In this issue:

Working in an Evolving Environment
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.

Noxious Plants
Protect Your Outdoor Workers from Hazardous Plants

Throughout Ontario, there are noxious plants that can cause painful reactions when they come into direct contact with an individual's skin. These plants include:

  • Giant Hogweed
  • Wild Parsnip
  • Poison Ivy
  • Poison Sumac
  • Stinging Nettle
Workers who work outdoors need to be provided with the appropriate training to enable them to recognize the plants
and be able to work safely around them. Employees must take every pr ecaution reasonable to ensure that they do not touch the plants  with their bare skin.

Supervisors must provide their direct reports with the necessary training and instruction to ensure an employee's body and face are covered, that they do not use power equipment or tools around the plant and that all equipment that may have come into direct contact with 

a noxious plant is washed and cleaned after every potential exposure.
If a worker does come into contact with a no xious plant immediate steps must be taken to minimize the contact time. The affected area must be washed immediately with soap and cold water and the employee should seek medical attention immediately, especially if they are sensitised or the contact has been with one of the photo reactive plants. An additional precaution that must be taken is to remove the employee's affected area from sunlight if exposed to the photo sensitive plants like giant hogweed or wild parsnip.

For information on how to protect workers from hazardous plants and more tips on working outdoors, click here.


COVID-19 Update
Mandatory Mask Order

Effective July 7, 2020, all Eastern Ontario Public Health Units have enacted an order for mandatory masks to be worn in all public, indoor spaces. As an employer, this means that you must require your employees to wear a face covering when working in an environment where they welcome members of the public into your public, indoor establishment. If your business is open to the public, all patrons entering your business must also wear a face covering. The face covering must be worn in the establishment at all times, unless it is reasonably required to temporarily remove the face covering for services provided by the business.


A person is exempt from wearing a face covering if:

  • The person is a child under age two (2) or under the age of five (5) if the child refuses to wear one and the caregiver cannot persuade them to wear one;
  • Wearing the face covering inhibits the person's ability to breath; and
  • For any other medical reason that the person cannot safety wear a face covering.

For more information on this order, please see visit your local public health unit's website. You can also contact Wiebke Wilkens or Sarah Salisbury for more information.


Health and Safety Excellence program
Provider Update

Upcoming Meeting:

Friendly reminder that our next meeting will be held virtually on July 22, 2020. There are two time options for this meeting:
  • 9:00am to 11:00 am; or
  • 1:00pm to 3:00pm.
Please choose the option that works best for you and attend one (1) of the meetings. All meeting details will be sent out by email prior to the meeting.

Program status:

At this point, all companies should have chosen their topics with the WHSS team and completed their Action Plan. If you have not yet done this, you need to speak with us at WHSS as soon as possible to complete this.

If your Action Plan has been approved, this means you can begin following the 5 Step system to implementing your topics into your business! All documents for validation, MUST be reviewed by WHSS prior to submission. We will provide more information on this.

For those companies who have paid for the Premium membership, we are working on your topic policies and will have them ready for you prior to submitting your validation documents.

If you have questions about the program, please contact Wiebke Wilkens by email or at 613.546.9814 ext. 221 or Sarah Salisbury by email or at 613.546.9814 ext.222.

Human Resources
New Regulations for Layoffs

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many employees had to be laid off and may still be on layoff due to the shortage of work. Typically, a layoff can only last for a maximum of thirteen (13) weeks, which after that point, the employee is deemed to be terminated. Due to the length of the pandemic, the Ontario government has amended the Employment Standards Act (ESA) to change this rule in Pandemic situations only.

Under the new rules, an employee who has had their hours reduced or eliminated due to a pandemic, is automatically deemed to be on Infectious Disease Emergency Leave . Currently there are no defined time limits to being on this leave due to the uncertainty of the pandemic. The leave retroactively applies to March 1, 2020 and will expire six (6) weeks after the declared emergency ends.

At time of publication, the Ontario Government has extended the declaration of the emergency to July 22, 2020

For more information on these leaves and your responsibilities as an employer, please refer to the Ministry's Guide to the Employment Standards Act or contact Sarah Salisbury, Associate Consultant at 613.546.9814 ext. 222 or by email

WHSS Update
Summer Hours

Despite the current pandemic, the staff at Wilkens Health and Safety Solutions are here to support you! Wiebke, Sheena and Sarah are back in the office and available by email or phone. We continue to hold training courses and scheduled meetings at our office in small groups to maintain social distancing protocols.

For the months of July and August, Sarah and Sheena will be off every Friday and will return back to a regular work week schedule beginning the week of August 31. Please leave us a message by phone or email and we will reply when we are back in the office.

 Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills   Development Program Initiatives
Upcoming Provincial / Eastern Ontario Inspection Initiatives
Sector / Business
Health & Safety
Health Workers in Healthy Workplaces - Occupational Disease
All Sectors
October 1 - December 28, 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 2 - Industrial
July 23-24, 2020
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
JHSC Certification Part 1 - Basic
August 10-12, 2020
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
JHSC Refresher
August 20, 2020
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
JHSC Certification Part 2 - Healthcare
September 10-11, 2020
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
JHSC Certification Part 2 - Industrial
September 17-18, 2020
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
JHSC Refresher
October 2, 2020
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
JHSC Certification Part 1 - Basic
October 5-7, 2020
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
JHSC Certification Part 2 - Healthcare
October 22 - 23, 2020
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Courses scheduled will all be offered following safe distancing protocols as well as all other mandated safety 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 s ix (6) or more. Please contact Sheena Smith 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 Sheena Smith by email  or 613.546.9814 ext. 224 for more details.

Contact Us

t:   613-546-9814

"Specializing in incident prevention and mitigation strategies."

- Wiebke Wilkens