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Safety First Newsletter - February 2020
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Winter Safety
 
It's that time of year once again where the snow is falling and ice is forming. Winter weather brings outdoor activities but also slippery roads/surfaces, strong winds, and cold temperatures. It is important to stay safe during the winter season to prevent illnesses, injuries, or fatalities that are impacted by winter weather. 
Preventing Cold Stress
Workers who are exposed to extreme cold or work in cold environments are at risk for cold stress. The effects of cold stress are more hazardous in wet and windy conditions. As temperatures drop and wind speed increases, heat can rapidly leave the body, leading to serious health problems such as dehydration, numbness, trench foot, frostbite and hypothermia.
 
Low Temps + Wetness + Windy Conditions = Cold Stress.

Employers should protect workers from cold stress by:

  • Making sure workers recognize the environmental and workplace conditions that may be dangerous (e.g., cold temperatures, wet conditions and wind)
  • Learning the signs and symptoms of cold-induced illnesses and injuries and how to help workers experiencing such symptoms
  • Training workers about preventing cold stress
  • Making sure workers in extreme conditions take frequent breaks in warm, dry shelters to warm up
  • Scheduling work during the warmest part of the day
  • Making use of radiant heaters, indoor heated rest areas or barriers to protect workers from the wind
  • Allowing new employees to acclimate to cold temperatures
  • Encouraging employees to warm up before work begins by incorporating stretch and flex exercises at the beginning of each shift.
For more information on keeping warm at work during the winter months, click here
Winter Driving Tips for Motorists
 
Canada Safety Council recommends following the steps below to stay collision-free
during the winter:
                              
  • Make sure that your vehicle is prepared for winter driving with winter tires, a snow brush/scraper in your car and emergency items such as a lightweight shovel, battery jumper cables, and a flashlight. Make sure that mirrors, all windows, and the top of your vehicle, are free of snow or frost before driving.
  • Drive smoothly and slowly. Don’t make any abrupt turns or stops when driving. Doing so will often cause your vehicle to lose control and skid. Driving too quickly is the main cause of winter collisions. 
  • Don’t tailgate. Stopping takes much longer on snowy and icy roads than on dry pavement, so be sure to leave enough room between your vehicle and the one in front of you.
  • Brake slowly to reduce speed before entering turns. 
  • Learn how to control skids. When skidding, you actually need to go against your natural instincts and turn into the skid and accelerate. Doing so transfers your vehicle’s weight from the front to the rear and often helps vehicles to regain control.
  •  Turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other motorists.
  • Never use cruise control if conditions are snowy, icy, or wet, because if your car hydroplanes, your car will try to accelerate, and you may lose control of your vehicle.
  • If your vehicle is equipped with an anti-lock braking system, do not pump the brakes. Apply constant pressure and let the system do its work.
  • Pay attention. Manoeuvres are more difficult to make in the snow. Be sure to anticipate what your next move is going to be to give yourself lots of room for turns and stopping.
Mental Health in the Workplace

With most adults spending more waking hours at work than anywhere else, a positive work environment is key to a person’s overall health.

Work is important to our well-being. In addition to the income it brings, it can be a big part of our identity, how we understand our skills, and a way to contribute to something bigger. However, a mental illness can have a big impact on the way we work.

Although it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the negative effects of the workplace, many of us forget the positive aspects a workplace can have on a person’s mental health. A positive and supportive workplace can give people the opportunity to feel like a vital contributor to the team. 
The Healthy Workplace Standard developed by Excellence Canada in partnership with health and safety professionals and mental health specialists, serves as a road-map for organizations in any sector that wish to encourage, support, and implement exemplary health-related programs in the workplace.
 
The Standard includes four elements that identify what a Healthy Workplace involves:

Physical Environment
Attention to occupational health and safety in the physical environment
OH&S has been legislated in Canada for more than 100 years, aiming to reduce the risk of fatalities and workplace disabilities. This driver involves fully and continually addressing matters of occupational health and safety, including the possible impacts of new technologies, production changes, increasing demands on time, and cost containment measures.

Healthy Lifestyles
Support for healthy lifestyles
This involves helping employees develop and maintain healthy lifestyle practices, drop unhealthy/risky habits and make optimal use of the health care system.

Mental Health and Workplace Culture
A workplace culture that supports mental health
OH&S has been legislated in Culture is created, reinforced and sustained by ongoing patterns of relationships and communications that are known to have an important influence on psychological health and safety. This driver involves an organizational culture that reflects values that support mental health, such as trust, fairness, respect, diversity, inclusion and teamwork.

Corporate Social Responsibility
(CSR)
The interrelationship between the community, the workplace and the employee is known to influence employee health and well-being, as well as the health and performance of the organization. CSR activities are often seen as voluntary, going above and beyond what is legislated or required. This driver includes how the organization’s CSR activities address workplace aspects such as occupational health and safety, human rights, community development, environmental protection and emergency response.

For more information, visit their website

Steps for Life, an annual Threads of Life flagship fundraiser, is a 5-km fundraising walk to support families affected by workplace tragedy. 

Walking for families of workplace tragedy educates the community about the devastating ripple effects of every workplace tragedy and how we can work together to prevent others being injured or killed on the job. 

All proceeds from Steps for Life support Threads of Life. The organization currently supports more than 2,900 family members from across the country. All funds raised in Nova Scotia will be dispersed throughout the province to families in need. For more information, visit their website.
         
DATE & LOCATION

- When: May 9th, 2020
- Where: Open Hearth Park, Sydney
       
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
Podcasts – Health and Safety To Go!
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety (CCOHS)
CCOHS produces free monthly podcasts designed to keep you current with information, tips and insights into the health, safety and well-being of working Canadians.

The podcast is titled, "Health and Safety To Go" - download and listen to at your own convenience. Subscribe so that you don't miss a single episode!


For additional training/course dates, visit their website.

Sydney, Nova Scotia

Standard First Aid AED CPR "A"
February 10, 2020
February 13, 2020
February 18, 2020
February 22, 2020
Port Hastings, Nova Scotia

Standard First Aid AED CPR "A"

February 22, 2020
March 11, 2020
March 21, 2020
March 24, 2020

Upcoming training opportunities are available for February & March classes in:
  • Fall Protection
  • Basic Scaffolding
  • Introduction to NS Occupational Health and Safety Act
  • Introduction to Joint OH&S Committees
  • Lock-out/Tag-out
Contact us today to register: donmartell2165@gmail.com or 902-631-6105. 
Do you have safety training, information, or tips you want to share? Email us and to be featured in the Safety First Network Newsletter.
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Our mailing address is:
285 Alexandra Street | Sydney, NS | B1S 2E8
609 Church Street, Suite 101 | Port Hawkesbury, NS | B9A 2X4

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