Canadian Occupational Safety

January/February 2021

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.

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Page 22 of 47 23 "The proportion of women in the paid workforce, the amounts and types of unpaid labor, the distribution of women by economy sector, the scale of the workplaces, the allowable exposure levels in the workplace, and implementation of controls have changed over time and vary internationally," say Zahm and Blair ("Occupational Cancer Among Women: Where Have We Been and Where Are We Going?"). British Columbia (Workers' Compensation Appeal Tribunal) v Fraser Health Authority In June 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in favour of three B.C. health-care workers: Katrina Hammer, Patricia Schmidt and Anne MacFarlane. The three women argued that they had developed breast cancer as a result of their jobs (the women, among seven who also developed breast cancer, worked in a lab at Mission Memorial Hospital). Years before the final Supreme Court decision, the Workers' Compensation Board denied their initial application, arguing that their cancers were not occupational diseases. Nevertheless, the Workers' Compensation Administrative Tribunal ruled in 2010 and 2011 that the cancers were, in fact, linked to the workplace. However, the British Columbia Court of Appeal then ruled that the WCAT decisions were wrong because, among other reasons, there was no causal evidence between the cancers and the women's workplace environment. The Supreme Court decision raised many questions in the legal community, notably around burden of proof, scientific evidence and what kind of precedent the case sets on both a provincial and federal level. Importantly, this case doesn't necessarily mean that breast cancers are now or can be considered to be an occupational disease. "Any time we get guidance from the Supreme Court of Canada, it is going to be at the very least persuasive," says Loretta Bouwmeester, a partner at law "From a humanistic, moralistic and legalistic perspective, there's a benefit to getting more reliable research [on breast cancer and carcinogens] done." Loretta Bouwmeester SGI honoured to be named Canada's Safest Employer 2020 SGI employs more than 2,000 people across 5 provinces. In Saskatchewan it operates the province's driver registration and licensing programs and services and provides traffic safety leadership. In all 5 provinces it provides various insurance products and resources to protect customers and their families and help keep them safe. 2020 has been an especially difficult year for everyone due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite that, employees rose to the challenges presented by the pandemic, and a variety of safety improvements made a difference for the company and our customers on many fronts. We have a lot to be proud of: Risk assessments and safety controls developed for all job classifications across 5 provinces in response to COVID-19, including robust contact tracing procedures Saskatchewan 1st jurisdiction in Canada to develop and conduct an innovative driver testing process completely physically distanced using a separate trail vehicle Safety process developed to identify drug/paraphernalia hazards, risks and control methods for employees appraising vehicles damaged in collisions SGI continues to demonstrate improvement in its physical and psychological safety climate Thank you to all SGI employees and customers for keeping safety in mind every time! SOME RISK FACTORS (OUTSIDE THE WORKPLACE) Source: Public Health Agency of Canada 83 per cent of breast cancer cases occur in women over 50 Family history of breast cancer or ovarian cancer, especially in a mother, sister or daughter diagnosed before menopause Previous breast disorders with biopsies showing abnormal cells Lifestyle factors such as alcohol use or obesity Women who haven't had a full-term pregnancy or having a full-term first pregnancy after 30

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