There is no better way to enter 2024 than by setting safety intentions for the New Year!
December 21, 2022
2023 went by so fast, that it’s hard to imagine it’s already that time again when we set organizational safety intentions aimed at helping us be the best we can be in 2024. At MidSouthWest Safety Training and Consulting, we believe that setting safety intentions sets the tone for the entire year. Why set safety resolutions?
Not sure where to start? Check out this article for our safety intentions for 2024.
A Train the Trainer Program Turns Employees into In-House Trainers!
December 1, 2023
A Train-the-Trainer (TTT) program has the power to transform your current health and safety training program. You’ll benefit from all of those investment dollars you’ve spent training seasoned employees and from the knowledge and expertise they gained because a TTT program turns employees into in-house trainers!
In this article we review:
Planning a safe and fun holiday party this season
November 13, 2023
The holiday season is fast approaching. Unlike the previous few years when the pandemic made holiday gatherings challenging, employees and employers alike are excited and eagerly awaiting their company holiday parties. The merriment, the food, the good times, and the opportunity to let loose are just some of the reasons that people look forward to their holiday work parties. However, that feeling of joy and celebration can quickly be marred if you don’t plan for a safe celebration.
What Could Go Wrong?
There’s a saying that goes, “Fail to plan, plan to fail.” This certainly applies to holiday parties. It’s best to consider all of the things that could go wrong, and then come up with a plan to mitigate each risk and hazard. It’s better to have a plan that you don’t use than to find yourself in a situation with no plan at all.
In this article, we highlight a few key points:
Supervisors require additional Health and Safety Training in Ontario Workplaces
November 6, 2023
Supervisors have extra responsibilities in the workplace. This added responsibility means that supervisors require further job training, including additional health and safety training, in addition to the training that all workers in Ontario require.
In this article, we provide an overview of:
Are you ready for a Ministry inspection blitz?
October 16, 2023
The thought of a surprise visit from the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training, and Skills Development (MLITSD) can be stressful or catch people off-guard. But, since the MLITSD and the Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) share the common goal of keeping workplaces safe and healthy, a visit from the MLITSD shouldn’t be a source of concern.
One of the ways that the MLITSD helps organizations work toward safety objectives is to perform both scheduled and unscheduled inspections. Each year, the MLITSD schedules compliance initiatives and/or campaigns in specific sectors to achieve two primary goals:
Whether you call them campaigns, initiatives, or simply “blitzes,” knowing what’s coming up is the best way to proactively prepare for an unscheduled inspection. While the focus of campaigns and initiatives is announced ahead of time, no notice is given for surprise inspections.
Required Health and Safety Training for Ontario Workplaces
October 5, 2023
Did you know that all workers in Ontario require the same basic health and safety training? It’s true. When it comes to training, there’s more to consider than just teaching employees how to do the job.
Every worker in Ontario who is under the jurisdiction of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (the Act) must take mandatory health and safety, including:
In addition to basic health and safety training, employees may require job-specific training.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are all part of a well-rounded workplace safety program
September 17, 2023
It was once thought that health and safety covered the basics, such as preventing injuries and safe operations. But health and safety has evolved a lot, and it’s more holistic now. Workplace health and safety encompasses the entire concept of worker wellbeing. As such, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are all part of a well-rounded workplace safety program.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Why Bother?
Don’t think of DEI as a single part of your health and safety program. Rather, think of it as something that is integrated into all facets of the program. When you view your program through a DEI lens, it will be more successful. Incorporating DEI also promotes and supports a psychologically safe workplace – one where people feel they can bring their whole, authentic, and best selves to work each day.
Check out our catalogue of online Diversity courses
Do you need help building your safety culture?
September 10, 2023
Every organization has a safety culture. If your organization’s safety culture isn’t where it needs to be, don’t worry! You can build, strengthen, and change safety culture.
What is Safety Culture?
Safety culture is a broad concept that is usually taken to reflect the qualities of the organizational culture that affect safety attitudes and behaviours. Simply put, it’s the “way things are done.” When the safety culture is strong, the people within the organization view safety as both an individual responsibility and an integral part of operations.
Attitudes toward safety are also a major component of safety culture. So, what happens when the way people view safety needs to change? What happens when there’s a “not my responsibility” attitude? If you don’t feel that your safety culture is where it needs to be, there are ways to build it up.
Naloxone at work
August 23, 2023
Opioid use is increasing in Canada. As it increases, so too does the number of opioid-related deaths. In 2018, 12.7% of Canadians reported having used opioids for pain relief. Among these people, 9.6% (351,000 people) engaged in problematic use (use that can cause harm or death). Canada continues to be in a continually growing opioid-related public health emergency.
In response to the crisis, all provincially regulated workplaces in Ontario have had to assess whether they need to provide life-saving naloxone kits in their workplace, effective June 1st, 2023.
The essential guide to overhead cranes for Ontario operators
August 11, 2023
Imagine a machine that can lift and move heavy materials from one location to another with extreme precision. Now imagine that it’s designed and engineered specifically to your business needs. The great news is you don’t have to imagine it! Overhead cranes can be designed and built in different configurations with a variety of components and there are several different types. Overhead cranes are typically used for:
What you need to know about Bill 27: The Working for Workers Act
July 14, 2023
As society has slowly eased into a new post-pandemic world, remote work seems to be here to stay. In fact, as of March 2021, over five million Canadians were working remotely, which is significantly higher than in 2016. Remote work has a myriad of benefits, but there are also some health and safety risks to working from home. Some benefits of remote work include:
When employees struggle to separate work-life from home life, their work-life balance can be negatively impacted. This could result in job dissatisfaction, disengagement, or mental health concerns. To mitigate these risks, in 2021 the Ontario government passed Bill 27: The Working for Workers Act to protect employees and to give them the right to disconnect from work during non-working hours.
Taking vacation time is an important part of your overall wellness
June 27, 2023
Studies show that only 27% of working Canadians take all of their allotted vacation days. If vacation time is so important, why are so few Canadians taking their full entitlement?
Why aren't Canadians taking vacation?
There is a phenomenon known as the “time-off tax” that may be keeping Canadians from using all of their vacation time. Time-off tax is the amount of work employees need to do to prepare for their time off, or the work they need to do to catch up when they return. For some Canadians, the time-off tax is too great to consider a vacation. Other reasons for not taking vacation time may include wanting to appear dedicated or not understanding the benefits of taking vacation time.
Where on the hierarchy does your organization’s fall protection strategy fall?
June 22, 2023
All fall protection was not created equal. When it comes to fall protection, there’s a hierarchy. The higher up the hierarchy, the better the protection. The lower down, the less effective the protective measure becomes.
The Hierarchy of Hazard Controls
When it comes to health and safety hierarchies, the fall protection hierarchy isn’t usually the first one to come to mind. Most are familiar with the hierarchy of hazard controls.
The Fall Protection Hierarchy
The fall protection hierarchy is like the hierarchy of controls, but instead of being a hierarchy for controls over all hazards, it is specific to fall hazards. Both hierarchies help people select the best possible protection.
Identifying workplace violence and harassment risks and controlling the associated hazards
June 4, 2023
Violence and harassment at work is a serious problem in Canada. According to Statistics Canada, 17% of all self-reported incidents of violence and/or harassment happen in the workplace. That’s a total of 365,000 incidents in Canadian workplaces every year. This statistic only reflects the number of incidents that get reported – many more go unreported. A recent Canada.ca survey suggests that as many as 25% of all incidents go unreported.
The numbers make it clear – identifying workplace violence and harassment risks and controlling the associated hazards is imperative in all Canadian workplaces!
Burnout has a negative impact in the workplace on health and safety
May 23, 2022
When you think about hazards in the workplace, you likely think of equipment or fall hazards. Maybe you think of less obvious hazards, such as workplace harassment or ergonomics. Rarely does anyone consider burnout a hazard. However, burnout may cause reduced productivity, increased errors, susceptibility to illness, and even anxiety and/or depression.
Can you recognize the signs of burnout in the workplace?
A Telehandler combines the benefits of a lift truck and an aerial work platform
May 17, 2023
Imagine a machine that could do the work of a lift truck and an aerial work platform, with the added benefit of a telescopic arm. Sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it? You don’t have to imagine it! It exists. It’s called a telehandler, which is a portmanteau of the words “telescopic handler.”
In this article, we'll cover everything you need to know about telehandlers:
When was the last time you looked at your health and safety board?
May 10, 2023
If you can’t remember the last time you looked at your health and safety board, it’s probably due for a refresh. Organizations must meet mandatory posting requirements to remain compliant, and keeping the information updated, fresh, and relevant will ensure that no one ever walks by the health and safety board without stopping to check out what’s new.
In this article, we'll go through the essentials about health and safety boards:
We also provide a health and safety board compliance checklist.
Check In with the JHSC!
April 14, 2023
Don’t leave the success of your Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) to chance! Regular check-ins are one of the many ways that you can be sure that the JHSC is on track, and that your health and safety program is running as smoothly as expected.
In this article we discuss:
Do lift truck operators need to recertify in Ontario?
March 29, 2023
When it comes to the safe operation of a lift truck, theoretical and practical training isn’t a one-and-done activity. Lift Truck drivers are expected to take part in safety activities every day, such as inspections, safe fuelling, and safe operations. But there’s more: lift truck operators also need to recertify every three years in Ontario.
In this article, we discuss:
Best practices for measuring JHSC effectiveness and efficiency
March 13, 2023
Did you know that the Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) can drive an organization’s strategy toward its objectives? It’s true. But, to have a positive impact on the organizational strategy, a JHSC must be operating at peak efficiency.
Having an effective JHSC has numerous benefits, such as:
Your organization can expect to see a positive impact on the bottom line as a result of reduced lost time, increased productivity, and a happy and healthy workforce.
But, how do you know that your JHSC is operating at peak efficiency? Measuring the JHSC’s effectiveness is key if your organization is going to take advantage of all the benefits of having an efficient and effective JHSC!
Independent Contractors vs. Employees: What’s the Difference?
March 7, 2023
In days gone by, workers carried out all workplace functions. However, workplace trends change over time, and the concept of hiring outside workers to complete singular functions is growing in popularity. It’s undeniable that there are benefits to using independent contractors, but how does that impact health and safety in the workplace?
Whether you call them gig workers, freelancers, temps, or by their proper name, independent contractors, they’re gaining a foothold in the modern work landscape.
Employers must be careful because sometimes an independent contractor is considered an employee under the ESA, even if the employer does not intend for them to be. It is the relationship between the contractor and the employer that matters when it comes to defining whether a contractor is an employee, and not the label given to the relationship.
According to the Employment Standards Act (ESA) in Ontario
“An independent contractor is in business for themselves. An individual may be considered an independent contractor, and not covered by the ESA, when at least some of the following applies:
Are you ready for an unscheduled Ministry inspection?
February 20, 2023
The thought of a surprise visit from the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training, and Skills Development (MLITSD) is usually fraught with anxiety. But, since the MLITSD and the Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) share a common goal, a visit from the MLITSD shouldn’t be a source of concern.
One of the ways that the MLITSD helps organizations work toward safety objectives is to perform both scheduled and unscheduled inspections. Unscheduled inspections are officially known as health and safety compliance initiatives, but you may know them simply as blitzes. Compliance initiatives are part of the MLITSD’s ongoing workplace compliance initiatives, and they’re usually aimed at specific sectors, industries, or practices.
Is your organization ready to welcome Gen Z into the workplace?
January 30, 2023
Generation Z or Gen Z as they’re affectionately known, is taking the workplace by storm. To capitalize on all the great qualities that Gen Z is bringing to the workplace, your organization needs to be ready to welcome them. They aren’t like workers in other generations and to attract Gen Z, you may need to make some considerable changes.
In this article, we discuss:
Lockout procedures are part of the Internal Responsibility System
January 18, 2023
Does your organization have a program in place to ensure that lockout is performed every time a machine must be cleaned or serviced? Not locking out is an extreme safety risk. Injuries from unintended releases of energy tend to be catastrophic or fatal. And yet, sometimes workers are tempted to bypass lockout. When the risk is so high, it begs the question: why?
In this article, we discuss:
Recognition and Appreciation Build Better (and Safer) Workplaces
January 6, 2023
When it comes to recognition and appreciation at work, the results are in! According to a Gallup poll report from workhuman.com, incorporating recognition and appreciation in the workplace increases employee satisfaction and productivity, and it makes them five times less likely to leave. This is good news for safety, too.
High turnover has detrimental effects on workplace safety. But there’s another reason to incorporate recognition and appreciation into your workplace safety program, and it’s called BBS or Behaviour-Based Safety.