Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety
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>November 2015

Forum 2016: Get Ready to be Inspired

View Forum 2016 main page

Globally recognized humanitarian advocate Dr. James Orbinski will kick off Forum 2016: The Changing World of Work with a keynote on how we can create the space to become more human.

Get inspired as he touches on his extraordinary journey working in some of the world's most critical humanitarian emergencies in Rwanda, Afghanistan and Somalia. As the international president of Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders, Dr. Orbinski accepted the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to MSF for its pioneering approach to medical humanitarianism.

He will share his passion for actively engaging in and shaping our world so that it is more humane, fair and just, and will hopefully spark us to do the same.

Other featured speakers at Forum include human and organization performance expert Dr. Todd Conklin and acclaimed work-life balance researcher, writer, and speaker Dr. Linda Duxbury. Plus, understand the latest findings on new and emerging risks from the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) and on breakthrough change from the Institutute for Work and Health.

Turn ideas into action - if you want to effect positive changes in worker health, safety and well-being, you need to be at Forum 2016. This will be CCOHS' fifth national discussion on workplace health and safety, and will take place February 29-March 1, 2016, in Vancouver, BC.

The conference fee includes two full days of sessions, networking, and lunches. Register by November 30 to save $100.

Learn more and register now

Infographic: Hazard Control

View Hazard Control Infographic

Every workplace has hazards, and while many are easy to avoid or have minor impact, there are many which can lead to severe injury, damage, and loss.

A hazard control program can protect workers and reduce the occurrence of accidents, illnesses and injuries. It can also help to demonstrate due diligence, improve employee morale, and reduce overall operational costs.

This infographic illustrates the elements of a hazard control program, the hierarchy of controls, and the importance of monitoring and reviewing control systems in order to protect and keep workers safe.

View the Hazard Control infographic

View more health and safety infographics

Know the Health, Safety and Environmental Laws: Canadian enviroOSH Legislation plus Standards product page

What WHMIS 2015 Means for Small Businesses in Canada

WHMIS/GHS/(M)SDS webpage

All organizations - big and small - need to follow health and safety laws in Canada, and that includes WHMIS.

WHMIS is a national system that provides comprehensive information on the hazards, safe use and handling of hazardous products used in Canadian workplaces. Workers have a right to know about the hazards that may come with the products they handle, use and store. WHMIS helps ensure that adequate information is provided by suppliers to their customers, and by employers to their workers.

WHMIS came into force in 1988 and was updated in February 2015 to align with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). This modification to WHMIS ensures that Canada's hazard classification and communication is aligned with U.S. regulatory requirements and is consistent with international best practice as laid out in the GHS. As a result of this modification it is now possible for suppliers and distributors under WHMIS 2015 to meet all Canadian and U.S. requirements using one label and safety data sheet.

The main elements of WHMIS 1988 - product hazard classification, labels, safety data sheets and worker education and training - are all still required with WHMIS 2015. Suppliers and distributors are still obligated to:

  • Communicate the hazard through SDS and labels;
  • Update labels and SDS when new data becomes available; and
  • Provide confidential business information to a health professional in the event of an emergency

What has changed are the obligations to retain the appropriate level of documentation, names and criteria for the hazard classes, how labels look and what is required on the safety data sheets.

To reduce the administrative burden of transitioning to WHMIS 2015, Health Canada has implemented a three-year timeline for suppliers and distributors to adjust to the new system. Employers can now start receiving both WHMIS 1988 and WHMIS 2015 products into the workplace. So, in effect, WHMIS 2015 has already started for Canadian businesses that use hazardous products. For employer obligations please refer to the requirements from your provincial OSH Regulator.

Everybody who produces, supplies and uses hazardous products has responsibilities under WHMIS. Small business owners can tap into resources from CCOHS and Health Canada, including:

Keep in mind that as an employer, you must ensure that there is workplace-specific training in place that reviews the hazardous products in your workplace and safe work procedures.

For more information and resources on WHMIS 2015, visit our website.

Youth Video Contest: Lights, Camera, Action

Youth Video Contest 2016: Focus on Safety. View CCOHS Video contest webpage.

For youth, entering the work world can mark an exciting chapter in life. There's money to be earned, new people to meet, and useful skills to learn. But despite the many perks, no job is ever worth getting hurt over. They can help spread the message about staying healthy and safe at work by entering the Focus on Safety Youth Video contest for a chance win a trip, cash prizes and kudos.

This contest invites youth from all across the country to produce an original video that illustrates the importance of working safely on the job.

Each province and territory will hold its own contest. Win at that stage, and you move onto the national contest. The first place video at the Canadian finals will be awarded $2,000, second place will receive $1,500 and third place will get $1,000. Each winning school also receives a matching prize. Plus the winner gets to attend the NAOSH Week ceremonies in Ottawa in May.

So get your creative juices flowing. Visit the contest page for the province in which you reside and follow the instructions to enter your video. Note that each province has set its own deadline.

Learn more about the Youth Video Contest

Studying Health and Safety Can Pay Off

CCOHS Scholarship Opportunity

Are you currently hitting the health and safety books at a Canadian post-secondary institution? Then you need to know about CCOHS' Dick Martin Scholarship.

This national award is open to students enrolled in an occupational health and safety course or program in an accredited college or university in Canada, leading to an occupational health and safety certificate, diploma or degree. To apply, students need to submit a 1000 -1200 word essay on one of two topics related to workplace health and safety.

Two scholarships worth $3000 each will be awarded to one university student and one college student. Plus $500 awards will be given to the winning students' academic institutions. The deadline for entries is January 31, 2016.

Not a student? Be sure to share this opportunity with friends and family!

Learn more about eligibility criteria and how to apply


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