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Canada Day marks the unofficial start of summer, and more time being spent outdoors. And whether you work or play in the great outdoors, you are at greater risk of illness and injury that can come with excessive sun exposure, extreme heat and insect stings. There are precautions you can take to make your summer injury free.
Shun the sun
Exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV) from the sun can cause sunburn, premature skin aging, eye damage, and skin cancer, and can weaken your immune system. When the UV index (intensity of the sun's UVB rays) is 3 or higher, take the following precautions:
Mental health problems and illnesses are a leading cause of workplace disability in Canada and take a heavy toll on Canadian workers and workplaces. Soon Canadian employers will have more support and the tools they need to improve mental health among their employees with a national psychological health and safety standard.
The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) is heading up the development of the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace ("the Standard"), in collaboration with the Bureau de normalisation du QuÃ©bec (BNQ) and CSA Standards. BNQ and CSA Standards have created a committee to develop the Standard consisting of health and safety professionals, labour representatives, executives, government representatives, experts in law and policy and other groups. The goal is to make the Standard user-friendly and easily accessible to Canadian employers and other interested parties.
The Standard will be developed as a voluntary 'stand-alone' National Standard of Canada (NSC) and is expected to be a win/win scenario for both employees and employers. It will provide a methodology that will lead to measurable improvements in psychological health and safety for working Canadians. Employees will benefit from workplaces that promote and protect their mental health and employers will realize enhanced cost effectiveness, improved risk management, increased organizational recruitment and retention as well as corporate social responsibility.
The project is being funded by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada and Bell.
There will be a 60-day public review process held in the fall, with the completed Standard scheduled to be released in 2012.
Read the MHCC press release, (PDF)
CCOHS produces free monthly podcasts on a wide variety of topics designed to keep you current with information, tips and insights into the health, safety and well-being of working Canadians. You can download the audio segment to your computer or MP3 player and listen to it at your own convenience...or on the go!
This month's edition of Health and Safety To Go! features podcasts on the challenges of an aging workforce and summer water safety.
Challenges of an Aging Workforce examines the health and safety challenges of aging workers and what employers can do to accommodate the needs of all workers. The podcast runs 3:21 minutes. Listen to the podcast now.
In this month's face to face episode, Shelley Dalke from the Canadian Red Cross outlines how you can stay safe while working and vacationing on the water this summer. The podcast runs 5:27 minutes. Listen to the podcast now.
See the complete list of podcast topics. Better yet, subscribe to the series on iTunes and don't miss a single episode.
With the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) on the horizon, suppliers are getting ready to transition from an ANSI MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) format to the GHS SDS (Safety Data Sheet) format. This transition will not be as simple as dropping the "M".
To help you prepare for these changes, CCOHS has produced a reference poster, MSDS -> SDS: Not Just Dropping the "M", that provides a visual overview of what an MSDS will look like after its transition to a GHS SDS. The poster is designed as a reference tool to help educate, train, and inform chemical manufacturers and suppliers, and employers and employees of industries where chemical products are used.
CCOHS has evaluated how the ANSI Z400.1-2004 MSDS data fields can be transitioned into an SDS, considering: what's in, what's out, what's new, what's moving, what is being renamed, and what is staying the same. This poster will help you prepare for these changes by graphically presenting the results of this analysis, and highlighting some key tips about how to successfully manage your transition from MSDS to SDS.
The information provided in this poster should not be regarded as final or unchangeable, since the final regulatory changes are not yet known.
Find out more about the CCOHS poster, MSDS -> SDS: Not Just Dropping the "M"
Download the ON TOPIC brochure: WHMIS After GHS (PDF)
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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.
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