t limit your healthy workplace initiatives to once a year. Leverage the occasion into an ongoing opportunity to improve employee health and wellness, strengthen your health and safety culture, and boost performance.
Oct 11, 2011
A new way to transform road safety culture in Ontario

A new way to transform road safety culture in Ontario

The biggest risk Ontarians face each day as they go to work is a collision on the road. Motor vehicle incidents continue to be the greatest single cause of, and account for more than 30% of, all Ontario worker fatalities. This number increases to 45% when we include powered industrial vehicles or mobile industrial equipment in the workplace.
Aug 23, 2011
Reducing injuries among grounds maintenance workers

Reducing injuries among grounds maintenance workers

Lawn cutters, landscapers, arborists and others responsible for maintaining public and private grounds are three times more likely to be killed on the job than other workers, reports the US Centers for Disease Control.

“There’s a lot you can do to prevent injuries, but you don’t have to do it alone,” says Sandro Perruzza, chief of client services with Workplace Safety and Prevention Services.” Appearing below are suggested steps to help create a health and safety program in your workplace…
Aug 23, 2011
School’s back and so are the safety hazards

School’s back and so are the safety hazards

It’s been a great summer and many parents are happy to see their children returning to those hallowed halls of education. However students and drivers alike may still have their minds on the summer fun instead of on the road and the various school zones they encounter.
Aug 23, 2011
You can help uncover disease risk factors in 30 minutes

You can help uncover disease risk factors in 30 minutes

Twenty Canadians are diagnosed with diabetes every hour. More than 1.5 Canadians have heart disease, and 75,000 Canadians will die from cancer. You and your co-workers can help reduce these statistics, and raise your own understanding of your personal health, by completing a confidential 30-minute survey. The results will improve Ontarians’ personal lifestyle choices, promote healthy workplace behaviour, influence future clinical care, and shape government health policy.
Aug 23, 2011
Loading dock blitz results

Loading dock blitz results

In February 2011, 1,089 workplaces received 1,285 blitz-related visits by Ministry of Labour inspectors. The inspectors issued 3,233 orders, including 84 stop work orders. Inspectors found that workers are exposed to similar hazards in workplaces across all industrial sectors, regardless of the size of the workplace or nature of business.
Jul 28, 2011
One firm's safety turnaround

One firm's safety turnaround

In 2007, Jeremy Shorthouse joined Vincor Canada is its first national environmental health and safety manager. The business has 2,000 employees across the country. Since then, Vincor Canada has achieved the following: 20% fewer incidents, 60% fewer lost-time claims, 80% decrease in severity rates. Find out how.
Jul 28, 2011
Over-qualified immigrants at risk of poorer mental health

Over-qualified immigrants at risk of poorer mental health

Many recent immigrants end up in jobs for which they are over-qualified, putting them at risk of poorer mental health within a short period of time, according to a recent study from the Institute for Work & Health. The study explored just how common over-qualification is among new immigrants to Canada, and how it affects their general and mental health.
Jul 28, 2011
Taking MSD prevention to the next step

Taking MSD prevention to the next step

The MSD Prevention Guideline for Ontario is now five years old. Ontario needs to evaluate its success and work out what to do next. On June 27, 2011, 100 people came together in Toronto to learn, discuss, and plan how to take Ontario's musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) strategy one step further. The focus of the discussion forum was on ways to reduce MSDs caused by manual materials handling.

Jul 28, 2011
Farm Guide: Farm Equipment on the Highway

Farm Guide: Farm Equipment on the Highway

This Ministry of Transportation site offers general information and clarification on laws applying to farm equipment and select provisions applying to farm trucks.
Jul 22, 2011
6 Steps for Orienting New Workers

6 Steps for Orienting New Workers

The first month in a new job can be a risky one, as these workers are five to seven times more likely to be injured than experienced workers. A common misconception about the higher rate of injuries among new workers is that age is a factor. However, it has nothing to do with age. As university, high school and migrant workers flood into Ontario workplaces, take advantage of this timely opportunity to keep them safe.
Jun 29, 2011
Bill 160 paves way for changes to health and safety system

Bill 160 paves way for changes to health and safety system

Over the next year, the province will be implementing changes to Ontario’s occupational health and safety system based on recommendations from the Expert Advisory Panel on Occupational Health and Safety. The panel made 46 recommendations, which the minister of labour accepted. To implement the recommendations, certain laws had to be amended. The government moved quickly to draft Bill 160, which was introduced to provincial parliament in March. The bill received Royal Assent on June 1.
Jun 29, 2011
Court Ruling: Every

Court Ruling: Every "Person" Counts When Reporting Injuries

A skier suffers a broken arm while skiing. A student is knocked unconscious during a physical education class. A patient dies in hospital. Aside from being unfortunate events, incidents such as these are generally not seen as attracting an obligation to report the matter to health and safety authorities. This is no longer the case as a result of a recent OHS decision. Circumstances leading to the decision, its potential ramifications, and practical steps that organizations may take to manage their obligations in such cases are discussed below.
Jun 29, 2011
Feeling hot, hot, hot – heat stress prevention

Feeling hot, hot, hot – heat stress prevention

It’s in the forecast: this summer will be a hot one! That’s good news for vacationers, a warning bell for those who will be working through the heat. What better time to develop a workplace heat stress prevention plan? We’ve gathered together some helpful info and tips to get you started.
Jun 29, 2011
Partners in Prevention 2011 Recap: Making Personal Investments in OHS

Partners in Prevention 2011 Recap: Making Personal Investments in OHS

Speaking before hundreds of delegates attending the May 17 opening ceremonies of Partners in Prevention 2011, Ontario Labour Minister Charles Sousa expressed a sentiment central to Partners in Prevention: “Workplace health and safety is my top priority. The very first thing I did on this job,” said Sousa, “was to read Tony Dean’s report on health and safety.” Following the opening ceremonies, four corporate leaders shared their experiences and observations in the session, “View from the Top.”
Jun 29, 2011
Research Exchange Series

Research Exchange Series

The Research Exchange Series, which runs from October to May each year, is hosted by the Centre for Health & Safety Innovation.  It was developed as a way to bring key stakeholders together to increase knowledge transfer and exchange between the research community, Partners in Prevention -  Health & Safety Ontario, Ministry of Labour, WSIB – and workplaces. The 2010/2011 series covered a range of subjects and highlights of the sessions have been captured in a collection of videos.

Jun 10, 2011
Summertime Safety for Young Workers

Summertime Safety for Young Workers

This month, Ontario’s Ministry of Labour launched a 4-month blitz targeting industrial, retail and health care workplaces. This is the fourth blitz in as many years. Last year, the ministry inspected 3,097 workplaces and issued 3,555 orders, including 255 stop-work orders.
May 17, 2011
Bill 160 introduces sweeping prevention amendments to Ontario

Bill 160 introduces sweeping prevention amendments to Ontario

Legislative amendments introduced by Labour Minister Charles Sousa earlier this month bring Ontario one step closer to what he describes as “the first major review and the largest overhaul of Ontario’s occupational health and safety system in 30 years.” The changes offer workplaces several benefits, including better access to health and safety resources.
Apr 07, 2011
Partners in Prevention 2011: find what you need, now

Partners in Prevention 2011: find what you need, now

Find actionable information, resources, solutions, subject experts, and service providers for virtually any health and safety issue you’re facing at Health & Safety Ontario’s Partners in Prevention 2011 Health & Safety Conference & Trade Show, taking place May 17-18 in Mississauga. The conference component offers 60+ interactive sessions, workshops and professional development courses. The trade show, 400+ exhibitors, an onsite bookstore, and feature areas.
Apr 07, 2011
Putting the Brakes on MVIs

Putting the Brakes on MVIs

Motor vehicle collisions account for more than 45% of all Ontario worker fatalities when vehicles used to lift and move material are included. How to reduce the carnage? “If you want to have a positive effect on group behaviour,” says Dr. Jeff Linkenbach, director of the Center for Health and Safety Culture at Montana State University in Bozeman, MT, “we’re going to need positive approaches.”
Apr 07, 2011
Small businesses: incentive program earns you a WSIB premium rebate

Small businesses: incentive program earns you a WSIB premium rebate

If you’re an owner or senior manager of a small business registered with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) for 12 months or less, you can earn your business a 10% premium rebate by successfully completing the WSIB’s two-part Safe Communities Incentive Program (SCIP). Been in business for longer than 12 months? Earn a 5% rebate by participating in the program’s second part.
Apr 07, 2011
Health Risks of Asbestos

Health Risks of Asbestos

Asbestos was a popular material used widely in construction and many other industries. If asbestos fibres are enclosed or tightly bound in a product, for example in asbestos siding or asbestos floor tiles, there are no significant health risks. Asbestos poses health risks only when fibres are present in the air that people breathe.
Nov 24, 2010