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risk assessment

New edition of CSA Group’s Z1006 Management of work in confined spaces

Recently, the CSA Group has released a new version of its standard concerning work in confined spaces, entitled Z1006-16 – Management of work in confined spaces. Employers need to be aware that there have been some important changes in this edition that are worth noting. The entire 108 page document can be viewed here.

 

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Employer-sponsored events: Beware of summer BBQ blunders

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So don’t get me wrong, I love staff picnics and BBQs as much as anyone and think they are a great opportunity for staff to bond outside of their regular departments and duties.  In fact as HR it is often both my responsibility and pleasure to help plan these events for my organization!  However when you start to think about what can go wrong from an employer responsibility perspective rather than an employee engagement perspective; you begin to wonder if the prospective summer BBQ will balloon into a colossal blunder.

 

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Workplace violence & harassment: A policy is not enough!

Last month brought some tragic reminders of the reality of workplace violence and harassment and the obligations that employers have under Occupational Health and Safety Act).

 

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Criminal record checks available free to not-for-profit organizations, starting November 30

Starting November 30, 2013, British Columbia’s government will waive the $20 criminal record check fee for not-for-profit organizations that participate in a program that also offers free expert advice. Under BC law, employers in the volunteer and not-for-profit sector must obtain criminal record checks for job and volunteer candidates if they will work with children or vulnerable adults. The province’s criminal record check program aims to alleviate the financial burden associated with the law.

 

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Assessing the risk of violence at work

Companies have had almost 3 years to implement violence and harassment prevention in the workplace provisions under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act , OHSA (also known as Bill 168). Like other items in the OHSA, obligations on employers to prevent workplace violence and harassment with written policies and programs require ongoing commitment, training, and review. A few highlights of some of the requirements that employers with five or more employees must demonstrate include:

 

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Religious accommodation and safety issues

As we can see by this article, employees requesting a religious accommodation can sometimes conflict with safety issues.

 

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Conducting a workplace violence risk assessment: six common pitfalls

Despite the fact that a significant majority of Canadian organizations are legally obligated to conduct workplace violence risk assessments, it appears that uncertainty and inconsistency are commonplace when it comes to the actual conduct of the assessment. This month, we will take a closer look at workplace violence risk assessments: what they are, what they aren’t, common pitfalls in conducting them and some best practice considerations from the available literature.

 

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Labelling tool helps organizations comply with WHMIS, OSHA, GHS

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety has released an online tool to help organizations that handle chemicals comply with requirements under Canada’s WHMIS, the United States’ OSHA standard and the new Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals. If you’re keeping an eye on the GHS implementation, this might interest you…

 

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Safety and security for business travellers: a legal and moral imperative for Canadian employers, part 2

In some cases, business leaders fail to recognize that employee travel falls within the physical scope of workplace activities. In other cases, decision-makers believe that only those travelling to international high-risk destinations require any type of security protection. In most organizations, there is also a gap in knowledge when it comes to travel security, contributing to a lack of risk awareness and fragmented ownership of the function within the organization.

 

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Landmark decision gives insight into workplace harassment and employer reprisal

The Ontario Labour Relations Board has provided what some believe to be the most significant legal interpretation yet of workplace harassment and employer reprisal in the context of the recently enacted Bill 168 amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). The case, Conforti v. Investia Financial Services Inc., 2011, was decided on September 23, 2011.

 

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Heated arguments: Temperature wars in the office

The room temperature at work is an ongoing point of contention in many workplaces, including ours. It is either too cold in the summer or too hot in the winter.

 

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Organizations not prepared for worst case scenario risk being sued

A recent Reuters article entitled “Darfur kidnapping victim sues aids group that sent her” addresses an American lawsuit that has sparked a worldwide interest in the kidnapping industry. 2008 alone, Canada had five hostages taken in five months. A Canadian Government study assesses that terrorist groups will continue to attempt to kidnap Westerners, including Canadians, and that the greatest threat is to tourists, aid workers, journalists, business people and diplomats.

 

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Slaw: Reporting of critical injury or fatality of a non-worker: The Blue Mountain case

A guest drowns in the hotel pool. Does the hotel need to report the fatality to the Ontario Ministry of Labour under subsection 51(1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act? According to a decision by the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB), the answer is “yes”. On May 18, 2011, the Divisional Court…

 

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Listen to your employees and reduce your workload!

The Occupational Health & Safety Act (OHSA) requires that when conducting a workplace violence risk assessment you take into account both the nature of your workplace and type of work you perform…

 

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Assessing risk in the workplace

Occupational health and safety legislation across Canada requires employers to identify any existing or foreseeable hazards that might arise in the workplace, and to conduct an assessment of these various workplace hazards that employees might be exposed to, or that may arise from the nature of the workplace, and the type and conditions of the work…

 

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