Canada Deploys National Standard for Workplace Psychological Health and Safety

 

In an effort to improve workplace psychological health and safety in Canada, several groups have gotten together to unveil the country’s initial national standard to assist organizations and those who work for them.

 

Those responsible for releasing the standard are the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC), the Bureau de normalization du Québec (BNQ), and CSA Group.

 

 

Standard Centered on Betting Employee Psychological Health

 

The National Standard of Canada titled Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace – Prevention, promotion and guidance to staged implementation is a voluntary standard centered on bettering employees’ psychological health and staving off psychological harm as a result of workplace factors.

 

According to MHCC President and CEO Louise Bradley, “One in five Canadians experience a mental health problem or mental illness in any given year and many of the most at risk individuals are in their early working years. Canadians spend more waking hours at work than anywhere else. It’s time to start thinking about mental well-being in the same way as we consider physical well-being, and the Standard offers the framework needed to help make this happen in the workplace.”

 

The Standard has in place a systematic approach to develop and sustain a psychologically healthy and safe workplace, including:

 

  • The identification of psychological hazards in the workplace;
  • The assessment and control of the risks in the workplace associated with hazards that cannot be eliminated (e.g. stressors due to organizational change or reasonable job demands);
  • The implementation of practices that support and promote psychological health and safety in the workplace;
  • The growth of a culture that promotes psychological health and safety in the workplace;
  • The implementation of measurement and review systems to ensure sustainability.

 

 

Businesses Will Differ in Use of Standard

 

As officials point out, the voluntary Standard is not intended to be adopted into federal, provincial, or territorial legislation.

 

It can be used in a variety of ways by businesses and organizations of all sizes depending upon their needs. In some cases, businesses may use the Standard as a starting point and center on forming policies and processes to promote mental health, while others may arrive at the conclusion that a number of aspects of the Standard are already in place and use the Standard to build upon their existing efforts.

 

The Standard has gotten the go-ahead from the Standards Council of Canada as a National Standard of Canada.

 

It will be free via CSA Group and BNQ websites.

 

 

Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com.  Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

 

©2013 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 


Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

Second Death in Six Months Leads to Employer Paying Largest Possible Fine

 

Employer to Pay Largest Possible Fine
 
The owner of Yukon's (Canada) Wolverine Mine has settled and agreed to pay a $150,000 fine, the largest possible, following an accident two years ago that killed a worker, according to a report from The Canadian Press.
 
Yukon Zinc Corp., and contractor Procon Mining and Tunnelling offered a guilty plea recently to charges tied to a collapse which killed 25-year-old Will Fisher.
 
 
Buried Beneath 70 Tons of Rock
 
Fisher was a mechanic for Procon when he was buried beneath 70 tons of rock on April 25, 2010 in the mine 118 miles northwest of Watson Lake.
 
He and other employees had been servicing equipment used to install support in the walls and ceiling of the underground mine. The two other employees were not seriously hurt.
 
Judge John Faulkner was to follow up the fine with a decision on how much Procon will pay for its role in Fisher's death, but a Yukon government lawyer is seeking the same $150,000 fine.
 
The court heard that during the night shift prior to the collapse occurring, water in the tunnel caused the ground under the rock bolter equipment to become soft and the machine to get stuck. The soft ground had to be dug out.
 
Yukon Zinc was deemed responsible for, among other things, providing geo-technical support and a plan for ground support for the mine, but the company said it relied on Procon's safety program.
 
 
Inadequate Safety Program
 
An expert brought in after Fisher's death concluded the mishap was caused by inadequate ground support, given that the tunnel had been widened and dug out.
 
A second expert concluded the safety program at the mine was not ''robust or comprehensive enough for the type of operation or high hazard environment,'' the agreed statement of facts reads.
 
 
Second Death in 6 Months
 
This is not the first time an employee has died at the mine.
 
Six months before Fisher's death, 20-year-old Paul Wentzell, an apprentice mechanic with Procon, was crushed by a driverless Toyota Land Cruiser.
 
Procon pleaded guilty to two charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and was fined close to $100,000.
 
In the six months prior to Fisher's death, there were three ground falls at the mine, the court was told.
 
 
Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com
 
©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

Small, Low Risk Businesses to Receive Free Online Safety Guidance

 

Online Guidance Designed for Small, Low-Risk Business
 
A radical revamp of the way British small businesses access official advice about health and safety online has been launched.
 
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the new Health and Safety Toolbox is the latest in a package of online guidance, bringing together in one place everything a small, low-risk business could need to manage health and safety. Written with busy firms in mind, it makes it easy to find relevant guidance on specific risks with a few clicks of the mouse.
 
It builds on Health and Safety Made Simple which provides sufficient basic information for large numbers of low risk businesses.
 
 
Will Help Business Owners Avoid Wasting Time and Money
 
The package of guidance – developed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) with the support of businesses – will help business owners and employers avoid wasting precious time reading what they don't need to, wasting money on unnecessary bureaucracy or resorting to hiring costly consultants.
 
Judith Hackitt, the HSE chair, noted, "This package is everything small and low risk businesses could need to manage health and safety, online and free.
 
"It will help businesses save time and money by getting them focusing on the real risks, guiding them to what is relevant for them and steering them away from what's not.
 
"By going online and working through it for themselves, for free, we hope low-risk SMEs will realize that they don't need expensive consultancy or reams of paperwork to manage their responsibilities. It is of no benefit to businesses or workers if over the top precautions are introduced."
 
 
Simple Guides to Control Common Workplace Hazards
 
Quick, simple guides and interactive tools on how to identify, assess and control common workplace hazards have been pulled together for the first time. Core health and safety issues relating to the type of business, its workforce and workplace are set out more simply than ever before.
 
Sections on the most common risks – such as manual handling, trip hazards and harmful substances – as well as tips on protective equipment are set out in plain English.
 
The Toolbox and Health and Safety Made Simple are part of HSE's work to make it simpler and clearer for businesses to understand, manage and control workplace risks. A full review of all HSE's written guidance is also being carried out. 
 

Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com

Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.


Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

Privacy Upheld on Personal Use of Work Issued Computer

 

Discovered Inappropriate Child Material on Work-Issued Computer

 

A recent ruling from Canada’s Supreme Court means that Canadians can still expect privacy in the information contained on work-issued computers if personal use is permitted or reasonably expected.

 

According to a report from Canadian OH&S News, The Supreme Court of Canada has ordered a new trial for a teacher charged with possession of inappropriate child material, after ruling that excluding unlawfully-obtained material discovered on his work-issued laptop would negatively impact the criminal trial process. The decision said that although the high school teacher’s privacy interests were diminished due to school board ownership of the laptop and workplace policies regarding computer use, the expectation of privacy is warranted where the computers are allowed for personal use.

 

 

Ruled Evidence Inadmissible

 

“While workplace policies and practices may diminish an individual’s expectation of privacy in a work computer, these sort of operational realities do not in themselves remove the expectation entirely: The nature of the information at stake exposes the likes, interests, thoughts, activities and searches for information of the individual user,” wrote Justice Morris Fish for the 6-1 majority.

 

The case centered on the privacy interests of Richard Cole, who was charged after a computer technician found a hidden folder containing nude and partially nude photographs of an underage female student on his laptop during maintenance activities. The technician notified the principal, who ordered the photographs be copied to a CD. The principal then seized the laptop and technicians copied temporary Internet files onto a second disc. The laptop and both discs were handed over to the police, who reviewed their contents and created a mirror image of the laptop’s hard drive for forensic examination, all without a warrant.

 

The Supreme Court decision notes that the trial judge excluded all of the computer material, finding that it breached the right to be secure from unreasonable search or seizure pursuant to Section 8 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. On appeal, the Court of Appeal for Ontario set aside that decision and excluded all material except for the disc containing the photographs, which it found to be legally obtained and admissible.

 

 

Police Infringed on Privacy Rights

 

In ordering a new trial, the Supreme Court ruled that the police infringed on Cole’s rights under Section 8 of the Charter, as receipt of the computer did not afford the police warrantless access to the personal information contained within. However, the conduct of the police officer in this case was not an egregious breach of the Charter, the Supreme Court ruled.

 

“In sum, the admission of the evidence would not bring the administration of justice into disrepute. The breach was not high on the scale of seriousness, and its impact was attenuated by both the diminished privacy interest and the discoverability of the evidence,” Fish wrote, explaining that had the officer obtained a warrant, the evidence would have been discovered.

 

“The exclusion of the material would, however, have a marked negative impact on the truth-seeking function of the criminal trial process. For all these reasons, I would not exclude the evidence unlawfully obtained by the police in this case,” he wrote.

 

 

Employers to Manage Employee Expectations of Computers

 

According to a Toronto lawyer, employers can “manage employees’ expectations by making sure you have a policy that clearly states computers and the data on computers are the property of the company, outline the acceptable use of the computer and put employees on notice that their use will be monitored.” In this case, the school board did all three.

 

“One thing that employers will be well-cautioned to keep in mind is that it’s one thing to have a policy, the other thing is to communicate that policy to employees and to make sure that everyone that comes into the organization is trained on that policy,” the lawyer said. “So sit people down for an hour and go through what the policy actually says.”

 

 

Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com. Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 


Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

Canada Workers Awarded 4 Million Dollars In Workers Comp Appeal

 

901 People In Line to be Repaid $4 Million
 
New Brunswick's (Canada) workers compensation board has been ordered to repay close to $4 million to 901 people due to a court ruling that decided it was wrong to claw back injury benefit payments from Canada Pension Plan recipients.
 
 
Cases Date Back More Than 20 Years
 
According to The Canadian Press, the claims, which date back more than 20 years, were identified following a provincial Court of Appeal decision in April, a spokeswoman for WorkSafeNB noted.
 
Mary Tucker indicated the Crown agency believed its policy of clawing back workers compensation payments from people receiving the Canada Pension Plan was in step with the Workers Compensation Act.
 
“The implications of the Court of Appeal decision have been assessed and case management staff are actively working to implement the directions given by the court and provide redress to those affected,'' Tucker stated in an email. “Many have already received payments and others are in process.'”
 
 
WorkSafeNB’s Intrepretation of the Act Overturned
 
An appeals tribunal repeatedly turned away WorkSafeNB's interpretation of the Act and overturned its decisions in individual cases.
 
The Court of Appeal stood by the tribunal's position, claiming in its ruling that it “has been right all along.”
 
Tucker would not detail why WorkSafeNB followed the tribunal’s decisions in individual cases, but did not alter its overall policy of clawing back workers comp payments.
 
 

Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com Contact mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com

 

 


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Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Contractors – Be Registered, Be Ready – By 1.1.13

Workplace Safety and Insurance Board Aims at Construction Industry

 
Ontario’s (Canada) Workplace Safety and Insurance Board’s (WSIB) awareness campaign aimed at the construction industry launched over the summer, with new information for those employing workers in the field.
 
 
Be Registered, Be Ready
 
The campaign tag line – Be Registered. Be Ready. – encourages people working in construction to learn how the new rules affect them and to pre-register for WSIB coverage.
 
Effective Jan. 1, 2013, mandatory WSIB coverage is required for nearly everyone working in the construction industry. The Ontario government has changed the law to include not just workers, but business owners too.
 
 
Company Owners Now Required to Have Coverage
 
Construction employers are currently required to have WSIB coverage for their employees. Now, most independent operators, sole proprietors, partners in a partnership and executive officers in a corporation working in construction will also need to have WSIB coverage. Executive officers and partners whose businesses are already registered with the WSIB also must begin to report their own earnings and pay premiums starting in January 2013.
 
The WSIB’s public awareness campaign will run throughout the year and uses a variety of communication channels to ensure the message reaches everyone in the construction industry.
 
 
Awareness Campaign to Run Through End of Year
 
Components include: radio spots, print ads, speaking engagements and activities with stakeholders and industry partners, trade show participation and direct mail. In addition to English and French, radio and print ads will also run in numerous other languages including Chinese, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian and Vietnamese.
 
A dedicated website has also been developed – www.BeRegisteredBeReady.ca – to provide detailed information about the new mandatory coverage.
 
 

Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com Contact mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com

 

 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

VIEW SAMPLES PAGES

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Alberta Government Thinks Not Reporting Fatalities Will Make Them Go Away

 

Alberta Provincial Government No Longer Reporting Farm Fatalities
 
The Alberta Federation of Labour (Canada) is criticizing the provincial government for no longer reporting farm fatalities, according to a report from the Canadian Press.
 
The federation claims the move is an example of how ''agricultural workers are being erased in Alberta.''
 
 
Criticism That Lack of Reporting Hides Problem
 
''This decision to stop reporting the number and nature of farm deaths helps to hide the real problem _ Alberta's deplorable lack of workplace protection for farms workers in the province,'' spokeswoman Nancy Furlong said recently.
 
''It's particularly insulting to the families of those killed on the job to have to call on the government to continue to simply report these incidents.''
 
 
Only Province in Canada Farm Workers Not Covered by Health & Safety Laws
 
The federation says the province is the only one in Canada where farm workers aren't covered by occupational health and safety laws. It says they are also excluded from legislation on hours of work and overtime, statutory holidays and vacation pay.
 
A judicial inquiry in 2008 into the death of worker Kevin Chandler in a farm accident near High River, Alta., recommended the inclusion of farm labourers in laws ensuring workplace protections.
 
''It is the government's duty to protect workers, but also to report their deaths and injuries. Death and injury prevention requires knowledge of the frequency and nature of the incidents,'' said Furlong.
 
 
Province Announced Plans on Website
 
The federation says the province announced its plans on a government website and offered no meaningful explanation for the change.
 
Alberta Agriculture said recently it is reviewing how it publishes information about farm worker deaths and injuries with an eye to protecting the privacy of victims and their families.
 
Stuart Elson, a ministry spokesman, said at least two ministries are studying the issue. ''Education and awareness are best suited to the practical realities of farming,'' Elson said. ''We are continuing to work with the Ministry of Human Services to improve farm safety. That is all I can really say at this point.''
 
 
More Criticism of Policy
 
The NDP's agriculture critic used a stop in Lethbridge, Alta., to blast the government for what he called inaction on workplace safety for farm workers.
 
David Eggen said it's disturbing that the lives of Alberta labourers on the land appear to mean so little to the government.
 
''It's very dangerous work and farm workers are not being protected with the basic rights that other workers have here in Alberta,'' Eggen said.
 
''They're far behind the rest of Canadian farm workers and now suddenly (Premier Alison) Redford makes the page go dark on the statistics that we can use to track farm workers here in the province,” he added.
 
 
 

Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com Contact mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com

 

 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

VIEW SAMPLES PAGES

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 
 

Reckless and Negligent Operator Causes Explosion, Kills Two Men

 

Backhoe Operator Caused Explosion that Killed Two Men
 
A backhoe operator who was found responsible for an explosion that killed two men in Saskatchewan has been fined thousands of dollars and must pay compensation to the victims' families.
 
 
Snagged Natural Gas Riser with Equipment
 
According to the Canadian OH&S, Lorry Riemer, 58, was demolishing buildings in downtown Nipawin in 2008 when he snagged a natural gas riser with his equipment.  Gas seeped into a butcher shop and caused an explosion that killed Jack and Brent Boxall, who were working for Riemer, and injured several others.
 
Provincial court Judge Barry Morgan convicted Riemer earlier this year of two workplace violations under the province's Occupational Health and Safety Act.
 
''The cause of the accident that led to the explosion, the deaths, the injuries and the property damage were specifically a result of the offences that Mr. Riemer has been found guilty of,'' Morgan wrote in his decision released this month.
 
 
Deemed Reckless and Negligent, Fined $28,000
 
He said Riemer's actions were incredibly risky and ''entirely foreseeable.'' Morgan said the appropriate action would have been to dig up the gas line first by hand. ''To try to do so with a backhoe was extremely reckless and negligent.''
 
The judge fined Riemer $10,000 for each violation, plus added two $4,000 surcharges for the victims' families for a total of $28,000. Riemer has until Dec. 31 to pay. Neither he nor his lawyer commented outside court.
 
Morgan said no amount of money will compensate the families for their loss, but he wanted to send a message of deterrence.
 
Crown prosecutor Mitchell Miller said the ruling was appropriate given the explosion's circumstances.
 
 
Four Year Investigation Finally Brought to Conclusion
 
''We have to remember that Mr. Riemer had the first and best chance to prevent all of this from happening. He was the gatekeeper of safety for other people on that site. He failed, and that's what the judge concluded,'' Miller said. ''It's a relief for perhaps everyone to have this over with. It's been over four years in the making.''
 
In the initial stages of the investigation, a SaskEnergy employee was also facing up to five charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. But the Crown decided it could not prove wrongdoing and dropped the charges.
 
During the trial, Riemer's lawyer, Irvin Carson, argued that the SaskEnergy worker was negligent in how he responded. Morgan shot down that logic.
 
''The defence argument throughout has been that the fault lies mostly, if not fully, with SaskEnergy,'' he wrote. ''However, I would not consider anything they did, or did not do, to fit under the doctrine of contributory negligence.''
 
 
 

Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com Contact mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com

 

 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

VIEW SAMPLES PAGES

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Fishermen Look to Reel-In High Death Rate

 

Nova Scotia Fisherman 19 Times More Likely to Be Killed at Work
 
Nova Scotia fishermen are 19 times more likely to be killed at work than working Nova Scotians in general, according to Workers Compensation Board of Nova Scotia (WCB) statistics.
 
In light of a recent Transportation Safety Board (TSB) report, it’s a somber reflection on the desperate need for cultural change in the province’s fishing sector.
 
The number of fatalities and injuries in the fishing industry is completely unacceptable,” said Stuart MacLean, chief executive officer of the WCB. “This is a proud, vibrant industry at the very core of our heritage. But it has a dark side. That dark side is the perceived acceptability of a fatal workplace hazard. This must change.”
 
Together with partner organizations working for change in the fishing industry, the WCBreleasedastatisticaloverviewrecently in response to the TSB report, which was based on a three-year investigation into fishing safety in Canada. The report calls for focus and concerted action in all regions to reduce the unacceptable death toll.
 
 
About Half of Canada’s Fishing Deaths occur in Nova Scotia
 
Since 1999, according to the report, 154 people have died in incidents in the fishing industry nationally. Nova Scotia’s share in that death toll is staggering. Comparing the years 2007-2010, 41 people died across the country in workplace incidents at sea. During that same time period, using the same definition as used in the TSB report, 19 people died fishing in Nova Scotia – meaning this province had just under half of the country’s fishing fatalities.
 
 
Cultural Lack of Acceptance for Protective Equipment Major Problem
 
The Transportation Safety Board also made a number of recommendations that speak directly to the need for cultural change in Nova Scotia’s fishing sector. Among the findings was the lack of acceptance of personal protective equipment – such as floatation devices which are easy to wear while working. Some 25% of fatalities across the country, the report notes, occur when someone falls overboard and can’t get back on the vessel easily. And yet, many fishermen refuse to wear PFDs.
 
There are many workable, affordable PFDs out there, but as the TSB report notes, there are underlying cultural barriers that keep people from wearing them,” said Stewart Franck, executive director of the Fishing Safety Association of NS. “Repeatedly we hear that the best PFD is one that is worn. Fishers, safety advocates, manufacturers and regulators must work together to identify equipment that is acceptable. This will save lives, better allowing for rapid retrieval of those who fall overboard. Not only is it the law, it clearly makes sense to use protective equipment when working on or near the water.”
 
Overcoming those cultural barriers requires industry-based support for change. That’s why the WCB is working with the FSANS and the Department of Labour and Advanced Education to raise awareness of the issue, the acceptance of the need for something different, and the long-term behaviour change to make it real.
 
No matter what the job or where they work, all Nova Scotians have the right and the responsibility to keep themselves and each other safe,” said Minister Marilyn More, Labour and Advanced Education. “All workplace injuries and deaths are preventable and we must all play our parts to make safety second nature on every fishing vessel in the province.”
 
 
Rolling Out and Awareness Campaign
 
During the recent National Drowning Prevention Week, the WCB, FSANS, and Nova Scotia Labour and Advanced Education rolled out an awareness campaign about the need for change in the fishing industry. The campaign included print and radio ads featuring safety champions from the fishing industry – Leonard LeBlanc, a Cheticamp fisherman, and Marilyn D’Entremont, a widow from Pubnico whose husband, Lewis, tragically died while fishing for herring.
 
The fishing industry also has one of the highest injury rates overall in Nova Scotia.  In 2011, about 330 people were hurt on the job in the sector and of those, 135 were serious injuries that resulted in time lost from work. Those numbers take not only a human toll, but a financial one, affecting WCB rates for the sector.
 
“If nothing changes, people will continue to die at work in this industry,” said MacLean. “Fishermen have faced dangerous conditions for far too long, and they are an important part of the solution to save lives in their industry.”
 
 

Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com Contact mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com

 

 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

VIEW SAMPLES PAGES

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Largest Canadian Criminal Fine for Corporate Negligence Handed Down

 

Largest Fine, Federation of Labour Claims Not Enough

 

While it was the largest criminal fine for corporate negligence causing death in Canadian history ever handed out, Ontario’s Federation of Labour claims it was not enough, according to the Canadian OH&S News.

 

 

Metron Responsible for 4 Workers Deaths

 

Metron Construction Ltd., the company found responsible for the deaths of four workers and the critical injury of another when a swing stage collapsed in Toronto in 2009, was fined $200,000 plus an added $30,000 victim fine surcharge — double the previous largest fine and the initial corporate guilty plea in Ontario since Criminal Code revisions were made in 2004. All 30 Occupational Health and Safety Act charges against Metron were removed as part of the guilty plea.

 

Company owner Joel Swartz was also fined $90,000 — the largest cumulative fine to an individual — after pleading guilty to four charges at $22,500 each under OSHA. The previous largest fine against an individual was $70,000. Twelve OSHA charges against Swartz were removed as part of the plea deal.

 

 

First Corporation to Plead Guilty Since Bill C-45 Unveiled

 

Metron is the first corporation to plead guilty in Ontario under criminal charges since Bill C-45 was unveiled in 2004. It included specific workplace health and safety duties along with broadening the standards for a criminal negligence charge against a company. The bill, also known as the Westray Bill, was enacted after Nova Scotia’s Westray Mine disaster in 1992 that killed 26 miners.

 

Swartz pleaded guilty to failing to take all reasonable care to ensure workers did not use a defective or hazardous swing stage, the swing stage was not loaded in excess of the weight it was meant to bear, workers were adequately trained in the use of fall protection by a competent person and that Metron prepared and kept written training and instruction records for each worker.

 

Court documents point out that Swartz had no previous record of OH&S violations in more than 20 years in the construction industry.

 

 

<pAuthor Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com Contact mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

VIEW SAMPLES PAGES

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

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