Government of Canada
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety


Liaison: the latest news from CCOHS

Liaison: the latest news from CCOHS
January 2016 | Français

Survey Says You Could Win

Here's your chance to shape the future of this newsletter to make it more useful for you. What features would you like to see in upcoming issues of Liaison? What do you like and what can be improved? Send us your feedback by February 12, and you could win a $100 gift card from Chapters Indigo.

Click here to take the short survey.

Add Your Voice to the National Conversation

Forum 2016 webpage

In less than two months, experts, employers, workers, and representatives from labour and government will come together to discuss The Changing World of Work and what it means for our collective health and safety.

The stage is set in Vancouver on February 29 - March 1, where CCOHS' 5th national forum will deliver two full days of inspiration, innovations and discussion featuring an exciting roster of world class speakers and topics:

  • Globally recognized humanitarian advocate and former international president of Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders James Orbinski will deliver a keynote on his extensive work in the field that will enlighten and inspire
  • Human and organization performance expert, Dr. Todd Conklin will focus on operational learning for safety and will explore a fresh approach to safety management based on new principles - beyond behaviour as a cause, errors and strict compliance
  • Acclaimed work-life balance researcher, writer, and speaker Dr. Linda Duxbury offers insights on dealing with the tsunami of demographic change that's taking place in the workforce
  • In 2014, EU-OSHA interviewed almost 50,000 establishments in 36 countries. Xabier Irastorza provides an overview of the study and the findings from the European Survey of Enterprises on New and Emerging Risks (ESENER-2)
  • What changes, why and who's driving the change in firms that make large improvements in workplace health and safety? Dr. Lynda Robson discusses the implications of "breakthrough change"
  • Troy Winters, Senior Health and Safety Officer with CUPE, examines a broader perspective on participatory ergonomics that includes the concepts of the policy and workplace committees, union participation, and the benefits of involving all levels of the organization throughout the process York University Professor Dr. Carla Lipsig-Mummé discusses the challenge that global warming poses to the chain of processes that comprise work, employment and training in key Canadian industries and professions
  • Theresa Shaw shares how the Calgary Police Service became the first police agency in Canada to adopt the Road to Mental Readiness program (R2MR), an initiative to help their members better understand mental health and stay well
  • Krystle van Hoof of the Institute of Gender and Health will talk about sex and gender, and why they matter when it comes to health and safety in the workplace

If you want to effect positive changes in worker health, safety and well-being, you need to join us at the Forum.

The conference fee includes two full days of sessions, a networking reception, light refreshments, and lunches. Stay at the conference hotel and be close to all the action in the heart of downtown Vancouver. The special room rate for delegates expires January 31.

Register for the Forum and book your room

Thank you to our sponsors WorkSafeBC, Working on Wellness (WoW), CUPE, and Unifor for their generous support.

Infographic: The Aging Workforce in Canada

View The Aging Workforce in Canada Infographic

The number of older workers in Canada is on the rise. In five years, nearly one in four workers could be aged 55 years or over. What does this demographic trend mean for organizations that want to keep their workers healthy and safe?

This infographic illustrates why older workers can be beneficial to an organization, and what workplaces can do to ensure that they stay health and safe on the job, keeping in mind that a well-designed, well-organized workplace benefits everyone, regardless of age.

View The Aging Workforce in Canada infographic

View more health and safety infographics

Managing Your SDS During the WHMIS 2015 Transition

MSDS Management Service webpage

Learn more about how CCOHS can maintain your SDS collection in one convenient online location with the MSDS Management Service.

Two new features have been added to CCOHS' MSDS Management Service (MMS) to help support organizations as they transition to WHMIS 2015

CCOHS Last Checked Date

Although every WHMIS 2015 SDS must provide a date of last revision, manufacturers are no longer required to change the date of their SDSs after review every three years. A "CCOHS Last Checked Date" will be added to an SDS when we have verified that it is the newest one available.

Access to WHMIS 1988 MSDSs

During the transition period ending December 1, 2018, you may receive hazardous products with either a WHMIS 1988 or WHMIS 2015 label. WHMIS requires that you have the MSDS or SDS that matches the hazardous product used in your workplace - so products with WHMIS 2015 labels must have the matching SDS, while those with WHMIS 1988 labels must have the matching MSDS. This may be challenging as inventory changes over the next few years. By default, we provide you with the most recent versions of your SDSs. To keep you compliant with both WHMIS 1988 and WHMIS 2015 during this transition period, we have unlocked old WHMIS 1988 MSDSs so that you can match the product labels in use at your workplace. To access an old SDS, go to the most recent data sheet's summary page and click on the "Other Data Sheet Versions for this Product" link. From there you can print out these sheets as required. Note that they are not included as part of your batch prints.

Spread the Mental Health Message

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Workplace support is key to maintaining positive mental health. These are two powerful messages that CCOHS has highlighted in new posters to help organizations foster a healthy workplace.

Mental or Physical: Illness is Illness

Mental or Physical, Illness is Illness Poster webpage

Good mental health allows workers to cope with the everyday stresses of life, work productively and meaningfully, and contribute to their community. Display this poster to reinforce the message that illness is illness, and whether mental or physical, the response to someone suffering is the same.

Healthy Minds: Workplace Support is Key

For workers experiencing mental health issues, having the support of the workplace can make a world of positive difference.

Display this poster to let workers know that their organization can support them in various ways, from promoting work-life balance initiatives to ensuring job demands are reasonable, to fostering a culture where they are valued and respected.

For more tools and resources on workplace mental health, visit our Healthy Minds at Work website

Healthy Minds: Workplace Support is Key webpage

Focus on Safety to Win

Youth Video Contest 2016: Focus on Safety. View CCOHS Video contest webpage.

Got a high school student in your life? Let them know about the Focus on Safety Youth Video contest, and they could win great prizes, just for creating a short video that illustrates the importance of working safely on the job.

Each province and territory will hold its own contest with their own entry deadline. Winners then move onto the Canadian finals for a chance at $2,000 and a trip to the NAOSH Week ceremonies in Ottawa in May.

Learn more about the Youth Video Contest

Featured e-Course: Canada Labour Code, Part II: An Overview

The Canada Labour Code, Part II ("the Code") governs the health and safety of employees in the federal jurisdiction. Managers and supervisors represent the employer in the workplace and are responsible to carry out the duties of the employer in the work areas that they manage.

This course will give you the basic understanding of the requirements of the Code and how it is applied.

What's Popular

WHMIS 2015 Instructor's Toolkit

This 156-page Toolkit will provide you, the trainer, with the content and tools you need to introduce WHMIS 2015 to your workers.

This kit emphasizes key information that workers need to know to work safely with hazardous products, and provides sample tests to help assess the worker's understanding of the material.

Canadian enviroOSH Legislation plus Standards

Get all the health, safety and environmental legislation you need in one convenient online location. Plus standards from the CSA Group and the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) referenced in the legislation are just a click away for fast, easy reference.

CCOHS Membership

As a CCOHS Member, you receive a discount on our products and services, valuable health and safety resources, and the opportunity to demonstrate your organization's commitment to workplace wellness, health and safety.


MRSA - A Stubborn Strain

CCOHS explores how methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, short form for MRSA, is contracted, who's at risk and how it can be prevented in the workplace.

Minimize the Risk When Working at Heights

For construction workers, roofers, window cleaners, painters, arborists and firefighters, working at heights is a part of their daily work experience. Avoiding the risk of falling from ladders, scaffolds, lifts, buckets, mast climbers, roofs, balconies and trees requires safety diligence by both worker and employer. Listen in for tips on how to work safely when working at heights.


Attention Students: Last Call for Entries

If you know someone who's currently studying occupational health and safety at a Canadian post-secondary institution, make sure to tell them about the Dick Martin Scholarship Award. To apply for the award, students are invited to submit a 1000 -1200 word essay on one of two topics related to occupational health and safety.

Two scholarships worth $3000 each will be awarded to one university student and one college student, plus $500 awards will be given to the winning students' academic institutions.

The deadline for entries is January 31.

Client Corner

Free WHMIS 2015 SDS Template

Download a free template that provides the minimum information elements for a safety data sheet (SDS) required by Schedule 1 of the Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR). Developed to assist small businesses authoring WHMIS 2015 compliant SDSs, this template is a resource for anyone with a need to write SDSs, train staff, or run a WHMIS compliance program.

Download the template