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In the News
Farming is a way of life for many Canadian families - and one of the most hazardous occupations. The statistics tell the tale. Agriculture has the highest rate of disabling injuries and farmers are five times more likely to die from work-related injuries than workers in all other industries. In Canada each year, rural families and their communities feel the needless suffering and loss of more than 100 people who are killed, and 1499 others who are seriously injured in farm-related incidents, reports the Canadian Agricultural Injury Surveillance Program.
One of the most common causes of injury and death is the unsafe use of equipment. These injuries can be prevented by taking necessary safety precautions. Farm owners are responsible for the safety of their workers. They must ensure that employees and family workers are trained on the proper and safe ways to do their jobs. The risk of injury and illness can be reduced by taking preventive steps such as conducting routine hazard checks on equipment, buildings and grounds - and correcting problems immediately.
General Tips for Working Safely with Farm Equipment
70% of all farm fatalities involve agricultural machines, according to the Canadian Agricultural Injury Surveillance Program. Follow these tips when working with or around farm equipment:
Two workers in a welding shop were testing the welds on two "pig traps" (oil pipeline vessels that enable pipeline tools to be loaded and unloaded into the pipeline). To do this, they pressurized the pig traps to 2,150 psi.
Once the test was completed, one of the workers (a young worker) began to dismantle the connection between the pig trap that was being tested and the pressure-recording device. The piping had not been depressurized first. As he used a pipe wrench to try to remove a test tee, it did not unthread from the valve. Instead, the valve itself unthreaded from the pipe nipple that connected it to the still-pressurized pig traps, and sent the valve and the test tee shooting upwards - hitting the worker. The worker died after surgery as a result of the injuries he sustained.
WorkSafeBC issued a hazard alert offering the following safe work practices:
When it comes to work-related injury, "newness" can mean higher risk. This is just one of the topics explored in a new series of "Issue Briefings" launched by the Institute for Work & Health (IWH). Issue Briefings provide summaries of research findings, from IWH and elsewhere, written in plain language, on various topics that are of particular interest to policy-makers.
New research is showing that "newness" in the labour market is associated with a higher risk of work-related injury. Whether it's young workers, workers of all ages who are new to their jobs, newly immigrated workers or employees in newly established firms, the evidence indicates that these workers face higher injury rates and/or more hazardous jobs. The IWH Issue Briefing summarizes the key research behind these findings and explores the implications for policy-makers in governments and health and safety service providers.
Many aspects of newness were examined in the IWH research and highlights of key findings are summarized below.
New to labour market
Young men experienced a higher rate of work-related injury than other workers, but much of this increased injury risk came from the fact that they were more likely to be new to their jobs, in high risk occupations, and/or in jobs requiring a high degree of physical effort.
New to job
Workers on the job for less than a month had four times as many compensation claims as more experienced workers who held their current job for more than a year. Part of this increase is attributed to the fact that most new workers do not receive adequate training. In a recent study, over 75% of employees in their first year of employment indicated that they had not received health and safety training.
New to Canada
Recent immigrants are new to this country as well as to their jobs. Male immigrants in their first five years in Canada reported twice the rate of work-related injuries requiring medical attention, compared to Canadian-born male workers. There are a number of possible reasons for this finding including the fact that recent immigrants are more likely than Canadian-born workers to be in physically demanding and/or risky occupations.
New firms opening in the previous or current year had a 25% higher rate of workers' compensation claims than other firms. One of the possible reasons for this observation could be that training new workers in occupational health and safety may be difficult for a new firm to manage if it has many new workers within a short period of time.
For years CCOHS has been providing Canadians with the information they need to help them work safely. From OSH Answers on the website, to e-learning to webinars, CCOHS has a long standing tradition of using technology to reach and serve Canadians. Now CCOHS has taken the next step: information in a portable, audio mp3 format.
CCOHS recently launched Health and Safety to Go!, a new podcast series offering "bite" sized episodes on a variety of workplace health, safety and wellness issues. They run from 7 to 10 minutes long, and best of all, they're free.
Each episode is designed to keep you current and provide helpful tips and insights into the well-being of working Canadians. The series launched with interviews offering insights and perspectives on Day of Mourning, influenza planning, and young worker safety. In the fall, the series is expanding to twice monthly and will include episodes that focus on commonly asked health and safety questions, and offer practical tips to employers and workers.
This month's podcast addresses working in the heat - how hot is too hot? Jan Chappel of CCOHS explains what heat stress is, what factors influence it, and who is at risk. Jan also discusses the causes and symptoms of heat stress, and shares tips that workers can use to stay safe when working in extreme heat.
Listen to an episode of Health and Safety To Go! for yourself. You can download the audio file to your computer or MP3 player and listen to it at your own convenience. Or better yet, subscribe to the RSS feed; as new episodes are released they are downloaded automatically and stored until you are ready to listen.
Listen to segments that satisfy your curiosity, keep you in the know and help to inspire change.
See the complete listing of CCOHS podcasts.
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The Health and Safety Report, a free monthly newsletter produced by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), provides information, advice, and resources that help support a safe and healthy work environment and the total well being of workers.
© 2021, Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety
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