Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety
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>July 2012

How Chemicals Enter the Body

Awareness poster shows methods of entry

CCOHS Poster: How Chemicals Enter the Body

Through inhalation, skin and eye contact, ingestion, and injection, hazardous chemicals may be harmful to your health if they enter your body. If these chemicals are not used, stored and handled properly, they can cause injury, illness and disease.

Display our new poster in workplaces so that your employees are aware of how hazardous chemicals can enter the body. The poster is also ideal for posting in classrooms to help educate students.

Download a free PDF or purchase double-sided - English on one side, French on the other - full-color 16" x 25" copies for only $5 each.

Learn more about the poster

See all posters from CCOHS

The Plus Side of Positivity

Latest podcast sheds light on positive psychology in the workplace

CCOHS Podcasts

Get health and safety to go! Every month, we release new podcasts on current and emerging health and safety topics. Simply download these episodes to your computer or MP3 player and listen to them at your own convenience.

In our latest episode, Dr. Kevin Kelloway, the Canada Research Chair in Occupational Health Psychology at Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, explains what positive psychology is and how it relates to workplace stress.

There is a growing emphasis on mental health and wellness in the workplace, says Dr. Kelloway, as evidenced by the Mental Health Strategy for Canada, the release of the Psychological Health and Safety: An Action Guide for Employers, and the upcoming National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace.

While monitoring and assessment, and more traditional forms of intervention, such as hiring more staff, reducing workload, and offering employee assistance programs, are still valuable, the role that positive psychology can play in the workplace can also be significant. There are many ways to create a positive work environment in which staff are excited about their work and are committed to their jobs, says Dr. Kelloway. For example, one easy and effective way is to simply tell workers when they're doing a good job.

For more insights, listen to the podcast.

Want to hear even more? Dr. Kelloway will be speaking as part of Forum IV, CCOHS' two-day national conference on workplace health and safety, in Halifax, NS on October 29 and 30. In his presentation, he will review and extend the traditional model of psychosocial stress in organizations, by considering the implications of positive psychology for creating truly healthy workplaces.

Early bird pricing is still in effect for Forum IV. Save $100 if you register by July 31. Learn more about Forum IV.

See all CCOHS podcasts | Subscribe on iTunes

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Get Essential Chemical Hazard Information

CHEMpendium now includes International Chemical Safety Cards

CHEMpendium product page

CCOHS' comprehensive CHEMpendium collection is about to get even more so.

In addition to the ten databases providing in-depth chemical hazard information, including the Domestic Substances List (DSL), CHEMpendium now includes International Chemical Safety Cards (ICSC).

ICSCs provide summarized, clear-language, essential health and safety information on chemical substances intended to be used at the "shop floor" level by workers, as well as by other staff involved with health and safety in factories, agriculture, construction and other places of work.

ICSCs are developed cooperatively by the International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS) and the Commission of the European Union (EC). The safety cards are prepared by cooperating scientific institutions and are then peer-reviewed by a committee consisting of internationally-recognized experts who take into account advice given by manufacturers, workers' representatives and poison centres.

Highlights include:

  • More than 1650 safety cards each containing physical properties, fire, explosion, short and long-term health hazard data and environmental hazards
  • Provides prevention, first aid, fire fighting, storage and disposal recommendations, as well as EU and UN classifications and NFPA codes
  • GHS classifications provided for hundreds of new and updated safety cards, including the corresponding hazard statements, signal words and symbols.

Learn more about CHEMpendium


Elements of an Occupational Health and Safety Program

Resources to help with your program

CCOHS OSH Answers page: Basic OH&S Program Elements

It's much more than a document or a binder full of rules. An occupational health and safety (OH&S) program is a proven way to plan, implement and manage your organization's efforts to prevent injuries and illnesses in the workplace.

Comprised of the policies, procedures and activities to prevent illnesses, injuries and damage in the workplace, an OH&S program is the sum total of what your organization does to safeguard health and safety.

What makes an OH&S program effective is the planning, coordination, participation, commitment and timely action by the employer and employees. Developing an OH&S program is no doubt a big task, but the benefits are well worth the effort. Involve people from all levels of your organization to create a sense of shared responsibility and greater acceptance of health and safety as an everyday way of doing business. Everyone has a role to play.

An effective OH&S program has many parts, and the one you create should be tailored specifically for your workplace and the hazards present. Some of the essential elements of an OH&S program include:

  • OH&S policy: An organization's occupational health and safety policy is a statement of principles and general rules that serve as guides for action. The health and safety policy should have the same importance as the other policies of the organization. Read a sample policy statement.
  • Training: All jurisdictions require training programs to ensure that a worker performing any task is properly trained and aware of the potential hazards. While all employees can benefit from health and safety training, special attention should be given to the training of new workers, supervisors, and trainers.
  • Hazard identification and risk assessment: There are many potential hazards in the workplace. By identifying them and assessing the level of risk, you will be better prepared to control or eliminate them and prevent accidents, injuries, property damage and downtime. Learn about CCOHS' Hazard Identification, Assessment and Control e-course.
  • Health and safety promotion: There is a strong connection between the work environment and the overall health and safety and well-being of workers. Tap into information and resources on wellness, health promotion, fitness, work/life balance, and stress.
  • Program administration and continual improvement: A safety management system can help provide a framework for building health and safety programs, in order to achieve better performance and an overall healthier workplace. Manage your program in one central location, with access to documents and task tracking capabilities. Listen to the podcast on taking a systematic approach.


Additional resources:



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