JUNE 2017                                                                FRANÇAIS

"Thank you for making the 60th Anniversary one to remember."  - Dave Grundy, President and CEO, WSCC .

We really couldn't have said it better ourselves. Despite the rain, the 60th Annual Mine Rescue Competition and Miner's Picnic was well-attended and the teams outdid themselves in terms of their performances. If you couldn't attend, take a look at our President's account of events for a brief glimpse into what you missed.

Each team excelled and took home a trophy for at least one event this year, but it's safe to say that the Gahcho Kué Diamond Mine team led the 2017 pack, taking home five of the 16 awards - and this was only their second year competing!

New this year to this competition was the Victor Diamond Mine team, hailing from Northern Ontario, and they clearly meant business. Despite this being their first year, they took home the trophy for Best Surface Obstacle.

Congratulations to all the winners! The individual tasks were awarded to the following teams:

Best Bench Tech
Gordon Zdyb (Ekati Diamond Mine)
Best Surface First Aid Ekati Diamond Mine - Surface Team
Best Underground First Aid Meliadine Gold Mine
Best Surface Practical Bench Gahcho Kué Diamond Mine
Best Fire Fighting
Gahcho Kué Diamond Mine
Best Surface Rope Rescue
Gahcho Kué Diamond Mine
Best Underground Rope Rescue
Diavik Diamond Mine
Best Surface Written Test
Gahcho Kué Diamond Mine
Best Underground Written Test
Hope Bay Gold Mine
Best Surface Smoke
Meadowbank Gold Mine
Best Underground Smoke
Diavik Diamond Mine
Best Underground Bench/Field Test
Diavik Diamond Mine
Best Surface Obstacle
Victor Diamond Mine (Ontario)
Best Underground Obstacle
Ekati Diamond Mine - Underground Team
Best Overall Surface
Gahcho Kué Diamond Mine
Best Overall Underground
Diavik Diamond Mine

Mine Rescue  competitors, we'll see you next year for the 61st anniversary! Save the date: the 2018 Mine Rescue Competition will be taking place on Saturday, June 2, 2018.
WHMIS 2015

Employers, take note: Health Canada has recently adjusted their compliance schedule for WHMIS 2015, or the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System training.

In order to fully implement WHMIS 2015 nationally, across federal, provincial, and territorial jurisdictions (to allow for legislative adjustments in each), and to give suppliers, employers, and workers time to adjust to WHMIS 2015, Health Canada is allowing implementation to take place over a three-stage transition period, culminating in full compliance across Canada by December 1, 2018 .

All employers and employees should be trained in WHMIS 2015 so that as changes come into the workplace, workers will already know the new system. Earlier this year, the WSCC partnered with the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) to develop an online WHMIS 2015 e-course to help employers in the Northwest Territories or Nunavut ensure their workers are fully compliant. The WSCC continues to sponsor free seats for the online training; please click here to register.

To read more, please visit Health Canada's WHMIS Transition and Explanation of Transition Phases pages.


Many of us forage for morel mushrooms in the summer months as a hobby, but did you know that if you are harvesting morel mushrooms in the Northwest Territories and you work for yourself, you can receive WSCC coverage?

If you want to receive the same benefits and protections as other workers in the event of an incident, ensure that you buy Personal Optional Coverage.

Applying for WSCC coverage is easy - and you can buy it for only one month (at a minimum) if you wish. Fill out and submit the Personal Optional Coverage application. Our Employer Services team is available to walk you through the process, and explain the benefits and cost. Coverage starts when we receive your completed form and full payment.

For more information, click here, or contact us at 1-800-661-0792.

Homeowners: did you know that if you hire workers in and around your home, WSCC legislation may consider you an employer? If you are thinking about obtaining the services of nannies, cleaners, repair workers, or contractors to work full or part-time, with or without remuneration, the WSCC can help you determine if you need to pay assessments under the Workers' Compensation Act and whether you have occupational health and safety (OHS) responsibilities under the Safety Act.

Call our Employer Services unit to find out if the WSCC considers you an employer for assessment purposes, and our Prevention Services unit to ask about your OHS responsibilities. Call us toll-free at 1-800-661-0792.

It's always an exciting time: welcoming and educating a new generation of young workers to the workforce and passing down your skills and knowledge to help them advance in life. As you're going through the orientation process, however, do not forget to remind them of their basic rights as workers:
Due to the fact that young workers (aged 14 to 25 years) most often engage in seasonal, part-time, or temporary work, employers may sometimes neglect to inform them of these rights, but out of all the age groups in our existing workforce, they are the ones who need to know this the most. Studies have shown that young workers are more likely to suffer injuries due to inexperience, and most often, are less likely to ask questions out of fear or intimidation.

If you hire young workers for the summer, teach them the importance of workplace safety and empower them to ask questions.

Follow these tips:
  • Provide safety orientations before they begin working, whether they are new or returning young workers. Make sure to include First Aid and emergency procedures.
  • Take time to explain the job. Workers learn in different ways, so try a combination of talking and hands-on learning.
  • Take them on a guided tour of the worksite, and introduce them to key safety people in your organization (i.e. a Health and Safety Manager, or your Occupational Health and Safety Committee members).
  • Make sure they are aware of any workplace hazards, and how and to whom they must report new hazards.
  • Educate them on safe work practices and company procedures, including hazard identification and proper use of PPE. Many young workers may not have used - or seen - PPE before.
  • Inform them of their worker rights and responsibilities. Are they aware that they can refuse unsafe work? Do they know they can report any unsafe work practices?
  • Pair young workers with experienced and safety-conscious workers, and continue to regularly monitor their work.
  • Teach or remind them about the Internal Responsibility System (IRS): workplace safety is everyone's responsibility.
  • Make health and safety a part of all workplace communications.
Make sure young workers know that any and all questions are welcome. They may want to prove themselves, and may not wish to admit they don't know how to complete a task. A welcoming environment invites young workers to speak up.

As their employer, you are their supervisors, mentors, and leaders. The law dictates that you must ensure the safety of everyone at your worksite, no matter the age or season, and remember that you are leading the next generation of safe workers. Guide them: it is never too early to start sharing knowledge on workplace safety. We were all young workers once. Let's lend the next generation a helping hand.

To learn more about employers' rights and responsibilities, click here. Employers, remember that Section 14 of the new OHS Regulations speaks to where a young person cannot work.

Construction season is well underway, and with it comes our annual notice of awareness for something we should all continue to keep a close eye on: asbestos.

As structures are demolished or renovated, please keep in mind that buildings constructed after 1990 in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut may still have asbestos-containing materials. (Buildings constructed previous to 1990 have been known, most definitely, to contain asbestos if they have not been renovated after 1990.)

The Northwest Territories and Nunavut's definition of asbestos is any manufactured product or other material that contains 1% or more of asbestos. Common materials that may contain asbestos includes:
  • Ceiling tiles;
  • Drywall jointing materials;
  • Vinyl asbestos tiles;
  • Stippled finishes; and
  • Pipe insulation.
If you work in one of these industries, be aware and understand how to protect yourself and others:
  • Building Construction or Renovations, including:
    • Carpentry
    • Construction Work
    • Insulation Installation
    • Plumbing
    • Roofing
    • Shipbuilding
    • Textile Work
  • Remediation and Waste Management
Workplace diseases and fatalities associated with asbestos exposure are preventable. Provide Asbestos Awareness training to educate yourself and your workers. If a work site is at risk for asbestos, ensure that an inspection is conducted by a qualified person. Equip all workers with the proper personal protective equipment (PPE), and understand proper handling procedures in the presence of asbestos.

Remember: you may not necessarily be aware that you have been exposed to asbestos. The long latency period of asbestos-related diseases (20-40 years) can lull you into thinking you were not affected.

For additional information, visit the Asbestos Abatement Code of Practice on our   website.

The Governance Council reviewed and approved the following policies at its June 2017 meeting:
  • Policy 03.12, Pre-Existing Conditions
  • Policy 04.03, Choice and Change of Health Care Provider
  • Policy 04.04, Complementary and Alternative Treatments
  • Policy 04.13, Conflicting Medical Opinions
Please refer to the WSCC Policy Manual to view all WSCC policies, and the Governance Council Directives Manual to view all Governance Council Directives.

WSCC offices (Northwest Territories and Nunavut) are closed on Monday, July 3 in celebration of Canada Day, and reopen on Tuesday, July 4 at 8:30 AM.

WSCC's Iqaluit office is closed on Monday, July 10 in celebration of Nunavut Day, and reopens on Tuesday, July 11 at 8:30 AM.

To report a serious workplace injury or incident, call 1-800-661-0792.
This information will soon be available in Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun on our website.

wscc.nt.ca   /  1.800.661.0792   *   wscc.nu.ca  /  1.877.404.4407