All workplaces house risks to employees' health and safety in varying degrees: factories have machinery that can cause serious injuries; warehouses store loads and move them around with cumbersome vehicles, both of which have the potential to injure; even office environments are far from risk-free, although the threats tend to be less visible, like poor indoor air quality and ergonomic arrangements. However, only in the last decade or so has the issue of violence in the workplace gained wide recognition—and this is an issue that can affect all workplaces indiscriminately.
An increasing number of studies show that driving while talking on a cellphone can be dangerously distracting. Some studies state that talking on a cellphone while driving makes a person four times more likely to be in a crash. This is a much higher risk than most other distracting activities. As a result, the governments of Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island and British Columbia have announced that they will draft legislation this fall to ban the use of hand-held electronic devices (such as cellphones) to talk or text while driving a vehicle; joining the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba, who have banned or are in the process of banning the use of hand-held wireless devices while driving this fall.
With a new wave of swine flu (H1N1) predicted to hit by mid-October 2009, the Public Health Agency of Canada in collaboration with provincial and territorial governments have launched a new website FightFlu.ca at www.fightflu.ca. It is a one-stop access to online information and resources about H1N1 flu virus. In addition, the agency has awarded a contract worth $926,600 under the Pandemic Preparedness Response Fund to the International Centre for Infectious Diseases (ICID) to develop tools and strategies that small and medium sized businesses can use to take action to ensure they recognize and deal with the challenges brought on by the virus, and develop plans to deal with increased employee absenteeism and disruptions in their operations.