Cold and flu season has arrived. Cold and flu spread more easily in the cold winter months because they thrive in colder, less humid environments. Thus, between October and February of each year, virtually thousands of employees get sick with the cold and/or flu, and that translates into lost work time, reduced productivity and disruption of workplace operations. As we all know, the flu can wreak havoc in the workplace as it spreads very quickly. What can employers do to minimize the impact of colds and influenzas (flus) on the workplace?
On January 16, 2013, the Standards Council of Canada (CSA) published a new national standard dealing with psychological health and safety in the workplace. Although not a mandatory standard at this time, it is foreseeable that legislators, health and safety officers and inspectors, adjudicators and tribunals will be influenced by the standard when dealing with psychological and mental health issues in the workplace. In addition, such standards may be absorbed into the employer’s general duty to protect workers from harm in the workplace, which exists in all jurisdictions in Canada. Employers should also scrutinize their workplace operations, policies, procedures and processes under the auspices of the psychological health and safety system recommended in the standard.
How often do your employees travel? If your answer is: "Not that often," you may not have considered implementing a policy regarding work travel. More importantly, you may not have considered whether you are liable if something happens to a worker while they are travelling. Do you know how the new changes to Ontario's Occupational Health and Safety Act affect work travel and your employees?