OHS Canada Magazine


  • Feature Health & Safety

    Putting Stress on Stress

    April 22, 2015 by Jeff Cottrill

    Many Canadians feel stressed out at work, according to a preliminary report from the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC). In April, the Commission will publish its full report on mental-health indicators, which classifies workplace stress as an area of

  • Impairment Versus Intrusion: Drugs and Alcohol in Safety-Sensitive Positions

    April 22, 2015 by Carmelle Wolfson

    Nearly two years have passed since the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, Local 30 v. Irving Pulp & Paper Ltd. that the mandatory, random alcohol testing of unionized employees in safety-sensitive positions at

  • Feature Health & Safety

    Safety Goes Wireless

    April 21, 2015 by Jean Lian

    Today, there is an app for everything. Apps with workplace safety functions are no exception — they are becoming must-have tools for safety professionals and workers alike. “Apps are definitely a big part of today’s safety environment,” says Jonathan Brun,

  • Blood on Scrubs

    March 4, 2015 by Jean Lian

    A recent spate of violence against healthcare workers in Ontario and British Columbia has revived the debate on whether healthcare institutions are doing enough to protect employees on the job. On December 29, a registered nurse was beaten and critically

  • Feature Health & Safety

    Raising the Bar

    March 4, 2015 by Kelly Putter

    Construction sites are dangerous workplaces with some of the highest on-the-job injuries and fatalities. The National Construction Safety Officer program, administered by provincial construction-safety associations, certifies individuals who have practical knowledge in various construction-related health- and safety-management skills.

    But some are questioning the credibility of this entry-level certification and whether it undermines the overall standard of the safety profession.

  • Express Route to Safety

    December 2, 2014 by Jeff Cottrill

    A bill proposing to amend the Criminal Code of Canada to take violence against transit operators into consideration may result in stiffer penalties against those who assault bus and taxi drivers.

  • Toxic Fissures

    December 2, 2014 by Jean Lian

    What goes down must come up. Flowback fluids — returning high-pressure fluids injected into the ground to fracture the rock formation and release natural gas or oil — have been linked to the deaths of four workers who appear to have suffered from acute chemical exposures during flowback operations at well sites in Williston Basin in North Dakota and Montana since 2010. As Canada’s oil-and-gas boom continues to fuel projects that involve hydraulic fracturing, just how much — or how little — do we know about what goes on underground?

  • Growing Pains

    December 1, 2014 by Michael Smith

    Often, the final punctuation in a life story is not a period, but a question mark. After 15-year-old Christopher Lawrence was entangled in a conveyor belt at a gravel-crushing site outside Drumheller, Alberta in July, safety inspectors fanned out across the province in early commencement of a planned inspection blitz on gravel-crushing sites. The death of the teenage worker has raised a larger question: should Lawrence have been permitted to work in that position at all?

  • Safety Rules Revised

    October 6, 2014 by Jean Lian

    National Safety Council Congress and Expo 2014 in San Diego

  • Feature Health & Safety

    On the Frontlines

    October 6, 2014 by Carmelle Wolfson

    Back in journalism’s heyday, it was common for newspapers and television and radio stations to have foreign bureaus and correspondents stationed around the world. Slashed budgets and an increasingly competitive media landscape have led to many news outlets shuttering those offices and relying on contract staff, stringers, freelancers and, in some cases, even citizens’ eyewitness reports. As the news industry continues to struggle, the safety of frontline reporters may be at risk.

  • Feature Health & Safety

    Human Factor

    October 6, 2014 by Donalee Moulton

    In June, the Ontario Human Rights Commission released a new policy that provides guidelines on how to define, assess, handle and resolve human-rights issues related to mental-health problems and addiction disabilities.
    Guidance is certainly needed, as employers in Ontario have legal obligations to accommodate employees with mental-health issues and addictions — both of which are protected grounds under the Human Rights Code.

  • Big Brother’s Watching

    September 1, 2014 by Carmelle Wolfson

    Ontario’s workers’ compensation board is increasingly using covert surveillance to target injured workers with costly claims, legal experts say.

  • Feature Health & Safety

    Solvent Syndrome

    September 1, 2014 by William M. Glenn

    For nearly 28 years, Patrick (who has requested that his last name be withheld for privacy reasons) serviced typewriters, printers, coin counters and other business machines for a succession of different employers across southern British…

  • Feature Health & Safety

    Under the Carpet

    July 1, 2014 by Kelly Putter

    When longtime retail employee Karen chased down a brazen shoplifter in December of 2012, she never dreamed that her story would expose an illegal practice taking place across Manitoba and very likely across the country. The practice, commonly…

  • Feature Health & Safety

    Tightening the Belt

    July 1, 2014 by Jeff Cottrill

    A study down south, which finds obese employees cost companies about twice as much money on average as other employees do, highlights the consequences that obesity may have on the workplace.

  • Feature Health & Safety

    Out of Reach

    June 1, 2014 by Jeff Cottrill

    It has been more than two years since an explosion and a fire killed two workers and injured 20 at the Babine Forest Products sawmill, east of Burns Lake in British Columbia. Today, a legal controversy surrounds WorkSafeBC’s investigation…

  • Feature Health & Safety

    Heart of the Matter

    June 1, 2014 by Carmelle Wolfson

    British Columbia has proposed an amendment to the Workers Compensation Act that would restore heart disease to the list of presumptive diseases for firefighters.

  • Feature Health & Safety

    Greener Pastures

    April 1, 2014 by Carmelle Wolfson

    The death of an Alberta farm worker, who was killed when his clothing got caught in a grain auger in January, has renewed calls to bring the province’s agriculture industry into the fold of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA)….

  • Feature Health & Safety

    Road to Recovery

    April 1, 2014 by Jean Lian

    Pain — that gnawing, tormenting sensation — has been wielding an unrelenting grip on Patricia Dodd, volunteer president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Injured Workers Association, since she had a nasty fall at work back in the…

  • Feature Health & Safety

    Beyond Skin-Deep

    April 1, 2014 by Carmelle Wolfson

    A recent study out of the United States has found that Vietnam war veterans previously exposed to the herbicide Agent Orange may be at higher risk for certain types of skin cancer. The latest findings may have resonance here in Canada, where…