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Workplace Health Safety

Workplace health safety speaks to occupational health safety. Health and safety is of utmost importance in the workplace of today.

legislation is a requirement for each country and in some cases various jurisdictions within countries.

Below listed are the most common safety training courses required throughout the provinces and territories of Canada.

All of these courses may be found online with many being free and presented by the various governments, provinces and states.

WHMIS Training for Workplace Health Safety

WHMIS is a short form for Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System. It is a comprehensive plan for providing information on the safe use of hazardous materials used in Canadian workplaces. Information is provided by means of product labels, material safety data sheets (MSDS) and worker education programs.

Office Safety Training for Workplace Health Safety

This information provides an overview of some of the hazards one may encounter in a typical office. Hazards and Risks of Electricity, Office Machinery, Manual Handling and Ergonomics, Chemicals, Environmental factors such as Air and Noise and Housekeeping.

Slips, Trips and Falls for Workplace Health Safety

Slips

Slips happen where there is too little friction or traction between the footwear and the walking surface. Common causes of slips are wet or oily surfaces, occasional spills, weather hazards, loose, unanchored rugs or mats and flooring or other walking surfaces that do not have same degree of traction in all areas

Trips

Trips happen when your foot collides (strikes, hits) an object causing you to lose the balance and fall. Common causes of trips are obstructed view, poor lighting, clutter in your way, wrinkled carpeting, uncovered cables, bottom drawers not being closed and uneven (steps, thresholds) walking surfaces.

Falls

Falls are a result of slips and trips.

Ladder Safety Training for Workplace Health Safety

Ladder safety training speaks to proper techniques to select, inspect, set up, use and care for the various ladder styles and functions.

Personal Protective Equipment for Workplace Health Safety

Personal protective equipment (PPE) speaks to protective clothing, helmets, goggles or other garments or equipment which is designed to protect the worker’s body from injury by blunt impacts, electrical hazards, heat, chemicals and infection for job related occupational safety and health purposes.

Electrical Hazards for Workplace Health Safety

Electrical hazard recognition training speaks to a dangerous condition where a worker could make electrical contact with energized equipment or a conductor, and from which the person may sustain an injury from shock; and/or, there is potential for the worker to receive an arc flash burn, thermal burn, or blast injury.

Working near an electrical hazard is dangerous and can be fatal. Any work on or near energized equipment must be done only when measures are in place to provide protection from electric shock and burn. With adequate safety measures in place, every electrical injury and fatality can be prevented.

Fall Prevention and Arrest for Workplace Health Safety

Fall prevention speaks to the result from failure to provide appropriate guarding and fall protection for work around skylights, skylight openings, and other roof openings.

When working from heights, such as ladders, scaffolds, and roofs, employers must plan projects to ensure that the job is done safely. Begin by deciding how the job will be done, what tasks will be involved, and what safety equipment may be needed to complete each task.

Workers who are six feet or more above lower levels are at risk for serious injury or death if they should fall. To protect these workers, employers must provide fall protection and the right equipment for the job, including the right kinds of ladders, scaffolds, and safety gear.

Fall arrest speaks to provision of a means to "arrest" a person's fall. The full body harness fall arrest system is preferred because a person is suspended from multiple body points and impact forces are distributed, whereas a safety belt provides suspension from one part of the body. The full body system provides for freedom of movement while minimizing injury during a fall and suspending the wearer until rescued by rescue personnel.

Lockout/tagout for Electrical Sources of Energy for Workplace Health Safety

Lockout/tagout for electrical sources of energy also known as lock and tag is a safety procedure which is used in industry and other settings to ensure that dangerous machines are properly shut off and not started up again prior to the completion of maintenance or servicing work.

It requires that hazardous power sources be "isolated and rendered inoperative" before any repair procedure is started. "Lock and tag" works in conjunction with a lock usually locking the device or the power source with the hasp, and placing it in such a position that no hazardous power sources can be turned on. The procedure requires that a tag be affixed to the locked device indicating that it should not be turned on.

Lockout/tagout for Other Sources of Energy for Workplace Health Safety

Lockout/tagout for other sources of energy such as steam, pneumatics or hydraulics also known as lock and tag is a safety procedure which is used in industry and other settings to ensure that dangerous machines are properly shut off and not started up again prior to the completion of maintenance or servicing work.

It requires that hazardous power sources be "isolated and rendered inoperative" before any repair procedure is started. "Lock and tag" works in conjunction with a lock usually locking the device or the power source with the hasp, and placing it in such a position that no hazardous power sources can be turned on. The procedure requires that a tag be affixed to the locked device indicating that it should not be turned on.

Mould Awareness for Workplace Health Safety

Mould awareness speaks to various subjects such as

Why is mould a problem?

Mould abatement and due diligence responsibilities.

Microbiology of moulds, where they come from, the various species of moulds, causes and rates of growth and toxicology concerns.

Health and safety issues for occupants of mould infested areas. Effects of mould on property.

Local Occupational Health and Safety regulations.

Recognition of moulds.

Basic investigation and remediation techniques.

Protective equipment and clothing used during abatement procedures.

Mould prevention methods.

Air sampling and monitoring.

Asbestos Awareness for Workplace Health Safety

Asbestos awareness speaks to concerns that while concerns about asbestos are not new, previous exposure to asbestos even decades ago is contributing to an increase in worker fatalities. Today, exposure to asbestos continues to be a significant health hazard for workers across a broad range of occupations. The goal is to eliminate the likelihood of asbestos exposure and reduce worker fatalities in the future.

One of the best controls against the threat of exposure is understanding the hazard and how to control exposure. Asbestos is classified by the Ministry of Labour as a “designated substance” with its own regulation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Regulation 278 is titled “Asbestos on Construction Projects and in Buildings and Repair Operations” and identifies hazard control and the procedures for safe use and handling.

Awareness of the below listed is of utmost importance.

Properties and history of asbestos

Understand the health effects of exposure

Who is most at risk

Duties of responsible parties

Legislative requirements

How to recognize asbestos containing materials

How to differentiate between the classifications of asbestos operations (Type 1, Type 2 and Type 3)

Establish safe procedures

How to control exposure

Explore personal protective equipment options

It is important to understand the different classifications of asbestos operations.

Manual Material Handling and Back Injuries for Workplace Health Safety

Manual material handling (MMH) is the most common cause of occupational fatigue and low back pain. About three of every four Canadians whose job includes MMH suffer pain due to back injury at some time.

All these facts make prevention of back injuries a crucial and challenging problem. This document speaks to preventing back injuries caused by MMH in the industrial workplace and is limited to the handling of inanimate objects.

Immediate and short-term effects include accidental injuries and fatigue. Sharp or rough surfaces, and falling and flying objects are common causes of wounds, lacerations or bruises during MMH. The worker can also suffer these injuries by falling or by colliding with objects.

Fatigue is a common and expected effect of MMH.

More serious problems related to MMH are the long-term health effects resulting in chronic back pain. Back pain can result from various causes. The most common causes are strains and cramps in the back muscles.

Back pain can also result from tears in the tendons connecting the back muscles to the spine, or from sprains and tears in the ligaments interconnecting the vertebrae (bones of the spine). Less frequently it arises from direct damage to the vertebrae or the discs that separate them.

A worker can sustain a back injury from a single episode such as lifting too heavy a load, slipping and falling, or receiving a blow to the back. However, most often it is not the single episode that causes back injury. It is the repetition, as in manual handling, that contributes most to the occurrence of injuries.

Work-related factors include the weight of the load lifted, the range of the lift, the location of the load in relation to the body, the size and shape of the load, distance and duration the load is carried, and the number and frequency of lifts performed. Excessive bending and twisting also increase the risk for back injury.

Poor layout of the workplace also increases the risk for injury. For example, shelving that is too deep, too high or too low causes unnecessary bending or stretching. Lack of space to move freely increases the need for twisting and bending.

Unsuitable dimensions of benches, tables, and other furniture force the worker to perform MMH tasks in awkward positions that add stress to the musculoskeletal system. Similar stressful body movements occur where work areas are overcrowded with people or equipment.

Temperature and humidity affect the worker performing MMH. When it is too hot and too humid, the worker tires more quickly and becomes more susceptible to back injury. On the other hand, cold temperatures decrease the flexibility of muscles and joints. This stiffness also increases the likelihood of musculoskeletal injuries.

Inadequate lighting in the work area indirectly affects the worker performing MMH, particularly where the precise placement of handled objects is important. In compensating for poor visibility the worker often must handle objects in an awkward position for extended periods of time. Poor lighting on steps and stairways, ramps, and loading docks increases the potential for accidents resulting in back injuries.

By misjudging distances, the height of steps, or ramp angles the worker can easily lose balance and fall while carrying a load. Whole body vibration alone can cause back pain. It imposes compression on the spine that gradually damages the discs between the vertebrae. Combining MMH with vibration multiplies the risk for injury.

Due Diligence for Workplace Health Safety

Due diligence speaks to the level of judgement, care, prudence, determination, and activity that a person would reasonably be expected to do under particular circumstances. Due diligence is demonstrated by your actions before an event occurs, not after.

Applied to occupational health and safety, due diligence means that employers shall take all reasonable precautions, under the particular circumstances, to prevent injuries or accidents in the workplace. This duty also applies to situations that are not addressed elsewhere in the occupational health and safety legislation.

To exercise due diligence, an employer must implement a plan to identify possible workplace hazards and carry out the appropriate corrective action to prevent accidents or injuries arising from these hazards. Also to be considered are legal liabilities.

To establish due diligence

The employer must have in place written OH&S policies, practices, and procedures. These policies, etc. would demonstrate and document that the employer carried out workplace safety audits, identified hazardous practices and hazardous conditions and made necessary changes to correct these conditions, and provided employees with information to enable them to work safely.

The employer must provide the appropriate training and education to the employees so that they understand and carry out their work according to the established polices, practices, and procedures.

The employer must train the supervisors to ensure they are competent persons, as defined in legislation.

The employer must monitor the workplace and ensure that employees are following the policies, practices and procedures. Written documentation of progressive disciplining for breaches of safety rules is considered due diligence.

To demonstrate that the employer has established due diligence they must establish an OSH Program, include emergency planning, implement hazard control, provide a guide to writing an OHS Policy Statement , provide inspection checklists and do job hazard analysis

Office Ergonomics for Workplace Health Safety

Office ergonomics speaks to problems and injuries related to the use of computers and other office equipment. Explained is work related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSD), ergonomic risks, stages of WMSD, applying ergonomics to components of the office environment and the workstation and the worker and suggested exercises.

Office ergonomics will allow a worker to recognize the early signs of discomfort that can arise while working with office equipment, learn the factors responsible for such discomfort and participate in assessing, controlling and preventing ergonomic problems and injuries.

Confined Spaces for Workplace Health Safety

Confined spaces speak to work areas that are considered "confined" because their configurations hinder the activities of employees who must enter, work in, and exit them. A confined space has limited or restricted means for entry or exit, and it is not designed for continuous employee occupancy.

Confined spaces include, but are not limited to underground vaults, tanks, storage bins, manholes, pits, silos, process vessels, and pipelines. OSHA uses the term "permit-required confined space" (permit space) to describe a confined space that has one or more of the following characteristics: contains or has the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere; contains a material that has the potential to engulf an entrant; has walls that converge inward or floors that slope downward and taper into a smaller area which could trap or asphyxiate an entrant; or contains any other recognized safety or health hazard, such as unguarded machinery, exposed live wires, or heat stress.

Violence in the Workplace for Workplace Health Safety

Violence in the workplace speaks to the right that everyone should be able to work without fear of violence or harassment, in a safe and healthy workplace.

Workplace violence is any act in which a person is abused, threatened, intimidated or assaulted in his or her employment.

Workplace violence may include:

Threatening behaviour such as shaking fists, destroying property or throwing objects.

Verbal or written threats which can be any expression of an intent to inflict harm.

Harassment which may be any behaviour that demeans, embarrasses, humiliates, annoys, alarms or verbally abuses a person and that is known or would be expected to be unwelcome. This includes words, gestures, intimidation, bullying, or other inappropriate activities.

Verbal abuse which includes swearing, insults or condescending language.

Physical attacks such as hitting, shoving, pushing or kicking, rumours, swearing, verbal abuse, pranks, arguments, property damage, vandalism, sabotage, pushing, theft, physical assaults, psychological trauma, anger-related incidents, rape, arson and murder are all examples of workplace violence.

Workplace Health Safety

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