Although vacation season is upon us, the need to stay healthy and safe in the workplace never takes a break. In this issue, we're excited to tell you about our new posters, podcasts, and e-courses - as well as to share tips on promoting a healthy workplace - to help your organization stay the safe course this summer.
No Room in the Workplace for Violence
Remind your organization with new posters from CCOHS
When we think of workplace hazards, machines or dangerous substances usually come to mind. But in fact, it's sometimes the very people we work with that harm us and render us unsafe. Workplace violence and bullying are growing concerns.
Most people think of violence as a physical assault. However, workplace violence is a much broader problem. A person may be abused, threatened, intimidated or assaulted in his or her employment. Display our See Signs of Workplace Violence? poster to remind your organization of the many kinds of behaviours that can be considered workplace violence - and that if they are taking place, should be reported to a designated authority in your workplace, supervisor, union representative, or someone who can help.
And take note: bullying does more than hurt someone's feelings. Workplace bullying usually involves a pattern of behaviour that intimidates, offends, degrades or humiliates a person or group of people. It's becoming increasingly recognized as a serious workplace problem that can cause undue stress, anxiety, and low morale among workers.
Reinforce the message that bullying should not be tolerated by displaying our Bullying is Not Part of the Job poster at your workplace.
Dow Chemical Taps into Safety
Online access to CCOHS databases makes the difference
For more than 20 years, Dow Chemical has used resources from CCOHS to stay current in matters of health and safety. From humble beginnings involving the delivery of material safety data sheets (MSDSs) on CD-ROMs, the flow of information has evolved into a complete Web-based database subscription solution.
When CCOHS offered online access to its databases in the mid-90s, Dow Chemical was quick to take advantage of it. Their current subscription consists of OSH References, MSDS, FTSS, CHEMpendium, RTECS(Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances), and Canadian enviroOSH Legislation plus Standards. "We have a license that allows numerous users. It's not always me or another hygienist that needs immediate access to data," said Dave Keenan, Senior Industrial Hygiene Specialist for Western North America.
As the standalone support in that region's Industrial Hygiene Expertise Centre based in Fort Saskatchewan, though, Keenan is accustomed to fielding an enormous variety of health and safety-related matters.
"Every time I head to the CCOHS website to access the databases, we are enhancing our occupational health and safety program. We rely on it in emergency situations, providing information to health and safety workers or to people responding to the incident. Anything from the proper personal protective equipment to wear to dealing with a derailment to a request for a current MSDS from a worker - we can usually find the information we need."
Keenan appreciates the accuracy of the data, especially in the area of legislation. "We operate in different locations all across Canada, and don't necessarily have the time to keep up to date or even search for legislation. We can quickly determine our responsibilities under the law, across all jurisdictions, with one search."
Standards from the Canadian Standards Association (CSA)and the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) referenced in the legislation are also just a click away for fast, easy reference.
Not only is the information reliable, but so too is the availability of access. "The uptime is incredible. It's up and functioning 99.78% of the time," Keenan adds.
"The cost of our database subscriptions is extremely reasonable for what you get. The accuracy and depth of data about anything and everything to do with OH&S that we can instantly tap into is well worth the price. I truly appreciate how CCOHS has supplied our health and safety needs for decades."
Gear Up for Canada's Healthy Workplace Month
Five tips to promote wellness at your workplace
It's never too early to gear up for Canada's Healthy Workplace Month (CHWM) this October. This year's theme is Healthy Mind, Healthy Body, Healthy Work ... A Positive Workplace Works!, and we invite you to incorporate upbeat elements into your workplace, relationships with family & friends, life & work harmony, and the community.
During the Month, workplaces are encouraged to take part in a series of fun weekly challenges to promote the benefits of workplace health, but why not get ready now? Laurie Tirone from CCOHS' Healthy Workplace Team shares five tips on how to get your organization motivated:
- Get management involved. It's important to have all levels of the organization participate, but support from management is crucial for ongoing success. Here are some resources on making the business case for workplace health.
- Organize monthly challenges. The activities should offer variety from month to month. If one challenge emphasizes physical activity - such as a neighbourhood scavenger hunt to promote walking - the next one could focus on nutrition or relaxation. "The most successful challenges also encourage teamwork and friendly competition," says Tirone. "We recently held a 'Get Your Garden Growing' challenge where we invited staff to get creative and decorate their office space in a garden theme. We had over 50% of employees participate, and even the non-decorators got involved by taking a tour 'through the gardens' to vote for their favourite."
Check out more Garden Challenge images on our CCOHS Facebook page.
- Share healthy workplace resources. Post facts on the Intranet, send out a regular newsletter, or hang posters with healthy living tips. Tie into the themes of the monthly challenges, and offer fun incentives for reading the resources - a short quiz based on the content of an article will likely increase participation. Need credible and reliable information sources? A great place to start is CHWM's Resource Well, where you can access useful articles, posters, fact sheets, research reports, and more.
- Stay on top of your initiatives. "One announcement won't be enough to do the job. Reinforce messages and remind staff in multiple areas, multiple times. Not all workers check the same sources to stay informed," says Tirone. Place a bulletin board in a central location or high-traffic area. E-mail reminders about deadlines. Send out updates on the progress of a monthly challenge. Visit colleagues in person and ask them to join on the activities.
- Sign up to participate in Canada's Healthy Workplace Month. It's the perfect opportunity to introduce workplace health to your organization or to strengthen your commitment if you're already on the journey to a healthier workplace. While you're there, check out the many activity suggestions that you can take part in, either on your own and in a group - and get moving towards a healthier, more positive workplace.
National Labour Operations Resources Collection Now Available on the Web
Access the Canada Labour Code and more
Now conveniently available on the Web, the National Labour Operations Resources (NLOR) delivers the information that Canadian federally-regulated organizations need in order to stay compliant with the Canada Labour Code and related legislation. Developed by CCOHS in collaboration with Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC), NLOR is a customized collection of full-text documents which includes the following:
- Canada Labour Code and other related legislation
- CSA and CGSB Standards referenced in the legislation
- Fire Protection Standards
- Operations Program Directives (OPDs) & Interpretations, Policies and Guidelines (IPGs)
- Appeals Officer Decisions
- Canada Industrial Relations Board Decisions
- Unjust Dismissal Decisions
- CASE LAW Decisions
- Related HSRDC publications
Hundreds of organizations in the public service, crown corporations, broadcasting, banking, shipping and telecommunications rely on NLOR to stay informed and to access information unavailable elsewhere, such as Unjust Dismissal decisions.
In addition to its availability online, NLOR is offered on CD. An annual subscription includes regular updates to reflect the latest legislative changes.
For more information about NLOR on the Web, contact Laurie Tirone at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All Ears for Safety
Listen and learn with our latest podcasts
Simply download these podcast files to your computer or MP3 player and listen to them at your own convenience. Here are some of our latest episodes:
Safety in the Sun - As the temperatures rise during the summer, it's important to stay safe while working in the sun. Learn preventative measures you can take to protect yourself from harmful UV rays.
Keeping Active at Work - Stay balanced! Find out ways you can keep active while at work, and learn how organizations can encourage their employees to get started on a journey to a healthier self, and a healthier workplace.
Twitter Tips - Are you a Twitter newbie? Listen up for ten quick tips on how to use the social networking tool to assist your workplace health and safety efforts.
LIAISON, a publication of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) is published bi-monthly for distribution to CCOHS clients and opt-in newsletter subscribers.
You are receiving this e-mail because you are a CCOHS client, have signed up to receive LIAISON, or have been forwarded it by a friend/colleague.
We welcome your comments. Feel free to contact us anytime.
CCOHS | 135 Hunter Street East | Hamilton | ON | L8N 1M5 | Canada