News briefs: OHS news from across Canada and around the world

Saskatchewan to review Workers’ Compensation Act • Loading dock inspection blitz in Ontario • New chief prevention officer to oversee workplace safety in Ontario • New e-learning course for working at heights from CCOHS

Saskatchewan to review Workers’ Compensation Act

REGINA — A committee of review has been appointed to consult with workers and employers and make suggestions for improving the workers’ compensation program in Saskatchewan. “At this time of unprecedented growth, we need to ensure that Saskatchewan’s workers’ compensation system reflects the changing needs of workers, employers and communities,” said Labour Relations and Workplace Safety Minister Don Morgan. The last review was initiated in 2006 with the final report presented in July 2007. Roslyn Kunin, a former chair and long serving board member of WorkSafeBC, will chair the committee. The committee is made up of equal representation from employers and organized employees. This year’s members, who come from the mining, manufacturing, construction and health care sectors, include Kaylynn Schroeder, Dale Lindemann, Craig McAuley, Shelly McFadden, Marg Romanow and Lori Sali. Public hearings will begin early 2011.

Loading dock inspection blitz in Ontario

TORONTO — In February, Ontario’s Ministry of Labour will undertake a comprehensive, province-wide loading dock inspection blitz across all industry sectors. Loading docks and shipping areas contain the four highest hazard priorities for Ontario’s prevention system: contact with machinery, motor vehicle incidents, musculoskeletal disorders and slips, trips and falls, said John Aird, manager of industry relations for Workplace Safety and Prevention Services. Inspectors will be looking for a variety of hazards including vehicles unsecured against accidental movement, an absence of signalers and pedestrian traffic hazards. 

New chief prevention officer to oversee workplace safety

TORONTO — A new chief prevention officer will ensure effective health and safety services and enforcement at workplaces throughout Ontario. The position is one of several recommendations included in the final report from the expert panel — led by former Ontario cabinet secretary, Tony Dean — appointed to review Ontario’s workplace health and safety system. The chief prevention officer will ensure Ontario’s injury prevention priorities and programs are co-ordinated and integrated with the province’s enforcement system. The officer will also oversee Ontario’s health and safety associations and report annually to the minister.

New e-learning course for working at heights

OTTAWA — To help employers and their workers manage the risks of working at heights, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety has developed a new e-learning course, Working at Heights. The course aims to teach participants how to assess and control hazards related to working in high areas. It covers assessing hazards and safe working practices, fall prevention techniques, minimizing fall injuries with fall protection measures, emergency preparedness and safe use of ladders, scaffolds, lifts and platforms. This course is recommended for employers, managers and supervisors. 

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