Canadian Safety Reporter

November 2014

Focuses on occupational health and safety issues at a strategic level. Designed for employers, HR managers and OHS professionals, it features news, case studies on best practices and practical tips to ensure the safest possible working environment.

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Safety Reporter Canadian November 2014 Open season for illness in open-concept offices By Liz Foster New research concerning open-concept offices will likely see employees reaching for some disinfectant. employees working in open- concept offices took 70 per cent more sick days than their coun- terparts working in isolation, ac- cording to a recent Canada Life Group insurance survey. While employees who work from home took an average of 1.8 sick days in 2013, workers in open- concept offices took 3.1. the move towards a more collaborative working environ- ment means employees are working in closer proximity and, along with the co-mingling of personal and shared belongings, is further increasing employees' chances of becoming ill. News Brief Employees > pg. 8 Beheading at U.S. workplace pUtS Spotlight on UnpredictaBility of ex-Staff Risk assessment key to prevention: CCOHS pg. 5 aSBeStoS-related cancerS a growing concern pg. 2 Lengthy latency period of 50 years means more diagnoses today and well into the future worker'S diShoneSty mUddleS dUty to accommodate Employer had evidence that should have quelled suspicions about worker's injury, but employee didn't help his case by exaggerating pg. 3 INsIde Take Our kIds TO wOrk day chaNce TO shOwcase safeTy The annual Take Our Kids to Work day offers students across Canada an opportunity for organizations to educate the next generation of workers and show a commitment to safety. The Canadian Centre for Occupa- tional Health and Safety (CCOHS) says the national program, which takes place on Nov. 5, reminds or- ganizations that safety of workers is a priority. Ensuring visiting students are safe from hazards is a top pri- ority. To prepare for the Grade 9 guests, CCOHS recommends employers: •Conduct an inspection of the work area prior to the day. • On the day, hold a workplace ori- entation focusing on health and safety issues relevant to that en- vironment. • Supervise students all day while they are at the workplace site. • Students should only be allowed to undertake tasks for which they have been properly oriented. • Students should be encouraged to speak up about health and safety concerns, ask questions, and com- ment on situations they observe. The CCOHS has also posted a vari- ety of free resources on its website to help employers promote safety. Credit: Chris Wattie (Reuters) UNION > pg. 6 Police officers and ambulance workers stand by the Canadian War Memorial after responding to the shooting incident in Ottawa on Oct. 22. By Liz Bernier advOcacy grOups for first responders are fighting for a va- riety of changes around mental health and post-traumatic stress disorder (PtsD) supports, fol- lowing a number of recent sui- cides by emergency personnel. At least 25 Canadian first re- sponders have committed sui- cide since last April, according to statistics tracked by Vince savoia, founder and executive director of the tema Conter Me- morial trust (teMA), based in King City, ont. two of those suicides oc- curred in just one week — Cpl. ron Francis of the rCMP com- mitted suicide just days after ot- tawa police officer Kal Ghadban took his own life. Mental health issues and PtsD are often discussed in re- gards to military personnel, but they can and do affect all types of first responders — police, para- medics, firefighters — as well as other occupations dealing with trauma, such as social workers, emergency room nurses or sub- way drivers. in october, the ontario gov- ernment released the roundta- ble on traumatic Mental stress to address job-related traumatic mental stress. the ontario leg- islature is also considering a pri- vate members' bill that would require the Workplace safety and insurance Board (WsiB) to First responders call for PTSD support Spate of suicides among profession highlights need for culture change

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