Crystalline silica is becoming well-known for being a potential health hazard in jobsites across Canada. It is used extensively in many industrial applications because of its unique physical and chemical properties. Health concerns arise when silica-containing products are disturbed by grinding, cutting, drilling or chipping, creating respirable particulate. Silica, or silicon dioxide, is a naturally occurring material. In its crystalline form, it is commonly known as quartz, and is the earth’s second-most common element. Silica is not on its face dangerous, but when disturbed can create silica “dust"particles which when inhaled can clog the lungs, making it difficult to process oxygen.
The Canadian Mental Health Association estimates that around one in every five Canadians will suffer from some form of mental illness in their lifetime, meaning that you almost definitely know someone at your workplace who is affected. Here's how to make work safer and more productive for those who suffer from mental illness.
Workplace health and safety advocates are celebrating after Public Services and Procurement Canada released its long awaited national asbestos inventory. The forty-page document contains a list of every government building in Canada that contains asbestos, and its release marks a victory for health and safety advocates across the country. However, advocates also say there is still work to be done: Denis St-Jean, national health and safety officer for the Public Service Alliance of Canada, points out that the list does not contain details about precisely where the dangerous materials are located, meaning that people are not being fully informed about the the risk.
Few people would deny that having a healthy, drug-free, physically fit workforce is important, especially for those who work in safety-sensitive positions. But not only do many employers not require workers in safety-sensitive positions to undergo vision testing, but some do not even have policies requiring workers to report vision problems at all.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosis in Canadian women and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women. An estimated 25 000 Canadian women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, with around 68 new diagnoses every day. Every October, we honour the women and men whose lives have been affected by this disease by remembering those who have lost their fight and by raising funds and awareness in the hopes of building a future without breast cancer.
Addiction affects the lives of thousands of Canadians. But despite how widespread the problem appears to be, there is little consensus among experts about the underlying causes of addiction, or even what the true definition of addiction is. Some consider addiction a purely physical phenomenon that occurs when a body requires a particular substance to function normally, but addiction can be much more complex than a mere physical dependence, and it nearly always involves mental and emotional factors.
Despite the fact that most professionals recommend 7-9 hours of sleep per night, about 30% of us get fewer than six hours on average. Most of us think we can simply yawn through the day without serious consequences, but the reality is that sleeplessness can be a real threat to your health, safety, and productivity at work.
Hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) is a condition most commonly seen in workers required to use powered equipment with high frequency vibration or high impact (such as chainsaws, jack hammers, drills, grinders, or sanders). When a worker uses or handles a vibrating object, the vibration is transmitted to the hands and arms. Repeated vibrations cause blood vessel constriction in the hands and arms, reducing blood supply while working. The vibrations can cause neurological, vascular, and musculoskeletal injuries. The effects of HAV are cumulative and both frequency and amplitude play a role in the injury process. As with most overuse/repetitive injuries, the more exposure you have in your job the more likely you may develop the condition.
You may already know that strenuous or repetitive activities at work can lead to injuries and disorders like carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis. These types of injuries are called workplace-related musculoskeletal disorders, or WMSDs, and can cover a range of conditions characterized by pain, swelling, or tenderness in the joints, muscles, tendons, or nerves (Turner, n.d.). The good news is that the risk of WMSDs can be greatly mitigated with the implementation of a few simple preventative measures.
As we enter into the hottest, driest part of the summer, it’s especially important for outdoor workers to observe safe practices when it comes to working in the heat. If you work outdoors during the summer months, you are at a considerably higher risk of heat-related illness than most members of the general public.