In this issue:

 Working During a Pandemic Crisis
Wilkens Health and Safety Solutions (WHSS) is the only Chief Prevention Officer (CPO) approved Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) Certification training provider located in Kingston.  

As most workplaces with twenty (20) or more workers must have a JHSC established, we regularly hold training sessions. At least one (1) worker and one (1) management representative of this committee must be certified by completing the prescribed training standards set by the MOL.  

Part One  Basic Certification Training 
Part One B asic Certification training  provides an overall knowledge of the Health and Safety Legislation that applies to most workplaces.  

Part Two Workplace Specific  Training 
Part Two Workplace Specific  Certification training focuses on the significant hazards in your workplace and how to assess, control and/or eliminate them.
Refresher Certification  Training 
This course is designed to include all sectors and reviews the essentials of the Part 1 and 2 Certification training as well as highlight any legislative changes that have occurred within the last three years.
Visit our website   to register for the Part 1, Part 2 or Refresher Certification Courses.

Glencore Canada Corporation Fined $110,000 After Workers Injured

March 11, 2020

On May 9, 2018, a Toronto company, Glencore Canada Corporation failed to ensure that a rail car has been depressurized before the transfer line was disconnected, resulting in an uncontrolled spray of 98% sulfuric acid, injuring three workers. The Company was fined $110,000 plus a 25% victim surcharge.

Vixman Construction Ltd. Sentenced to $125,000 fine and 18 Months' Probation After Workplace Fatality at Billy Bishop Airport

February 12, 2020

A worker suffered fatal injuries after falling from his work surface and hitting the ground while installing corrugated steel sheeting. Vixman Constructions Ltd. was sentenced to a fine of $125,000 and 18 months probation for failing as an employer to ensure measures and procedures prescribed in section 26.2 (2) and 26.6 (3) of O. Reg 213/91 were carried out in the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The court also imposed a 25% victim surcharge.

Wilkens Health and Safety Solutions
Temporary Change to Services

All of us at Wilkens Health and Safety Solutions understand the difficult decisions and immense change that this virus has brought to your businesses. We want to know that we are still here to support your business needs.

Since we are not classified as an essential service, we have made slight changes to our services, so that we can still be here to support you. Until we have been notified that we can return to business as usual, your main contacts will be Wiebke Wilkens and Sarah Salisbury.
If your employees were scheduled for an upcoming training course that we need to reschedule, we will be in contact to reschedule them to a future date. If any of your employees are in a situation where their joint health and safety committee certification training is either in 
progress or their certification is set to expire, they can apply to the Ministry of Labour Training and Skills Development for a one time extension. Apply for this through this link.

For any members of the Health and Safety Excellence program, we will be in touch with you by email, regarding meetings, registering for the program, submitting documents and more.

As this situation is evolving rapidly everyday, we remain committed to keeping you up-to-date on all of your Health and Safety and Human Resources needs.

Migrant Workers
Reducing Barriers

Every year, thousands of migrant workers come to Canada to work. These workers play a vital role in Ontario's broader agricultural industries, and therefore, in Ontario's economy. The Provincial Expert Advisory Panel on Occupational Health and Safety, and subsequently, the Ontario Ministry of Labour Training and Skills Development (MOLTSD), have identified this special labour group as a vulnerable group that faces barriers in accessing effective occupational health and
 safety resources and support. As migrant workers often spend the majority of their time at work, much of it completing physically deman ding work, with a variety of additional hazards, an occupational health and safety focus is particularly important for supporting the health and safety of this population.

In Ontario, employers are required to post a copy of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and all mandatory explanatory material prepared by the MOLTSD, for both Occupational Health & Safety and Employment Standards, in both English and the majority language of the workplace, outlining the rights and duties of workers. This must be given during a proper onboarding program, including the Worker Health and Safety in 4 Steps program and job-specific orientation training.

For access to MOLTSD publications in other languages, please click here or contact Wiebke Wilkens or Sarah Salisbury for more information.

Hiring Young Workers
Health and Safety Orientation

As many of you are reading this newsletter during the current Pandemic situation, working remotely, working reduced hours or are working full speed, as an essential workplace, now is the time to start reviewing your existing work environment and ensuring that your company's work environment is open, caring and compliant for all employees. This includes your summer student hires,  young workers and unpaid learners. Whether your new hires are long-term or temporary, proper onboarding procedures are crucial in fostering a safe work environment. National statistics show that young workers (employees aged fourteen to twenty-five (14 to 25) are more likely to be injured or killed within the first month of employment than all other worker groups combined! 

Your orientation should include:
  • Introductions to the employee's supervisors and team;
  • Providing them with written contact information for their supervisors as well as emergency services in the area;
  • Completing their Health and Safety Awareness in Four Steps training;
  • Completing their job specific health and safety orientation training, as well as other legislative requirements;
  • A review of the most updated health and safety manual;
  • A review of your violence and harassment prevention policy; and
  • Ensuring that employees are up-to-date on all their training needed for the job.
For more information, check out the Ministry's information here or contact Wiebke Wilkens or Sarah Salisbury for more information.

Health and Safety Excellence program
Updates to the Program

For current members:

Our next meeting has been rescheduled to April 30, 2020 from 1-4 pm at the Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area. Many of our member firms are still working or working remotely and we would like to move forward with finalizing Action Plans. For any employers who are still working, we ask that you email Wiebke or Sarah so that we can set up a Zoom Call meeting. This will allow us to finalize your Action Plan so that you can submit it to the WSIB and begin working on your selected topics.

For companies wanting to join the program:

We are still accepting new firms, as well as participants of the previous WSIB health and safety incentive programs (i.e.: Safety Groups, Small Business and Workwell) until June 30, 2020. If you have questions about the program or you would like to register, please contact Wiebke Wilkens by email or at 613.546.9814 ext. 221 or Sarah Salisbury by email or at 613.217.0253.

WHSS In the Community
Steps for Life

In previous newsletters, Wilkens Health and Safety Solutions was proud to announce that we have partnered with Threads of Life, a national non-for-profit organization that provided programs for families affected by workplace injuries, illnesses or fatalities, to organize the Kingston 2020 Steps for Life 5K charity walk.

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the walk that was to take place on May 2, 2020 has been cancelled. We are however looking at supporting and developing several virtual events during the month of May. We encourage members in our community to wear yellow T-shirts when you are out for your walks, creating a sea of yellow, while practicing safe distancing. Threads for Life is promoting the "#MyWhyMyWay" and encourages communities to continue to donate to Threads for Life. The many families receiving support from the organization continue to need the support while they deal with the loss or illness of a family member due to a work-related illness or death. Fundraising continues through to the end of June as in previous years. We will make sure to keep you informed as updates become available.

In the meantime, if you have any questions about Steps for Life, please contact Wiebke Wilkens at 613.548.9814 ext. 221 or by email.

Human Resources  
Layoff Details

To layoff or not to layoff. That is the question on most employers' minds during this difficult time. The decision to layoff employees is based on your current circumstances as well as anticipated circumstances. You may have already had to make some difficult decisions for your business. As the Pandemic situation continues to evolve and you are trying to avoid laying employees off, here are some suggestions for keeping employees on payroll for as long as a possible.
  • Which job tasks can employees complete in a work from home or work remotely environment?
  • Can jobs be shared between employees to reduce hours, but keep employees on payroll?
  • If the qualifications and skill level is present, is there the ability to move employees into another position within the company?
  • Are you able to change the delivery of your services to contact clients remotely or in a virtual environment?
If you have already temporarily laid employees off, there are some rules that you need to follow. For the rules regarding temporary layoffs, please refer to the Ministry's Guide to the Employment Standards Act or contact Sarah Salisbury, Associate Consultant at 613.217.0253 or by email

 Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills   Development Program Initiatives
Upcoming Provincial / Eastern Ontario Inspection Initiatives

Sector / Business
Health & Safety
Motor Vehicle & Mobile Equipment Hazards
All Sectors
April 1 - June 26, 2020
Health & Safety
Supervision in Construction
May 4 - August 7, 2020
Health & Safety
Safe Transition/Transfer of Care
Health Care
June 1, 2020 - February 1, 2021
Health & Safety
Temporary Help Agencies
May 1 - August 31, 2020
Health & Safety
Workplace Violence in Education
April 1, 2020 - March 31, 2021
Health & Safety
Warehousing (Ergonomics)
Specialized Professional Services
April 1, 2020 - March 31, 2021
*Please note that the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development has stated that these dates may be adjusted due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. We will keep you informed as updates become available.

View the full schedule  here .

For help preparing for an upcoming inspection,  contact us  today. 

Upcoming WHSS Courses
Register your employees today!

JHSC Certification Part 1 - Basic
April 27-29, 2020
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
JHSC Certification Part 2 - Healthcare
May 7-8, 2020
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
JHSC Certification Part 2 - Industrial
May 11-12, 2020
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Mental Health First Aid
May 14-15, 2020
8:30 am - 4:00 pm
JHSC Refresher Certification
May 22, 2020
8:30am - 4:30pm
JHSC Certification Part 1 - Basic
May 25-27, 2020
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
JHSC Certification Part 2 - Industrial
June 8-9, 2020
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
JHSC Certification Part 1 - Basic
June 24-26, 2020
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
We are hoping to be able to have the above mentioned courses running, provided that the current Provincial State of Emergency is lifted. Courses scheduled in late April and throughout May will be offered following safe distancing protocols - this means fewer people being allowed to register for each course - allowing for safe participation.

Private on-site courses can also be arranged for groups of six (6) or more. Please contact Ciara Keech  for details.

WHSS continues to be a training partner for Working at Heights with the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA). Contact us today to arrange your full or refresher course. Courses are scheduled on an as needed basis and can be held at your site or at the Kingston Construction Association (KCA).

For a complete listing of upcoming courses, click here or contact Ciara Keech by email or at 613.546.9814 ext. 225 for more details.
Contact Us

t:   613-546-9814

"Specializing in incident prevention and mitigation strategies."

- Wiebke Wilkens