New Working at Heights Training for Construction Sector

On April 1st the Ministry of Labour's new Working at Heights regulations for the construction sector came into effect.  Under the regulation anyone working at a height of 3 metres or 10 feet is required to have training by a provincially approved and recognized training partner.   Anyone who has taken working at heights training in the past will have two years to comply to the new training standard.  Any workers new to the sector will have to have the training before they start working.  

What's New at Redhead H+S

We are undergoing a number of changes here at Redhead Health + Safety.

1) We have put the wheels in motion to upgrade our Working at Heights/Fall Protection Training to meet the new provincial standard which came into effect April 1st.  Under the regulations anyone working in the construction industry or trades at 3 metres or 10 feet and above must take the new training course in the next two years.  We are hoping to have our certificate and approval from the MoL to train this course by the end of May.

Respiratory Protection & Fit Testing

Respiratory protection is the process of making sure you are safety from substances you may inhale while preforming your daily work.   It also applies to work you may do around your house on you time off.  Many people breath in dangerous substances everyday and don't even know they are doing it.

What substances are we taking about? 

Dust-airborne solid particulate generated by mechanically breaking up solids like those created when sanding or silica dust in cement plants.

Jail Time for Company Directors

Two directors were sentenced to jail time after pleading guilty to safety violations which lead to the death of a worker at the company's Brampton -warehouse.   The worker had been using a machine called an order picker, a modified forklift with a platform attached to the back of it.  The platform did not have a guardrail and the workers was not wearing fall protection equipment.  The worker was found dead on the floor beside the machine.

Safety Culture

Does your business have a positive or negative safety culture?   Every business has a safety culture whether you recognize it or not.  Is the safety culture in your business the one you want?   If not how do you change it?

Positive Safety Culture:

Communication is open at all levels of the organization and feedback is seen as a vital way to improve safety.

Employees at all levels are focused on what can be done to prevent injuries and illness.

The commitment to safety is the priority over all other business concerns.

Make Your Employees Healthier

"We can be our own worst enemies when it comes to food choices" says Heather Ratliff, a registered nurse and health coach.   She says employers can help by implementing a food and beverages policy in the workplace.  Ratliff says you need to strike a balance between free will and total control.  She says if the choices you give workers are too limited, workers will protest.  She explains you make it as easy as possible for workers to make healthy choices, while making it more difficult for them to choose unhealthy food and beverage options. 

Not Wearing Safety Glasses Justifies Firing

An industrial cleaner wasn't wearing safety glasses as required.  When a supervisor told her to put them on, she verbally abused him, using profanity in front of others.   So the employer fired her.  The union filed a grievance on her behalf.  The Arbitrator said the employer had a clear policy on wearing proper eye protection and the cleaner had attended three safety talks on this policy.   She'd also been warned earlier by a supervisor and a union steward about not wearing safety glasses.

Ontario Court Cases

A construction company has been fined after a worker fell through a skylight resulting in his death.  The worker was installing solar panels on the roof at the time of the accident.   The MOL investigation revealed there were no guardrails or coverings on the skylights.  The company pleaded guilty to failing to install protective coverings and was fined $90,000.

Trip and fall results in fine

The Ministry of Labour has fined a London Hospital $50,000 after a nurse was injured in a trip and fall incident.  The nurse had just finished giving a patient medication when she lost her balance as she stepped away from the bed.  The resulting fall left the nurse with a broken arm.  The nurse had gotten her foot caught in a cable from the bed which was not properly secured.   Dangling cords were a known safety hazard and had been documented in previous JHSC safety inspections.