|Apr. 9, 1999:||In the Julian calendar, this is day 99 of the year 99: this date could cause the occurrence of 9999 that is an "end of program" message in some computer programs.|
|Sept. 9, 1999:||In the Gregorian calendar, this date could cause the occurrence of 9999.|
|Jan. 1, 2000:||This is the first occurrence of a "00" year; if the year rolled over to 2000 correctly, the day should be Saturday, not Monday which was the first day of 1900.|
|Jan. 10, 2000:||This is the first date that requires a seven digit code - some programs leave room for six digits only, like 01/01/99.|
|Feb. 28, 2000:||Since this is a leap year, then the next day must be Feb. 29, 2000.|
|Mar. 1, 2000:||In this leap year, the 1st should be a Wednesday.|
|Oct. 10, 2000:||This is the first date that requires an eight digit code so programs can accept eight digits like 2000/10/10.|
|Feb. 28, 2001:||This is the first year after the year 2000 when it is not a leap year so March 1st should be the next day.|
|Feb. 29, 2004:||This should be a leap year date.|
The Federal Government of Canada has several Y2K-related web sites. The web page Dangerous Dates for Y2K Compliance has information on mandatory testing dates and other critical Y2K dates.
The Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada (TBS) Year 2000 Definitions web page has links to a glossary site, an English-French lexicon, the TBS Date Standard, and the Year 2000 Compliance Definition.
Another source is on the web site of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in the U.S. This organization announced recently (February 16, 1999) that they will make two of their Y2K-related standards available free of charge, one of which is the IEEE Standard for Year 2000 Terminology - IEEE Std 2000.1-1998 (15 page, 253K PDF file, © 1998 IEEE). The other IEEE document deals with information technology year 2000 test methods mentioned at the end of the section Where can I find information on how to find and correct possible Y2K-related health and safety problems in my workplace?
Any equipment, machines, devices, and processes that are controlled by computers, computer software or embedded systems (e.g., microchips, microprocessors) that are not Y2K-compliant are susceptible to the Y2K bug. Malfunction of these devices and other things may cause accidents, injuries, or damage to property or equipment if computers, software, or embedded systems cause the machines or equipment to fail, stop, or start unexpectedly.
Here are some examples of software and equipment that should be investigated:
a) Computing hardware and software
b) Equipment, machines, and other devices that contain date-dependant controls (e.g., embedded systems, microchips, microprocessors) such as:
These lists are not intended to be comprehensive but they give you an idea of how far the Y2K problem extends. Y2K problems will occur only in equipment, machines, devices, etc. that depend on day/date information to operate correctly if the Y2K problem is not identified and corrected.
The Canadian Federal Government Year 2000 Information Site (Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat - TBS) web site is the central site for Canadian Federal Government Departments. The TBS Glossary describes embedded systems as:
"... tiny computers that contain software or "firmware" that is embedded directly within a product or system. The Millennium Bug could affect some or all of these chips. There will be an estimated 25 billion chips at work on the planet on Jan. 1, 1999. Embedded systems far exceed the number of computer systems commonly considered to be the bulk of the Year 2000 problem."
The TBS web site also has introductory information on embedded computer chips.
The U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) web site has a copy of Occupational Safety and Health Implications of the Millennium Bug: Embedded Microchips prepared by Vernon P. Anderson, Chief, Information Resources Branch, Education and Information Division at NIOSH (about 9 pages).
If you want more extensive information on embedded systems, go to the IEE, Institution of Electrical Engineers, (UK) web site. The IEE document The Millennium Problem in Embedded Systems "explains the use of risk management techniques to assess and manage the risk to a company, or other organisation, which is posed by possible Year 2000 failures in equipment and machinery." This "document" is actually a collection of dozens of HTML documents that includes an extensive Table of Contents. If you use this information on your web site you should also read their notes to managers, publications editors, etc. about internal company use and copyright information.
Many Y2K web pages have links to sites (but no direct information) dealing with embedded chip problems. One example is the web site of the U.S. National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), a facility of the National Science Foundation. It has a large number of links on their Y2K web page, including links (with brief descriptions) to web pages related to Embedded Chip Problems.
The Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada (TBS) Year 2000 Definitions web page has a Year 2000 Compliance Definition that explains what Y2K-compliance means.
Other organizations have definitions too, but basically there are four conditions that must be met.
Any equipment, machines, processes, etc. that are somehow date-dependent must operate without stopping, malfunctioning, or corrupting data regardless of what the "current date" value is and all date "units" (e.g., days, months, years, leap years, centuries) must roll-over correctly.
Any date-based functions or activities must be carried out consistently and accurately for periods before, during, and after the year 2000. For example, in the year 2102 a computer program will calculate the age of a person, born in 1999, as 103, not 2, 102, or some other number.
Computer programs or microprocessors must represent the year date as a four-digit number or a century indicator may be used in some applications. Another possibility is to "infer" 19xx when, for example, the last two years digits (xx) have a value greater than 50; when the value of xx is 50 or smaller, then the year 20xx is intended.
The leap years must be calculated correctly. Every year that is divisible by 4 is a leap year except centuries which must be divisible by 400. This means that years like 1900 and 2100 are not leap years. Date management systems must be able to handle February 29 and day 366 in leap years.
Compared to the large number of Y2K web pages on the Internet, there are few sources on the Internet dealing specifically with occupational health and safety. They range from short fact sheets to long, detailed documents.
Please note that any regulations and standards mentioned in any document that you link to from this web page apply to the workplaces covered by the legislation. Guidelines, safety protocols, and check lists that you can link to from this web page will be useful to you. However, you should consult the occupational health and safety agency in your jurisdiction to find out how they apply to or can help you to meet the standards, regulations or guidelines that apply to your workplace.
The Workers' Compensation Board of British Columbia produced a two-page document "Workplace health and safety and the year 2000 - Making sure your business or industry operates safely at the turn of the millennium". It describes the Y2K problem and summarizes how to conduct a year 2000 safety audit.
The Nova Scotia Department of Labour has added a Year 2000 Project web page that has links to reports on Elevators and Lifts and on Year 2000 Progress in Nova Scotia.
Representatives from the Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL), the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), the Ontario Safe Workplace Associations (SWAs), and the private sector prepared a document "Health & Safety and the Y2K Problem" that contains information about Y2K and possible impacts on health and safety; it also summarizes the duties of employers in Ontario. One of the SWAs, the Industrial Accident Prevention Association (IAPA), made this Y2K document available on their web site as a downloadable WordPerfect document and as a PDF file. You can also find this web page by going to the IAPA home page, clicking on "Media and What's New" and then "April 12".
These are the only Canadian occupational health and safety publications that we have found on the Internet. If you know of others, please let us know. [mail to firstname.lastname@example.org; Subject: Y2K and OH&S]
The U.S. Department of Labor web site for the Employment Standards Administration (ESA) has a Year 2000 Bug web page that summarizes their Five-Phase Year 2000 Compliance Best Practices Strategy and provides links to:
- Becoming Y2K Compliant,
- Tool Kit: Understanding Your Organization's Y2K Challenge.
- Best Practices for Y2K Managers.
In the U.S., the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the Department of Labor published a one-page document entitled Millenium bug can affect workplace safety and health that summarizes what can go wrong, what kinds of devices and equipment to check, and what to do to find and how to remedy the problems.
The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) of the Department of Labor has a Year 2000 web page containing general information and links to other web sites. MSHA also published the Report on the Awareness and Readiness of the Mining Industry Concerning Year 2000 (Y2K) Problems.
The U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The NIOSH Y2K Homepage has links to:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) web page CDC and the Year 2000 has some information on Developing a Y2K Action Plan for the Clinical Laboratory that may also be useful to those working in occupational health and safety laboratories.
The Division of Laboratory Systems of the Public Health Practice Program Office (PHPPO) at the CDC summarizes some of the Y2K problems that clinical laboratories may experience and provides links to web sites of interest to laboratory staff and those in the medical field.
The United Kingdom Health and Safety Executive (HSE) web site has the largest collection of Y2K information related to occupational health and safety. The Safety Policy Directorate of HSE has prepared a 3-page summary Safety and The Year 2000. For additional information you may wish to read the publication Health and Safety and the Year 2000 Problem - Guidance on year 2000 issues as they affect safety-related control systems which is available free-of-charge as a 20-page, 179K PDF document or as a HTML document.
The HSE has also published documents on doing Y2K risk assessments and making contingency plans. These are described in the section Where can I find information on how to find and correct possible Y2K-related health and safety problems in my workplace?
There is a priced publication (75 or so pages long) also entitled Safety and the year 2000 is, as the HSE describes it, a report that "is intended to help users of software-based equipment understand the problem associated with the year 2000 and to provide them with a strategy for tackling it." More details including the Table of Contents, are available from HSE web site
For more technical information, readers may want to consider Testing Safety-related Control Systems for Year 2000 Compliance. This HSE priced publication is aimed at "the actual users of the systems so that they know whether they need to test their system for compliance with the year 2000 problem, using a risk-based analytical approach. It explains what to do in the event of non-compliance." The HSE web site has more information on this publication.
Several Australian occupational health and safety agencies have published Y2K information on the Internet.
The Queensland Workplace Health and Safety Board of the Department of Employment, Training and Industrial Relations has two Year 2000 documents:
1. Is there a Year 2000 pest in your plant, a 2-page PDF document.
2. The Year 2000 Problem and Health and Safety, a 10-page PDF document.
WorkCover - New South Wales - To view the Y2K information on this site, click on "News Break", select Y2K, press the "Agree" button to see a list Y2K FAQs, news articles, and links that are available for viewing.
Workcover South Australia (non-java format is faster - http://www.workcover.sa.gov.au/menu/menu.html) has a 2-page Fact Sheet (HTML). To view this publication, click on <publications>, then select <OHS publications>, (or select OHS under the "Publications" heading on the non-java page) and scroll down to "How the Year 2000 and the Millennium Bug could affect your Health, Safety and Welfare".
The Victorian WorkCover Authority has links to documents, a millenium bug video, and links on the web page Is the millennium bug dangerous?
WorkSafe Western Australia prepared a four-page document entitled Year 2000 Date Problem -Implications for Occupational Safety and Health.
Prevent, a private, Belgian institute, partially sponsored by the Belgian Insurers Federation, has a Y2K section on their web site in English, French, and Dutch. It contains occupational health and safety information, case studies, Y2K resources, and a link to a Y2K forum (mail serve).
As far as we know, the Y2K problem has not specifically been addressed in Canadian occupational health and safety legislation. However, there are sections in current legislation that can be applied to potential Y2K problems.
For example, in the document "Health & Safety and the Y2K Problem", prepared by representatives from the Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL), the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), the Ontario Safe Workplace Associations (SWAs), and the private sector, there is information about Y2K and possible impacts on health and safety; it also summarizes the duties of employers in Ontario. The following excerpts about Y2K applications in Ontario legislation were taken from this document.
"Sections 25 and 26 of Ontarios Occupational Health and Safety Act specify the duties of employers under the law. For the purposes of the protection of workers from hazards associated with the failure of computers and systems, the following legal requirements must be considered:
"Clause 25(2)(a): [Employers shall] 'provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health or safety of the worker'. This is crucial because, in order to comply, employers must first determine what would be the consequences of computer failures in their workplace. These finding should be communicated to workers.
"Clause (25)(2)(d): [Employers shall] 'acquaint a worker or a person in authority over a worker with any hazard in the work' .... Again, employers must be knowledgeable of such hazards.
"Clause (25)(2)(h): [Employers shall] 'take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker'. Given that the potential problems associated with y2k have been so widely publicized, employers cannot plead ignorance and fail to take precautions to protect the health and safety of workers in the event of failures."
Check with authorities in your jurisdiction to find out what employers duties apply in your workplace. In general, when workplace conditions or situations are not addressed specifically in legislation, employers have a duty to take every reasonable precaution to ensure that the workplace is safe for workers.
If an accident or injury arose because of a Y2K-related problem, an employer could be charged. In such a case, a defendant may be found not guilty if he or she can prove that due diligence was exercised. In other words, the defendant must be able to prove that all precautions, reasonable under the circumstances, were taken to protect the health and safety of workers. To use "due diligence" as a defense, the defendant must be able to prove, among other things, that the written procedures were prepared and workers had received proper training before the accident or injury occurred.
The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) publication Health and Safety and the Year 2000 Problem - Guidance on year 2000 issues as they affect safety-related control systems (also available as a 20-page PDF document) offers guidance in what the HSE considers good practice. The preamble of this guidance document states, in part, that "Following the guidance is not compulsory and you are free to take other action. But if you do follow the guidance you will normally be doing enough to comply with the law."
The HSE guidance document refers to regulations that apply in the United Kingdom which, of course, do not apply elsewhere. However, armed with this guidance document and others mentioned in this web page, occupational health and safety personnel will have information that will help them to do risk assessments and take appropriate corrective action. It will also aid employers who do not have appropriate in-house expertise to hire consultants. They will be able to compare the protocols of prospective consultants with those in documents mentioned previously.
The occupational health and safety agency that you normally deal with should be contacted if you have specific questions that apply to your workplace.
Some of the documents mentioned in previous sections provide assistance in looking for Y2K bugs.
The documents on risk assessment and contingency planning, referenced below in this section, will also help health and safety staff to identify and correct Y2K problems. People will have to carry out workplace assessments to find out what equipment, machinery, devices, or processes may be affected by the Y2K bug. Staff will have to determine if accidents, damage, or injuries are likely to occur if equipment fails or starts up unexpectedly. In addition, they will have to see that the equipment used to measure or analyze exposures to chemicals, noise, etc. is also Y2K-compliant.
It also means that they will have to ensure that the computers and software that they use to record, store, and retrieve data will function as expected (predictably and accurately) from pre-year 2000 dates to post-year 2000 periods, including the leap years.
The document Year 2000 Risk Assessment - Will you come through the millenium safely? (10-page, 234K PDF document), prepared by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in the U.K., will help those who have to carry out Y2K-related risk assessments. This publication was based, in part, on another HSE publication Five Steps to Risk Assessment (HTML document or a12-page, 218K PDF document) that you may also find as useful information.
The Year 2000 Risk Assessment publication describes five steps in doing the risk assessment as follows:
|Step 1||Seek out the problem by listing all equipment that operates by using a computer program or other programmable electronic systems like embedded systems ("chips"), microprocessors, or programmable logic controllers.|
|Step 2||Identify date-dependent equipment that may affect health or safety.|
|Step 3||Evaluate the risks and decide what needs to be done. Develop contingency plans in case things go wrong despite your best efforts. The HSE publication Contingency planning for a safe year 2000 (20-page, 616 K PDF file) contains more details.|
|Step 4||Record your findings.|
|Step 5||Review your Year 2000 assessment, test your contingency plans, and revise where necessary.|
A new HSE publication Year 2000 assessment - A Review Framework (a 16-page, 617K PDF file) "describes a framework for the review of a company's Year 2000 programme for ensuring the absence of Year 2000 faults in safety-related systems." This publication is intended to be used in conjunction with other HSE Year 2000 documents.
There are various sources of information on how to test your computers, embedded systems, etc. One example is the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers IEEE Draft Std P2000.2, "IEEE Draft Recommended Practice for Information Technology Year 2000 Test Methods" (this is a 111-page, 447K PDF file. They point out that this is "an unapproved Recommended Practice Draft, subject to change" © 1998 IEEE).
There are many web sites where you can find chemical hazard and safety information. Here are examples of a few sites that will lead you to many more.
A number of U.S. industry and trade associations in cooperation with the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have prepared a document "Addressing Year 2000 Issues in Small and Medium-sized Facilities that Handle Chemicals". This can be downloaded from the CSB web page that describes this 17-page 648K PDF document. Source material from the U.K. Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the U.S. CSB and the U.S. EPA was used to prepare this document.
The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board has an extensive list of web sites, Chem Links, that are related to industrial chemical safety, including Year 2000 Issues (click on this topic at the bottom of their list).
The NIEHS National Clearinghouse for Worker Safety and Health Training for Hazardous Materials, Waste Operations includes a Clearinghouse Y2K Page with links to a Y2K Worker Awareness Handbook, other Y2K Resources and archived articles.
The IFCS, a World Health Organization agency, has issued a one-page International Chemical Safety Advisory about the year 2000 (Y2K) computer failure problem and chemical safety and has a link to a description of the Electronic Information Clearing House on Chemical Emergencies that is maintained by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development).
The OECD Environmental Health and Safety web page contains many links to web pages describing the OECD's work on environmental health and safety, including Y2K Issues, the OECD Electronic Information Clearing House on Chemical Emergencies. This clearing house contains links to:
The web page The Workplace on the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat web site gives you some beginning hints and provides links to the Industry Canada Strategies web site where you will find additional information on how to protect your business against Y2K problems.
The Industry Canada SOS 2000 web page is also extremely useful. The Management Challenge web page has information on Action Plans, Year 2000 and Small Business, Risk Management and Contingency Planning, Legal Issues, and CEO Perspectives. It also has a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section and Links with Suppliers and Customers.
CAN2K is the "awareness component of the Year 2000 initiative launched by Industry Canada in conjunction with the Canada-Pennsylvania Partnership Council" and like other Canadian Federal Government sites is available in English and French.
The Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) has information on banking and preparing businesses for the year 2000 and links to sites with general information on Y2K, financial information, and information aimed at small and medium-sized businesses.
The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)web page Year 2000 Ready states the BDC has created the Year 2000 Ready loan program, flexible financing especially designed to help foster a "Year 2000 ready" environment for small business. It also describes eligibility criteria for obtaining term loans for software and hardware conversion to meet the Y2K problems, and where you can get further information about the Year 2000 Ready loan program.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) announced that it has published a manual for small and medium size businesses, The Year 2000 Problem: Risks and Solutions - A Manual for SMEs that provides valuable information on Y2K problems and solutions for small and medium enterprises. It includes Canadian material plus information (and links) to Y2K web sites from around the world and indicates in which language(s) the documents are available.
You could start by visiting the Canadian Emergency Preparedness web site where they have a link to an article on "Preparing for "00": The federal government gets ready".
The Canadian Centre for Emergency Preparedness Y2K web page explains what Y2K is and has links to other sites with Y2K Information, Y2K Articles, Y2K Tool Kits, and Y2K Rumours.
The web site for FEMA, the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, has a Y2K web page with links to Emergency Services, Emergency Response, a Y2K Press Kit & Bulletin, Y2K Consumers Guide, Planning Preparedness, Related News, Frequently Asked Questions, Related Links, and Y2K For Kids.
The Canadian Federal Government Year 2000 Information Site is a good place to begin. From this web page you can get links to other web pages that let you find out:
Maple Square, a Victoria, B.C.-based search engine, has a collection of links to Y2K - Web Sites including links to Y2K service providers and vendors, hardware and software vendors, legal information, etc. plus a link to the AOL Canada Year 2000 web page.
Another search engine Northern Light has a YEAR 2000 COMPUTER PROBLEM web page that has links to articles and news sources and links to government sites, web sites dealing with legal issues and vendor compliance and other Y2K resources.
The Cassandra Project refers to itself as a grassroots, non-profit organization. The name is based on the mythological Cassandra who had the gift of prophecy but was fated never to be believed. The Y2K Health and Safety section has links to sites and articles that are mostly related to health rather than to workplace health and safety issues. The International Page has links to articles and sites having information in French and many other languages.
The media are another source of Y2K information.
The Canadian Community Newspapers Association Year 2000 Resources web page has links to Year 2000 articles and "Great Year 2000.
Individual newspapers have Y2K web pages. One example, is the Toronto Globe and Mail Y2K Watch Page
The CBC Year 2000 Problem page on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation web site has general introductory information, links to Real Video from CBC TV News reports, and links to "general" Y2K sites and some sector-specific sites.
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has a Millennium Bug Information page that contains some general information including a list of books on the Y2K problem and some interesting Y2K web sites.
Although not a newspaper or broadcaster, the albertaweb.com web site has links to news, reports and links to other sites, including those with emphasis on Canadian issues.
ZD, the publisher of several computer magazines (e.g., Macworld, PC Computing, PC Magazine) has web site ZDNet with a Year 2000 Bug page has news, information, and a "video rebroadcast of the IT for Wall Street ZDY2K debate featuring top Y2K experts from a variety of industries".
These are only a few examples of sites that provide Y2K information -- a search on any of the Internet search engines will lead you to many, many others.
The Millenium Bug Home Check on the Industry Canada Strategis web site has lots of general information on the Millennium Bug including information on what may be affected, what will not be affected, what some consequences may be on January 1, 2000 and much more. Other sites mentioned above (Maple Square, AOL Canada, and the Cassandra Project, or any of your favourite search engines) will link you to other sites.
The U.S. Consumer Gateway -- describes itself as "a 'one-stop' link to a broad range of federal information resources available online". It is designed so that you can locate information by category -- such as Food, Health, Product Safety, Your Money, and Transportation. Each category has subcategories to direct you to areas within individual federal web sites containing related information.' It also has a Year 2000 Consumer Information web page.
As we continue to look for information on Y2K issues related to occupational health and safety, we will continue to update this document periodically. If you find such Y2K-related web sites that you think would be useful to others, please let us know (mail to: email@example.com - Subject: Y2K).
Document last updated on October 27, 1999