Health and Safety Briefs (Oct. 22, 2001)

It’s healthy workplace week
Montreal — Oct. 22 begins the first annual Healthy Workplace Week. Founded by a group of Canadian health-care firms and organizations, the goal is to increase awareness of the importance of a healthy workplace. Each day has a special theme: Monday, Walk Your Boss Day; Tuesday, Harvest Your Health Day; Wednesday, Stair Trek Challenge; Thursday, Eating Breakfast is Smart; and Friday, Stretch and Snack Day. Information on the event and links to resources are available at

WCB under review in B.C.
Victoria — The British Columbia government announced details of its plan to review the Workers’ Compensation Board, last month. Minister of Skills Development and Labour Graham Bruce said the government intends to improve the board by cutting red tape and making it more user friendly for workers and employers. But the B.C. Federation of Labour is angry about the appointment of Vancouver lawyer Alan Winter to carry out the review of WCB legislation and policy. They charge Winter can’t conduct an unbiased review because he has been an advocate for the business community.

Injury rate on rise
Edmonton — Alberta’s lost time claim rate, which measures the risk of injury to a worker during a year of employment, rose slightly last year. The government said injury rates increased due to the increase in new or inexperienced workers, and has taken steps to respond to the increase, including: a new Web site,, opening a call centre and hiring more safety inspectors.

New rules for work in confined spaces
Toronto — The Ontario government is set to overhaul health and safety regulations for work done in confined spaces, following recommendations from a Coroner’s inquest into the deaths of two workers who suffocated in a vacuum de-gasser tank at a steel mill in Hamilton. The new regulations are expected to be in place by the end of the year.

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