In This Issue

Quick Links


Can't Stand the Heat? Tips On Managing Heat Stress


Heat Illness Protection


Heat Stress Management Program


Heat Stress Management


Extreme Heat Events Guidelines 


Become A Member!

AWARE-NS...Become a Member Now!


AWARE-NS, the Nova Scotia Health and Community Services Safety Association is undertaking a Membership drive. The Association recognizes that strong ties with our sector stakeholders and partners afford AWARE-NS the opportunity to be guided by and to reflect the health and safety needs within these sectors. Membership in AWARE-NS is free and consists of voting and non-voting members. All Health and Community Service organizations that become members are eligible to identify one official designate who can attend and vote at any meeting of the society.

For more information and membership application form


Completed application forms can be emailed to If you would like to receive additional information about AWARE-NS please contact Valerie Macleod, Executive and Stakeholder Relations Coordinator via e-mail at or by phone 902.832.3868, toll free 877.538.7228 or visit our website

Featured Articles


Board Member Recruitment


Managing Heat Stress


Steps for Safety





Upcoming Webinars



COSP LTC Information Session Webinar

June 2, 2014



Register Now!!


AWARE-NS - Come Tour Our New Website
Date and Time:
Tuesday, June 3, 2014

1:30 pm


Register Now!!


Administrative Penalties

Wednesday, June 4, 2014



Register Now!!

                    May 2014

        Message From the Executive Director 



May is a busy month for Safety! How did you celebrate NAOSH Week? 'Making Safety a Habit' is a great theme to live on throughout the year to help foster great safety practices in your organization.


Although, we are patiently waiting for someone to bring on that summer heat, it is a great time to review your policy and approach to managing Heat Stress. Kenzie Fraser, OHS student has written an article and has added some resource links to help you keep this topic on as a top pay off activity!


As we continue to assess and plan for our 2014-15 Program Initiatives, staff roles and responsibilities have been re-developed and fine-tuned:Valerie MacLeod, Executive Coordinator will continue in her administrative role, and will also be coordinating stakeholder communications. This role includes coordination of the AWARE-NS Newsletter and key events, active management of Twitter, Facebook and our Website management to ensure you are being kept abreast of the latest news and important dates.


 Please join me in welcoming Scott Bennett, to AWARE-NS as our new OHS Program Development Coordinator. This role is new to the organization and will focus mainly on developing OHS Program resources and training materials, manage online learning content and   actively support the work that is currently underway through stakeholder engagement and involvement in our key initiatives. Scott is passionate about health and safety and loves to connect with people to share his comprehensive health & safety knowledge with his goal to make a difference in your safety program.


This issue of the newsletter brings in news on important key topics: We are undergoing Board member recruitment drive and seeking formal Memberships to AWARE-NS. Check out all the hot button issues and don't forget to mark your calendar for important dates!


Our Website is almost date is planned for May 29th. So keep an eye out! I hope you are as excited as we are!


     Welcome to the Team, Scott


My name is Scott Bennett and  am excited to join the AWARE-NS team as the new OHS Program Development Coordinator. 

Over the past 14 years, I have worked for Capital Health and recently as a Violence Prevention Safety Officer where a key  focus has been on violence prevention training and assessments. 


I am a recent graduate from Dalhousie University where I obtained my Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety Program Management and am in the process of completing my certificate in Environmental Health and Safety Program Management. I have a passion for Safety and am looking forward to working with all of you to help build the tools and resources to support OHS program development in your organization helping you to foster a culture of safety that results in a reduction in  accidents and injury rates. 


 To Contact Scott:










       Upcoming Events 





AWARE- NS AGM                              

The AWARE-NS AGM will be held on June 19, 2014, from 9:30-11:30, at NSGEU, 255 John Savage Ave, Dartmouth , NS. Contact to register!!

CCANS Conference
June 4, 5 and 6th
Annapolis Basin Conference Center
See CCANS website for registration details

Health Care Human Resource Sector Council AGM
June 12,2014
To register for this event contact:

NSGEU Bully-Free Workplaces International Conference
June 11-13, 2014
To register for this event:


Toll Free 1-877-556-7438

Direct 902-478-7797




Board Member Recruitment



Application Deadline June 2, 2014

               Invitation for Applications


The Nominating Committee of the board of AWARE-NS, the Nova Scotia Health & Community Services Safety Association, is seeking applications for the following Board positions that will become available at the Annual General Meeting, June 19, 2014:

  • 1 for the Acute Care Sector;

  • 1 for facility based long term care (Department of Health and Wellness funded);

  • 1 for facility based long term care (Department of Community Service funded);

  • 1 for labour;

  • 1 homecare/home support;

  • 1 for community residential homes

  • 1 for frontline workers; and

  • Up to 2 members-at large

Our Vision is "Safe and healthy people; safe and healthy workplaces". Our focus is prevention and our mission is to work with stakeholders and partners to promote and improve safety and health in health and community services workplaces.

Do you want to help make a difference by serving on our Board of Directors? We are seeking Directors to foster the growth and development of AWARE-NS and assist the Association in fulfilling its Vision

Specifically, we are looking for people who meet these criteria:

  • Board Governance experience in organizations( public, private, non-profit)

  • Critical, independent thinker with a strategic focus

  • An understanding of the health and community services sectors ;

  • A commitment to a strong workplace safety culture

  • Willing and able to commit the time necessary to prepare for and effectively participate in meetings

  • Demonstrated sense of community and individual responsibility and accountability.


It is anticipated that the Board will meet in person during working hours, at least four times per year and by teleconference as required, and that your commitment to the AWARE-NS Board will span at least two years. The meetings are estimated to require a full day of active participation and are of paramount importance. AWARE-NS will reimburse travel expenses if they are not covered through your sponsoring organization.


Newly appointed Board members will receive an orientation to the Board's Governance process, the AWARE-NS Strategic Plan, and the Strategic Operational Plan.


If you would like to receive additional information about AWARE-NS please contact Valerie Macleod, Executive and Stakeholder Relations Coordinator via e-mail at or by phone 902.832.3868, toll free 877.538.7228 or visit our website


Completed applications can be submitted to the attention of Valerie Macleod via Applications can be found @






Managing Heat Stress                   Author: Kenzie Fraser - OHS student



With summer fast approaching, the temperature and humidity are sure to rise. These increases dramatically increase the risk of heat stress to all workers. Heat Stress occurs when the body absorbs more heat than it can get rid of, essentially, overheating of the body.


Heat stress can lead to very serious injury, or possibly even death. With injury or death a plausible outcome, it is extremely important for employers to provide preventive measures to minimize the likelihood of an employee being injured due to heat stress.



Engineering Controls


The most effective type of preventative controls an employer can implement is engineering controls. Engineering controls are controls which are designed to isolate the employees from the hazard. Examples of effective engineering controls used for heat stress are:

  • Reduce worker activity through automation or mechanization

  • Cover or insulate hot surfaces to reduce radiant heat

  • Shield workers from radiant heat

  • Provide air conditioning and/or proper ventilation

  • Provide fans for spot cooling

  • Using dehumidifiers for reducing humidity


Administrative Controls


Another set of controls that are effective when dealing with heat stress are administrative controls. Administrative controls are not designed to eliminate the hazard; they are used to shape the way in which employees work. The main goals of administrative controls are to prevent or limit exposure to hazards. There are several useful administrative controls to preventing or eliminating heat stress.





Acclimatization means to gradually expose the employees to the hot conditions. This may be done over several days or several weeks, depending on individual variables, such as age, weight, various health conditions, etc.


Other valuable administrative controls include:


  • Supervision

  • Working in partners or groups

  • Appropriate work-rest cycles

  • Appropriate work schedule

  • Scheduled water breaks


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)


The final method of control is personal protective equipment. PPE is essentially the last line of controls employees can use to protect themselves from heat stroke.


Effective PPE for heats stress may include:


Proper clothing such as,

  • Light summer clothing
  • Hats
  •  Light colored clothing
  •  Long sleeve shirt and pants to protect from sun
  •  For very hot environments, consider air, water or ice-cooled insulated    clothing
  •  Vapor-barrier clothing

Additional Comments


Remember, always stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of fluids, such as water, sports drinks and juice, will replenish important vitamins and minerals lost over the duration of a shift. It is also important to stay clear of beverages such as alcohol, coffee, and other beverages containing caffeine, as these will dehydrate the worker. A simple way to help stay cool at the worksite is to have frozen wet face cloths that can be placed on the back on the neck to cool core body temperature.




Ontario Ministry of Labour. (2013). Heat Stress. Retrieved from 


Worksafebc. (2007). Preventing Heat Stress at Work.

Retrieved from




Steps to Safety - Step 2                            




Take STEP 2

Calling Leaders to ACTION - Take the next STEP to Assess the Risk of Violence

Preventing and controlling workplace violence does not have to be difficult or complex. All you really need is the knowledge and ability to recognize, evaluate and control the hazard of violence in your workplace, in the same way you would any other health and safety hazard.

Why Leaders?

Safety leadership commitment extends to addressing hazards such as workplace violence to prevent incidents from occurring and ultimately improving the corporate safety culture


What's the RISK?

The risk of violence occurring in the workplace is linked to a number of factors including; the physical aspects of the workplace (e.g. lighting), the sector of work and activities that workers perform (e.g delivery of care), and the conditions of work (e.g. hours, surrounding neighbourhood).


Did you KNOW?

The following activities or circumstances may increase the risk of workplace violence.

  • Community based work

  • Transporting people and/or goods

  • Mobile workplaces

  • Working with individuals with challenging / responsive behaviours

  • One employee is present in a work area or working alone

  • Providing personal care

  • Dispensing medications, tobacco and/or alcohol

  • Handling cash, protecting or securing valuables

  • Making organizational change decisions

  • Having performance management responsibilities


What's been going on in YOUR Workplace?

Your past violence incidents will help you prevent future violent incidents.


ACTION NOW - Complete the Assessment tool for Step 2

STEP 2 - Workplace Violence Risk Hazard Assessment - Backgrounder and Assessment Tool











Working Toward Bully-Free Workplaces 

2014 International Conference 

           June 11-13, 2014

Subject Line: 3 Ways to Support Bully-Free Workplaces



The Working Toward Bully-Free Workplaces 2014 International Conference is just around the corner and we would like to invite you to participate!  Below you will find 3 different ways you can get involved and become part of the bully-free workplaces solution.  


Conference Promotions

Attend the conference!  You will have the opportunity to be informed about existing workplace anti-bullying programs, access tools that will improve the psychological health of your workplace, and integrate the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace.


1. Single Ticket Purchase

Early Bird saving of 15% is available until April 30, 2014


2. Multiple Ticket Purchase

Receive 30% off the total conference price when booking 4 or more attendees before April 30, 2014


To view pricing or to register please visit or call 902-478-7797.



For a nominal investment of $500, you could become a valued sponsor of the conference.  Your investment will provide you with the following benefits:


Logo Inclusion

  • conference website
  • conference print materials
  • conference signage 
  • PPT slide during opening remarks 

Social Media Acknowledgement 

  • Twitter
  • Facebook 


Spread the Word

So many people to reach in so little time!  Can you help us?  Here are a few suggestions on how you can promote the conference to your email lists, website visitors and social media connections.


On Facebook

Please like our page and comment!  We will happily do the same on your page if you have one - just be sure to let us know what it is.


On Twitter

We just set up our Twitter account and it needs lots of help.  Please follow us, RT and Favourite our tweets and #FF us on Friday's.  We will do the same for you!


Newsletter Inclusion

Got a newsletter coming out before June 11th?  We would be grateful if you could include us in whatever way you feel is appropriate.  See below for a brief description of the conference, our web address is and the conference brochure is attached.


Email Blast

If you don't have a newsletter coming out but would still like to help us spread the word, perhaps you could email your contacts our conference brochure



Also attached is our conference logo that you can add to your website sidebar.  Even better if you could make it a clickable - please direct people to 



About the conference...

Attend this world class event in Nova Scotia, the province leading Canada toward a nation of bully-free workplaces. Working Toward Bully-Free Workplaces 2014 International Conference is taking its place on the international stage to address the cultural issue of bullying in the workplace and what we have to do to successfully graduate the next generation of Canada's workforce. Keynote speakers are all internationally recognized for their contribution to bully-free workplaces and will be addressing the national standards for Canada on psychological workplace health and safety.  Attendees will have the opportunity to be informed about existing workplace anti-bullying programs as well as access tools and resources that will help them improve the psychological health of their workplace and integrate the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. The Standard is voluntary now, but will be mandatory in the future.

Thank you for supporting the Working Toward Bully-Free Workplaces conference!



Susan Coldwell

Bully-Free Coordinator

Register Today!