Government to prohibit asbestos in new construction and renovations, ban it in imports such as brake pads
By 2018, the federal government hopes to ban asbestos in Canada and change rules and regulations about the deadly material, which contaminates tens of thousands homes and buildings across the country and kills thousands every year.
Asbestos, a known carcinogen, has been condemned by the World Health Organization and is banned in some 50 countries around the world.
With this announcement, Canada is committing to its own comprehensive ban — which is supposed to be fulfilled by 2018 — of a product that many Canadians believe was outlawed years ago.
"Today I am pleased to announce our government is taking the first step to ban asbestos," Science Minister Kirsty Duncan said at a news conference at the Ottawa Hospital's General campus on Thursday morning.
"We are taking action that is long overdue, and we are doing it in the best possible way," said Health Minister Jane Philpott, referring to the action being taken as a "cross-government approach."
(READ FULL ARTICLE)
The union representing striking transit workers in the Central Okanagan says a man pulled a gun on a striking bus driver outside Kelowna's Orchard Park Mall on Monday morning. It's not clear if the weapon was real or fake.
The incident was reported to have happened just before 11 a.m. PT Monday as transit workers picketed at a mall bus stop.
Bus drivers said the man screamed at the picketers to get back to work. He then allegedly pulled out the weapon, pointed it at a driver and sped away on a bike. No one was injured.
"It's unbelievable. I'm still processing this," said Scott Lovell, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1722.
"We are exercising our rights as Canadians to picket in a public place and to have someone come by and pull a weapon on one of our picketers? This is Canada, right?"
READ FULL STORY
Excellent article in the Penticton Western News on PTSD and mental injury in the workplace. Legislative changes cannot happen soon enough:
Patrick Hampson could only stare death in the face so many times along the “killer highway” before it left him as twisted inside as the wreckage in front of him.
The former mayor of Oliver struggled as he recalled the vivid memory of a single-vehicle rollover on the Sea to Sky Highway that occurred while he was the fire chief in Squamish
“Just as I was taking his pulse … he died. After that I felt guilty for what I had thought, which was ‘thank God it’s not my daughter, it’s some other poor bastard,’” he said. “That’s when I started to realize I was having some trouble with this thing.”
READ FULL ARTICLE
According to the Prince George Now - RCMP are investigating an accident which claimed the life of a traffic control worker in the Hart.
A female traffic controller with the Guardian Angels Traffic Service was struck and killed by a CN Rail Truck at the intersection of Austin Road and Highway 97. The construction site was a City of Prince George project with multiple contractors on site.
Witness and traffic controller on a nearby site, Della Maier says it happened at about 6:20 this morning, “and we would like to extend our condolences to her family either in or outside Prince George.”
Maier adds these are the consequences when people don’t care enough to slow down.
Scott McCloy with WorkSafeBC says RCMP remains in charge of the investigation.
“We at WorkSafeBC standby ready to assume responsibility at the time the RCMP concludes its investigation, which is really up to them.”
McCloy says this is the second traffic control person to be killed in five years. There have been 56 injuries in BC.
Workers on site have been offered counselling services.
(READ FULL STORY)
On July 28th BC WCB announced Public Hearings for changes to the Occupational Health & Safety Regulation including proposed changes regarding Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committees.
These changes stem from the Coroner's recommendations following the Lakeland & Burns Lake tragedies that injured over 40 workers and took the lives of Glenn Roche and Alan Little (2012 Prince George mill explosion) and Carl Charlie and Robert Luggi (2012 Burns Lake mill explosion)
In June of this year the OH&S Centre sent out an email urging you to consider taking part in a BC WCB online questionnaire on this topic. These upcoming public hearings are the second phase of this process that will hopefully result in these proposed regulation changes taking effect.
These are extremely important improvements for Joint Committees. It is likely that some groups will be lobbying against them or trying to water them down.
Your perspective as a member of a Joint Committee is extremely valuable in this process.
The Sections of most impact are as follows:
As the largest provider of OH&S Committee education in British Columbia, the BCFED Health & Safety Centre believes the above changes are positive. While they are not perfect, they will assist workplace parties in improving occupational health and safety.
Please consider making a written or oral submission at these upcoming hearings and be part of the changes that can contribute to preventing these needless tragedies that have necessitated them.
You can make a submission online or in person.
Online submission deadline is 4:30 pm on Friday, October 7, 2016.
If wanting to provide a submission in person you must register for one of the sessions below by calling 604.232.7744 or toll free in BC at 1.866.614.7744. Hearings are scheduled for September and October 2016.
Schedule for hearings:
September 21, 2016 Victoria - Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel & Marina - 146 Kingston Street
September 27, 2016 Kelowna - Best Western Hotel - 2402 Highway 97 North
September 27, 2016 Cranbrook - Via video conference - Community Futures - 110A Slater Road NW
October 4, 2016 Prince George - Ramada Prince George - 444 George Street
October 6, 2016 Richmond - Executive Airport Plaza Hotel & Conference Centre - 7311 Westminster Highway
Session Times: 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
If wanting to provide a submission in person you must register for one of the sessions below by calling 604.232.7744 or toll free in BC at 1.866.614.7744.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.
According to CBC News: A camera operator is in hospital after being struck by an SUV on a film set in East Vancouver early Wednesday morning.
The crash happened around 12:30 a.m. near East Broadway and Guelph Street, on the set of a TV series code-named 'Opus,' according to a crew member on set.
The crew member told CBC News that a stunt driver in an SUV collided with a camera operator in the middle of filming a scene.
Paramedics were called in, and filming was cancelled for the evening.
In a statement, Vancouver Police Const. Brian Montague said the 55-year-old man was taken to hospital with serious, but non-life threatening injuries.
Vancouver Police collision analysts and Worksafe B.C. personnel are currently investigating the crash.
(SEE FULL ARTICLE)
Our condolences to all friends and family.
The Surrey North Delta Leader Reports a 20-year-old man was killed while cutting grass last Friday in Glenwood Park.
At about 8:30 a.m. on July 29, the maintenance worker, who was cutting the grass in the Fraser Heights park, became trapped beneath the commercial lawnmower he was riding after it rolled into a pond.
RCMP have released few details, however witnesses say a co-worker and bystander helped lift the mower off the victim and performed CPR until emergency responders arrived.
It is unclear how long the man was trapped in the water or what caused the accident.
The victim died in hospital.
(SEE FULL STORY)
11 Courses offered over 10 days – October 4th to 14th
at St. John Ambulance - 8911 152 Street, Surrey, BC.
(Click any course for more info)
Occupational Health & Safety Part 1 - Tuesday, October 4th
Occupational Health & Safety Part 2 - Wednesday, October 5th
Preventing Workplace Stress - Wednesday, October 5th
Improving Committee Effectiveness - Thursday, October 6th
Incident Investigations - Thursday, October 6th
Strains, Aches & Pains (Ergonomics) - Friday, October 7th
Improving Return to Work Outcomes - Wednesday, October 12th
Supervisor OH&S Responsibilities Part 1 - Wednesday, October 12th
Supervisor OH&S Responsibilities Part 2 - Thursday, October 13th
Understanding & Conducting Risk Assessments - Thursday, October 13th
Workplace Bullying & Harassment - Friday, October 14th
For more information contact the BCFED Health & Safety Centre
The Prince George Citizen reports: "Chipper still moving when worker injured, WorkSafeBC finds"
A Brink Forest Products Ltd. employee who was seriously injured while preparing to change the knife assemblies on a wood waste chipper was carrying out the work while the machine was still moving, according to a WorkSafeBC incident investigation report.
The report, which stems from a November 2014 incident, said the worker was on the day shift but was part of the crew that reported to work earlier in order to change the blades, which is done prior to every shift.
According to evidence deduced by the WorkSafeBC investigator, he turned off the chipper disconnect and entered the chipper room while the machine's disc was still rotating.
To reach the knife assemblies, secured on a 48-inch disc that turns on a shaft supported by external bearings located on both sides of the chipper frame, he removed the two bolts fastening the protective shroud to the machine frame.
"The metal hinge securing the bottom of the shroud to the chipper frame was able to move from side to side about 1.27 centimetres," the report said. "Once the two bolts were removed, the vibration of the chipper caused the shroud to move sideways, enough for the knife assemblies and then the fins to contact the rotating disc. The transfer of energy from the rotating disc to the shroud caused the shroud to open with considerable force and a loud bang [striking and seriously injuring the worker.]"
(SEE FULL STORY)
It is estimated that there is now 70,000 people working under the Temporary Foreign Worker program here in British Columbia with an additional estimated 6,000 labouring under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program. Many of these workers experience exploitative conditions and exposures to a great number of occupational hazards without proper education or training in dealing with them. As such, the BCFED Health and Safety Centre have a designated program to try and empower and protect these most marginalized of workers in our province.
Through the delivery of customized workshops and educational sessions in the workers first language, Migrant Worker participants learn about their legal protections, rights and responsibilities, hazard identification and the workers compensation system. As with all of the Health and Safety Centre’s materials, the workshops are based on the principles of popular education that encourages their participation and taking into account that many participants have likely been out of the formal education system for a longtime and may have literacy barriers in their first languages as well.
The BCFED Health and Safety Centre is proud to deliver these workshops and educational opportunities to hundreds of Migrant Workers every year, but unfortunately we are only scratching the surface of the potential number of workers that we need to be talking to. These workers are often doing very dangerous and dirty work to put food onto our tables, provide services for our families and support our provincial economy in many untold ways. These workers need a stronger voice in health and safety, we all need to work harder to make sure these Migrant Workers are heard and protected on the job. We believe as an organization if you are good enough to work here, you are good enough to live here. And as such all the same laws and protections afforded to Canadian workers need to apply to those ‘guest’ workers.
If you would like to learn more about this program or volunteer to participate please contact the BCFED Health and Safety Centre.
According to EnergeticCity Fort St. John, a now-defunct Continental Pipeline and Facility has been served with a $150,000 fine by WorksafeBC after an incident that the board called a “high-risk violation.”
The incident in question happened on December 1st last year at a job site approximately 50 kilometres near of Pink Mountain off the Jedney Road when a Continental employee was pinned between the tracks and frame of bulldozer. While guiding a tanker-trailer combo down a 20 percent grade hill with a bulldozer, the worker attempted to exit the dozer, at which point he became trapped.
(READ THE FULL ARTICLE)
On Sunday July 17th 2016 The BCFED Health and Safety Centre had the privilege of participating in the Migrant Worker Health Fair held in Ladner at the Ladner Baptist Church. Well over 100 Migrant Farm Workers from surrounding farms and greenhouses attended and participated in the events in collaboration with WATARI, Agricultural Workers Alliance and various other groups and organizations. Participants received health and safety presentations, haircuts, message, acupuncture, food, music as well as workshops on bicycle repair. Thank you to all the volunteers and organizations that made this event such a resounding success.
Brian Campbell, BCFED Health & Safety Centre
A Prince George Now articles states:
The provincial government says it’s making progress toward ensuring a disaster like the Mt. Polley tailings pond breach never happens in BC again.
The Ministry of Energy and Mines announced changes to the Mining Code, based on seven recommendations made by an expert panel in the wake of the Mount Polley tailings pond breach.
Minister of Mines Bill Bennett says the new standards put BC at the top of the heap for safety when it comes to tailings storage facilities (TSF).
“These changes ensure that the mining code now includes design standards for TSFs that are tailored to the particular conditions that are encountered in BC. The changes for TSFs and dam safety emphasize the protection of the public and the environment.”
(SEE FULL ARTICLE)
According to CBC an 'Experienced' worker died Wednesday at Vancouver's Neptune Terminals on the North Shore.
In a statement to media, Neptune Terminals said the fatal accident occurred at approximately 7:45 a.m. PT. Wednesday.
"The individual involved was an experienced Ironworker employed by Termel Industries Ltd. and was performing work at the terminal, " the company said in a news release.
"We are deeply saddened by this incident. Our primary concern is for the family and friends of the individual, as well as employees of Neptune and our contractors who have been affected by this tragic incident. Counselling support is being offered to those impacted."
READ FULL STORY
MoveUp 2nd Annual Bob Derby Memorial Charity Golf Tournament is taking place on Sunday, August 14th at the Pitt Meadows Golf Course. Once again raising funds for the Red Shirt Foundation.
Your registration of $150 will get you:
- 18 holes of Texas scramble golf including a driving cart
- Warm up time on the driving range
- Personal gift (Adidas golf shoes and shoe bag)
- BBQ luncheon
- A fabulous dinner at the Club restaurant
- Amazing prizes (4k TV, Apple watches, framed Bo Horvat autographed jersey, etc.)
- Tentative celebrity golfers include Chris Tanev, Ben Hutton (Vancouver Canucks) Manny Arsenault (BC Lions)
You can register yourself or up to a foursome here through Eventbrite or by completing the attached registration form and submitting to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spots are booking up fast so get your registration in.
Hope to see you on the greens this year!
Join the BCFED Health & Safety Centre at their upcoming Migrant Farm Worker Event in Ladner on Sunday July 17th. The event will run from 12 to 5pm at the Ladner Baptist Church located at 5624 Ladner Trunk Road (Gym door around the back).
The BCFED Health & Safety Centre provides migrant or foreign workers with basic OH&S information on workers' rights and responsibilities, employer responsibilities, OH&S Committees, role of the WCB and hazard identification.
Migrant Farm Workers who participate in our programs are most interested in their OH&S rights. Many were surprised to hear they have OH&S rights and report they'd not been informed, prior to our sessions, that they have rights as workers in BC.
With the number of temporary foreign workers in BC expected to top 80,000 in 2016 working to inform these workers of their Health & Safety rights is more important than ever.
Download the Event Poster Here
CBC Reports: One worker has been injured in an explosion and fire at a recycling plant in Burnaby, B.C.
Fire chief Joe Robertson says the blast occurred when an acetylene gas tank was placed in a cutting machine at ABC Recycling.
The worker was transported to hospital, and the extent of his injuries is unknown.
(SEE FULL STORY)
According to the HSA Website:
The Supreme Court of Canada has found that two Health Sciences Association of BC (HSA) members and a Hospital Employees’ Union (HEU) member who contracted breast cancer while working in the laboratory at Mission Memorial Hospital are entitled to workers’ compensation coverage. Their employer, Fraser Health Authority, fought their claims for more than a decade.
HSA President Val Avery welcomed the decision, and thanked the workers for their perseverance.
“Beginning almost 15 years ago, these union members embarked on a campaign for compensation because they were sick. Today, they are responsible for setting an important precedent for all workers,” she said.
(READ FULL ARTICLE)
To meet the increased demand for our Federal Supervisor OH&S courses, the BCFED Health & Safety Centre is offering five runs of our three most requested Federal courses in Vancouver and Delta throughout the summer and fall of 2016. Your team can participate in 1, 2 or all 3 of these highly customized Federal specific educational opportunities. We are hoping these courses will fit everyone's education needs as we realize we will be unable to accommodate the many in-house training requests we've received for the fall of 2016.
Our flyer gives more detail of the course times and locations: PDF Flyer
You can also register online: Course Registration Links
Give us a call if you need more information.
We look forward to having many participants take part in this Federal Health & Safety training program.
The bullying and harassment toolkit launched by WorkSafeBC in 2013 has contributed towards healthier workplaces, but in order to be effective, managers and staff have to be willing to act and build on the policies. That's according to workplace psychologist Jennifer Newman, who sat down with host Rick Cluff on The Early Edition to talk about why office bullying and harassment persists, and what can be done to stop it.
This is good content that will be topical for the next while:
Improve your English while you learn about work safety rights. Register today!
Al Bieksa gave a great presentation to the CSSE Lower Mainland dinner meeting at the Firefighters Hall last night. Register to join us at our next Return to Work course.