In this issue:

Navigating the "New Normal" of Business
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 Basic 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.

Mental Health
Impacts of the Pandemic

In addition to regular life events, our "new normal" has created some additional stress for us all. From unemployment, lack of socialization, working from home, and navigating the constant changes and regulations, it has forced us to adapt, which can be challenging for all of us. Here are some tips from the World Health Organization (WHO) that you can use to support your mental health and wellbeing:
  • Keep informed. Listen only to trusted news sources to receive advice and recommendations.
  • Have a routine. Keep up with your daily routines as much as possible or make new ones.
  • Minimize newsfeeds. While you need to stay informed, minimize how much you are watching, reading or listening to. Avoid anything news that makes you feel anxious or distressed.
  • Maintain social contact. Even though there are restrictions in place, maintain contact with family and friends over the phone or online.
  • Alcohol and drug use. Limit your amount or do not consume at all. Avoid using substances as a way of dealing with fear, anxiety, boredom and social isolation.
  • Screen time. Limit how much time you spend in front of a screen every day. Take regular breaks.
For more tips on keeping your mental health in check, click here.

Working from Home
Ergonomic Injuries

From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic starting in Canada, one of the most common and most widely used recommendations for businesses to follow was to allow your staff to work from home, as much as possible. What many employers did not realize, and some still do not, is that time spent working from home is still considered work time and any injury sustained while working from home is considered a workplace injury. This includes musculoskeletal injuries sustained due to poor ergonomic set ups.

Employers are responsible for ensuring that their employees' home workstations are ergonomically correct. Employers should ensure that:
  • Office equipment at home (desk, chair and other accessories) are comparable or equal to the quality in the office.
  • Lighting is arranged so there are no reflections or glare from the computer monitor.
  • Home workstations are adjusted properly:
    • Wrists are in a neutral position and shoulders are relaxed and perpendicular to the floor;
    • Knees are at approximately a 90 degree angle with feet on the floor and thighs are parallel to the floor;
    • Head and neck are straight and centered over the torso; and,
    • Screens are centered directly in front of the eyes and the monitor.
For more information on setting up workspaces from home, click here or contact WHSS at 613.546.9814.

Health and Safety Excellence program
Provider Updates

Upcoming Meetings:

A friendly reminder that our next meeting will be held virtually on September 24, 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 one week 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.

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.

REMINDER: Our program still runs on a calendar year basis. For you to qualify for the next rebate cycle, you must submit all documentation by December 15, 2020 to receive your recognition.

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.

Health and Safety
Training Requirements

If you are in the process of recalling employees that were
on temporary layoff or you are looking at hiring new staff, the health and safety training requirements have changed slightly due to COVID-19. As always, your mandatory health and safety training is required for all new staff. It is also wise idea to refresh all of your staff returning after the pandemic on these training items as well. They include:
  • Health & Safety in 4 Steps for Employees and 5 Steps for Supervisors;
  • Violence & harassment;
  • WHMIS 2015;
  • AODA; and,
  • Workplace specific safety practices.
In addition, you need to train all staff on your policy and procedures changes in relation to COVID-19. This will be different for each industry and business, but should include items such as:
  • Ensuring workers know how to properly clean and sanitize their workspace;
  • Rules and regulations regarding mandatory masks and physical distancing;
  • Ensuring they are trained on how to use their required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) properly; and,
  • Reporting procedures for illness and what to do in the event that they or another staff member are COVID-19 positive.
For more information on your responsibilities as an employer during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit the Ontario government's website here.

At WHSS, we offer training! For more information, check out our website at or contact Sheena Smith by email or at 613.546.9814 ext. 224.

Human Resources
Layoff Rules Expiring September 4

Now that the state of emergency has ended in the province of Ontario, the temporary regulations under the Infectious Disease Emergency Leave expire on September 4, 2020.

As an employer, this means any employee that is still on temporary layoff must be either recalled back to work or they will be deemed to be terminated. When terminating an employee, you must pay out all monies owing to them and the appropriate termination pay and severance pay (if applicable) based on their years of service with your company. As always, vacation pay entitlement is added to their termination pay.

For more information on this leave of absence, please click here.

For more information on your responsibilities as an employer under the Employment Standards Act, contact Sarah Salisbury, Associate Consultant at 613.546.9814 ext. 222 or by email

 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
Excavations and Utility Contacts
September 2 - November 2, 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
Health & Safety
Radiation Protection - Training and Education
Veterinary Clinics
September 2, 2020 - November 2, 2020
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 - Healthcare
September 17 -18, 2020
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
JHSC Certification Part 2 - Industrial
September 28-29, 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
Mental Health First Aid
October 29 - 30, 2020
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
JHSC Refresher
November 6, 2020
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
JHSC Certification Part 2 - Industrial
November 12 -13, 2020
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
JHSC Certification Part 1 - Basic
November 18 - 20, 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 six (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