In this issue:

 Heading into Summer
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.
Visit our website   to register for the Part 1 or Part 2 Certification Course.

Lack of Required Training, Protection Results in $70,000 Fine for Tecumseh Company

March 25, 2019

worker was injured after falling from the ceiling while installing new light fixtures. Following a guilty plea, Cybertech Controls Electric Inc. was fined $70,000 The court also imposed a 25 per-cent surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.
Heavy Equipment Fatality in Brampton Results in $85,000 Fine

March 21, 2019

A worker was killed when a machine that was being off-loaded from a float trailer overturned. Following a trial, Cobra Float Services Inc. was fined $85,000. The court also imposed a 25 per-cent surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.
Summer Student Onboarding Checklist

Properly Onboarding Young Workers         

With the end of the post-secondary school year here, this is the time to start reviewing your exiting work environment and ensuring that your company's work environment is open, caring and compliant for all employees, including your summer student hires and young workers. 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 between the ages of fourteen (14) and twenty-five (25) )are three (3) times more likely to be injured or killed within the first month of employment than all other worker groups combined!

If you're hiring additional employees for the summer, expanding your business or returning former young workers to your workplace, ensure that you onboard your employees properly. Check out our orientation checklist as a guide to ensure all new workers have the skills and knowledge they need to return home from work safely at the end of their workday. The check to augment your company's current orientation process.

Farm Workers
Migrant Farm Worker Program

Every year, thousands of migrant farm workers come to Canada to work in the agriculture industry, including 20,000 arriving in Ontario to work on farms and in greenhouses. These workers play a vital role in the industry, and therefore, in Ontario's economy. The Provincial Expert Advisory Panel on Occupational Health and Safety, and subsequently, the Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL), have identified this labour force as a group who face barriers in accessing effective occupational health and safety resources and support.  As migrant farm workers spend the majority of their time at work, and farm work can be physically demanding, involving a variety of hazards, an occupational health and safety focus is particularly important for supporting the health of this population. For more information  on a program specifically focused on supporting Ontario migrant farm workers and their employers click here.

Here in Ontario, employers are required to post a copy of the Act and any explanatory material prepared by the Ministry of Labour, for both OH&S and Employment Standards,  in both English and the majority language of the workplace, outlining the rights and duties of workers. For access to Ministry of Labour publications in other languages, please click here.

Tick Prevention
Spring is here and so are the ticks!

Blacklegged ticks, also called deer ticks, are most active during the spring and summer months. Having said this they can also be found at any time of the year when temperatures are above freezing. They live mostly in woodlands, tall grasses and bushes, including city gardens and parks.

If you or your employees work outdoors, such as in the recreational, landscaping, construction or maintenance industries, the following precautions are designed to prevent tick bites and enable your team to work outdoors safely:

  • Cover up with a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, socks and closed footwear. Make sure to tuck your clothing in so ticks cannot climb underneath or into clothing. Wear light coloured clothing, this makes it easier to see ticks.
  • Use insect repellent or bug spray that contains DEET or Icaridin on clothes and exposed skin.
  • After coming in from the outside check yourself out. Ask a co-worker or family member to help look for ticks once you have completed your work. Pay close attention to areas such as your scalp, ankles, armpits, groin, naval, back, and behind your ears and knees. Ticks are known to like these areas and are often found making themselves at home I these areas.
  • Wash as soon as you can and place your work clothes on high heat in your dryer, for at least 60 minutes. This will kill any possible ticks that may be travelling on your clothing.
For more information on ticks and Lyme disease, click here.

Heat Stress
Ensure your employees are safe when working in the summer's heat!

As the heat and humidity of the summer will soon be upon us, ensure that you always provide safe working conditions for your employees. Heat stress can happen when hot, humid conditions and physical activity overcomes your body's natural cooling system. Heat combined with stresses such as hard physical work, loss of fluids, fatigue or some pre-existing medical conditions could lead to heat-related illness, disability and even death.  Heat stress is especially prevalent in the early summer, when workers have not acclimatized to the summer heat.
For workplaces that require their employees to work outdoors or in non-air-conditioned workplaces during the hot summer weather, a heat stress plan must be established. The plan must be designed to help workers recognize the risks; identify "triggers" that would serve as criteria to put the plan into action. The criteria include weather/environmental indicator triggers such as:
  • The humidex reaching or exceeding 35 degrees Celsius;
  • An Environment Canada humidex advisory;
  • Heat waves (consisting of three or more days of temperatures reaching 32ÂșC or more); and,
  • An Ontario Ministry of the Environment smog alert being issued.
Click here to read more from the Ministry of Labour's Fact Sheet on the effects of Heat Stress and how to avoid it.

WSIB Premiums

Changes to the Rate Setting Model are coming January 1, 2020.

In December 2018, the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB) sent out letters to break down your new classification information. This new rate model has been designed to ensure that businesses are paying a fair premium that is reflective of their industry and experience. The new rates, that are being introduced in January 2020 are based:
  1. Industry classes and their share of responsibility to maintain WSIB funding; and,
  2. A risk-adjusted premium rate for your business reflective of your claims history comparing your business to the rest of the businesses in your industry class.
Within each of these classifications the new system includes risk bands which represent employers that are experiencing claims above or below the class rate. Your band will be based on your individual experience.
For more information on the upcoming changes, visit the WSIB website by clicking here.

Day of Mourning 
On April 28, join us by remembering those who died, were injured, or contracted an occupational illness at work.

Every year, on April 28, Canada pays respects to, and remembers, the thousands of workers who have been killed, injured or suffered occupational illness as a result of work-related incidents. The National Day of Mourning also honours the many families and friends who have been deeply affected by these tragedies.
Each and every one of us can do our part to help prevent the numerous injuries and illnesses that occur daily in our workplaces. By working together, with the common goal of reducing injuries and illnesses, we can make a difference.

On April 28, show your commitment to this cause, by sharing stories, kind words, and pictures on social media, participate in a community event such as the Threads for Life -Steps for Life.; or take a moment and remember those we have lost. You can use #dayofmourning to show your support on twitter. Click here for sharable images.

Every worker has the right to return home safe and sound at the end of each work day. 

Employment Standards
Changes to Parental Leave Benefits

The 2019 Federal Budget introduced changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) Benefits that new parents can take advantage of. This new benefit, called the Parental Sharing Benefit is available to all two-parent families and will begin in June 2019.

Current EI Benefits
  • 35 Weeks Parental Leave - parents can share the 35 weeks of Parental Leave in any combination of weeks, which is paid out at 55% of average weekly earnings.
  • 18 Months Parental Leave - parents can share the 18 months of Parental Leave in any combination of weeks, which is paid out at 33% of average weekly earnings. 
New Benefits (beginning June 2019)
  • 35 Weeks Parental Leave - If parents agree to share the benefit, one parent can take the full 35 weeks of leave and the other parent can take an additional 5 weeks at 55% OR they can share various combinations of 40 weeks of leave in total.
  • 18 Months Parental Leve - If parents agree to share the benefit, one parent can take the full 18 months and the other parent can take an additional 8 weeks at 33% of the benefit OR they can share various combinations of 69 weeks of leave in total.
  Parents who are not sharing parental leave will not have access to this new benefit and only one parent can take the current 35 weeks or 18 months. For more information click here

Ministry of Labour Program Initiatives
Upcoming Provincial / Eastern Ontario Inspection Initiatives
Sector / Business
Health & Safety
Suspended access equipment 
March 18 - Sept. 27, 2019
Health & Safety
Workplace Violence Prevention
July 22 - Sept 27, 2019
Health & Safety
New and young workers
May 1  - Aug 30, 2019
Health & Safety
High risk traumatic hazards - Slips, trips and falls 
All Sectors
March 18 - July 12, 2019

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
May 1-3, 2019
8:30 am - 4:00 pm
JHSC Certification Part 2 - Healthcare
May 30 - 31, 2019
8:30 am - 4:00 pm
JHSC Certification Part 1 - Basic
June 10 - 12, 2019
8:30 am - 4:00 pm
JHSC Certification Part 2 - Office, Retail and Light Industrial
June 20 - 21, 2019
8:30 am - 4:00 pm
JHSC Certification Part 2 - Healthcare
July 25 - 26, 2019
8:30 am - 4:00 pm
JHSC Certification Part 2 - Office, Retail and Light Industrial
August 8 - 9, 2019
8:30 am - 4:00 pm
JHSC Certification Part 1 - Basic
August 21 - 23, 2019
8:30 am - 4:00 pm

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

Contact Us

t:   613-546-9814

"Specializing in incident prevention and mitigation strategies."

- Wiebke Wilkens