Articles

This section offers a growing list of free articles.

A 6 step guide to managing the risk of impairment

A 6 step guide to managing the risk of impairment

The legalization of recreational cannabis has given new life to an ongoing workplace concern: how to reduce the risk of impairment. Acute effects include diminished mental alertness, physical coordination, reaction time, sustained vigilance, manual dexterity and judgment — all essential requirements for working safely and productively, says WSPS Consultant Kristin Oronato.
 
Jul 22, 2019
Critical injuries: 9 best practices for interviewing witnesses

Critical injuries: 9 best practices for interviewing witnesses

Interviewing witnesses to a critical injury is central to your accident investigation, but they may be experiencing shock, disbelief, emotional numbness and other symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). How do you show respect for traumatized witnesses but still uncover the facts you need to file your report with the Ministry of Labour and prevent a similar incident from happening in the future? 
 
Jul 22, 2019
Avoid this mistake: ignoring a harassment complaint

Avoid this mistake: ignoring a harassment complaint

Failing to address an employee’s repeated complaints of abusive and harassing behaviour at the hands of a co-worker has cost an employer over $200,000 in penalties levied by an Ontario Superior Court judge. “We can’t ignore inappropriate behaviours,” says WSPS Strategy Advisor Andrew Harkness. “Financially and emotionally it’s too costly for everyone involved — employers, employees, even their families.” 
 
Jul 22, 2019
New and young worker initiative: this orientation tool sets the bar

New and young worker initiative: this orientation tool sets the bar

Thorough orientation is critical to keeping new and young workers safe on the job, says WSPS Account Manager Charmaine Mitchell. Ministry of Labour (MOL) inspectors will be looking for proof it’s been delivered during focused workplaces inspections that began on July 15 and will continue until August 30. 
Jul 22, 2019
Psychological safety at work: tips from Gold Award winner

Psychological safety at work: tips from Gold Award winner

Integrating  mental harm prevention into your workplace? Learn from Niagara Casinos, the 2018 Gold Award winner of the Canada’s Safest Employer Award for Psychological Safety. 
Jul 22, 2019
Is your JHSC effective? Take the quiz

Is your JHSC effective? Take the quiz

“If you’re not assessing the results of what you’ve done, how are you going to measure your success?” asks Yvonne O’Reilly of O’Reilly Health & Safety Consulting.  At WSPS’ Partners in Prevention 2019 Health & Safety Conference & Trade Show, Yvonne introduced her session, “Building a Better Joint Health & Safety Committee (JHSC),” with a 10-point yes-or-no quiz for committees to start assessing their effectiveness. Whether your JHSC has just started up or existed for years, this quiz can help you identify what your committee is doing right and where it could improve. 
 
Jun 25, 2019
Management lessons learned from lifting equipment prosecutions

Management lessons learned from lifting equipment prosecutions

Preventable incidents involving lift trucks continue to take a heavy toll on workers and employers in Ontario each year. The headlines say it all: workers suffer permanent injuries or death and employers face tens of thousands of dollars in fines. We asked WSPS Warehouse and Racking Specialist Chuck Leon what employers can learn about managing lift truck safety from four recent incidents. Here’s what he had to say.
Jun 25, 2019
What we can all do to keep young and new workers safe

What we can all do to keep young and new workers safe

While young workers are busy thinking about starting new summer jobs and others are rejoining the workforce, they may not realize that their “newness” to the world of work could be hazardous to their health. Research from the Institute for Work and Health (IWH) reveals that new workers in the first month on the job have more than three times the risk of a lost-time injury as workers with more than a year’s experience on the job.
Jun 25, 2019
7 workplace strategies for managing employee fatigue

7 workplace strategies for managing employee fatigue

Sleep-related fatigue has reached epidemic proportions in Canada, says Mike Harnett, President of Solaris Fatigue Management. “Three quarters of the population are not getting the minimum required amount of sleep. Employees are showing up for work cognitively or physically unable to do the job to the extent that you expect.” 
Jun 25, 2019
How Gordon Bay Marine keeps seasonal workers safe

How Gordon Bay Marine keeps seasonal workers safe

For cottagers and tourists, summer in Muskoka may bring to mind fun in the sun, but for Gordon Bay Marine on Lake Joseph, it’s their busiest season.  One of the largest and busiest boat dealerships in Canada, Gordon Bay Marine has earned a reputation for quality service and customer care over its 60 years in the business. It takes the same care with the health and safety of its employees — 60 full-time and 40 seasonal — who work in the dealership, marina and restaurant. 
Jun 25, 2019
Revealed: 13 psychological factors for workplace mental health

Revealed: 13 psychological factors for workplace mental health

According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), 39% of Ontario employees wouldn't tell their manager if they had a mental health issue - which probably goes some way in explaining why mental illness costs the Canadian economy $51 billion every year in lost productivity. As with any risk to your organization, the best defence is a good offence. Never has this been truer than in the case of workplace mental health.

May 27, 2019
Summer’s coming: 10 ways to prevent heat stress in retail kitchens

Summer’s coming: 10 ways to prevent heat stress in retail kitchens

A recent WSPS-supported pilot study of heat stress in retail kitchens found that peak temperatures at some sites exceeded threshold limit values (TLVs) and workers showed heat-related symptoms even at temperatures within recommended limits. Could this be possible in your restaurant or hotel kitchen? It could, especially during those inevitable summer heat waves.

May 23, 2019
Critical injuries: what to do in the first few hours

Critical injuries: what to do in the first few hours

It's happened. A worker has just sustained a critical injury. Your first priority is to get the injured worker immediate medical treatment, but what comes next? 
 
May 23, 2019
Why young workers’ mental health deserves our attention

Why young workers’ mental health deserves our attention

​Young workers aged 16-25 are four times more likely than the general population to experience anxiety and other mental health concerns, according to a 2017 study.* This may be because "young people have to deal with more stressors and less support than previous generations," explains WSPS Consultant Janet Carr. Their stress and anxiety or other mental health concerns may interfere with how well and how safely they do their job. 
May 23, 2019
PSR insights from Honda of Canada Manufacturing

PSR insights from Honda of Canada Manufacturing

Honda has long been recognized for producing safe, reliable vehicles, but it's also recognized for a meticulous approach to machine safety. At the Honda of Canada Manufacturing (HCM) facilities in Alliston, Ontario, where a new vehicle drives off the production line almost every minute, a comprehensive pre-start health and safety review (PSR) program helps keep production line associates safe. The program also reinforces the facilities’ health and safety culture by engaging stakeholders throughout the organization.

May 23, 2019
Fit for duty: how one company responded to legalized cannabis

Fit for duty: how one company responded to legalized cannabis

Before the federal government legalized the recreational use of cannabis in October 2018, Black & McDonald Limited was already taking a hard look at its drug and alcohol policy. Black & McDonald Limited is a large, Canadian multi-trade contractor. Over 3,000 employees work out of more than 20 offices in Canada alone. Most employees spend their days on client sites, often in safety-sensitive positions. 
May 23, 2019
Our definition of Health and Safety includes workplace mental health - does yours?

Our definition of Health and Safety includes workplace mental health - does yours?

What does it mean to be a mentally healthy workplace? Flexible working hours, on-site support staff or scheduled meditation breaks?

May 22, 2019
Building the Healthy Workplace

Building the Healthy Workplace

Mental health in the workplace may seem like another buzzword topic - but many employers ignore it at their peril.
May 17, 2019
Falls Awareness Week: 7 tips for planning a safety talk

Falls Awareness Week: 7 tips for planning a safety talk

Slips, trips and falls are top of mind right now with Falls Awareness Week coming up May 6-10. It’s part of a Ministry of Labour initiative that includes focused inspections running from April 15 until July 12.

Apr 25, 2019
WSPS’ PSR Summit Part 2: best practices from an expert panel

WSPS’ PSR Summit Part 2: best practices from an expert panel

How to leverage the full value of your Pre-Start Health and Safety Reviews (PSRs) was the goal of an expert panel session at WSPS’ recent PSR Summit.

Apr 25, 2019
Is your workplace culture fuelling a tech addiction?

Is your workplace culture fuelling a tech addiction?

Jenny is fast becoming a tech addict. She checks emails, texts, Facebook and Instagram at all hours of the day and night, seeking that hit of dopamine that technology delivers to hook us and keep us coming back for more. But the constant checking is having the opposite effect - she’s anxious, depressed, sleepless and feeling disconnected from family and friends.

Apr 25, 2019
Partners in Prevention: 5 can’t-miss trade show highlights

Partners in Prevention: 5 can’t-miss trade show highlights

Immerse yourself in all that’s new and innovative at WSPS’ Partners in Prevention 2019 Health & Safety Conference & Trade Show, taking place April 30 - May 1 in Mississauga.

Apr 25, 2019
Why we need to be more noise aware

Why we need to be more noise aware

April 24, 2019 was International Noise Awareness Day. What does that have to do with you? Possibly everything.

Apr 25, 2019
How a small business boosted health and safety with WSPS' free advisory service

How a small business boosted health and safety with WSPS' free advisory service

Gladys Stoneham, part owner of Pine Grove Point resort near Algonquin Park, was finding it “daunting” to keep up with changes to health and safety legal requirements for her small business, spending hours on the Internet trying to find information. With up to 12 part-time and full-time employees during the summer months, “I wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing anything,” says Gladys. “That was the fear - because it’s the welfare of our employees.”

Apr 17, 2019
PSRs Part 1: insights and advice from industry experts

PSRs Part 1: insights and advice from industry experts

Confused about when and how to conduct a Pre-Start Health and Safety Review (PSR) of new or modified equipment? You’re in good company. WSPS’ first ever PSR Summit, held last month, attracted a capacity crowd seeking expert advice and insights on these and other questions.

Mar 19, 2019
Onboarding insights from a prestigious hotel chain

Onboarding insights from a prestigious hotel chain

Caledon's Millcroft Inn, Niagara-on-the-Lake's The Prince of Wales, Pillar and Post and Queen's Landing hotels; these and other award-winning properties under the Vintage Hotels banner tantalize us with images of luxurious accommodations and fine dining. Gracious living at its best. Bringing this world of ease and comfort to life is an army of employees dedicated to delivering exceptional service, safely.

Mar 19, 2019
Partners in Prevention 2019: get inspired by real businesses

Partners in Prevention 2019: get inspired by real businesses

Implementing lasting solutions to core hazards, monitoring emerging issues, tracking new technology - these are all essential to doing your job well. Learn how business owners are discovering new ways to improve workplace safety and more in two intense days at WSPS' Partners in Prevention 2019 Health & Safety Conference & Trade Show, April 30-May 1 in Mississauga.

Mar 19, 2019
Get ahead of the MOL's upcoming slips, trips and falls initiative

Get ahead of the MOL's upcoming slips, trips and falls initiative

Injuries from slips, trips and falls are on the Ministry of Labour’s radar with an inspection initiative planned for April 15 - July 12, 2019. Start getting ready now by strategically controlling hazards and raising awareness among workers.

Mar 19, 2019
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.

Feb 27, 2019
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.

Feb 27, 2019
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.

Feb 27, 2019
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.

Feb 27, 2019
Falls from heights: upcoming initiative and insights from new MOL analysis

Falls from heights: upcoming initiative and insights from new MOL analysis

Slips, trips and falls will be the focus of an upcoming Ministry of Labour (MOL) provincial health and safety initiative, running April 15-July 12. To help businesses avoid common issues causing falls, the MOL has released a Fall from Heights Fatalities Analysis.

Feb 19, 2019
WSIB’s new rate-setting model: How it works and next steps

WSIB’s new rate-setting model: How it works and next steps

“A new era of enhanced transparency and clarity in premium rate setting begins for Ontario businesses on January 1, 2020,” says Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB). That's when a new premium rate-setting model takes effect.

Feb 19, 2019
JHSCs: an untapped mental health resource

JHSCs: an untapped mental health resource

“Pressure has been building on workplaces to provide physically as well as psychologically healthy and safe workplaces,” says WSPS Consultant Krista Schmid. “Many employers are talking about it and wondering what to do.”

Feb 19, 2019
Partners in Prevention: hear from industry experts on the latest trends

Partners in Prevention: hear from industry experts on the latest trends

Partners in Prevention Health & Safety Conference and Trade Show is the essential meeting place for Canada’s health and safety community, where you connect with peers, build new relationships, and discover new resources and solutions. This year’s conference theme “What’s Your Story?” celebrates you – the “safety superhero” who advocates for health and safety in your workplace.

Feb 19, 2019
Approach employee mental health concerns with confidence

Approach employee mental health concerns with confidence

An employee emails asking for a few minutes with you. You’ve noticed something's off, they’ve been distracted, their performance has declined and they’re just not the same person. How would you respond?

Feb 08, 2019
February PSR summit: insights, best practices and more

February PSR summit: insights, best practices and more

Learn how Pre-Start Health & Safety Reviews (PSR) can help your organization protect people and profits at the first Pre-Start Health and Safety Reviews Summit on February 26 in Mississauga.

Jan 18, 2019
Safety Group 2019: new options, extended deadline

Safety Group 2019: new options, extended deadline

You still have time to share in the benefits of WSPS' 2019 Safety Group, including improved health and safety performance and up to a 7% rebate on workers compensation premiums. WSPS has extended the deadline for joining its consistently successful Safety Group to March 31, 2019.

Jan 18, 2019
Certified JHSC members: are you due for refresher training?

Certified JHSC members: are you due for refresher training?

Time-sensitive reminder: joint health and safety committee (JHSC) members who were certified on or after March 1, 2016 are due for refresher training as soon as March 1, 2019.

Jan 18, 2019
Coca-Cola safety initiative boosts warehouse performance

Coca-Cola safety initiative boosts warehouse performance

In 2016, Coca-Cola Canada launched an initiative to assess and improve pedestrian safety at its largest manufacturing warehouse and distribution centre in Canada. At over a million square feet, the facility is a 24-hour operation with 1500 employees.

Jan 18, 2019
Machine safety blitz: 6 questions to test your readiness

Machine safety blitz: 6 questions to test your readiness

Ministry of Labour inspectors will be taking a close look at how well workplaces are protecting machine operators and maintenance staff during its upcoming machine guarding blitz, February 1 to March 29.

Jan 18, 2019
25 holiday health & safety tips for work and home

25 holiday health & safety tips for work and home

Holiday preparations and celebrations come hand in hand with hazards - fire, slips, trips and falls, winter blues, driving on ice and snow. Ensure your holiday season stays festive at work and at home by keeping health and safety top of mind. Here are 25 tips to help you, your employees and your family stay safe while enjoying the holidays.
Dec 17, 2018
An important letter from WSIB is coming your way

An important letter from WSIB is coming your way

Expect a letter any day now with your business’s classification under the WSIB’s new rate framework for insurance premiums.* Taking effect January 1, 2020, the new rate framework is the product of extensive consultations with employers and employer groups, and prevention system partners such as WSPS.
Dec 17, 2018
February PSR summit: bring your questions!

February PSR summit: bring your questions!

Pre-Start Health and Safety Reviews (PSRs) are a tremendous way to mitigate losses and support due diligence, when they are executed correctly. But PSRs and the legal obligations around them are sometimes misunderstood, misapplied or overlooked, says Sandy Ash, WSPS Territory Manager, GTA East. “There are always questions about what triggers a PSR, how exemptions work, how to choose an engineer, how to apply the findings, and more.” Now you can get clarity and find answers at WSPS’ first Pre-Start Health and Safety Review Summit on February 26, 2019.
Dec 17, 2018
How an inclusive workplace is good for business

How an inclusive workplace is good for business

“Diversity is a fact… inclusion is a choice,” says Michael Bach, founder and CEO of the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion. Now more than ever organizational leaders must think about creating a diverse and inclusive workplace.
Dec 17, 2018
New! Prep for 2019 with WSPS’ latest catalogue

New! Prep for 2019 with WSPS’ latest catalogue

Anticipate and plan your health and safety training and support needs for the new year with the help of WSPS’ just published 2019 catalogue. Available online, the catalogue provides essential information on key health and safety issues and obligations, and a comprehensive range of solutions, from e-courses and instructor-led training to consulting and conferences and events. It’s easy to use too.
Dec 17, 2018
Preventing MSDs in the world’s deepest clean science lab

Preventing MSDs in the world’s deepest clean science lab

WSPS Ergonomic Specialist Tanya Muller's work with SNOLAB, a world-class science laboratory specializing in neutrino and dark matter physics, required her to descend two kilometres underground in total darkness, walk another 1.5 kilometres through an underground tunnel just to reach the worksite, and then proceed through a comprehensive decontamination process.

Nov 19, 2018
WSPS Safety Group members earn $6.7M WSIB rebate

WSPS Safety Group members earn $6.7M WSIB rebate

Just-released results show that strong performance among the 318 firms that successfully completed the 2017 Safety Groups program earned them a collective premium rebate of $6,756,894. WSPS' current members are on track to achieve similar results, so now's the time to sign up for 2019.

Nov 19, 2018
Slips, trips and falls: 6 ways to combat winter hazards

Slips, trips and falls: 6 ways to combat winter hazards

Ice and snow are inevitable, but injuries to your workers and customers from slips, trips and falls are not. The key to keeping people safe from winter hazards is to be proactive with your prevention plan, says WSPS Consultant Jeff Pedlow.

This means "don't wait for the snow to fall before raising employee awareness about winter hazards" and "check in advance if your outside contractor will clear snow and ice in an emergency."

Nov 19, 2018
How “fun” earned Borger Group Canada’s top H&S award

How “fun” earned Borger Group Canada’s top H&S award

At a gala event on October 18, Bill Borger, President and CEO of the Borger Group of Companies, stood at a podium to accept - for the second year in a row - a Canada's Best Health + Safety Culture Award.

Canada's Best Health + Safety Culture Award, co-developed and sponsored by WSPS, was inspired by the CEO H+S Leadership Network, a group of forward thinking leaders who embrace their role as champions in the growth of sustainable businesses and communities.

Nov 19, 2018
WHMIS 2015 deadline

WHMIS 2015 deadline

The deadline for completing your workplace’s transition to WHMIS 2015 is just weeks away. By December 1, provincially regulated workplaces must be fully compliant with Canada’s new standard for classifying, labelling and communicating information about hazard products in the workplace. Federally regulated workplaces have until May 31, 2019.

Nov 19, 2018
Stopping workplace harassment in its tracks

Stopping workplace harassment in its tracks

Whether seemingly harmless or threatening in nature, harassment in the workplace can take root without warning and erode a company from the inside out, and no company is immune from the risk.

Oct 19, 2018
WSPS Safety Group: A Win-Win for The Sarjeant Co. Ltd.

WSPS Safety Group: A Win-Win for The Sarjeant Co. Ltd.

Samantha Romanick says she's riding high after her company received a perfect score on its Safety Group validation audit and a substantial rebate on its 2016 workers compensation premiums. Samantha is Health and Safety Coordinator for The Sarjeant Co. Ltd., an Ontario supplier of ready mix concrete and aggregates, and heating and air conditioning services.

Oct 19, 2018
Building a healthy workplace

Building a healthy workplace

Mental health in the workplace may seem like another buzzword topic, but many employers ignore it at their peril. "Fostering a psychologically healthy and safe workplace should be an organizational priority, not just because it's ethically the right thing to do, but because it's an investment well spent," says Danielle Stewart, a Workplace Mental Health Consultant at WSPS.

Oct 18, 2018
6 steps to safer lift truck operations

6 steps to safer lift truck operations

In the blink of an eye, we can become a statistic - a lift truck "jockey" who collides with a rack, resulting in a multiple rack collapse. Or maybe, it's a supervisor who's too busy to observe risks operators are taking. These are just two common situations that can lead to something going wrong unless we take appropriate steps to recognize the hazards and implement the proper controls.

Oct 18, 2018
New guideline simplifies MSD prevention

New guideline simplifies MSD prevention

A new online MSD prevention guideline for Ontario workplaces, launched October 1 in recognition of Global Ergonomics Month, makes reducing the risk of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) much easier for workplaces, says WSPS Ergonomics Specialist Don Patten.

Oct 18, 2018
Managing the impact of marijuana in the workplace

Managing the impact of marijuana in the workplace

Recreational marijuana is now legal. For many employers still struggling with how to accommodate employees who have been prescribed cannabis for medicinal purposes, this will create new challenges and questions. How do you define impairment and fitness for work? What types of tasks are safety sensitive? These are key concerns that leadership needs to manage before the legislation passes.

Oct 18, 2018
4 things employers need to know about marijuana

4 things employers need to know about marijuana

Make no mistake: recreational use of marijuana comes with significant risks for your workplace. This was the thrust of a recent presentation by Dr. Bruce Demers, Medical Director and Chief Medical Review Officer, CannAmm Occupational Testing Services. "It increases the risk of accidents and injuries, period," he said.

Oct 18, 2018
Recreational marijuana: Take these 4 steps to prepare your workplace

Recreational marijuana: Take these 4 steps to prepare your workplace

Impairment continues to be a challenge that employers across Ontario must manage. With the marijuana legislation that took effect on October 17th, employers are once again reminded of the importance of managing impairment in the workplace.

Oct 18, 2018
Legislation watch: 3 bills that may affect you

Legislation watch: 3 bills that may affect you

We're tracking the progress of new legislation to ensure you get the latest information before new rules are enacted. Three bills stand out.
Sep 11, 2018
Big box retail/warehouse blitz: Pedestrian safety

Big box retail/warehouse blitz: Pedestrian safety

Traffic management and pedestrian safety will be under scrutiny during the upcoming Big Box Retail and Warehouse Blitz, October 1 to November 23, 2018, warns WSPS Consultant Chuck Leon. "This is huge right now and Ministry of Labour inspectors have written orders for this." The attention is due to a consistently high number of incidents involving vehicles and powered mobile equipment.
Sep 11, 2018
Small Business Week: Try our free advisory service

Small Business Week: Try our free advisory service

If you're a small business, celebrate Small Business Week, October 14-20 by refreshing and invigorating your health and safety efforts. "Health and safety doesn't have to be complicated," says WSPS Account Manager Denise Lam. "Simple solutions can have a profound effect on the health and safety of your employees and the sustainability of your business."
Sep 11, 2018
How your H&S rep can help keep your business humming

How your H&S rep can help keep your business humming

Imagine your business running smoothly - no equipment failure and no injuries (or worse) - and being able to focus 100% on serving your customers. Investing in business interruption insurance is one way to cover yourself after incurring a loss, but by making a small investment in your health and safety representative (HSR) you can help prevent losses from happening at all.
Aug 15, 2018
NEW! Fines increased for ticket offences

NEW! Fines increased for ticket offences

Employers, supervisors and workers are facing new or increased fines on tickets issued by Ministry of Labour inspectors for nearly 300 health and safety infractions. These changes appear as amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations.
Aug 15, 2018
Stay on top of new laws with WSPS' legislation tracker

Stay on top of new laws with WSPS' legislation tracker

Complying with key changes to Ontario and federal workplace health and safety law just got easier. WSPS' new Occupational Health & Safety Legislation Tracker - an easy-to-use tool available at no cost to member firms - will keep you informed of legislative changes as they happen, what they mean for your firm, and how they affect your health and safety responsibilities.
Aug 15, 2018
WSPS Safety Connection: 27 sessions this fall

WSPS Safety Connection: 27 sessions this fall

WSPS' Safety Connection kicks off the fall learning season with 27 sessions across Ontario. These fast-paced 2-hour sessions feature a presentation by a WSPS safety expert or an external speaker, followed by a Q&A and networking time - an ideal opportunity to share experiences and best practices, all at no cost.
Aug 15, 2018
Ontario's top 10 safety violations

Ontario's top 10 safety violations

Take a look at your company's health and safety initiatives through the eyes of a Ministry of Labour inspector. A list of the top 10 violations in 2017 compiled by the ministry* reveals the compliance shortcomings of firms in Ontario as well as ministry priorities.

Jul 09, 2018
8 ways to help build your own workplace culture

8 ways to help build your own workplace culture

A healthy workplace culture makes all the difference between dreading the day ahead and striding into it with anticipation and enthusiasm.

Jul 09, 2018
How to prevent heat stress in farming and landscaping

How to prevent heat stress in farming and landscaping

We're approaching the hottest, most humid part of the summer, putting your workers at ongoing risk for heat stress and severe heat-related illnesses.

Jul 09, 2018
Small business fined $60,000 after ignoring orders

Small business fined $60,000 after ignoring orders

A small business in the Ottawa area that ignored Ministry of Labour orders - despite repeat visits by an inspector who provided compliance solutions - has been fined $60,000 and is no longer in operation.

Jul 09, 2018
9 steps to help you prevent warehouse fires

9 steps to help you prevent warehouse fires

A 2009 fire in an Ontario ice cream manufacturer's facility set off alarm bells for warehouses and distribution centres after a spark from a welding torch ignited insulation. All 150 employees escaped but the building and product inventory were destroyed and nearby homes evacuated. At considerable cost, the company had to rebuild their business from the ground up.

Jun 08, 2018
Boost performance by managing brain-centred hazards

Boost performance by managing brain-centred hazards

Risk assessments typically look for physical and technological hazards that may lead to personal injuries and/or incidents. But what if potential hazards are also are housed in the human brain? Such unrecognized brain-centred hazards could explain why so many incidents are attributed to "human error."

Jun 08, 2018
4 ways to support new and young workers

4 ways to support new and young workers

You've already provided orientation and hazard-specific training for the new and young workers you've hired for the busy summer months (see Summer Safety for New and Young Workers). They've signed off on the training and are good to go. You may think you’ve done your part, however that isn’t necessarily the case.
Jun 08, 2018
5 key summer hazards

5 key summer hazards

While heat-related hazards deserve particular attention during the summer months (see 5 Ways to Prevent Heat Stress), many other hazards may be present during outdoor work. For example, biological hazards such as insects and plants, or musculoskeletal disorders from equipment use are also prevalent. Here are five hazards that could affect your workers during the summer months and how you can manage them.
Jun 08, 2018
3 safety tips for small businesses

3 safety tips for small businesses

For many small businesses there's no such thing as the lazy, hazy days of summer. This time of year is as busy as or busier than any other, which makes staying on top of safety tricky to manage. It can be hard to stay on top of health and safety, especially if you're busy running a small business. Save yourself time and effort with WSPS' Small Business Centre.

May 14, 2018
10 ways to keep MSDs at bay

10 ways to keep MSDs at bay

Varying movement is an essential strategy for preventing musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) on the job. 
"It gets the blood flowing and the muscles working and boosts physical, cognitive, and emotional well-being," says WSPS Ergonomics Specialist Don Patten. 
May 14, 2018
How to assess workplace mental health readiness

How to assess workplace mental health readiness

Is your workplace mental health program doing what it needs to do? Have you ever assessed its effectiveness? With just a few quick clicks, your health and safety or human resources coordinator can answer five online questions that can help assess the status of your workplace mental health program.
May 14, 2018
Summer safety for new and young workers

Summer safety for new and young workers

The summer season is almost here, which means Ontario's workplaces will soon be welcoming new and young workers for the busy summer months. "Before it gets too busy, take the time to review your safety orientation and training programs," suggests Rodola Sibuma, Key Account Manager with WSPS. 
May 14, 2018
5 ways to prevent heat stress

5 ways to prevent heat stress

Working in the intense heat of the summer sun can put workers at risk of heat stress, but heat stress can also hit you in places you wouldn't expect. "Any job that causes your body temperature to rise has the potential to cause heat stress," says WSPS Occupational Hygiene Consultant Michael Puccini. "Even jobs carried out in air-conditioned environments." There are many ways to keep workers safe from heat stress. It's important to train workers to recognize the signs and symptoms of heat stress in themselves and other workers, and to take action.
May 14, 2018
Noise induced hearing loss is preventable

Noise induced hearing loss is preventable

Hear practical and potentially life-changing tips on preventing noise-related hearing loss in two new webinars, April 25 and May 28, 2018. Led by professionals, these free one-hour webinars will help you understand the big-picture issues associated with noise and outline action steps for controlling noise in your workplace.

Apr 19, 2018
New and young worker blitz starts May 1

New and young worker blitz starts May 1

Are you doing enough to protect the most vulnerable workers in your workplace from injury? The Ministry of Labour's (MOL) new and young worker inspection blitz, May 1 to August 31, is a signal to Ontario’s workplaces to review and strengthen workplace procedures related to this group. Doing so could help you prevent injuries and avoid penalties from the MOL.
Apr 19, 2018
Explore virtual reality and more at PIP2018

Explore virtual reality and more at PIP2018

Picture this: With feet firmly planted on the exhibit floor of the 2018 Partners in Prevention Health and Safety Conference and Trade Show, you suddenly find yourself underwater among shipwrecks and giant fish, walking with dinosaurs in prehistoric forests, or washing windows on a 10-storey building. These are just some of the virtual reality scenarios - new this year - you can experience at the conference, May 1-2 in Mississauga, Ontario. Register now. It's just days away.
Apr 19, 2018
7 ways to transform your mental health

7 ways to transform your mental health

We may expect employers to create a healthy working environment, but this is often a daunting task with many complex layers. "It's how we communicate, how we treat each other, and how mindful we are about our actions and their effect on the people around us," says Deborah Connors, a leading Canadian workplace coach, speaker, and author.
Apr 19, 2018
5 ways to avoid fines under Bill 177

5 ways to avoid fines under Bill 177

Health and safety violators could face substantially higher fines under the latest amendments to Ontario's Occupational Health and Safety Act. These amendments, introduced in Bill 177, The Stronger, Fairer Ontario Act, are officially in effect.
Apr 19, 2018
When Warehouses and Robotics Meet

When Warehouses and Robotics Meet

With just a few clicks, online shopping can gratify almost all our consumer desires. It's effortless, at least for us. For the warehouses and distribution centres processing our purchases, it's a constant race against time. The solution: mobile robotic systems that promise to optimize picking, sorting and storing times. But with innovation comes risk.
Mar 20, 2018
Stay on top of the new chronic stress legislation

Stay on top of the new chronic stress legislation

A new Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) policy compensating employees for work-related chronic mental stress sends a clear signal that mental injuries are just as real - and compensable - as physical injuries. Chronic mental stress is defined as a diagnosed mental disorder predominantly caused by a substantial work-related stressor or series of stressors. Excluded from the definition is chronic mental stress caused by employer decisions related to the worker's employment, such as changing the work to be performed, disciplining the worker, or terminating employment.
Mar 20, 2018
Navigate PIP2018 with ease

Navigate PIP2018 with ease

New for Partners in Prevention 2018 we've introduced session streams to help you make the most of your conference experience. Designed with attendees in mind, you'll now be able to schedule your time at conference based on courses and sessions that directly apply to your expertise. Want to learn about legislation directly applying to your field, or the latest in technology? Our new session streaming tool's got you covered.
Mar 20, 2018
Spring safety: 6 tips for staying safe

Spring safety: 6 tips for staying safe

At long last, it's spring! Time to renew, relax and rejuvenate in the warmth and sunshine, but don’t let that excitement get the best of you as outdoor hazards don't disappear with the change of season.
"We're in the middle of a transition from one season to the next," says WSPS Consultant Kristin Hoffman. "We are still getting some winter hazards, starting to see some summer hazards, while managing some unique spring hazards. It's a unique time of the year."
Mar 20, 2018
5 things you need to know for your marijuana policy

5 things you need to know for your marijuana policy

Marijuana legalization is slated to take effect this summer. This impending legislation leaves a lot of workplaces vulnerable, if they don't yet have policies in place. "If you're an employer, it's reasonable to be worried," says Dan Demers, Senior Manager, Strategic Business Development, for CannAmm Occupational Testing Services. "There are a lot of unknowns and a lot at stake."
Mar 20, 2018
5 ways RSI Day can help you prevent MSDs

5 ways RSI Day can help you prevent MSDs

February 28 is Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) Awareness Day, an annual international event to raise awareness of RSIs. Why all the attention? These injuries represent one in three lost-time injury claims in Ontario. For employers, this translates in to 345,000 days lost and $57 million in WSIB costs every year.*

Feb 26, 2018
Why you can't miss Partners in Prevention 2018

Why you can't miss Partners in Prevention 2018

Partners in Prevention 2018 Health & Safety Conference & Trade Show is the premiere meeting place for health and safety professionals to explore new opportunities, share best practices, exchange ideas, and network with leading industry experts who bring the latest information on market trends and innovations. The keynote speakers are booked, registration has opened, and the preliminary guide is ready to download!

Feb 26, 2018
Building a safety culture in Agriculture

Building a safety culture in Agriculture

Building a safety culture in farming and landscaping operations can be tricky. It's especially challenging since workers are often seasonal, spread out or working alone. These reasons make the agriculture sector especially vulnerable to health and safety hazards and issues.

Feb 26, 2018
Bill 148 - 6 changes that could affect your workplace

Bill 148 - 6 changes that could affect your workplace

Public response to Ontario’s Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, has primarily focused on increases to the minimum wage. However, the Bill aims to help workplaces support their workers through life’s challenges. Look further and you’ll find changes that aim to help promotes the mental health and well-being of employees dealing with difficult circumstances.

Feb 21, 2018
MOL blitz: machine guarding and electrical hazards

MOL blitz: machine guarding and electrical hazards

Managing machine guarding and electrical hazards can be tricky, and keeping up with related legislation can be daunting. Navigating through the chaos of a busy work environment poses many challenges, creating a chronic problem for some workplaces.
Jan 19, 2018
Learn new approaches to H&S in your community

Learn new approaches to H&S in your community

Explore emerging issues, connect with peers, and exchange best practices at the new WSPS Safety Connection, a stimulating and energizing health and safety forum taking place in 21 Ontario communities.
Jan 19, 2018
Improve performance in your warehouse

Improve performance in your warehouse

Worried about how legalized marijuana use may impact your facility, and what to do about it? Get insights and direction at the WSPS 2018 Warehouse Safety Conference presented in partnership with IHSA on February 21, 2018. The luncheon keynote by Dan Demers, Senior Manager, Strategic Business Development, CannAmm, sheds light on key concerns: recreational use of marijuana and workplace performance, legalities around safety-sensitive positions, and developing and implementing policies and procedures to deal with this issue.
Jan 19, 2018
How gender can impact your MSD risk

How gender can impact your MSD risk

Do you consider gender differences when designing your workplace? It's important to recognize and understand that there are a range of needs in your place of work.
Jan 19, 2018
Fostering a safe workplace post-Harvey Weinstein

Fostering a safe workplace post-Harvey Weinstein

Last fall, film producer Harvey Weinstein became a prime example of what workplace sexual harassment could look like, after a New York Times exposé alleged that for more than 30 years he had propositioned and bullied countless victims. The exposé fueled many more revelations of sexual harassment reaching far beyond the entertainment industry, confirming suspicions that the behaviour is more widespread than many thought.
Jan 19, 2018
Road safety: winter edition

Road safety: winter edition

WSPS Consultant Dave Santi knows a thing or two about the perils of winter driving. He's been travelling on snow and ice-laden highways delivering training to firms in and around Sudbury for the past 30 years. Part of that training involves road safety.
Dec 06, 2017
How SGAP helps Cavalier Tool & MFG

How SGAP helps Cavalier Tool & MFG

Stay ahead of the curve is how Cavalier Tool & Manufacturing sums up its commitment to continuous improvement in health and safety. The ISO 9001:2008 registered company, located in Windsor, Ontario, applies continuous improvement principles to its employee training, equipment, processes, product mix, and more. So when Human Resources Manager Jena Reid approached Cavalier's senior leadership team last year about joining WSPS' Safety Group Advantage Program (SGAP), they supported her suggestion without reservation. "Health and safety is important to the company," says Jena. "It has to be. We're a manufacturing facility."
 
Dec 06, 2017
Tackling the winter blues

Tackling the winter blues

It's not officially winter, but many of us may already be experiencing the blues. Less daylight and colder temperatures make many people feel cranky, tired and disinterested. Some may suffer a more debilitating form of the blues, known as seasonal affective disorder or SAD.
Dec 06, 2017
10 safety tips for the busy holiday season

10 safety tips for the busy holiday season

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can have an unbelievable impact on the health and safety of workers in the retail and hospitality sector.
Dec 06, 2017
Bill 70: your questions answered here

Bill 70: your questions answered here

The Ministry of Labour is now wrapping up a public consultation process on a new initiative that would encourage workplaces to apply a management system approach to health and safety. The initiative will also recognize workplaces that achieve success. WSPS eNews asked Stephen Oakley, WSPS' Director, Management Systems, what's involved and what's in it for employers.
Dec 06, 2017
Reduce injuries with leading indicators

Reduce injuries with leading indicators

Your injury frequency, severity rates and the impact on your workplace tell you that your health and safety program needs a boost. But do you know where to focus your efforts for maximum impact? Leading indicators will help you identify gaps and get your health and safety program where you want it to be.
Nov 15, 2017
Noise apps: what you need to know

Noise apps: what you need to know

Measuring noise levels with an app on your smartphone or tablet: what could be simpler? But are the measurements accurate? Could these apps be too good to be true? WSPS eNews asked WSPS Occupational Hygiene Specialist Warren Clements for his perspective on these popular new applications.
Nov 15, 2017
Winter's coming: 12 tips for staying safe

Winter's coming: 12 tips for staying safe

WSPS Consultant Kristin Onorato lives in Southwestern Ontario. While it’s not the coldest part of the province, it is home to paralyzing snowfalls that can dump upwards of 30 centimetres in hours. Kristin has had plenty of experience personally and professionally in preparing for winter, and offers 12 tips to keep you safe at home and at work.
Nov 15, 2017
How to protect workers from occupational cancers

How to protect workers from occupational cancers

A new study quantifying the number of cancers resulting from workplace chemical exposure in Ontario is a wake-up call for employers across all industries. "We now have a picture of how big the problem of workplace cancer is in Ontario and it's clear there's work to be done," says WSPS Occupational Hygiene Consultant Craig Fairclough.
Nov 15, 2017
Safety Group members earn $7.4 million in rebates!

Safety Group members earn $7.4 million in rebates!

Slashing their lost time injury frequency rate by 9.38% and their injury severity rate by 10.23% has earned 350 members of WSPS’ 2016 Safety Group a $7,400,000 rebate in WSIB premiums.
Nov 15, 2017
Incident investigation: the ultimate due diligence

Incident investigation: the ultimate due diligence

"A robust incident reporting and investigation process supported by a culture committed to continual improvement is the ultimate due diligence," says WSPS' Andrew Harkness. It's a cornerstone of injury and loss prevention.
Oct 12, 2017
WSPS regional events: November preview

WSPS regional events: November preview

Businesses in the Golden Horseshoe and Northern Ontario regions can easily find relevant and practical solutions to improve safety and productivity this November, as WSPS continues its series of regional conferences with events in Niagara Falls (November 16) and Thunder Bay (November 7-8).
Oct 12, 2017
Prepare now for marijuana in the workplace

Prepare now for marijuana in the workplace

Is your workplace ready for the changes that medical marijuana and the soon-to-be-legal use of recreational marijuana could bring? Few are, says Dan Demers, Senior Manager, Strategic Business Development, for CannAmm Occupational Testing Services.
Oct 12, 2017
New tool helps employees move more

New tool helps employees move more

It's Global Ergonomics Month, the perfect time to take action against sedentary lifestyles that could be making your employees sick and costing you money. And WSPS can help you do it.
Oct 12, 2017
Boost safety with WSPS’ Safety Group

Boost safety with WSPS’ Safety Group

After years of respectable health and safety performance, The Original Cakerie's 300+ employees in London, Ontario went on to achieve an astonishing four-year run with no lost-time injuries. The secret to this success? WSPS' Safety Group helped the company benchmark where it needed to be, and then achieve and maintain the desired level of performance, says Brian Gallacher, Director of Employee Experience & Corporate Health and Safety.
Oct 12, 2017
Supervisors pivotal to business success

Supervisors pivotal to business success

Did you know that business success can often be predicted? The first indicator is employee engagement. To perform, people in your organization need to be engaged, focused, at their post, able to handle complexities, plan, make decisions, build relationships - and for that they need to be safe and healthy, both physically and mentally.
Sep 15, 2017
5 safety best practices for small firms

5 safety best practices for small firms

Kirsi Henry knows that time is a precious resource for a small business owner, so as a WSPS consultant she cuts to the chase: "Pay particular attention to your new and young workers. It's vital for them and for you: these workers have a higher risk of injury and are most likely to be injured within the first month on the job."
Sep 13, 2017
WSPS regional events: October preview

WSPS regional events: October preview

Explore solutions to core and emerging health and safety challenges close to home by attending one of five WSPS regional events organized by local WSPS staff and industry experts.
Sep 13, 2017
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
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
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
#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
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
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. According to a recently published real estate study, they’re two of Canada's top 16 investment prospects.

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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 "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 #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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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