1. New WorkSafeBC rules on safety headgear now in effect

    Other amendments to occupational health and safety regulation now also in force

    New health and safety requirements for safety headgear among British Columbia employers took effect on Sept. 1, WorkSafeBC is reminding stakeholders.

    Under the revised regulation, before a worker starts an assignment in a work area where there is a risk of head injury, the employer must take measures to eliminate or minimize the risk of head injury, and then require the worker to wear safety headgear.

    “The intent of the change is to improve occupational health and safety in the workplace by requiring employers to follow the hierarchy of controls, which is a step-by-step approach to eliminating or reducing risks,” said WorkSafeBC.

    Employers are also encouraged to involve workers in the review of any workplace hazards and any control measures that may be implemented to

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  2. Despite the challenges, solo safety pros can make an impact

    As a safety team of one, Holly Burgess recommends that anyone in her position have a good ear, thick skin and a loud voice – among many other traits.

    “I’m kind of loud, and I’m kind of out there,” said the safety and health manager at Phoenix Paper, a Kentucky-based paper producer. “If you don’t have somebody to walk you around a plant and introduce you, you have to introduce yourself, which I do all the time.”

    Burgess considers any time spent building relationships with workers a win for safety. But being a one-person team has plenty of challenges, including isolation and a never-ending schedule of meetings, tasks, trainings and, in some cases, travel.

    For Burgess, who has had multiple solo roles during her safety career, including managing workers at more than a dozen sites across the country, time can be the biggest challenge for someone managing safety

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  3. World Safety Body Welcomes Deeper Focus on Building Safety

    The world’s leading body for safety and health professionals has welcomed the Building Safety Bill announced by the Government this week.

    The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) particularly supports the Bill’s focus on greater accountability and responsibility for fire and structural safety through the whole of the building lifecycle. It also gives firm backing to the introduction of a new Building Safety Regulator, as well as strengthening the Fire Safety Order.

    IOSH has long called for safety to be given full focus at every stage of the building lifecycle; right from design stage, though the planning process, commissioning, construction, everyday use, maintenance and end of use. The Institution therefore welcomes new powers in the Bill to make regulations that put a duty on those who procure, plan, manage and undertake building work to consider safety and take responsibility for risk management.

    But the chartered professional body, whi

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  4. Understanding what makes a 'confined space' is critical to mitigating risk

    In this article, we will consider what constitutes a confined space, what hazards and risks exist through confined space entry, and what precautions and actions we can take to eliminate or minimise those risks.

    First, we must understand what constitutes a “confined space”.

    There are a number of characteristics that we can consider.

    A confined space is typically a place that was not designed and constructed for normal/regular human work activity. It has limited openings for entry and exit (sometimes referred to in literature as access and egress) and will generally have poor and sometimes no natural ventilation. This lack of ventilation forms one of the key hazards with entry into confined spaces as we will see shortly.

    We probably all have an impression of examples of confined spaces like: boilers, pressure vessels, cargo holds, cargo tanks, ballast tanks, sewage-tanks, pump-rooms, compressor rooms, wells, shafts, tunnels and pipelines. How

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  5. Staying Safe This Labor Day Weekend

    How to stay safe from COVID-19 and while traveling on the highways or by air this Labor Day weekend.

    Labor Day looks a lot different than the last federal holiday weekend.

    In July, it looked like the United States was declaring its independence against the pandemic. For many, it was the first feeling of returning to normalcy in over a year. People were gathering with friends and family, whom they may not have seen for months, and many municipalities resumed firework displays.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) no longer recommended vaccinated people to wear masks indoors, and the nation was nearing 70% of Americans age 18 and up having at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccines.

    Fast forward a few months, and it’s a completely different landscape, in part because of the delta variant. The nation is now in its fourth wave of C

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  6. Ontario supporting PPE testing services in Toronto

    Ontario is supporting another local company in expanding and implementing industry-standard testing techniques for personal protective equipment.

    Kinectrics Inc. is investing over $841,000 for this project, and the government is providing an additional $252,000 provided through the Ontario Together Fund. The investment will help the company scale up testing resources for surgical masks and N95 respirators and introduce new PPE testing services for surgical gowns and medical drapes.

    “Through the Ontario Together Fund, our government is making targeted investments in Ontario-based businesses with the ideas and solutions to help us through this pandemic,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “Kinectrics’ ability to adapt their testing capabilities for PPE used in the nuclear industry to the medical industry is another example of Ontario innovation at its very best. Ontario manufacturers continue to enhance our resilience to resp

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  7. Carbon monoxide: The silent killer

    Do your employees use gas-powered equipment at work? If so, they may be exposed to carbon monoxide.

    Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can deprive an exposed worker’s brain, heart and other vital organs of oxygen. Symptoms of mild exposure include nausea, dizziness and headache. High exposure can result in confusion, loss of consciousness, muscle weakness and more.

    Protect your workers from carbon monoxide poisoning. Oregon OSHA has tips to help.

    • Survey your workplace to identify potential sources of exposure.
    • Educate workers about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.
    • Know the sources: Besides gasoline, natural gas, oil, propane, coal and wood can produce carbon monoxide.
    • Keep internal-combustion equipment in good operating condition.
    • Don’t use or operate fuel-powered engines or tools inside buildi

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  8. Emergency procedures should not be orchestral maneuvers in the dark

    From Ground Control to Major Tom. Tom Petty confirming that he Won’t Back Down. Kaiser chief’s Predicting a Riot and The Fray trying to Save a Life, it becomes apparent that emergency situations arise on occasion, to challenge the best of us.

    Why then, if an emergency of some description and effect, is not an entirely infrequent event with which each of us may find ourselves confronted, do they often result in severe outcomes or aftermath of negative consequences?

    To answer this question, it may be helpful to revisit the definition of an emergency. In accordance with the Oxford dictionary, an emergency is a sudden, unforeseen happening that requires action to correct or to protect lives and/or property.

    In my experience, the words sudden and unforeseen are the key terms for what constitutes an emergency. In fact, I would go as far as to say that there are cases where the emergency situation was in fact anticipated; however, the sudden aspect part of

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  9. The Biggest Challenge COVID-19 Poses to Your Organization

    It’s clear that there is no shortage of challenges that have been brought about or exacerbated by COVID-19. EHS Today editors wanted to know what COVID-related challenge keeps you up at night. So, we asked. You, dear reader, did not hold back.

    You shared your biggest challenges from the past 18 months. We received some answers we expected, but we were also surprised by others.

    It’s clear that there is no shortage of challenges that have been brought about or exacerbated by COVID-19. Even those challenges that didn’t pertain to the pandemic, such as getting people to attend monthly safety meetings, could have experienced a different reality had more employees attended those meetings and heeded your advice for creating a safer workplace.

    And while you all have done tremendous work to keep the doors open, it’s clear there’s more work to b

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  10. NIOSH teams with staffing association to promote temp worker safety and health

    Washington — NIOSH and the American Staffing Association have announced a multiyear partnership agreement to advance protections for temporary workers.

    The partnership will focus on promoting best practices, supporting the application of research to practice, and encouraging staffing companies and host employers to develop and use safety and health management programs – as well as effective technologies and prevention strategies.

    Temp workers are paid by a staffing company and assigned to work for a host employer company.

    “A key issue presented by the future of work is the growing number of nonstandard work arrangements, including employment in the temporary staffing industry,” NIOSH Director John Howard said in an agency press release. “Through this partnership, we will increase outreach to staffing companies and host employers and provide information and resources that are vital to protecting temporary workers.”

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