What's New

Summer Safety Series: Working Outdoors

A lot of work people do in the summer involves working outdoors. However, the sun is quite strong during summer days and if you’re not careful it can be as deadly at is nice.

picture1_workingoutsideIf you find yourself working outside in the humid weather that this summer is bringing it's a good idea to follow some of these steps:

  • Try to limit the amount of time you work outdoors in the sun from 11 am to 4 pm.
  • Seek shade created by buildings, trees, or canopies as much as possible, especially during lunch and coffee breaks.
  • Apply an SPF 30 or higher, broad spectrum sunscreen to all exposed areas of skin before you go outside. This type of sunscreen protects against UVA and UVB rays.
  • Reapply the sunscreen at midday or more often if you are perspiring heavily. Apply a broad spectrum, SPF 30 lip balm.

A good question is to ask yourself this season is, do you need more frequent breaks while working outside? Generally speaking, the hot weather’s effect on an individual cannot be readily managed using just engineering controls. In these circumstances some of the most effective ways of managing hot environments is by introducing some simple administrative controls, including:

  • Rescheduling work to cooler times of the day
  • Providing more frequent rest breaks and introducing shade to rest areas
  • Introducing shade in areas where individuals are working
  • Encouraging the removal of personal protective equipment when resting to help facilitate heat loss
  • Educating workers about recognizing the early symptoms of heat stress

The Ministry of Labor advises that as an employer it is crucial that you provide cool drinking water near workers and remind them to drink a cup about every 20 minutes, or more frequently, to stay hydrated. You should always provide enough cool drinking water to satisfy all of your employees at your outdoor operation.

Proper clothing is also important when protecting yourself from the sun. In general, while working outdoors it is recommended that you wear clothing that covers as much of the body as possible. Fabrics which do not let light through work best. Make sure clothing is loose and comfortable. It is also recommended that while outside you should wear a wide-brimmed hat (more than 8 centimeters or 3 inches) and attach a back flap to a construction helmet to cover the back of the neck. Also have a visor to cover the front of your face.

Being outside in the summertime can be fun, but it’s also dangerous if you’re not careful. Follow these steps and it should be smooth sailing. Stay cool folks!

More Information:





A Day Like No Other: National Day of Mourning

Every year on April 28 we pay our respects to, and remember, the thousands of workers who have been killed, injured or suffered illness as a result of work-related incidents.

We also honour the many families and friends who have been deeply affected by these tragedies. It is a day we renew our commitment to the promotion of healthy and safe workplaces and the prevention of future fatalities.

Every worker has the right to return home safe and sound at the end of each work day.

By working together – with employers, workers and our health and safety partners – we can prevent worker injuries and deaths before they occur. Take a moment today to remember all those who lost their lives in workplace tragedies.

Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy: Striking a Balance between Human Rights and a Safe Workplace

An eyedropper drops liquid into test tubesThe Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has released an updated policy on drug and alcohol testing, including a list of 11 key policy features. The policy aims to safeguard equal rights and opportunities for every person without discrimination and respect employers’ goal of having a safe work place. In light of the predicted move to legalize the recreational personal use of marijuana by the Canadian federal government next year, the subject of worker impairment and workplace safety is timely. Organizations may find these 11 features helpful when developing their own drug and alcohol testing policy.

In its updated policy on drug and alcohol testing, the OHRC states that it is a legitimate goal for employers to have a safe workplace. They acknowledge that safety at work can be negatively affected by many factors, including fatigue, stress, distractions and hazards in the workplace and that drug and alcohol testing is one method employers sometimes use to address safety concerns arising from drug and alcohol use.

The policy also expresses that drug and alcohol testing has particular human rights implications for people with addictions. Under the Ontario Human Rights Code (Code), addictions to drugs or alcohol are considered “disabilities” and the Code prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities and perceived disabilities in employment, services, housing and other social areas.

For this reason, drug and alcohol testing policies may be discriminatory based on addictions or perceived addictions. They raise human rights concerns where a positive test leads to negative consequences for a person based on an addiction or perceived addiction, such as automatic discipline or inflexible terms and conditions on a person’s job.

Impairment over use

According to the updated policy, the primary reason for conducting drug and alcohol testing should be to measure impairment, as opposed to deterring drug or alcohol use. Drug and alcohol testing may be justifiable if an employer can show that testing provisions are legitimate requirements of the job. One example situation could be if an employee is in a safety-sensitive position and after a significant accident or “near-miss”, and only then as part of a larger assessment of drug and alcohol addiction. By testing to measure impairment, especially in jobs that are safety-sensitive, an appropriate balance can be struck between human rights and safety requirements, for both employees and the public.

The policy goes on to propose that following a positive test, employers should offer a process of individualized assessment of drug or alcohol addiction and must accommodate employees with addictions to the point of undue hardship. If employers or drug and alcohol testing policies treat recreational (or casual) users as if they are people with addictions and impose consequences on this basis, they may be regarded as discriminatory based on “perceived disability.”

The OHRC lists the following as key policy features of a drug and alcohol testing policy that is respectful of human rights and may be justifiable under the Ontario Human Rights Code:

  • Is based on a rational connection between the purpose of testing (minimizing the risk of impairment to ensure safety) and job performance
  • Shows that testing is necessary to achieve workplace safety
  • Is put in place after alternative, less intrusive methods for detecting impairment and increasing workplace safety have been explored
  • Is used only in limited circumstances, such as for­cause, post­incident or post­reinstatement situations
  • Does not apply automatic consequences following positive tests
  • Does not conflate substance use with substance addiction
  • Is used as part of a larger assessment of drug or alcohol addiction (for example, employee assistance programs, drug education and awareness programs and a broader medical assessment by a professional with expertise in substance use disorders or physician that provides a process for inquiring into possible disability)
  • Provides individualized accommodation for people with addictions who test positive, to the point of undue hardship
  • Uses testing methods that are highly accurate, able to measure current impairment, are minimally intrusive and provide rapid results
  • Uses reputable procedures for analysis, and
  • Ensures confidentiality of medical information and the dignity of the person throughout the process.

The updated Policy on Drug and Alcohol Testing is available as an accessible PDF from the Ontario Human Rights Commission website.


Originally posted by CCOHS November 2016; resources Levitt-Safety's own. 

Inspect to Correct: Effective Workplace Inspections

Hazards can exist under desks, on the plant floor, in the air and pretty much any place people work. Inspecting the workplace regularly for hazards is an essential part of a health and safety program. Inspections help to prevent injuries and illnesses by identifying and eliminating actual and potential hazards.

There's more to a workplace inspection than just looking around. It involves listening to people's concerns, fully understanding jobs and tasks, determining the underlying causes of hazards, monitoring controls, and recommending corrective action. Regular, thorough, workplace inspections by a trained inspection team can help keep workers healthy and safe.

What the inspection should examine

An inspection must examine who, what, where, when and how, and include a careful look at all workplace elements - the environment, the equipment and the process. Particular attention should be given to equipment and items most likely to develop unsafe or unhealthy conditions because of stress, wear, impact, vibration, heat, corrosion, chemical reaction or misuse.

Workplace inspectors should look for biological (e.g. viruses and mould), chemical (e.g. cleaners, adhesives, paints), ergonomic (e.g. repetitive and forceful movements, and computer workstations), safety (e.g. inadequate machine guards), and physical hazards (e.g. noise, heat, and cold).

Information needed for the inspection report

The information needed to complete the inspection report is very detailed. Inspectors will need a diagram of the work area, a complete inventory of equipment and chemicals used, as well as checklists to help clarify inspection responsibilities and provide a record of inspection activities.

Conducting the inspection

Every workplace should have a schedule detailing when inspections will take place and in which areas, who conducts the inspections, and how detailed the inspections will be. The frequency of planned formal inspections may be set in your legislation. High hazard or high risk areas should receive extra attention.

While conducting inspections inspectors must wear personal protective equipment (PPE) where required, and should follow these basic principles:

  • DRAW attention to the presence of any immediate danger--other items can await the final report.
  • SHUT DOWN AND "LOCK OUT" any hazardous items that cannot be brought to a safe operating standard until repaired.
  • LOOK up, down, around and inside. Be methodical and thorough. Do not spoil the inspection with a "once-over-lightly" approach.
  • DESCRIBE clearly each hazard and its exact location in your rough notes. Allow "on-the-spot" recording of all findings before they are forgotten.
  • ASK questions, but do not unnecessarily disrupt work activities.
  • CONSIDER the static (stop position) and dynamic (in motion) conditions of the item you are inspecting. If a machine is shut down, consider postponing the inspection until it is functioning again.
  • DISCUSS as a group, "Can any problem, hazard or accident generate from this situation when looking at the equipment, the process or the environment?" Determine what corrections or controls are appropriate.
  • PHOTOGRAPH a particular situation if you are unable to clearly describe or sketch it.
  • DO NOT OPERATE equipment. Ask the operator for a demonstration. If the operator of any piece of equipment does not know what dangers may be present, this is cause for concern. Never ignore any item because you do not have knowledge to make an accurate judgement of safety.
  • DO NOT TRY to detect all hazards simply by relying on your senses or by looking at them during the inspection. You may have to monitor equipment to measure the levels of exposure to chemicals, noise, radiation or biological agents.

What’s in the final inspection report

To start, all unfinished items from the previous report should be carried over to the new report for follow up. The new report should specify the exact location of each hazard, a detailed description of the problem, the recommended corrective action, and a definite date for correction. A priority level (e.g. major, serious, minor) should be assigned to each hazard to indicate the urgency of the corrective action required.

Follow-up and monitoring

Once an inspection is completed, it’s not over. The health and safety committee should review the reports to recommend corrective action where needed and then review the progress of the recommendations. This will help in identifying trends to maintain an effective health and safety program.



Originally posted by CCOHS; resources Levitt-Safety's own. 

NFPA 1981 and 1982 Update

A Message from Scott Safety:

As the leading manufacturer of SCBA in the North American fire services market, Scott Safety strives to keep our valued customers informed of upcoming regulatory standard changes.  There are two such standards quickly nearing completion that will affect self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA):

NFPA 1981Standard on Open-Circuit Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus for Emergency Services

NFPA 1982 Standard on Personal Alert Safety Systems (PASS)

The information below provides a current snapshot of the schedule and timeline for implementation of the standards:

Current Schedule

  • The standards will be marked as 2018 edition
  • The 2018 revision cycle is confirmed for fall 2017
  • The issuance date is tentatively scheduled for November 2017
  • The effective date is tentatively scheduled for December 2017
  • The tentative last ship date for 2013 edition SCBA would be 12 months from the issuance date

There are significant areas of focus that the standards committee has reviewed as part of the development process, some of which may have an impact on SCBA manufacturers as it relates to the design and operation of the SCBA.

Summary of Proposed Changes 

NFPA 1981:

  • Second Stage Regular Retention & Removal
    • Incorporate a strength of interface test between the facepiece and second stage regulator to ensure that the second stage regulator will not inadvertently pull out of the facepiece lens
    • If the SCBA incorporates a removable regulator, two distinct actions for disconnection shall be required prior to removal of the regulator (i.e. pull latch and rotate regulator)
  • *Pneumatic Data Logging
    • Incorporate data logging of air pressure at prescribed time intervals
    • Incorporate data logging of pressure milestones (i.e. 100%, 75%, 50%, 33%)
    • Incorporate data logging of breathing rate at prescribed time intervals
  • Universal EBSS Fitting
    • Incorporate a standardized EBSS fitting that would be universal between SCBA manufacturers

*There would not be a requirement to display this information on the SCBA

NFPA 1982:

  • New Universal PASS Tone
    • Incorporate a new universal PASS tone to improve audible detection by the human ear
      • In December 2016, a Tentative Interim Amendment (TIA) was issued requiring all manufacturers of PASS devices to change the alarm tone as required in the NFPA 1982, 2013 Edition standard for PASS devices manufactured on December 21, 2016
      • The new universal PASS alarm tone will be incorporated into the NFPA 1982, 2018 edition standard
    • Transmitting RF PASS
      • Incorporate two new tests to the RF PASS section to improve reliability
>>View a presentation on the NFPA 1981 and NFPA 1982 updates 

A second draft meeting was held during the week of December 6-8 for NFPA 1982, followed by a second draft meeting for NFPA 1981 during the week of January 17-18.  During these meetings, all previously submitted public comments were reviewed and a draft report for each standard edition will be posted for public viewing later this summer, estimated to be August 2017.

NOTE: All Technical Committee meetings are open to the public.  For more information on committee activities and other information related to a particular standard, please visit the “doc info” pages at www.nfpa.org/abouthtecodes, and select the appropriate standard from the list of NFPA codes and standards.

As the Second Draft Report is posted and we begin to move closer to the issuance date for the final 2018 edition of the NFPA 1981 and NFPA 1982 standards, we will keep you informed.

Harassment and Violence In The Workplace: See It For What It Is

It’s Sunday night and Maia is dreading her Monday morning and a supervisor who makes a habit of intimidating and humiliating her in front of her coworkers. This type of harassment plays out for many workers and is an issue that often goes unreported. The harm caused by workplace harassment and violence can affect and involve employees, clients, customers and visitors. Everyone is entitled to protection while on the job.

When workplace harassment and violence is not defined it can go unnoticed and unreported. In some cases it is not immediately obvious to the victim or to coworkers who don’t recognize the signs and can’t see the harm that it is causing. Recognizing and reporting workplace harassment and violence is a step towards prevention.

Workplace violence

Mature manager shouting at his office workerWhen we hear about workplace violence there is a tendency to think about physical violence such as hitting, shoving, kicking and threatening behaviour such as shaking fists and breaking or throwing objects. It can also be in the form of arguments, property damage, vandalism, theft, psychological trauma, anger-related incidents, rape, arson and murder. However violence also includes less obvious, but equally destructive, behaviours such as verbal or written threats, rumours, pranks and abuse such as swearing, insults or condescending language intended to cause harm.

According to the Canadian Initiative on Workplace Violence, 1 in 5 violent incidents (including physical assault, sexual assault and robbery) occur in the workplace. Workplace violence is not limited to the incidents that occur within a traditional workplace. It can happen offsite at work functions such as conferences, training, tradeshows, social events, in clients’ homes or away from work (but resulting from work such as a threatening phone call at home from a client).

Workplace harassment

Harassment is a form of discrimination. It involves any unwanted physical or verbal behaviour that offends or humiliates someone. Generally, harassment is a behaviour that persists over time but serious one-time incidents can also sometimes be considered harassment.

Harassment occurs when someone makes unwelcome remarks or jokes based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability, or pardoned conviction.

These repeated and persistent actions towards an individual can torment, undermine, frustrate or provoke a reaction from that person. It is a behaviour that with persistence, pressures, frightens, intimidates or incapacitates another person.  Individually, these behaviours may seem harmless; however it is the combined effect and repetitive characteristic of the behaviours that produce harmful effects. A 2014 Queen's University poll found that 23% of Canadians have experienced workplace harassment.

Sexual harassment

Sexual harassment is any conduct, comment, gesture or contact of a sexual nature likely to cause offence or humiliation or that might, on reasonable grounds, be perceived as placing a condition of a sexual nature on employment or any opportunity for training or promotion.

A common occurrence not widely reported

Results from a 2014 Angus Reid survey on sexual harassment in Canada revealed that 3 in 10 Canadians said that they had been sexually harassed at work, but that very few reported this to their employers. The single biggest reason for not reporting was that they “preferred to deal with it on their own”. Other reasons for not reporting included embarrassment, not sure it was harassment, fear it would hurt their career, and the feeling that the issue was too minor.

Three-quarters of those Canadians surveyed said that the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace is an important issue and should get more attention. The same number also believed that it is widespread or at least a common occurrence.

Workplaces at risk

The type of work you do, where you work and the kind of interactions you have can put you at increased risk for violence and harassment. Some examples of high risk work include:

  • working with the public
  • handling money, valuables or prescription drugs
  • carrying out inspection or enforcement duties
  • providing healthcare
  • working with unstable or volatile persons
  • working where alcohol is served
  • working alone or in small numbers, in community-based settings, in taxis or buses
  • working during intense organizational change such as during a strike or downsizing

You are at high risk from workplace violence if you are a healthcare worker, correctional officer, social services employee, teacher, municipal housing inspector, public works employee or retail employee.


The human and financial costs of workplace harassment and violence are great.

First and foremost, employees experiencing harassment and violence can be affected physically and psychologically. Everyone reacts to these incidents in their own unique way, but common responses can range from low morale and productivity at work, changes in eating and sleeping patterns, denial, panic and anxiety, depression, fear, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and thoughts of suicide.

Organizations are also impacted. Decreased productivity, low morale, increased absenteeism and healthcare costs, and potential legal expenses can impact organizations that don’t take steps to prevent harassment and violence.

Employer responsibility

It is the legal duty of an employer to protect the mental and physical health of employees, and this includes protection from harassment and violence. Many provincial occupational health and safety acts now include harm to psychological well-being in the definition of harassment. Managers must not tolerate any violent behaviour including aggression, harassment or threats of violence. Violent or aggressive behaviours can hurt the mental health of everyone in the organization and create a psychologically unsafe work environment where employees are fearful and anxious.

Commitment from management is one of the most important parts of any workplace violence prevention program. This commitment is best communicated in a written policy that includes a system by which employees can report their experiences of harassment and violence.

Learning to recognize workplace violence for what it is is an important first step.

Most Canadian jurisdictions have a "general duty provision" in their Occupational Health & Safety legislation, which requires employers to take all reasonable precautions to protect the health and safety of employees. More information on this topic is available in the OSH Answers fact sheet OH&S Legislation - Due Diligence. This provision includes protecting employees from a known risk of workplace violence.

Jurisdictions in Canada that have specific workplace violence prevention regulations include Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island, as well as Canadian federally regulated workplaces (for those organizations that fall under the Canada Labour Code, Part II). Quebec has legislation regarding "psychological harassment", which may include forms of workplace violence. Many jurisdictions also have working alone regulations, which may have some implications for workplace violence prevention. Ontario also has specific harassment legislation.


Originally posted by CCOHS; resources Levitt-Safety's own. 

Drone Safety: Are You Breaking the Law?

Flying your drone safely and legally

This page provides specific rules and guidelines from Transport Canada on how to fly a recreational drone (also called a model aircraft) safely and legally. It also helps you understand laws that apply to all recreational and non-recreational drone operations.

Rules for recreational drones

If you fly your drone for fun and it weighs more than 250 g and up to 35 kg, you do not need special permission from Transport Canada to fly.

Follow the basic safety rules below. Not doing so may put lives, aircraft and property at risk. If you fly where you are not allowed or choose not to follow any of the rules below, you could face fines of up to $3,000.

Do not fly your drone:

  • higher than 90 m above the ground
  • closer than 75 m from buildings, vehicles, vessels, animals, people/crowds
  • closer than nine km from the centre of an aerodrome (any airport, heliport, seaplane base or anywhere that aircraft take-off and land)
  • within controlled or restricted airspace
  • within nine km of a forest fire
  • where it could interfere with police or first responders
  • at night or in clouds
  • if you can’t keep it in sight at all times
  • if you are not within 500 m of your drone
  • if your name, address, and telephone number are not clearly marked on your drone.

The list above is an overview of the new rules for recreational drone users. Consult the Interim Order Respecting the Use of Model Aircraft for the full list of provisions. Members of the Model Aeronautics Association of Canada (MAAC) who operate at MAAC sanctioned fields or events are not subject to these rules.

Flying for fun? Download the new rules for recreational drone users.

Tips for recreational drone users:

  • Fly your drone during daylight and in good weather.
  • Keep your drone where you can see it with your own eyes – not through an on-board camera, monitor or smartphone.
  • Make sure your drone is safe for flight before take-off. Ask yourself, for example: Are the batteries fully charged? Is it too cold to fly?
  • Respect the privacy of others. Avoid flying over private property or taking photos or videos without permission.

Non-recreational drone: If you fly your drone (or UAV) for work or research, or if it weighs more than 35 kg, you must get a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC). The SFOC tells you how and where you are allowed to use your UAV. For more information on the SFOC, read Getting permission to fly your drone.

A drone flies above a grassy fieldDoes Transport Canada approve schools that can teach me to fly my UAV safely?

Transport Canada does not approve UAV training organizations or recognize certificates for UAV operations.

All UAV pilots are responsible to ensure they have the right level of knowledge, experience and skills required to safely operate. You may access UAV pilot training from sources including:

  • UAV operators and manufacturers
  • manned aviation flight training organizations
  • third parties

When flying a UAV (non-recreational drone) in Canada, you must:

  • follow the rules in the Canadian Aviation Regulations:
  • respect the Criminal Code, your provincial Trespass Act, as well as all applicable municipal, provincial, and territorial laws that apply

When flying a model aircraft (recreational drone) in Canada you must:

Transport Canada inspectors investigate reports of unsafe and illegal drone use. We may involve local police if other laws (e.g., the Criminal Code and privacy laws) have been broken.

You could face serious consequences – including up to $25,000 in fines and/or jail time – if you:

  • put aircraft at risk
  • fly where you are not allowed
  • endanger anyone’s safety

For example:

  • If you fly where your drone recreationally where you are not allowed or choose not to follow any of the rules outlined in the Interim Order Respecting the Use of Model Aircraft you could face fines of up to $3,000.
  • If you fly a UAV without an SFOC and should have one, we may fine up to $5,000 for a person and $25,000 for a corporation.
  • If you do not follow the requirements of your SFOC, we may fine up to $3,000 for a person and $15,000 for a corporation.

New regulations

Transport Canada is developing new regulations to address the safety requirements, growing popularity, and economic importance of UAVs. Proposed changes include:

  • new flight rules
  • aircraft marking and registration requirements
  • knowledge testing
  • minimum age limits
  • pilot permits for certain UAV pilots

We published a Notice of Proposed Amendment in May 2015 to highlight these changes. Canadians will be able to comment on the proposed amendments when they are published in Canada Gazette, Part 1.

Related links

Ministry of Labour Blitz Results: Chemical Handling 2016

Safe at Work Ontario LogoWorkers can be at risk of serious injuries, occupational diseases or even death if hazards exist when handling chemicals in workplaces.

From September 19 to October 31, 2016, Ministry of Labour inspectors conducted an enforcement blitz targeting chemical handling hazards at industrial workplaces in Ontario. The inspectors checked that employers were taking appropriate action to assess and address these hazards.

The blitz’s goals were to:

  • raise awareness of chemical handling hazards in workplaces
  • increase workplace compliance with the safe handling and use of chemicals
  • prevent worker injuries, illness and death

This blitz was part of the government’s continued commitment to preventing workplace injuries and illness through its Safe At Work Ontario enforcement initiative.


From 2005 to 2014, 16,207 workers received chemical-related injuries resulting in lost time at work due to exposure to caustic, noxious or allergenic substances, according to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB).

Proper chemical handling involves having effective engineering controls, good work practices, appropriate personal protective equipment and appropriate worker training in the workplace.

Report summary

In September and October, 2016, inspectors conducted 803 proactive field visits to 638 workplaces and issued a total of 2,887 orders [1] under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and its regulations. This included 47 stop work orders. Some of the workplaces were visited several times.

The top three most frequently issued orders involved employers’ failure to ensure:

  • equipment, materials and protective devices provided by the employer were maintained in good condition
  • workers completed a basic occupational health and safety awareness training program
  • every reasonable precaution in the circumstances was taken for the protection of workers

Full report

Workplace inspection blitzes

Inspection blitzes are part of the province's Safe At Work Ontario compliance strategy. They are announced to the sector by the ministry in advance although individual workplaces to be visited by inspectors are not identified in advance. Results are posted on the ministry's website.

The blitzes raise awareness of known workplace hazards and are intended to promote compliance with the OHSA and its regulations.

Inspectors' findings may impact the frequency and level of future inspections of individual workplaces. Inspectors may also refer employers to health and safety associations for compliance assistance and training.

Blitz focus

During the blitz, Ministry of Labour inspectors focused on workplaces in the following sectors:

  • tourism, hospitality and recreational services
  • manufacturing
  • chemical, rubber and plastics
  • wood and metal fabrication
  • service sector

In particular, the blitz targeted workplaces:

  • with a history of lost-time injuries (LTIs) related to the use and handling of chemicals
  • known to handle a variety of workplace chemicals
  • not previously visited by the ministry
  • where complaints regarding chemical handling have been received
  • where there is a history of non-compliance

Inspectors checked that employers, supervisors, and workers were complying with requirements for safe chemical handling under the OHSA and its regulations. They focused on the following key priorities:

  • Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS): Inspectors checked that employers had trained their workers on chemical hazards, including procedures for the safe use, storage, handling and disposal of hazardous/controlled products. They also checked that appropriate hazard information for these products was provided on supplier/workplace labels and safety data sheets.
  • Labelling: Inspectors checked that controlled/hazardous products that were “decanted” (moved into smaller containers from a bulk supply) had appropriate workplace labels.
  • Engineering controls: Inspectors verified that engineering controls, such as local exhaust ventilation, were in place, operating and maintained to limit worker exposure to airborne contaminants, when needed.
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE): Inspectors checked that employers were providing appropriate PPE and that workers were wearing and using the PPE. Inspectors also checked that required eyewash fountains and deluge showers were provided and maintained.
  • Housekeeping: Inspectors verified that employers considered chemical compatibility when storing chemicals. The inspectors checked that proper storage for flammable liquids was provided, good housekeeping practices were in place and emergency spill cleanup procedures were implemented when needed.
  • Material handling: Inspectors checked that employers had appropriate precautions and safeguards in place for the movement of chemicals in the workplace.
  • Internal Responsibility System (IRS): Inspectors verified that employers, supervisors and workers were aware of their OHSA roles and responsibilities. They also verified that required Joint Health and Safety Committees (JHSCs) or health and safety representatives (HSRs) were in place, where appropriate, and were functioning properly.
  • Worker training: Inspectors checked that employers were providing information and instruction to workers to perform material handling tasks safely. This included providing mandatory basic awareness occupational health and safety training as well as training on the use and fit of PPE, safe work practices and spill cleanup.
  • Workplace supervision: Inspectors checked that supervisors had completed the mandatory occupational health and safety awareness training.

Inspectors took enforcement action, as appropriate, in response to any violations of the OHSA and its regulations.

Inspection activity

From September 19, 2016 to October 31, 2016, ministry inspectors conducted 803 proactive field visits to 638 workplaces and issued 2,887 orders under the OHSA and its regulations.

On average, 4.53 orders were issued per workplace. Some of the workplaces were visited several times, with an average of 3.6 orders issued per field visit.

Inspectors visited workplaces in various sectors.

Table 1: Top workplace sectors visited by orders issued
Sector Orders Issued [2] Stop Work Orders Issued Requirements Workplaces Visited
Wood and Metal Fabrication 466 10 12 76
Tourism, Hospitality and Recreational Services 292 1 3 58
Retail 250 6 3 78
Chemical, Rubber and Plastics 246 0 6 45
Restaurants 205 0 0 33
Automotive 182 6 5 36
Wholesalers 163 3 2 33
Vehicle Sales and Service 161 1 1 41
Food, Beverage and Tobacco 146 3 2 20
Textiles, Printing 94 0 1 16


Order analysis

Table 2: 10 most frequently issued orders under Regulations for Industrial Establishments
Reason for Order Number of Orders Percentage Total Orders Issued [3]
Failure to prevent access to moving parts of equipment that may endanger a worker [Section 24] 132 4.57%
Failure to provide an eyewash fountain where a worker is exposed to a potential hazard of injury to the eye due to contact with a biological or chemical substance [Section 124] 116 4.02%
Failure to ensure lifting devices are examined by a competent person and safely operated within their load capacity [Section  51] 90 3.12%
Failure to keep floors or other surfaces free of obstructions or hazards [Section 11] 84 2.91%
Failure to prevent access to a machine’s pinch point by using a guard or other device [Section 25] 80 2.77%
Failure to ensure movement, transport or storage of materials, articles or things are done in a manner that will not endanger a worker [Section 45] 60 2.08%
Failure to ensure material that may endanger a worker by tipping and falling is secured [Section 46] 41 1.42%
Failure to ensure proper storage and transport of compressed gases [Section 49] 40 1.39%
Failure to ensure proper storage of flammable liquids [Section 22] 35 1.21%
Failure to ensure ladder safety [Section 73] 34 1.18%

Of the 2,887 orders issued:

  • 11.01 per cent (318 orders) were issued under Part III.0.1 of the OHSA provisions for workplace violence and harassment. They involved employers’ failure to comply with requirements to:
    • have workplace violence and workplace harassment policies and programs
    • assess or re-assess the risks of workplace violence arising from the workplace’s nature, type of work or conditions of work
    • provide information and instruction to workers on the workplace violence and workplace harassment policies and programs
  • 9.77 per cent (282 orders) were issued under the Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training Regulation for violations involving:
    • basic occupational health and safety awareness training for workers (153 orders or 5.30 per cent of the 2,887 total orders)
    • basic occupational health and safety awareness training for supervisors (123 orders or 4.26 per cent of the 2,887 total orders)
    • training records (six orders or 0.26 per cent of the 2,887 total orders)
  • 1.63 per cent (47 orders) were stop work orders issued for workplace hazards, including exposed live electrical components, storage racking, ladders, lifting devices, machinery and the use of chemicals.
  • 231 orders were issued under the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System Regulation(eight per cent of total orders issued) with:
    • about 42 per cent (97 orders) for failing to provide instruction to workers and
    • about 56 per cent (129 orders) for violations related to failing to provide hazardous product labelling and lack of material safety data sheets and/or safety data sheets


Employers need to be diligent in ensuring equipment, materials and protective devices are maintained in good condition. Increased attention is required to train workers to prevent chemical handling injuries, occupational illness and even death. This includes basic awareness and training related to chemicals in use in the workplace and use/care of PPE.

Next steps

The ministry will continue to raise awareness of the importance of proper chemical handling in Ontario workplaces.

One of the primary purposes of the OHSA is to facilitate a strong internal responsibility system (IRS) in the workplace. To this end, the OHSA lays out the duties of employers, supervisors, workers, constructors and workplace owners. Workplace parties’ compliance with their respective statutory duties is essential to the establishment of a strong IRS and control of hazards in the workplace.

Employers, supervisors, workers, Joint Health and Safety Committees and health and safety representatives must continue to work together to identify and control machinery hazards.

Compliance help for employers

For compliance assistance, see Ministry of Labour health and safety awareness products for workplace parties, including:

Please contact Ministry of Labour health and safety partners for more information on identifying, preventing and controlling these hazards.

How Levitt-Safety Can Help

Consulting Services

Safety Consulting Services 

Crisis Management Consulting 

Instructor-Led Training

Spill Response Training 

WHMIS Training 

Online Training

HAZWOPER: Accidental Release Measures and Spill Cleanup Procedures Online Course 

Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Plans Online Course 

Emergency Procedures Online Course 

Chemical Safety Online Course 

GHS Awareness Online Course 

WHMIS 2015 Online Course

WHMIS 2015 GHS Online Course

Chlorine Safety Online Course

Formaldehyde Safety Online Course 

Safety Showers and Eyewash Online Course 


Diphoterine® solution by Prevor 

Personal protective equipment for chemicals

Spill control products 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in the Workplace

The silhouette of a person sitting alone on a bench in a park Recently the province passed the Supporting Ontario's First Responders Act, which is new legislation that will create a presumption that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) diagnosed in first responders is work-related. The presumption allows for faster access to WSIB benefits, resources and timely treatment. The act is part of the province's strategy to prevent or mitigate the risk of PTSD and provide first responders with faster access to treatment and the information they need to stay healthy.

The Supporting Ontario's First Responders Act (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder), 2016 amends the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 (WSIA) and the Ministry of Labour Act. The act received Royal Assent on April 6, 2016, and is now in force.

How to submit a PTSD prevention plan

Employers of workers covered under the PTSD presumption are directed to provide the Minister of Labour with information on their workplace post-traumatic stress disorder prevention plans by April 23, 2017. This direction is published in the Ontario Gazette, Volume 149, Issue 17.

The specific groups covered under the PTSD presumption include:

  • Police, including First Nations constables, and chiefs of police
  • Firefighters (including part-time and volunteer firefighters), including those who are employed or who volunteer to provide fire protection services on a reserve; fire investigators, and fire chiefs
  • Paramedics and emergency medical attendants, and ambulance service managers
  • Workers involved in dispatching emergency services, including workers who play a role in the chain of communications which lead up to the dispatch for ambulance services, firefighters and police
  • Correctional officers/youth services workers (including managers) and workers who provide direct health care services in adult institutional corrections and secure youth justice facilities
  • Members of emergency response teams dispatched by a communications officer.

Prevention plans should be submitted in electronic Word format to ptsdprevention@ontario.ca. Where submission by this method is not possible, information can be mailed to:

The Ontario Ministry of Labour
400 University Avenue, 14th Floor
Toronto, ON M7A 1T7
Att: PTSD Prevention Plan

Resources to assist in the development of a prevention plan are available online as part of the free online toolkit.

Should you have any questions, please contact the ministry at 416-325-4575.

Additional resources

For further details, please refer to the following resources:

Health-care Workers Face ‘Epidemic of Violence’

An image of doctors and nurses lined up and wearing scrubs The Ontario Council of Hospital Unions is urging the ministry of labour to do more to protect health-care workers who face daily threats of violence on the job

Ontario’s nurses and personal support workers are facing an “epidemic of violence” caused by government and hospitals’ failure to safeguard them from abuse, assault and sexual harassment, according to the body representing health-care providers.

In a letter sent Monday to Minister of Labour Kevin Flynn, Ontario Council of Hospital Unions president Michael Hurley expressed dismay at the “daily” threats health-care workers confront on the job, which he calls “unacknowledged, dismissed, or tolerated by administrators and regulators.”

“In no other occupation or walk of life would such abuse be tolerated,” Hurley said.

Health-care workers have the second highest number of reported injuries in the province — behind the service sector, but ahead of such industries as construction, mining and manufacturing, according to the latest available statistics from the workers’ compensation board. In 2014, a study by the Canadian Institute for Health Information found at least half of all registered practical nurses were assaulted by patients, the letter obtained by the Star says.

New research commissioned by OCHU, which will be published this year, also has documented “widespread and systemically accepted violence” among health-care staff in seven Ontario communities, according to the letter.

All but one of the 54 workers interviewed in that study said they directly experienced violence at work, according to Jim Brophy, who conducted the research with fellow occupational health expert Margaret Keith.

“It’s become so normalized, so accepted, that now it’s really viewed as part of the job. You might as well put it in as part of the job description,” Brophy told the Star.

“I was scandalized by how much it was replicating all the features of domestic violence. Blaming the victims, keeping the dirty little secret quiet, really internalizing all of this.”

Dianne Paulin, a registered practical nurse from North Bay with 25 years of job experience, says she would have been spared her life-changing injures if the psychiatric ward she worked on had implemented common sense policies like bolting down furniture.

Instead, she was assaulted by a patient who pinned her against his room door with a chair and repeatedly punched her, leaving her with a bulging neck disc, post-traumatic stress disorder and panic attacks.

“You don’t go to work and think you’re going to die. I went to work because I loved my job and the clients liked me,” she said. “It wasn’t that I didn’t know what I was doing. It was the environment.”

Workers identified underfunding and understaffing as “significant contributors” to workplace violence, often perpetrated by patients or their family members against employees who are sometimes forced to work alone because of shortages. Brophy said the abuse often took on a sexual and racial hue because many health-care workers are women of colour. But fear of reprisal from hospital managers discouraged nurses and other staff from raising the issue, he said.

“Nobody is allowed to talk about it. Health-care workers are frightened. We had to conduct these interviews pretty close to secretly.”

In 2010, the Ontario government introduced legislation requiring employers to have programs in place to deal with workplace violence and harassment. Those reforms were prompted by the 2005 slaying of Windsor nurse Lori Dupont, who was stabbed multiple times in the chest at work by a physician she had ended a relationship with.

In a statement to the Star, the minister of labour’s spokesperson, Michael Speers, said the government is “committed to addressing workplace violence in the health-care sector and is developing a plan to make hospitals safer. A progress report on that initiative is expected to be released in the coming weeks.

“No one should feel unsafe at work, and concrete steps are needed to ensure the safety of our health-sector workers,” Speers said.

A nurse tests a patient's blood pressureLast year, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health was slapped with an $80,000 fine under workplace safety laws in relation to a 2014 beating of a nurse by a patient who reportedly left the victim “beyond recognition.”

Brophy said his research found workers often had little awareness about what policies were in place to protect them at their hospitals.

“The problem is widespread, it’s pervasive, it’s unreported. But when you go to the workplace, you find it’s not being taken seriously by the employers.”

The letter makes several recommendations to government, including that the ministry of labour launches a program of “comprehensive inspections and audits of all of Ontario’s health-care facilities” to ensure effective protections are in place, and that every workplace has safeguards like personal monitors, alarms, and identification of violent patients. It also calls for co-operation with the ministry of health to ensure adequate staffing levels, and the presence of trained security personnel where needed.

Government should “immediately enact” whistleblower protection for workers who speak out about workplace violence, the letter adds.

Paulin, 60, has been unable to work since she was attacked in 2011. Although she received workers’ compensation for her injuries, she says her benefits were cut in half in 2015 after the board told her — against the advice of her psychiatrist, she says — that she was able to return to work. She is now appealing the decision.

The WSIB cannot comment on individual cases, but a board spokesperson, Christine Arnott, said the board’s aim is to “help injured workers recover safely and return to work and their lives.”

“Ultimately, we want people to recover successfully and receive the assistance they need from the WSIB. If someone is concerned about a decision or other aspects of their claim, we encourage them to speak with us. We are here to help,” she said.

“Right now I’m going to the banks because I owe too much money, because I’ve been struggling and struggling since they knocked me in half,” said Paulin. “I’m at the point where I have to sell the house.”

She says she has already lost something even more valuable.

“I’m not me.” she said. “I’ve never been me since this happened.”

Originally posted by the Toronto Start on March 13, 2017 


MOL Ontario Clarifies Definition of Regulation 834: Critical Injury

In January 2017, the Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL) posted a clarification on the definition of critical injury in Regulation 834 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Clause 1(d) of Regulation 834 stipulates that an injury of a serious nature is a “critical injury” if it involves the fracture of a leg or arm but not a finger or toe.

Clarification on the definition of Regulation 834: Critical Injury

For the purposes of the Act and the Regulations, “critically injured” means an injury of a serious nature that,

(a) places life in jeopardy,
(b) produces unconsciousness,
(c) results in substantial loss of blood,
(d) involves the fracture of a leg or arm but not a finger or toe,
(e) involves the amputation of a leg, arm, hand or foot but not a finger or toe,
(f) consists of burns to a major portion of the body, or
(g) causes the loss of sight in an eye.


The Ministry of Labour interprets the provision to include a fracture of a wrist, hand, ankle or foot – i.e. any such fracture would constitute a critical injury if it is of a serious nature. While the fracture of a single finger or single toe does not constitute a critical injury, the ministry takes the position that the fracture of more than one finger or more than one toe does constitute a critical injury if it is an injury of a serious nature.


Clause 1(e) of Regulation 834 stipulates that an injury of a serious nature is a “critical injury” if it involves the amputation of a leg, arm, hand or foot but not a finger or toe. While the amputation of a single finger or single toe does not constitute a critical injury, the ministry takes the position that the amputation of more than one finger or more than one toe does constitute a critical injury if it is an injury of a serious nature.

Reporting injuries and illnesses – duties of employers and others

A critical injury must be reported under section 51 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act if there is a connection between the hazard that gave rise to the injury and worker health and safety.

The MOL notice is intended to provide clarity around the application of clauses (d) and (e) of the critical injury definition. The legal definition of a critical injury set out in Regulation 834 has not changed.


Working at Heights Training: Deadline Approaching

Approaching deadline: October 1, 2017

All workers who use fall protection on a construction project must complete an approved working at heights training program. This includes workers who met the fall protection training requirements of the Construction Projects Regulation prior to April 1, 2015.


As of April 1, 2015, employers must ensure that certain workers complete a working at heights training program that has been approved by the Chief Prevention Officer (CPO) and delivered by a CPO approved training provider before they can work at heights.

The training requirement is for workers on construction projects who use any of the following methods of fall protection: travel restraint systems, fall restricting systems, fall arrest systems, safety nets and work belts or safety belts.

There is a two-year transition period for workers who, prior to April 1, 2015, met the fall protection training requirements set out in subsection 26.2(1) of the Construction Projects Regulation. These workers will have until October 1, 2017 to complete an approved working at heights training program.

This training requirement is in the Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training Regulation, and is in addition to training requirements under the Construction Regulation.


Depending on the circumstances, homeowners may be considered constructors and subject to obligations under Occupational Health and Safety Act if they hire multiple contractors to work at the same time.

It is in a homeowner’s best interest to make sure workers at their home are safe. This can be as simple as asking contractors if their workers have been trained, and how they plan to keep workers safe on site, before signing a contract.

In the case of projects where workers will be at heights, such as repairing a roof, homeowners should ask contractors if their workers have been trained to do the work safely.


Bridging the Gap Between Sex, Gender, Workplace Health and Safety

Do you know the difference between sex and gender, and why they matter? In order to create safe and healthy workplaces, we must understand how both the physical (sex) and socio-cultural (gender) differences between women, men and gender-diverse people influence work and health, and how to apply this knowledge to improve occupational health and safety activities.

To help bridge the gap between gender, sex, and health, and their impact on the workplace, the CCOHS  has launched the Gender, Work and Health web portal.

The web portal provides a single point of access to a clearinghouse of links to some of the most current and credible information, research, resources and tools on topics related to sex, gender, health and work. These topics include gender differences in workplace injury and illness, gaps in knowledge and improving risk prevention.

Sex and gender play an important role in workplace health and safety. For example, gender roles and relations impact the division of labour both in the workplace and outside working hours. Biological differences between male and females in terms of height, weight or muscle can influence a worker’s risk of certain injuries and their severity.  In order to create safe and healthy workplaces, we need to understand how gender and sex influence work and health, and integrate gender into occupational safety and health activities.

This web portal is intended to help those working in occupational health and safety better understand how sex and gender influence work and health, and lead to policies, practices and processes that protect the health and wellness of all workers.

CCOHS created the web portal as a result of its knowledge translation partnership with the Institute of Gender and Health’s Gender, Work and Health Chair Program.

Visit the Gender, Work and Health web portal now.

Prescription Eyewear Must Suit Workers' Safety Needs, Company Budgets

Optometrists’ associations, safety manufacturers, chain stores all offer different solutions for prescription eye protection

Prescription eyewear programs come in a variety of forms. Some even eliminate the usual employee appointment with an eyeglass specialist. For example, one eyewear retailer introduced a program that simply required its representative to drive from one company to another in his pick-up truck. At each site, the employees, ready with their prescriptions, would gather to meet him and be fitted with the proper frames. A week later, he would return to deliver their new glasses.

It is essential to provide prescription safety eyewear to ensure all workers see their workplace — and its hazards — clearly. However, prescription safety glasses are very expensive and the process can be time consuming. Instead, many companies choose to join a safety eyewear program. By agreeing to buy all prescription glasses through one provider, they hope to reduce both costs and paperwork. Program providers range from the provincial optometrists’ associations and the Opticians’ Association of Canada to safety eyewear manufacturers and chain stores. While the various programs have certain procedures in common, they often provide different services, different payment options and, ultimately, different prices.


Edmonton-based Eyesafe is a safety eyewear program run by the Alberta Association of Optometrists through their membership. The association approaches employers in Alberta and sells the program as a way to provide personal protective equipment to their employees, says Brian Furman, director of vision care programs.

The program, which is free to join, works through an online system. Workers tell the safety manager when they need a new pair of prescription glasses. The manager then goes to the Eyesafe website and creates and prints off a work ticket, or requisition form. The manager — based on a work hazard assessment of the employee’s work tasks and environment — will include on the form information about the kind of frames and lenses the worker is supposed to wear (such as whether different coatings or tints are allowed).

“The work ticket asks for a description of duties because we need to know, is this worker digging in a mine with a shovel all day or is he climbing up a power pole? If he works with electricity, it’s good to know that we shouldn’t put him in a metal frame,” Furman says.

“Sometimes, a worker will come in and say he wants tinted lenses. We’ll call the safety supervisor and ask whether this person can have tinted lenses. ‘No, he’s a mechanic. He works indoors. Why would he want tinted lenses?’ Or vice versa: ‘He works outdoors all day; yes, he can have tinted lenses.’”

The employee takes the ticket to an optometrist. The doctor types the work ticket number into the online system to access the employee’s company information and other information needed to determine what kind of frames and lenses the worker is supposed to wear.

The optometrist orders the glasses and when ready, the worker picks them up at the doctor’s office. Once a month, Eyesafe sends a bill to the company for its usage.

Furman says of the 300 companies in the Eyesafe program, about one-half pay the full cost of the glasses, while the rest cost-share with the employee. For example, the employer will cover up to $200 and the worker pays anything over that.

“It depends on how well they’re doing. Generally, the large ones — like Imperial Oil and Suncor — cover the whole cost without question. Some of the littler companies will ask their guys to cost-share with them,” he says.

Similar prescription eyewear programs, administered by the Canadian Association of Optometrists, are available in other provinces, except Quebec. Because services are provided by optometrists, the programs run by the associations provide a higher level of health care than other programs, Furman says. The cost is also more reasonable; their not-for-profit status means that frames, lenses and, to some extent, doctor services can be provided to companies on a wholesale basis.

The programs also allow companies to ensure their workers are getting the most effective eye protection, Furman says. If workers are sent out to get their own glasses, the safety manager has no idea whether the glasses they get are up to proper standards.

“The program is a way to control all that. The eyewear is going to comply not only with CSA standards but also with specific company policy,” Furman says.

CSA standards on prescription safety eyewear are set out in CSA Z94.3-15, Eye and Face Protectors, which discusses design and performance requirements, and CSA Z94.3.1-16, Guideline for Selection, Use and Care of Eye and Face Protectors.

Most provincial OHS legislation (except Saskatchewan) and federal OHS regulation refer to CSA Z94.3-15, she adds. Safety eyewear must be CSA-compliant, indicated by a marking on the eyewear frame.


Bruce Gibson, Western Ontario Sales Manager at Levitt-Safety Ltd.

Bruce Gibson, Western Ontario Sales Manager

Programs provided through manufacturers work in much the same way as Eyesafe. Bruce Gibson, health-care solutions manager at Oakville, Ont.-based Levitt-Safety, says the manufacturer meets with an employer in advance of an agreement to discuss the safety eyewear requirements and to select the frames that will be available to employees. Some types of frames may be eliminated because of unsuitable materials. Employees take their prescription and company authorization form to the dispenser — in this case an optician — who fits them with a pre-selected frame.

With some companies, employees pay for the prescription glasses in full at the time they pick them up and the company later reimburses them for some or all of the cost. Other companies have a program that works directly through the manufacturer.

“We just send them one bill at the end of the month and they do their own internal program of cost adjusting or payroll deduction. Or they cover everything. It depends on the company and how they’ve set up that program up for their employees,” says Gibson.

The main people involved in the program are safety management and, because it’s quite often run through an employee benefits package, the human resources department, Gibson says. While HR is responsible for administering the program, safety personnel handle the safety side — as the ones legally responsible for the well-being of their workers, they must make sure the PPE that each worker has been supplied meets safety requirements based on the job.

In addition to identifying the frame and lens features their workers need, the safety manager might also be involved on the financial side. For example, she may reject a premium group of frames that is not really needed for their job to reduce company expenses, Gibson says.

Along with guaranteeing all frames and lenses are CSA-compliant, the program also formalizes the procedure of buying prescription safety eyewear. It is easier to manage from both an administrative and safety management point of view because employees can go only to specified dispensers (opticians) and all payments go through that limited number of clinics, Gibson says. There is also one, detailed statement per month.

“With many informal programs that we replace, companies have just said to workers, ‘Go get your prescription. Go get safety eyewear. Bring me back the invoice and we’ll reimburse you.’ So they get invoices coming from all over the place and they have reimbursement issues.”

Some program providers such as Longueuil, Que.-based Securo Vision, have introduced systems that allow companies to manage the program completely online, so there is no paperwork to handle at all, says Sylvie Lapointe, administrative assistant. Other providers allow for the installation of a kiosk at the company. Employees can choose their prescription glasses and submit their prescriptions at any time at work.

It’s also important to note the frequency of and payment for eye exams are not affected by a prescription safety eyewear program. Rather, they are determined by the employer and based on the benefits the employee has through his health-care benefits package. Most companies cover the cost of the exam and will tell employees how often they can get new glasses — typically about every two years — and the employee will have an eye exam before getting them.

Testing frequency may also be governed by provincial regulation and by the particular industry, Gibson says. Companies employing drivers and forklift operators, for example, would probably test their vision more frequently than other workers and maintain an in-house vision-screening program.

While they are much cheaper than prescription safety glasses, safety lenses that clip to the frames of a person’s regular glasses should not be used in working conditions as a substitute for prescription safety glasses because they are not CSA-compliant, Lapointe says. Minimum dimension and size requirements for lenses and frames are set by the CSA to ensure glasses provide proper coverage. Regular glasses don’t meet these standards, leaving gaps and holes that could allow flying particles and other hazards into the eyes.

Moreover, she adds, safety frames must be equipped with permanent side shields, so clip-on side shields are not CSA-compliant. Wearing two lenses at once tends to produce a poorer fit and be much less comfortable for the wearer than safety glasses.

Prescription safety glasses require no special consideration over and above regular safety glasses when it comes to care and maintenance, Lapointe says. However, because prescription eyewear tends to cost much more than regular safety glasses, it makes a lot of sense to ensure workers care for them properly.

“Progressives, for example, may cost close to $1,000. When you pay that amount of money, it’s in your interest to take care of them if you don’t want to have to go and buy another pair in a year,” says Lapointe. “There are ways to care for any prescription glasses if you want to get the most from your money.”

Lapointe says having a prescription safety eyewear program helps show employees their company wants to provide them with proper eye protection and encourage them to wear the glasses. Many eye injuries occur daily at work, often causing a person to lose an eye.

“And once you lose your sight, there’s no going back,” says Lapointe. “Having a program should be a must — the same way employers provide steel-toed boots or hard hats. It should always be part of your protective equipment.”

Linda Johnson is a freelance journalist based in Toronto. She can be reached at lindajohnson@sympatico.ca.

This article originally appeared in the December/January 2017 issue of COS. 

Hazard and Risk: Know the Difference

Open your health and safety manual and two words that will appear frequently will be “hazard” and “risk”. They are often used interchangeably; however they each mean something very different. Is a wet floor in a workplace a hazard or a risk? Knowing what each of these terms means, and using them properly can help you better address workplace health and safety issues.


There are many definitions for hazard but the most common when talking about workplace health and safety is that a hazard is any source of potential damage, harm or adverse health effects on something or someone. Some examples are: a wet floor, direct exposure to the sun, or exposure to toxic chemicals.

The CSA Z1002 Standard "Occupational health and safety - Hazard identification and elimination and risk assessment and control" defines harm as physical injury or damage to health and hazard as a potential source of harm to a worker.

Workplace hazards can come from a wide range of sources, such as a substance, product, process, or practice that can cause harm or an adverse health effect to a person or property. Examples include, a sharp knife, the process of welding, or bullying. These are considered hazards because they can cause harm. Knives cause cuts, welding fumes can cause metal fume fever, and bullying can have the effect of anxiety, fear and depression on the victim.

Practices or conditions that could release uncontrolled energy are also considered workplace hazards. For example, an object that could fall from a height is considered a hazard.  When the object falls, it gains momentum from gravity and it could seriously harm whatever or whomever the object lands on. The potential entanglement of hair or clothing in rotating equipment caused by kinetic energy is another example of this type of hazard.

It can help to think of hazards in groups.  Categories for classifying hazards include:

Hazard Example
Biological • Bacteria
• Bodily fluids
• Fungi
• Insects, animal bites
• Mould
• Sewage
• Viruses
Chemical • Dust
• Fume
• Gas
• Liquid
• Mist
• Solid
• Vapour
Ergonomic • Improper lifting
• Improperly adjusted work station
• Long hours looking at a monitor
• Repetitive activity
• Strenuous activity
Physical • Electricity
• Explosion
• Fire
• Heat and cold
• Noise
• Pressure
• Radiation
• Vibration

Psychosocial • Fatigue
• Fear of harassment
• Fear of violence
• Production pressure
• Task precision pressure
Safety • Dropped objects
• Working at heights
• Inadequate lighting
• Isolated workplace/lone worker
• Motorized vehicles
• Moving parts
• Pinch and nip points
• Poor housekeeping
• Pressure systems
• Road conditions
• Sharp edges and points
• Slippery and uneven surfaces
• Wildlife


Risk is the chance or probability that a person will be harmed, or experience an adverse health effect, if exposed to a hazard. For example there is a risk of slipping on the wet floor and breaking a bone,  or developing skin cancer from long-term exposure to the sun. It may also apply to situations with property or equipment loss, or harmful effects on the environment.

It’s important to note that risk is not the same for everyone and there are many factors that influence the degree of risk. These factors include how much a person is exposed to a hazard (such as how many times a day a person walks across a wet floor or the level of exposure to hazardous products a worker experiences). The level of risk also depends on both the nature of the hazard and the nature of the exposure.  For example, a product with a low hazard can pose a high risk if exposure is high. A product with a high hazard can sometimes pose less risk if exposure is low. However, the overall goal is to minimize exposure to hazards, and thereby minimize the risk.

Hazard Identification

We know that certain workplace conditions and work practices have the potential to cause incidents, injuries, or illness. Hazard identification is the process of finding, listing, and characterizing these hazards.  Missing machine guards, chemical spills, poor workstation design, mould, and inadequate ventilation are just some of the many hazards that can be found in a workplace.

If a hazard is identified, you can work towards eliminating that hazard or work towards controlling the risk associated with that hazard by using a hierarchy of control methods.

The health and safety committee has a role to play by helping to recognize hazards and making recommendations for improvement. The committee’s responsibilities may also include helping to determine the possible causes of health conditions reported by employees, informing employees about potential and actual hazards, recommending control measures to management, and participating in evaluating the effectiveness of control measures in ensuring a safe workplace.

Risk Assessment

A risk assessment considers the identification of hazards, and the analysis and evaluation of the risk.  A risk assessment is the process where you:

  • identify hazards and risk factors that have the potential to cause harm (hazard identification),
  • analyze and evaluate the risk associated with that hazard (risk analysis, and risk evaluation), and
  • determine appropriate ways to eliminate the hazard, or control the risk when the hazard cannot be eliminated (risk control).

A hazard is anything in the workplace that has the potential to cause damage, harm or adverse health effects to someone or to cause harm to something. Risk is the chance or probability that a person will be harmed if exposed, or the probability of damage or loss. Health and safety hazards vary greatly depending on what the workplace does, and the type of work involved.

Every workplace has hazards.  To help protect the health and safety of workers, it’s important that you identify the hazards and conduct risk assessments. And it all starts with understanding the difference between a hazard and a risk.


Originally posted by CCOHS 

Industry Overwhelmed by Certifications, Designations

Growing number of options impeding self-regulation

Workplace health and safety is now recognized as a new risk to be managed as part of a well-designed enterprise risk management program. Increasingly, companies that seek operational excellence include achieving a safe workplace as a part of this quest. This shift has created a new demand for qualified safety practitioners and professionals. This demand has resulted in a growing number of universities offering occupational health and safety programming and an increasing number of organizations, societies and agencies offering occupational health and/or safety designations and certification schemes.

In spite of all of this work, safety is still not recognized as a true profession in Canada. At last count, there were more than 20 certifications and designations in Canada related to occupational health and safety. In Hiring a Health and Safety Practitioner – A Guide for Employers and OHS Practitioners, the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering has published a detailed listing of 18 of these. Certifications and designations are being added to the list every year. An argument can be made that this fractured landscape of certifications and designations is a major impediment to safety ever becoming a self-regulating “true profession” like engineering, law, accounting or medicine.

To dig deeper into this issue, we need to make the distinction between a certification and a designation. One definition of these two terms could be as follows:

A safety certification is a qualification offered by a safety practitioner organization that specifies minimum formal education, qualifications and practical experience, along with a mandatory certification maintenance program. A good example of a certification is the Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP). This qualification would typically include a formal competency assessment. The Board of Canadian Registered Safety Professionals (BCRSP) sets certification standards for the CRSP, has defined a body of knowledge in its competency framework, administers a standardized exam for applicants and manages the certification maintenance process for certificate holders.

On the other hand, a safety designation is a qualification offered by a provincial or national industry or safety association that can be earned by the completion of a series of short duration courses. For example, the Health and Safety Practitioner (HSP) designation offered by Safety Services Nova Scotia has a program of training and other requirements that an applicant must complete to be allowed to use the designation. In most cases, these qualifications do not require applicants to possess any formal academic qualifications, do not include a mandatory certification maintenance point scheme and are not independently accredited.

At first glance, the need for 20 such certifications and designations seems excessive and begs the question: Should anyone be allowed to start up and copyright a safety certification or designation? Shouldn’t there be standardized requirements across the country for safety certifications and designations? Or should it just be “buyer beware” and we should allow this free-for-all to continue?

The Canadian Federation of Construction Safety Associations has finalized a process to offer a harmonized and standardized certification for construction safety professionals in Canada. The certification will be called the National Construction Safety Officer (NCSO) or Construction Safety Supervisor (CSS) depending on the province of issue. This harmonization will significantly reduce the number of construction safety acronyms in Canada. Mike McKenna, executive director of the British Columbia Construction Safety Association has been a big part of the leadership team working to achieve this goal. They have agreed on a standardized body of knowledge and have established the core educational requirements.

“There will be a national exam that all construction safety professionals will complete, regardless of where they are from in Canada. The exam is currently being vetted and will be finalized by year end,” McKenna said.

A continuing education and three-year re-certification system has been included, and this will apply to all construction safety professionals currently working in the field. With these new requirements and standardization, this new construction safety certification has sufficient rigour for it to stand up to the scrutiny and the standard of any safety certification.

Another example is the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA), which is working towards the introduction of a new safety certification — the Certified Transportation Safety Professional (CTSP).

Originally posted by COS Magazine 

Construction Association Announces Partnership with Women’s Organization

A woman uses a power grinding tool while wearing a welding helmet as sparks fly Collaboration aims to make construction safer for women workers

(Canadian OH&S News) — The Alberta Construction Safety Association (ACSA) has launched a new partnership with Women Building Futures (WBF), an Edmonton-based group that trains women in industrial trades. The partnership aims to make the province’s construction sector safer for female workers.

The two organizations announced their collaboration at a joint event in Edmonton on the morning of Feb. 8, the first of their “Breakfast with the Leaders” speaker series. ACSA chief operating officer Tammy Hawkins and former WBF CEO JudyLynn Archer were the keynote speakers at the event, according to Kathy Kimpton, WBF’s current president and CEO.

“It was a fantastic event,” Kimpton told COHSN. “We were able to hear JudyLynn and Tammy speak from their respective positions and experiences in life, and then there was a great question-and-answer period.”

Many stakeholders in the Alberta construction industry attended the event, including government occupational health and safety representatives, said Hawkins.

“Ultimately, we’re looking to create safer workplaces for everyone, for the women themselves and for the women that they work with when they get to the job,” she added.

The union will allow WBF students, alumni and employees to have access to ACSA training programs and services. One of the goals of the new partnership is to keep safety at the forefront of everything WBF does, Kimpton explained. “It’s not going to be something that we just talk about, but we really want to invest in it so it’s in the DNA of our organization,” she said.

“The women that we’re training are going into environments where there is an element of risk, a lot more so than there are perhaps in the environments that they’re coming from,” continued Kimpton. “We really want to make sure they understand how important safety is, that they have all the tools and knowledge that they require.”

While the safety risks in construction work are no more relevant to women than they are to men, the jobs have been traditionally held by male workers. “The element of risk is increased because of the occupation that they’re looking at, more so than anything,” she said about female construction workers. “We go over the top to make sure that they are well-prepared in every facet that they need to be.”

Hawkins agreed that women entering nontraditional careers like construction often do not have the health and safety training they need. “Employers look for people who have health and safety training,” she added.

“It’s really a nice marketing tool for the people receiving that training, and that can ultimately create safer workplaces,” said Hawkins about the partnership.

While ACSA and WBF had already been working together for years — “we’ve had an informal partnership for a long time,” according to Hawkins — Archer’s resignation in January spurred the two groups to collaborate more officially.

“JudyLynn is still working with our organization on government relations and chief stakeholder relations,” said Kimpton. “She was the one that really conceived this idea, this partnership with Tammy.”

About 34,600 women in Alberta currently work in the construction sector, and an increase in jobs in the industry is expected over the next decade, according to information from WBF. ACSA and WBF are anticipating further opportunities women in construction, as about 250,000 workers in the industry are expected to retire across Canada in the near future.

ACSA is Alberta’s largest safety organization, with more than 36,000 active members. It provides safety training as well as Certificate of Recognition, National Construction Safety Officer and Health & Safety Administrator designations. WBF was founded in 1998.

The next “Breakfast with the Leaders” event is scheduled for March 23.

Originally posted by OHS Canada

Burlington-based company fined $125k after worker fatally electrocuted on the job

RICHMOND HILL, Ont. -- A Burlington, Ontario-based company that services industrial cranes has been fined $125,000 after a worker suffered a fatal electrical shock on the job.

The Ministry of Labour says Konecranes Canada Inc. pleaded guilty last week to a charge under the Occupation Health and Safety Act in connection with the 2015 incident.

The ministry says a worker and manager were working to repair a 20-ton overhead crane at Van-Rob Inc., an auto parts manufacturer in Richmond Hill, Ont., at the time.

It says that while using a scissor lift to reach the crane, the manager received an electrical shock. The crane's power source is rated at 600 volts.

The ministry says the manager died in hospital.

It says an investigation found the workers did not follow the energy isolation and verification procedures laid out in the company's safety manual, which constitutes a breach of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

The court also imposed a 25 per cent victim fine surcharge, which goes to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.

The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, February 7, 2017 4:18PM EST

IWH’s OHS Vulnerability Measure Identifies Workers’ Risk Levels

An image of the word "risk" in red, bold, uppercase block letters with an arrow above it pointing downwards, indicating a lowering of risksToronto – A free online resource from the Institute for Work & Health allows employers to measure workers’ vulnerability to occupational health and safety risks.

IWH’s OHS Vulnerability Measure assesses workers’ risk levels in the areas of hazard exposure, workplace policies and procedures, worker awareness of hazards, and worker empowerment to take part in preventing injuries and illnesses.

The tool could be particularly timely, according to IWH. A recent study from the organization determined that workers who feel “vulnerable” to – or not adequately protected from – safety hazards report higher rates of occupational injuries. Researchers surveyed about 1,500 Canadian workers and concluded that workers deemed “most vulnerable” were 3.5 times to 4.5 times more likely to report being injured than the “least vulnerable workers.”

Employers should look to control or eliminate hazards whenever possible, IWH states. However, the vulnerability measure could boost protections for workplaces where the hazard is difficult to eliminate.

“The study suggests that IWH’s OHS Vulnerability Measure meaningfully assesses workplace hazards and OHS program shortcomings that are associated with the frequency of work injuries and, if addressed, will likely result in fewer work-related injuries and illnesses down the road,” Morgan Lay, IWH research associate and lead author of the study, said in a press release. “In this respect, the measure can help to identify potential risk reduction strategies before work-related injuries and illnesses occur.”

The study was published Jan. 13 in the journal Safety Science.

Originally posted by Safety + Health Magazine. 

Is Your Company Leading The Way In Safety?

If you work for one of the safest companies in Canada, CSE wants to hear from you. Canada's Safest Employers (CSE) Awards recognize Canadian employers from coast to coast that are raising the bar for occupational health and safety. If your company demonstrates exceptional safety leadership, innovation, employee engagement, training and wellness (to name a few), consider nominating it for this prestigious award. Nominations are now open for the seventh annual awards and are being accepted until June 1.

Safety award categories:

 • Building and Construction

• Health Care

• Mining and Natural Resources

• Transportation (land, air and sea)

• Hospitality

• Manufacturing

• Oil and Gas

• Public Sector / Non-profit

• Retail and Services

• Utilities and Electrical

Additional awards: 


Psychological Safety

Young Worker Safety

Canada’s Best Health + Safety Culture — The top prize of them all.

Visit www.safestemployers.com for the nomination forms and more information.

MOL Blitz Results: Mobile Cranes and Material Hoisting 2016

Hazards involving mobile cranes can lead to catastrophic events involving severe injury or even death of construction workers. Members of the public can also be injured or killed depending on the circumstances.

In the past few years, there were a number of incidents resulting in serious injuries to workers, as well as some close calls.

Between April 1, 2011 and May 31, 2016, three workers died and 12 workers were seriously injured in incidents involving mobile cranes at construction sites across Ontario, according to Ministry of Labour reports. There were also 66 reported incidents involving minor injuries to workers or "close calls".

Between August 1 and September 30, 2016, Ministry of Labour (MOL) inspectors conducted an enforcement blitz at construction sites across Ontario. They focused on hazards involving mobile cranes and related material hoisting.

Inspectors checked that employers were taking appropriate action to assess and address these hazards and protect workers’ safety. This included checking that employers were complying with the:

The goals of the blitz were to:

  • raise awareness of health and safety hazards involving mobile cranes and related material hoisting
  • ensure workplace parties were complying with the law and
  • prevent injuries and illnesses that could arise from unsafe work practices.


A mobile crane is a cable-controlled crane mounted on crawlers or rubber-tired carriers or a hydraulic-powered crane with a telescoping boom mounted on truck-type carriers or as self-propelled models. It is designed to be easily transported to a site and used with different types of load and cargo with little or no setup or assembly.

Cranes are exposed to the elements and subjected to heavy use for extended periods of time. This makes them prone to stress, fatigue and breakdown, especially as they near the end of their useful life.

Cranes require regular maintenance and testing to ensure they are:

  • in adequate condition
  • operated, as designed, by the manufacturer and are
  • in compliance with the OHSA and its regulations

Report summary

In August and September 2016, ministry inspectors conducted 741 field visits to 686 workplaces and issued 1,613 orders and 43 requirements. This included 118 stop work orders. Some of the workplaces were visited more than once.

The five most commonly issued orders were for violations involving:

  • Fall protection: 261 orders (16 per cent of total orders issued)
  • Personal protective equipment and clothing (other than fall protection): 134 orders (8 per cent of total orders issued) – 80 per cent of which were related to safety hats
  • Crane operation and hoisting: 90 orders (6 per cent of total orders issued)
  • Notices of project: 74 orders (5 per cent of total orders issued)
  • Emergency procedures: 67 orders (4 per cent of total orders issued)

Full Report

Inspection blitzes are part of the province’s Safe At Work Ontario compliance strategy. They are announced to the sector by the ministry in advance, although individual workplaces are not identified in advance of inspectors’ visits. Results are posted on the ministry’s website.

The blitzes raise awareness of workplace hazards and are intended to promote compliance with the OHSA and its regulations.

Inspectors’ findings may impact the frequency and level of future inspections of individual workplaces. Inspectors may also refer employers to health and safety associations for compliance assistance and health and safety-related training.

Blitz Focus

During the blitz, ministry inspectors visited construction projects that use mobile cranes across Ontario.

Inspectors focused on the following key priorities:

Suitability of ground conditions and set up of the crane: Inspectors checked that outriggers were extended to meet the load chart capacity and as per the manufacturer’s operating manual instructions. They also looked at the ground or supporting structure – whether it was adequate to take the loads applied by the crane and its load.

Proximity to overhead energized power lines: Inspectors checked that operators were maintaining the minimum distance of approach from overhead energized power lines and that a procedure was in place to maintain the minimum distance of the crane or its load from the overhead power lines.

Mobile crane maintenance and other records: Inspectors checked for records such as the operator log book and operator manual. Inspectors also checked that cranes were properly inspected and maintained.

Training: Inspectors checked that crane operators were qualified to operate a crane at a construction site, including having the proper certification where required, or in case of apprentices that they were working pursuant to a training requirement registered under the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2009.

Various other issues: Inspectors checked on a crane’s structural, mechanical and overall system integrity, safety system, setup, and proximity to people. They also checked for safe hoisting practices, including hoisting hooks equipped with safety catches and their load carrying capacity legibly cast or stamped on them on a location where the person using the hook can read it.

Inspection activity summary

Table 1: Inspection Visits To Construction Projects
Program Activities Numbers
Field visits 741
Number of workplaces visited 686
Total orders and requirements issued 1,656
Orders 1,613
Stop work orders 118
Requirements 43
Orders and requirements per workplace visited 2.41
Orders and requirement per visit 2.23

Order analysis

Table 2: Most commonly issued types of orders under the Regulation for Construction Projects
Reason for order Number of orders Percentage of total  orders
Fall protection: missing guardrail or other fall protection or inadequate fall protection training 261 16
Personal protective equipment (other than fall protection): missing safety hats, safety shoes, safety glasses, etc. 134 8
Improper crane operation or inadequate hoisting procedures and equipment 90 6
Failure to file a Notice of Project when required by legislation 74 5
Lack of emergency procedures or failure to post the procedures in a conspicuous place on the project 67 4


Table 3: Orders by type of legislation / regulation
Legislation / Regulation Number Percentage of total orders
Regulation for Construction Projects 1,392 86.3
Occupational Health and Safety Act 213 13.2
Roll Over Protection, Noise, Industrial Establishments, Occupational Health and Safety Awareness, Diving Operations 8 0.5

A total of 1,613 orders were issued during the blitz:

43 requirements (not counted in the total number of orders) were also issued under the OHSA. Requirements are issued when the inspector needs more information in order to assess whether there is compliance or not – as compared to an order which is issued when the inspector determines that the legislation has been contravened.

Most of the orders issued under the Regulation for Construction Projects were for violations involving fall protection – in particular, an employer’s failure to provide a guardrail system:

  • as a primary means of fall protection (Section 26.1) and
  • around the open sides of a surface or floor (Section 26.3)

Some of the fall protection orders were related to training as well (subsection 26.2(1) of Regulation for Construction Projects and subsection 7(1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training Regulation).

Second to fall protection contraventions, are those related to personal protective equipment – excluding fall protection. 80 per cent of such orders pertained to safety headgear, the top order written during this blitz (108 times, constituting 6.7 per cent of the total orders issued). 26 other orders were issued for lack of personal protective equipment, mostly related to safety footwear, followed by safety glasses.

Of the orders involving crane safety and material handling, 90 orders (5.6 per cent of total orders) were related to the focus of this blitz. Eighty-two per cent of those orders were related to cranes and 18 per cent involved hoisting equipment and procedures.

Stop Work Orders

A stop work order is issued when a situation could post an immediate hazard/danger to a worker. Stop work orders require a specific activity to stop at a workplace.

During the blitz, 118 stop work orders were issued under the OHSA. They were accompanied by 146 other orders requiring a specific activity to take place to remedy the issue involving the stop work orders.

Of the violations related to the stop work orders:

  • 22 per cent (32 of the 146 accompanying orders) were related to fall protection
    • 28 per cent of these were related to guardrails (missing or inadequate)
    • 15 per cent of these were related to training (inadequate or missing)
  • 7 per cent (10 of the 146 accompanying orders) were related to scaffolds and scaffold platforms
  • 5 per cent (8 of the 146 accompanying orders) were related to excavations and the stability of their walls
  • 4 per cent (6 orders) were related to equipment in general
  • 2 per cent (3 orders) were related to cranes – the focus of the blitz
  • No accompanying orders were related to inadequate hoisting or material handling


The results of this blitz indicate employers need to be more vigilant in complying with requirements for personal protective equipment on construction sites.

The blitz also indicates employers need to comply with fall protection requirements to protect workers. The Ministry of Labour has worked to improve compliance by conducting blitzes targeting falls hazards in the construction sector in 2010, 2013, 2014 and 2016.

Next steps

The Ministry of Labour will continue to enforce safety requirements for mobile cranes and material hoisting.

Disclaimer: This resource has been prepared to help the workplace parties understand some of their obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and regulations. It is not legal advice. It is not intended to replace the OHSA or the regulations. For further information please see full disclaimer.

Processing – Safe Work Practices at Mining Plants


Workers can be at risk of injury or even death if hazards exist involving processing equipment in smelters, refineries and mills in mining plants.

Between 2000 and 2015, four workers died in Ontario mines as a result of incidents involving processing equipment in smelter, refinery and mills in mining plants.

Employers are responsible for protecting workers from hazards involving processing in mining plants.

Hazards can include workers:

  • working around unguarded equipment
  • being exposed to electrical hazards such as shock and burns from arc-flashes
  • being exposed to the release of stored energy from inadequate lockout and tagging procedures
  • working in close proximity to mobile equipment and material handling

These hazards can be prevented by putting measures and procedures in place to protect workers. Such measures can include:

  • proper training, as required by Section 11 of Regulations for Mines and Mining Plants
  • locking and tagging of energy sources
  • proper lifting
  • proper rigging practices
  • proper guarding
  • proper equipment maintenance
  • conducting risk assessments
  • proactive health and safety programs

Some general duties of workplace parties


Below are some examples of employers’ duties under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA):

  • provide information, instruction and supervision to workers to protect their health and safety, including providing information on safe work policies and procedures specific to the workplace and type of work the workers will perform [section 25(2)(a)]
  • take every reasonable precaution in the circumstances for the protection of workers [section 25(2)(h)]
  • ensure prescribed measures and procedures are carried out at the workplace [section 25(1)(c)]
  • ensure equipment, materials and protective devices required by the regulations are provided and maintained in good condition [section 25(1)(a) and (b)]
  • provide assistance to, and co-operate with, the mine's Joint Health and Safety Committee and/or a health and safety representative [section 25(2)(e)]
  • prepare and review, at least annually, a written occupational health and safety policy for the workplace, and develop and maintain a program to implement that policy [section 25(2)(j)]
  • post an OHSA copy in the workplace [section 25(2)(k)]


Below are some examples of supervisors’ OHSA duties:

  • ensure workers comply with the OHSA and its regulations [section 27(1)(a)]
  • ensure any equipment, protective device or clothing required by the employer is used and/or worn by workers [section 27(1)(b)]
  • advise workers of any potential or actual health or safety dangers known by the supervisor [section 27(2)(a)]
  • if prescribed, provide workers with written instructions on the measures and procedures to be taken for workers’ protection [section 27(2)(b)]
  • take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker [section 27(2)(c)]


Below are some examples of workers’ OHSA duties:

  • use or operate equipment in a safe manner [section 28(2)(b)]
  • report defects in equipment to your supervisor or employer [section 28(1)(c)]
  • work in compliance with the OHSA and its regulations [section 28(1)(a)]
  • report any known workplace hazards or OHSA violations to your supervisor or employer [section 28(1)(d)]

Workers should be aware of their OHSA rights, including the right to refuse unsafe work and the right to know about any potential hazards they may be exposed to in mines.

Protecting Workers

Employers, supervisors and trainers should encourage workers to communicate any questions or concerns they may have about processing. Supervisors or others involved in training workers should be familiar with any health and safety concerns faced by the workers.

Compliance Information

Ministry of Labour Health & Safety Contact Centre

Call toll-free 1-877-202-0008 any time to report fatalities, critical injuries, work refusals, reprisals and unsafe work practices.

For information related to sector-specific health and safety advice, products, services and training, visit the Contact Us page.

Always call 911 in an emergency.

GHS Implementation Target Dates

Worker placing GHS label on an oil drum.Countries and sectors (consumer, environmental, workplace, transportation) within a country will implement GHS at varying times depending on their local circumstances.


The Hazardous Products Regulations were published in Canada Gazette, Part II on February 11, 2015. Both the amended Hazardous Products Act and new regulations are currently in force. "In force" means that suppliers may begin to use and follow the new requirements for labels and SDSs for hazardous products sold, distributed, or imported into Canada.

Note that the provincial, federal, and territorial occupational health and safety WHMIS regulations will also require updating.

A multi-year transition plan has been announced. From now until May 31, 2017 suppliers (manufacturers and importers) can use WHMIS 1988 or WHMIS 2015 to classify and communicate the hazards of their products (suppliers must use one system or the other).

Beginning June 1, 2017 to May 31, 2018, distributors and suppliers importing for their own use can continue to use WHMIS 1988 or WHMIS 2015.

For More Information

Raising the Issue of Forklift Safety

forklift-safety-signForklifts play an important role in the day-to-day operation of warehouses, construction sites, yard operations and manufacturing facilities.  Also known as lift trucks, reach trucks, and tow motors, these useful vehicles have the potential to cause serious injury and even death to their operators, other workers, and pedestrians. Every year there are reports of serious injuries such as workers being crushed by a tipping vehicle or between the vehicle and a surface, workers being struck by falling materials, falling from a platform on the forks, or pedestrians being struck or run over.

There are many reasons people are injured by forklifts, including: inadequate training of workers who operate forklift trucks; driving at high speeds; lack of proper tools, attachments and accessories; poor maintenance; age of the forklift; and not using seat-belts.

Your employer is responsible for providing you with the training you need to operate the forklift and ensuring you are fully aware of the operating procedures. Forklifts require regular maintenance and have a limited lifespan. Employers must keep forklifts maintained, regularly serviced and their working environment clear for operating safely.

Tips for safely operating a fork lift

  • Ensure you have been fully trained on how to operate your lift truck safely and that you are able to do so.
  • Keep an itemized checklist on the safe operation of your machine. Review it before each use or shift.
  • Inspect the forklift truck every day before using or before each shift. Check the fuel, water, oil, brakes, steering, hydraulics, warning devices, and lifting components.
  • Before starting the forklift, carry out a visual “circle” check.
  • Follow safe operation procedures for the forklift at all times, including speed, turning, braking, and accelerating.
  • Know the forklift’s load limit and never exceed it.
  • Always inspect and wear any seat belt or operator restraint device when these are available.
  • Drive with the forks at the lowest possible position.
  • Keep the load low at all times when not stacking pallets.
  • Move only when you are sure the load is stable. Re-stack the load if necessary.
  • Operate the forklift in reverse if the load blocks your forward view.
  • Operate at a speed that will permit a safe stop.
  • Obey posted traffic signs.
  • Decrease speed at all corners, sound horn and watch the swing of both the rear of the forklift and the load.
  • Watch for and yield to pedestrians.
  • Avoid sudden stops.
  • Check for adequate overhead clearance when entering an area or when raising the forks.
  • Maintain a safe working limit from all overhead power lines.
  • Do not turn on ramps.
  • Do not elevate the load when the forklift truck is on an incline.

Forklifts have the potential to cause serious injury. Their safe operation is the shared responsibility of workers and employers.


Originally posted CCOHS January 2016. Resources Levitt-Safety's own. 

The Essentials of PPE Selection

construction-workerHazards of varying degrees exist in all workplaces. Ideally these hazards should be eliminated, controlled at the source or reduced through administrative measures. When all other methods are either not available or impossible to implement, personal protective equipment (PPE), the last level of protection, may be used so that work can continue safely.

Understanding the basics of PPE and its selection can play an important part in developing and maintaining a complete health and safety program.

What is personal protective equipment (PPE)?

PPE is equipment worn by a worker to minimize exposure to specific occupational hazards. Examples of PPE include respirators, gloves, aprons, fall protection, and full body suits, as well as head, eye and foot protection. Using PPE is one element in a complete safety program that should use a variety of strategies to maintain a safe and healthy occupational environment. PPE does not reduce the hazard itself nor does it guarantee permanent or total protection.

PPE should be used:

  • when no other control method is possible;
  • while other controls are being installed or implemented;
  • for emergencies and during maintenance activities;
  • for situations where other control methods don't provide enough protection.

How to select PPE

  • Once the need for PPE has been established, the next task is to select the proper type. Use the following guidelines to help you select the best PPE.
  • Match the PPE to the hazard. There are no shortcuts to PPE selection. Conduct a complete hazard assessment and choose the right PPE to match the hazards.
  • Get expert advice and shop around. Discuss your needs with an occupational health and safety specialist and trained sales representatives. Ask for alternatives, and check into product claims and test data.
  • Involve workers in evaluations. The most common reason for failure of a PPE program is the inability to overcome worker objections to wearing it. Bring approved models into the workplace for trials so workers have the opportunity to evaluate various models.
  • Consider the physical comfort of PPE (ergonomics). If a PPE device is unnecessarily heavy or poorly fitted it is unlikely that it will be worn. Use every opportunity to provide flexibility in the choice of PPE as long as it meets required legislation and standards.
  • Evaluate cost considerations. The cost of PPE is often a concern and disposable options are not always cheaper in the long term.
  • Review regulatory requirements and standards. In Canada, two of the more common standards include the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and the Bureau de normalisation du Quebec (BNQ).

What else do I need to know?

PPE is the last step in the hierarchy of controls, making it the last level of protection between the worker and the hazard. Therefore, it is especially important that the correct PPE is selected, worn, and maintained. A complete PPE program consists of many steps from the initial workplace assessment to routine evaluation and review. More information can be found in the resources listed below.

Originally posted by CCOHS August 2014 

Confined Spaces: No Small Danger

LOBO used in a confined space.Toxic air, flammable vapours and the only way out is through a small opening – this situation is just one of many scenarios that describe what it’s like to work in a confined space. While hazards can be found in every type of workspace, confined spaces have the potential to be even more hazardous. Learn more about some of the hazards with working in confined spaces and what you can do to control the risks.

What is a confined space?

Generally speaking, a confined space is an enclosed or partially enclosed space that is not primarily designed or intended for human occupancy, has a restricted entrance or exit, and can represent a risk to the health and safety of anyone who enters, due to one or more of the following factors:

  • its design, construction, location or atmosphere
  • the materials or substances in it
  • work activities being carried out in it, or the
  • mechanical, process and safety hazards present.

Confined spaces can be found in almost any workplace. Examples include: silos, vats, hoppers, utility vaults, water cisterns, clean water wells, tanks, ship holds, sewers, pipes, access shafts, truck or rail tank cars, aircraft wings, boilers, conveyors, cellars, tunnels, manholes, manure pits, storage bins and other such spaces that workers could enter to perform work. Ditches or trenches may also be a confined space when access or a way out is limited.


All hazards found in a regular workspace can also be found in a confined space. The main hazards associated with confined spaces include: oxygen deficiency or enrichment, fire or explosion, toxicity, and drowning.


Too little oxygen can cause brain damage, the loss of consciousness, and potential suffocation. Too much oxygen can increase the risk of fire or explosion. Natural ventilation alone will often not be sufficient to maintain breathable quality air.

A high percentage of deaths in confined spaces result from oxygen deficiency and lack of quality air testing. Of the workers killed each year while working in confined spaces, many of them have been would-be rescuers who often suffer the same fate as those they are attempting to save.

Fire and explosions

Inadequate ventilation can result in an accumulation of gases or dusts that can combust when exposed to electricity, a welding spark, or open flame.


Gases from work activities such as painting and welding, and sources such as liquid manure or compost can produce gases including hydrogen sulfide, methane, carbon monoxide, and solvent vapours that can cause dizziness, loss of consciousness, permanent damage to health, and death.


In the event of a flood or engulfment by a free-flowing solid (for example grain in a silo), the entrance or exit of the confined space may be obstructed, preventing the worker from getting out in time. Drowning can also occur by falling into holding tanks, ponds and pits filled with liquid.

More hazardous than other work spaces

All of these hazards may not be obvious so a person qualified with the proper training and experience must conduct a confined space hazard assessment before any workers enter the space, considering these factors:

  • Self-rescue by the worker is more difficult.
  • Rescue of the victim is more difficult. The interior configuration of the confined space often does not allow easy movement of people or equipment within it.
  • Conditions can change very quickly and without warning.
  • The space outside can impact the conditions inside the confined space and vice versa.
  • Work activities may introduce hazards not present initially.

Many factors need to be evaluated when looking for hazards in a confined space. An error in identifying or evaluating potential hazards can put the worker's life in danger.

Preparation and prevention

To effectively control the risks associated with working in a confined space, a Confined Space Hazard Assessment and Control Program should be implemented. Before putting together this program, make sure to review the specific regulations that apply to your workplace. All jurisdictions in Canada have varying regulations dealing with confined space entry.

Workers should not enter the confined space until it is made safe to do so by taking precautions.

For each job, determine if it is absolutely necessary that the work be done inside the confined space. In some cases it may be possible to do the work outside the confined space.

Air quality testing needs to be performed by a qualified person trained in using detection equipment. Always make sure that the testing equipment is properly calibrated and maintained. Air sampling should show that there are safe limits of oxygen content in the confined space, hazardous gases are not present, and that ventilation is working properly. This testing should be ongoing while work is being done.

Remove or restrict any liquids or free-flowing solids in the confined space to eliminate the risk of drowning or suffocation. All pipes should be physically disconnected or isolation blanks bolted in place; closing valves is not sufficient.

Entry and exit openings for the confined space must be large enough to allow the passage of a person using personal protective equipment (PPE).

What employers can do

  • Have a confined space program that includes written procedures
  • Identify confined spaces
  • Post warning signs and secure entry to confined spaces
  • Determine the hazards for each space
  • Develop confined space entry plans for each space
  • Train workers in safe work procedures specific to the work being done in the confined space
  • Use an entry permit system

What workers can do

  • Recognize confined spaces
  • Know the hazards
  • Follow safe work procedures when in a confined space
  • Stay aware of changing conditions while performing the work
  • Know when to stay out of confined spaces
  • Don’t attempt to rescue others without proper training and equipment


Originally posted by CCOHS July 2015

Working Alone - Staying Safe in Unfamiliar Territory

A surveyor stands alone in a grassy fieldRunning a real estate open house, conducting a home inspection, visiting a home care patient – these situations can put workers in an unfamiliar, potentially dangerous environment. But for many, working alone and off-site is a necessary part of the job. Here are some tips for working off-site safely.

What employers can do

It is important for employers to conduct an assessment of the work employees will do when they are working in unfamiliar territory, and may be working alone.

  • Prepare a daily work plan so everyone knows where and when off-site employees are expected somewhere.
  • Have a check-in procedure in place where off-site employees check in periodically. Know when and who to call for help if they do not.
  • Provide training on how to recognize and avoid potentially violent situations, as well as conflict resolution and mediation skills.
  • Use a "buddy system" in high risk situations - make sure employees know this option is available to them and when to use it.
  • Provide information on high risk geographical areas.
  • Limit the time of day visits can be made to high risk areas/clients.
  • Keep client records and ensure staff are aware if a client is known to be aggressive, hostile or potentially violent.

What workers can do

  • Arrange to meet clients in a safe environment where other people are around, such as a restaurant, hotel lobby, or office/workplace.
  • Wear comfortable, professional clothing and practical shoes which will enable you to leave quickly if necessary.
  • Always wear or carry your identification badge. It will show that you are acting in an official capacity and that you are an employee doing your job.
  • Carry only what is necessary. Large or numerous bags or cases are cumbersome.
  • Always take your cell phone with you and keep it in a place you can access quickly.
  • Avoid having new work contacts walk you to your car.
  • Be alert and make mental notes of your surroundings when you arrive at a new place.
  • Maintain a “reactionary gap” between yourself and the client (e.g., out of reach of the average person's kicking distance). Increase the gap by sitting across from each other at a table, if possible.
  • If you are referring to written material, bring two copies so that you can sit across from the client, not beside.
  • Ask a colleague or friend to come with you if something makes you feel uneasy. Tell your supervisor about any feelings of discomfort or apprehension about an up-coming meeting.
  • Keep records and indicate if the client or patient is known to be aggressive, hostile or potentially violent. Do not leave out incidents that make you feel apprehensive.
  • Do not enter any situation or location where you feel threatened or unsafe.
  • Do not carry weapons of any type, including pepper spray. Weapons can be easily used against you and are illegal in some jurisdictions.


Originally posted by CCOHS August 2015. Resources Levitt-Safety's own. 

Cold Trouble Afoot

Every day, and with every step, we expose our feet to potential physical injury. Foot problems can occur in almost any workplace and under a wide variety of working conditions. In Canada, the winter introduces unique hazards. Canadian Standards Association (CSA) approved safety footwear provides protection from workplace hazards such as crushes, burns and punctures, but during the colder months there are cold weather afflictions that can also have painful and sometimes serious consequences. Learn more about the harm that working in cold weather can cause your feet.

Exposure to cold (not just cold feet)

During the winter, working at outdoor jobs such as logging, hydro line work or fishing can mean working in freezing temperatures, or in low temperature wet conditions, which can put feet at risk of frostbite, chilblains, and trench foot.

Frostbite is caused by freezing of the skin and underlying tissues. First your skin becomes very cold and red, then numb, hard and pale. Frostbite is most common on the fingers, toes, nose, ears, cheeks and chin.

Symptoms of frostbite include: reduced blood flow to hands and feet, numbness or a loss of feeling, tingling or stinging, aching, and bluish or pale, waxy skin. Frostbite can permanently damage body tissues, and severe cases can lead to amputation.

ChilblainsTwo men in rugged work gear cross a wintery street

Repeated exposure to cold, but not freezing, air can result in chilblains, the painful inflammation of small blood vessels in your skin. Chilblains can cause itching, red patches, swelling, and blistering on your feet and hands.

Chilblains usually clear up within one to three weeks, especially if the weather gets warmer or exposure stops. Chilblains don't usually result in permanent injury. But the condition can lead to infection, which may cause severe damage if left untreated.

Trench foot

Trench foot is an injury of the feet resulting from prolonged exposure to wet and cold conditions. Trench foot can occur at temperatures as high as 15 degrees Celsius if the feet are constantly wet. Injury occurs because wet feet lose heat 25 times faster than dry feet. Therefore, to prevent heat loss, the body constricts blood vessels to shut down circulation in the feet. Skin tissue begins to die because of lack of oxygen and nutrients, and due to the buildup of toxins.

Symptoms of trench foot include: reddening of the skin, numbness, leg cramps, swelling, tingling pain, blisters or ulcers, bleeding under the skin, and gangrene (the foot may turn dark purple, blue, or gray).

Wearing appropriate footwear and socks is an important step in protecting the feet from cold.

Appropriate footwear

“Normal” protective footwear is not designed for cold weather while “insulated” footwear may give little temperature protection in the sole, where there is no insulation.  Loss of heat through steel toe caps (commonly blamed for increased heat loss) is insignificant.

Insulating the legs by wearing thermal undergarments, wearing insulating overshoes over work footwear, and wearing insulating muffs around the ankles and over the top of the footwear can help provide foot protection against cold weather.

Felt-lined, rubber bottomed, leather-topped boots with removable felt insoles are best suited for heavy work in cold since leather is porous, allowing the boots to breathe and perspiration to evaporate. Leather boots can be waterproofed with products that do not block the pores in the leather.

For work that involves standing in water or slush, waterproof boots must be worn. However, while these boots protect the feet from getting wet from cold water, they also prevent perspiration from escaping. The insulating materials and socks will become wet more quickly than when wearing leather boots, and increase the risk for frostbite.


You may prefer to wear one pair of thick, bulky socks or two pairs - one inner sock of silk, nylon, or thin wool and a slightly larger, thick outer sock. Liner socks made from polypropylene will help keep feet dry and warmer by wicking sweat away from the skin. However, as the outer sock becomes damper, its insulation properties decrease. If work conditions permit, have extra socks available so you can dry your feet and change socks during the day. If two pairs of socks are worn, the outer sock should be a larger size so that the inner sock is not compressed.

Always wear the right thickness of socks for your boots. If they are too thick, the boots will be tight, and the socks will lose much of their insulating properties when they are compressed inside the boot. The foot could also be squeezed which will slow the blood flow to the feet, and increase the risk for cold injuries. If the socks are too thin, the boots will fit loosely and may lead to blisters.

Additional cold stress prevention tips for employers and workers and guidance on appropriate first aid procedures can be found in the additional resources listed below.


Originally posted by CCOHS January 2016 

The Perils of Using Unguarded Machinery

Close up of carpenter working on machine

A machine operator in British Columbia had his hands crushed after he accidentally activated the unguarded press brake using the pedal control. The worker was using an unguarded press brake to bend and shape the top of a metal firebox to be used as part of a gas fireplace insert. When attempting the second bend, he experienced some difficulty lining up the work piece in the bottom die.

When the worker placed both hands between the top and bottom dies to adjust the work piece, he inadvertently activated the press brake using the pedal control, causing the top die to activate and lower rapidly onto both of his hands, trapping them between the top and bottom dies.

WorkSafeBC investigated the incident and identified the cause as no point-of-operation safeguarding. They published an investigation report to help prevent future accidents resulting from the use of unguarded machinery.

The worker was able to place his hands into the point of operation between the dies of a press brake only because there was no point-of-operation safeguarding on the machine to prevent it. The worker then inadvertently operated the pedal control, which was missing a guard. This activated the press brake, causing it to cycle. The worker suffered crushing injuries to both hands.

The investigation also identified the following underlying factors:

  • There was a lack of safe work procedures provided to workers using the press brakes. As a result, workers were not trained to safely operate the machines.
  • The employer did not ensure that workers using the press brakes were effectively trained and adequately supervised.
  • The employer did not perform a point-of-operation safeguarding risk assessment and implement appropriate point-of-operation safeguarding to protect workers using the press brakes.
  • The employer did not implement an effective health and safety program.

Crushed hands are just one example of a machinery-related injury. Every moving part represents a potential hazard, and these hazards must be controlled or eliminated. Safeguards are essential for protecting workers.


Originally posted by CCOHS April 2015. Resources Levitt-Safety's own. 

Vacuum Trucks Produce Toxic, Flammable Gases

These gases can be fatal for oil and gas workers

Three years ago in British Columbia, oil and gas field service workers were unloading liquid hazardous waste from a pup tank into an open hopper at a hazardous waste processing facility. The pup tank was connected to a vacuum truck. Flammable gas and vapour were released into the atmosphere and were able to enter the truck engine’s air intake system. Because the truck’s engine had been left running, the concentrated airborne gas and vapour ignited and caused a flash fire. One worker suffered serious burn injuries.

Vacuum trucks are used extensively in the oil and gas industry to clean up and carry waste material. These products, often hydrocarbons, can release hazardous vapours and gases, and the off-gases can cause unconsciousness, serious injury or death. Stringent procedures must be put in place aimed at ensuring trucks are well maintained and operators are not only thoroughly trained but also understand the importance of constant vigilance to changing environmental conditions.

Vacuum trucks are tank trucks equipped with a high-powered vacuum pump that sucks up solids, fluids, sludge or slurry at high speed through a hose. In the oil patch, their central task is to clean up waste — contaminated soil and water, pipeline spills or the residue settled out at the bottom of a tank, which may include sand or paraffin wax — and transport it to a disposal site.

Another major use is hydro-vacuuming (the use of pressurized water to excavate and evacuate soil). In the oil industry, most vacuum trucks, called “combo vacs,” are equipped with hot water pressure washers that use steam to clean equipment, wash well heads, wash out tanks and clean up spills. Others also have a scrubber mounted to the truck. The scrubber, a dry granular substance, reacts chemically with hydrogen sulphide (H2S) and “scrubs” the explosive gases out of a product.

A range of hazards

Vacuum truck operators in the oil and gas industry face a range of hazards, says Budd Phillips, manager of prevention field services for Fort St. John at WorkSafeBC. One of the biggest risks is exposure to toxic gases. Workers are handling liquids that are toxic and corrosive, and dangerous fumes are released from the liquid waste of oil and gas wells as it is sucked up into the truck. One such gas is H2S, which in low levels can cause eye irritation, nausea and dizziness and in high levels can cause unconsciousness or death. Sometimes a chemical unexpectedly mixes with another to produce a harmful substance; for example, when hydrochloric acid is added to the residue of other products in a tank it can release fumes, which can be lethal.

Many of these vapours are also highly flammable and can produce fire or explosions. Combustible gases sometimes build up around vacuum operations. In other cases, product loaded in the truck may release flammable gases due to agitation during transportation.

“Then, when you go to dispose of it, you open up the hatch and you pour it out. If it’s not a controlled scenario with proper monitoring and the truck shut off, fires and explosions can occur,” Phillips says. “We’ve seen some catastrophic injuries where workers suffered life-altering burns from explosions when they were operating vac trucks.”

Moreover, workers who must go inside oil tanks to clean them are essentially entering a confined space, which is particularly hazardous because of possible toxic chemical residue. Vacuum truck work often requires people to work with substances under pressure: if a suction line carrying a hazardous product ruptures, any workers standing nearby may be sprayed.

Other risks stem from the need to work with hot water, which can leave workers burned or scalded. Vac truck operators also contend with extreme weather conditions and, because work continues around the clock, they often work in the dark with limited lighting.

The tanks on the trucks themselves can also be dangerous, Phillips says. The very large, heavy lids can hurt and crush workers. Drilling rig work involves long hours, so operators need to stay attentive to hours of service and avoid fatigue. Finally, driving presents risks.

“One of the highest risks in the oil and gas industry is driving from one workplace to another,” he says.

Maintaining a safe truck

Vacuum trucks require constant vigilance around maintenance to make sure truck equipment — valves, couplers, vacuum and conductive hoses and tank pressure and temperature gauges — are in proper working order.

A particular problem in a vacuum truck is parts overheating, says Marvin Ferriss, manager at Alida, Sask.-based Three Star Trucking, a crude oil transport company. When you run a vacuum pump, the compression of air creates a great deal of heat. The operator must ensure there is continuous flow through the vacuum system to keep it cool.

“If the flow goes static, you can actually create enough heat to cause an explosion. You have to consider that all the time,” he says.

Operators must also watch and maintain two other systems. One is the emergency valves.

“You’re hauling dangerous goods. All the valves on the truck are self-closing, so if there’s an incident where you hit something or there’s a rollover, the valves all close by themselves. You have to maintain that system,” Ferriss says.

The other system to watch carefully is the positive air shutdown system, required by the gassy atmosphere as well as the diesel engine.

“Your atmosphere itself could become the fuel. And if the engine gets a big gulp of this gas, it can run away and explode. So you have to maintain that system. Test it regularly to ensure it works,” Ferriss says.

Trucks must also have proper TDG (transportation of dangerous goods) placards in place to disclose what they’re carrying, Phillips says.

“That way, any emergency personnel who have to respond know by the coding what is on board the truck and what precautions they need to take.”

Vac trucks should be cleaned off regularly to get rid of oils, mud and paraffin wax that can impede the proper functioning of parts. The tank interior should be flushed out and kept clean of materials that could react with newly added waste liquids.

Prior to each job, operators should inspect the tank and pumping equipment to ensure they are in good condition.

Training and safe procedures

Phillips says workers need first to understand the hazards of operating a vac truck — including toxic vapours, ignition sources and fires and explosions — and be trained in procedures to safely handle the product, including proper methods of venting vacuum pump exhaust vapours.

Operators should be familiar with their trucks and how they operate and know the limitations: what they can pick up and safely handle and what could cause problems, he adds. They should understand proper maintenance and inspection procedures as set out by the manufacturer. Knowing how to drive safely with hazardous products and knowing not to drive when fatigued or impaired is important, too.

Workers must be trained in proper evacuation and rescue procedures if there’s a toxic gas leak. In case workers are exposed to toxic gas, first aid should be available nearby.

Before, and sometimes during operations, there should be continuous monitoring of air quality at areas where there may be toxic gases or hydrocarbon vapours in the flammable range, such as the discharge area of the vacuum truck venting hose. It is also important to monitor tank temperature gauges (to identify chemical reactions) and tank pressure gauges (to ensure correct pressure in receiving tanks and supply tanks). Tank level indicators should be monitored to avoid overfilling the tank.

One critical safe procedure that operators must follow is the requirement for proper disclosure, Phillips says. Sometimes, clients do not reveal the nature of the hazardous waste.

“There may be acids or other types of hazardous chemicals, and the full scope of the problem with the product doesn’t manifest itself until you’re transporting it,” he says. “We have had situations where operators have picked up a product, it gets agitated in the back of their unit and they find out that their valves, the fittings, aren’t compatible with the acids. So it eats its way through and starts to spill out as the truck is driving.”

Operators must be willing, he adds, to say no to a load if they believe they cannot safely handle it or if the client is unwilling to disclose the nature of the product.

Supervisors must provide vac truck operators and their assistants (swampers) with the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for the task, which may include hard hats, safety glasses, boots, impact gloves, hearing protection and fall protection. Appropriate PPE will depend on the safety data sheet (SDS) for the product being carried. When using the hot water washer, workers need to guard against steam by wearing rain suits, rubber gloves, eye and hearing protection, face shields and rubber boots, Ferriss says.

Operators and swampers required to enter oil tanks must be equipped with a supplied air unit and a lower explosive limit (LEL) monitor for H2S, he adds. They should also be wearing a harness with a lanyard in case they need to be pulled out.

A job site analysis (JSA) is also a valuable tool for identifying hazards related to a specific job or work tasks.

“(The JSA) says you, as the operator, need to be engaged in what’s going on and you need to think. You can’t just be told what to do,” says Greg Campkin, general manager at Sundre, Alta.,-based Capital Pressure. “A huge portion of the day is spent on making sure everything is looked at before it happens, not dealing with it when it does.”

Once on site, the vacuum truck operator fills in the JSA and checks in with the supervisor, says Ken Elliott, the company’s vacuum services supervisor. The operator may be bringing new hazards onto the site, which could affect the people there and the job already underway. The supervisor needs to co-ordinate the vac truck operations and current job, and implement safety controls, if needed.

“Shell, Exxon Mobil, all the top oil companies, expect us to have all these JSAs in place, as well as to review them with others on site. So everyone on site has an understanding of what’s happening. Then, it’s signed off by a supervisor and nobody moves until procedures are in place,” says Elliott.

Vacuum trucks come under Transport Canada regulations regarding the transportation of dangerous goods, Phillips says. Many specifics are set out in CSA B620, B621 and B622. Vac trucks must be inspected and tested on a regular basis. Most trucks must undergo a visual and leak test every six months and be tested annually by a Transport Canada registered facility. Provincial occupational health and safety law on vac truck operation as well as motor vehicle regulations also apply.

An investigation into the flash fire incident in B.C. revealed it had been caused by an uncontrolled release of flammable vapours near a running truck engine, which became the ignition source. In addition to the failure to control an ignition source, investigators also found other underlying causes: an inadequate hazard assessment done by the facility just before the incident; the deficient design of the open hopper; and an unknowledgeable facility operator. He was unaware of the degree of the flammability hazard of the product in the pup tank.

“Vacuum truck operation is an inherently dangerous occupation,” Phillips says. “But it can be done safely if you follow appropriate procedures and practices.”

Linda Johnson is a freelance journalist based in Toronto. She can be reached at lindajohnson@sympatico.ca.

This article originally appeared in the October/November 2016 issue of COS.

10 Tips for Ladder Security

How to secure your portable ladder

Before you mount that portable ladder, learn what precautions you must take to secure it and avoid becoming an injury statistic. Falls from portable ladders are a common cause of workplace injuries often because the ladder is not used properly.

Follow these 10 tips to secure your ladder and be safe on the climb.

A person holds a string of Christmas lights while standing on a ladder1. Rest the top of the ladder against a solid surface that can withstand the load.

2. Attach a ladder stay across the back of a ladder where the surface being leaned against cannot withstand the load. For example, extend the stay across a window for firm support against the building walls or window frame.

3. Guard or fence off the area around a ladder erected in an area where persons have access.

4. Secure the ladder firmly at the top to prevent it from slipping sideways or the foot from slipping outwards.

5. Station a person at the foot of the ladder when it is not possible to tie it at the top or secure it at the foot. This technique is effective only for ladders up to 5 m (16 ft.) long.

6. Ensure that the person at the foot of the ladder faces the ladder with a hand on each side rail and one foot resting on the bottom rung.

7. Attach hooks on top of ladder rails when the ladder is to be used at a constant height.

8. Do not rest a ladder on any rung. Only the side rails are designed for this purpose.

9. Secure the base of the ladder to prevent accidental movement. Securing a ladder at the foot does not prevent a side slip at the top.

10. Use ladders equipped with nonslip feet. Otherwise, nail a cleat to the floor or anchor the feet or bottom of the side rails.



Originally posted by CCOHS May 2016

Tinnitus Too Common Among Noise-Exposed Workers

Some surprising occupations at high-risk

A woman uses a press machine wearing hearing protectionFifteen per cent of workers who have been exposed to occupational noise at some point in their careers have tinnitus, a debilitating often high-pitched ringing in the ears, found a new study from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). This is compared to five per cent of workers who have never been exposed to occupational noise.

“Tinnitus is prevalent and very common; especially common among noise-exposed workers,” says Elizabeth Masterson, lead author and epidemiologist at NIOSH in Cincinnati. “Hearing loss prevention and early detection and intervention to stop the hearing loss is critical.”

Tinnitus, which can be constant or intermittent, is the term used to describe noises or sounds heard by an individual that do not come from an external source. While ringing is the most common, it can also be described as buzzing, hissing, pulsing, whistling or roaring. Tinnitus can be very mild in loudness and only noticeable in a quiet room or it can become extremely loud and annoying to the point where the sufferer hears nothing else.

Health and safety managers are likely unaware of how big the problem really is within their own workforce, says Carolyn Wisdom, industrial hygienist and owner of Wisdom Consultants in Edmonton.

“It could be huge… Health hazards are always minimized in the workplace. When I go in to do a noise survey, it’s always worse than people think,” she says. “A lot of businesses have safety professionals but they don’t have anyone to look after health issues, and the safety professionals are not trained in this.”

And as with any other form of occupational hearing loss, workers can file a workers’ compensation claim for tinnitus.

Workers in agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting have a significantly higher risk of tinnitus, found the NIOSH study, with 13 per cent of workers in this sector suffering from the condition. Nearly one-half (43 per cent) of workers in this industry are exposed to hazardous noise on the job.

In agriculture, farmers need to contend with loud sounds from machinery and animals. They are also not regulated by health and safety regulations — although this is changing in Alberta and P.E.I.

“It was always thought to be a family affair. Many believed the government had no place on farms,” says Wisdom. “There was no education and nobody coming to let them know about this hazard or put any emphasis on it.”

In forestry, workers are cutting down trees with chainsaws and other equipment, which generate tremendous amounts of noise. The equipment also generates carbon monoxide, which further increases the risk of hearing loss as it is an ototoxic chemical.  Ototoxic chemicals include solvents, heavy metals (such as lead and mercury) and asphyxiants (carbon monoxide).

“These chemicals can either cause the hearing problem or they can make your ear more susceptible to noise. In which case, in concert with noise, you are more likely to have a hearing loss or have tinnitus,” says Masterson.

Some fishing occupations also have high noise exposure, such as working near the engine or boiler room. The wind and other noises on deck can be very loud as well, says Masterson. Additionally, these workers may not be wearing hearing protection as the safety culture may not be as strong as some other industries.

In commercial hunting, which includes the exploitation and management of game preserves, workers are exposed to gunshots, which can lead to tinnitus.

“Acute but loud noises can cause tinnitus, just from one experience,” says Michael Chrostowski, president and CEO of Sound Options Tinnitus Treatments in Toronto. “I have met people who have been to a firing range or who used a fire arm and didn’t take any steps to protect their hearing and that one incident caused permanent tinnitus.”

Manufacturing also has a significantly higher risk of tinnitus, found the NIOSH study, with 11 per cent of workers in this sector having the condition. The manufacturing industries that typically have a higher risk are metal, wood products, apparel, petroleum and coal products and machinery.

The report cited other research that found 70 per cent of drop-forge operators and 22 per cent of meat-packers had tinnitus.

“When you have this machine coming down and hitting metal as it’s hot, when it hits, that’s like 145 decibles — that’s about what a gun shot is,” she says, noting manufacturing workers can be exposed to both constant noise and impulse noise (a very quick, loud sound).

Architects and engineers also have a significantly higher risk of tinnitus, found the study.

“They are out doing reviews of the sites and giving advice, but they are probably not wearing hearing protection,” says Wisdom. “They think ‘I am only going there for an hour, it won’t be a problem.’ But without hearing protection, people don’t understand they don’t need to be out there long to be overexposed.”

It’s likely architects and engineers do not have the same training or awareness in terms of noise exposure and hearing protection as the primary workers on the sites they are visiting, says Chrostowski.

“They might not know how to use their hearing protection correctly. They may have fewer incidents but it may be more risky for them because they are not as trained as other workers.”

While constant noise, impulse sounds and ototoxic chemicals can contribute to the development of tinnitus, trauma to the head or neck, such as concussion or whiplash, can also cause long-lasting tinnitus, according to the Canadian Academy of Audiology.

Tinnitus can potentially increase the risk of accidents, found the NIOSH study. The constant ringing in the ears can be very distracting on the job and prevent workers from hearing important warning sounds or communications.

“If you are on the job and you have to pay attention to important cues, the forklift is backing up or you are in a mine and certain warning bells that let you know the machine — which could pin you to the wall and kill you — is moving and you are hearing this rushing in your ears, it can be a distraction,” says Masterson.

But the biggest issue with tinnitus is it affects sleep and concentration. This means general safety and effectiveness is hampered.

“If you are coming to the job fatigued, that can be a problem for your level of alertness. You’re missing cues, you’re basically just going through the motions,” says Masterson. “If you are driving a vehicle as part of your job, dangerous equipment as part of your job or if you are in a job where communication is absolutely critical — police, fire — you could be missing communication because you are really tired and not alert.”

Tinnitus is also associated with depression and anxiety, noted the report. There have even been a few suicides due to extreme tinnitus, says Masterson.

“As hearing loss worsens it really has a detrimental effect on the communications you have with others… You have to keep asking people to repeat themselves; you get frustrated, they get frustrated, the conversations with important people in your life become shorter because it’s a frustrating experience,” she says. “You lose the volume and quality of the sounds you want to hear: music, TV, a child’s voice. You lose enjoyment.”

The lack of public awareness around tinnitus also contributes to mental health issues, says Chrostowski, as individuals suffering with the condition feel as though no one understands what they are going through.


Occupational hearing loss is entirely preventable and the first thing employers need to do is measure the noise in their workplace, says Wisdom.

“They need to measure their noise sources, tools and equipment as to levels being generated — and then measure employee exposure with noise dosimetry,” she says. “They need to determine what their noise levels are — they can’t fix something if they don’t know they have a hazard.”

The next step is to develop a noise conservation program, which will include many elements, such as methods of noise control. For this, employers need to follow the hierarchy of controls and start with looking for ways to eliminate the noise. One way to do this is by properly maintaining and lubricating tools.

Bev Borst, a Technical Service Specialist for 3M Canada Company, Personal Safety Division sets up an EARfit™ Dual-Ear Validation System demoThe next step is substitution. For example, there are some tools on the market with low noise levels, so the purchasing department needs to know to look for ones with reduced decibel ratings, says Wisdom.

Next is engineering controls. Encasing the noise is one example. Employers can put a noisy machine in a room that’s soundproof, so only the person who has to go in there to work that machine is exposed.

Administrative controls, such as work scheduling, are the next best thing.

“See if you can split the noise,” says Masterson. “Instead of one in there for eight hours, have two people go in — one for four and another person for four. We just reduced the exposure for that person by half.”

The last step is hearing protection, which unfortunately is often the go-to for employers, says Wisdom.

“They just throw earplugs at people, with no training on how to put them in. Hearing protection should always be the last resort, but it’s actually the first resort in many workplaces,” she says.

Employers should make sure to fit test all workers for their hearing protection and teach them how to use it properly. Supervisors and managers need make sure they are continually enforcing the use of hearing protection, says Chrostowski.

A hearing conservation program should also outline the requirements for audiometric testing and the maintenance of test records. Workers should undergo annual testing so they can know if hearing loss is occurring, says Wisdom.

A plan needs to be in place to educate workers on the hazards of exposure to excess noise.

“It’s important to educate workers on what tinnitus is, what it sounds like and know what their risks are,” says Chrostowski. “With hearing loss, everyone has an idea of what it is and it’s easy to assume it’s not a big deal or they won’t have issues. A lot of us are guilty for taking our hearing for granted.”

One effective education tool is to play an example of what tinnitus sounds like (which is easy to find on YouTube).

For workers currently suffering from tinnitus, health and safety managers need to be even more vigilant with hearing protection, so they prevent these workers from losing any more hearing, says Chrostowski. If possible, the noise exposure should be reduced for workers with tinnitus or eliminated for those with severe cases.

“Treat it as if you would a back injury. You wouldn’t ask a person with a back injury to lift heavy loads, and you shouldn’t ask a person with tinnitus to be exposed to high noise levels,” says Wisdom.

The workplace can also put in place non-verbal communication techniques (hand signals) as well as visual cues (flashing lights), so there is less dependence on hearing for these workers.

The good news is tinnitus can be managed and reduced, says Chrostowski. There are various treatment options available for tinnitus on which employers can provide information. These include tinnitus sound therapies that are available through some hearing clinics or tinnitus retraining therapy provided by trained hearing professionals.

“With the right therapies and support from employers, employees with tinnitus can regain a sense of control and quality of life. Tinnitus can affect a person’s life in many ways, but what makes it worse is feeling that nothing can be done and nobody understands,” says Chrostowski. “Employers have the opportunity and means to address these issues… and in so doing they will improve the lives and productivity of employees with tinnitus.”


This article originally appeared in the October/November 2016 issue of COS.

WorkSafeBC: Number of Workers Injured By Motor Vehicles Peaks During Fall, Winter Months

A lineup of cars drive on a snowy roadwayWorkSafeBC data show that the number of workers who experienced a lost-time injury after being struck on the road or roadside is highest during the wetter, darker fall and winter months. As a result, the agency is reminding drivers to be extra vigilant and slow down.

Fifteen British Columbia workers were killed and another 280 missed time from work from 2006-15 as a result of being struck by a motor vehicle on a public road in the course of their work. Of those workers, 146 were injured during the fall and winter months, versus 134 during the spring and summer.

“Workers who must perform their duties near traffic face the risk of being struck year-round, but especially when drivers may find it more difficult to see them,” said Mark Ordeman, WorkSafeBC industry and labour services manager. “We ask all drivers to keep that in mind and slow down — especially as weather conditions can change quickly and deteriorate — so that all workers can return home safe each night.”

Many different types of workers perform their duties in proximity to traffic, including:

•construction workers
•transit operators
•transport truck drivers
•delivery and courier service drivers
•letter carriers
•telecommunications installation and repair workers
•public works maintenance equipment operators.

WorkSafeBC offers information on its website for workers performing duties in and around traffic. This includes links to a Road Safety at Work tool kit with tools and resources for employers, supervisors and workers to help keep workers safe when working in and around traffic.


Don't Get Left in the (Respirable) Dust

A man cuts tiles with a circular saw and creates a cloud of dustCecilia has started working in construction. Her job includes using power tools to cut through drywall, wood flooring, and cement blocks. Although each of these tasks represents a small part of her daily work, they all expose her to airborne dust. Even when the tasks are brief, multiple short exposures to construction dust can result in ill health and harm Cecilia’s lungs. Learn more about the dangers of dust, and how Cecilia and workers like her can protect themselves from exposure.

Construction dust is a general term used to describe different dusts that you may find on a construction site. There are three main types:

  • silica dust, created when working on silica-containing materials like concrete, mortar and sandstone (also known as respirable crystalline silica),
  • wood dust, created when working on softwood, hardwood and wood-based products like MDF and plywood, and
  • lower toxicity dusts, created when working on materials containing very little or no silica for example, gypsum (e.g., in drywall), limestone, marble and dolomite.

Each of these types of dust can be harmful.

Dust is not always an obvious hazard because the particles that do the most damage are not visible to the human eye and the health effects can take years to develop.

The main dust-related diseases affecting construction workers are:

  • Lung cancer
  • Silicosis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Asthma

Some lung diseases, like advanced silicosis or asthma, can come on quite quickly. However, most of these diseases take a long time to develop. Dust can build up in the lungs, damage them gradually over time, and the effects are often not immediately obvious. Unfortunately, by the time most people notice that they have a problem the damage may already be serious and life changing, with permanent disability and even early death.


Managing and controlling exposure to dust is an ongoing challenge to the construction industry. Many workers are exposed daily, but often only work for short durations on various job sites and with frequently changing employers.

The amount of dust breathed in each day can seem small and insignificant. In some cases, the effects of exposure may be immediate but more often it can take years before the symptoms of ill health become apparent. As a result, respiratory risks are often overlooked, misunderstood, or underplayed.

Jobs at risk when done without the right controls include:

  • Using a cut-off saw on curbs, blocks, paving slabs, roof tiles and other concrete products
  • Chasing, scabbling or grinding concrete
  • Drilling or coring for long periods, particularly indoors
  • Abrasive pressure blasting
  • Cutting and sanding wood with power tools
  • Sanding plasterboard jointing
  • Dry sweeping
  • Demolition


When working at activities that create dust, you have an obligation to protect yourself and others working around you. If you are an employer, you need to develop effective dust control programs and improve awareness among your workers.

Assess the risks

The task, work area, time spent working, and frequency of the task can all lead to high dust levels. The more energy the work involves, the bigger the risk.  High-energy tools like cut-off saws, grinders and grit blasters produce a lot of dust in a very short time. The more enclosed a space, the more the dust will build up. However, do not assume that dust levels will be low when working outside. The longer the work takes the more dust there will be. Regularly doing the same work day after day increases the risk.

Control the risk

Stopping the release of dusts should always be a priority. By eliminating dust, you eliminate the hazard. You may need to use a range of controls to manage the dust. They can include:

  • Eliminate or reduce: Look at ways to stop or reduce the amount of dust you make before work starts. Design changes, using different materials, or using different tools or work methods can sometimes achieve the same result and create less dust.
  • Control at source: When elimination or reduction can’t be done, it is important to stop the dust from getting into the air. Options include water suppression and on-tool extraction. Water can be used to damp down dust, and on-tool extraction removes the dust as you create it.  Avoid dry sweeping and keep your tools and equipment in good working order.
  • Respiratory protection: Some tasks produce so much dust that water suppression or on-tool extraction is not enough. In these cases, face masks or other respiratory protective equipment should be used. Like all personal protective equipment, respiratory protective equipment is the last line of protection and should always be used in combination with other controls.
  • Training: Make sure workers are aware of the health risks associated with exposure to construction dusts and know what procedures to follow. Train them in the use and maintenance of any new equipment, and how to wear face masks correctly, maintain them and keep them clean.
  • Other Controls: In some situations, you may need to combine these controls with other measures like keeping other people away from the work, stopping any dust from spreading with sheeting, rotating workers and/or ventilating the work area.

Wear your face mask

You are most at risk from the smallest dust particles that you cannot see. Not seeing them doesn’t mean they are not there. Even when you are keeping the dust down, you are still likely to need a face mask.

It is easy to use a mask badly which means it might not give you ANY protection. First, make sure that you have the right mask for the job.  Then, have a fit test to make sure the mask is right for you.  Learn how to wear it correctly so that the really fine dust cannot get in through any gaps, store it correctly, and know when it should be replaced.

Construction dust is not just a nuisance.  It can seriously damage your health and affect your daily living.  Some types of dust can kill.  Make dust control a part of your everyday working practice.



Originally posted by CCOHS March 2016 

WHMIS 2015: Preparing for Change

What WHMIS 2015 Means for Those Who Handle Hazardous Products in Canada

WHMIS2015LargeThe Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) is a national system that provides comprehensive information on the hazards, safe use and handling of hazardous products used in Canadian workplaces. Workers have a right to know about the hazards that may come with the products they handle, use and store. WHMIS helps ensure that adequate information is provided by suppliers to their customers, and by employers to their workers.

WHMIS came into force in 1988 and was updated in February 2015 to align with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). This modification to WHMIS ensures that Canada’s hazard classification and communication is aligned with U.S. regulatory requirements and is consistent with international best practice as laid out in the GHS. As a result of this modification it is now possible for suppliers (manufacturers, importers and distributors) under WHMIS 2015 to meet all Canadian and U.S. requirements using one label and safety data sheet (SDS).

“Those principles of the system remain the same as they were in 1988,” says Rosslynn Miller-Lee, who manages the Assessment, Compliance & Enforcement Division of Health Canada. “What’s changed in terms of the adoption of the GHS in Canada are the criteria that we apply for the classification and the specifics of the communication.”

For example, while warning pictograms under WHMIS were black and white with a round black border, under GHS, such pictograms are contained in a red square. In many cases the pictograms are highly similar, so the labelling should remain familiar to anyone using the product. “If they’re working with the same chemical that they’ve worked with for the past 10 years, the hazards of that chemical haven’t changed,” Miller-Lee says.

The main elements of WHMIS 1988 - product hazard classification, labels, safety data sheets and work
er education and training - are all still required with WHMIS 2015. Suppliers are still obligated to:

  • Communicate the hazard through SDS and labels;
  • Update labels and SDS when new data becomes available; and
  • Disclose any information required to appear on an SDS to a safety or health professional, in an emergency.

What has changed for suppliers are the obligations to prepare and maintain documentation, the names and criteria for the hazard classes, how labels look and what is required on the safety data sheets. In less than a year (June 2017) manufacturers and importers must fully comply with WHMIS 2015 requirements. Distributors have until June 1, 2018.

To assist suppliers with the transition, Health Canada has published Phase 1 of their Supplier Technical Guidance. Request your PDF copy here. 


Originally posted by CCOHS July 2016

MOL Electrical Hazards Blitz


Worker servicing an electrical panel.Workers risk serious, life-changing injuries and possible death if they come in contact with energized conductors or equipment.

It takes very little electrical current to kill a worker. Less than one amp of electricity can cause a worker to stop breathing. Contact with a live 15-amp circuit (equivalent to a standard household 125-volt circuit) can result in death, according to the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association.

At Ontario workplaces, one in five critical injuries and one in 18 non-critical injuries involving electricity results in death, according to the Electrical Safety Authority.

Incidents can be prevented by ensuring:

  • power tools and electrical cords are properly maintained, and damaged cords and equipment are removed from service until repaired or disposed of
  • all tools and cords are grounded and/or plugged into a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) protected receptacle when used in wet conditions
  • a signal person is present when operating heavy equipment around overhead electrical wires/power lines to assist operators in maintaining minimum clearance distances
  • no live work, use of proper lockout procedures, and that all equipment and conductors are de-energized or isolated
  • minimum clearance distances are maintained for overhead electrical wires/power lines when working from a ladder, elevated work platform, scaffold or other type of work platform or moving material or equipment
  • required personal protective equipment (PPE) is worn, including electric shock protective safety boots (omega sign) and Class E hard hats to reduce exposure to high voltage conductors and offer electrical protection up to 20,000 volts (phase to ground)

Employers are responsible for protecting workers from electrical hazards at construction projects.

An electrical hazard is a dangerous condition in which a worker could make electrical contact with energized equipment or a conductor and sustain an injury from shock and/or from an arc flash burn, thermal burn or blast injury.

Some common electrical hazards at construction projects include:

  • working near energized overhead conductors on a scaffold ladder or other work platform
  • moving material or tools by hand or using hoisting equipment near energized overhead power lines or live electrical equipment
  • improper grounding, electrical cords with broken ground pins, cord connected power tools without double insulated casing, and non GFCI receptacles in wet conditions
  • generators not grounded as per manufacturer’s instructions
  • no markings on the ground identifying the location of underground power lines and utilities prior to excavation
  • equipment with exposed electrical parts including missing cover plates on switches and receptacles, and missing electrical panel covers
  • inadequate wiring and wiring with damaged insulation
  • overloaded circuits, indicated by breakers "nuisance" tripping and being reset
  • equipment and vehicles being operated near energized overhead power lines

Some general duties of workplace parties

Constructors, employers, supervisors and workers have a number of duties and responsibilities under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and Regulation for Construction Projects. Employers and supervisors should encourage workers to communicate any questions or concerns they may have about electrical hazards. Supervisors should be familiar with and able to identify electrical hazards to workers at a construction project.


Constructors’ duties and responsibilities include:

  • ensuring workers’ health and safety is protected [OHSA s. 23(1)(c)]
  • ensuring every employer and every worker performing work on the project complies with the OHSAand its regulations [OHSA s. 23(1)(b)]


Employers’ duties and responsibilities include:

  • providing information, instruction and supervision to workers to protect their health and safety [OHSA s. 25(2)(a)]
  • taking every reasonable precaution in the circumstances to protect workers [OHSA s. 25(2)(h)]
  • ensuring equipment is operated and maintained as per manufacturer’s instructions [Construction Reg. s. 93]
  • ensuring appointed supervisors are competent [OHSA s. 25(2)(c)]
  • ensuring required equipment, materials and protective devices are provided and maintained in good condition [OHSA s. 25(1)(a) and (b)]


Supervisors’ duties and responsibilities include:

  • ensuring workers work in the manner and with the protective devices, measures and procedures required by the OHSA and its regulations [OHSA s. 27(1)(a)]
  • ensuring any equipment, protective devices or clothing required by the employer is worn/used by workers [OHSA s. 27(1)(b)]
  • advising workers of any potential or actual health or safety dangers known by the supervisor [OHSA s. 27(2)(a)]
  • providing workers with any prescribed written instructions about measures and procedures to be taken for the workers’ protection [OHSA s. 27(2)(b)]
  • taking every reasonable precaution in the circumstances for workers’ protection [OHSA s. 27(2)(c)]
  • supervising workers’ work at all times either personally or by having a competent assistant do so personally [Construction Reg. s. 14]


Workers’ duties include:

  • wearing appropriate PPE [OHSA s. 28(1)(b)]
  • using/operating equipment in a safe manner [OHSA s. 28(2)(b)]
  • reporting any defects in equipment to his or her supervisor or employer [OHSA s. 28(1)(c)]
  • working in compliance with the OHSA and its regulations [OHSA s. 28(1)(a)]
  • reporting any known workplace hazards or OHSA violations to his or her supervisor or employer [OHSA s. 28(1)(d)]
  • knowing his or her OHSA rights, including the right to refuse unsafe work [OHSA s. 43(3)(a) to (c)]

Ministry of Labour Health & Safety Contact Centre

Call toll-free 1-877-202-0008 any time to report workplace health and safety incidents Call 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday for general inquiries about workplace health and safety.

Always call 911 in an emergency.

New Construction Amendments Come Into Effect January 1, 2017

Authentic construction worker placing slab formwork beams in construction site

New safety requirements related to the operation of suspended access equipment (SAE) will come into force on January 1, 2017. The amendments to O. Reg. 213/91 (Construction Projects) will strengthen and clarify existing requirements for all buildings and structures where SAE may be used and where the regulation applies.

Key amendments include:

Construction Projects Regulation (O. Reg. 213/91)

  • New requirements relating to the safe operation of rotary foundation drill rigs ("drill rigs"), including new drill rig operator training requirements;
  • Enhancing and clarifying provisions relating to exposure to carbon monoxide, and other fumes and gases, released from internal combustion engines;
  • Strengthening fall protection measures; and,
  • Correcting errors, omissions and inconsistencies, updating outdated references, and clarifying certain requirements.

Control of Exposure to Biological or Chemical Agents Regulation (Regulation 833)

  • Extending the application of the regulation to construction projects; and
  • Enabling the future use of 'codes of practice' approved by the Ministry of Labour,

Confined Spares Regulation (O. 632/05)

  • Consequential amendments were made under this regulation to ensure consistency with changes to Regulation 833.


Mining Amendments To Improve Mine Safety In Ontario Take Effect January 1

Mining Vehicles with Anusl A101 Fire Protection SystemsAmendments made to Regulation 854 (Mines and Mining Plants) to require risk assessments and strengthen requirements for certain high hazards – including water and traffic management, and recording of seismic events – will come into force January 1, 2017.

The amendments include:

  • New requirements for mines and mining plants to conduct risk assessments and have formal traffic management programs;
  • Strengthening existing requirements regarding water management, including requiring underground mines to have a water management program, and ground control;
  • Enhancing and clarifying requirements regarding conveyors, specifically requirements for guarding and emergency stopping devices/pull cords;
  • Updating training requirements for surface diamond drill operations to reflect changes to the modular training program; and
  • Amendments to several miscellaneous provisions to update terminology and certain industry standards, clarify certain requirements and revoke sections that are no longer necessary.

Most of the amendments came into force July 1, 2016. New requirements relating to risk assessments, water management, traffic management and ground control will come into force on January 1, 2017 to provide stakeholders with time to comply.

All surface diamond driller signing authorities and mine managers will receive updated Program Guidelines in the mail from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

In addition, Schedule 68 of Regulation 950 under the Provincial Offences Act has also been amended. This is the schedule of offences for Regulation 854 (Mines and Mining Plants) under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and allows a Ministry of Labour health and safety inspector to issue a ticket to a specific workplace party where they observe a contravention in a workplace. Learn more about those amendments, which come into effect on October 1, 2016.


Roofing Company Proprietor Receives Fine, Jail Term After Worker Falls

The proprietor of a London-area roofing company has been sentenced to three days in jail and a fine of $5,000 after attempting to deceive a Ministry of Labour safety inspector following a worker's fall from a roof.

The defendant, A. Bradley Clothier, operates a roofing business as a sole proprietor called AB Clothier Roofing based in Dorchester, Ontario.

On August 17, 2015, three workers for AB Clothier Roofing, including Clothier, were working on a residential roofing project at a two-storey home in the town of Bayfield. Fall protection, such as harnesses required by law when working at heights, was not made available for the workers on the project. One of the workers fell at distance of 18 feet from the roof, which resulted in injuries.

After the worker fell, Clothier directed the third worker at the site to go up onto the roof and put up lifelines and fall protection equipment in an attempt to deceive the Ministry of Labour investigation that would take place.

Clothier pleaded guilty to two counts: Failure to ensure a worker was adequately protected by a method of fall protection contrary to section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and attempting to hinder, obstruct, molest or interfere with an inspector in the exercise of his or her power, or performance of a duty, under section 54 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Clothier was fined $5,000 on the first count, and imprisonment for a term of three days on the second count. The jail sentence and fine were imposed by Justice of the Peace D. Patricia Hodgins in Goderich court on November 3, 2016.

In addition to the fine, the court imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.


Originally posted by the Government of Ontario Newsroom, November 7 2016 

Upcoming MOL Regional Safety Blitzes

The ministry regularly conducts regional inspection blitzes on health and safety hazards, and on compliance with core employment standards. Several of these blitzes are underway while others will take place over the next several months, including those in certain parts of central Ontario that focus on child day-care services, landscapers/snow removal, toilets and wash-up facilities on construction projects, and heavy raw material handling. In eastern Ontario, the ministry is focusing on fitness centres. And in western Ontario, the ministry is visiting elevating work platforms in the farming sector, and industrial malls and repurposed factories.

Below is a listing of the health and safety blitzes that will be taking place in late 2016 and early 2017.

Focus Program Sector/Business Type Date
Central East Health and Safety Industrial:
- Heavy Raw Material Handling
December 1, 2016 - February 17, 2017
Central East Health and Safety Construction:
- Toilets/Wash Up Facilities
January 1, 2017 - February 28, 2017
Central West Health and Safety Construction:
- Finishing Trades
July 1, 2016 - July 31, 2016
Central West Health and Safety Industrial:
- Landscapers/Snow Removal
November 1, 2016 - March 31, 2017
Western Health and Safety Industrial:
- Elevating Work Platforms in the Farming Sector
October 1, 2016 - March 31, 2017

Defibrillator-Equipped Drones Could Be First on Scene in Cardiac Arrest

A drone could get to a patient faster than emergency services and could increase survival rates

When a heart stops beating, a defibrillator shock needs to be applied within minutes.

defibrillator-drone-2But for many Canadians, fire trucks and ambulances can't get to the scene fast enough. On average, only 10 per cent of people who suffer cardiac arrest outside of hospital survive (cardiac arrest is distinct from a heart attack, which can sometimes, but not always, cause cardiac arrest).

Marsha Hawthorne waited 32 minutes for an ambulance to arrive after her husband, Curtis, went into cardiac arrest one night six years ago after putting their two kids to bed.

"When I was on the phone with 911, all I could think was, 'Every second, I'm losing him.' Every split second I was losing him if I didn't get them here," Hawthorne said.

"It was devastating because I was trying to save his life because I promised I'd save his life. And also to save my kids lives because it would destroy them."

Hawthorne performed CPR on her husband, but by the time the ambulance arrived at their home in Beachburg, a rural area outside of Ottawa, from Eganville, about 40 km away, it was too late.

"It is the hardest thing that anybody can go through being a widow at 32," Hawthorne said. "You're supposed to raise your family together with the one person you married. I didn't get to do that. So, we lost an amazing man, an amazing father."

Response times could be cut by more than half

The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada estimates that about 40,000 Canadians suffer cardiac arrest each year.

University of Toronto computer science engineer Timothy Chan thinks that drone technology might help a greater proportion of them survive.

Using computer models, he has determined that strategically placed drones carrying defibrillators could beat ambulances to the scene by many minutes and, in some cases, cut response times in half, increasing the chances of survival.

When the heart stops beating, the chance of survival drops seven to 10 per cent for every minute a defibrillator doesn't deliver a lifesaving electrical shock to restart the heart, according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

But ambulance response times average five to 10 minutes in cities and often more than 20 minutes in rural communities, meaning firefighters and paramedics, who carry defibrillators, often arrive too late.

A discussion with an emergency doctor about cardiac arrest prompted Chan to investigate whether a drone could reduce response times.

His research team at the University of Toronto studied historical ambulance response times to 56,000 cardiac arrests that occurred in southern Ontario over a nine-year period. They then applied a mathematical algorithm to determine where drones would have to be placed to arrive faster than 911 responders.

Chan looked at the impact of a network of 81 drone bases with 100 drones in the eight municipalities in the Greater Toronto Area. He determined that would cut the time it takes for ambulances to arrive by more than half in 90 per cent of cardiac arrests.

Rural regions would see average response times drop from 19 minutes to nine minutes in 90 per cent of cases, and urban centres would see response times drop from just more than 10 minutes to less than four.

"I think that is an amazing idea," Hawthorne said. "I think that drone idea will save a lot of people's lives. I applaud them for finding ways to help people. I never want anybody to go through [what I did]."

Faster than ambulances

defibrillator-droneIf drones could deliver defibrillators faster than ambulances, "thousands of lives could be saved," said Michael Nolan, director of the paramedic service for Renfrew County, near Ottawa.

"We've proven these concepts. Now, we need to integrate them within the regulatory framework," he said.

He envisions a 911 system where pilots sit beside dispatchers and fly the drones remotely. Once a drone arrives on someone's doorstep, the 911 dispatcher would guide the caller through the steps to deliver a shock.

Already accustomed to coaching people through emergency childbirth and CPR, dispatchers could walk people easily through using the defibrillator and then stay on the line until paramedics arrive.

While the idea might sound futuristic, drone experts say the technology is already available.

The technology needed to fly defibrillators to 911 callers exists today, says Angela Schoellig, an assistant professor at the Institute for Aerospace Studies at the University of Toronto and an expert on drones. Drones could fly 100 km/h directly to an emergency, even in inclement Canadian weather, she says.

While drones can be piloted remotely, they can also fly themselves. Self-flying drones are guided by dependable GPS systems and could respond quickly to nearby aircraft, Schoellig said.

"I'm convinced autonomous flying is safer than pilot flying," she said.

Test coming in Renfrew County

Currently, drone operators must follow Transport Canada regulationsgoverning model aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles, which include always keeping the drone within the operator's line of sight. Those flying drones heavier than 35 kg for personal use or 25 kg for work and research must get a special operations certificate.

Transport Canada grants some exemptions to its regulations for specific work, research and test flights.

Renfrew County paramedics have been using drones to survey accident scenes since 2014, but they haven't yet flown them beyond the operator's line of sight. That could soon change now that they are working with Transport Canada on a regulatory framework for defibrillator-carrying drones. Renfrew has partnered with Victoria-based drone maker Indro Robotics to seek a special exemption.

Indro has received exemptions before and is recognized as a safe operator by Transport Canada.

Transport Canada spokesperson Natasha Gauthier says the idea that drones could help saves lives is "exciting" but warns "they are aircraft and should be treated as aircraft."

The agency says it supports innovation in drone technology.  On Nov. 3, Transport Minister Marc Garneau granted the village of Foremost, Alta., approval to begin flying drones beyond the operator's line of sight at a special research facility with restricted airspace.

"This will facilitate research and development and provide the industry with dedicated, restricted airspace where they can test BVLOS (beyond visual line of sight) technology and operations," said Aaron McCrorie, director-general of civil aviation for Transport Canada, in a statement.

Still, Transport Canada said it approaches each exemption request on a case-by-case basis, paying close attention to the nature of the cargo, which could fall out of the drone, and other risks.

"Any payload that could be dropped from a UAV could be dangerous, and the department would take this into account," McCrorie said. "To receive permission to carry out such activities, an operator would need to demonstrate to us their ability to mitigate the heightened risk to people on the ground and to other aircraft."

Closing the rural-urban gap

defibrillator-drone-1Innovations such as defibrillator-carrying drones could be used to "close the survival gap" between rural and urban centres, said Heart and Stroke Foundation communications director Rhae Ann Bromley. In cities, survival rates from cardiac arrest can be as high as 12 per cent, but in rural areas, they can be as low as five per cent.

Bromley emphasized that a bystander's first reaction when coming upon someone who has collapsed and isn't breathing normally should still be to call 911, start chest compressions and look for a defibrillator nearby.

While tens of millions of dollars have been spent distributing thousands of defibrillators in hockey rinks, airports and other public spaces across Canada, only 20 per cent of cardiac arrests occur in public. For everyone else, defibrillator-carrying drones might one day soon be the difference between life and death.


Originally published by CBC.ca on November 16th 2016 

8 Steps to Help You Implement New Workplace Harassment Requirements

A stack of books on a desk in the background, with text regarding Bill 132 overlaid on topBill 132 received Royal asSent in March 2016 and went into effect on september 8th, 2016. 

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 Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS) consultant Charmaine Mitchell. "If workers don't feel safe, it can have widespread repercussions on employee well-being and organizational productivity."

That's why, as of September 8, 2016, the Ministry of Labour (MOL) has assigned employers new responsibilities under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). These new responsibilities, an extension of existing requirements around workplace violence and harassment, ensure

  • workers have clear, confidential and optional steps for reporting harassment,
  • workers are able to report the harassment to someone who will address the complaint objectively,
  • an investigation and appropriate action will take place based on the facts of the situation.

To help workplaces understand the requirements, the MOL has published a code of practice, including a sample harassment policy and program.

To help you implement a policy and program, Mitchell offers the following eight steps. "Putting an effective policy and program in place is well worth your time," she says. "It just makes good business sense."

  1. Review the new requirements and compare them to the violence and harassment policy and program that you should already have in place. If you find gaps, use the code of practice as a guide.
  2. Consult with your joint health and safety committee or health and safety representative. It's more than a legal requirement: it's an opportunity to generate practical ideas on what needs to change and how.
  3. Involve senior management. Get their buy-in on next steps and then invite them to employee training and awareness sessions. "Having senior management introduce the topic with a clear statement that inappropriate behaviour is unacceptable and will not be tolerated sends a message people can't ignore," says Mitchell.
  4. Train supervisors. "In their role as enforcers of workplace policies, this may be a new competency for some supervisors - understanding the investigation process, and how to protect the rights of the complainant and the alleged harasser."
  5. Train whomever may be conducting a harassment investigation on how to conduct it in an unbiased, impartial way. "It needs to be someone who can be impartial, who can just gather the relevant information about the incident and maintain confidentiality. It requires someone who will not disclose, unless it's necessary to do so, and not override anyone's right to privacy."
  6. Inform all employees about the policy and program. "It could be a toolbox talk, it could be a formal training session, but any training should invite questions and encourage discussion so that misunderstandings can be dispelled." Post the policy and program details in a conspicuous location where workers are sure to see it.
  7. Set up a process to document investigations that ensures privacy for the complainant and the alleged harasser.
  8. Schedule a program review at least annually, and certainly after an investigation has been completed, so that you can identify opportunities for continued improvement.


Originally posted by WSPS.ca on September 8th 2016

Oakville FireFit Team Levitt-Safety Are WORLD CHAMPIONS!

Oakville Firefit Team Levitt-Safety returned from the Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge: World Challenge XXV as WORLD CHAMPIONS!

img_20161029_150002While a few teams flirted with world records, two of the biggest ever fell on the second day of the event. Oakville's own Ian Van Reenen became the newest holder of the title "Fastest Firefighter Ever". He dethroned Justin Couperus, with a blazing 1:16.34. In addition, Carlsbad Fire finally took down the relay record they've been after all year. They ran a 1:04 flat to break Montgomery Blue's record.

Day three saw even more records fall. Ian Van Reenen topped his record, setting down a 1:15.70. Oakville team Levitt-Safety broke the team record with a 4:07.15. Cyril Fraser both broke Roy Davis's long standing Over 60 record with a 1:52.54, as well as teaming up with Stephen McAleer to break the over 60 tandem record.

Three more records fell on the final day of the event. Ian Van Reenen broke the open record for the third time, this time with a 1:15.29. Cyril Fraser broke his own over 60 record with an impressive 1:45.92, The first international record was set by team U.S.A. with a 4:09.24. And last but not least, our boys from Oakville broke their own record for the second time, notching a team time of 4:04.85.


  • 1st Place Individual overall (New record!)
  • 5th Place Individual
  • 2nd Place Over-40 Individual
  • 1st Place Team (New record!)
  • 1st Place Tandem
  • 4th Place Relay

Levitt-Safety is proud to support the members of Oakville Firefit Team Levitt-Safety. The dedication the team shows to Firefit events is also reflected in the hard, selfless work they provide as members of Oakville's Fire Department. We can't wait to see what 2017 holds for these record-breaking world champs!

Click here to learn more about Scott Firefit of Canada. 


Staying Safe on Halloween

Children in costumes trick or treatingWith witches, goblins, and super-heroes descending on neighbourhoods across Canada, the Canadian Red Cross offers parents some safety tips to help prepare their children for a safe and enjoyable trick-or-treat holiday. Halloween should be filled with surprise and enjoyment, and following some common sense practices can keep events safer and more fun!

  • Costumes should be light-coloured and flame resistant with reflective strips so that children are more easily seen at night.  (And remember to put reflective tape on bikes, skateboards, and brooms, too!)
  • Costumes should be short enough to avoid tripping.
  • Remind children to keep away from open fires and candles. (Costumes can be extremely flammable.)
  • Use face paint rather than masks or things that will cover the eyes.
  • Remind children to walk, slither, and sneak on sidewalks - not in the street.
  • Explain to children that calls should be made along one side of the street first and then the other, and that it's best to cross the street only at intersections or crosswalks.
  • Remind children to look both ways before crossing the street to check for cars, trucks, and low-flying brooms.
  • Provide yourself or the children with a flashlight to see better and to be better seen.
  • Have children plan their route and share it with you and the family.
  • Trick or Treaters should travel in groups of four or five.  Young children should be accompanied by an adult.
  • Visit homes that have the porch light on.
  • Make sure children know they should accept treats at the door and must not get into cars or enter the homes or apartments of strangers.
  • Remind children not to eat their treats and goodies until they are examined by an adult at home.  And candy should not be eaten if the package is already opened. Small, hard pieces of candy are a choking hazard for young children.
  • Make sure you and your children know where the Block Parent houses are located in the neighborhood.
  • Set agreed-to boundaries with your children.  Explain the importance of staying within them and arriving home on time.

Share an anti-bullying message with your neighbours. Print this PDF and include it when you hand out candy to trick-or-treaters.

Originally posted by the Canadian Red Cross 

What Should You Do About Unsafe Conditions or An Injury in the Workplace?

A man clutches his knee while laying on the groundWhat can a worker do about unsafe conditions at work?

Health and safety concerns should first be brought to the attention of the employer or supervisor. If nothing is done, it can be taken to the worker's health and safety representative or JHSC.  If the situation is not corrected, it can be reported to the nearest office of the Ministry of Labour.  Workers also have the right to refuse unsafe work.  OHSA Section 43 outlines the procedure that must be followed, and this process should be understood before a refusal is initiated. More information can be obtained from local ministry offices.

What should a worker do if injured at work?

An injured worker's first priority should be to get proper medical attention. Ensuring that necessary medical treatment is provided is the responsibility of the employer.  It may take the form of first aid from a trained co-worker or require transportation to and treatment at a hospital.

The injury-causing incident must also be reported to the worker's supervisor or employer, so that the employer's responsibilities under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act can be met. One of these responsibilities is completion of a Workplace Safety and Insurance Board form (WSIB Form 7 - downloaded from the WSIB website) which must be submitted to the WSIB before workers, who are eligible, can receive workplace safety insurance (formerly known as workers' compensation).

What is Return to Work?

Return to Work is a work reintegration program for injured workers that maintains the dignity and productivity of the injured worker, and contributes to the injured worker’s rehabilitation and recovery.

Most people who are injured or become ill at work are able to return while recovering, provided that the work is medically suited to their injury or illness. Returning to daily work can actually help an injured worker’s recovery and reduce the potential of long-term disability.

Originally published by WSPS News 


New CSA Hard Hat Standard

A red MSA V-Gard hard hatIn January 2015, CSA Group issued approval for CSA Z94.1-15, Industrial protective headwear — Performance, selection, care, and use. This standard was prepared by the Technical Committee on Industrial Protective Headwear, under the jurisdiction of the Strategic Steering Committee on Occupational Health and Safety, and has been formally approved by the Technical Committee.

What is CSA Z94.1-15?

CSA Z94.1-15 (the “Standard”) applies to protective headwear (i.e., a cap or hat) for industrial, construction, mining, utility, and forestry workers. It defines the areas of the head that are to be protected and includes basic performance requirements for dielectric strength, impact attenuation, penetration resistance, passive retention (stability), shell flammability, and liner ignition resistance. The Standard includes requirements for and provides guidance on the selection, care, and use of protective headwear. Additionally, tests specified in the Standard set minimum performance requirements for protective headwear.

Why was a new Standard created?

The Standard is subject to review every five years from date of publication. As a result, itsupercedes previous editions published in 2005, 1992, 1977, and 1966 under the title,“Industrial Protective Headwear.”

What updates have been made to CSA Z94.1-15?

Important updates to the Standard are listed here:

Protection Area Established (Clauses 6.3.1,, 10.2.5, 10.3.6, and Figure 2)

A minimum protection area around the top of the head has been established for penetration and impact tests¹. Additionally,within that protected area, there cannot be penetration to the headform by the 2.5mm diameter test blade through any holesin the helmet, whether vent holes or any other type.

Headform Size “O” Eliminated (Clause 7.4.7)

The largest size of headform (size“O”) is no longer specified for testing purposes

Aging Requirements Eliminated (formerly CSA Z94.1-05, Section 7.6.7)

Ultraviolet (UV) resistance requirements and the pre-conditioning procedure have been removed pending future research to validate the procedure against real use conditions (i.e., exposure to sunlight).

Terminology Clarified (Table C.1)

Annex C, Table C.1 has been added to clarify terminology related to selection, care and use of protective headwear. Within Annex C, Table C.1, an explanation of the difference between accredited product certification (i.e., “Certification Mark”), and a manufacturer’s self declaration of compliance (i.e, “meets or complies with CSA standards”) has been provided.

The new Standard and Product Compliance

CSA Z94.1-15 does not require users to discontinue using products labeled as compliant with the CSA Z94.1-05 Standard. However, if your occupation requires compliance with new requirements within the Standard, older product will not be marked and may not be compliant.


Worker safety is always the highest job site priority, and head protection is an essential element in providingworkerswith protection from falling debris, low hanging objects and electrical hazards. A Standard-compliant, properly marked hard hat should be worn in all situations where head protection hazards exist. A copy of CSA Z94.1-15 can be purchased from CSA Group Online Store at shop.csa.ca or by calling toll-free 1-800-463-6272 or 416-747-4044.

¹A test line designates minimum protection area, and is situated 36.4 mm above the standard reference plane at the front of the head, and 10 mm at the back.

Originally published my MSA / July 2015 

ANSI Z358.1 FAQ: What is the Weekly Test vs. the Annual Test?

Are you unsure of when you should test the emergency showers and eyewashes in your facility? Do you know the difference between the weekly and annual testing requirements? In certain cases, a full 15-minute drench period is not required, however it is important to know what is required on a weekly basis versus annually.



Per the ANSI Z358.1 standard, you are required to activate the emergency equipment weekly to verify operation and to ensure there is a flushing fluid supply and clear the supply line of any sediment build-up that could prevent the flushing fluid from being delivered due to stagnant water.

How long do you activate for? ANSI states the duration of the weekly activation depends on the amount of water contained in the unit itself and all sections of pipework that are not a part of a constant circulation system, also known as the “dead leg” portions. The goal of the weekly activation is to flush out the stagnant water in the dead leg completely.


All emergency eyewashes, eye/face washes, showers and combination units are required to be fully inspected annually to ensure conformance with the installation section of the Z358.1 standard for that type of equipment. The following some of the requirements that need to be met for the annual test:

  1. The equipment must be assembled and installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, including flushing fluid delivery requirement.
  2. Equipment must be accessible within 10 seconds, located on the same level as the potential hazard, and must be free of obstructions that may inhibit immediate use.
  3. Must be identified with well-lit, highly visible signage.
  4. Equipment must be connected to a supply of flushing fluid that can produce the required flush time of a full 15 minutes.
  5. Where the possibility of freezing conditions exists, equipment must be protected from freezing or freeze-protected equipment must be installed.
  6. Must deliver tepid flushing fluid for the full 15-minute drench period.
  7. Equipment must go from “off” to “one” in one second or less.
  8. Must provide a controlled flow of flushing fluid at a velocity low enough to be non-injurious to the user.

How long do you activate for? As stated above, you need to ensure the equipment is is delivering tepid flushing fluid for a full 15 minutes.

MOL Chemical Handling Blitz

cleaningsupplies1Ministry of Labour Blitz: Chemical Handling - September 19 to October 31, 2016

Think you don't need to worry about hazardous chemicals in your workplace? Think again. Hazardous chemicals range from exotic new substances used in high tech industries to common materials like chlorine bleach, cleaning agents and solvents found in almost all workplaces. From September 19 to October 31, Ministry of Labour Inspectors will focus on chemical handling to check that employers have taken proper steps to protect workers.

What Do Inspectors Look For?

  • Compliance with MOL Regulations such as WHMIS 2015 industrial establishment regulations including worker education and training
  • Proper controls and proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Safe storage and handling practices and procedures for chemicals
  • Emergency procedures in case of spills, body splash or contact with skin and eyes

What are hazardous materials?

Hazardous materials are chemicals or physical agents regulated under the provisions of the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) and the Transportation of Dangerous Goods and Regulations (TDG) legislation. These are dangerous products that may cause short- or long-term health problems or damage to the environment.

Hazardous materials are a fact of life in many workplaces, and if handled incorrectly, could cause injuries, illnesses or fatalities. According to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), 23,789 workers suffered lost-time injuries related to chemical exposure during 1999 to 2008. When employees and employers are aware of the hazards around them and know how to take necessary precautions, the risk of an injury, illness or fatality is significantly minimized.

What the law says

WHMIS applies to all workplaces governed by the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The overall purpose of WHMIS is to help ensure a safer and healthier workplace. Please refer to the WHMIS topic page for additional information about this regulation.

There are also responsibilities under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods and Regulations for companies that ship, handle or receive dangerous goods. People who handle, ship, carry or receive dangerous goods must be fully qualified, trained and certified for their work.

How hazardous materials can affect your business

Most workplaces use one or more hazardous materials and these materials have the capability of causing serious illness, potential death to your workers, and serious impact on the environment. Explosions, fires and spills may also occur resulting in catastrophic loss to buildings, equipment and supplies. The human and financial toll of improper handling, storage and disposal could be severe.

How Levitt-Safety Can Help

Consulting Services

Safety Consulting Services 

Crisis Management Consulting 

Instructor-Led Training

Spill Response Training 

WHMIS Training 

Online Training

HAZWOPER: Accidental Release Measures and Spill Cleanup Procedures Online Course 

Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Plans Online Course 

Emergency Procedures Online Course 

Chemical Safety Online Course 

GHS Awareness Online Course 

WHMIS 2015 Online Course

WHMIS 2015 GHS Online Course

Chlorine Safety Online Course

Formaldehyde Safety Online Course 

Safety Showers and Eyewash Online Course 


Diphoterine® solution by Prevor 

Personal protective equipment for chemicals

Spill control products 



Originally posted by WSPS

It's That Time Again: Winter Driving

snowy_winter_drivingHow Should You prepare a vehicle for driving under winter conditions?

Driving in winter weather - snow, ice, wet and cold - creates a great challenge for vehicles and drivers. Keeping your vehicle in good technical repair reduces your overall chances for any mishap or disaster while driving - particularly in winter weather. To prepare your vehicle for winter driving give it a complete checkup. Look for the following:

Electrical system

  • Battery - recharge or replace if the battery is weak. Also have the charging system checked.
  • Ignition - check for damaged ignition wires and cracks in the distributor cap.
  • Lights - check all lights (headlights, side lights, emergency flashers, directional lights, taillights, brake lights and parking lights) for proper functioning.


  • Check brakes and adjust to ensure equal braking.


The traction between tires and roadway determines how well a vehicle rides, turns and stops, and is crucial for safe driving in winter. Proper tire selection is very important.

  • Use all-season radial tires only in areas that receive only light snowfall.
  • Use snow tires in areas that receive heavy snowfall.
  • Use chains on all four wheels when you expect severe snow and icy roads. Check with your local Department or Ministry of Transportation office to see if the use of tire chains is legal in the region through which you are planning to drive.
  • Check tire pressure and if necessary restore it to levels recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. The pressure drops about 1 psi for every 5°C (9°F) drop in temperature.
  • Do not mix radial tires with other types.
  • Check tire balance and correct if necessary.
  • Check wheel alignment and correct if necessary.

Exhaust system

  • Check the exhaust system for leaks. A properly sealed exhaust system reduces the risk for carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Keep the window in your vehicle slightly open when you're stuck in snow, and run the engine and heater to keep warm.
  • Keep the exhaust pipe clear of snow. A blocked pipe can force carbon monoxide back into the car interior.

Heating/cooling system

  • Check the radiator and hoses for leaks.
  • Ensure that your vehicle always has a sufficient amount of antifreeze rated for the coldest weather.
  • Check the defrosters (front and back) to make sure they are working efficiently.

Windshield wipers

  • Ensure that windshield wipers function efficiently. Replace them if they are old or worn.
  • Fill the washer container with an antifreeze fluid and top it up frequently.


  • Fill up the fuel tank before you leave on your trip.
  • Do not let the fuel level get too low - the driving time to the next gas station may take much longer than you ever expected, and if you get stuck, the car engine will be your only source of heat.

What should I include in a winter driving kit?

A well-stocked winter driving kit helps to handle any emergency. It should include:

  • Properly fitting tire chains.
  • Bag of sand or salt (or kitty litter).
  • Traction mats.
  • Snow shovel.
  • Snow brush.
  • Ice scraper.
  • Booster cables.
  • Warning devices such as flares or emergency lights.
  • Fuel line de-icer (methanol, also called methyl alcohol or methyl hydrate).
  • Extra windshield wiper fluid appropriate for sub-freezing temperatures.
  • Roll of paper towels.
  • Flashlight and a portable flashing light (and extra batteries).
  • Blanket.
  • Extra clothing, including hat and wind-proof pants, and warm footwear.
  • First aid kit.
  • Snack bars or other "emergency" food and water.
  • Matches and emergency candles - only use with a window opened to prevent build-up of carbon monoxide.
  • Road maps.
  • "Call Police" or other help signs or brightly coloured banners.

How should I prepare myself for winter driving?

  • Plan your driving in advance.
  • Avoid driving when fatigued.
  • Contact your provincial "Road Reports" to get updates regarding road conditions in the region to which you are going.
  • Check weather conditions for your travel route (and time) before you begin driving.
  • Plan your arrival time at a destination by taking into account any delays due to slower traffic, reduced visibility, roadblocks, abandoned automobiles, collisions, etc.
  • Inform someone of your route and planned arrival time.
  • Choose warm and comfortable clothing. If you need to remove outdoor clothing later while driving, STOP the vehicle in a safe spot.
  • Warm up your vehicle BEFORE driving off. It reduces moisture condensing on the inside of the windows.
  • NEVER warm up your vehicle in a closed garage.
  • Remove snow and ice from your vehicle. It helps to see and, equally important, to be seen.
  • Wear sunglasses on bright sunny days.
  • Bring a cell phone if you have one but do not leave it in the car as the battery will freeze.

How should I drive in winter weather?

  • Buckle up before you start driving. Keep your seat belt buckled at all times.
  • SLOW DOWN! - posted speed limits are for ideal travel conditions. Driving at reduced speeds is the best precautionary measure against any misfortune while driving on slippery roads. "Black ice" is invisible.
  • Be alert. Black ice will make a road look like shiney new asphalt. Pavement should look grey-white in winter.
  • Do not use cruise control. Winter driving requires you to be in full control at all times.
  • Reduce your speed while approaching intersections covered with ice or snow.
  • Allow for extra travelling time or even consider delaying a trip if the weather is inclement.
  • Drive with low-beam headlights on. Not only are they brighter than daytime running lights but turning them on also activates the tail lights. This makes your vehicle more visible.
  • Lengthen your following distance behind the vehicle ahead of you. Stopping distance on an icy road is double that of stopping on a dry one. For example, from around 45 meters (140 ft) at the speed of 60 km/h, to 80 meters (over 260 ft) on an icy road surface.
  • Stay in the right-hand lane except when passing and use turn signals when changing lanes.
  • Steer with smooth and precise movements. Changing lanes too quickly and jerky steering while braking or accelerating can cause skidding.
  • Be aware and slow down when you see a sign warning that you are approaching a bridge. Steel and concrete bridges are likely to be icy even when there is no ice on the asphalt surface, (because bridges over open air cool down faster than roads which tend to be insulated somewhat by solid ground.)
  • Consider getting off the road before getting stranded if the weather is worsening.
  • Be patient and pass other cars only when it is safe to do so.

What should I do if I start to skid?

  • Above all DO NOT PANIC!
  • Look where you want your vehicle to go and steer in this direction.

For more information on safe winter driving, sign up for one of our online winter driving courses:


IP Ratings Explained

What is an IP rating?

IP (or "Ingress Protection") ratings are defined in international standard EN 60529 (British BS EN 60529:1992, European IEC 60509:1989). They are used to define levels of sealing effectiveness of electrical enclosures against intrusion from foreign bodies (tools, dirt etc) and moisture.

What do the numbers in an IP Rating mean?

The numbers that follow IP each have a specific meaning. The first indicates the degree of protection (of people) from moving parts, as well as the protection of enclosed equipment from foreign bodies. The second defines the protection level that the enclosure enjoys from various forms of moisture (drips, sprays, submersion etc). The tables below should help make sense of it:

IP Ratings - what they mean.

IP Rated Enclosures - quick find chart

A number replaced by x indicates that the enclosure is not rated for that spec.

First Digit (intrusion protection)

  1. No special protection<
  2. Protection from a large part of the body such as a hand (but no protection from deliberate access); from solid objects greater than 50mm in diameter.
  3. Protection against fingers or other object not greater than 80mm in length and 12mm in diameter.
  4. Protection from entry by tools, wires etc, with a diameter of 2.5 mm or more.
  5. Protection against solid bodies larger than 1mm (eg fine tools/small etc).
  6. Protected against dust that may harm equipment.
  7. Totally dust tight.

Second Digit (moisture protection)

  1. No protection.
  2. Protection against condensation
  3. Protection against water droplets deflected up to 15° from vertical
  4. Protected against spray up to 60° from vertical.
  5. Protected against water spray from all directions.
  6. Protection against low pressure water jets (all directions)
  7. Protection against string water jets and waves.
  8. Protected against temporary immersion.
  9. Protected against prolonged effects of immersion under pressure.

Refer to the chart below for more information.

A chart explaining IP ratings

FDA Issues Final Rule on Safety and Effectiveness of Antibacterial Soaps

Woman Washing Hands with Alcohol SanitizerThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration today issued a final rule establishing that over-the-counter (OTC) consumer antiseptic wash products containing certain active ingredients can no longer be marketed. Companies will no longer be able to market antibacterial washes with these ingredients because manufacturers did not demonstrate that the ingredients are both safe for long-term daily use and more effective than plain soap and water in preventing illness and the spread of certain infections. Some manufacturers have already started removing these ingredients from their products.

This final rule applies to consumer antiseptic wash products containing one or more of 19 specific active ingredients, including the most commonly used ingredients – triclosan and triclocarban. These products are intended for use with water, and are rinsed off after use.  This rule does not affect consumer hand “sanitizers” or wipes, or antibacterial products used in health care settings.

“Consumers may think antibacterial washes are more effective at preventing the spread of germs, but we have no scientific evidence that they are any better than plain soap and water,” said Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER). “In fact, some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long-term.”

The agency issued a proposed rule in 2013 after some data suggested that long-term exposure to certain active ingredients used in antibacterial products — for example, triclosan (liquid soaps) and triclocarban (bar soaps) — could pose health risks, such as bacterial resistance or hormonal effects. Under the proposed rule, manufacturers were required to provide the agency with additional data on the safety and effectiveness of certain ingredients used in over-the-counter consumer antibacterial washes if they wanted to continue marketing antibacterial products containing those ingredients. This included data from clinical studies demonstrating that these products were superior to non-antibacterial washes in preventing human illness or reducing infection.

Antibacterial hand and body wash manufacturers did not provide the necessary data to establish safety and effectiveness for the 19 active ingredients addressed in this final rulemaking. For these ingredients, either no additional data were submitted or the data and information that were submitted were not sufficient for the agency to find that these ingredients are Generally Recognized as Safe and Effective (GRAS/GRAE). In response to comments submitted by industry, the FDA has deferred rulemaking for one year on three additional ingredients used in consumer wash products – benzalkonium chloride, benzethonium chloride andchloroxylenol (PCMX) – to allow for the development and submission of new safety and effectiveness data for these ingredients. Consumer antibacterial washes containing these specific ingredients may be marketed during this time while data are being collected.

Washing with plain soap and running water remains one of the most important steps consumers can take to avoid getting sick and to prevent spreading germs to others. If soap and water are not available and a consumer uses hand sanitizer instead, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendsthat it be an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.

Since the FDA’s proposed rulemaking in 2013, manufacturers already started phasing out the use of certain active ingredients in antibacterial washes, including triclosan and triclocarban. Manufacturers will have one year to comply with the rulemaking by removing products from the market or reformulating (removing antibacterial active ingredients) these products.

The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by helping to ensure the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for helping to ensure the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, and products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.

When Fatigue Can Become Fatal At Work

78031040Pat Byrne was employed as a safety consultant at WorksafeBC when he received a phone call from a family member. The message was tragic: his nephew had fallen asleep at the wheel while driving home from work, driven off a cliff and been killed.

Byrne couldn't help but recognize that it was a work-related accident.

"I knew intuitively that working long hours was particularly dangerous, but I couldn't prove it — so I needed to go out and find the research," he said on CBC's BC Almanac.

And the research confirms what Byrne suspected: lack of sleep is one of the biggest workplace safety hazards, and it can be fatal.

According to WorksafeBC, the risk of making mistakes at work increases significantly if workers sleep less than the average 7.5 to 8.5 hours or are awake for more than 17 consecutive hours.

And a study done by the U.S. Department of Transportation found that just working the night shift alone increases a person's accident risk by 11 per cent.

"What we've known over the years now is the less you sleep, the slower your reaction time is — and so that leads to accidents," said Byrne, who is now a sleep consultant and a technology advisor to the Stanford University Medical School.

"Being awake at night is just not natural. So when you're awake at night, you pay a price for it. You pay a health price for it and a safety price for it," he said.

Drowsy driving

But the consequences vary from profession to profession.

Byrne says industries that offer erratic night-shift work are the most dangerous — in particular, small-town paramedics, who tend to only work part-time and have day jobs.

He cites an accident that occurred in 2010, when fatigue claimed the lives of two paramedics on Vancouver Island.

Jo-Ann Fuller, 59, and Ivan Polivka, 65, died after their ambulance drove over a low concrete barrier and tumbled down a 33-metre-high cliff into Kennedy Lake.

The coroner's report concluded that Fuller likely fell asleep at the wheel while driving to Tofino.

After the accident, the B.C. Ambulance Service committed to changing the employee scheduling information system to ensure staff had adequate time away from work to rest.

Byrne says fatigue also adversely affects the trucking and airline industry, as well as drivers in general. According to ICBC, driving while drowsy is akin to driving while under the influence of alcohol, and roughly a third of B.C. drivers admit to nodding off while driving.

He says he's unsure if provincial governments and organizations like WorksafeBC understand the full magnitude of the issue.

"I'd like the governments at all levels and public health officials to actually have a serious conversation about what's going on with sleep deprivation and what they can do about it — providing better health facilities, better health care and better education at all levels," he said.

Sleep monitors

Following his time at WorksafeBC, Byrne founded Fatigue Science — a sleep opitimization organization that aims to reduce fatigue-induced risks in the workplace.

The organization even works with sports teams, including the Vancouver Canucks, to help enhance their performance by managing rest. Byrne spent seven years as the team's sleep doctor.

"The Canucks have one of the worst travel schedules of any professional sports team in North America — it's not an excuse, its just the nature or the geography," said Byrne.

Pat Byrne was the Vancouver Canucks sleep doctor for seven years, which included their 2011 Stanley Cup run. ((Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press))

Byrne and his team utilized FDA sleep monitors on players to determine how travel affected their performance. Then, they developed a sleep schedule to ensure players were getting enough rest.

"We were able to really determine, based on travel and jet lag, where they were going to have difficulty in particular games."

He said the same technology is used by the U.S. military to measure soldier's fatigue and reaction times.

Originally published by CBC on September 22 2016. This article is part of Wired and Tired, a new CBC radio series explores how lack of sleep affects people of all ages


New Traffic Laws for Ontario In Effect!

The province of Ontario introduced a new set of traffic laws on Tuesday, September 1st as part of its efforts to make driving safer in the province.

The “Making Ontario Roads Safer Act”, or Bill 31, was approved unanimously in June and will come into effect Sept. 1—meaning some new rules for drivers and, in many cases, heavier penalties for breaking them.

Here is a look at five new traffic laws that are most likely to affect your everyday driving.

Distracted driving

If you’re caught looking at your phone, texting or talking on your phone while driving, you will face much bigger fines and more demerit points, the province is warning. The current fine for distracted driving is approximately $200. As of Tuesday, those found guilty of distracted driving will face an increased set fine of $490 and three demerit points upon conviction. Drivers with G1 or G2 licenses could have their permits suspended on the spot.

Pedestrian crossovers

Drivers will have to wait until pedestrians have completely crossed the road at pedestrian crossovers and school crossings before proceeding. About half of all fatal traffic accidents involving pedestrians occur at intersections, the Ministry of Transportation said. The new law is an attempt to make roads safer for pedestrians. This change will take effect in January.

Passing cyclists

Drivers will have to give cyclists at least one metre of room wherever possible. The fine for breaking this rule has not yet been set. Motorists who open the door of their vehicle into the path of a cyclist without checking will face increased set fines of $365 and three demerit points upon conviction.

The “move over” law

As for Sept. 1, drivers will be require to slow down and move into the next lane whenever they see a stopped emergency vehicle with its red and blue lights flashing. This will apply to stopped tow trucks that have amber lights flashing. The fine for breaking these rules will be $490 and three demerit points.

Alcohol and drugs

Those caught driving under the influence of drugs will now face the same penalties as drunk drivers, the ministry said. These include between a three and 90-day license suspension and a week-long vehicle impoundment. More than 45 per cent of drivers killed in Ontario were found that have drugs or alcohol in their systems.

Pulling for Possibility!

On Tuesday September 20th, eight Levitt-Safety employees pulled a 33,000 pound Oakville transit bus 20 feet across the finish line to raise awareness for the United Way and drive change in Oakville.

More than 300 people came out to the kickoff event, with 22 teams coming together to pull a bus at this year’s Bus Pull. Thanks to everyone’s dedication, over $30,000 was raised for the United Way of Oakville! This far exceeded the $23,000 organizers had hoped for, and the United Way hopes this is a sign of how successful 2016’s campaign will be.

Gladiator Gloves courtesy of one of our sponsors, Watson Glove

"Gladiator" gloves courtesy of our sponsor, Watson Glove

Levitt-Safety raised $700 for the cause and came in seventh place with a final time of 27.5 seconds! We want to give special thanks to the suppliers who  generously sponsored our team this year: Haws Corporation, MSA, and Watson Gloves, who also provided their Gladiator gloves to protect our team’s hands during the pull.

Some of the other teams that participated included the Halton Regional Police, Oakville Fire Department, Oakville Town Council, Oakville Transit, Oakville Hydro, and other local banks and businesses. Although the Oakville Fire team beat the Halton Police with a time of 23 seconds in their first match-up, the police team took home bragging rights in a rematch during the finals. Halton Police finished with 21.80 seconds.

Some other notable results include:

  • Top Fundraising Team: United Way Oakville Campaign Cabinet
  • Top Fundraising Individual: Terry Smith
  • Winning Team: 2 District Halton Police
  • Spirit Award: Community Living Oakville Chargers
  • Title Sponsor: Oakville Hydro
  • Presenting Sponsor: Manulife

We’re proud of all the participants and look forward to the fun events we have planned to continue this year’s fundraising efforts. For more information, or to donate to the UWO campaign, visit uwoakville.org.

Oakville Fire Department's Team Levitt-Safety Are 2016 Canadian National Champions!

fb_img_1474425563357The team just returned from the Firefit National Championship that were held at Spruce Meadows in Calgary, Alberta. The Nationals had over 200 firefighters from across Canada competing. Oakville Fire Department's Team Levitt-Safety travelled with eight team members and had the largest team at the event.

It was a grueling five days of competition but when the dust settled, Oakville Fire Department's Team Levitt-Safety came out on top with their second National title – and their first National title in the prestigious Team Category! They nearly broke the team record, coming in just four seconds short of it.

fb_img_1474425390844The results:

  • 5th place over 50 (Andy Waldron)
  • 2nd place over 40 (Darren Van Zandbergen)
  • 10th place overall (Shaun Henderson)
  • 1st place overall (Ian Vanreenen)
  • New Canadian record of 1:10
  • 3rd place relay
  • 1st place team

The Scott FireFit Championships is a competition based on firefighting tasks commonly performed in emergency situations. There are many different levels of competitors, ranging from the seasoned 10-year veteran to the first-time rookies. The FireFit Event is very demanding; training prior to competition is imperative!

There are a number of events to participate in depending upon individual levels of fitness and commitment. Events include the FireFit Relay, FireFit X3 Relay, FireFit Team, and FireFit Individual.

We’re so proud to sponsor and support Oakville Fire’s Team Levitt-Safety, who continue to finish with amazing results year after year. We know they’ll bring home the trophy again in 2017!

Learn more about the Scott FireFit Championships here.

For more pictures from the event, visit our Facebook page.

Work-Related Asthma: An Infographic

Work-related asthma is the most common occupational respiratory disorder in industrialized countries. It creates a narrowing of the air passages that makes it difficult to breathe. Symptoms are typically worse on working days and improve when away from work.

Early and accurate diagnosis, plus changes in the workplace, can make a difference to the well-being of patients and their co-workers.

Share this infographic with information on symptoms, triggers, occupations at risk, and prevention strategies for employers, to help spread awareness of work-related asthma.

This infographic was created by CCOHS in partnership with the Ontario Lung Association.



Ontario Changes Legislation to Improve Mine Safety

Ontario has amended Regulation 854 (Mines and Mining Plants) under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

The amendments include:

  • new requirements for mines and mining plants to conduct risk assessments and have formal traffic management programs
  • strengthening existing requirements on water management, including requiring underground mines to have a water management program, and ground control
  • enhancing and clarifying requirements on conveyors, specifically requirements for guarding and emergency stopping devices/pull cords
  • updating training requirements for surface diamond drill operations to reflect changes to the modular training program
  • amendments to several miscellaneous provisions to update terminology and certain industry standards, clarify certain requirements and revoke sections that are no longer necessary

Most of the amendments came into force July 1, 2016. New requirements relating to risk assessments, ground control, water management and traffic management will come into force on Jan. 1, 2017, to provide stakeholders with time to comply.

Also, Schedule 68 of Regulation 950 under the Provincial Offences Act has also been amended. This is the schedule of offences for Regulation 854 (Mines and Mining Plants) and allows a Ministry of Labour inspector to issue a ticket to a specific workplace party where they observe a contravention in a workplace. Learn more about those amendments, which come into effect on October 1, 2016.

Tempered Water for Safety Showers and Eyewashes

haws-integrated-shower-shotUnderstanding the ANSI Z358.1-2009 Revisions

In 2009, the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) published a revised American National Standard Institute (ANSI) Z358.1.  The revised standard establishes minimum performance and use requirements for eyewash stations and emergency shower equipment.

The original ANSI Z358.1 Eyewash Standard was first implemented in 1981 with additional modifications in 1990, 1998, and 2004.  While the change were not drastic, the 2009 revision did address crucial points relating to temperature range for water delivery, simultaneous use for combination showers and eyewash testing requirements.

Here is an outline of the key revisions:

  • Temperature Range for Water Delivery – In the 2004 Standard, it was not clearly outlined what tepid water meant and instead just simply stated that tepid was defined as moderately warm; lukewarm.  The 2009 Standard now specifies exact temperature range to guarantee proper flushing.  Tepid is defined as a flushing fluid temperature conducive to promoting a minimum 15-minute irrigation period, with a suitable range of 60-100 degrees Fahrenheit.  Tepid water requirements are important in order to encourage users to complete the full 15-minute drench period. The full 15-minute drench period helps prevent chemical absorption, cool burns and prevent hypothermia.
  • Simultaneous Use – The 2009 revision placed additional restrictions on combination showers capabilities and testing.  The standard now clarifies and requires that components of combination units shall operate and be certified both individually and simultaneously.  In addition, certification of the unit must come from a third party certifier as opposed to coming from the manufacturer.
  • Eyewash Testing Requirements - The 2009 revision also modified the eyewash flow verification procedures.  The Standard now mandates that when placing the testing gauge in the stream of the eyewash the flushing fluid shall cover the areas between the interior and exterior lines of the gauge at some point less than 8 inches above the eyewash nozzle.  The template for testing the eyewash flow remained the same, only the requirements have actually changed.

In addition, there are a few other important considerations in the ANSI Z358.1 standard:

  • The shower must provide a continuous flow of 20 gallons-per-minute of water for 15 minutes in order to properly drench the user.
  • The emergency equipment must be accessible within 10 seconds of the location of a hazard and be on the same level as the hazard. Even short steps are not acceptable.
  • The equipment must have a single motion valve operation. The user must be able to activate the unit from “off” to “on” in one second or less.

Haws Integrated  provides many solutions to emergency equipment needs with our dedicated team of engineers and technicians designing safety solutions. The Haws Integrated team provides a complete line of custom engineered mixing valves, tempered water solutions, recirculation systems, air-charged systems and alarms designed around specific requirements and meeting all ANSI Z358.1-2014 prerequisites.

More recently, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) introduced the ANSI Z358.1 – 2014 Standard for Emergency Eyewash and Shower Equipment update in January 2015. 

Need more information? Fill out the form below to contact us today.

Safety Reminders for Back to School

9941623School Bus Travel

Research conducted by Transport Canada shows that school bus travel is one of the safest methods of transportation. It is 16 times safer than travelling in a family car per passenger/kilometre of travel. Although school buses have an excellent safety record, mishaps can happen. These mishaps can include instances where children are injured while riding on the bus. It is more common however, for injuries to be sustained once outside the bus, including being hit by their own school bus or other vehicles.

Every driver must remember that when approaching a stopped school bus (on a non-divided road) that has its overhead red signal-lights flashing and side stop sign out, must stop before reaching the bus and must not proceed until the bus moves or the overhead red signal-lights have stopped flashing.

Here are some safety tips to share with children to ensure safe travel.

Getting to and on the school bus:
1. Arrive at the bus stop at least five minutes before the scheduled pick up time. Children should never run after the school bus to try to catch it. If you miss the bus, go back home or if you are at school, report to a teacher.
2. Stay on the sidewalk, well away from the roadway and stay back until the bus has come to a full stop and the door opens.
3. If your child needs to cross the street, teach them to look to the left, then to the right, and to the left once more before crossing the street.
4. Use the handrail when boarding or exiting the bus.

Riding on the school bus:
5. Take a seat as quickly as possible, put belongings under the seat and stay seated.
6. Never stick anything out of the window, including arms or heads.
7. Save food for snack time at school or until you get home.
8. Wait until the school bus comes to a complete stop before getting off.

After riding on the school bus:
9. When getting off the bus: take two large steps away from bus. If you must walk in front of the bus, walk ahead at least three metres (10 giant steps).
10. The driver must be able to see you and will give a signal when it is safe to cross. Cross in a single file.
11. If a child drops something near or under the school bus, they should never attempt to retrieve it without the driver’s permission.

Travel by Car

Parents and guardians must respect their child’s school safety measures for dropping off and picking up their children at school. Every effort must be made to avoid collision and injury by refraining to create hazardous situations of traffic congestion and unsafe driving practices within the school zone. Respect posted speed limits, and designated drop-off and pick-up areas.

Travel by Bicycle

To ride a bicycle to and from school, children must be mature enough (minimum 9 – 12 years old), and must have enough experience. The rider should be able to scan ahead and check behind without swerving.

To ensure safe cycling, young cyclists must:

  • Wear a properly-fitted helmet, and have clothes that are suited for cycling (e.g. their pants tucked in).
  • Have their bikes fitted properly and in good working order. The bike should have a regular maintenance check-up and should have a bell. It is also a good idea to have a safety flag.
  • Know and obey all traffic rules, signs and signals. They must signal turns and stops. Ride in a straight line in the same direction as traffic and stop at every stop sign.
  • Be predictable to other road users by riding with the traffic usually on the right hand side of the roadway.
  • Never ride in the dark. If an older child must ride in the dark, make sure that reflective clothing and night-accessories (e.g. reflectors and lights) are used.

Walking to school

Many children use roadways to make their way to and from school. Parents and guardians must review road safety rules with their children and the importance of not accepting rides or any invitations from strangers. It is best to walk with a buddy and keep focused on getting straight home.

To keep safe on roads, children pedestrians must:

  • Find a safe and direct route to school with the help of their parents. Hazards should be identified (train tracks, busy intersections, etc.) and a designated route with safety rules should be established.
  • Stay on sidewalks whenever possible. If there is no sidewalk, use the left side of the road facing traffic.
  • Cross streets only at crosswalks and learn to look to the left, the right and then left again before proceeding, even at intersections with pedestrian walk signs.
  • Wait until traffic comes to a stop before crossing. Make sure drivers see you before you cross.

Prevention is the key to safety. With education and awareness, all children should be able to get safely to school and home again. Take the time to share these valuable rules and tips with your children.

Noise Protection Requirements Extended to All Workplaces

Noise SamplingThe Ministry of Labour has extended noise protection requirements to all Ontario workplaces under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Worker exposure to noise from machinery and other sources that is not properly controlled or eliminated may cause permanent hearing loss.

Examples of workplaces covered by this regulation (Ontario Regulation 381/15) include:

  • construction projects
  • health care facilities
  • schools
  • farming operations
  • fire services
  • police services
  • amusement parks

The noise regulation took effect on July 1, 2016. The regulation aims to protect Ontario’s workers from noise-induced hearing loss, a leading cause of occupational disease for workers.

Key changes include:

  • prescribing, for workers exposed to noise, a maximum time-weighted exposure limit of 85 decibels over an eight-hour work shift
  • requiring employers to put in place measures to reduce workers’ exposure based on a “hierarchy of controls,” which could include engineering controls, work practices, and the use of personal protective equipment in the form of hearing protection devices
  • requiring employers who provide a worker with a hearing protection device to provide adequate training and instruction on that device.

How Levitt-Safety Can Help

Noise Exposure Sampling Services 

Occupational Safety Consulting 

Instructor-Led Hearing Conservation Courses

Online Hearing Conservation Course

Online Hearing Safety and Conservation Course 

Noise Dosimeters and Sound Level Meters 

The SoundEar3 - 310 Visual Noise Guide

Hearing Protection PPE

Need more info? Contact us today! 


The Readers Have Spoken!

We're thrilled to announce that Levitt-Safety was the recipient of not one, but three Reader's Choice Awards!

We're so proud that we've been recognized in the industry as not only a great distributor, but one who brings innovative, industry-leading safety products and services to our customers. Levitt-Safety was voted in as the winner in the following categories in the COS (Canadian Occupational Safety Magazine) Reader’s Choice Awards:

Emergency Eyewash Seal



Personal Emergency Showers & Eyewash Providers

Our award in this category is in large part to our partnership with Prevor, makers of Diphoterine® solution. Diphoterine® solution maintains the washing effects of water, creating a reverse osmotic flow that helps to protect tissue cells. We are proud to see it is quickly becoming a widely accepted protocol for the decontamination of chemical splashes in Canada.


Training Seal


In-Class Safety Training Providers

It’s a great feeling to see our instructor-led training courses gaining continual recognition in the marketplace. Every day, more and more organisations are recognising that the first step in keeping their employees safe is training. We offer a comprehensive range of occupational health & safety programs delivered by qualified instructors who are ready to deliver the programs on or off-site to your managers, supervisors, safety representatives, Joint Health and Safety Committee members, employees, or contractors.

Distributor Seal



Safety Equipment Distributors

There’s a reason we’re Canada’s largest distributor of specialty fire and safety products and services. We offer innovative, cutting-edge products from suppliers who are as committed to safety as we are, all backed by more than 80 years of experience in our industry.



We want to thank all the readers that voted for Levitt-Safety and made these wins possible. Contact us to learn more and take your health & safety program to the next level.

12 Questions To Help You Prepare For This Fall’s Chemical Handling Blitz

fda-inspectionFrom 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.

With help from WSPS occupational hygienist Ilma Bhunnoo, WSPS eNews poses 12 sample questions that can help you assess the comprehensiveness of your chemical handling program. Ask yourself these questions with the spirit of the blitz in mind: "It's about prevention, not just compliance," says Bhunnoo.

"Everyone in Ontario's prevention system wants people to go home healthy and safe at the end of the day, just as you do. This means knowing what's on site, knowing the risks, and ensuring you have proper controls in place to protect your people and your property."

1. What Chemicals do you have on site, and how much?

Having an up-to-date list is a first step in managing risk.

2. What are their properties?

What is it's physical state under normal conditions, boiling point, freezing point, vapour density, etc?

3. What risks do they pose?

Are they corrosive, oxidizing, flammable? Each type of risk has unique handling requirements.

4. Are the chemicals being stores in a way that minimizes risk?

Are they in suitable containers within the right temperature range and away from incompatible chemicals?

5. Are your engineering controls functioning properly?

For example, your ventilation system? Can you add additional controls to reduce handling and exposure?

6. If people are required to use personal protective equipment, are they wearing the right equipment?

Do they know what equipment they should be wearing? Does it fit properly?

7. Are there ways to minimize handling?

For example, piping a chemical into the workplace instead of handing it manually?

8. Do you have the right attachment for drum lifting?

For example, an explosion-proof lifting device if needed?

9. Have you fully trained your employees?

Do they know the hazards? Are they following the proper procedures, including personal hygiene practices? Do they understand the MSDSs or SDSs and recognize the hazard symbols on labels?

10. Are your emergency response practices adequate?

Do employees know what to do if they com into contact with hazardous chemicals? Do you have eyewash or shower stations? Are they functioning properly? Are proper spill containment measures in place?

11. Do you review incidents and make changes?

Does your joint health and safety committee or health and safety representative actively inspect for chemical hazards? Do you encourage input from all employees?

12. Do you have all this documented?

For example, inventory lists, handling procedures, training records, material safety data sheets, and safety data sheets?

Knowing what's on site, understanding the risks, and ensuring you have proper controls in place will protect your people and your property.

How Levitt-Safety Can Help

Consulting Services

Safety Consulting Services 

Crisis Management Consulting 

Instructor-Led Training

Spill Response Training 

WHMIS Training 

Online Training

HAZWOPER: Accidental Release Measures and Spill Cleanup Procedures Online Course 

Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Plans Online Course 

Emergency Procedures Online Course 

Chemical Safety Online Course 

GHS Awareness Online Course 

WHMIS 2015 Online Course

WHMIS 2015 GHS Online Course

Chlorine Safety Online Course

Formaldehyde Safety Online Course 

Safety Showers and Eyewash Online Course 


Diphoterine® solution by Prevor 

Personal protective equipment for chemicals

Spill control products 

Originally posted by WSPS News July 29 2016

WorkSafe BC Bulletin: Tower Crane Freefall Incident

The importance of inspection and preventative maintenance on gear boxes

A tower crane operator had just finished hoisting formwork form the upper level of a concrete residential high-rise to its first level, and was hoisting the load block while advancing the trolley toward the mast. Without warning, the empty hook, load block, and rigging chains (about 454 kg/1000 lbs altogether) plummeted to the ground, the load line spooling around them. No workers were injured, but several were working in close proximity to the falling equipment.

Gearbox_Macropitting_GearsInspection of the hoisting gear box revealed that a gear had broken in half during operation. Lab tests showed that the gear was made of defective metal and prone to cracking, breaking down, and failing during operation.

Other tower crane gear boxes have failed, most recently during a lift in Alberta in fall 2015. In this case, as above, regular and thorough gear box inspections could have identified gears needing repair or replacement. Such inspections are key to preventing crane equipment collapses and serious or fatal injuries.

Safe work practices:

  • Regularly inspect and maintain all tower crane gear boxes according to the manufacturer's instructions; seek written confirmation of their fitness for service from an engineer or person designated as qualified by the manufacturer
  • In the absence of the manufacturer's inspection criteria, develop and implement an appropriate inspection and preventative maintenance program for all gear boxes
  • Pay particular attention to signs of fear fatigue or cracking; consider using X-rays or magnetic particle testing to detect hidden flaws
  • Repair or replace damaged or defective parts immediately. Have repairs certified by a professional engineer, or, if available, by the original equipment manufacturer
  • Keep detailed reports of gear box tests, inspections, maintenance, repairs, modifications, and pre-start inspection for the service life of the equipment
  • Keep the equipment logbook available on request to workers, supervisors, the operator, and/or the person responsible for inspecting, testing, or maintaining it, as well as anyone else on site.




Ontario Changes WHMIS Requirements

Ontario has amended its WHMIS requirements to adopt new global standards for classifying hazardous workplace chemicals, and providing information on labels and safety data sheets.

The new international standards are part of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals.

The amendments affect various requirements governing labels and safety data sheets for hazardous workplace chemicals. Also affected are definitions, terminology and provisions that protect confidential business information related to hazardous workplace chemicals. The changes reflect amendments to the federal Hazardous Products Act and new Hazardous Products Regulations, which came into force February 11, 2015.

The new requirements in Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act and WHMIS Regulation came into effect July 1, 2016. To give workplace parties time to adjust to the new requirements, there will be a transition period to gradually phase out the old requirements.

  • Employers have until May 31, 2018, to continue to receive and use hazardous products with either the old WHMIS labels and safety data sheets or the new ones.
  • Employers have from June 1, 2018, to November 30, 2018, to bring any hazardous products still in the workplace with the old WHMIS labels and safety data sheets into compliance with the new requirements.
  • By December 1, 2018, the transition to the new WHMIS labels and safety data sheets must be complete.
  • During the transition, employers must ensure workers are trained on both the old and new labels and safety data sheets for as long as both are present in the workplace.

More Information

Ontario Ministry of Labour Proposes to Mandate Construction Hazard Awareness Training

The Ministry of Labour is consulting on a proposal to amend the Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training Regulation (O. Reg. 297/13) under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The amendments, if approved, would require employers to ensure that workers who perform work to which the Construction Projects Regulation (O. Reg. 213/91) applies complete a construction hazard awareness training program.

The Ministry of Labour is proposing amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training Regulation (O. Reg. 297/13) under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The amendments, if approved, would apply to employers who engage in "construction" as defined under the Act.

The proposed amendments would require employers to ensure that workers performing work to which the Construction Projects Regulation (O. Reg. 213/91) applies complete a construction hazard awareness training program. Employers could meet the training requirement in one of two ways, by ensuring that their workers:

Approach 1

Successfully complete a training program approved as meeting the criteria of a construction health and safety awareness training program and provider standard established by the ministry's Chief Prevention Officer (CPO). Workers described under paragraphs 2 and 3 of the OHSA definition of "worker" (i.e., certain students and other individuals who work for no monetary payment) and apprentices who work pursuant to a training agreement registered under the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2009 must take a CPO-approved training program;


Approach 2

Complete a training program developed by their employer, in consultation with the joint health and safety committee (JHSC), based on the learning outcomes set out in the regulation. This approach would only be available to an employer who is required to have a JHSC under clause 9(2)(a) of the OHSA (i.e., at a workplace where 20 or more workers are regularly employed). In addition, workers described under paragraphs 2 and 3 of the OHSA definition of "worker" and apprentices would not be eligible for training under this approach.

The proposal includes a two-year transition period to give employers time to ensure that existing workers have completed the training before the proposed amendments come into force.

This proposal supports the ministry's Construction Health and Safety Action Plan that seeks to decrease the number of injuries, illnesses and fatalities on construction projects. The ministry's proposal seeks to improve worker awareness of common hazards on construction projects and provide a general understanding of how those hazards may be eliminated or controlled.

For more information on the proposals please visit the Government of Ontario’s Regulatory Registry.

Understanding New ANSI and EN388 Cut Levels

Feeling a bit in the dark about the recent changes to the cut testing standards? This fun video and infographic from Superior Glove provides a run down of the new ANSI (A1 through A9) cut levels and breaks down the new EN388 (A through F) cut levels and what they signify. This infographic also outlines what applications, jobs types or work environments or hazards each cut level is most suitable for.

Need more information? Check out the infographic below:




Alberta Farm and Ranch Workplace Legislation Has Changed!

AB-LabourDid you know changes to Alberta's farm and ranch workplace legislation came into effect on January 1st?

The legislation was passed in Alberta’s Legislature on December 10, 2015. The new rules will apply only to farm and ranch operations that employ paid workers. They won’t apply to owners or family members of owners. Changes from the bill began to come into effect on January 1, 2016.

The government will consult with farmers and ranchers, including family farmers, to develop detailed regulations that reflect the unique aspects of the industry. Regulations in other provinces where similar laws already exist will also be reviewed.

What changed on January 1, 2016

Key changes came into effect for farms and ranches employing waged, non-family individuals:

  • Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) insurance coverage is required for paid workers. These workers are covered under WCB as of January 1. Employers will have until April 30 to register with WCB. They will also have the option to purchase insurance to cover family members and unpaid workers.
  • Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) basic safety standards will apply to paid workers while they're onsite:
    • employers must take reasonable steps to provide a safe and healthy workplace
    • workers will be able to refuse unsafe work that presents an imminent danger
    • OHS will be able to investigate serious injuries and fatalities

Farmers, ranchers and other stakeholders will then be consulted on the following:

  • Detailed OHS technical standards specific to the farm and ranch industry will be developed or amended over the next 18 months.
  • Employment Standards and Labour Relations codes will be developed after consultations with industry. Farm and ranch operations maintain their current exemptions until the new regulations are proclaimed.

Who’s affected

Alberta farm and ranch producers with paid employees who are not the owner or related to the owner will be affected by Bill 6.

This means that family members can continue to contribute to farming operations as they always have, and neighbours can still volunteer to help each other out.

Who’s not affected

  • Farm families who do not have any waged workers
  • Unpaid farm and ranch workers, such as relatives, friends and neighbours helping out on the family farm
  • Children doing chores or participating in 4-H

Bill 6 also doesn't apply to recreational activities, such as hunting on farmland.

Why changes are needed

The Government created the Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act to bring the protection and compensation of non-family farm and ranch employees in line with what's already extended to other employees and similar to what's in place in other provinces, where family farms continue to thrive.

Legislation can make a difference. Since laws to protect farm and ranch employees were introduced in British Columbia, the farm fatality rate was reduced by 68%, the farm injury rate was reduced by 52%, and the serious injury rate was reduced by 41%. We can make workplaces safer.

Alberta's Ministry of Labour is working with farmers, ranchers and industry representatives to ensure they find the right balance between safety and the unique needs of the farm and ranch industry.

Workplace safety association for Saskatchewan’s First Nations founded

New organisation aims to make First Nations workers injury-free

(Canadian OH&S News) — First Nations workers in Saskatchewan now have an association lobbying for their right to be safe on the job, as the new Saskatchewan First Nation Safety Association (SFNSA) officially launched earlier this month.

Founded by Toby Desnomie, the nonprofit association’s CEO and the former head of First Nations-centred safety-training firm TGD Training & Consulting, the SFNSA’s goal is to reduce First Nations’ workplace injuries and fatalities through its five guiding principles of education, advice, advocacy, training and management.

“Our mission at the Association is to empower First Nations communities to live injury-free,” Desnomie told COHSN. “One of our priorities is to develop a public safety-awareness campaign around employers, employees, community members engaging in work, family and play activity, that will in turn reduce human and financial losses.”

Desnomie, a veteran of the occupational health and safety field who has also worked with First Nations communities for 20 years, was inspired to create the association by his previous work as a trainer for National Safety Construction Officers, during which he observed the lack of protections for First Nations by the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB).

“I had noticed that there was an underdeveloped service to First Nations with respect to occupational health,” he explained. “First Nations in Canada are exempt from the actual WCB codes. First Nations are exempt from WCB insurance as well, I do believe,” he added, referring to minimum insurance policies that employers pay into for the support of injured workers.

Based in Fort Qu’Appelle, the SFNSA is still in its early stages, but it already has a nine-month engagement strategy in the works. “We’re going out to every First Nation here in Saskatchewan or at their events and seeing what exactly their needs are,” said Desnomie. “We’re putting this needs assessment together and then going out and talking with respected leadership, as well as administration and management staff, and seeing exactly how can we help.”

Although new to Saskatchewan, Desnomie’s group is not the first such organisation in Canada. The First Nations Safety Council of B.C. has similar principles and goals to the SFNSA, in terms of developing resources and training for workplace safety.

Desnomie was confident that other provinces will set up First Nations safety organisations in the future, calling occupational health and safety “an under-resourced sector” for his people.

“After we set the model up, I think it will be a lot easier for other provinces to start to engage,” he said, referring to his association as “a beginning stage for a lot of First Nations to engage in occupational health, management strategies, as well as risk strategies for their workers, as well as for the general public.”

The SFNSA is in the process of seeking affiliations with other organisations. Desnomie has already established a partnership with the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association through his previous work with TGD.

“One thing that we First Nations appreciate is the bridging of resources from either the province or the federal government, or even different industry sectors,” he said. “First Nations are moving towards a lot of new economic-development partnerships. And with those partnerships come some responsibilities with respect to legal liabilities, as well as operations for the occupational health and safety management programs.”

The association aims to develop and implement strategies “to have the main mission of injury-free workplace on First Nations.”


Alberta needs better system to ensure workplace safety orders followed: auditor

Report says Labour Ministry lacks processes to apply safety policies

EDMONTON (The Canadian Press) — Alberta’s auditor general says the provincial government is still not doing enough to enforce compliance with workplace safety orders.

Merwan Saher said the Labour Department has made some improvements since an audit six years ago identified problems with occupational health and safety rules, but it hasn’t gone far enough.

“The department is unable to demonstrate, with evidence, that it has a complete set of processes to apply department policies to keep Alberta’s workers safe,” says the report released Tuesday.

Saher repeats a recommendation made in 2010 for the department to improve its planning and reporting.

He also repeated a suggestion that the department clarify and enforce rules it uses when it gives employers more time to fix worksite health and safety problems.

“Without adequate systems to enforce compliance with occupational health and safety legislation for those employers and workers who persistently fail to comply, the health and safety of workers continue to be exposed to otherwise avoidable risks.”

The report says that if the recommendations are not followed, employers who fail to comply with orders may gain an unfair advantage over companies that spend time and resources to keep their worksites safe.

Labour Minister Christina Gray said the report shows the former Progressive Conservative government neglected workplace safety issues for years.

Gray said the NDP government will work to meet the recommendations in the auditor general’s report.

She said that includes developing a new process to evaluate if the government is doing what needs to be done to identify and prevent work-related injuries, illnesses and fatalities.

“There is much more work to do, as the former government ignored the need to modernize Alberta’s labour laws, including occupational health and safety legislation,” Gray said in a release.

The Wildrose Opposition said the auditor general’s findings raise serious concerns about a “broken workplace safety system” that has been neglected for years.

Critic Grant Hunter said the Progressive Conservatives abandoned repeated attempts to complete a Work Safe strategy that was first approved a decade ago.

“The safety of Alberta workers is paramount, whether they’re working in a shopping mall or on a construction site,” Hunter said. “It’s frankly shocking that a workplace safety strategy hasn’t been completed.”

The auditor general also recommended the government change how it hires funeral homes to transport bodies from rural areas that must be studied by the chief medical examiner’s office.

Saher said two years after the Justice Department said it would use a contract system, almost one-third of the transporters were hired without contracts.

He said some rural funeral homes did not like the contract system and sent a letter to the government that they would not sign a contract.

The report recommends the government set a date for when it will only use drivers that are under contract.

Since April, 22 of the businesses have signed contracts with the province and another 26 have filed applications.

Copyright (c) 2016 The Canadian Press

Another Tragedy Shows Vulnerability of New Workers

Study after study has shown that workers are most vulnerable to being injured on the job when they’re new and unfamiliar with the hazards, equipment and operations in the workplace.

But statistics aren’t always compelling and may not be enough to drive change. Instead, consider a tragedy from New Zealand, which shows exactly how vulnerable new workers are.

As reported by WorkSafe New Zealand, a logging transport operator was fined $80,000 and ordered to pay reparations of $100,000 in relation to the death of a worker who was fatally run over—on his very first day on the job.

The worker was driving a truck and trailer unit, transporting logs. While the truck was still moving, he exited the cab and got caught under the truck’s rear wheel, suffering fatal injuries.

Under New Zealand’s workplace safety laws, employers and principals have an obligation to ensure that all persons who enter a forest are either competent or are undergoing supervised training.

A WorkSafe New Zealand investigation found that the employer’s principal had failed to undertake proper checks/tests and to ensure that the worker was properly oriented, which included undertaking an in-cab assessment of his driving skills, ensuring he was familiar with the vehicle and giving him an orientation on the forestry site.

WorkSafe Chief Inspector Keith Stewart says this case clearly shows why adequate training and orientation processes are vital in helping keep workers safe, noting “This was a tragic example of what can happen when training is not provided.”

Sadly, this case isn’t an isolated incident. Here’s another example of a worker who died on his first day on the job.

Levitt-Safety offers a suite of comprehensive and approved training to ensure all your workers are working safely. Click here to learn more.

Originally published by OHSInsider June 14, 2016 

Pokémon Go Safety Tips

Pokemon App 1200 X 741 V1

7 Safety Tips to Remember

Pokémon Go has become a phenomenon with gamers this summer. The digitally-assisted scavenger hunt game uses your phones GPS and camera to immediately transform your surroundings by way of augmented reality into a real-time game board. The next thing you know, you’re walking around your neighborhood frequently checking the screen on your phone and attempting to catch the Pokémon. When your phone alerts you that Pokémon is near, you run to the nearest location to capture it! Sounds like fun, right?

Pokémon Go downloads have been going through the roof at over 500,000,000 in just a few days, and people are spending twice as much time on it as snapchat.

Although Pokémon Go gets you off the couch by merging real life with gameplay, remember to be safe when wandering the streets.

Some safety tips to remember when playing the Pokémon Go game this summer:

  1. Stay safe at night. Since this game uses your GPS, you might head into locations that you’re not familiar with, and they could be unsafe at dark.
  2. Look up. Don’t walk while you’re looking down at your phone. Stop when you’re looking for Pokemon, and when you find him and need to proceed, look up and continue walking.
  3. Look both ways before you cross the street. You might have to cross the street and will need to be cautious for oncoming traffic.
  4. Do not trespass. As you try to “catch ‘em all”, be sure to stay in public places or ask for permission to enter private areas. Even public places like parks have hours posted. Be sure to stay within the law as you play.
  5. Dress comfortably and bring water. It’s hot outside and you’ll be playing for a while, make sure to dress appropriately and drink plenty of water to hydrate yourself. Also, if you bring your pet, remember to be mindful to stay in pet friendly locations and bring some water for your little canine friend.
  6. Don’t let children wander off alone. Be sure to use the buddy system or go with children as they explore their surroundings. Make sure parents or guardians know where children will be.
  7. Park. Then, Pokémon GO! Do NOT use mobile gaming apps while driving.
Bonus Gamer Tip: Bring your charger or extra battery with you. Since this game runs on your GPS and Camera, you’ll burn through your battery pretty quickly.
Pokemon Go Safety Sign Downloads

Print and post these fun free signs!

Free Downloadable Signs

First Ever Jail Sentence Handed to Repeat Workplace Safety Offender

For the first time ever in Nova Scotia, an individual has been handed a jail sentence for charges under the province’s occupational health and safety act.

Joseph Isnor was handed a 15-day sentence on May 24, for repeat offences under the act while operating a roofing company, Global News has learned.

Crown attorney Alex Keaveny said Isnor faced three separate sets of charges for incidents dating back to 2010/11.

In multiple cases, Isnor was found breaking the rules for use of fall protection equipment when he already had similar cases pending, Keaveny said.

In total he faced three separate sets of charges that were all dealt with at Dartmouth court.

“He was a repeat offender, he was an offender who had been given fines that he hadn’t paid, he’d been given the sentence order [to give safety presentations] and he didn’t complete those,” Keaveny said.

“So we ultimately had to find a sentence that would hopefully ratchet up the consequences for Mr. Isnor to finally bring home the message.”

The 46-year-old will serve his sentence on weekends and isn’t being prevented from working. Isnor was scheduled to start serving the sentence two weeks ago. He will likely serve his time from Friday evening to Monday morning, over the course of six weekends.

Isnor did not reply to Global News’ requests for comment.

No one was injured by Isnor’s failure to meet workplace safety rules.

Isnor was first charged while operating the roofing company Roof Masters and has since operated a company called United Roofing. He sometimes operates under the name Joey Isnor.


Originally posted by Global News 

Study Finds that Standing Desks May Improve Workers’ Productivity

Learn-More-ButtonOne way to address the impact of excessive sitting on the health of office workers is by giving them sit-stand desks. For example, one study recommended that office workers use such desks for a minimum of two hours a day during working hours.

But the health benefits of sit-stand desks may not be enough to persuade senior management to invest in them. However, a new study has found that standing desks may improve not only workers’ health but also their productivity.

Researchers from Texas A&M’s Health Science Center School of Public Health examined the productivity differences between two groups of call center employees over the course of six months. They found that those employees with workstations that workers could raise or lower to stand or sit as they wished throughout the day were about 46% more productive than those with traditional, seated desk configurations.

Productivity was measured by how many successful calls workers completed per hour at work. Based on work related to this study in a previous publication, workers in the stand-capable desks sat for about 1.6 hours less per day than the seated desk workers.

QUICKSTAND-4“We hope this work will show companies that although there might be some costs involved in providing stand-capable workstations, increased employee productivity over time will more than offset these initial expenses,” said Mark Benden, Ph.D., C.P.E., associate professor at the Texas A&M School of Public Health, director of the Texas A&M Ergonomics Center and member of the Center for Remote Health Technologies and Systems, and one of the authors of the study.

“One interesting result of the study is that the productivity differences between the stand-capable and seated groups were not as large during the first month,” said Gregory Garrett, M.A., a public health doctoral student and a lead author of the study. “Starting with the second month, we began to see larger increases in productivity with the stand-capable groups as they became habituated to their standing desks.”

In addition to helping the company’s bottom line, standing during the day improved worker health. Nearly 75% of those working at stand-capable desks experienced decreased body discomfort after using the desks for the six-month duration of the study.

Levitt-Safety sells a full range of ergonomic office furniture to encourage a healthy workspace for every employee. Learn more now. 


Originally published by OHSInsider June 15, 2016 

New Reporting Requirements Under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Laws

In June 2009, changes to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act (TDGA) took effect that imposed new reporting requirements for certain incidents, such as the theft of dangerous goods and the anticipated accidental release of dangerous goods. But no changes were made at the time to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (the TDG Regulations) to implement those reporting requirements. Seven years later, on June 1, 2016, the government finally announced amendments to the TDG Regulations to implement these reporting requirements. Here’s a look at these requirements.


dangerous1-mn0gweiiq62wc67803yuawdk8zucgs5x9h23vvdrqaKey Dates: The changes took effect on June 1, 2016, but, with a few exceptions, you have six months from that date to begin complying with the new requirements.

New Reporting Requirements: One of the key changes made to the TDG Regulations is the fleshing out of new reporting requirements related to:

The theft or loss of or interference with dangerous goods. If dangerous goods are lost, stolen or otherwise unlawfully interfered with in the course of being imported, offered for transport, handled or transported, you’re now required to report this loss, theft or interference. Specifically, a person who’s required by Sec. 18(3) of the TDGA to report the loss or theft of dangerous goods must, as soon as possible, report the loss or theft by telephone to the persons specified in the TDG Regulations if the lost or stolen dangerous goods are in excess of the quantity set out in the regulations. For example, the theft of a cylinder of chlorine from a delivery truck would require a loss or theft report. A loss or theft report must include the following information:

  • The name and contact information of the person making the report;
  • The names and contact information of the consignor, the consignee and the carrier;
  • Information as to whether the dangerous goods were lost or stolen;
  • The shipping name or UN number of the lost or stolen dangerous goods;
  • The quantity of the lost or stolen dangerous goods;
  • A description of the means of containment containing the lost or stolen dangerous goods; and
  • The approximate date, time and geographic location of the loss or theft.

The TDG Regulations include similar reporting requirements for the unlawful interference with dangerous goods, such as tampering with a valve on a container of a toxic gas.

Releases and imminent related of dangerous goods. The duty to report an accidental release of dangerous goods was modified to require reporting of not only actual releases but also anticipated releases. In addition, the term “release” was redefined to include both accidental and voluntary releases. Specifically, the amended TDG Regulations now require any person who’s required by Sec. 18(1) of the TDGA to report a release or anticipated release of dangerous goods that are being offered for transport, handled or transported by road vehicle, railway vehicle or ship to make an emergency report to any local authority responsible for responding to emergencies in location of the release or anticipated release if the dangerous goods are, or could be, in excess of designated quantities. (The quantities that trigger reporting requirements have also been changed, increased in some cases and decreased in other.)

Such emergency reports must be made as soon as possible after a release or anticipated release and must include:

  • The name and contact information of the person making the report;
  • In the case of a release of dangerous goods, the date, time and geographic location of the release;
  • In the case of an anticipated release of dangerous goods, the date, time and geographic location of the incident that led to the anticipated release;
  • The mode of transport used;
  • The shipping name or UN number of the dangerous goods;
  • The quantity of dangerous goods that was in the means of containment before the release or anticipated release;
  • In the case of a release of dangerous goods, the quantity of dangerous goods estimated to have been released; and
  • If applicable, the type of incident leading to the release or anticipated release, including a collision, roll-over, derailment, overfill, fire, explosion or load-shift.

In addition, you must, as soon as possible after making the emergency report, make a release or anticipated release report if the release or anticipated release resulted in:

    • The death of a person;
    • Injury to a person that required immediate medical treatment by a healthcare provider;
    • An evacuation of people or their shelter in place; or
    • The closure of a facility used in the loading and unloading of dangerous goods, or of a road, a main railway line or a main waterway.

Such a report is also required if a means of containment was damaged to the extent that its integrity is compromised; or the centre sill or stub sill of a tank car is broken or there’s a crack in the metal equal to or greater than 15 cm (6 in.). The TDG Regulations specify who the report must be made to, including CANUTEC and the consignor of the dangerous goods.

A release or anticipated release report must include the same information as the emergency report as well as this additional information:

    • If applicable, the name and geographic location of any road, main railway line or main waterway that was closed;
    • A description of the means of containment containing the dangerous goods;
    • If applicable, an estimate of the number of people evacuated or sheltered in place; and
    • If applicable, the number of deaths and the number of persons who sustained injuries that required immediate medical treatment by a healthcare provider.

A person who has made a release or anticipated release report or that person’s employer must make a follow-up report in writing to the Director General within 30 days after the day on which the initial report was made.

Insider Says: The amendments also require the reporting of undeclared or misdeclared dangerous goods transported by passenger aircraft.


The quantity of dangerous goods released during transport used to be the only factor used to determine if a report was required. This approach caused problems because minimal reportable quantity thresholds were sometimes judged too permissive and certain relevant incidents weren’t reported because they didn’t reach the reporting thresholds. The changes to the TDG Regulations are intended to capture all relevant releases—and anticipated releases as well. So now you may also be required to report, say, a means of containment being damaged by a forklift or a tanker truck being driven into a ditch even if no dangerous goods are actually released. By reporting all instances in which a means of containment is damaged such that its integrity is compromised in a way that may lead to a release, it allows emergency responders to act quickly to prevent a release from occurring and thus endangering the environment as well as human health and safety.

Originally published by OHSInsider June 9, 2016

MANAGING YOUR OHS PROGRAM: 5 Reasons You Should Protect Workers from Heat Stress

In many industries, the summer weather brings a new safety hazard: the risk of workers’ exposure to heat stress. (Exposure to excessive heat and humidity may also be a year-round hazard in some workplaces, such as bakeries and foundries.) Canadian OHS laws, either specifically or implicitly, require employers to protect workers from becoming sick due to hot and/or humid conditions. Failing to adequately protect workers’ from developing heat stress-related illnesses can result in:

  1. Injuries/Deaths

When workers are exposed to hot and/or humid weather, their core temperatures and heart rates increase and they may experience headaches, nausea, cramps, dehydration and other symptoms of heat stress. If these symptoms aren’t addressed quickly and properly, they may develop a heat stress-related illness, such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion—or even die.

Example: A 36-year-old roofer was part of a crew replacing a roof on a canning plant on a hot and humid day. The Humidex, which is based on the air temperature and humidity, during work hours was between 34-43. Members of the crew had felt ill; workers took frequent breaks and drank significant amounts of water. But sometime in the afternoon, while working on the roof, this roofer was seen staggering and unsteady on his feet. His foreman told him to rest in a shaded area. After an hour’s rest, he still didn’t seem to answer appropriately and was ordered to rest for the remainder of the day. The roofer rested on the ground while his co-workers continued the roofing work. Later, he was seen stumbling and staggering, and he fell to the ground. A co-worker began first aid, while the foreman called 911. The roofer was taken to the hospital, where his core temperature was 42.2° C. Despite aggressive treatment, he died the next morning.

A coroner’s inquest into the fatality found that the workers on this crew had never been given any information on heat stress safety. In addition, although first aid training was provided to the foreman and other employees, they couldn’t specifically remember if heat stress was covered in such training. And the roofer exhibited signs and symptoms of heat stress before his collapse that may have resulted in a different outcome if they’d been identified and treated earlier [Boyle Inquest, [2008] CanLII 89711 (ON OCCO), Nov. 19, 2008].

  1. Violations

picture2_heatstress&heatstrokeFailing to protect workers from heat stress can result in not only injuries and fatalities but also safety violations related to those failures.

Example: A bakery worker died of heat stress on the job. The outdoor temperature was 34° C; inside the bakery, the temperatures topped 49° C near the ovens. The worker’s body temperature was measured at 42.5° C. And he’d vomited twice before he died. The MOL charged the bakery with violating the OHS law’s general duty clause because it didn’t have a heat stress policy as required by MOL guidelines. The bakery pleaded guilty and was fined $215,000 [Weston Bakeries Limited, Ontario Govt. News Release, Feb. 18, 2004].

  1. Worker’s Comp Claims

If a worker gets sick or injured due to exposure to excessive heat on the job, he may have a valid workers’ comp claim.

Example: A construction worker had been working in the sun, in hot conditions, for three weeks. One day, he felt nauseated and dizzy, and broke out in a cold sweat. After a short rest, he finished his shift. But on his way home, he felt nauseated again and developed leg cramps. He got out of his car for fresh air and fainted, hitting his head on the cement. He was diagnosed with a concussion. His workers’ comp claim for that injury was denied, so he appealed.

The Tribunal checked the weather for the relevant three weeks and confirmed that the temperatures varied between 20-28° C. On the day in question, the high temperature was 25° C. The work on that day was arduous, involving the worker and his co-worker lifting and securing heavy roof trusses. The onset of the worker’s initial symptoms of cold sweat and nausea was at the peak of the day’s heat. A doctor testified that even if the worker was hydrating normally, it might not have been sufficient in these circumstances, especially as the worker was over age 40 and so at greater overall risk. In addition, the doctor noted that leg cramping is a symptom of heat stress. The doctor concluded that, based on all the circumstances, the worker did, in fact, suffer a heat-related illness, which caused his fainting and subsequent concussion. The Tribunal agreed, finding that the worker’s heat-related illness arose out of and in the course of his employment. That illness led to the incident when he fainted and suffered a concussion. Thus, the Tribunal ruled that his injury was compensable [WCAT-2013-00991, [2013] CanLII 37521 (BC WCAT), April 15, 2013].

  1. Work Refusals

Under the OHS laws, workers have the right to refuse unsafe work. If a worker believes that the temperature and/or humidity levels in the work environment make it unsafe to work, he may refuse to do so. And depending on the circumstances, a court, tribunal or arbitrator may agree.

Example: A cook refused to work in the dining car kitchen of a train because of extreme heat. The railway company claimed the refusal wasn’t justified because high temperatures are an inherent part of the job. But its safety officer didn’t even bother to check how hot the kitchen really was. The arbitrator wasn’t persuaded and upheld the refusal. The extreme heat in the dining cars “constitutes a danger within the meaning of” the refusal law, the arbitrator ruled, noting that the kitchen wasn’t air-conditioned and was poorly ventilated [LeBlanc & VIA Rail Canada Inc., CLRB Decision No. 714, Board File: 950-93, Nov. 18, 1988].

  1. Compliance Orders

When OHS officials conduct workplace inspections, one element they may assess is the environment in which work is being performed, including its temperature. If the inspector doesn’t believe the employer is doing anything or enough to protect workers from the risk of developing heat stress-related illnesses, he may issue a compliance order, requiring the employer to implement appropriate safety measures to address heat stress.

Example: After an OHS officer inspected a manufacturing facility, he issued an order, requiring the manufacturer to conduct a heat stress assessment in two areas of the facility. The order required the assessment to include recommendations for control of worker exposure to heat stress, fluid intake and a work-rest regimen. The manufacturer challenged the order, arguing that, in 24 years of operation, it had never had a heat-related illness or a complaint of such illness among its workers. It also claimed that the nature of the work performed in the facility didn’t expose workers to high temperatures—and inspectors only have authority to issue orders when there are extreme temperatures.

The Labour Relations Board ruled that the officer had jurisdiction to order the heat stress assessment. It rejected the argument that “temperature” isn’t a physical agent under the OHS laws but “extremes in temperature” are. The OHS laws don’t contain a threshold that indicates what constitutes temperature “extremes.” So such an interpretation would result in significant uncertainty as to at what point the inspector’s authority to request a heat stress assessment is triggered. And “uncertainty in a health and safety context is to be avoided,” explained the Board [Cancoil Thermal Corp. v. United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, Local 175, [2007] CanLII 15121 (ON LRB), April 26, 2007].



Originally posted by OHSInsider May 11 2016 

Did You Know Companies Can Be Sued for Damages Under OHS Laws?

Safety professionals know that their companies can be prosecuted for violations of the OHS laws or hit with administrative monetary penalties for certain violations. But did you know that a company may be able to be sued in civil court under the OHS law for damages?

That’s what a contractor in Ontario did. A city hired the contractor to replace flooring in an office building. After completing most of the work, the contractor discovered asbestos in the flooring. It stopped work for about a week until the city removed the asbestos and cleaned up the relevant areas.

The contractor finished the work and then sued the city under Sec. 30 of the OHS Act, which requires an owner to determine whether any designated substances—such as asbestos—are present at the project site before beginning work and to prepare a list of all designated substances that are present.

Sec. 30(5) also says, “An owner who fails to comply with this section is liable to the constructor and every contractor and subcontractor who suffers any loss or damages as the result of the subsequent discovery on the project of a designated substance that the owner ought reasonably to have known of but that was not on the list prepared under subsection.”

The contractor claimed that the city violated its duty to inform it of the presence of asbestos in the office building and, as a result of this violation, it failed to take the appropriate precautions when performing its work and so its president and some workers were exposed to asbestos.

The contractor alleged that it suffered damages arising out of the city’s failure, specifically the time its president spent on administrative tasks related to the incident and the legal costs it incurred in dealing with the incident.

The court dismissed the lawsuit and the appeals court agreed. The grounds for the dismissal were that the contractor had failed to adequately prove its damages.

Nonetheless, the courts did confirm the contractor’s right to sue the city. So although the lawsuit ultimately failed, it does confirm that Sec. 30(5) creates a civil cause of action in certain circumstances [Curoc Construction Ltd. v. Ottawa (City), [2015] ONCA 693 (CanLII), Oct. 15, 2015].

Bottom line: The threat of civil lawsuits is just another reason to ensure that your company complies with the requirements in the OHS laws. (Note that companies may also be subject to civil liability under the environmental laws, too.)


Originally published by OHSInsider May 12, 2016

Time to Protect Workers in Highway Construction Zones

7019052_origThe winter is hard on roads and highways. And the weather makes it difficult, if not impossible, to make the necessary repairs. So now that fair weather is here, road work can commence.

But too many workers have been injured or killed while working on road construction projects, often because they’ve been hit by passing drivers.

Example: Two workers preparing to install an automatic traffic counter activated their work vehicle’s warning lights, stopped in the passing lane, opened the doors and began to prepare their equipment. An approaching pickup truck struck the work vehicle, causing it to spin and strike one of the workers. He died from his injuries.

The Ontario MOL found that the employer failed to ensure the flow of traffic was appropriately controlled with the use of a sign truck equipped with a flashing arrow and properly positioned ahead of the work vehicle. The employer pleaded guilty to a safety violation and was fined $100,000 [Pyramid Traffic, Govt. News Release, Aug. 19, 2013].

So several jurisdictions have recently launched road safety initiatives intended to protect the members of road work crews or issued reminders to motorists to drive carefully near road construction zones.

If your workers are involved in work conducted on or near highways and roads, make sure you take appropriate steps to protect them, such as by implementing a traffic control planand setting up adequate buffer zones. Here’s a checklist you can use when planning and preparing a traffic control plan to ensure that the plan will effectively protect workers from identified hazards.

It’s especially important to ensure that the workers assigned to control or direct traffic as flaggers, flag persons, signallers, etc. are adequately protected. (Here’s a look at the traffic control person requirements in each jurisdiction.)

You can buy Workzone Safety Products here. 

Here are more tips for protecting workers in highway construction zones.



Originally published by OHSInsider May 25, 2016 

Outdoor Workers Should Always Wear Sunscreen But May Not

Croc Bloc SPF 30 sunscreenWorkers who work outdoors, such as those in construction and forestry and who drive trucks, buses, etc. are exposed to the sun and so are at risk of developing skin cancer. Thus, they should wear sunscreen on the job. But according to a recent poll, such workers may not always wear sunscreen when needed.

The survey, conducted online by Harris Poll, asked US adults age 18 and older who work outdoors at least half the time how often they wear sunscreen at work. The study found that only 18% of outdoor workers always wear sunscreen at work.

The study also found that more than half (58%) of outdoor workers say they always or sometimes see a need to wear sunscreen at work. But 71% of outdoor workers say their employers don’t provide sunscreen to them for use on the job, which is likely why 59% said they always or sometimes bring their own sunscreen to work.

So if your workers spend a lot of time outdoors, covering their skin with clothing and hats may not be sufficient protection. You should also ensure that they wear sunscreen at all times and make it easy for them to do so by providing it. You can purchase sunscreen and protective summer clothing here.

In addition, use these tools and other resources to protect workers at risk of developing skin cancer:


Originally published by OHSInsider 

6 Success Strategies for Keeping Seasonal Young Workers Healthy and Safe

Golf Young WorkersGolf 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.

Given the nature of the business, most employees are seasonal - about 4000, or roughly 11 for every 1 permanent employee. Virtually all seasonal employees are young workers, many still in high school. They work front of house (food and beverage) and back of house (kitchen), maintain the turf (greenskeeping), and provide golf services.

WSPS Network News recently spoke with ClubLink health and safety specialist Julie Iantorno about how the corporation maintains a consistently strong health and safety culture given its youthful and constantly changing workforce. Out of our conversation arose six success strategies - just in time for Ministry of Labour's annual young and new worker blitz, taking place this year from July 18 to September 2.

1. Choose the right medium for communication

"Each young worker is more tech-savvy than the next," says Iantorno, so ClubLink has posted all of its safe operating procedures online and uses social media to share ideas and thoughts. "This is where they go for information these days."

2. Implement comprehensive prevention policies and practices

"We have controls in place for a range of hazards," says Iantorno. For instance, weather conditions can trigger a number of controls. "We have measures so that no one plays golf or works during thunderstorms. On days when heat stress is a hazard, we limit the amount and type of work people are doing, provide multiple breaks and lots of water, and ensure workers are wearing appropriate clothing."

3. Start training early

In Iantorno's experience, "Young workers are eager, want to learn, and want to do a good job." The training process starts with online health and safety awareness training that workers complete before their first day at work. This suits both learners and ClubLink. "Managers can track employees' progress and make sure they've completed the required training before work begins." Once on site, workers also receive thorough job-and hazard-specific training. As well, managers conduct pre-shift meetings in which they discuss important issues for that day, including health and safety. This may involve anything from a near miss that might have occurred the day before to weather conditions.

4. Supervise and mentor them

"In turf operations, for example, young workers are always paired up with more experienced workers. Most of our departments also work in teams, with a key lead for each team working with them or in close proximity. So, they would have people checking in with them, as well as have radio and visual contact with others." Some seasonal workers eventually become managers, which means they understand firsthand what new hires and returning workers need to know, and how best to communicate it."

5. Motivate them

A range of opportunities exists in each work area. "Many seasonal workers come back every year to more senior positions as they continue through college or university. For instance, first year workers in the turf department may perform course maintenance work, such as raking bunkers and picking up garbage. Returning workers may progress to jobs where they can learn to use such equipment as leaf blowers and walking mowers. In the kitchen, new workers may start as dishwashers and progress to line cooks."

6. Keep them engaged

Engaging all employees is a ClubLink priority. From a safety perspective, this may take the form of encouraging questions and engaging them in conversations about prevention plans, safe operating procedures, and in joint health and safety committee activities. "Young workers often bring a different perspective, which can take the form of innovative ideas that they're very willing to share - as long as someone asks!"

Originally posted by WSPS 


Radiofrequency Training Online Course

Register TodayRadiofrequency Training Online Course Overview

Many consumer and industrial products and applications make use of some form of electromagnetic energy (EME). One type of EME that is of increasing importance worldwide is radiofrequency (RF) energy, including radio waves and microwaves, which are used for providing telecommunications broadcast and other services. Although RF energy has some important uses, it also poses significant health risks.

This online Radiofrequency Training course explains the risks associate with radiofrequency energy and what can be done to avoid these risks. After completing this course, an understanding should be gained of radiofrequency (RF) energy and radiation, potential RF energy sources, hazard signs, the difference between controlled and uncontrolled exposure to RF energy, the standards and regulations relating to RF radiation, protection from exposure, and RF exposure limit guidelines.

Radiofrequency Training Online Course Topics

This online Radiofrequency Training course covers the following topics:

  • Key Definitions
  • How RF is Used
  • RF Exposure and Sources of RF Energy
  • Physical and Health Hazards
  • Safety Precautions Around Antenna and Tower Sites
  • RF Personal Monitors
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Emergency Procedures
  • RF Exposure Limit Guidelines

Radiofrequency Training Online Course Duration

Approximately 90 minutes

Radiofrequency Training Online Assessment

Testing conducted in this online course is designed to reinforce the information presented. A mark of 80% must be achieved in order to pass this course. The course is able to be taken three times in efforts to achieve the pass mark.

Radiofrequency Training Online Certificate Of Completion

Upon successful completion of this online course, a certificate of completion will be available for download and printing.
Purchasing multiple courses?  Click here.

Ladder Safety Online Course

button_registerLadder Safety Online Course Overview

Unsafe ladder use causes over 500,000 treated injuries and 300 deaths per year at a cost of over $11 billion. There are many more untreated injuries. All employees who may use ladders need to know how to use them safely to prevent injury or death to themselves and others.

This online Ladder Safety course covers important information about safe ladder use. After completing this course, an understanding should be gained of unsafe ladder use, the types of ladders and how to use each type, ladder safety and inspection, and proper ladder setup.

Ladder Safety Online Course Topics

This online Ladder Safety course covers the following topics:

  • The costs of unsafe ladder use
  • Ladder types
  • Ladder materials
  • Safety label information
  • Portable and fixed ladder inspections
  • Ladder setup and safe usage
  • Ladder storage

Ladder Safety Online Course Duration

Approximately 45 minutes

Ladder Safety Online Assessment

Testing conducted in this online course is designed to reinforce the information presented. A mark of 80% must be achieved in order to pass this course. The course is able to be taken three times in efforts to achieve the pass mark.

Ladder Safety Online Certificate Of Completion

Upon successful completion of this online course, a certificate of completion will be available for download and printing.
Purchasing multiple courses?  Click here.

Preventing Back Injury Online Course

Register TodayPreventing Back Injury Online Course Overview

Lifting is a common task in many workplaces. In the beginning, lifting may not hurt much. Pain often grows gradually. Once the pain is severe enough many people end up seeing a doctor. Once a back is injured, it is easy to re-injure it. By lifting the same way every day, workers can form good habits and avoid back injuries.

This online Preventing Back Injury course explains how the back works and what can be done to prevent back injuries. After completing this course, an understanding should be gained of how the back works, the most common types of back injuries, the risk factors that increase your chances of sustaining a back injury, the common causes of back injuries, the best ways to prevent a back injury, and the steps that should be taken if a back injury occurs.

Preventing Back Injury Online Course Topics

This online Preventing Back Injury course covers the following topics:

  • How the back works
  • Types of back injuries
  • Aging and disease
  • Physical conditions affecting risk
  • Physical stress and posture
  • Overexertion and improper lifting
  • Steps for proper lifting
  • Using lifting equipment
  • Personal prevention strategies

Preventing Back Injury Online Course Duration

Approximately 45 minutes

Preventing Back Injury Online Assessment

Testing conducted in this online course is designed to reinforce the information presented. A mark of 80% must be achieved in order to pass this course. The course is able to be taken three times in efforts to achieve the pass mark.

Preventing Back Injury Online Certificate Of Completion

Upon successful completion of this online course, a certificate of completion will be available for download and printing.
Purchasing multiple courses?  Click here.

Driver Fatigue Online Course

Register TodayDriver Fatigue Online Course Overview

Fatigue impairs a driver’s ability to safely operate a large truck or other types of equipment. It leads to accidents that cause vehicle damage, property damage, injury and even death.

This online Driver Fatigue course addresses the serious issue of driver fatigue. After completing this course, an understanding should be gained of the difference between being drowsy and fatigued, dangers association with fatigued driving, the factors contributing to fatigued driving, signs and symptoms of a fatigued driver, and techniques that prevent driver fatigue.

Driver Fatigue Online Course Topics

This online Driver Fatigue course covers the following topics:

  • Statistics related to driving while drowsy
  • Factors that contribute to driver fatigue
  • The signs of fatigue
  • Ways to manage driver fatigue
  • Preventing driver fatigue

Driver Fatigue Online Course Duration

Approximately 45 minutes

Driver Fatigue Online Assessment

Testing conducted in this online course is designed to reinforce the information presented. A mark of 80% must be achieved in order to pass this course. The course is able to be taken three times in efforts to achieve the pass mark.

Driver Fatigue Online Certificate Of Completion

Upon successful completion of this online course, a certificate of completion will be available for download and printing.
Purchasing multiple courses?  Click here.

Fall Prevention and Protection for the Telecommunications Industry Online Course

Register TodayFall Prevention and Protection for the Telecommunications Industry Online Course Overview

Telecommunications field technicians may work in a variety of high settings, such as telecommunications towers, rooftops and catwalks. This places them at risk for dangerous falls. Fortunately, technicians can use safe practices and tools to prevent falls and minimize the impact of any falls that do occur.

This online Fall Prevention and Protection for the Telecommunications Industry course provides an overview of the fall prevention practices and tools, including planning for safe work at a height, using fall restraint and fall protection systems correctly, and using ladders properly. After completing this course, an understanding should be gained of standard fall prevention and protection practices, common fall prevention and protection tools, and safety strategies for typical Telecommunications work. Using the safety strategies in this course will dramatically decrease the likelihood of falls and serious injuries.

Fall Prevention and Protection for the Telecommunications Industry Online Course Topics

This online Fall Prevention and Protection for the Telecommunications Industry course covers the following topics:

  • Fall protection and prevention
  • Legislated requirements
  • Telecommunications towers
  • Guardrails
  • Hatchways and skylights
  • Correct use of fall restraint and fall arrest systems
  • Using ladders properly

Fall Prevention and Protection for the Telecommunications Industry Online Course Duration

Approximately 45 minutes

Fall Prevention and Protection for the Telecommunications Industry Online Assessment

Testing conducted in this online course is designed to reinforce the information presented. A mark of 80% must be achieved in order to pass this course. The course is able to be taken three times in efforts to achieve the pass mark.

Fall Prevention and Protection for the Telecommunications Industry Online Certificate Of Completion

Upon successful completion of this online course, a certificate of completion will be available for download and printing.
Purchasing multiple courses?  Click here.

Hazard Communication Online Course

Register TodayHazard Communication Online Course Overview

Workers are exposed to hazardous chemical products every day; this poses serious problems for workers and their employers. Hazard Communication (HazCom) training is designed to provide workers with the information they need to recognize and avoid hazardous chemicals. This course will

This online Hazard Communication course addresses the HazCom Standard, the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS), and how to use Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) and chemical labels to prepare for hazards or react to exposures. After completing this course, an understanding should be gained of OSHA’s Hazard Communication (HazCom) standard and the GHS, physical and health hazards of chemicals, what items are included in the hazardous chemical program, and how Safety Data Sheets (SDS) and warning labels are used in the workplace.

Hazard Communication Online Course Topics

This online Hazard Communication course covers the following topics:

  • The OHSA HazCom Standard
  • Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS)
  • Hazard classifications
  • Manufacturer and importer responsibilities
  • Employer responsibilities
  • Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) and labels
  • Training

Hazard Communication Online Course Duration

Approximately 45 minutes

Hazard Communication Online Assessment

Testing conducted in this online course is designed to reinforce the information presented. A mark of 80% must be achieved in order to pass this course. The course is able to be taken three times in efforts to achieve the pass mark.

Hazard Communication Online Certificate Of Completion

Upon successful completion of this online course, a certificate of completion will be available for download and printing.
Purchasing multiple courses?  Click here.

Battery Safety for Telecommunications Online Course

Register TodayBattery Safety for Telecommunications Online Course Overview

Telecommunication services depend on batteries and power plants. The chemical and electrical components of these power sources have the potential to seriously injure, or even kill, workers who handle them. Fortunately, the proper safety precautions offer protection from these hazards.

This online Battery Safety for Telecommunications course is designed to provide the information needed to stay safe when working with batteries and power plants. After completing this course, an understanding should be gained of the types of batteries and power plants most commonly used in the telecommunications industry, the hazards associated with batteries, safe procedures for charging, maintaining and cleaning batteries, and the steps for dealing with battery acid spills and splashes.

Battery Safety for Telecommunications Online Course Topics

This online Battery Safety for Telecommunications course offers extensive coverage of the following topics:

  • Battery technology
  • Battery safety
  • Battery hazards
  • Battery string voltage
  • Power plant polarity
  • Battery life cycle and disposal

Battery Safety for Telecommunications Online Course Duration

Approximately 45 minutes

Battery Safety for Telecommunications Online Assessment

Testing conducted in this online course is designed to reinforce the information presented. A mark of 80% must be achieved in order to pass this course. The course is able to be taken three times in efforts to achieve the pass mark.

Battery Safety for Telecommunications Online Certificate Of Completion

Upon successful completion of this online course, a certificate of completion will be available for download and printing.
Purchasing multiple courses?  Click here.

National Day of Mourning

The National Day of Mourning, held annually in Canada on April 28, is dedicated to remembering those who have lost their lives, or suffered injury or illness on the job or due to a work-related tragedy.


Statistics and beyond

The most recent statistics from the Association of Workers' Compensation Boards of Canada (AWCBC) tell us that in 2014, 919 workplace deaths were recorded in Canada - more than 2.5 deaths every single day. Among the 919 dead were thirteen young workers aged fifteen to nineteen years; and another twenty-five workers aged twenty to twenty-four years.

Add to these fatalities the 239,643 claims accepted for lost time due to a work-related injury or disease. Including 7,998 from young workers aged fifteen to nineteen, and the fact that these statistics only include what is reported and accepted by the compensation boards, and the situation is even direr.

What these numbers don't show is just how many people are directly affected by these workplace tragedies. Each worker death impacts the loved ones, families, friends and coworkers they leave behind, changing all of their lives forever.


The National Day of Mourning is not only a day to remember and honour those lives lost or injured due to a workplace tragedy, but also a day to renew the commitment to imporove health and safety in the workplace and prevent further injuries, illnesses and deaths.

On April 28th the Canadian flag will fly at half-mast on Parliament Hill and on all federal government buildings. Employers and workers will observe Day of Mourning in a variety of ways. Some light candles, lay wreaths, wear commemorative pins, ribbons or black armbands, and pause for a moment of silence at 11:00 a.m.


In 1991, eight years after the day of remembrance was launched by the Canadian Labour Congress, the Parliament of Canada passed the Workers Mourning Day Act making April 28 an official Day of Mourning. Today the Day of Mourning has since spread to about 100 countries around the world and is recognized as Workers’ Memorial Day, and as International Workers' Memorial Day by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).

It is the hope of CCOHS that the annual observance of this day will help strengthen the resolve to establish safe and healthy conditions in the workplace, and prevent further injuries and deaths. As much as this is a day to remember the dead, it is also a call to protect the living and make work a place to thrive.

Earth Day 2016

Celebrated every year on April 22, Earth Day is the largest environmental event in the world. More than six million Canadians—including nearly every school-aged child—participate in an Earth Day activity in their communities.

In 1970, the year of the first Earth Day, the movement gave voice to an emerging consciousness, channeling human energy toward environmental issues. And now, on Earth Day 2016, the landmark Paris Agreement is scheduled to be signed by the United States, China, and some 120 other countries.This signing satisfies a key requirement for the entry into force of the historic draft climate protection treaty adopted by consensus of the 195 nations present at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.

What will you do for the planet this Earth Day?



PPE: Take 5 Steps to Comply with Hand Protection Requirements

Buy-Now-ButtonVarious tasks and activities in the workplace can endanger workers’ hands. For example, workers’ hands could be cut by sharp materials, injured by hazardous substances or at risk of electrical shocks. If those hazards can’t be eliminated, the OHS regulations may require employers to provide appropriate PPE to protect workers’ hands. The types of available hand protection vary from basic leather or cotton work gloves to rubber gloves and metal mesh gloves. To ensure that your workers’ hands are adequately protected and that you comply with the hand protection requirements, take these five basic steps.

Defining Our Terms

In many ways, machine guarding requirements could be considered hand protection requirements. After all, a worker’s hands are the most likely body part to get caught or entangled in machinery. But in the context of this article, when we discuss hand protection requirements, we’re specifically referring to PPE-related requirements.

In addition, some OHS regulations may contain hand protection requirements for specific types of work, operations, activities or occupations, such as electrical work, welding, using a chainsaw, firefighting or logging. But we’ll focus only on the general hand protection requirements as they relate to various kinds of hazards rather than kinds of work.


Many jurisdiction’s OHS regulations include hand-specific PPE requirements. In the jurisdictions without such requirements, the general PPE requirements still require employers to provide appropriate PPE based on the nature of the task and the hazards posed by it. So if a job poses a safety risk to a worker’s hands, such as by exposing them to the risk of being burnt or cut, employers in such jurisdictions would be required to provide workers with appropriate hand protection. (See this chart for the general hand protection requirements in each jurisdiction.) Thus, appropriate hand protection for workers is required across Canada.

As always, you should consult and comply with the hand protection and PPE requirements in your jurisdiction’s OHS laws. But taking these general five steps will help you comply with the requirements for hand protection in all jurisdictions:

Step #1: Determine if Hand Protection Is Required

The OHS regulations typically require hand protection when workers’ hands are at risk of injury or exposure to hazards such as:

  • Punctures, cuts, irritations, burns or abrasions;
  • Fractures or amputations;
  • Contamination or infection;
  • Contact with a hazardous, chemical or biological substance;
  • Contact with an exposed energized electrical conductor;
  • Exposure to work processes that result in extreme temperatures; and
  • Injury arising from prolonged exposure to water.

General skin protection requirements may also apply to workers’ hands. For example, under Sec. 243 of Alberta’s OHS Code 2009, an employer must ensure that a worker’s skin is protected from a harmful substance that may injure the skin on contact or may adversely affect a worker’s health if it’s absorbed through the skin. So if a worker could come into contact with such a harmful substance through the skin on his hands, you must take steps to prevent such contact from occurring, such as by requiring the worker to wear appropriate gloves.

Step #2: Select Appropriate Hand Protection

Under most OHS regulations, many kinds of PPE, such as respiratory, hearing and eye protection, must comply with a designated standard, such as one from the CSA. But as to hand protection, the OHS regulations don’t generally require compliance with any specific standards—with one notable exception. In some jurisdictions, if a worker may be exposed to electrical hazards, he may be required to use gloves that comply with a standard such as ASTM D120, “Standard Specification for Rubber Insulating Gloves.”

Heavy-duty-impact-1As to other types of hazards that could injure a worker’s hands, you should select the hand protection that’s appropriate for that specific hazard. For example, if the hazard involves contact with hazardous substances, the gloves should be coated to prevent absorption of those substances. If the hazard is exposure to extreme cold, the gloves should keep workers’ hands warm. In addition, even though it’s not required, consulting a voluntary standard such as ANSI/ISEA 105-2016 Hand Protection Classification is still a good idea. And the IRSST has a website to help individuals and safety professionals identify protective gloves corresponding to their needs. The site can be searched by glove model or specific criteria. (The chart at the end shows types of gloves and the kinds of hazards against which they protect workers.)

In addition to selecting hand protection that’s appropriate for the hazard, also ensure that you select gloves that are the appropriate size for the workers who’ll be wearing them. If gloves are too big, they won’t adequately protect the worker and may get caught in machinery (more on this issue below). And if gloves are too small or are otherwise uncomfortable, workers may not use them. It may be particularly challenging to find properly sized gloves for female workers, who often have smaller hands than their male colleagues. But more PPE suppliers have lines created especially for female workers. So consider getting gender-specific hand protection if necessary to adequately protect all of your workers.

When selecting hand protection for your workers, keep in mind that you need to balance safety with productivity. That is, gloves should protect workers’ hands, while still allowing them to do their jobs efficiently. For example, gloves shouldn’t interfere with workers’ dexterity or their ability to grip or hold tools and materials.

Step #3: Ensure Use of Hand Protection Doesn’t Create a Hazard

In some cases, the use of hand protection may actually create a safety hazard for workers. For example, wearing gloves while using certain equipment could expose workers to the risk of the gloves getting entangled in the machinery and their hands or arms being injured. (See this vivid example of such an entanglement.) In such cases, workers should not wear gloves. For example, Prince Edward Island’s OHS regulations require an employer to ensure that workers handling materials likely to puncture, abrade or irritate hands or arms wear PPE to prevent such injuries, except when the use of this equipment introduces equal or greater hazards. In such cases, you must implement alternate safety measures to protect workers’ hands.

Step #4: Set Hand Protection Rules

You should have safety rules on the use of all PPE, including hand protection. These rules should cover, at a minimum:

  • When the use of hand protection is required—and when not to use it. For example, bar workers from wearing gloves with metal parts near electrical equipment or wearing gloves when they could come into contact with a moving part of a machine;
  • How to choose appropriate safety gloves, including properly fitting gloves;
  • How to properly clean and care for gloves, which is usually specified by the manufacturer or supplier;
  • How to inspect gloves before each use for damage that could make them ineffective. For example, rubber or synthetic gloves should be inflated to test for leaks; and
  • How to put on and remove gloves to avoid contamination (if appropriate).

In addition to these PPE-related rules, you should also bar workers from wearing rings, which can get caught in machinery and result in various hand injuries, including fractures and amputations.

Step #5: Train Workers

Naturally, you should train workers on all of your PPE rules, including those relating to hand protection. Regularly reinforce such training with toolbox talks and quizzes to ensure that workers understand these rules and know how to apply them on the job when their hands are at risk of injury.


According to SafeWork Manitoba, approximately 10,000 times a year, individuals’ hands are injured, disabled or lost because of workplace injury. Failing to ensure that workers wear appropriate hand protection can result in such injuries. For example, a municipal worker in New Brunswick was replacing the blade of an ice resurfacer when his Allen wrench slipped. His hand came into contact with the blade’s razor-sharp edge, which sliced through his leather glove and cut him deeply. Although the leather glove may have prevented a more serious injury from occurring, wearing cut-resistant gloves may have prevented an injury completely. So ensure that your OHS program’s PPE rules comply with the hand protection requirements in your jurisdiction’s OHS laws and adequately protect workers’ hands from injury.

Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSDs)

What are work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs)?

Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) are a group of painful disorders of muscles, tendons, and nerves. Carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, thoracic outlet syndrome, and tension neck syndrome are examples.

For the purpose of developing injury prevention strategies, many health and safety agencies include only disorders that develop gradually and are caused by the overuse of the above constituents of the musculoskeletal system. The traumatic injuries of the muscles, tendons and nerves due to accidents are not considered to be WMSDs or are considered separately. However, there are organisations, such as the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, that include acute traumas and fractures within in the WMSD group.

Almost all work requires the use of the arms and hands. Therefore, most WMSD affect the hands, wrists, elbows, neck, and shoulders. Work using the legs can lead to WMSD of the legs, hips, ankles, and feet. Some back problems also result from repetitive activities.

SpineAre there other names for WMSDs?

WMSDs are very difficult to define within traditional disease classifications. These disorders have received many names, such as:

  • Repetitive motion injuries.
  • Repetitive strain injuries.
  • Cumulative trauma disorders.
  • Occupational cervicobrachial disorders.
  • Overuse syndrome.
  • Regional musculoskeletal disorders.
  • Soft tissue disorders.

Most of the names do not accurately describe the disorders. For example, the term "repetitive strain injuries" suggests that repetition causes these disorders, but awkward postures also contribute. These terms are used synonymously. In the absence of an agreement, WMSD term is used in this post.

WMSDs arise from arm and hand movements such as bending, straightening, gripping, holding, twisting, clenching and reaching. These common movements are not particularly harmful in the ordinary activities of daily life. What makes them hazardous in work situations is the continual repetition, often in a forceful manner, and most of all, the speed of the movements and the lack of time for recovery between them. WMSDs are associated with work patterns that include:

  • Fixed or constrained body positions.
  • Continual repetition of movements.
  • Force concentrated on small parts of the body, such as the hand or wrist.
  • A pace of work that does not allow sufficient recovery between movements.

Generally, none of these factors acts separately to cause WMSD. WMSDs commonly occur as a result of a combination and interaction among them.

Heat, cold and vibration also contribute to the development of WMSD.

How do WMSDs occur?

This post discusses WMSDs that develop gradually as a result of repeated trauma.

WMSDs include three types of injuries:

  • Muscle injury
  • Tendon injury
  • Nerve injury

Muscle Injury

When muscles contract, they use chemical energy from sugars and produce by-products such as lactic acid which are removed by the blood. A muscle contraction that lasts a long time reduces the blood flow. Consequently, the substances produced by the muscles are not removed fast enough, and they accumulate in the muscles. The accumulation of these substances irritates muscles and causes pain. The severity of the pain depends on the duration of the muscle contractions and the amount of time between activities for the muscles to get rid of those irritating substances.

Tendon Injury

Tendons consist of numerous bundles of fibres that attach muscles to bones. Tendon disorders related to repetitive or frequent work activities and awkward postures occur in two major categories --tendons with sheaths, found mainly in the hand and wrist; and tendons without sheaths, generally found around the shoulder, elbow, and forearm.

The tendons of the hand are encased in sheaths through which the tendon slides.

The inner walls of the sheaths contain cells that produce a slippery fluid to lubricate the tendon. With repetitive or excessive movement of the hand, the lubrication system may malfunction. It may not produce enough fluid, or it may produce a fluid with poor lubricating qualities. Failure of the lubricating system creates friction between the tendon and its sheath, causing inflammation and swelling of the tendon area. Repeated episodes of inflammation cause fibrous tissue to form. The fibrous tissue thickens the tendon sheath, and hinders tendon movement. Inflammation of the tendon sheath is known as tenosynovitis.

When inflamed, a tendon sheath may swell up with lubricating fluid and cause a bump under the skin. This is referred to as a ganglion cyst.

Tendons without sheaths are vulnerable to repetitive motions and awkward postures. In fact, when a tendon is repeatedly tensed, some of its fibres can tear apart. The tendon becomes thickened and bumpy, causing inflammation. Tendonitis is the general term indicating inflammation of the tendon. In some cases, such as in the shoulder, tendons pass through a narrow space between bones. A sac called the bursa filled with lubricating fluid is inserted between the tendons and the bones as an anti-friction device. As the tendons become increasingly thickened and bumpy, the bursa is subject to a lot of friction and becomes inflamed. Inflammation of the bursa is known as bursitis.

Nerve Injury

Nerves carry signals from the brain to control activities of muscles. They also carry information about temperature, pain and touch from the body to the brain, and control bodily functions such as sweating and salivation. Nerves are surrounded by muscles, tendons, and ligaments. With repetitive motions and awkward postures, the tissues surrounding nerves become swollen, and squeeze or compress nerves.

How can we prevent WMSDs?

Hazards are best eliminated at the source; this is a fundamental principle of occupational health and safety. In the case of WMSDs, the prime source of hazard is the repetitiveness of work. Other components of work such as the applied force, fixed body positions, and the pace of work are also contributing factors. Therefore the main effort to protect workers from WMSDs should focus on avoiding repetitive patterns of work through job design which may include mechanization, job rotation, job enlargement and enrichment or teamwork. Where elimination of the repetitive patterns of work is not possible or practical, prevention strategies involving workplace layout, tool and equipment design, and work practices should be considered.

How can Levitt-Safety Help?

From ergonomic product solutions to consulting and assessing your workspace, we can help you reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders in your workplace.

We also offer a range of instructor-led courses designed to improve your office ergonomics and promote safe movement by your employees, including:

Contact us today for more information.

Steps for Life


Every spring, people of all ages take part in the Steps for Life five-kilometer walk to raise funds to support Canadians affected by workplace tragedy.

Every day, 3 families will receive the news that a loved one is not returning home from work that day. Their families, friends and co-workers will rally together to be there for one another.

The Association for Workplace Tragedy Family Support, known as, Threads of Life supports the healing journey of families who have suffered from a workplace fatality, traumatic life-altering injury, or occupational disease. In fact, Threads of Life currently supports more than 2,200 family members across Canada affected by workplace tragedies.

In order to do this, every year Threads of Life will host its flagship fundraiser – Steps for Life. A fun, 5km walk that aims to educate the community about the devastating ripple effects of each workplace tragedy and how we can work together to prevent others being injured or killed on the job.

Who is walking?

Everyone! Families, friends and colleagues of those affected by workplace tragedy, teams from injury prevention organisations, labour, business and the general public will all participate.

Where do people take Steps for Life?

This year, Steps for Life will take place in more than 30 communities across Canada.

What did You raise in 2015?

A whole lot of awareness about workplace injury and illness prevention, and more than $622,000* to date for Threads of Life’s family support services!

*The reported total is final as of September 14, 2015. Thank you for your tremendous support!

You too can get involved! Volunteer, Fundraise and REGISTER Today!

Dentist, Staff Help Save Woman’s Life With ZOLL AED

Dr. Maria Tacelosky and her staff do not want to be referred to as heroes, but that's what they are.  The group works at The Dental Health Clinic in Berwick, a nonprofit dentist's office.

On a Monday afternoon last month, an employee took a call that a worker in another office needed medical help.

"Because we're a dental office and it's the only medical facility in the building," said Dr. Tacelosky.

Tacelosky and her employees ran down the hallway and found a woman who was not breathing and did not have a pulse, so the doctor and her employees started CPR and used a defibrillator.

"Once the shock of what I was seeing happened, I could hear Dr. T in my head and I immediately went into action," said dental assistant Marybeth Roberts.

"Obviously, weren't prepared for it at the moment and then when the emergency happened, we were all ready to get in there and do our jobs like we trained," said dental hygienist  Gene Moisey.

Every couple of months, the staff runs through drills to practice what to do in emergency situations.

"Gets the staff more prepared in case there is an emergency," said Tacelosky.

"I'm so grateful for the training that we've had," said office manager Tara King. "I've never been in a situation like that and I don't think that you ever imagine that you ever will be."

The group was able to revive the woman and keep her stable until the paramedics got there three minutes later.  Even so, they don't consider themselves heroes.

"The right things happened at the right time to help save her life.  She knew to call someone to tell them she wasn't feeling well.  They called us and everything went well from there, thank goodness," Tacelosky added.

Dr. T says the woman is doing well and recovering at home.  She called the office to thank the staff for saving her life.

Originally published by WNEP News

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."

GHS Label RollWHMIS 2015 questions have been pouring into the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)'s free Safety InfoLine service. Here are employers' top questions:

1. When does WHMIS 2015 start for workplaces?

Implementation has already begun. Part of the confusion around the start time has to do with the way occupational health and safety (OH&S) laws work in Canada:

  • Health Canada is responsible for WHMIS 2015 laws that spell out supplier requirements for classification, labels and data sheets for hazardous products in the workplace. These laws came into force in February 2015 and include a multi-year transition period.
  • WHMIS laws pertaining to employer responsibilities and WHMIS education and training for workers - fall under federal/provincial/territorial OH&S legislation. Some jurisdictions have already updated their laws; others are in transition. The goal is to have all of the OH&S legislation updated by the end of 2016.

Even if the WHMIS 2015 legislation in your jurisdiction has not been enacted, employers can receive WHMIS 2015 products into the workplace.

2. Which WHMIS system should I train on now?

Some workplaces think they have until 2018 to start WHMIS 2015 education and training. Workers actually need to be educated and trained before they use a hazardous product with a WHMIS 2015 label and Safety Data Sheets (SDSs).

In addition, as long as there are products with WHMIS 1988 labels and Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)s in your workplace, workers will need to understand WHMIS 1988. Any new workers will need training on both systems.

Once your workplace no longer has products with WHMIS 1988 labels, you will no longer need to train on WHMIS 1988.

3. What are the requirements for WHMIS education and training?

  • how WHMIS works
  • hazard classes
  • information found on the supplier label and workplace label, and what that information means
  • information found on the SDS, and what that information means

WHMIS training refers to the site- and job-specific information that covers your workplace's procedures for storage, handling, safe use, disposal, emergencies, and spills. After completing WHMIS education and training, workers should understand

  • the hazards of the product(s) they work with
  • how to protect themselves from those hazards
  • what to do in case of an emergency
  • where to find more information about hazardous products

If conditions at the workplace change or if new information about a hazardous product becomes available, review the content of your WHMIS education and training program. In some jurisdictions, an annual WHMIS program review is required. This review does not necessarily mean that re-training is required.

The legislation does not prescribe a specific course to be taken. Employers can provide the education and training in-house or hire a consultant. There have been instances of aggressive WHMIS marketing. Warnings about this issue are posted on F/P/T websites and the national WHMIS portal.

4. What else do I need to do for WHMIS 2015?

During the transition from WHMIS 1988 to WHMIS 2015, you may receive hazardous products that comply with WHMIS 1988 or WHMIS 2015. Suppliers have the option of converting their products to WHMIS 2015 at the product level (i.e., one product at a time). Suppliers who are manufacturers or importers have until May 31, 2017 to convert to WHMIS 2015. Distributors have until May 31, 2018.

For a smooth transition:

  • Update your inventory of hazardous products and safely dispose of those you no longer need.
  • Keep track of those products complying with WHMIS 1988 and those converted to WHMIS 2015.
  • Review the new WHMIS 2015 SDSs to see if any different hazard and/or control information is listed. If there are changes, then
    • educate and train your employees on the new hazards
    • review your hazard control and emergency response procedures and update if required
  • Be aware that most employers have until November 30, 2018 to use up or phase out products that comply with WHMIS 1988. Note: there are some variations on this end of transition date (e.g., in federal OH&S jurisdictions).

5. How Can Levitt-Safety Help?

The first step towards compliance with the revised Hazard Communication Standard is to educate and train employees on new GHS label elements and safety data sheets format. Now is the time to start preparing for new requirements.

Click here to find out how Levitt-Safety EHS Training & Consulting Services can assist your organisation in becoming GHS compliant.

GHS Solutions

Levitt-Safety can supply all the products you need to make your transition to GHS seamless, including:
Accuform Signs

Fill out the form below or contact us today for more information.

Written by Jessie Callaghan, Senior Technical Specialist Chemical, Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS); originally published by CCOHS.

New JHSC Standards Now In Effect

Joint health and safety committees (JHSCs) and multi-workplace joint health and safety committees (MJHSCs) represent workers and employers at Ontario workplaces. An MJHSC is a single JHSC, established and maintained for more than one workplace, each of which would normally require its own JHSC.

Some members of a JHSC must receive training called 'certification' to perform their duties effectively. Our EHS Training & Consulting Services division can assist your organisation with this. Read below and contact us today for more information.

Important Dates

March 1, 2016

New JHSC training standards come into effect.

April 30, 2016

JHSC members trained under the 1996 standards and not already certified must submit confirmation of their Part 2 training by this date in order to be certified.

Download the confirmation form (for 1996 standards only):

Multi-workplace JHSCs

The Ministry of Labour has launched a review of Minister’s Orders that permit multi-workplace joint health and safety committees.


Guide for JHSCs and Health and Safety Representatives:

Stay Safe While You Enjoy St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day! We want you to enjoy the day's festivities, and stay safe while doing it.

Irish_cloverIf you'll be indulging in a green beer or two, ensure you've got a plan to get home safely - a designated driver, a taxi, or public transport.

Drivers, be on the lookout for pedestrians who may be unsteady on their feet, and report any erratic or unsafe driving you might observe!

In the meantime, enjoy some St. Patrick's Day trivia:

St. Patrick's Day Facts & Trivia

In Ireland, St. Patrick's Day is a religious holiday similar to Christmas and Easter.

Erin go Bragh translates to "Ireland forever."

The very first St. Patrick's Day parade was not in Ireland. It was in Boston in 1737.

The largest parade in the United States, held since 1762, is in New York City, and draws more than one million spectators each year.

Over 100 US cities hold a parade every year. Some of the other biggest St. Patrick's Day parades are in Chicago, Illinois and Savannah, Georgia.

In 1948 President Truman became the first president to attend a St. Patrick’s Day parade.

The city of Chicago goes so far to celebrate that they dye their river green.

Green is associated with Saint Patrick's Day because it is the color of spring, of Ireland, and of the shamrock.

Levitt-Safety Named Gold Standard Winner by Canada's Best Managed Companies

BM-RGB-ENLevitt-Safety is proud to be a Gold Standard winner in 2015, and has been a Canada’s Best Managed Companies winner since 2012. This program recognizes Canadian businesses demonstrating leadership, strategy, capability, commitment and financial performance.

Established in 1993, Canada's Best Managed Companies is the country’s leading business awards program, recognizing excellence in Canadian owned and managed companies with revenues over $10 million.

Every year, hundreds of entrepreneurial companies compete for this designation in a rigorous and independent process that evaluates the calibre of their management abilities and practices.

What makes the Canada's Best Managed Companies program unique?

  •   Focuses on Canadian owned and managed companies
  •   Recognizes overall business performance and sustained growth
  •   Recognizes the efforts of the entire organisation
  •   Measures more than financial performance

After a panel of judges selects the final annual award winners, these special companies are honoured with the hallmark of excellence – the Canada's Best Managed Companies designation.

The Canada's Best Managed Companies designation symbolizes Canadian corporate success: companies focused on their core vision, creating stakeholder value and excelling in the global economy. The program has continued to raise the profile of Canadian-owned businesses that have:

  •   outperformed their competitors
  •   created thousands of jobs
  •   achieved sustainable growth
  •   excelled both at home and abroad

Levitt-Safety is proud to have become a member of this prestigious group and look forward to using our position as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies to continually improve our service to you.

Amendments to Regulations Pertaining to Health and Safety Protection for Construction Workers

construction-workerAmendments to three regulations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA) have been approved. The amendments formalize the changes proposed by the Ministry of Labour in the Summary of Proposal document that was posted on the government's Regulatory Registry for a 60-day public consultation from October 28 to December 29, 2014.

Key amendments include:

Construction Projects Regulation (O. Reg. 213/91)

  • New requirements relating to the safe operation of rotary foundation drill rigs ("drill rigs"), including new drill rig operator training requirements;
  • Enhancing and clarifying provisions relating to exposure to carbon monoxide, and other fumes and gases, released from internal combustion engines;
  • Strengthening fall protection measures; and,
  • Correcting errors, omissions and inconsistencies, updating outdated references, and clarifying certain requirements.

Control of Exposure to Biological or Chemical Agents Regulation (Regulation 833)

  • Extending the application of the regulation to construction projects; and
  • Enabling the future use of 'codes of practice' approved by the Ministry of Labour,

Confined Spares Regulation (O. 632/05)

  • Consequential amendments were made under this regulation to ensure consistency with changes to Regulation 833.


Daylight Savings Time: Safety Tips to Remember as You Spring Forward

It’s that time of year again!

The time where millions of Canadians and Americans lose an hour of sleep for no pressing reason in particular. The clocks will move forward an hour on Sunday, March 13 at 2:00 a.m.

Smoke detector with smoke

Here are a couple things you should know before springing forward.

“Spring forward” comes with safety concerns.

Losing an hour might seem insignificant, but the Ontario Provincial Police say a later sunrise and sunset can have an impact on driving.

Look down the road, anticipate any changes in driving patterns or driving conditions that are coming up. Give yourself enough following distance and give yourself that time and space so you can avoid and react to any collision or any emergency.

Remember to change your clocks and your batteries.

Fire departments and safety officials stress the importance of remembering to change the batteries in smoke detectors and household alarms during Daylight Saving while changing clocks. It’s the best (and often the only) time to remember to keep up maintenance on safety devices.

New Noise Regulation for Ontario - Regulation 381/15

The new regulation comes into effect on July 1, 2016

vivid_canada_hearing_LRGThe Ministry of Labour announced on December 17, 2015 that a new Noise Regulation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act was approved on December 9, 2015. It will come into effect on July 1, 2016.

The new Noise Regulation will:

  • prescribe, for workers exposed to noise, a maximum time-weighted exposure limit of 85 decibels over an eight-hour work shift - require employers to put in place measures to reduce workers' exposure based on a "hierarchy of controls", which could include engineering controls, work practices, and the use of personal protective equipment in the form of hearing protection devices, and
  • require employers who provide a worker with a hearing protection device to provide adequate training and instruction on that device.

This regulation will replace the noise protection requirements set out in the regulations for Industrial Establishments (Regulation 851), Mines and Mining Plants (Regulation 854), Oil and Gas-Offshore (Regulation 855) - all revoked - and amended the Farming Operations Regulations (Regulation 41) to include the Noise Regulations.

It extends the noise protection requirements contained in the regulations below to all workplaces under OHSA. The new workplaces covered by this regulation include:

  • construction projects
  • health care facilities
  • schools
  • farming operations
  • fire services
  • police services
  • amusement parks

If you're concerned about your workers' exposure to noise or need assistance in developing a comprehensive Hearing Conservation Program, fill out the form below to contact us today.

To view the regulation in its entirety, please visit the Government of Ontario website. 

Winter Driving Tips

snowy_winter_drivingWhile most of the country has experienced milder than normal temperatures this winter, the threat of snowstorms still loom.

Don't forget to keep safe driving in mind when travelling in winter conditions. Here are some tips compiled from the Ministry of Transportation to keep you safe during your travels the rest of the season:

Check your vehicle

Get your vehicle winter-ready with a maintenance check-up. Carry an ice scraper and washer  uid effective to -40oC. Keep your fuel tank at least half full. Consider installing four winter tires. You’re eligible for an auto insurance discount if you use them!

Plan ahead, use your judgment

Plan your trip, locate your stops and check the weather. Check road conditions and closures on our website, Twitter account or call 511 for handsfree voice-activated service. Use your judgment too – delaying your trip may be the best option. If you’re on the road when conditions worsen, and a safe place to pull well off and wait.

Be prepared

Have emergency supplies with you – a charged cell phone, non-perishable food, water, flashlight, blanket, warm clothes, jumper cables, shovel and traction mats or sand.

Slow down, stay alert and in control

Many winter collisions occur because drivers are going too fast for road conditions. Slow down and allow extra space between you and other vehicles. Focus on your driving and put away cell phones and other distractions. Look for reflections on the road – what looks like water may actually be ice.Steer gently on curves and in slippery conditions. Hard braking, quick acceleration and abrupt gear changes can cause you to skid. Avoid using cruise control on wet, snowy or icy pavement – it reduces your reaction time and vehicle control. If you do skid, release your brakes and steer in the direction you want to go. Be careful not to oversteer.

Share the road and watch for snowplows

Avoid crowding into the lane of on-coming traffic – this can result in head-on collisions. Drive slowly near working snowplows and don’t pass them – it’s dangerous. Be patient and give them room. They will pull off once they reach the end of their route.

Obey road closures

Do not drive on closed roads – it’s against the law. Always obey emergency closure signs and follow the directions of police of cers. Remember – the roads are closed for your safety!

U.S. vs Canadian Regulations Surrounding FR

Though protection against flame, heat, and electrical arc is somewhat standardized in the majority of the world, there are still different agencies enforcing workplace standards in each country.

Safety Enforcement Agencies in North America

In the United States, OSHA does much of the workplace safety regulation enforcement. While the Department of Labor and a variety of state and federal agencies can also enforce workplace safety violations, OSHA primarily works with government officials in shaping regulations and standards.

The Canadian Standards Association and Canadian General Standards Board are responsible for creating and enforcing workplace safety and FR regulations in Canada.

Mexico’s FR regulations are much more extensive. Though regulation is typically taken care of on a regional level, federal enforcement does happen.

Shared Regulations in Canada and US

Both Canada and the U.S. recognize standards set forth by the National Fire Protection Association, and ASTM International. These include:

  • NFPA 2112, Standard on Flame-Resistant Garments for Protection of Industrial Personnel Against Flash Fire
  • NFPA 2113, Standard on Selection, Care, Use and Maintenance of Flame-Resistant Garments for Protection of Industrial Personnel Against Short-Duration Thermal Exposures
  • NFPA 1975, Standard on Station/Work Uniforms for Emergency Services
  • NFPA 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace
  • ASTM F1506, Standard Performance Specification for Flame-Resistant and Arc-Rated Textile Materials for Wearing Apparel for Use by Electrical Workers Exposed to Momentary Electric Arc and Related Thermal Hazards

Collectively, these standards are designed to keep all types of workers safe from heat, flame, and electrical hazards by setting standards for protection equipment and procedures that companies must follow.

Both US and Canadian regulators often use compliance with these standards to determine fault in worker injury and fatality cases.

Canadian-specific FR Standards

In Canada, specific standards exist for protection against hydrocarbon flash fire, which specifically affects oil industry workers and anyone else working with propane- or butane-powered gear and other alkalines.

These standards are written and enforced by the major Canadian standards enforcement agencies and any company with operations in Canada should be aware of both hydrocarbon and electrical arc-specific standards.
Performing a work site assessment in either country is the easiest way to maintain a safer and more compliant workplace.

Fire safety is at its foundation universal – we’re all flammable and the ways to protect our bodies depend on the situation. Maintaining an organized and well-trained staff and facility ensure the safest possible work environment in any country.

Changes to Z317.2-15 - HVAC Systems in Health Care Facilities

CSA Group standards for health care facility engineering cover elements of the design and construction of hospitals and other care facilities. The fourth edition of CSA Z317.2 is one of the standards in this series. It is intended for use by architects, engineers, planners, consultants, and health care facility staff to ensure the efficient design, construction, and maintenance of HVAC systems. It helps to protect patients, staff and visitors by clearly defining operational, maintenance, and monitoring requirements for HVAC systems that will reduce the risk of transmission of infection.

Detailed Information


This is the fourth edition of CSA Z317.2, Special requirements for heating, ventilation, and air- conditioning (HVAC) systems in health care facilities, one of a series of Standards on the design, construction, and maintenance of health care facilities and systems. It supersedes the previous editions, published in 2010, 2001, and 1991.

This Standard is intended for use by architects, engineers, planners, consultants, and health care facility staff to ensure the efficient design, construction, and maintenance of HVAC systems. In addition to design and construction requirements, this Standard includes operational, maintenance, and monitoring requirements for HVAC systems that will reduce the risk of transmission of infection among building occupants, including patients, staff, and visitors.

Significant changes in this edition include the following:

a) Revised definition of "health care facility" and division of Class C facilities into Class C-1 and Class C-2, to address the increasing number of surgical and other significant clinical procedures taking place outside of the traditional hospital setting;

b) Increased use of performance requirements in place of prescriptive design specifications, particularly with respect to system redundancy;

c) Updated values for temperature, humidity, and relative pressurization in Table 1;

d) Additional material on HVAC cooling towers;

e) Alignment of Clause 7 material on commissioning with CSA Z8001;

f) Alignment of Clause 8 material on operation, monitoring, and maintenance with CSA Z8002;

g) New provisions for reduced operation of HVAC systems during unoccupied periods;

h) Revisions to Clause 5.8 requirements for system upgrades associated with health care facility renovations or additions;

i) Revised requirements for system design capacities to respond to catastrophic events;

j) Updated requirements for energy efficiency;

k) Revised requirements for acoustic materials used for the lining of system components; and

l) Revised acoustic requirements for HVAC equipment and systems.

CSA Group acknowledges that the development of this Standard was made possible, in part, by the financial support of the governments of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Québec, Saskatchewan, and Yukon, as administered by the Canadian Association for Drugs and Technology in Health (CADTH).


This Standard provides requirements for the planning, design, construction, commissioning, operation, and maintenance of HVAC systems in HCFs. In general, these requirements are more stringent than those applied to non-health-care facilities.

Note: See Annex A for general guidelines on HVAC system design. Table 1 provides specific design parameters for HVAC systems.

This Standard

a) specifies minimum values for certain parameters;

b) establishes the suitability of different design options;

c) establishes recommendations for zoning, controls, and monitoring; and

d) outlines best practice for energy conservation.

This Standard is not intended to preclude the use of design concepts and the adoption of installation, operations, and maintenance procedures more stringent than those specified in this Standard. In cases where clinical evidence supports additional measures to improve the safety and efficacy of HCFs, such additional measures should be considered in the design, installation commissioning, operation, and maintenance of the HVAC system.

This Standard applies to new buildings, additions to existing buildings, and alterations to existing buildings. Alterations include changes in function or size of spaces and the rearrangement, replacement, or addition of HVAC equipment, but do not include routine maintenance and service.

Note: "Like for like" replacement of worn or failed components is generally considered to be routine maintenance; however, a more in-depth analysis should take place when replacing major components. See Clause 5.8.4.

This Standard does not address requirements for other elements of a building that are not directly a part of the HVAC system but can affect the design, performance, or operation of these systems, including but not limited to

a) building envelope;

b) structure;

c) electrical power and lighting systems;

d) plumbing system; and

e) fire protection system.

In this Standard, "shall" is used to express a requirement, i.e., a provision that the user is obliged to satisfy in order to comply with the standard; "should" is used to express a recommendation or that which is advised but not required; and "may" is used to express an option or that which is permissible within the limits of the Standard.

Notes accompanying clauses do not include requirements or alternative requirements; the purpose of a note accompanying a clause is to separate from the text explanatory or informative material.

Notes to tables and figures are considered part of the table or figure and may be written as requirements.

Annexes are designated normative (mandatory) or informative (non-mandatory) to define their application.

For more information, please visit the CSA website.

Don't Turn a Deaf Ear to Noise

Do you find your ears ringing after a day at work? Or, do you need to turn up your stereo on the drive home and find it far too loud the next day when you get into your vehicle? These are two signs
that you may be suffering from some degree of noise-induced hearing loss.

A woman uses a press machine wearing hearing protectionHere are 7 statistics relating to noise-induced hearing loss:

  1. 4 Million American workers who go to work each day are exposed to damaging noise levels. (NIOSH)
  2. A WorkSafeBC study found that 25 percent of young people entering the workforce showed early signs of hearing loss, with a further 4.6 percent showing abnormal hearing test results.
  3. In 2007, Approximately 82 percent of occupational hearing loss cases were reported among workers in the manufacturing sector. (NIOSH)
  4. The 2 most common causes of hearing loss are noise-induced hearing loss and age-related hearing loss.
  5. Noise-induced hearing loss is the number 1 occupational accident in North America. (Workplace Medical Corp.)
  6. A comprehensive hearing conservation program consists of these 7 elements: noise measurement; education and training; engineered noise control; hearing protection devices; the posting of signs warning of noise hazards and the need for hearing PPE; annual hearing tests; and an annual program review.
  7. Noise above 90 decibels (dbs) can cause hearing loss, especially when the exposure lasts for an extended period of time. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Do you require assistance developing a Hearing Conservation Program? We can help. Contact us today for more information.

Inspection Blitz Finds Three-Quarters of Bosses Breaking Law

The Ministry of Labour nabbed 238 workplaces for violations of Employment Standards Act in a blitz focused on precarious employment. Infractions include poor record keeping, excess hours, and failure to shell out overtime pay.

safety-audit3A recent inspection blitz conducted by the Ministry of Labour focusing on precarious employment has found that 78% of workplaces are in violation of the Employment Standards Act, according to a detailed breakdown by the Toronto Star.

A total of 304 workplaces were inspected in the province-wide blitz, which targeted sectors like cleaning, security services, and recreation facilities. Some 238 were breaking the law. The most common monetary infractions being overtime, public holiday, and vacation pay. The ministry collected $361,000 in unpaid wages for workers following the inspections, according to its website.

Responsibility of Employers

The onus remains on the employer to ensure fair labour practices are being observed. Good record-keeping and regular training is one way to combat the potential for violations. Levitt-Safety | EHS Training & Consulting Services offers not only more than 300 online courses, but also provides instructor-led training to ensure all workplaces are operating safely and in compliance with local laws and legislation.

We also offer industry leading learning management and SDS management systems, eliminating the potential for guesswork.

If you'd like more information on training your employees, please contact us. We're here to help.

Staying Safe When It’s Time to Celebrate

New Year’s Eve is an occasion to celebrate, and the last thing you want is a health and safety hiccup. No matter what plans you have in store, here’s how to stay safe on New Year’s Eve:


1. With Your Group…

The best New Year’s Eves are spent with loved ones. If you’re going to a party or heading to a public event, make plans to arrive and leave with a group. A lot can happen on New Year’s Eve, and you want to ensure you, your friends and family are safe, so be sure to share your plans for the night and communicate your whereabouts if plans change. To this end, pack a charger for your phone — a portable one may be especially helpful if you can’t find an outlet. Be aware of your surroundings; if you get separated from your group, you will want to know where you are, where you’re going and where you’re spending the night.

2. When It’s Time to Eat…

A filling dinner is one of the best ways to prepare for a long New Year’s Eve night. A wholesome dinner can not only help to absorb some of the alcohol, but it will also help you avoid nibbling on bar snacks.

3. If You’re Drinking…

Alcohol is almost unavoidable on New Year’s Eve. Even if you and your friends don’t partake, you’ll likely encounter intoxicated revelers over the course of your night. If you are drinking alcohol, keep in mind your limits. With a few adjustments, the tips are very similar to summer drinking: alternate alcohol with water or other non-alcoholic options, pace yourself and don’t leave your beverage unattended.

4. With Champagne…

The New Year’s Eve alcohol of choice is, almost inevitably, champagne. It should go without saying that all bottles should be popped away from guests or anything of value. Another pro-tip is the 45 degrees rule of thumb – it’s the ideal temperature to avoid spontaneous combustion and the ideal angle to uncork at.

5. Regarding Driving…

Don’t drink and drive! This cannot be stressed enoughDon’t let anyone you see drive under the influence. If you’re hosting, this may mean taking keys and offering couches to sleep on. If you’re out on the town, this could mean alerting the bartender or host to the situation.

It is always dangerous to be on the road on New Year’s Eve. If possible, ask to spend the night with a friend or book a room within walking distance of your festivities to avoid potential drunk drivers. If you must be on the road, be prepared for increased cab fare or ride-sharing surge prices and the pre-existing dangers of driving in winter conditions at night.

Changes to Cut Protection Standards for Hand PPE

Changes in Cut Standards ANSI/ISEA & EN388

Here’s a quick overview of what you need to know:

The standards for cut protection as outlined in the ANSI/ISEA 105 American National Standard for Hand Protection Selection Criteria and the EN 388 European regulatory standard for protective gloves (CE) are changing in 2016. While the American ANSI/ISEA standards have been finalized, the EN388 changes are in the final stages of approval.

Why the Change?

The need was recognized for a more consistent and accurate testing method between ANSI/ISEA and European safety standards. While these changes do not create parity between the two standards, they do begin to bridge the gap. There are three main reasons the standards are changing:

  • The two standards are very different in classification and testing methods, yet both provide a 1-5 ranking scale which causes confusion.
  • The standards were created prior to advances in PPE technology, and they don’t address current high cut resistant materials.
  • The 1-5 scale for both EN388 and ANSI/ISEA 105 includes large gaps between some of the levels (ANSI/ISEA cut level 4 includes 1500-3500 grams of cut resistance), creating the potential for the use of insufficient PPE.

Understanding the Changes to the ANSI/ISEA 105 American National Standard

The new ANSI/ISEA 105 standard will now use a 9-level scale (called out as A1-A9) that extends from 0 -6000 grams of cut resistance, which allows for more accurate identification of protection in PPE. The biggest change with this scale is that the current “Cut 4” will be divided into three separate levels, arming safety managers with a greater ability to dial in on the needs of a specific application. The following chart shows the changes:

In addition to a more accurate scale, the ANSI/ISEA 105 will require testing using the ASTM F2992-15 method which dictates use of the Tomodynamometer (TDM) machine (previously the TDM or CPPT machine was accepted). The test method will remain the same except for reducing the distance the blade travels from 25mm to 20mm.


Understanding the Changes to the EN 388 European Cut Standard

Although the ANSI/ISEA changes are set to be released in February 2016, the EN 388 cut changes are still being finalized.  The proposed EN388 changes address the inconsistencies with the Coup Test and will provide an additional cut score for high cut materials.

  • High cut resistant materials will be required to use the ISO 13997 cut method which requires the use of the TDM machine. Results will be based on the weight required to achieve cut through at the distance of 20mm (same as ANSI/ISEA 105), reported in Newtons, and given a six-step letter score (A-F).


As you can see, this scale roughly correlates to the ANSI/ASEA scale for cut levels A1-A6, but still falls short of differentiating highly cut resistant materials. For that reason, as well as the continued use of two potential testing protocols in the EN 388, we suggest using the ANSI/ISEA standards when evaluating PPE.

  • The Coup test will still be used in the interim for lower cut resistant materials. The test parameters will be altered to address variations that occur due to blade sharpness. If there are variations in the Coup testing, materials will need to be tested with the ISO/TDM test.

The Bottom Line

While these changes may sound confusing, the bottom line is that there is an effort being made to better standardize testing between ANSI/ISEA, ISO and EN 388, which will help safety managers globally better protect their people.

Safety of the employee has always been the driving force behind everything HexArmor® does. Our goal is to work with safety professionals around the globe to help determine appropriate solutions to the hazards their workers face daily. These new changes will allow safety managers to be better equipped to provide appropriate solutions.

In the coming months we will continue to address these changes with whitepapers, videos, and other educational materials. We also look forward to sharing the new standards introduced for needle stick protection.


Originally posted by HexArmor on December 15 2015. Visit HexArmor.COM for a range of hand protection products, including cut resistant gloves. 


Encon Helios® Self-Contained, Gravity Fed, Portable Eyewash

HE100_front_closedThe Encon® Helios® is a modern breakthrough in Self-Contained Portable Eyewash Solutions featuring the newest advancements in eye irrigation equipment. This self-contained station requires only 9.4 gallons of flushing fluid to deliver a continuous flow of more than 0.4 gpm for a full fifteen minutes of use. Its sleek profile and feature-rich attributes make the Encon® Helios® the premier product in its class. Here are a few of its features:


  • Helios delivers 0.4 gpm of non-injurious flushing fluid for 15 minutes to meet the requirements of the ANSI Z358.1 Standard.
  • The innovative eyewash nozzles are incorporated into the tray with an ergonomic handle for quick activation.
  • The nozzles, when not in use, are safely guarded as they recess into the custom formed cavities located inside the vessel body; thus minimizing the possibility of contamination.


  • Helios has a sleek profile with very few flat spots. Flat spots and crevices catch debris and can contaminate the eyewash tank contents or even the eyewash nozzles.
  • The fluid storage tank is half the size of most competitive portables because of Encon®'s unique nozzle engineering and over 50  years of know-how.
  • The Helios uses an internal rotating actuator valve instead of a pinch tube to accurately and immediately deliver fluid to the nozzles without fail. Pinch tubes, over time, can easily fail if not inspected on a regular basis.
  • The large Filling Port incorporates a lid attached by a stainless steel chain, providing easy access for vessel filling while protecting the contents from airborne particulates.

3M™ E-A-Rfit™ Dual-Ear Validation System

The 3M™ E-A-Rfit™ Dual Ear Validation System makes it easy to measure every employee's unique level of protection and takes the guesswork out of managing compliance in your hearing conservation program.


  • Tests both ears simultaneously in less than 5 seconds.
  • Earmuff and Earplug testing capability
  • Tests at 7 standard frequencies - 125Hz to 8000Hz
  • Science-based, objective, quantitative testing

What is the 3M™ E-A-Rfit™ Validation System?

EARFit Validation SystemE-A-Rfit is a service program designed to help validate hearing protection and compliance. It delivers an objective, quantitative measurement of each employee's protection, so you can better protect your workforce while helping employees understand the importance of proper fit. With the E-A-Rfit Dual Ear validation system, your employees will learn how to properly fit their 3M earplug or earmuff, and you'll have the confidence that they are wearing the right protection for their environment.

  • It is Fast, quantitative and objective
  • Personal Attenuation Rating (PAR) of hearing protectors
  • Offers training for consistent fit
  • Provides documentation for compliance reporting

3 Simple Steps

Step 1: Workers self-fit their own earplugs or earmuffs.

In less than 5 seconds, the system generates a personal attenuation rating (PAR) that indicates a worker's noise reduction levels for a given fitting

Advantage: Reflects an individual's fitting methods and indicates if additional training is necessary.

Step 2: Connect to the Unique dual-element microphone.

The microphone measures the noise reduction of each earplug or earmuff as worn by the worker across the wide range of industrial noise frequencies.

Advantage: Objectively tests 7 frequencies (125 Hz - 8 kHz) in under 5 seconds per ear, so you don't rely on subjective test responses.

Step 3: Run the Test for Personal Attenuation Rating (PAR)

Patented system and proprietary algorithms quickly analyze real-ear data to provide Personal Attenuation Rating (PAR) and fit variability.

Advantage: PARs can assist in determining if the level of hearing protection your workers are getting is appropriate to their work environment.

Documented Results: Easy-to-understand test results are documented for each test subject, both in print and electronic formats, for future reference.

Audit, Fit, Assess

Look how well the 3M™ E-A-Rfit™ Dual Ear Validation System fits into your hearing conservation program. Integrating hearing protection fit testing into your hearing conservation program benefits everyone from new hires to high-risk workers.


  • Establish baseline values for new workers
  • Helps identify workers receiving inadequate protection that leaves them at risk of threshold shifts
  • Validate high protection levels required by workers in high noise areas

Fit, Train & Motivate

  • Provides tool for training proper fitting techniques and to assess proficiency
  • Motivates employees by helping them realize the control they have in protecting their hearing

Assess & Manage

  • Improves long term performance of your hearing conservation program
  • Indicates employees needing further fit training or alternative hearing protectors
  • Input your noise exposure data and the 3M™ E-A-Rfit™ Dual Ear Software can help you identify the most appropriate hearing protection and help minimize over/under protection

3M™ End of Service Life Indicator (ESLI)

When safety is on the line, change is critical

Cartridge-NIOSH label peel back-23M™ Organic Vapour Service Life Indicator Cartridges 6000i Series incorporate a revolutionary end-of-service-life indicator (ESLI) technology to help answer the question that every respirator user must answer — “when should I change my cartridges?”

In appropriate environments*, the 3M™ Service Life Indicator can:

Provide Confidence in Protection
  • The 3M™ Service Life Indicator can help provide added peace of mind as a complement to your current change out schedule, and in some cases replace your current practices.
  • This technology can help increase compliance with your company’s respiratory policy and industry requirements.
  • These cartridges are NIOSH approved as 6001i and 60921i organic vapour cartridges against certain organic gases and vapours, plus they have all of the features you would find in standard 3M™ Organic Vapour Cartridges.
Optimize Cartridge Use

It's designed to indicate service life based on individual exposure and respiratory use patterns.

Engage Your Workforce in Safety

The simple, visual tool can help users determine when to change cartridges.

How the 3M™ Service Life Indicator Works

3M™ Organic Vapour Cartridges 6001i and 60921i contain the 3M Service Life Indicator, a visual ESLI for certain organic vapours and exposure levels. The ESLI is located inside the cartridge, next to the activated carbon. As organic vapours travel through the cartridge, they are also adsorbed into the ESLI. The clear cartridge wall allows you to monitor the developing indicator bar. When the cartridge is exposed to specific vapour concentrations, you will notice a change in the indicator.

When used properly in appropriate environments, an indicator bar will develop to help determine the remaining cartridge service life.


Taking the Guesswork Out of Life

The 3M™ Service Life Indicator can be used to complement your current cartridge change schedule. You must change your cartridge at the normally scheduled interval or when the ESLI indicates,
whichever occurs first.

In some cases you can use the ESLI as a primary method to determine cartridge change, replacing your current change schedule method.

To find out if the 3M™ Service Life Indicator may be used as the primary method for determining your cartridge change-out schedule:

  1. Perform exposure monitoring to quantify the organic vapour exposure levels in your workplace.
  2. Enter the monitoring results in the 3M™ Select and Service Life Software (3M.com/ServiceLifeSoftware). If the ESLI is not applicable as a primary method, it may still be used to complement your current cartridge change schedule.
  3. Visit 3M.ca/ESLI


MSA Galaxy® GX2 Automated Test System

MSA GX2 Automated Test System 2

Try the Interactive Online Simulator! 

Simplicity counts with the MSA GALAXY® GX2 Automated Test System for advanced safety management and effortless operation. The GALAXY GX2 Automated Test System provides simple, intelligent testing and calibration of MSA ALTAIR® and ALTAIR PRO Single-Gas Detectors and ALTAIR 4X and ALTAIR 5X Multigas Detectors. Easy-to-use automated test stand offers high performance as either stand-alone unit or integrated portable detector management system, enabling total data access and control of the MSA ALTAIR family Gas Detector fleet. New MSA Link™ Pro Software for proactive safety management; gas exposure email alerts, direct data input, live filtering, test and exposure queries, collecting and printing reports.

Features and Benefits

  • Color touch screen for ease of setup and viewing
  • Extremely simple to use; testing starts automatically without touching a single button
  • Simultaneous testing of up to ten instruments
  • GALAXY GX2 System is optimized for use with MSA’s XCell® Sensors; provides up to 50% cost of ownership reduction
  • At-a-glance indicators include low calibration gas volume, expiration warnings and test stand status.
  • MSA Link Pro Software provides proactive safety management, dashboard overview and total record-keeping
  • 18 languages available for test stand and MSA Link Pro Software that simplifies usage and reduces training

MSA Altair® Connect App

MSA ConnectSafety at the Speed of Now

MSA’s integrated Bluetooth connectivity enables scalable solutions that eliminate the need for costly investments in wireless infrastructure. Android-based Bluetooth connectivity is the basis for these solutions. By incorporating Bluetooth as a standard feature in select portable gas detectors, MSA offers wireless safety benefits to everyone.

By downloading the MSA ALTAIR Connect App from Google Play and pairing with any compatible Android* device, your gas detector can be turned into an enhanced safety and productivity tool.

Safety Awareness

  • Receive gas detection readings, alarms and man-down alerts
  • Send emergency SMS text notifications with GPS location# to single or group recipients
  • Short-range replication of live instrument readings

Maintenance and Operational Support

  • Configure instruments remotely, without the need for a PC
  • View and email# event record

Improved Safety Management and Compliance

  • View and email# calibration certifications
  • Awareness of lone worker or remote instrument events
  • Platform allows for integration of third-party engineered systems or subscription safety services



New JHSC 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.

The ministry is implementing changes to the current training standard to provide a more interactive and consistent learning experience. A companion standard for training providers ensures high quality and consistent delivery of training programs by approved trainers. These changes result from extensive consultations with employers, labour, training providers, and others.

"Certifying JHSC members is not just about compliance," says Lina Della Mora, WSPS's director of program and training delivery. "It makes good business sense. When your employees are educated and knowledgeable about how to identify hazards and make recommendations for improvements, they're health and safety culture leaders. They help make the workplace safer for everyone."

What you need to know

Under the revised standards,

  1. JHSC members who achieve certification status after March 1, 2016 will require refresher training every 3 years to maintain their status
  2. Parts One and Two, as well as refresher training, must be taken from a MOL approved trainer
  3. both parts must be completed within 6 months of each other
  4. training must include interaction with an instructor, and consist of a minimum of 5 days: 3 for Part One; 2 for Part 2. Refresher training is an additional day

What this means for your business

  • If you have JHSC members who require certification training, don't put it off. Ministry inspectors will continue checking on compliance during workplaces visits and inspections.
  • Any JHSC members certified before March 1, 2016 are certified for life. They won't need retraining unless they switch industry sectors. They also won't need refresher training.*
  • Self-paced training via print based workbooks and e-courses will NOT be available after January 31, 2016 due to requirements set out in the new standards.
  • Workplaces cannot conduct their own in-house Certification Training unless they apply through the MOL to become an approved training provider of an approved JHSC Certification Training program.

WSPS can help you meet current and future certification training requirements

We've been delivering certification training for 15 years. After March 1, 2016, WSPS will continue to offer certification training in classrooms throughout Ontario and can accommodate busy schedules with flexible onsite sessions - any shift, 24-7 - an ideal option for group training.

Learn more about the new requirements by

WSPS is also exploring options for meeting the requirements in the new standards through a blended approach of classroom and on-line learning. Watch for more information on blended certification training in upcoming issues of WSPS Network News.

Originally posted by Workplace Safety & Prevention Services, October 7, 2015 

Halloween Safety Tips for Families

Halloween can be a fun and exciting time for kids. These safety tips for parents, children and homeowners will help keep everyone safe and happy this Halloween.

For parents:

  • Do not use masks. Masks make it hard for children to see what’s around them, including cars. Try a hypoallergenic (less likely to cause an allergic reaction), non-toxic make-up kit instead.
  • Make or buy costumes in light-coloured material.
  • Place strips of reflective tape on the back and front of costumes, so that drivers can better see your child.
  • Costumes should fit properly to prevent trips and falls. Avoid items such as oversized shoes, high heels, long dresses and long capes.
  • Dress your child for the weather. Add layers if needed.
  • Put your child’s name, address and phone number on his costume.
  • Children under 10 should be accompanied by an adult for trick or treating. By the age of 10, some children are ready to go trick-or-treating with a group of friends.
  • Keep in mind that gum and hard candy can pose a choking risk for young children.
  • Remove make-up before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.

If your child is going out without an adult:

  • 0fa28d342afed73dda7012ce98598678Make sure your child is in a group of at least 3 people.
  • Give them a flashlight. A cell phone is also a good idea if you have one.
  • Discuss in advance the route they should follow. Ask them to call you if they plan to go on a street that isn't on the route.
  • Set a curfew (and make sure they have a watch with them).
  • Tell your children not to eat anything until they get home.

For children and youth:

  • Carry a white bag or pillowcase for your candy, and add some reflective tape.
  • Dress for the weather. Cold weather or water absorbent materials in the rain can be very uncomfortable.
  • Bring a cell phone, in case you need to make an emergency phone call.
  • Always travel in groups. Be sure there are at least 3 of you at all times.
  • Let your parents know where you're going to be at all times.
  • Don’t visit houses that are not well lit. Never go inside a stranger's house.
  • Use the sidewalk whenever possible. If there's no sidewalk, walk on the side of the road facing traffic.
  • Don't criss-cross back and forth across the street. Work your way up one side of the street, and then start on the other.
  • If you have any allergies, tell the person who is giving out the treats.
  • Don't eat any of your treats before you get home. Once home, ask your parents to look through your treats with you to make sure everything is okay.

For homeowners:

  • Turn on outdoor lights, and replace burnt-out bulbs.
  • Remove items from your yard or porch that might trip a child.
  • Sweep wet leaves from your steps and driveway.
  • Use alternative to candles in your pumpkins, such as a flashlight or a battery-operated candle.
  • Remember that some children have food allergies. Consider giving treats other than candy, such as stickers, erasers or a yo-yo.

Alternatives to traditional trick-or-treating

  • Local community centres sometimes offer Halloween night activities.
  • Local shopping centres often have trick-or-treat nights for young children in a more controlled environment.
  • Plan a Halloween night at home with themed games and movies. Invite friends.

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.

The incident

The contractors' two workers were in a scissor lift, a self-propelled elevating work platform to insulate an overhead water pipe in a client's workplace. The firm had two of their own site superintendents supervising the project.

The workers started in a mechanical room, following the pipe into a garage space with an overhead door. When open, the door rested on tracks above an entry bay. This was blocking the insulation work. One of the two site superintendents told them not to go near the door, only the client's employees could operate any mechanical equipment, and he would make arrangements with a designated client contact.

More than two hours later, the designated client contact still hadn't appeared. The two contract workers asked a client employee to lower the door halfway. The employee neither locked out the lowered door nor consulted the designated contact.

The contractors' workers moved the scissor lift into a position behind the door and continued working. Soon after, a client employee going through the open doorway triggered an electronic eye. The door rose, striking the scissor lift. A client employee pressed a stop button, but the door didn't stop in time to prevent the scissor lift from toppling over. A subsequent investigation revealed that the door may have started malfunctioning up to two weeks earlier.

Both contract workers fell 20 feet to the concrete floor. One suffered head injuries and died several days later. The other suffered broken bones. In a Ministry of Labour prosecution, the general contracting firm was fined $125,000; the firm's two supervisors, $4,000 each.

7 lessons to learn from incidents like this

Network News asked WSPS consultant Lois Weeks what lessons employers can apply to their own workplace. Here's what she said:

  1. Understand who's responsible for what. When you hire a contractor, you may become the contractor's employer and assume responsibility for them under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. This includes everything from making sure the contractor has the right qualifications to making sure the work is completed safely.
  2. Ensure everyone involved in the contracted work is clear on what each of the parties involved is responsible for.
  3. Ensure everyone in your workplace, contractors' employees included, understands the scope and limitations of their responsibilities.
  4. Assess and communicate all the hazards of the work involved to affected supervisors and workers. Ensure everyone involved understands the applicable legal requirements for the work being performed, as there are variations between industrial and construction requirements. Then ensure everyone, including contractors' employees, have the hazard-specific training needed to do their jobs safely.
  5. Ensure supervisors and contractors provide a level of supervision that reflects the hazards of the work being done.
  6. Promote a health and safety culture in which everyone is encouraged to report safety concerns. Respond to these concerns promptly.
  7. Encourage people to conduct mini-hazard assessments throughout their workday: 'What could go wrong and how do I mitigate that risk?'


Originally posted by WSPS.ca on Septemeber 4 2015 

Updated Driving Laws for Ontario Effective September 1 2015

The province of Ontario will introduce a new set of traffic laws next week as part of its efforts to make driving safer in the province.

The “Making Ontario Roads Safer Act”, or Bill 31, was approved unanimously in June and will come into effect Sept. 1 — meaning some new rules for drivers and, in many cases, heavier penalties for breaking them.

Texting and DrivingHere is a look at five new traffic laws that are most likely to affect your everyday driving as of next Tuesday.

Distracted driving

If you’re caught looking at your phone, texting or talking on your phone while driving, you will face much bigger fines and more demerit points, the province is warning. The current fine for distracted driving is approximately $200. As of Tuesday, those found guilty of distracted driving will face fines up to $1,000 and more demerit points. Drivers with G1 or G2 licenses could have their permits suspended on the spot.

 Pedestrian crossovers

Drivers will have to wait until pedestrians have completely crossed the road at pedestrian crossovers and school crossings before proceeding. About half of all fatal traffic accidents involving pedestrians occur at intersections, the Ministry of Transportation said. The new law is an attempt to make roads safer for pedestrians. This change will take effect in January.

Passing cyclists

Drivers will have to give cyclists at least one metre of room wherever possible. The fine for breaking this rule has not yet been set. Motorists who open the door of their vehicle into the path of a cyclist without checking will face fines between $300 and $1,000 and three demerit points.

The “move over” law

As for Sept. 1, drivers will be require to slow down and move into the next lane whenever they see a stopped emergency vehicle with its red and blue lights flashing. This will apply to stopped tow trucks that have amber lights flashing. The fine for breaking these rules will be $490 and three demerit points.

Alcohol and drugs

Those caught driving under the influence of drugs will now face the same penalties as drunk drivers, the ministry said. These include between a three and 90-day license suspension and a week-long vehicle impoundment. More than 45 per cent of drivers killed in Ontario were found that have drugs or alcohol in their systems.

Python: Tool Safety at Heights

Python Safety: Fall Protection for Your Tools

Python Safety's mission is to prevent dropped tools and equipment. They make work environments safer and more productive by drastically reducing incidents resulting in personal injury, equipment damage, and tool loss.

Drop prevention solutions by Python Safety are designed with the craft in mind, and are third-party tested in the harshest possible conditions.


Leading and Sharp Edge Applications

What Capital Safety Wants You to Know When It Comes to Fall Protection

05M3784Professional football players need the best protective equipment available to stay safe on the playing field, from helmets to pads to mouth guards and beyond. Construction workers who work on Lambeau Field, the historic football stadium in Green Bay, Wisconsin, face even greater hazards and need the best protective equipment as well—particularly fall protection when they are working at height. They also must use appropriate equipment and use it properly to stay safe.

Two construction crew members who worked on the renovation of Lambeau Field know the value of quality fall protection equipment and proper training firsthand: the first fell from a steel beam six stories above ground. Less than two months later, another worker slipped from a beam and fell. Both escaped injury and possible death because of their fall protection equipment. Fortunately, these workers not only walked away after these accidents—remarkably,they were able to go back to work the same day.

But what if they had been using the wrong products, or the wrong anchorage points, or had failed to take into account swing fall hazards or sharp edge hazards? Those workers may never have returned to work!Traditional webbing lifeline (with energy absorber) failure. Traditional cable lifeline (with energy absorber) failure.

Many personal fall arrest systems rely on lifeline materials to perform under less than ideal conditions. But there are some applications where use of the wrong product—for example, where a lifeline contacts with a sharp edge—could have catastrophic results.

Product testing and certification organisations in the U.S.and around the world, including the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and CE in Europe, have been reexamining how lifelines in fall protection systems perform when subjected to these “sharp edge” applications. They’ve also placed a new focus on “leading edge” applications.
Through this analysis, they have concluded that these two environments are unique in fall protection and involve increased risks due to the lifeline cutting, fraying or becoming otherwise compromised.

Understanding Leading and Sharp Edges

Sharp Edge

A sharp edge is one that, for practical purposes, is not rounded and has the potential to cut most types of lifelines. The ANSI standard for sharp edges, for example, involves testing the fall arrest device’s lifeline over a piece of steel bar with a radius of no more than 0.005” (5 one thousands of an inch). If the lifeline is cut or severely damaged, the device fails the test and
does not comply with ANSI.


Leading Edge

To visualize a leading edge, imagine a worker installing steel decking on a new building. Now imagine the worker’s fall protection system is anchored at foot level behind him. As the worker
moves out and away from the anchor point while installing the decking, the worker is exposed to a potential fall over the edge of the building or the edge of an elevated platform.


In sharp edge applications the primary risk is the lifeline can be frayed or severed. Examples of other related risks with falls over leading edges include:

Increased Fall Distance

When workers are attached at foot level, as they often are in leading edge applications, they will fall farther than they would if they were anchored at shoulder height or above. The image on the previous page (see Image A) demonstrates the sequence of events that happen when a worker falls off a leading edge, and why a worker needs additional clearance. The required clearance when anchored at foot level varies byproduct so make sure to reference the product instructions.

Lock-up Speed

Self-retracting lifelines react to a fall when the lifeline accelerates out of the housing at a certain velocity, generally about 4.5 feet per second. When self-retracting
lifelines are anchored at foot level, the lifeline does not achieve the required acceleration during a fall until after the user’s D-ring passes over the leading edge and below the level of the anchor. This means the user has already fallen about 5 feet before the self-retracting lifeline device will engage to arrest the fall.

Increased Fall Arrest Forces

Falling further means the impact on the body through the fall protection system will potentially be higher when the fall is arrested. This is why many leading edge and sharp edge rated products contain additional energy-absorbing devices.

Increased Potential for Swing Hazards

If a worker falls, and is off to one side, he may swing like a pendulum. While this in and of itself is dangerous, the danger is compounded if the worker is on a sharp edge and the lifeline saws back and forth across that edge.

New Standards Call for Different Equipment

Previously, the industry made attempts to prevent hazards in sharp and leading edge applications.These solutions included attaching an energy absorber to standard self-retracting lifelines,protecting edges and elevating anchor points. While these efforts have been helpful, many organisations have now incorporated leading edge/sharp edge criteria into their standards, or are working toward this. This includes ANSI, CSA and CE standards for self-retracting devices.Through their testing and analysis, ANSI confirmed a number of assumptions,including the fact that products not specifically designed for foot level tie-off—the type of anchoring most often used in these applications—will generate forces far exceeding accepted safety parameters in the event of a fall.

Compliant Products Available Specifically for Leading and Sharp Edge Applications

NanoLokEdgeIn response to these new ANSI standards, Capital Safety has developed a range of leading edge and sharp edge products to comply, including:

Nano-Lok edge Self Retracting Lifeline (SRL)

The Nano-Lok Edge is Capital Safety’s newest advanced technology—a personal SRL that can pass the most stringent leading edge standard set by ANSI Z359.14. It includes an 8-foot (2.4 meter) working length,an ergonomic and compact/lightweight design, and comes in single or twin 100% tie-off units. It’s specifically designed for foot-level tie-off and sharp edge applications and is ideal for direct connection to most harnesses. In addition, the Nano-Lok locks quickly—stopping a fall within inches—and provides more protection at low heights. Tension is always kept on the lifeline,which reduces dragging, snagging and trip falls.

EZ-Stop Leading Edge (LE)

Capital Safety’s EZ-Stop LE shock absorbing lanyards combine a set of “industry-first” advancements.They feature the world’s smallest and lightest shock absorber and are built with cable lanyard legs for leading edge work, foot leveltie-off or applications with abrasive surfaces or environments.

Ultra-Lok SRL-LE

The Ultra Lok SRL-LE is made of galvanized steel wire for added wear resistance and is 35% stronger than standard SRL cables with approximately 15% more surface area. It includes an external energy absorber to control arresting forces and help reduce cable damage.

Rebel SRL-LE

The Rebel SRL-LE is an economical solution that allows users to tie off at foot level and was put through extensive sharp edge testing to ensure absolute protection against sharp, abrasive and leading edges. It features a stackable space-maximizing design and an impact indicator to provide easy verification of whether the equipment has been involved in a fall.

More information about these products can be found on the Capital Safety website.

Capital Safety Rescue Planning Training


Capital Safety Offers Innovative Products, Training, and Sample Rescue Plans to Meet OSHA Requirements for Prompt Rescue

Capital-Safety-400While it may seem like the exact opposite is true, rescue after a fall is actually a good problem to have. It means a worker was wearing his harness properly, was attached to an anchor and was utilizing his gear correctly.The worker’s arrested fall also demonstrates that the employer’s fall protection plan was a success.
Despite the importance of having a rescue plan and employees trained in rescue, rescue is often over looked by many companies. Some avoid the topic because itseems difficult, confusing or even intimidating. However,if you are the employer, it’s helpful to remember that a compliant rescue plan protects both you and your workers — plus, OSHA and ANSI clearly state that prompt rescue is your responsibility.

  • “The employer shall provide for prompt rescue ofemployees in the event of a fall or shall assure thatemployees are able to rescue themselves.”(OSHA 1926.502 [D] [20] and OSHA 1910.66)
  • “The employer shall provide prompt rescue to all fallen authorized persons.” (ANSI Z359.2—6.1)But what is “prompt” rescue? According to ANSI, the recommended goal for rescue subject contact is less than six minutes (ANSI Z359.4-6.1). Though these standards and regulations have been in place for some time, OSHA and ANSI are bringing this critical subject to the forefront and employers should take note.


Consider this: A worker falls, and his fall protection saves him. Everyone breathes a sigh of relief. However, this feeling of relief is premature. Without prompt rescue, the worker is at risk of sustaining medical complications or a worsening of injuries from the fall. Keep in mind that injuries can occur before, during and after a fall. Here are some examples:

  • Before: A worker is struck by a falling object or suffers a medical emergency such as a heart attack. This contributed to the fall.
  • During: A worker collides with part of a structure as he falls.
  • After: A worker is injured while suspended in his harness after a fall.


In order to perform complex rescues such as pick-offs, rescue professionals should complete more than 120 hours of training. In comparison, with several of the Capital Safety courses listed below, an employee canmaster the skills necessary to perform simple and safe rescues in as little as two days.Global fall protection leader Capital Safety is one of the few providers to offer comprehensive rescue trainingfor employees. Several training courses are currently offered where employees can gain these practical but crucial rescue skills. Students have the option to attend either an open enrollment course at several locations within the United States or may have a Capital Safety instructor conduct training at their location.

Competent Person

A recommended course is the two-day Competent Person course, which includes approximately four hours of Authorized Rescue training.

Competent Industrial Rescuer

Fall Protection Group Logo - 2014 - Empowered By Capital SafetyAnother option geared specifically to those designated as the Competent Rescuer is the two-day Competent Industrial Rescuer course. This course is designed to incorporate more medical aid aspects required by OSHA, including simple patient packaging techniques to allow employees in medical stress to be evacuated to a lower level. Participants will also be trained in more complicated safety-at-height rescues when such skills are deemed necessary by the employer.

Authorized Rescuer

An Authorized Rescuer course can be provided to employees that are already well versed in fall protection to fulfill their rescue plan.

Contact Capital Safety Today

  • For more information about rescue training or to schedule a course for your employees,contact Capital Safety’s North American Training Coordinator Fall Protection Group (fallprogroup.com) at 403-270-2332
  • Download your free copy of Capital Safety’s rescue plan template now.
  • Learn more about how the Rollgliss 550 can support your organisation and rescue plan.

Justrite Spill Berms

Justrite Spill BermJustrite offers an wide range of flexible containment options for industry and government operations alike. Help meet EPA regulations, including (spill prevention) SPCC, containment and stormwater regulations with the patented QuickBerm® portfolio of collapsible berms. Rigid-Lock and inside support technology provide quick and easy deployment for drive-through, emergency, decontamination or preventative applications.


Justrite Outdoor Lockers

Justrite offers a complete line of pre-engineered outdoor safety lockers within industry leading lead times. These lockers promote safe storage, handling, and disposal practices that minimize contamination of hazardous chemicals, while reducing worker exposure to hazards and injuries. Proper chemical storage not only reduces poison risks, fires, chemical spills or other accidents that affect our environment and communities, but also prevents costly fines. Insurance carriers require safe chemical storage practices to be put into place before granting or renewing policies. Justrite’s locker includes various storage capacities in non-combustible, Agri-Turf™, 2- and 4-hour fire-rated as well as a complete line of accessories.

911060-app2Justrite's line of outdoor safety lockers include:

Non-Combustible Lockers

Rugged, code compliant steel lockers designed for the safe outdoor storage of 55-gallon (200-liter) hazardous chemical drums, including flammable and combustible liquids.* Available with FM-approved explosion relief panels that release at 20 psf for applications requiring damage-limiting construction.

In most instances, locker sizes 2- through 6-drum are available to ship via a closed container box truck, which can potentially reduce freight costs as compared to traditional flat bed shipping alternatives.

Agri-Turf Lockers

Safe and secure storage solution for agricultural and turf management applications. Designed for herbicide, fungicide, pesticide, fertilizer and other agri-chemical storage, this FM-approved locker has the same rugged steel construction as the non-combustible model. Additional standard features include shelving, exterior light and GFI receptacle, as well as interior lights and insulation, which come on models 205-cu ft and larger.

In most instances, locker sizes 52- through 296-cu ft are available to ship via a closed container box truck, which can potentially reduce freight costs as compared to traditional flat bed shipping alternatives.


Designed to be placed near existing structures and/or property set-backs, 2-hour and 4-hour fire-rated lockers provide a safe yet convenient storage solution for 55-gallon (200-liter) drums. This improved proximity over non-combustible designs allows for more efficient use, distribution and storage of your flammable and combustible liquids.* Available with FM-approved explosion relief panels that release at 20 psf to reduce the damage associated with a potential explosion.

In most instances, locker sizes 2- through 6-drum are available to ship via a closed container box truck, which can potentially reduce freight costs as compared to traditional flat bed shipping alternatives.

*NOTE: Always check with your local authority having jurisdiction to ensure that all rules and regulations are followed, including proper set-back requirements and the correct wall/roof rating needed for your application.

Justrite Safety Cans & Containers

Justrite Can FamilyAlmost every place of business has occasion to use flammable or combustible liquids. Gasoline, chemicals, solvents, and other hazardous liquids are found in different amounts in various industries. Whereas these liquids are relatively commonplace, it’s important to understand the dangers they may present.

For over a century Justrite has set the standard for safety when it comes to handling flammable liquids. We offer safety containers in a variety of styles, sizes, options and accessories to cover all work needs. Each container has quality materials, superior workmanship and rigorous testing for exceptional durability. Our confidence in our products convinced us to offer you an industry first, 10-year warranty on our most popular models, including Type I and Type II Accu-Flow™ Safety Cans.

Safety Cans serve several critical functions, including:

  • Containing hazardous liquids, controlling vapors to reduce the risk of fire and protect workers
  • Complying with federal OSHA regulations, as well as state and local fire codes.
  • Making your job easier by improving efficiency—engineered with features that enhance pouring and filling operations.

Justrite containers meet NFPA and OSHA standards, most are FM Global approved and/or Underwriters Laboratories listed, and many models carry worldwide acceptance with TUV certification.

Summer Safety Series: Water

Boating and swimming are a lot of fun (especially in the hot sun!), but like anything else, boating and swimming can be dangerous if the proper care isn’t taken. Below are a few things you need to keep in mind while boating or swimming:

Safety Tips To Keep In Mind Before Boating

Get Your Pleasure Craft License

The first thing you need to know about boating is that you need to get your Transport Canada-certified Pleasure Craft Operator Card. Transport Canada says that if you operate or keep your boat mostly in Canada, and it is powered by one or more motors adding up to 7.5 kW (10 hp) or more, you must get it licensed unless you register it. You must also license dinghies or tenders you carry aboard or tow behind a larger boat. A pleasure craft licence is a document giving your boat a unique licence number that is valid for 10 years.

Never Cruise with Booze!

Mixing alcohol and boating is far more dangerous than you may think. Under normal conditions, sun, wind, the motion of the boat and even just being tired can dull your senses. Alcohol makes things even worse, slowing your hand-eye coordination and clouding your judgment.

Never cruise with booze! You might harm yourself or others. You are responsible for the safety of your guests and for not putting other waterway users in danger. Always be prepared and alert. Wait until you are safely on shore before having a drink.

Inspect Your Boat

Crest_Caribbean_Pontoon_BoatTake a few minutes to make sure you are ready to boat safely before you leave. This will reduce risk when you are out on the water. More than half of all calls for help are from boaters in trouble because of motor problems, including running out of fuel! Operating a boat that you know is not seaworthy is against the law.

You must keep your boat, its engine and all equipment in good working order. Whether you own, rent or borrow a boat, use the Pre-Departure Checklist to make sure you are ready before leaving. Explain safe boating rules to everyone on board before heading out. Tell your guests where you keep the safety equipment and how to use it. Make sure that at least one other person on board knows how to operate the boat in case something happens to you.

Monitor the Weather

Weather and water conditions play a big role in your safety on the water. Before heading out, make sure you get the latest forecast for your area and that you understand what it means. You should also be aware of local factors (like topography) that may cause weather conditions to differ from the forecast. The best source for this information is people who know the area well. Summer thunderstorms can strike quickly and without warning, so keep your eye on the sky when you are out on the water. If it starts to look dark and cloudy, and conditions are changing quickly, head for shore. Remember to check your up-to-date nautical charts in advance so that you will know where to find shelter. Environment Canada issues marine forecasts several times a day in many ways.

Make and File a Sail Plan

A sail plan (also known as a trip or float plan) includes the route you plan to travel and describes your boat. No matter what you call them, you should file one before heading out — even if it is just for an hour or two (see REFERENCE CARDS section of Transport Canada’s Safe Boating Guide).

Carry the Official Nautical Charts and Publications

An open body of water may seem inviting, but remember that there are no clearly marked traffic lanes on the water, which can make navigation difficult.

Plan to Avoid Local Hazards

Being prepared means more than having your boat and equipment in good working order. You should also:

  • Check nautical charts for overhead obstacles, bridges and underwater cables in your boating area.
  • Read nautical charts with publications like Sailing Directions. Looking at tide tables and current atlases will also help you learn about water levels, times of low, slack and high tides, and the direction of water flow.
  • Stay away from swimming areas – even canoes and kayaks can injure swimmers.
  • Avoid boating too close to shore.
  • Talk to local residents who know the waters if you are in an area that is not covered by marine charts. They may be able to point out low-head dams, rapids and white water, as well as describe local wind conditions, currents and areas of rapid high-wave build-up.

The Canadian government also requires that each person undergo mandatory training of how to operate a water craft safely, and the dangers of water crafts. There are many organisations in Canada that offer a licensed boating course, and all are different. However Transport Canada sets out these guidelines for the minimum training a course should offer for operating a water craft. They state that this training and familiarization must, at a minimum, include:

  • Familiarization with the vessel arrangements;
  • Briefing on the known hazards of the waters to be travelled;
  • General safety rules of the vessel;
  • A warning that conditions may not be suitable for children or persons with pre-existing health conditions (g. pregnancy, heart condition, etc.);
  • Instructions on how to wear lifejackets or personal flotation devices (PFDs) and when they must be worn;
  • Location of the through-hull fittings on the boat and demonstration of their operation, if applicable
  • Location and operation of safety equipment carried on board (e.g. lifesaving, firefighting, etc.);
  • Information on emergency procedures, including medical treatment of personal injuries, recovery of person overboard, firefighting and launching of lifesaving equipment.

Not a boater? Are you someone who likes to be in the water? Please be aware that there are safety risks when in the water. Here are some safety tips to know before going swimming in any body of water.

  • Keep young children and inexperienced swimmers in view and within arm's reach at all times when they are in water. This will reduce the risk of serious injury.
  • Carefully supervising your children while they are swimming or playing in or near water is necessary at all times. Children should be closely monitored even when they use swimming aids such as armbands, floating seats, water wings and neck rings. These devices are not intended to save lives. Swimming aids can give a false sense of security, which could result in a lack of proper supervision. Careful supervision is essential to keep children safe.
  • Help your children learn about water safety by signing them up for a swimming and water safety program, sign yourself up for first aid training to learn basic lifesaving skills.
  • Make sure young children and inexperienced swimmers always wear an approved lifejacket or personal flotation device when playing around water. Learn how to find the right lifejacket or personal flotation device for your children.
  • Choose a safe place to swim, such as a supervised beach or public swimming pool. Check with your municipality for health and safety notices before wading into the water. This can include warnings about water pollution levels or a strong undertow.

Safety on the water is just as important as safety on the land and even more so in some circumstances. It’s always good to be aware of your surroundings as a boat operator or swimmer in the water. If you need any more clarification on any of this information consult Transport Canada’s website at www.tc.gc.ca.



Summer Safety Series: Dangerous Plants

According to Environment Canada’s website, some dangerous plants growing in Canada include:

  • Poison Ivy
    • Found throughout southern Canada in forests, fields and open areas, as well as rocky areas.
  • Poison Sumac
    • Found in wet areas of southern Quebec and southern Ontario; this helps to distinguish it from other sumacs.
  • Poison Oak
    • Grows as a vine in some areas of the United States including Washington, Oregon and California, and along the Atlantic Coast. In other regions, it grows as a shrub.

If you find yourself out and about this summer and come across wild plants you don’t recognize, be on the lookout for these features - it could be any one of these dangerous plants:

Poison Ivy

Poison ivy's distinctive features are either  low shrub, a climbing vine, or a larger shrub. You might also see a compound leaf with 3 leaflets. They are very poisonous to touch and they cause a rash in many people. If you know you have contacted Poison Ivy, wash the affected area with soap and water as soon as possible (within a few hours). This usually prevents any effects.

Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy

Poison Sumac

This native shrub or vine is found in southern Quebec and southern Ontario. It is poisonous to touch and causes a Poison Ivy-like rash. It is a shrub or small tree, growing up to nearly 30 feet in height. Each pinnate leaf has 7–13 leaflets, each of which is 2–4 inches long. These are oval-to-oblong; acuminate (tapering to a sharp point); cuneate (wedge-shaped) at the base; undulate (wavy-edged); with an underside that is glabrous (hairless) or slightly pubescent (down-like hair) beneath. The stems along the leaflets are red and the leaves can have a reddish tint to them, particularly at the top of the plant. New bark for a poison sumac tree is a light gray, and as the bark ages, it becomes darker. Its flowers are greenish, growing in loose axillary panicles (clusters) 3–8 inches long. The fruits are sub globose (not quite spherical), gray, flattened, and about 0.2 inches across. The sap of this plant contains the allergen urushiol. The chemical is released when plant tissue is damaged. Humans are highly sensitive to allergic reaction, although at least one exposure is needed for sensitization. Mild to severe dermatitis can result from exposure to poison sumac.

Poison Sumac

Poison Sumac

Poison Oak

Poison oak has 3 small leaflets, most often grows as a shrub or a vine in the Western United States and may have yellow-white berries. Immediate treatment can consist of repeated rinsing of the affected area with large quantities of water. Another treatment consists of thorough washing with soap and water within 2-8 hours of exposure to remove the oil. Washing with soap and water also removes skin oils that protect against the toxins. Exposure to poison oak for 3-6 hours after washing with soap and water may result in an increased reaction to the toxin. Topical applications of hydrocortisone may relieve the symptoms. Various specialized products are now available to help block contact or remove oil. Professional medical treatment is recommended for severe reactions.

Poison Oak

Poison Oak

To treat a rash from poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac and help stop the itch, dermatologists recommend the following:

  1. Immediately rinse your skin with lukewarm, soapy water. If you can rinse your skin immediately after touching poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac, you may be able to rinse off some of the oil. If not washed off, the oil can spread from person to person and to other areas of your body.
  2. Wash your clothing. Thoroughly wash all of the clothes you were wearing when you came into contact with the poisonous plant. The oil can stick to clothing, and if it touches your skin, it can cause another rash.
  3. Wash everything that may have the oil on its surface. Besides clothing, the oil from poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac can stick to many surfaces, including gardening tools, golf clubs, leashes and even a pet’s fur. Be sure to rinse your pet’s fur, and wash tools and other objects with warm, soapy water.
  4. Do not scratch, as scratching can cause an infection.
  5. Leave blisters alone. If blisters open, do not remove the overlying skin, as the skin can protect the raw wound underneath and prevent infection.
  6. Take short, lukewarm baths. To ease the itch, take short, lukewarm baths in a colloidal oatmeal preparation, which you can buy at your local drugstore. You can also draw a bath and add one cup of baking soda to the running water. Taking short, cool showers may also help.
  7. Consider calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream. Apply calamine lotion to skin that itches. If you have a mild case, a hydrocortisone cream or lotion may also help.
  8. Apply cool compresses to the itchy skin. You can make a cool compress by wetting a clean washcloth with cold water and wringing it out so that it does not drip. Then, apply the cool cloth to the itchy skin.
  9. Consider taking antihistamine pills. These pills can help reduce itching, however use with caution. You should not apply an antihistamine to your skin, as doing so can worsen the rash

Always seek professional medical advice about any treatment or change in treatment plans.

Poisonous plants are a reality in the summer and you should be careful about what kind of wildlife you’re interacting with when outdoors. Safety always takes a priority, even in the summer!


Summer Safety Series: Insects

Important information on identifying biting insects and preventing/treating infectious bites

picture1_insectsafetySome of the most dangerous bugs are the ones you hear about most in the summer when up in cottage country, like blackflies, mosquitos, deer flies and horseflies.

Cottage country danger is not the only concern. People also like to travel a lot in the summer for various reasons: the kids are done school and a lot of people like to take vacation. Many travel-related diseases are spread by infected insects like mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, or flies. Before you travel, Health Canada advises that you should be aware of the insects at your destination that cause disease and know their peak biting times (e.g. day vs. night) and areas (e.g. indoors vs. outdoors, rural vs. urban). To minimize your risk you should always take protective measures to avoid insect bites and ensure you have the appropriate preventive vaccines and/or medications.

Some general recommendations to protect yourself from bites are:
  1. Cover up
  2. Use insect repellent on exposed skin
  3. Consider your accommodations. For example, stay in a well-screened or completely enclosed air-conditioned room. Avoid staying in poorly constructed housing such as mud, adobe, or thatch (plant stalks or foliage used for roofing) structures.
  4. Sleep under a bed net, preferably treated with insecticide (for example):
  • Make sure the net is intact (no tears).
  • Tuck it under the mattress.
  • Make sure it is not touching you (you could be bitten through the net).
  • Use for playpens, cribs, or strollers to protect young children.

Below is a breakdown of things you should keep in mind if you encounter certain kinds of dangerous insects in the summer months, whether travelling abroad or staying in Canada:

  Black Flies Stable Flies Deer and Horse Flies Mosquitoes Ticks Biting Midges
Which One's Which? Black flies are compact, less than half the length of most mosquitoes and have a hump-backed profile. The stable fly resembles the common housefly, though smaller, and on closer examination has a slightly wider and spotted abdomen. Adults are generally about 6-8mm in length and a lighter color than the housefly. Unlike the housefly, where the mouth part is adapted for sponging, the stable fly mouth parts have biting structures. Just larger than house flies and have patterned wings. Horse flies are bigger, up to three centimeters long, with clear or uniformly coloured wings.

Deer fly eyes are often iridescent red and green, while horse fly eyes may be striped with bright green colouring.

Delicate, with a long, slender abdomen and tube-like mouthparts for sipping nectar - or, if they are female, blood.

First alert may be a whining, dentist's drill-like sound made by the wings of both sexes, beating from 300 - 800 times per second.

Ticks resemble flattened, miniature crabs. You're most likely to find one when it is attached to your body, clothing, or dog. Adults have eight legs, but they're not arachnids, they're insects. If an insect bites you but you can't see it, it's most likely a tiny biting midge. Biting midges are usually barely more than a millimeter in length, but similar to the black fly in shape.
Bite Prevention and Treatment Tips DEET repellents work but won't keep them from swarming around your head. A screened bug hat is ideal, but any hat helps. A steady breeze, even a slight one, deters these poor flyers. These pests are only somewhat deterred by DEET repellents. Covering bare feet and legs helps, though these biters can pierce through clothing. They breed in manure piles on farms, but also along beaches in wet, rotting vegetation. DEET repellents give minimal protection. Since deer flies often bite the head area, wear a hat and cover your neck. Fortunately, they won't bite inside a tent or building. Unfortunately, both deer and horse flies have a particular love for windsurfers and swimmers and often attack on the water. DEET-based repellents work; liquids containing citronella work for short periods as well. A steady breeze (more than 15 km/hr) keeps them away, so fans will help.

Reducing non-natural breeding habitats is wise, especially to avoid West Nile virus. Flip pails and other containers so they don't collect rainwater, and clear plugged eavestroughs.

Stick to trails and more open areas and tuck in clothing. Strong, DEET-based repellents can be sprayed on pants, socks, and shoes. Check your clothing and body daily. Remove ticks by seizing the head as close to your skin as possible with blunt tweezers and pulling. Removed early, there is little chance that ticks will transmit disease, but you should wash and disinfect the area of the bite. DEET-based repellents work. Windy conditions will reduces bites from these weak flyers.

Summer Safety Series: Dehydration

picture2_dehydrationDehydration is a powerful thing. It can kill. Now is the most important time of year to make sure you drink a lot of water to protect yourself from the heat and getting sick.

As a refresher, dehydration is a condition that results when the body loses more water than it takes in. This imbalance disrupts the usual levels of salts and sugars present in the blood, which can interfere with the way the body functions.

Two-thirds of the human body is composed of water, which aids in numerous functions, like lubrication of the joints and eyes, digestion, and the flushing out of wastes and toxins. As the water content in the blood begins to decline, the resulting imbalance in the levels of minerals, salts and sugars can cause several harmful effects.

How do you recognize dehydration coming? Some of the early signs of dehydration include:

  • Intense thirst
  • Feeling dizzy or light-headed
  • Having concentrated urine that is dark in color and strong in smell
  • A reduction in the frequency of urination

To treat a person who is dehydrated you need to make sure that they drink plenty of fluids like water or fruit juice. You should also make sure that they avoid caffeinated beverages and fizzy drinks.

Nutritionist Robin Glace at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) warns that, additionally, many energy drinks are not necessarily healthy due to a very high sodium and sugar content. “They simply aren’t worth the high cost to your health or pocket book.” Instead, Glance suggests that the best way to stay well hydrated is by simply “taking lots of small sips of water throughout the day and during activities.” In terms of replenishing electrolytes lost due to excessive sweating; or during times of high heat or high levels of exertion over extended periods of time, Glance offers a much healthier – and far less expensive – option to commercial drinks:

  • 1 part orange juice
  • 2 parts water,
  • ¼ tsp of salt.

“That combination contains everything most people need to rebalance their electrolytes” she says.

If illnesses such as vomiting or diarrhea are making it difficult to hold water down, you should drink in small sips .Infants and children who are dehydrated should not be given water as this can dilute the already low levels of electrolytes and minerals in their bodies. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the use of oral rehydration solutions, which are especially designed for children with diarrhea and dehydration. The solution contains a mixture of potassium, salts and sugars to restore the correct balance of body fluids. Prompt treatment of dehydration is important, as severe dehydration can cause life-threatening complications and even death.

Staying hydrated is important for all of us. Not having enough water in our bodies on a hot, sunny day is a real danger. It can make you feel sick, and even kill you. Drink lots of water and stay hydrated!




Summer Safety Series: Heat Illnesses

Summer is here and so are hot, humid days where working outside on a jobsite or in your backyard can be very dangerous. People working outside should be aware of two very harmful heat illnesses that can be caused in the type of weather we typically see in the summer: heat stress (or heat exhaustion) and heat stroke.


Heat exhaustion and heat stroke can be used interchangeably by people who don’t know the difference. However the former is usually accompanied by a fever no higher than 104 degrees Fahrenheit as well as:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Nausea
  • Fainting
  • Cool and clammy skin
  • Weakness
  • Muscle aches
  • Heavy sweating
  • Slow heartbeat and dizziness

Heatstroke may develop following heat exhaustion if the condition is not treated. It occurs when the body’s temperature rises and the cooling system stops working. This potentially life-threatening condition is characterized by nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, fatigue, rapid heart rate, hot and dry skin, shortness of breath and decreased urination.

How do you recognize the symptoms of these two heat disorders? Some common symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

  • Nausea or irritability
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle cramps or weakness
  • Feeling faint
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Thirst
  • Heavy sweating
  • High body temperature

Symptoms of heat stroke include:

  • Hot, dry skin or profuse sweating
  • Confusion
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures
  • Very high body temperature

How would you treat someone with heat stress or heat stroke?

  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing, and a wide-brimmed hat
  • Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or more
  • Drink extra fluids. To prevent dehydration, it's generally recommended to drink at least eight glasses of water, fruit juice, or vegetable juice per day. Because heat-related illness also can result from salt depletion, it may be advisable to substitute an electrolyte-rich sports drink for water during periods of extreme heat and humidity
  • Take additional precautions when exercising or working outdoors. The general recommendation is to drink 24 ounces of fluid two hours before your exercise, and consider adding another 8 ounces of water or sports drink right before your exercise. During your exercise, you should consume another 8 ounces of water every 20 minutes, even if you don't feel thirsty
  • Reschedule or cancel any outdoor activity you have planned for that day. If possible, shift your time outdoors to the coolest times of the day, either early morning or after sunset

Who knew that summer weather could be so deadly, especially when working outdoors? There is no question that at this time of year safety is more important than ever for everyone. Are you prepared to take on the heat?




FluidSafe: Revolutionizing Hydraulic Leak Detection

Improving worker safety and equipment maintenance

FluidSafe™ hydraulic fluid additive is a revolutionary product (U.S. and foreign patents pending) that was developed within the mining industry to improve worker safety and reduce operating costs. It is specially designed to aid in the detection and surgical removal of hydraulic fluid in the event of accidental high-pressure fluid injection under the skin.

identifying accidental fluid injection

When viewed under high-intensity blue light (450 nm), FluidSafe's bright green fluorescent glow can be seen under the skin, enabling the quick detection of an injection injury on site. This not only allows triage of cases not requiring surgery, but also helps pinpoint the exact location of hydraulic fluid under the skin, assisting in limiting soft tissue dissection required during surgery. The green fluorescent response will remain visible in the tissue for at least 24 hours, with no ill effects to the human body.

Alerton_hand_injection_injury_inspection_v2In the case of an actual fluid injection, FluidSafe additive will enable the detection of fluid under the skin through its bright fluorescent glow under blue light. The fluorescent response will remain visible for at least 24 hours after the injection. This not only allows for faster and easier triage of cases not requiring surgery, but has been proven to assist in pinpointing the exact location of the fluid to limit the degree of soft tissue dissection required when surgery is necessary.

Detecting Hydraulic Fluid Leaks

Another benefit of FluidSafe is that it helps detect leaks in fluid power system hoses, fittings, seals and other components. This decreases the consumption of hydraulic fluid, reduces the potential for equipment breakdowns, minimizes environmental damage, and helps prevent fluid release incidents. As a result, FluidSafe is ideal for preventive maintenance programs.

Contact us for more information or to order FluidSafe today.

MSA Fas-Trac III Suspension

Headaches? MSA has the prescription.

FT3-vgard-clearEnsuring your workforce wears their safety helmets can be a real headache. MSA, the leading provider of protective helmets, has the perfect remedy: the Fas-Trac® III Suspension. No more pressure headaches. No more pulled hair. No more falling off. No more sacrificing worker comfort for safety. Market-leading MSA helmets now have a comfort-leading suspension!

Key features of the new suspension include:

  1. Sweatband fully covers the headband and worker’s forehead.
  2. Three levels of nape strap adjustment for customized fit.
  3. Lower nape strap improves retention - even when bending over!
  4. Smooth ratchet rotation and secure hold.
No change in helmet assembly part numbers!

AVAILABLE NOW for all MSA helmets, including V-Gard®, V-Gard® 500, V-Gard® GREEN, SmoothDome®, Thermalgard®, Topgard®, Skullgard® Super-V®, and Vanguard® Helmets.



The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety has announced a software update for their CANWrite™ software for Windows.

Coming June 2015, the web app will give users the ability to produce 16-section SDSs in accordance with WHMIS 2015 (Hazardous Products Regulations). The WHMIS 2015 classification worksheet will be available in CANWrite™ 2015.

Currently on CANWrite™, you are able to produce an OSHA HCS 2012 and WHMIS 1988 compliant document in the same SDS, as well as produce a 16-section (M)SDSs in accordance with the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (HCS 2012), the GHS (3rd revised edition), and ANSI Standard Z400.1/Z129.1-2010.


More current features include:

  • Provides detailed OSHA HCS 2012 classification, OSHA HCS 1994 hazard determination, and WHMIS 1988 classification worksheets to support accurate hazard classifications.
  • Automatically generates required OSHA HCS 2012 Label Elements (pictograms, signal word, hazard statements and precautionary statements) based on the hazard classification.
  • Includes compliance oriented audit tools for OSHA HCS 2012, generic GHS and WHMIS 1988.
  • Facilitates easy updating, by auto-populating key ingredient-based information, such as exposure guidelines, and toxicological, ecological and regulatory information.
  • Provides seamless access to credible online chemical hazard and regulatory information databases, including CHEMINFO, HSDB®, and RTECS®, to assist you in writing an accurate (M)SDS.
  • Links key hazards to appropriate hazard controls and emergency response measures using built-in logic.
  • Ensures your (M)SDSs are consistent, reliable, and understandable to a broad audience by providing a large library of clear language phrases.
  • Provides phrases for important, but sometimes overlooked, hazards such as chemical incompatibilities and confined space hazards.
  • Facilitates translation by automatically generating standardized phrases in Canadian French and Latin American Spanish.
  • Allows you to author multiple (M)SDSs for similar products using the (M)SDS template option.


CANWrite’s™ major benefits include:

Ability to efficiently maintain your (M)SDSs

  • Update exposure limits once in your Ingredient Sheets and all linked (M)SDSs and templates will be automatically updated.
  • Quickly identify (M)SDSs due for updating.
  • Quickly find (M)SDSs containing specific ingredients that require modification.

Easy customization of your (M)SDSs with CANWrite™

  • Add your company logos and other company specific information.
  • Modify field headings as required
  • Add custom phrases to suit your needs.

CANWrite’s™ competitive pricing

  • CANWrite™ offers many key features that are typically only found in much higher priced software. One such feature is that CANWrite's standardized phrases are generated in English, Canadian French, Latin-American Spanish simultaneously – saving you significant (M)SDS translation costs.
  • Straight forward pricing – there are no hidden costs.

CANWrite™ is a software that lets you produce quality (M)SDSs that provide clear and accurate chemical safety information. It is affordable and easy to use and helps you meet the challenge of writing and maintaining accurate, understandable, and compliant (M)SDSs.

Is your system able to run CANWrite™ software? Be sure to double check with these system requirements that CCOH has provided.

  • Supported Operating Systems: Windows 7; Windows 8; Windows 8.1
  • Minimum of 1 GB of RAM (2GB or more is recommended)
  • 0 GB of available hard disk space
  • Internet access
  • Supported Web browsers: Recent versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari


You can purchase CANWrite™ software directly from CCOHS. For more information, visit http://www.ccohs.ca/products/canwrite/

MOL Construction Site Blitzes in Effect Now


Ontario will target the dangers of working near construction traffic during an enforcement blitz at construction sites from May 1 to June 30, 2015. The increased enforcement is part of the province’s Safe At Work Ontario strategy, launched in June 2008.

Ministry inspectors will check for hazards that could endanger workers at workplaces with vehicles and large pieces of mobile equipment. The inspectors will visit construction sites where construction workers can be exposed to dump trucks, loaders, concrete pump trucks, bulldozers, mobile cranes, back hoes, compact excavators, lift trucks and personal vehicles.


Inspectors will focus on hazards that could result in injuries and death. In particular, they will focus on constructions projects that are:

  • Valued at more than $50,000 in material and labor
  • Identified as being high-priority due to potential hazards involving vehicle traffic and large mobile equipment
  • Where complaints have been received
  • Where there is a poor compliance history


Inspectors will take enforcement action, as appropriate, for any contraventions found under the (OHSA) and its regulations.

The blitz is being held to:

  • Raise awareness of key health and safety hazards related to interaction of equipment and workers on foot at construction sites
  • Increase workplace compliance with the law and
  • Prevent injuries and illnesses that could arise from unsafe work practices


Beyond the main focus of the blitz, Ministry of Labor inspectors will aim to achieve the following key priorities:

  • Project planned and organized: Inspectors will check if workplace parties have planned and organized the construction site to avoid or reduce the reverse operation of vehicles.
  • Proper movement of material and equipment: Inspectors will check to see if measures and procedures are in place for safe movement of material and equipment.
  • Signallers and Equipment Operators: Inspectors will verify that employers are ensuring signallers and equipment operators are competent workers, and that signallers do not perform any other work when performing the duties of a signaller.
  • High Visibility Clothing: Inspectors will check that high visibility clothing is worn by signallers and workers who may be endangered by vehicle traffic at construction sites.
  • Dump trucks alarms: Inspectors will verify that dump trucks are equipped with automatic audible alarms when operated in reverse.


Why does the Ministry of Labor do these blitzes? It is very important that Ontario’s construction sites remain safe and secure to prevent any future workers becoming a new statistic in an already overwhelming body of recorded accidents and deaths.

Between 1997 and 2011, 91 workers died as a result of being struck by, or caught in between, materials and/or equipment, according to a 2012 Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA) report on fatalities in Ontario’s construction industry. Of those, 28 workers were struck by moving equipment and in 17 of these 28 deaths, the equipment was backing up when it struck and killed the worker. Moving equipment is a hazard on the construction site.

In 2014, six workers were killed by moving vehicles or equipment, two of which were killed by vehicles they were in the process of directing as a signalperson.

Is your site ready for inspection?






Disability1Legal requirement under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act; Levitt-Safety responds with new mandatory e-course available to all employees later this month

Levitt-Safety would like to remind customers and vendors that disability training is now a legal requirement under the Customer Service Standard of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)

This is a curriculum that all companies should strive to adopt. Disability in the workplace is a real thing; statistically one in seven Canadians are disabled. It is important that employers and employees recognize the existence of people with disabilities in the workplace and what it means to their, as well as everyone else’s, safety.

Employees at Levitt-Safety will be required to take an AODA e-course as of June 2015 - but why do we encourage our vendors and customers to complete this training as well?

  • It is an important and legal safety requirement
  • Helps employers and employees become aware of what people with disabilities are physically and/or mentally capable of
  • Helps employers and employees remember why it is important to be aware of people with disabilities at work for everyone’s safety
  • Promotes general awareness of disabled workers to employers and employees

Levitt-Safety’s training e-course will take employees through five learning modules, teaching with visuals and audio playback. There is a mini quiz in the form of true and false questions at the end of each learning module, as well as a cumulative quiz. The Certificate of Completion will only be granted when an employee has completed the learning modules and has achieved 75% + on the final quiz.

This is important training because, despite current legislation, unfortunately disabled people continue to not have access to all of the services everyone else does. They continue to feel isolated. It would benefit all parties to complete some form of training on the AODA.

3M E-A-Rfit Dual-Ear Validation System

What level of protection are workers really receiving from their hearing protection device? Are they getting enough? Too much?

It starts with PAR.

To make sure they are getting the protection they need, you need to know the Personal Attenuation Rating (PAR) of every employee.

The highest-NRR earplug or earmuff won’t provide the expected protection if it doesn’t fit right or isn’t used right. Once you know each employee’s number, you’ll be on the way to yours: 100% confidence in your hearing conservation program.

The 3M™ E-A-Rfit™ Dual Ear Validation System makes it easy to measure every employee's unique level of protection and takes the guesswork out of managing compliance in your hearing conservation program.

Fit testing is key.

Get results you can trust. The 3M™ E-A-Rfit™ Dual-Ear Validation System measures the effectiveness of the earplug from inside the employee’s ear, providing accurate, quantitative results. And because you can simultaneously test both ears, you’ll have more time to educate employees on the importance of fit and compliance.

For a demo of the system please fill out the form below and we will contact you to arrange a time.


1884521222_iwi-Group-Python-Safety-PCI-Show-2013_HERO_tcm77-2013973The merger of the leader in fall protection and fall protection in tools brings a whole new array of products to Capital Safety’s catalog

On May 1st, 2015 Capital Safety™ announced that it has acquired Python Safety, Inc., a Woodstock, Georgia-based company that is a leading provider of dropped object prevention solutions for tools and equipment.

Capital Safety’s DBI-SALA collection is known as the premier brand of fall protection and rescue equipment around the world. For more than 40 years DBI-SALA has provided the best solutions for workers at height, no matter which industry you work in.

(Fall Protection for Tools® 2015 Canada Product Catalog)

Now with the acquisition of the Python Safety brand, Capital Safety will bring you products that can prevent your tools from falling, too. Python Safety’s innovative line of products make work environments safer and more productive by protecting workers from hazards that can result in personal injury, equipment damage, and tool loss.

(Fall Protection for Tools® 2015 Canada Product Catalog)

"We are very excited to have Python Safety become part of Capital Safety. This acquisition is a natural extension for us and in line with our continued commitment to bringing workers home safely," said Stephen Oswald, CEO of Capital Safety. "Struck-by falling objects is a leading cause of injury for workers and Python Safety's portfolio of products are designed to prevent tools and equipment from falling”.

Greg Boyko, Capital Safety Group Canada’s National Account Manager, said in a written communication that “the acquisition of Python Safety is a natural extension for Capital Safety in line with protecting workers from falls and now, falling objects”.

“No other manufacturer of Fall Protection for Tools offers such an extensive and broad line of products as Python Safety” Boyko adds.

Have a cup of coffee (or tea) this afternoon and be relieved that Capital Safety’s new purchase of Python Safety will not only extend their product line from fall protection of people to fall protection for your tools, but that it will get you home safer at the end of the work day.

View the Python Safety catalogue here.

Be on the Lookout for Ticks This Season

Ticks_whatsnew_pictureSpring is here and that means warmer weather - but it also means bugs, big and small.

Health officials are testing ticks found on the Toronto islands for Lyme disease. Black-legged ticks were discovered on Algonquin Island last Friday, according to Toronto Public Health (TPH).

The ticks have been sent to the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg to be tested for the presence of Lyme disease. Testing can take several weeks.

The ticks were discovered through dragging — a process by which clothing is dragged through a wooded area so ticks can latch on.

Spokeswoman Jennifer Veenboer of Toronto Public Health (TPH) believes that the ticks are likely appearing due to the warmer weather.

Don’t want to catch Lyme disease? While outdoors in bushy and wooded areas wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks, and closed footwear.

Toronto Public Health has also advised the following in regards to preventing being bitten by a tick:

  • Wear light coloured clothing so you can easily spot ticks.
  • Wear long sleeves and long pants; tuck your pants into your socks.
  • Avoid shrubs or grassy areas (ticks are usually found low to the ground).
  • Use bug repellent containing DEET. Please follow manufacturer's instructions.
  • Perform a daily careful self-inspection for attached ticks, especially after being in tick-infested areas. Do not forget to check children and pets.
  • If a person finds a tick on themselves, they should remove it immediately and consider bringing it to Toronto Public Health for identification and testing.


Toronto Sun


Lyme Disease Fact Sheet (Toronto Public Health)



Giant Hogweed: Identify It and Steer Clear!

HogweedThe sun is shining and the plants are growing again, but some are deadly - and for you that means safety should be a priority this spring. If you live in the Halton Region or its surrounding areas, be on the lookout for giant hog grass that is reportedly affecting the region.

How do you know what is Hog Weed versus a regular weed? Conservation Halton has provided some key identification characteristics:

  • Over 2 metres tall when in flower
  • Dark purple mottling on stem at leaf junction and base of plant
  • Ring of stiff white hairs on stem at leaf junction

Hog weed is dangerous. It can cause anything from blisters and burns, to temporary and even permanent blindness if it comes into contact with your eyes. You need to know what do if you come into contact with it:

  • First, wash the affected area immediately with soap and water.
  • Keep the affected area out of the sun for at least 48 hours.
  • Seek medical attention if the burns and/or blisters form.

For more information on identifying Hog Weed, please watch the following video:


 Moldex Reseller Voluntary Recall/Stop Sale and Use/Relabel Shelf Life Notice

Moldex produces disposable respirators with exhale valves that contain a natural rubber diaphragm.    These products are very reliable but the shelf life can be affected by storage conditions such as heat and exposure to air and light.  During a recent internal audit of retained products, we found that a limited number of exhale valves used in certain respirator models showed signs of hardening of the valve diaphragm.  This condition may lead to reduced life of the valve and possible reduction in performance below the NIOSH standard. This was found in a few manufactured lots that were 5 years or more past their date of manufacture.

Moldex has changed its shelf life policy to 4 years for these type products even though they are almost always sold and used in a time period less than four years.

Effective 4/8/2015, all models of Moldex Disposable Respirators with exhalation valves will be standardized to carry a 4 year shelf life (herein referred to as expiration date).  Most Moldex models with Exhale Valves already carry a 4 year expiration date. Therefore, standardization of the expiration date affects only those models that have previously carried an expiration date greater than 4 years.

Pursuant to this change in policy, Users must be advised to discontinue use of product that is more than 4 years past the date of manufacture.  All Resellers must stop selling any product that is more than 3 years past date of manufacture.  This applies only to products manufactured prior to April 8, 2012 (lot numbers 120407‐999 and lower).

Moldex will replace “Reseller Qualifying” returned product to you or your customer at no charge. Products that are less than 4 years from date of manufacture and already in possession of the User can be used for 4 years from the manufacture date and do not require recall nor removal from service.

Please refer to the Reseller Voluntary/Recall Notice below dated 4/14/2015 for “Reseller Qualifying” model numbers and detailed instructions to be taken on your part and to the Moldex User Voluntary/ Stop Use/ Relabel Expiration Date Notice dated 4/14/2015 regarding communications with your Users.


For Certain Moldex Model Numbers Produced before 4/8/2015

Series: 2300 N95, 2700 N95, EZ23N95 and EZ23S N95
NIOSH: 2236, 2300N95, 2300V, 2301N95, 2307N95, 2350N95, 2357N95, 2700N95, 2700V, 2701N95, 2707N95, M2700N95, M2701N95, M2707N95, EZ23, EZ23S

As part of Moldex’s commitment to producing safe, quality and innovative products, we constantly monitor them to ensure the health and safety of our customers. During a recent internal audit of retained products, we found that a limited number of exhale valves used in the above respirator models showed signs of hardening of the diaphragm valve on some lots that were 5 years or more past their date of manufacture. This condition may lead to reduced life of the valve and possible reduction in performance below the NIOSH standard.

While not all masks exhibited hardening of the diaphragm valve, in an abundance of caution, we have decided to implement a voluntary recall and stop sale of the above Moldex products that are older than the April 8, 2012 manufacturing date as marked on the product packaging. Users must be notified not to use product that is more than 4 years past the manufacturing date.

PRODUCTS SUBJECT TO THIS NOTICE are those Moldex models listed herein that were produced prior to April 8, 2015.    These products have manufacturing lot numbers 150407‐999 or lower and under the context of this notice are considered “Reseller Qualified” products.  Based upon the date of manufacture, “Reseller Qualified” products are subject to a stop sale. Product 3 years or less from April 8, 2012 manufacture date must be relabeled by the reseller to correct shelf life expiration marking or returned to Moldex for relabeling.   Product more than 3 years older than April 8, 2012 manufacture date must be returned to Moldex for replacement.  Further guidance is provided in the next section.

Important note:  the above models with manufacturing lot number of 150408‐000 and higher will already be marked with a 4 year expiration date and are therefore not affected by this Voluntary Recall/Stop Sale Notice.

Please immediately do the following:

For Product in Your Inventory:

1. Lot #’s 150407‐999 and below

Date of manufacture: 4/7/2015 and earlier

A. Action – See attachment 1 and 2 for lot number location.

B. Stop sale of above lot numbers

C. Provide Moldex with Model numbers, lot numbers and quantities

D. Proceed to steps 2 and 3 below

2. Lot#’s 120408‐000 to 150407‐999

Date of manufacture: 4/7/2012 – 4/8/2015

A. Action –Relabel product to reduce expiration year by 5 years (e.g. 2024 becomes 2019; 2023 becomes 2018 etc.). See Attachments 1 and 2 for interpretation of manufacturing lot number date.(Moldex will send preprinted  year labels)

3. Lot #’s lower than 120408‐000

Date of manufacture: 4/8/2012 and before

A. Action – obtain return authorization from Moldex

B. Return product to Moldex  for replacement as instructed

For Products at your resellers and users:

1. Compile a list of your customers who have purchased affected product and contact them directly or provide Moldex with that list.

2. If you will be contacting your customers directly, send notice to your Resellers and Users

3. Determine if you will be taking product back on behalf of your customers. If so, once product is in your, possession obtain an RA number from Moldex Customer Service at 800‐421‐0668 ext. 550

4. If customer is sending product back themselves, tell them to contact Moldex Customer Service at 800‐421‐0668 ext. 550to obtain an RA number.

Note: this voluntary recall/stop sale does not apply to any other Moldex Disposable Mask Models not listed on this recall notice

Please contact Moldex Customer Service at 800‐421‐0668 ext. 550 or TECH@moldex.com if you have questions or to arrange the return of the affected Moldex models.

Moldex Recall Attachment 1




NEW DBI SALA EZ Stop Lanyards & Arc Flash Gear from Capital Safety


Capital Safety has added new fall protection and arc flash protection gear to their DBI SALA collection. The new EZ Stop lanyards from DBI SALA are designed for the toughest working conditions without sacrificing your comfort. That’s because they’re lightweight, so you won't feel them on your back. They also prevent D-Slide so you don’t get that annoying tugging feeling. EZ Stop is easy to use because the lanyards feature user-friendly rebar and snap hooks, allowing you to open and close them without getting your hands caught in them.

Notable features

  • 36,000 Ib gate
  • ANSI/CSA compliance
  • Patent pending locking gate
  • Smallest shock absorber in the world

More features:

  • Foot-level tie-offs for maximum 12ft free fall
  • Quarter-inch vinyl-coated steel cable
  • Many hook options, with lightest and strongest rebar hooks on the market
  • Bright orange shock pack cover makes it easy to see you’re using a sharp-edge model
  • Passes stringent ANSI Z359.14 (dropped on a .005 radius edge)

EZ Stop Arc Flash Gear

Capital's new arc flash gear is flame resistant and built with non-conductive construction. It is perfect for where high voltage electricity or hot work such as welding is a concern.


  • Nomex®/Kevlar®webbing
  • 310 lb capacity for 12 ft free fall, 420 lb capacity for 6 ft free fall
  • Aluminum and steel rebar or snap hooks available in many sizes
  • Available in 6ft free fall and the Force2 allows for a 12ft free fall
  • Meets stringent ASTM F87 standard for personal climbing equipment
  • Passes ANSI Z359 and CSA requirements

NEW Shockwave Force2 Lanyards from Capital Safety

Shockwave Force2 LanyardDon't second guess your fall protection gear: Shockwave Force2 lanyard.

The top of a wind turbine is no place to second guess your fall protection gear. You need something reliable and lightweight that provides all day comfort. Force 2 is an all new fall protection lanyard from Capital Safety’s Shockwave collection.


  • Expands to 6ft and retracts to 4½ ft
  • Rugged & durable soft cover designed to last with high visibility reflective tracers
  • Lightest, strongest, smallest shock absorber in the world which improves worker confidence and reduces fatigue
  • Globally approved meeting industry standards in regions where wind energy development is growing (ANSI, OSHA, CE and AUS/NZ)
  • Tech-Lite™ aluminum D-rings for reduced weight and ability to conduct an easier rescue.
  • Protected labels for durability and longevity – includes DBI-SALA’s i-SAFE™ identification tag

Arc Flash Boundaries - Do You Know the Rules?

Simply put, an arc flash is a phenomenon where a flashover of electric current leaves its intended path and travels through the air from one conductor to another, or to ground. The results are often violent and when a human is in close proximity to the arc flash, serious injury and even death can occur.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has developed specific approach boundaries designed to protect employees while working on or near energized equipment.



Press Release - Canada's Safest Employer Award

Levitt-Safety Named New Diamond Sponsor of Canada’s Safest Employer Awards

Toronto, ON – Levitt-Safety Limited (levitt.staging.ldm.ca), the largest specialist supplier of safety equipment and services in Canada has been named the new Diamond Sponsor of the 2015 Canada’s Safest Employer Awards. The sponsorship was announced yesterday at the Partners in Prevention Tradeshow in Toronto.

“We’re proud to announce our sponsorship of Canada’s Safest Employer,” said Bruce Levitt, President and CEO of Levitt-Safety. “The affiliation makes sense – Levitt-Safety offers Canada’s broadest selection of fire and safety products. We understand what it takes to keep employees safe and we’re excited to recognize those companies that go the extra mile to protect their staff.”

Launched in 2011, Canada's Safest Employers Awards recognize companies from all across Canada with outstanding accomplishments in promoting the health and safety of their workers.

The award boasts 10 industry-specific categories, ranging from hospitality to mining and natural resources. Companies are judged on a wide range of occupational health and safety elements, including employee training, OHS management systems, incident investigation, emergency preparedness and innovative health and safety initiatives.

The deadline for nominations is June 1, 2015. All winners will be announced at a gala event held in Toronto this coming October.

About Levitt-Safety Limited

Born of the determined and entrepreneurial spirit of their founder, Victor Levitt, Levitt-Safety Limited has grown over the past 80 years to become the largest specialist supplier of safety equipment and services in Canada.  With sixteen strategically located branches, Levitt-Safety Limited is ideally equipped to serve a large base of geographic and market sectors. In addition to the distribution of products, they also offer a complete line of Signature Services that support every aspect of the health and safety in the workplace.  Its Northern Light Technologies division is a global leader in underground mine lighting and wireless networking solutions.



WHMIS/GHS Compliance Deadlines

Manufacturers, importers and distributors of hazardous products now have a series of deadlines to prompt the transition from Canada's Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) to the new classification rules, requirements, and formats necessary to comply with the international Global Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling for Chemicals (GHS). A Notice, published in the February issue of the Canada Gazette Part II, directs manufacturers, importers, distributors and employers to schedule their compliance efforts according to the schedule outlined below. All parties must be in full compliance with the GHS by Dec.1, 2018.

Phase Who is Affected? How to Comply
1. From now until May 31, 2017 Manufacturers, importers and distributors of hazardous products Follow either the WHMIS 1988 or WHMIS 2015 requirements. For each product, use either a WHMIS 1988 or WHMIS 2015 label and (material) data safety sheet
2. June 1, 2017 to May 31, 2018 Manufacturers and importers selling hazardous products Sell or import only products with labels and safety data sheets compliant with WHMIS 2015
3. June 1, 2017 to May 31, 2018 Distributors of hazardous products PLUS manufacturers and importers importing hazardous products for their own use Import hazardous products with labels and (material) safety data sheets compliant with either WHMIS 1988 or WHMIS 2015
4. June 1, 2018 to November 30, 2018 Manufacturers, importers and distributors of hazardous products Sell or import only products compliant with WHMIS 2015
December 1, 2018+ Manufacturers, importers, distributors, and federally-regulated employers using hazardous products Comply with WHMIS 2015

Rollgliss R550 Rescue & Descent Device

RollglissR550Rescue_Lit9700980ACapital Safety is pleased to introduce the Rollgliss R550 Rescue and Descent Device. The R550 Rescue and Descent Device is an automatic descent solution ideal for wind towers, cell phone towers, aerial lifts and cranes. It’s simple to use compact design offers the choice of assisted rescue, evacuation or the versatility of custom rescue with lifting capabilities. The R550 replaces the R500 device.

Unique features and benefits include:

  • Cast aluminum housing – lightweight and durable
  • Bi-directional hub – one hook ascends while the other descends
  • Durable rope – 3/8”  static Kermantle rope NFPA, L rated
  • Integrated drill adaptor – provides a mechanical option for ascending a victim

One Unit, Many Possibilities


  • Secure R550 to anchor point
  • Connect the snap hook to dorsal or front d-ring of harness
  • Descend safely to the ground

Assisted Rescue

  • Secure R550 to anchor point
  • Get into position above the victim
  • Attach snap hook to victim
  • Raise victim to unhook their fall arrest gear
  • Descend victim safely to the ground

Pick-Off Rescue

  • Use when a victim is out of reach
  • Secure R550 to anchor point and lower a second rescuer to victim
  • Attach victim to rescuer
  • Raise victim to unhook their fall arrest gear
  • Descend both rescuer and victim to safety


  • The R550 can be used for custom rescues, like an angled descent
  • Secure R550 to anchor point on or near the ground
  • Run the rope up through a pulley above the victim
  • Raise victim to unhook their fall arrest gear
  • Lower the victim to the ground, away from the structure



Capital Safety's FAST-Line SRL


Capital Safety announces yet another added benefit to owners of DBI/Sala Sealed-Blok SRL’s. Introducing the FAST-Line―field replaceable cable and hook. The new series of Sealed-Blok SRL’s now feature FAST-Line technology (manufacture date of January 4, 2015 or later).

Some competitors require the user to change the internal brake of their SRL’s after a fall, but with a FAST-Line SRL, the brakes do not require replacement after a fall. It takes just two simple steps and the SRL can be returned to service. The attached literature piece has all the details.

Benefits, and real hard cost savings, to your customer are:

  • Reduced downtime
  • Lower cost of ownership
  • Maximized productivity

Look for the special FAST-Line indicator on the SRL label.

2015 Facility Identification Catalogue

Being able to properly identify hazards in the workplace is a critical component to your workplace health and safety program – and it ensures your employees get home safely, every day.

Finding the right identification product, be it sign, tag, or lockout can be a daunting task. While large in size, our new Facilities Identification Catalogue has been assembled for you to quickly and efficiently find the correct product for your needs. And our service doesn’t stop there. Getting the products you need quickly and cost-effectively is equally important – your satisfaction is our priority.

Please click here (or cover image, right) to view the catalogue online. Fill out the form below to request a paper version.

We've also created a page dedicated to the new Globally Harmonized System (GHS). You can view it here.

Non-Combustible Outdoor Safety Lockers

911020-app-mdConstructed with heavy gauge steel and built-in secondary containment, every non-combustible locker is fully compliant,including meeting EPA 40 CFR, NFPA 30 and NFPA 1 regulations. FM-approved and backed by a 15-year structural warranty, this locker is your solution for safe chemical storage and compliance. Lockers are also available with FM-approved explosion relief panels that release at 20 psf. Customize your locker to meet specific applications with a variety of optional features and accessories, including loading ramp, shelving,grounding kit, fire protection and lighting packages.

Outdoor safety lockers promote safe storage, handling, and disposal practices that minimize contamination of hazardous chemicals. Proper chemical storage not only reduces poison hazards or other accidents that affect our environment and communities, but also prevents unwanted fines.

Protect your hazardous materials from accidental contamination, while protecting the environment and your employees. Insurance carriers require safe chemical storage practices to be put into place before granting or renewing policies.

Learn more about Justrite's non-combustible lockers:

Sure-Grip® EX Hazardous Material Safety Cabinets

863028-2-mdJustrite Hazardous Material Safety Cabinets have the same quality safety features as the cabinets for flammables. All models come with double-wall construction, dual vents, grounding wire connections, adjustable shelves, leakproof sills, three-point self-latching doors and leveling feet. Self-close door(s) shuts and latches automatically when a fusible link melts at 165°F (74ºC) under fire conditions. Unique, concealed self-closing mechanism offers obstruction-free access to contents.

Additionally, they include polyethylene trays that sit on top of galvanized steel shelves and a separate polyethylene liner for the bottom sump to resist aggressive chemicals. Easily remove the liner for quick cleaning of drips and leaks. This popular 30-gallon (114-L) cabinet also includes an extra polyethylene work tray that can be secured to cabinet top for a handy work surface. An all epoxy baked-on powder-coat finish, inside and out, provides increased chemical resistance.

Exclusive to Justrite, each cabinet comes with a "Hazardous - Keep Fire Away" label, as well as a pack of ten application-specific labels to choose from and apply to the cabinet in order to indicate its contents.

Cabinets comply with NFPA 1, NFPA 400 Hazardous Material Code, and the International Fire Code. Cabinets are FM approved and come with a ten-year warranty.

The Rigid-Lock QuickBerm® Plus

The QuickBerm Plus® offers superior protection and chemical resistance against the harshest of liquids, including petroleum, oils, greases, and most acids. Exhibits three times greater resistance against punctures and abrasion, resulting in longer wear over other popular QuickBerm® products – excellent for heavy vehicle traffic.

28510-sfeUnlike floating-wall type berms that are susceptible to wall collapse and containment failure, the patented Rigid-Lock stainless steel brace supports walls at full 90° locked position for secure, leakproof containment. A simple push on the walls unlocks the support and lays the wall down for drive-through capability from any angle.

The built-in Rigid-Lock wall supports maximize usable space inside the berm and greatly reduce any tripping hazard on the berm perimeter. The device only folds down one way, inward towards the inside of the berm. The one-piece design folds down flat and remains integral to the sidewall. Supports resist extreme temperatures (-50F to 160F). When in the down position, they can withstand vehicle weights in excess of 11,000 lbs (5,000 kg) at each tire. While in the up position, the supports will hold up to wind loads of 40 miles per hour. Additionally, Rigid-Lock supports will perform at full rim containment height—meaning the berm is entirely full—without bend or buckles. In case of damage, for example a user drives out of the berm without lowering the wall to the proper exit position, the stainless steel support rods are replaceable.

Reinforced CriticalCorner™ design with wraparound diagonal radio frequency (RF) welds offer exceptionally strong structural integrity to prevent seam leaks, provide fluid-tight reliability, and extend berm life expectancy. Finished hem edge on top of sidewall revents fraying and adds strength. Each support includes a heavy-duty brass grommet for anchoring the berm under high wind conditions. Anchor stakes not included.

For added resistance against rocky surfaces or heavy in-out traffic use tarps, ground mats, track mats, or track runners.

Helps comply with EPA for containment and spill prevention (SPCC).

Learn more about the Rigid-Lock QuickBerm® Plus!

Prepare for February 2015's Slip, Trip & Fall Blitz

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

Here are some seasonal prevention tips - just in time for a February 2015 slip, trip and fall inspection blitz.

Snow covered stairsAssess slip/fall hazards by:

• Conducting a detailed inspection of parking lots and walkways
• Asking workers responsible for maintaining these areas for suggestions
• Reviewing records of prior slips and falls, such as first-aid reports or minutes of joint health and safety committee meetings.

Control hazards by eliminating or reducing risk:

• Set the highest standards for year-round groundskeeping, lighting and visibility, and ensure they are met
• If you hire a snow removal contractor, apply the same conditions you would to any on-site contractor, including ensuring the contractor has the proper qualifications, general liability insurance, and a valid WSPS certificate
• Clearly identify steps, ramps and other elevation changes
• Provide groundskeeping staff with appropriate hazard control equipment, materials and training
• Monitor weather reports for advance warning of slippery conditions
• Ensure steps, ramps, parking lots, walkways, entrances, and exits stay clear of mud, snow and ice
• Keep sewer grates clear of obstructions so that water can drain quickly
• Use salt, sand or other proven anti-slip material to keep lots and walkways clear.

Engage employees in preventing injuries by

• Setting and communicating an expectation that all employees share responsibility for preventing slips, trips and falls
• Making winter slip, trip and fall prevention part of a year-round awareness campaign
• Creating a simple hazard reporting process
• Educating workers on how to avoid slips, trips and falls.

Here are just some of the ways employees can protect themselves:

• Eearing suitable footwear (low heels, warm, waterproof, ice/snow traction, etc.)
• Using handrails on stairs
• Taking special care when entering or exiting buildings and vehicles
• Giving themselves enough time to get where they’re going without rushing
• Walking around rather than over snow banks or other obstacles to get to their destination
• Keeping in three-point contact with high vehicles when mounting or descending
• Loading or unloading vehicles in a way that does not obstruct their vision.

Originally posted by Workplace Safety & Prevention Services, December 3, 2014

MOL Changes on the Horizon

Ministry of Labour proposes hearing protection for all; stronger OH&S protections for Construction workers

Ontario’s Ministry of Labour posted on the province’s Regulatory Registry,October 28, 2014, notice that the ministry has developed the following regulatory consultation proposals for public review. Comments due by December 28, 2014.

1. Extending hearing protection requirements to all workers: The ministry is proposing to extend noise protection requirements to all Ontario workers under the Occupational Health and Safety Act that are not currently covered by noise requirements in: Regulation 851 Industrial Establishments (Section 139);Regulation 854 Mines and Mining Plants (Section 293.1); or Regulation 855 Oil and Gas-Offshore (Section 41).Examples of workplaces affected by this proposal include: health care facilities,schools, farming operations, fire services, police services and amusement parks.

2. Occupational Health Protection for Construction Workers: The ministry is proposing three regulatory changes to improve worker protection from hazardous exposures to: 1) noise; 2) biological and chemical agents; and 3) carbon monoxide
released from internal combustion engines. The proposals reflect regulatory recommendations that were put forward by the construction industry’s Provincial Labour Management Health and Safety Committee (PLMHSC) - an advisory committee established under Section 21 of the OHSA to provide advice on health and safety concerns in the construction industry.

3. Foundation Drill Rigs: The ministry is proposing to add new requirements to O.Reg. 213/91 Construction Projects under the Occupational Health and Safety Act(OHSA), in order to introduce new safety measures to address key areas of drill rig operation and to enhance health and safety protections for workers during the operation of rotary foundation drill rigs.The ministry is also proposing to introduce new training requirements for drill rig operators that are based on the learning outcomes and performance objectives set out in the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Foundation Drill Rig Operator Modular Training Standard.

4. Miscellaneous amendments to the Construction Projects Regulation: The ministry is proposing to make miscellaneous amendments to O. Reg. 213/91 to correct errors, omissions, and inconsistencies and update outdated references in O. Reg. 213/91.

Vapor Shield by Edge Eyewear

Edge Eyewear Robson GlassesMany industrial situations can be handled with a standard anti-fog lens, but for extreme environments, Edge Eyewear has developed a revolutionary, military grade anti-fog coating called “Vapor Shield”.

The exclusive, military grade anti-fog coating is capable of withstanding extreme environments, and is impervious to fog. Edge Eyewear is the only manufacturer who offers this type of anti-fog protection – it’s imbedded directly into the lens, and won’t wear off with cleaning.

Vapor Shield Lenses have passed the following laboratory tests:

  • -42·C for 15 minutes
  • Transition from -42·C to 2·C with 80% humidity
  • Transition from -42·C to 24·C with 80% humidity

Vapor Shield is optimal for:

  • Anyone working in extreme heat or cold
  • People who work with liquids outdoors or steam indoors
  • People who experience excessive perspiration in their work

Vapor Shield is available for:

  • Models with XL sizing – Robson XL
  • Models with removable gaskets – Robson, Robson XL, Steele
  • Models with adjustable nose pieces – Steele
  • Models with interchangeable temples & straps – Steele
  • Smoke, clear and yellow lenses

Stay Healthy This Winter: Flu Prevention Tips

Once again, cold and flu season is upon us. During this time of year, the chances of falling ill drastically increase. Whether you’re at work or at the grocery store, germs are transferred from person to person via a doorknob or shopping cart handle, causing millions of Canadians to catch the flu every year.

Most people recover from the flu in a week or 10 days, but others may develop serious complications, like pneumonia, that can send them to hospital. There are measures you can take, however, to avoid becoming infected and stay healthy this season

woman_sneeze_in_armGet your flu shot

Getting the flu shot every year is one o the most effective ways to prevent catching and spreading the flu virus. It also increases herd immunity, protecting those who for medical reasons cannot receive the flu shot.

Cough and sneeze into your arm, not your hand

If you use a tissue, dispose of it as soon as possible and wash your hands.

Keep common surface areas clean and disinfected

Doorknobs, light switches, telephones, keyboards and other surfaces can become contaminated with all kinds of bacteria and viruses. Regular cleaning and disinfecting of these surfaces with normal household disinfectants can help. Viruses can live on hard surfaces for up to 48 hours!

If you get sick, stay home

If you think you have the flu, you should stay home from work or school until your symptoms are gone. If your symptoms get worse, call your health care provider.

Wash your hands frequently

Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds to help remove bacteria and viruses. Wash before and after eating, after you have been in a public place, after using the washroom, after coughing or sneezing and after touching surfaces that may have been contaminated. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer is also effective in killing viruses. Visit our hand hygiene post for in-depth information on proper hand washing techniques or sign up for our online hand hygiene course. 

ALTAIR 2XP Gas Detector

ALTAIR 2XP Gas Detector with XCell Pulse Technology: H2S

Features the first stand-alone bump test, which eliminates the need for bottled gas! Bump test anytime, anywhere. Based on proven science and patented sensor capabilities.

  • ALTAIR 2XP Gas Detector with XCell Pulse Technology: H2S
  • ALTAIR 2X Gas Detectors: CO, CO-H2 (Hydrogen Resistant), H2S-LC, SO2, NO2 and Cl2
  • ALTAIR 2XT Two-Tox Gas Detector: CO/H2S, CO-H2/H2S, CO/H2S-LC, CO/NO2 and SO2/H2S-LC

CO Alarms Now Law in Ontario

Carbon Monoxide: It Kills

Ontario is taking another step to keep families and homes in Ontario safe by making carbon monoxide alarms mandatory in all residential homes.

The new regulation, which came into effect October 15, 2014, updates Ontario's Fire Code following the passage of Bill 77 last year. These updates are based on recommendations from a Technical Advisory Committee which was led by the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management and included experts from fire services, the hotel and rental housing industries, condo owners and alarm manufacturers.

Carbon monoxide alarms will now be required near all sleeping areas in residential homes and in the service rooms, and adjacent sleeping areas in multi-residential units. Carbon monoxide alarms can be hardwired, battery-operated or plugged into the wall.

Broadly speaking, these amendments will have the following effect:

  • Testing and maintenance requirements that apply to smoke alarm now apply to CO alarms
  • Under the Fire Code amendments, CO alarms will be required in existing residential occupancies, where:
    • Single dwelling homes (e.g., privately owned homes) have an attached storage garage and/or a fuel burning appliance.
    • CO alarms will be required only near sleeping areas of these occupancies and not throughout the entire home.
    • Multi-unit buildings (e.g., apartment buildings or condominium buildings, hotels, etc.) have an attached storage garage and/or a fuel burning appliance/service room. Within these buildings, CO alarms will only be required:
      • Near sleeping areas of suites that contain a fuel burning appliance within the suite.
      • Near sleeping areas of suites that are adjacent to a storage garage and/or service room with a fuel burning appliance.

For more information on carbon monoxide, read our FAQ.

ALTAIR® 4X Multigas Detector

The ALTAIR 4X is an extremely durable Multigas Detector that simultaneously measures up to four gases from a wide range of XCell(R) sensor options including combustible gases, O₂, CO, H₂S, SO₂ and NO₂.

The ALTAIR 4X Detector surpasses industry standards in several crucial areas. Its four-year sensor life is 60% longer than the industry average, while its 24-hour run time exceeds the industry average by 71%. This versatile portable detector is a perfect match for industries ranging from fire fighting to welding, and its digital sensor output makes it less likely to suffer from RF interference.

The unit features exclusive MotionAlert™, which lets others know if the user has become immobile, and InstantAlert™, a manual alarm that alerts others of potentially dangerous situations. This rugged unit is designed to withstand a drop of up to 20 ft (6m) and uses less than half as much calibration gas as the industry average.


GALAXY® GX2 Automated Test System and Link Pro

GALAXYGX2AutomatedTestSystem_000080001800001002Simplicity counts with the MSA GALAXY® GX2 Automated Test System for advanced safety management and effortless operation.

The GALAXY GX2 Automated Test System provides simple, intelligent testing and calibration of MSA ALTAIR® and ALTAIR PRO Single-Gas Detectors and ALTAIR 4X and ALTAIR 5X Multigas Detectors. Easy-to-use automated test stand offers high performance as either stand-alone unit or integrated portable detector management system, enabling total data access and control of the MSA ALTAIR family Gas Detector fleet.

New MSA Link™ Pro Software for proactive safety management; gas exposure email alerts, direct data input, live filtering, test and exposure queries, collecting and printing reports.

Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPRs)

action_bt30_0The purpose of a PAPR (powered air purifying respirator) is to take air that is contaminated with one or more types of contaminants, remove those contaminants and then supply the air to the user. There are different units for different environments. The units consist of a powered fan which forces incoming air through one or more filters to the user for breathing. The fan and filters may be carried by the user or, with some units, the air is fed to the user via tubing while the fan and filters are remotely mounted.

The type of filtering must be matched to the contaminants that need to be removed. Some respirators are designed to remove fine particulate matter such as the dust created during various woodworking processes. When used in combination with the correct filters, they are suitable for working with volatile organic compounds, such as those used in many spray paints. At the same time, filters that are suitable for volatile substances must typically have their filter elements replaced more often than a particulate filter.

Advantages of PAPRs

  • Positive pressure provided by the fan forces air into the facepiece, hood or helmet, eliminating difficulty in breathing
  • Does not require fit testing if head cover, hoods or helmets are used
  • May be an option for individuals who have facial hair or are unable to fit N95 respirator models
  • Has positive airflow, therefore no breathing resistance
  • Provides a higher level of respiratory protection than half (e.g., N95) facepiece, with a wide range of assigned protection factors from 25 to 1000
  • Provide a cooled airstream to the user in warm temperatures

3M™ Versaflo™ TR-600 PAPR

The new TR-600 takes the entire Versaflo™ system to new levels of confidence, control and comfort.

The new 3M™ Versaflo™ Powered Air Purifying Respirator TR-600 features greater performance with a lithium-ion battery, adjustable airflow options, and an expanded range of NIOSH approved filters and cartridges to help protect against hazards like particulates, organic vapors and acid gases, with the compatibility of 3M™ Versaflo™ Respirator Systems family of products offering available integrated for eye, head, face, skin and respiratory protection.


• LED status lights for battery charge on both the battery and the turbo
• Low-charge warnings, including vibratory,audible and visual alarms
• PAPR alarm provides approximately 15 minutes of warning prior to automatic low-power shutdown


• Multiple airflow rate options for user comfort
• Ergonomically designed to fit close to the body and allow for greater movement in tight work spaces
• Multiple belt size adjustments and extenders for proper fit and comfort
• Belt designed with flexible air channels to help minimize heat build-up and provide wide, comfortable support

Ease of Use

• Easy tool-free maintenance
• Colour-indicated touch points
• Low-flow and low-battery alarms
• Battery charge and particulate filter loading status indicators
• Meets IP53 rating while in use in decontamination shower
• Meets IP67 rating when used with cleaning and storage plugs to enable full submersion for easy clean-up and decontamination
• Pre-calibration makes product ready to use,directly out of the box

Learn more about the new 3M™ Versaflo™ Powered Air Purifying Respirator TR-600 here, or watch the video below:

Python Safety Quick Wrap Tape

Made from a self-fusing silicone rubber, Python Safety Quick Wrap Tape is capable of creating instant attachment points for nearly any tool in a matter of seconds. Quick Wrap Tape conforms to the shape of whatever it is applied to, making it ideal for even the most irregular shaped tools.

Quick Wrap Tape has a temperature range of -65°F to 500°F (-54°C to 260°C).


  • Conforms to the shape of whatever it is applied to
  • Used with Python Safety D-Rings and Tool Cinch Attachment to create instant tethering points on virtually any tool
  • Made from a self-fusing silicone rubber that leaves no adhesive or residue behind
  • Inner fiberglass webbing increases the strength of the tape and makes the tape resistant to sharp objects


Python Safety Small Parts Pouches

Designed with Drop Prevention in mind, the patented Python Safety Small Parts Pouch stops accidental drops the moment something is put inside. With an innovative self-closure system that traps objects inside, the Small Parts Pouch makes it nearly impossible for objects to fall out once placed in the bag, while making it easy for retrieval by the user since no opening or closing is necessary.

  • Innovative self-closure system that traps objects inside, the pouch makes it nearly impossible for objects to fall out once placed in the bag
  • Easy to retrieve objects since no opening or closing is necessary
  • Compatible with most tool belts


Python Safety Hard Hat Tether

The Hard Hat Tether utilizes a compact coil design that keeps the lanyard out of the way of the user, and is easy to clean.


  • Heavy-duty steel industrial clip with simple flip-up snap allows for easy one-handed operation.
  • 5 1/2" tail with loop makes the Hard Hat Tether easy to attach to any hard hat.
  • Compact design keeps the tether out of the way when not in use.
  • Load Rating 2 lb (0.9 kg)
  • Length (Relaxed) 4in (10.2cm)
  • Length (Stretched) 34in (86.4cm)


Vital ID Hard Hat I.D.

IMG_0474The LATEST VERSION of the WSID-01 features new “Emergency Design” that utilizes the internationally recognized “Star of Life” medical symbol. The waterproof ID card has also been improved to increase the amount of information stored to further strengthen the function of this Hard Hat ID in use.


  • 70mm x 15mm (approx. 2.75″ x 0.5″)
  • Lightweight – Weighs less than 5 grams
  • Reflective – Features 3M Scotchlite reflective material, assisting workers to be seen by others in low-light situations
  • 100% Waterproof – Is very durable and can be worn in any weather conditions
  • Secure – Clear adhesive Security flap protects the workers information (ensures data protection)
  • Helmet Safe – Tested to ensure the Hard Hat ID not weaken or damage the workers hard hat in any way.
  • Cost Effective – A low cost solution to provide a back-up & reinforce your existing on-site safety procedures.
  • “Worker Safety” Hard Hat ID (WSID-01) is very versatile and can also be fitted to clothing and other work equipment such as a harness, reflective vest etc. Very durable.

This worker safety product is a perfect solution to assist in the essential work of pro-active health & safety officers in all helmet wearing industries such as construction, oil & gas, mining, heavy industry, railways and utilities.

Capital Safety Rollgliss™ Rescue and Descent Device

The Rollgliss™ R550 offers the choice of controlled descent rescue, evacuation or the versatility of assisted rescue with lifting capabilities. This state-of-the-art, fully automatic controlled descent device can be used for rescue and evacuation from heights up to 1,640 ft. (500m) for one user 310 lbs. (141kg) or 575 ft. (175m) for two users totaling 620 lbs. (282kg). It features 3/8 in. (9.5mm) super static kernmantle rope, and is configured with connecting hardware at each end of the lifeline to operate in both directions. During assisted-rescue scenarios, a fallen worker can be attached to the R550 device, raised to a point that allows their fall arrest device to be removed, then lowered to the ground safely.

Remember, during an emergency every second counts! You can count-on and trust the DBI-SALA™ Rollgliss™ systems, in use all over the world; Wind Turbine Construction & Maintenance, Utility Pole/Tower Construction & Maintenance, Fire & Emergency Rescue Services, Commercial Construction Sites, Industry and MRO Facilities, Government & Military Operations and more!


  • Emergency rescue and evacuation from a wide variety of elevated work areas
  • Fully automatic controlled descent
  • Bidirectional design enables multiple rescues
  • Built-in rescue lifting wheel
  • 100 ft. (30.5 m) 3/8" (9.5 mm) kernmantle rope lifeline
  • Rated for up to 1,640 ft. (500 m) height for one user, 575 ft. (175 m) for two users
  • Compact and lightweight design
  • High strength corrosion resistant construction
  • Integrated rope ears
  • Dual brake design
  • Equipped with i-Safe™
  • Kit also contains 4 ft. (1.2m) anchor sling, two carabiners and carrying bag
  • Other standard and custom lengths are available
  • Models also available without lifting wheel or add a humidity case

Watson's Convict Performance Gloves

1010 The Shank_SBe safe, be seen with Convict.

Watson Glove's newest brand has been developed to address the need in the industry for hi-visibility high performance work gloves. Industrial safety standards are becoming increasing stringent and high visibility safety apparel is now mandatory.

Their Convict line of gloves is highly visible to the eye as they are all designed with hi-vis neon orange and reflective fingertips. You will most certainly “Escape the Dark” while wearing Convict. Your hands will be seen and therefore will be much safer in any workplace. Depending on the job you do, the level of protection you need, Watson Glove has a style designed for your job.

Read more about Watson's Convict Glove here.

Honeywell Cold Conditions FR Apparel

Honeywell_TNV130LMGO_front view


Honeywell Safety Products is pleased to introduce a NEW line of Cold Conditions FR rated apparel.

Parka, bib pants and removable hood are all rated for extreme cold temperatures and are constructed of fire-retardant material for safety in environments with open flames, sparks or flash-fire, such as Oil and Gas, Mining and Utility industries.

  • CAN/CGSB 155.20 requirements for Protection against Hydrocarbon Flash Fire
  • Meets NFPA 70E Arc-Flash HRC2
  • The retro-reflective trim material meets ISEA/ANSI 107 and CSA Z96 Level 2 requirements for high-visibility
  • Meets ASTM D6413-99 for flame resistance of textiles
  • Inherent FR fabric ensures flame resistance performance for the life of the apparel; meaning the FR properties cannot be washed out
  • The DWR bi-laminate coating and quilted insulation retain body heat, providing outstanding warmth without bulk to allow easier body movement and increased comfort
  • Ergonomically designed so as not to impede workers' movement
  • The bright color and retro-reflective bands ensures visibility of workers on the job site.

Read more about this exciting new line here.



Watson's Grease Monkey Gloves

Watson Glove's Grease Monkey™ brand has taken the disposable market to a whole new level of hand protection. They first introduced a black 8 mil nitrile glove to the automotive industry and it proved to be a runaway success. Since then they've added a thinner 5 mil disposable nitrile glove. They couldn’t keep these in stock!

5552-Grease-Monkey-Cheeky-MonkeyThe 5552 Grease Monkey™ Cheeky Monkey

  • Unsupported PVC provides light to medium puncture and abrasion resistance with anti-bacterial agents incorporated into the PVC formula helps to eliminate the spread of bacteria
  • Double-dipped PVC fingertips for added reinforcement and protection
  • Soft rayon flock linking for luxurious comfort
  • Wave pattern finish for a superior grip in wet applications with 13" gauntlet with serrated cuff
  • Latex and phthalate free - a great alternative for those with latex allergies
  • Individually packaged

The 5554PF Grease Monkey™

  • 5mil powder-free nitrile is exceptionally durable with superior abrasion and puncture resistance and works well in oil slick applications
  • Extended 9.5" rolled cuff
  • CFIA approved
  • 100 gloves per dispenser

The 5555PF Grease Monkey™

  • 8mil heavyweight, powder-free nitrile is exceptionally durable with superior abrasion and puncture resistance
  • Extended 11" rolled cuff for greater strength and higher wrist protection
  • CFIA approved
  • 50 gloves per dispenser

 The 5553PF Grease Monkey™

  • 15mil heavyweight natural rubber latex with textured surface offers better grip in wet and oily applications
  • Powder-free
  • Extended 11" rolled cuff for greater strength and higher wrist protection
  • Non-sterile, ambidextrous fit
  • 50 gloves per dispenser

9581-Monkey-Business_Fan The 9581 Grease Monkey™ Monkey Business

  • 3M Thinsulate™ C40 lining provides warmth while maintaining dexterity
  • Microfibre synthetic leather pal is lightweight and durable, offering excellent flexibility and dexterity
  • Textured PVC reinforcements on fingertips and palm for a sure-grip
  • Form-fitting and flexible Spandex back
  • High-impact protection with a heavy duty rubber on back
  • Vibration absorbing gel padded palm
  • Snug-fitting neoprene wrist with a secure Velcro® closure
  • Available in yellow and red



Honeywell Hybrid Energy-Absorbing Lanyards

No More Guessing. No More Worries. One Hybrid Lanyard.

Now, for the first time to market, Honeywell has designed one lanyard that can be used by workers across weight classes, while still being CSA compliant. Honeywell Hybrid Energy-Absorbing Lanyards make choosing the right equipment a little easier, while reducing error and increasing safety!

  • Eliminates the need to carry two types of lanyards in stock
  • One solution for CSA compliance in both E4 and E6 weight classes
  • One lanyard solution eliminates the risk of error and increases safety
  • Full product line featuring Miller® and North® fall protection

Learn more by watching the below product video, or read more about it here.




*Only available in Canada 

Anarchy Welding Gloves

Watson Glove's newest line of welding gloves tag line was #theendiscoming. What they meant was the end was coming to boring, sloppy-fitting welding gloves.

Watson has designed a line of welding gloves that is going to take the industry by storm. Silkscreened with an eyecatching logo, Anarchy Welding™ gloves cover the whole range of gloves needed by welders whether you do TIG, MIG or stick welding.

Of course, every glove has its own cheeky “handle”, with Hot Rod, The Prospect and even the Ol’ Lady being a few. Always fresh and new, Watson Gloves are a leader in hand protection in the welding glove world.


Flexiguard™ SafRig™ with Outrigger Base

8530579 FlexiGuard SafRig - ApplicationThe FlexiGuard™ SafRig™ with Outrigger Base is a portable solution for indoor and outdoor maintenance where mobility and worker safety are key. These systems incorporate a 360° rotating jib with the capacity to provide fall protection for one person. Forklift pockets are strategically located on the base to ensure ease of mobility and placement from job site to job site. The base is also designed to easily drive over, and the system does not require the weight of the vehicle as the anchor force for complete flexibility. These systems are OSHA compliant.

DBI-SALA® has created a proven process for developing unique solutions. Whether it’s an existing or modified product, or an entirely new design, FlexiGuard™ always meets the requirements of your specific application. Each custom solution is driven by our customers’ needs and is dependent on the industry, environment and specific design constraints, including government standards. We also have numerous pre-engineered systems that may be a perfect solution to your fall protection challenge. All of our systems are extremely durable and built to last with world-class quality, materials and workmanship. They are unique solutions to unique challenges, and fall protection you can trust.

Green Genius FuelSaver

Save money on fuel

Slash toxic emissions

Lower servicing costs

green-genius-fuelsaverWhat is the Green Genius FuelSaver?

The Green Genius FuelSaver is an in-tank, solid state fuel optimizer made of crafted ceramics, magnets, and aluminum.

What does this product do?

The Green Genius FuelSaver optimizes the molecular state of fuel resulting in a more efficient combustion. The result is decreased emissions and increased mileage in the amount of 6-12%.

How does it work?

Our "genius in the tank" weakens the intermolecular hydrocarbon bonds of the fuel, resulting in more complete combustion. This dramatically reduces unburned fuel and emissions, increases power and fuel economy, and reduces servicing and maintenance.

How much time does it need to start working?

The Green Genius FuelSaver is a solid immersion device that you or your mechanic can easily drop inside a vehicle's fuel tank (diesel/biodiesel or petrol/gasoline). In minutes, you’re back on the road. Your fuel economy will improve by 6%-12% immediately.

Does it work with gasoline or diesel?

The product works with gasoline/petrol or diesel/biodiesel equally well.

How do I know it is working?

To prove a fuel economy of 6-12% is a challenge that can be duplicated on test tracks in controlled conditions. You can find the results of many such tests on the references section of this website. Vehicle load, driving style, tire pressure, weather conditions, and idle times must be carefully controlled to evaluate this kind of difference. If you wish to complete your own testing we will happily provide you with instructions on how to complete an SAE J1321 test.

How long does it realistically last?

The Green Genius FuelSaver is warranted for 5 years but realistically the device should last for the lifetime of your vehicle with no decrease in functionality. In fact, you can remove it from your old vehicle and use it in your new vehicle.

If you are a Fleet Manager, or a CFO for that matter, you owe it to yourself to do non-obligatory test of the Green Genius FuelSaver on a collection of your vehicles.


PRO™ Vest-Style Welder’s Harness

HarnessPROWeldersPT1DWith designs that incorporates improved fit, updated colors, and durable yet lightweight construction, PRO™ harnesses provide greater comfort and added safety — which translates to reduced worker fatigue and increased productivity. Protecta® has many of the same features as higher priced equipment, such as ergonomic design, impact indicators, serial numbers, steel hardware and options for specialized needs and budgets. Go with PRO™ gear incorporating exceptional performance and value - compliance has never been so easy or economical!

Nano-Lok™ edge Self Retracting Lifeline

The Nano-Lok™ edge from Capital Safety is specifically designed for foot level tie-off and share edge applications often found in construction. It is ergonomically designed for ease-of-use and is ideal for direct connection to most harnesses. The extremely compact and lightweight design is virtually unnoticeable on your back, staying out of the worker’s way and making it ideal as a lanyard replacement.

Whether your application requires single or twin leg configurations, mounting to an overhead anchor or for connection directly to harness, there are numerous models to choose from to suit almost any application. Nano-Lok™ locks quickly—stopping a fall within inches—providing more protection at low heights. In addition, tension is always kept on the lifeline, which reduces dragging, snapping and trip falls. Both features are key safety improvements.

Read the Nano-Lok edge Brochure!

Brady MAXX High Visibility Pad

CH100MAXX means greater performance without the extra weight. Specially developed chemical sorbent, yellow color-coded for safety and easy separation of hazardous waste, heavy-weight pad. Does not react with aggressive fluids. Great for overspray, leaks, drips, workstations, drums, liquid storage, outfalls and discharge ponds.

Noise Exposure Limits in Canada

Occupational exposure limits (OELs) for noise are typically given as the maximum duration of exposure permitted for various noise levels. What are the noise exposure limits in Canadian jurisdictions?


Continuous Noise*
Impulse / Impact Noise*
Maximum Permitted
Exposure Level for 8
Hours: dB(A)
dB(A) +
Maximum Peak
Pressure Level
Maximum Number
of Impacts
Canada (Federal)
British Columbia
New Brunswick
Nova Scotia
Prince Edward Island
Newfoundland and Labrador
Northwest Territories
3 or 5**
Yukon Territories
* For more information about continuous, impulse and impact noise, please see Noise - Basic Information
+ When 3 dB exchange rate is used, generally there is no separate regulation for impulse/impact noise. The equivalent sound exposure level (Lex) takes impulse noise into account in the same way as it does that for continuous or intermittent noise.
** In Nunavut, the General Safety Regulations reference a 5 dBA exchange rate. The Mining Health and Safety Regulations reference 3 dBA. Please contact Nunavut for further information.
Noise regulations in several jurisdictions treat impulse noise separately from continuous noise. A common approach is to limit the number of impulses at a given peak pressure over a workday. The exact figures vary slightly, but generally the regulations in which the exchange rate is 5 dB permit 10,000 impulses at a peak pressure level of 120 dB; 1,000 impulses at 130 dB; 100 impulses at 140 dB, and none above 140 dB.
Alternatively, using a 3 dB(A) exchange rate, impulse noise can be considered jointly with any continuous noise, in measuring the overall Leq sound level.

Brady BMP21-PLUS Label Printer

BMP21-PLUSTough on the outside. Smart on the inside. The BMP21-PLUS portable label printer takes on the toughest labeling jobs in the field. Whether you're in a server room, servicing a breaker box or organizing your workplace, you can count on the BMP21-PLUS labeler to get the job done. And it will get the job done quickly. With smart automatic formatting, all you need to do is drop a label cartridge in, type and print. Simple.

This printer also takes advantage of Brady's reliable material offering. Wire makers, cable flags, all-purpose vinyl, self-laminating labels, nylon cloth - you name it. Finding the right label to get the job done is easy.

Extremely rugged and durable

•Drop tested printer, super rugged with molded rubber bumpers provides protection from falls.
•Ergonomic, center balanced printer with grab and go ridges grip for easy handling
•Long life rechargeable Lithium-ion battery
•Ergonomic cutter and label grabber, holding the label after cutting, preventing it from falling out
•Heavy-duty magnet accessory and lanyard for hands free printing

Easy to use

•2 line LCD display provides clear visibility
•ABC keypad, graphics library, hot keys and menu functions for fast label creation
•Smart Cell technology for automatic label set up and automatic formatting for wire wraps, terminal blocks, patch panels, cable flags and general labels
•Multi-functional accessory with magnet, flashlight and retractable printer stand for easy handling

Engineered Long Lasting Material Quality

•Prints durable true-sized .25 – .75 inch wide identification to maximize amount of data
•Adjustable length labels using the high performance continuous material
•Fulfill your requirements with up to 8 different industry specified materials that last

Two year warranty included free with every purchase

Streamlight's NEW HAZ-LO Headlamps

argo-hazlo_logoedNeed a hands-free light for a hazardous location? Streamlight has expanded their HAZ-LO headlamp line to include three new models with a Class 1, Division 1 safety rating: Trident HAZ-LO®; Septor HAZ-LO®; and Argo HAZ-LO®. The introduction of these lights continues Streamlight’s commitment to the Industrial and Fire markets as the second announcement this month of safety-rated product.

When you’re working in a hazardous environment and your task requires both hands, the Argo HAZ-LO provides 90 lumens of bright light with a far-reaching beam (113 meters) so you can safely see what’s ahead of you.

These new headlamps are great additions to a toolbox of intrinsically safe equipment. Like Streamlight's traditional models, each headlamp is meant for a different application. Take into consideration how the light will be used, and keep the following points in mind when determining which one to select:

Argo HAZ-LO:

Provides a long-range beam for distance lighting, such as checking utility lines from the ground or during outdoor activities when you need to see what’s ahead.

Septor HAZ-LO:

Supplies a soft flood light for working at arm’s length, or when seeing details is important.

Trident HAZ-LO:

Meets lighting needs for both close-up and distance work; helps meet the broadest range of lighting applications.

Check out Streamlight's Haz-Lo overview!

Model 1900 Bottle Filler

1900_hgModel 1900 bottle filler uses a patented stainless steel push-button valve assembly allowing for front access stream adjustment as well as cartridge and strainer access. It can be a stand-alone station, or mounted above most Haws® drinking fountains along with most competitors' fountains and water coolers. • Patent pending design of the reversible drain tray can be turned inwards for in-wall waste hook-up

• 100% lead-free waterways

• Aesthetically pleasing medium grey ABS plastic construction

• Separate mounting frame allows for quick and easy installation

• Maintenance is made easy with front access to valve adjustment and cartridge replacement

• Large bottle filling area accommodates various size containers

Model meets all current Federal Regulations for the disabled including those in the Americans with Disabilities Act. Haws manufactures drinking fountains and electric water coolers to be lead-free by all known definitions including NSF/ANSI Standard 61, Section 9, California Proposition 65, and the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act. Product is compliant to California Health and Safety Code 116875 (AB 1953-2006).

Big Bill Flame-Resistant Unlined High-Vis Coverall

Meets HRC 2 / ATPV 9 cal per cm sq. / NFPA 2112 / UL Certfied / CSA Z96 Class 3 - Level 2. This garment has 3M™ Scotchlite™ reflective material 2 inches silver reflective tape #9920; reflective tape on the arms legs, all around waist “x” on back, 2 vertical in front, quadruple stitched on reflective tape.


  • Style: 1115US7
  • Description: Westex™ UltraSoft® Flashtrap Shirt with Reflective
  • Size: Regular (S-XL) /Oversize Regular(2XL-5XL) / Tall (M-XL) /Oversize Tall (2XL-5XL)
  • Color: Royal / Navy / orange
  • Fabric: Westex™ UltraSoft®
  • Fabric blend: 88% Cotton / 12% Nylon
  • Fabric weight: 7 OZ.
  • Insulation: FR Mesh 100% modacrylic
  • Insulation blend: N/A
  • Insulation weight: N/A
  • Performance: HRC 2 / ATPV8.7/ NFPA 70E / CSA Z462 / ASTM F1506
  • Pockets: Two chest pockets with flap closure (pencil division on both pockets).
  • Seams: Nomex® thread using single stitch on pocket, serge and single stitch on all otherseams.
  • Zippers: N/A
  • Snaps: N/A
  • Other Special Features: Flashtrap on upper back.
  • Reflective: 3M™ Scotchlite™ #8940 silver reflective material ¾ inches stitched on 2” enhanced visibility trim (Fire Trim-X®): 2 vertical on front, “X” on the back, all around waist and 1 horizontal stripe on each arm / Quadruple stitch on reflective

** This ScotchliteTM pattern meets the requirements of CSA Z96 Class 1/Level FR.

The BIG BILL® Flashtrap Vented Dress Shirt

1117US7_KAKThe BIG BILL® Flashtrap Vented Dress Shirt uses a patent pending flame blocking ventilation system to keep you safe & comfortable. The vents are designed to auto close during a flash fire or electric arc exposure. Vents are strategically designed in a manner where your skin is never exposed and no debris can enter the shirt. Provides Dual- Hazard protection. It is NFPA 2112 and UL certified. Available in Westex UltraSoft. Discover the Flashtrap Today!


  • Style: 1117US7
  • Description: Westex™ UltraSoft® Flashtrap Shirt
  • Size: Regular (S-XL) /Oversize Regular(2XL-5XL) / Tall (M-XL) /Oversize Tall (2XL-5XL)
  • Color: Kaki / Navy
  • Fabric: Westex™ UltraSoft®
  • Fabric blend: 88% Cotton / 12% Nylon
  • Fabric weight: 7 OZ.
  • Insulation: FR Mesh 100% Modacrylic
  • Insulation blend: N/A
  • Insulation weight: N/A
  • Performance: HRC 2 / ATPV8.7/ NFPA 70E / CSA Z462 / NFPA 2112 / ASTM F1506
  • Pockets: Two chest pockets with flap closure (pencil division on both pockets).
  • Seams: Nomex® thread using single stitch on pocket, serge and single stitch on all otherseams.
  • Zippers: N/A
  • Snaps: N/A
  • Other Special Features: Flashtrap on upper back.
  • Reflective: N/A


The AXION Advantage™ System

axion-eyewash-front-shotThe AXION Advantage™ system offers environmental health and safety professionals a medically superior response for upgrading existing emergency equipment.  The AXION MSR™ design and technology improves existing emergency equipment with the optimal victim comfort system while maintaining ANSI compliance and helping reduce further injury to victims. With four Advantage kits providing the necessary pieces to convert 80% of existing eyewashes and showers, your facility will have the tools to upgrade older Haws products, replace ineffective products and test for continued ANSI compliance.

Each system includes: an AXION MSR eye/face wash or and AXION MSR eye/face wash and showerhead, connecting hardware options and accessories, ANSI eyewash testing gauge and tape measure, complete install instructions, and ANSI Z358.1 compliance and testing guidelines. Upgrading to the Advantage system is easy; simply remove the existing head, select one of the supplied connectors, and attach the AXION Advantage head.

Haws® Launches Redesigned, Feature-Rich Website

The new and completely redesigned website offers visitors enhanced features, detailed product information and resources for a quality customer experience.
Haws, a manufacturer of emergency response and hydration equipment, announced the release of their refreshed website containing various expanded and improved features to provide visitors a more user-friendly, customized experience. The upgraded website was developed with essential customer and user feedback and offers access to significant product information and updates, as well as related resources.

New features:

• Built-in responsive design optimized for desktop and mobile devices allowing users to easily interact with the website.
• Immediate access to authorized Haws online resellers for straightforward purchasing options including online transactions.
• Product filtering capability gives visitors the option to search and group products based on specifically desired or required attributes.
• Improved structure and navigation, updated content and detailed 360-degree product views.

"When we started this project, we had two goals in mind," explained Rob Woods, Demand Programs and Digital Marketing Manager. "We set out to create a highly user-friendly resource for safety and plumbing professionals and update the look and content of the website to better reflect who Haws is and what we do. We believe that we were able to meet those goals, providing visitors with a true reflection of our products and company as a whole."

The new Haws website will be updated regularly with product and industry news, support tools, resources and events. Visitors are encouraged to explore the website and sign up for direct emails.



BIG BILL® FR Flashtrap Vented Coverall

1155US7_BLR_2BIG BILL® FR Patent Pending Flashtrap Vented Coverall

The BIG BILL® Flahstrap Vented Coverall uses a patent pending flame blocking ventilation system to keep you safe & comfortable. The vents are designed to auto close during a flash fire or electric arc exposure. Vents are strategically designed in a manner where your skin is never exposed and no debris can enter the coverall. Provides Dual- Hazard protection. It is NFPA 2112 and UL certified.Available in Westex UltraSoft. Discover the Flashtrap Today!


  • Style: 1155US7
  • Description: Westex™ UltraSoft® Flashtrap coverall with Reflective
  • Size: Regular (S-XL) /Oversize Regular(2XL-5XL) / Tall (M-XL) /Oversize Tall (2XL-5XL)
  • Color: Royal / Navy / Orange / Gray
  • Fabric: Westex™ UltraSoft®
  • Fabric blend: 88% Cotton / 12% Nylon
  • Fabric weight: 7 OZ.
  • Insulation: N/A
  • Insulation blend: N/A
  • Insulation weight: N/A
  • Performance: HRC 2 / ATPV8,7/ NFPA 70E / CSA Z462 / NFPA 2112 / ASTM F1506
  • Pockets: Two chest pockets with hidden snap flap closure (pencil division on left pocket), two bottom slash pockets, two side access, two back patch pockets.
  • Seams: Nomex® thread using double stitch on pocket and crotch, serge and single stitch on all other seams
  • Zippers: YKK® #5 two-way zipper front closure on Nomex® tape
  • Snaps: YKK® Nickel plated brass snaps (All snap cover are covered with material)
  • Other Special Features: Flashtrap on upper back and the back knee
  • Reflective:3M™ Scotchlite™ #8940 silver reflective material ¾ inches stitched on 2” enhanced visibilitytrim (Fire Trim-X®): 2 vertical on front, “X” on the back, all around waist and 1 horizontal stripe on each arm and leg / Quadruple stitch on reflective

1155US7_BACK_BLR** This ScotchliteTM pattern meets the requirements of CSA Z96 Class 1/Level FR.

Streamlight Portable Scene Light

scene-light_logoedRapidly deployed and easily stowed, the Scene Light brings 3,600 lumens to your work area. With its narrow footprint and 72” extension pole, this light goes almost anywhere, from wide open places to tight, confined spaces.

The Scene Light boasts six C4® LED and wide reflectors produce a uniform flood pattern, as well as three user-selectable outputs:

  1. High for a super-bright flood beam; 3,600 lumens, 31,000 candela, runs 5 hours
  2. Medium for an intense beam and longer run time; 2,400 lumens, 20,000 candela, runs 9 hours
  3. Low for when a less intense beam is ideal and for longer run times; 1,100 lumens, 11,000 candela, runs 18 hours


  • Selectable diffuser settings for two beam widths
  • Optimum peripheral illumination for scene lighting; 90° swivel neck allows you to aim the beam where you need it for task lighting
  • Sealed lead acid batteries, rechargeable up to 500 times
  • Batteries will continue charge while operating directly from an external 12V DC power source when using the remote cord so you can be confident that you will always have a light when you need it
  • Indefinite run time when using 12V DC power cord
  • Integral D-rings allow attachment of the included shoulder strap
  • Design allows for the light to be used in confined spaces and rugged terrain
  • Balanced design and easy setup:
  • Less than 30 seconds for full deployment
  • Pole extends to 72”
  • Cord built into the pole to avoid snags
  • Stabilization legs provide balance on uneven surfaces
  • Lead acid batteries provide ballast and stability
  • 25 lbs (11.3 kg) provides weight stabilization, but is light enough to carry
  • Packs to a compact size (22”; 55.88cm) for easy stowage
  • High-impact thermoplastic housing; weatherproof construction
  • Available in Safety Yellow with AC and DC charge cords and shoulder strap
  • Assembled in USA
  • Limited lifetime warranty

See the Scene Light in ActioN!



Click here for the Streamlight Portable Scene Light Data Sheet



MSHA's Respirable Dust Rule

lungsKey elements of the respirable dust final rule MSHA unveiled in April 2014 are taking effect starting Aug. 1, 2014. The rule is the centerpiece of MSHA's campaign to end black lung, which launched in 2009, and was proposed as black lung cases among younger miners were increasing, according to the agency, which reports more than 76,000 coal miners have died from black lung since 1968 and more than $45 billion in federal compensation has been paid to miners disabled by it and their survivors.

The rule reduces permissible exposures to coal dust and requires real-time dust monitoring and sampling of miners' exposure over their entire work shift. It makes use of cutting-edge technology to provide real-time information about dust levels, allowing miners and operators to identify problems and make necessary adjustments. And it requires immediate corrective action for excessive levels of dust. The two-year phase-in is was included so mining companies can adjust to the new requirements, acquire monitoring equipment, and get compliance assistance from MSHA.

The final rule adds Subsection 72.100, which specifies medical monitoring for all coal miners -- x-rays, spirometry examinations, symptom assessment, and occupational history. The operator must provide this monitoring at no cost to the miner and use NIOSH-approved facilities to provide the examinations. Operators must submit a plan, for NIOSH approval, on how they will provide the examinations and include a roster of miners at their mine sites, and the NIOSH-approved plan must be posted on the mine's bulletin board at all times.

The AFL-CIO released a statement July 30 congratulating the Department of Labor for issuing the rule and thanking Secretary of Labor Tom Perez and MSHA Assistant Secretary Joe Main "for their leadership and fierce dedication to protecting workers." The statement said the AFL-CIO is committed to working with MSHA, the United Mine Workers of America, and other unions "to see that the new coal dust rules are fully and effectively implemented and enforced."

Originally published by OH&S Jul 31 2014


Ergodyne Launches New Tool Backpack


St. Paul, Minn. (August 6, 2014) - Ergodyne has announced today the expansion of their Arsenal® Tool Storage Collection with the new Arsenal® 5843 Tool Backpack. Featuring a unique two compartment design, the Arsenal® 5843 is third-party certified for hoisting up to 50 lbs. - allowing for hands-free climbing and easy mobility of tools and equipment around the jobsite.

"This backpack has all the storage capacity and organisation of a top-flight tool bag," said Nate Bohmbach, product manager, Ergodyne. "The best part? It's third-party certified to ensure safety at heights and on the ground in a wide range of industries."

With two main compartments housing 26 interior pockets, 11 PALS webbing loops, and 7 exterior pockets {of different shapes and sizes}, the new backpack holds a variety of tools and everyday work gear. Nickel-plated hardware and 1200D Ballistic Polyester with PVC backing provide superior durability while the reinforced padding on the back delivers maximum comfort and breathability. Additionally, a tall holster on the side panel of the backpack {unique to the 5843} provides a safe spot to store tools that don't fit in the main compartments and ring attachment points found throughout the bag are safe and convenient to hook carabiners and other at heights connectors.

"Workers schlep around all sorts of gear in all sorts of ways creating far too many opportunities for lost productivity and injury," said Tom Votel, president and CEO of Ergodyne. "The goal of our new Tool Backpack is to provide a safe vessel for transporting that gear in an organised and ergonomic fashion."

Ideal for workers in any industry needing tool storage or those working at heights, the new Arsenal® 5843 Dual Compartment Tool Backpack is available now at all authorized Ergodyne distributors. For more information or to find out where to buy, visit www.ergodyne.com or call 800.225.8238 // 651.642.9889.

5843_black_action4_zoomKey Features

  • 1200D Ballistic Polyester w/ PVC backing
  • Two main compartments house 26 interior pockets and 11 PALS webbing loops
  • 7 exterior pockets of different shapes and sizes to hold a variety of tools and equipment
  • Tall tool holster on side panel for carrying tools over 18" (45cm)
  • Nickel-plated hardware and tape measure clip
  • Reinforced comfort padding on the back with airflow design breathability
  • 4 Molded ABS plastic bases
  • Padded shoulder straps for increased comfort under heavy weight
  • Ring attachment points for ‘biners and other connectors
  • Third party certified for hoisting up to 50 pounds (higher weights may be used for standard use)
  • YKK zippers

About Ergodyne

Since 1983, Ergodyne has pioneered the development of safety products that Make The Workplace A Betterplace™. What started with just one product has grown into a line of top flight, battle-tested, Tenacious Work Gear®; all precision crafted to provide protection, improve productivity and manage the elements for workers on jobsites the world over. The current lineup is extensive and constantly growing including: Hand Protection, Knee Pads, Supports, Footwear Accessories, Cooling Products, Warming Products, Hi-Vis Apparel, Lanyards, Equipment Storage Systems, Performance Work Wear, Portable Work Shelters, and Head Protection.

What’s the difference between “Explosion Proof” & “Intrinsically Safe”?


Electrical equipment sometimes must be installed in areas where combustible vapors and gases are used or may be present. These are commonly referred to as “hazardous locations”, and are defined by the National Electrical Code (NEC) in the US, or the Canadian Electrical Code(CEC) in Canada. When equipment must be installed in hazardous locations, there are strict requirements for the construction of the installation, including materials and design requirements. To prevent inadvertent ignition of flammable gases and vapors by electrical equipment, the two most common methods of protection are “Explosion Proof” and “Intrinsically Safe”. We will discuss these methods as they relate to gas detection equipment.

Explosion Proof

Generally speaking, “explosion proof” is the more commonly used method for detector/sensor assemblies for fixed gas detection systems, where higher voltages and power requirements may be encountered, and the installation is permanent. Intrinsically safe method can also be used for permanent installations where the detector/sensors are relatively low power devices. Almost all portable instruments use the “intrinsically safe” method. An “explosion proof “classification for a sensor/transmitter means that the housing has been engineered and constructed to contain a flash or explosion. Such housings are usually made of cast aluminum or stainless steel and are of sufficient mass and strength to safely contain an explosion should flammable gases or vapors penetrate the housing and the internal electronics or wiring cause an ignition. The design must prevent any surface temperatures that could exceed the ignition temperature of the gases or vapors covered by its Group rating (see below).If the sensing element is a high-temperature device (e.g. Catalytic bead or “pellistor”), it may be protected by aflame arrestor to prevent the propagation of high temperature gases to the ambient atmosphere.

Intrinsically Safe

An “intrinsically safe” classification and design means that an electronic circuit and it’s wiring will not cause any sparking or arcing and cannot store sufficient energy to ignite a flammable gas or vapor, and cannot produce surface temperature high enough to cause ignition. Such design is not explosion proof, nor does it need to be. For permanent installations, such an installation may include “intrinsically safe barriers” that are located outside the hazardous location, and limit the amount of energy available to the device located in the hazardous area. The North American classifications for hazardous locations as related to flammable gases and vapors:

  • Class I: Gases and vapors
  • Division 1: Gases or vapors are usually present and/or may be present at any time in sufficient concentrations for an explosion hazard.
  • Division 2: Gases or vapors are not normally present and are present only in the event of a leak in some kind of containment vessel or piping, again in potentially hazardous concentrations.
  • Groups A, B, C, D: Groups of atmospheres categorized by the volatility and/or ignition temperatures. “A” is the most hazardous and “D” is the least hazardous group for gases and vapors.
  • Group A: Atmospheres containing acetylene.
  • Group B: Atmospheres containing hydrogen or gases or vapors of equivalent hazard.
  • Group C: Atmospheres containing ethyl-ether vapors, ethylene, or cyclo-propane.
  • Group D: Atmospheres containing gasoline, hexane, naptha, benzene, butane, propane, alcohol, acetone, benzol, lacquer solvent vapors, or natural gas (methane).


Canada Goose: How to Avoid Counterfeit Products

f5c12b6b485aa1f877d54284737fFollowing one of the coldest winters on record, many Canadians are realizing they need to upgrade their winter jackets for what lies ahead in just a few short months.

One of the most popular and highest quality choices is a parka made by Canada Goose. Handmade with genuine goose down and trimmed with coyote fur, the jackets are a popular and practical choice amongst Canadians facing increasingly harsh winters.

Unfortunately, the popularity of the jackets means cheap knockoffs are becoming more and more common, costing the company money and confusing consumers, so it’s important to check for marks of authenticity when buying a Canada Goose jacket.

  • Start with the hood. With a fake, you’ll see that the fur isn’t as full, and can look mangy. Fakes are usually made with raccoon, dog or some other unknown animal hair.
  • Check the signature badges. Counterfeit badges look like they’re bleeding around the outside, and the embroidered flag and island will not be as distinctive and crisp as on a genuine Canada Goose.
  • Counterfeit jackets are thinner and the colours are not as rich.
  • The stitching on counterfeits are far less detailed.
  • The most important indicator, however, is the hologram tag that Canada Goose implemented a few years ago. If you don’t have a hologram on your tag, you do not have an authentic Canada Goose jacket.

canada-gooseCounterfeit garments can also pose a potential health risk to customers. Instead of the sanitized, genuine Canadian down used by Canada Goose, counterfeiters often user feather mulch or other fillers. These materials can be coated in bacteria, fungus or mildew. Besides this, for a person in a cold climate, an authentic Canada Goose jacket could mean the difference between life and death. Without real down and fur, the chance of frostbite or freezing becomes a real possibility.

Canada Goose does not sell directly to the public. So for people buying online, make sure you put the online store's name into the Canada Goose website to authenticate whether it is an online retailer.

For more information on Canada Goose and avoiding counterfeit merchandise, please visit Canada Goose online at http://www.canada-goose.com


NIOSH Considering Robotic Technologies for Mining Rescue

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in the United States is looking for proposals to address a need for practical robotics technologies or systems that can be used by the mining community to support self-escape or mine rescue efforts in the event of an emergency.

"When the lives of mine workers are in danger, it is critical that mine emergency response systems are in place and able to function quickly and effectively," said NIOSH. "Such technologies would assist in improving emergency response to mine disasters."

NIOSH's Office of Mine Safety and Health Research (OMSHR) is looking into robotics technologies or systems that can improve self- escape and rescue. 
The following are four focus areas that are currently envisioned for the use of robotics assistance during escape and rescue operations:

• Before and during rescue operations there is a need to identify the conditions within the mine and the viability of any trapped miners. These areas may be miles from areas that can be safely accessed by the rescue teams, and therefore can only be reached through boreholes. These boreholes are generally two to eight inches in diameter. OMSHR is interested in robots that can be lowered through the boreholes and then navigated through the mine providing visual and atmospheric information to the operator on the surface.

• When exploring the mine, rescue teams may encounter conditions in front of their direction of progress that are unknown or could possibly be too dangerous to explore without more information. These areas may be scattered with debris and rock, which makes navigation by a robot challenging, additionally the height of the entry may be as low as three feet. OMSHR is interested in robotics technology that can explore several thousand feet ahead of the rescue teams and provide visual and atmospheric information to the rescued team at the fresh air base.

• During rescue operations, the rescue members may need to remove injured miners or carry similarly heavy loads into and out of the mine. OMSHR is interested in robotics technology that can provide a "pack mule" capability for the rescue teams on a fully or semi-autonomous basis.

• A problem which is unique to coal mining and other gassy mining environments facing any robotics development is the possible ignition of methane by electrical energy associated with the robot. The power limitations created by intrinsic safety requirements and additional weight associated with explosion proof boxes, greatly limits the types of robots that can be used. OMSHR is interested in explosion protection technologies that can be applied to robots to minimize or eliminate the possibility of explosion with minimal impact on the mobility and weight of the robots.

Originally published by COS Staff April 22 2014

Safesite™ Flammable COMBO SAFETY CHEST

Justrite SafeSite Chest StorageProtect flammables from ignition sources, misuse or theft by storing them in a specially designed Safety Chest. Safesite™ Combo Safety Chest provides protected storage of fuels, paint thinners, solvents, or other flammables typically found at construction and utility jobsites. Easy portability with optional casters also makes them ideal for indoor maintenance and construction locations where solvents and other chemicals are used.

Top quality features include heavy-duty, 16-gauge welded steel body finished in a tough UV-protected powder-coat paint that stands up to abusive conditions. Fire resistant 16-gauge steel safety compartment liner with 18-gauge lid provides double walled protection. Designed with dual security, Safesite™ provides superior protection from unauthorized access. Outside lid offers padlock security while inside compartment utilizes a separate U-Loc™ door handle and keyed lock, minimizing the potential for theft and arson. Unique safety compartment design accommodates a 5-gallon (19-liter) Justrite safety can, while the larger compartment is perfect for storing tools and other important items.

Interior Dimensions:

  • Large Compartment: 21"H x 30.5"W x 23.75"D (533.5-mmH x 775-mmW x 603-mmD)
  • Small Compartment: 18"H x 12.25"W x 21"D (457-mmH x 311-mmW x 533.5-mmD)

Casters are sold separately.

NEW Ontario Green Book

The Pocket Ontario OH&S Act & Regulations 2014 – Consolidated Edition contains the complete and current Occupational Health & Safety Act and Regulations.

This publication also features a comprehensive index with page references, a detailed Table of Contents, and a list of OH&S information resources. This makes it ideal for quick and precise referencing when and where you need it. It is ideal for use in all Ontario firms and organisations in the industrial, manufacturing, health care and construction sectors, as well as in offices and certain other institutions covered by the OH&S Act.

New This Year

Basic Occupational Health and Safety Awareness Training - new Regulation (O. Reg. 297/13) introducing mandatory basic health and safety awareness training for workers and supervisors, revoking O. Reg. 780/94 (Training Programs) and amending O. Reg. 414/05 (Farming Operations) (November 14, 2013, July 1, 2014). The regulation sets out the minimum content of the training programs, the timing of training, the requirements for maintaining records of training and who is exempt from the training.

 Training Requirements for Certain Compulsory Trades - new Regulation (O. Reg. 87/13) and amending Regulations (O. Regs. 88/13, 89/13, 90/13, 91/13 and 92/13) amending R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 854 (Mines and Mining Plants), R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 950 (Set Fines), O. Regs. 213/91 (Construction Projects), 67/93 (Health Care and Residential Facilities) and 414/05 (Farming Operations) to reflect the coming into force of the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2009 (April 8, 2013, April 8, 2014) and an ppdated list of OH&S Resources and the index and revised the Table of Contents

Often referred to as the "Green Book", it is a must have resource for every Ontario organisation.

See more at http://www.carswell.com/product-detail/pocket-ontario-ohs-act-regulations-2014-consolidated-edition-carswells-green-book/#sthash.S0HN5F1L.dpuf


ActivArmr® 97-200

Comfort and Dexterity for the Most Rigorous Jobs

From the rig floor to production services, the ActivArmr® 97-200 is designed to stand up to the challenges of the oilfield. It meets the NFPA 2112 Flame Resistant standard, while offering industry- leading comfort and dexterity, along with palm and back impact protection — for ultimate performance in the field.


  • 12-hour stress-free comfort
  • Tactility/dexterity, complete intricate tasks more efficiently
  • Over 3 times more durable than competitive gloves
  • Superior grip with reinforced padding and palm patches
  • Easy don/doff safety cuff


  • Comprehensive impact protection
  • Hi Viz with contrasting palm
  • Palm padding for hard impact
  • Meets NFPA 2112 work wear FR requirements

ActivArmr®Personal Protective Gear from Ansell is designed and engineered to offer the optimum balance of protection and performance for the real world extremes of the oil and gas, mining, construction, military and emergency service industries. For over 100 years, Ansell has been recognized for continually innovating and leading the hand protection and protective clothing industry.

AEDs Required By Law in Manitoba

Legislation Requiring Defibrillators in Public Buildings Take Effect

Thousands of Devices Now Registered across Province to Provide Help in Health Crises

Beginning February 1, 2014, defibrillators are required by law in designated public buildings in Manitoba to ensure the life‑saving equipment is available to people in times of critical need, Health Minister Erin Selby said today.


“A cardiac arrest can occur anywhere at any time.  Having a defibrillator close by can save someone’s life and this new legislation ensures busy public places will have one ready in case of an emergency,” said Minister Selby.  “Other jurisdictions across Canada and internationally are looking to replicate our legislation and I’m proud our province is considered to be a leader in this initiative.”


Manitoba was the first province in the country to develop legislation requiring public places to have an automated external defibrillator (AED) available on site.  Under the Defibrillator Public Access Act, designated facilities include several types of high-traffic public places where cardiac arrest is more likely to occur such as gyms, indoor arenas, certain community centres, golf courses, schools and airports.


“In November 2009, I suffered a massive heart attack on the ice while refereeing a minor hockey game.  There is little doubt in my mind that if there had not been an AED and people unafraid to get in there and assist me through CPR, I would not be here today,” said Chief Perry Batchelor, Altona Police Service.  “This is a tremendous piece of legislation which will no doubt save lives.”


To make it easier for non-profit and community-owned public facilities to acquire the life-saving devices, the Manitoba government provided more than $1.3 million to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba for 1,000 defibrillators.  This included AEDs for schools, community centres, curling clubs, golf courses and other sports venues.


“The province is an outstanding leader with a demonstrated commitment to creating a heart-safe environment for all Manitobans and our vision of having AEDs as commonplace as fire extinguishers is moving closer to reality,” said Debbie Brown, chief executive officer, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba.  “This law means more lives can be saved, more families will be together, more citizens will be working and more children will be laughing.  Together, we will be creating more survivors.”


In addition, the province partnered with the foundation to negotiate with multiple distributors to provide discounts ranging from 30 to 40 per cent off the regular retail price to make it easier for facilities designated under the new legislation to purchase a defibrillator.


The legislation also supports public access in an emergency by requiring signage to identify the locations of defibrillators and require they be centrally registered with the Heart and Stroke Foundation.  The registry information is shared with emergency medical service dispatchers to help those trying to care for a cardiac arrest victim find the nearest defibrillator.  As of Dec. 31, 2,291 AEDs were registered in Manitoba.


Defibrillators deliver an electric shock to restart a stopped heart and are programmed to detect if a person is having an irregular heart rhythm that indicates potential cardiac arrest.  AEDs offer step‑by‑step instructions so training is not required.  If the AED does not detect a shock-able heart rhythm, the machine does not deliver a shock.


According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba, defibrillation used with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can dramatically improve cardiac arrest survival rates by 75 per cent or more over CPR alone.


A full list of designated public places required to have a defibrillator on site, as well as information about the types of defibrillators that are acceptable and how they must be installed and registered, is available at www.gov.mb.ca/health/aed/.

Safety Training Becomes Mandatory in Ontario

Health and safety training will soon be non-negotiable in Ontario workplaces, thanks to a new training requirement from the Ministry of Labour that becomes mandatory on July 1, 2014.

“This health and safety awareness training is about giving our workplaces the tools and knowledge to make sure our workers are safe in a way that supports our business,” said Yasir Naqvi, Ontario Minister of Labour. “It forces a dialogue between the business and the worker as to what kind of hazards may exist at that particular workplace, and it really speaks to a culture of prevention, where businesses and workers are proactively working towards building a safer environment.”

Organisations that already provide similar training may be exempt, as long as the training meets the minimum requirements of the new regulation. The training is designed to inform supervisors and workers directly about their rights and responsibilities when it comes to creating a culture of safety in the workplace. It includes instruction on rights and duties under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the role of joint health and safety committees and representatives, and common workplace hazards and occupational illnesses.

“It really raises the profile of health and safety in workplaces,” said Naqvi. “It really makes sure that that’s the very first conversation an employer and employee are having before starting their work.”

The training is free and can be completed in about one hour either individually or in groups, using online e-modules or hard copy workbooks. Once complete, the training never expires and is valid for the remainder of an employee’s career. The training will be available in eight different languages, so newcomers to Canada can complete the training in their first language.

The province is also implementing a new workplace training standard to prevent falls and improve safety for workers who work at heights. The standard will initially be voluntary and will apply to workplaces in the construction sector, as well as to construction activity in other workplaces. The standard is expected to become mandatory by the summer of 2014 and will later be expanded to all sectors.

Training programs designed to meet this new standard will improve knowledge about fall hazards and safety practices, including: proper inspection of equipment for damage; procedures for setting up, relocating or removing protective equipment, such as guardrails; demonstrations and hands-on training on fall arrest equipment and other devices to keep workers safe; information on workplace protections and worker’s rights.

Written by Liz Bernier for COS Magazine

Rebel™ Retrieval SRLs

Compliance and Rescue ALL-IN-ONE

The 50' (15m) Rebel™ Retrieval model adds versatility and convenience to the trusted Rebel self-retracting lifelines. These new models incorporate fall arrest and a built-in emergency retrieval winch for rescue, making them a versatile solution for many job sites. The Retrieval models continue the Rebel brand's long history of product performance and value.

The new compliance and all-in-one Rebel Retrieval Self-Retracting Lifelines incorporate fall arrest and a built-on emergency retrieval winch for rescue, making it perfect for confined space applications!

  • 50’ galvanized or stainless steel cable lifeline
  • Top swivel with carabiner
  • Stowable retrieval handle
  • 310lb worker capacity
  • CSA approved

Rebel™ Leading-Edge SRL

The new 20’ (6m) Rebel Self-Retracting Lifeline allows users to tie-off at foot level!
  • Top swivel with carabiner limits lifeline twisting
  • Galvanized wire rope cable
  • Built-in energy absorber designed for foot level tie-off
  • 310lb worker capacity and 1350lb maximum arresting force
  • CSA approved