In this issue:

2021 Is Finally Here! Time to Assess Your Health and Safety Program
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.

Worker's Injuries from Furnace Result in $200,000 Fine for Guelph Manufacturer

December 16, 2020

A worker was injured after opening a furnace door. The worker was not wearing protective equipment as required by law. Following a guilty plea in Guelph, Linamar Corporation was fined $200,000 and the court also imposed a 25 percent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special government fund to assist victims of crime.

Worker's Fall Through Skylight Results in $55,000 Fine for Chelmsford Building Centre

December 1, 2020

A worker who was removing snow from the roof of a shed fell through a skylight. The worker was not using safety equipment as required by law. Following a guilty plea, North West Lumber Co. Ltd. was fined $55,000 in provincial court in Sudbury. The court also imposed a 25 percent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act.  

Joint Health and Safety Committees
Remote Work and JHSC Challenges

While the pandemic may have your employees working from home these days, the responsibilities for an active Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) do not go away. Even with remote work, JHSC functions and task must still be performed. Here are some solutions to the challenges that remote work can cause:

1. Ensure certification is up to date. The legislation requires each Joint Health and Safety Committee to have the appropriate number of certified members. If you do not have one (1) management and one (1) employee representative certified, you need to get them trained as soon as possible. Wilkens Health and Safety Solutions continues to offer in person training courses while following all COVID-19 Safety procedures and guidelines.

2. Meet at least every three (3) months. At a minimum, your committee must continue to meet at lease once every three months. Send all required meeting documents electronically and move your meeting do a virtual platform. During these challenging times, more frequent meetings are highly recommended to ensure the ability to address changing safety protocols and worker concerns are addressed in a timely manner.


3. Perform monthly workplace inspections. If the workplace is temporarily closed and there are no employees on site, then inspections may not be required and may not be able to happen. The JHSC should document changes to their inspection schedule and ensure that one is completed prior to reopening the workplace, taking COVID-19 risks and controls into consideration. Inspecting individual home work locations IS NOT REQUIRED but workers should be encouraged to bring up concerns that are work related.


4. Ensure employees can voice their concerns. Ensure that all staff continue to report hazards and voice workplace concerns to their supervisor or their representative on the JHSC. One solution to this, is holding open-door virtual meetings with the Committee and/or staff.

For more details on how to ensure your JHSC is functioning during remote work life, click this link.

If you are looking for more direction training dates for our Joint Health and Safety Committee training courses, contact us at 613.546.9814 or at

Workplace Hazard

Workplace Ergonomics is not just about the office environment and your posture at a desk. Ergonomic principles can be applied to any work position and how the fit of the task effects the physical and mental capabilities of the worker. Here are two (2) conditions that poor ergonomics can contribute towards:
  1. Musculoskeletal disorders is an umbrella term used to describe injuries to the musculoskeletal system. These can develop suddenly or gradually over weeks, months or years and are linked to a combination of force, fixed or awkward positions, and repetition of job tasks.
  2. Poor Visibility can lead to workers being forced into awkward positions while using equipment. This can be caused from improper lighting; improper work station design or working on surfaces not meant for long term work assignments.
For more information on workplace ergonomics, click the link here from the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development.

Want additional information or need an ergonomics policy written for your business? Contact us at 613.546.9814 or at

Mental Health
Winter Blues

Research shows that Canadians experience a downward shift in mood during the winter months. With decreased sunlight, spending more time inside and the holidays ending, we can experience higher levels of depressive symptoms. Not to mention, this year we also have a pandemic to contend with, making things a little harder.

The Canadian Mental Health Association offers six (6) tips for helping individuals beat winter sadness:
  1. Spend time in nature;
  2. Maximize exposure to sunlight;
  3. Exercise;
  4. Eat a healthy diet;
  5. Practice daily relaxation techniques; and
  6. Reach out for help when you need it.
If you or someone you know is in experiencing a mental health crisis, please contact your local crisis centre, a crisis hotline, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency department.

For more information, click here. For more information on promoting mental wellbeing in the workplace, contact our office at 613.546.9814 or at

Health and Safety Excellence program
Provider Updates

Program status:

At this point, all companies that are currently registered with Wilkens Health and Safety Solutions as their program provider, should be working on gathering their documents for evidence and creating their evidence stories to be submitted for validation. Once these items are prepared, please send the information to us at Wilkens Health and Safety Solutions for review. We will assist you in the next steps submitting for validation.

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: In order to be eligible to receive a rebate and recognition in May 2021, all firms must submit their documentation to us at Wilkens Health and Safety Solutions, no later than February 28, 2021.

2021 Program:

Wilkens Health and Safety Solutions is proud to announce that we are an approved Health and Safety Excellence program Provider for 2021 and registration is now open! We are currently accepting registrations for both new and returning members. You can register for the full program with Wilkens Health and Safety Solutions until March 31, 2021.

If you have questions about the program or would like to register or the 2021 program, please contact us at 613.546.9814 or by emailing

Human Resources
Infectious Disease Emergency Leave

The Ontario Government has extended the provisions under the Infectious Disease Emergency Leave that were set to expire on January 2, 2021 to now expire on July 3, 2021.

For employers, this means that any employees who are currently laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic can remain on temporary layoff until July 3, 2021. This prevents the employer from having to pay termination and severance pay until that date and provides employers with a longer period of time to determine whether or not they will recall the employee back to work.

For employees, this provides job protected leave for those who must remain home to isolate, quarantine, or take care of a loved one due to COVID-19. This includes parents who decided not to send their children back to school.

For more information on this leave of absence, please click here or contact Sarah Salisbury, Associate Consultant at 613.546.9814 ext. 222 or by email

Province Wide Shutdown

On December 21, 2020, the Ontario government announced a province-wide shut down to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The shutdown will take effect at 12:01 am on Saturday, December 26, 2020 and will remain in place until Saturday, January 9, 2021 for Northern Ontario and 
Saturday, January 23, 2021 for all of Southern Ontario. 
For a definition of which health units are included in Southern Ontario and what businesses are permitted to stay open, please click here
If you have questions regarding the document or require assistance with implementing health and safety restrictions, please contact us at 613.546.9814 or at


All of us at Wilkens Health and Safety Solutions thank you for your support in 2020 and allowing us to be a part of your workplace, assisting you meet the various requirements of the ever changing workplace rules and regulations. We hope everyone had a wonderful and safe holiday season and we wish you all the best in the new year!

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

Sector / Business
Health & Safety
Tower Crane Inspection and Maintenance
August 31, 2020 - December 31, 2020
Health & Safety
Safe Transition/Transfer of Care
Health Care
June 1, 2020 - February 1, 2021
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
January 12 - 14, 2021
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
JHSC Certification Part 1 - Basic
January 20 - 22, 2021
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
JHSC Certification Part 2 - Industrial
February 4 - 5, 2021
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
JHSC Refresher
February 8, 2021
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
JHSC Certification Part 2 - Healthcare
February 25 - 26, 2021
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
JHSC Certification Part 1 - Basic
March 8 - 10, 2021
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Mental Health First Aid
March 25 - 26, 2021
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
JHSC Refresher
March 29, 2021
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
JHSC Certification Part 2 - Industrial
April 8 - 9, 2021
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
JHSC Certification Part 2 - Healthcare
April 19 - 20, 2021
8:30 am - 4:30 pm

All courses scheduled are 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