Canadian Occupational Safety

March/April 2020

Canadian Occupational Safety (COS) magazine is the premier workplace health and safety publication in Canada. We cover a wide range of topics ranging from office to heavy industry, and from general safety management to specific workplace hazards.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 6 of 35 7 "Keeping people healthy and safe is also good for business. We know that health and safety improvements can increase efficiency, encourage innovation and lead to longer- term profitability." Elizabeth Witmer Workplace Safety and Insurance Board ONTARIO'S Ministry of Labour has introduced a new, voluntary program that recognizes employers with successful health and safety programs in place. Employers who qualify for the new Supporting Ontario's Safe Employers program will receive rebates from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) over a three-year period. "We are unveiling this program because it will promote a safety culture in Ontario's workplaces, it will encourage organizations to go even further in their safety measures and, most importantly, it will help reduce workplace injuries," said Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development Monte McNaughton. Employers from all sectors and of all sizes are invited to participate in the program, which is led by the office of the chief prevention officer (CPO). "We're adopting innovative approaches to become a modern regulator," said CPO Ron Kelusky. "Industry has long asked for rewards for employers who successfully promote health and safety in their workplace." To qualify, employers must implement an occupational health and safety management system (OHSMS) that is accredited by the CPO and they must also meet other criteria, including a third- party audit, worker participation and compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Employers can choose to implement an OHSMS that is based on an existing standard that has been accredited by the CPO or develop their own OHSMS and apply to have it accredited. Successfully qualifying employers will be posted on the Ministry of Labour website and be able to brand themselves as "CPO-recognized." To further build on this program, the WSIB has launched its Health and Safety Excellence program, which aims to help workplaces improve occupational health and safety — no matter where they fall on the OHS spectrum. The program consists of 36 topics that employers can move through at their own pace, earning rebates — a minimum of $1,000 per topic — and other recognition as they go. "Keeping people healthy and safe is not only the right thing to do, it's also good for business," said Elizabeth Witmer, chair of the WSIB. "We know that health and safety improvements can increase efficiency, encourage innovation and lead to longer-term profitability." According to the Ministry of Labour, implementing a successful health and safety management system can lower injuries, decrease workers' compensation premiums, increase hazard reporting, improve overall safety culture and improve health and safety practices. "It literally brought tears to my eyes when I heard that, between 2014 and 2018 in Ontario, 24 young workers were killed on the job," said McNaughton. "As a father, that makes me truly sad. One death at a workplace is one too many." ONTARIO LAUNCHES ACCREDITATION PROGRAM TO REWARD SAFE COMPANIES To qualify, employers must implement safety management system accredited by the chief prevention officer, pass third- party audit Survey unveils misunderstandings around cannabis use at work According to a survey of 15,000 Canadians, one-third of employees believe that, if they disclose their medical cannabis licence to their employer, they can consume the substance during work. The survey by Responsible Care Use also revealed that nearly four in 10 employers and employees are unaware of how long the effects of cannabis last. Nearly three-quarters of people managers believe they can implement random drug testing if it's approved by their CEO. But it's only allowed in safety-sensitive workplaces in very specific circumstances. Forty-one per cent of employers believe they do not have a duty to accommodate — but they do. Saskatchewan releases 3-year strategy to prevent deaths, injuries WorkSafe Saskatchewan has released a new strategy to prevent fatalities and injuries in the workplace. The new approach focuses on four priority areas: asbestos exposure, work-related motor vehicle crashes, firefighter cancer exposure and falls from heights. It also prioritizes hand, shoulder and back, arm and leg injuries. Approximately 20 per cent of all claims accepted by the provincial Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) concerns hand injuries in the province. From 2010 to 2018, the WCB accepted 354 fatalities for workers who died while on the job or as a result of their job, while 22,594 workers suffered a serious injury.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Canadian Occupational Safety - March/April 2020