Safety Archive 2013

December 20, 2013
Cold and Flu Prevention

According to the Canadian Coalition for Influenza Immunization, the flu virus can infect one in four working Canadians during any given winter. In addition, the coalition reports that each employee will be absent for three to five working days, with individual productivity being affected for up to two weeks following the onset of influenza. Learn more here:

Colds and the Flu: Caution: Virus at Work
Cold and Flu Prevention at Work

December 9, 2013
Cold Environments

Source: Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety

A cold environment challenges you in three ways: by air temperature, air movement (wind speed), and humidity (wetness). In order to work safely, these challenges have to be counterbalanced by proper insulation (layered protective clothing), by physical activity and by controlled exposure to cold (work/rest schedule). Cooling of body parts may result in various cold injuries - nonfreezing injuries, freezing injuries - and hypothermia which is the most serious. Learn more here:

Cold Environments - Working in the Cold
Cold Environments - General
Cold Environments - Health Effects and First Aid

December 5, 2013
WorkSafe Bulletin - Workers poisoned by carbon monoxide while using heater

Learn more by clicking here.

December 3, 2013
WorkSafe Bulletin: Poisonous phosgene gas produced from heating chlorinated solvents

Learn more about phosgene and find out if you are at risk by clicking here.

November 22, 2013
Ontario Ministry of Labour announces mandatory safety training deadline for Ontario employers

A new regulation will require health and safety awareness training for every worker and supervisor under Ontario's Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). The regulation comes into force July 1, 2014.

Learn more about the regulation, training requirements, and free suite of training resources.

November 20, 2013
National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims

November 20th is National Day of Remembrance for road crash victims. Please remember to adopt safe driving habits every time you get in your vehicle - it saves lives.

National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims Website

November 18, 2013

Did you know driving is one of the highest risk activities an employee can undertake - especially in winter? Click here for tips and tricks to stay safe this winter season.

September 5, 2013
I Chose to Look The Other Way

I could have saved a life that day,
But I chose to look the other way.
It wasnít that I didnít care,
I had the time, and I was there.
But I didnít want to seem a fool,
Or argue over a safety rule.
I knew heíd done the job before,
If I spoke up, he might get sore.
The chances didnít seem that bad,
Iíd done the same, He knew I had.
So I shook my head and walked on by,
He knew the risks as well as I.
He took the chance, I closed an eye,
And with that act, I let him die.
I could have saved a life that day,
But I chose to look the other way.
Now every time I see his wife,
Iíll know, I should have saved his life.
That guilt is something I must bear,
But it isnít something you need share.
If you see a risk that others take,
That puts their health or life at stake.
The question asked, or thing you say,
Could help them live another day.
If you see a risk and walk away,
Then hope you never have to say,
I could have saved a life that day,
But I chose, to look the other way.

Don Merrell

July 2, 2013

Heat Stress

Heat stress can occur wherever work operations involve heavy physical labour in hot, humid environments. The locations may be indoors or outdoors. Protective clothing can also contribute to the problem.

Heat stress causes the body's core temperature to rise. A series of disorders can develop, ranging from discomfort and pain (heat rash and heat cramps) to life-threatening conditions (heat exhaustion and heat stroke). Some resources on heat stress include:

June 11, 2013

UPDATE: Occupational Health Risks Boilermakers

A diagnostic toolkit for physicians and primary health providers as well as prevention information for Boilermakers has been updated by IHSA. We encourage every member to take a look. There is valuable information for you and your health care provider. Click the link below.

May 14, 2013

Spring road trip safety tips

The Canadian Safety Council has compiled a list of tips to help you stay safe, focused and calm on the roads this Spring:

The CAA is sharing some alarming statistics surrounding distracted driving as well as some tips to avoid distracted driving:

April 23, 2013

Improving Workplace Health & Safety

Decades ago, each province and territory in Canada passed their respective OH&S Acts - promising every worker the right to a safe job. Boilermakers and their allies have fought hard to make that promise a reality - winning protections that have made jobs safer, saved countless lives and prevented countless injuries and illnesses.

But our work is not done. Many job hazards are unregulated and uncontrolled. Some stakeholders cut corners and put workers in serious danger and cost lives. In 2011, for all industries across Canada, 919 workers were killed and another 249,511 were injured or suffer from work-related diseases because of their jobs. (Note: it is widely accepted that while these are the "official" statistics, they are also considered vastly under-reported for a variety of reasons).

There are many opportunities for improvement - lobby government for improvements/strengthening of OH&S laws; improved employer and worker education on the hazards and how to protect themselves; and continuous pursuit and punishment of those employers who refuse to protect their workers - safety does not kill productivity or profits...but unsafe jobs do kill workers.

As we observe this Day of Mourning to remember those who have suffered and died on the job we should take heart in each other - our fellow brothers and sisters. Using our collective experience, education and training, we each have a role to play to fight to improve health and safety every day. Workplace health and safety is a constant and unrelenting struggle and I know you are up to the challenge.

April 22, 2013

National Day of Mourning - April 28

[Click to Enlarge]

April 11, 2013

Province-Wide Occupational Health and Safety Strategy for Ontario

As part of the Ontario Ministry of Labour's announcement of the development of Ontario's first province-wide occupational health and safety strategy, the government has issued a call for public feedback. Deadline is May 17, 2013. Read more here:

March 26, 2013

Federal budget finally buries asbestos industry

Read more:

February 13, 2013

Featured Video: Why I Work Safe

February 6, 2013

WorkSafeBC Board of Directors' Decisions on Amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation

Read more:

January 25, 2013

Firm linked to China ordered to pay $1.5 million in deaths of workers in Alberta

A firm linked to a Chinese state-owned company has been ordered to pay $1.5 million in penalties in the deaths of two foreign workers at an Alberta oilsands project.

Read more:

January 14, 2013

It's Flu Season

Any place where lots of people interact, like the workplace, can be a hotbed for passing cold and flu germs. With respect to the flu, both Canada and the US are reporting larger than normal number of confirmed cases this season. Health Canada recommends that people who haven't received their flu shots should do so. According to the US CDC, more than 90 percent of the flu virus found by the CDC this season are similar to those found in this year's flu shot vaccine.

To learn more (including where to get the flu shot in your area), visit: