All posts by WayneM

Over 30 years of health and safety experience. Education includes a Masters in Health Science (Occupational Health) and a Masters of Education.

Compensation Because of COVID Exposure at Work?

If you were exposed to COVID-19 at work, became sick and you missed work you may be eligible for compensation from a worker’s compensation organization such as the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) in Ontario or WorkSafeBC in British Columbia.

COVID-19 falls within the definition of an occupational disease. Therefore, if you contract COVID-19 at work and are sick, you could be entitled to compensation.

Keep track of all the information you can, such who you may have caught it from and where and when. The more solid evidence you have the better. Document the days of pay you lost and any medical expenses.

A compensation claim should be filed as soon as possible. Visit the worker’s compensation organization for your province and fill out a Form 6 and request that your doctor complete a Form 8 with the COVID-19 diagnosis and submit it.

Check out the Ontario WSIB frequently asked questions page here.

For more information on eligibility see here.

See a list and the contact information for all the compensation boards in Canada here.

Ammonia Common But Deadly If Equipment Not Maintained

One person was killed and several injured at an ice making facility in 2022.

Three arena workers died in Fernie, B.C., in 2018 due to the failure of aging equipment and poor operational and management decisions.

Ammonia is used in may large refrigeration systems such as ice rinks and ice plants. Recent events outline how dangerous it can be if the proper safeguards are not in place and/or adequate maintenance is not performed on this equipment.

Ammonia is an extremely flammable gas, is often used under pressure and may explode if heated.  Ammonia is toxic if inhaled, it is corrosive to the respiratory tract and causes severe skin burns and eye damage.

Flammable WHMIS symbol, flame.
Ammonia is an extremely flammable gas.
Ammonia is often used under pressure.
Ammonia is toxic if inhaled.
It is corrosive to the respiratory tract and causes severe skin burns and eye damage.

Prevent Heat Related Illness and Heat Stroke

How Do I Prevent Heat Stroke?

When the weather first turns hot is the worst time for heat stroke. Your body will not be used to the heat and you may not remember how important it is to keep cool. 

When possible, avoid working in hot areas and in full sun in the hottest part of the day. Try to work in the shade or cooler areas when the day is the most hot.  This is usually around 3 pm in the summer in Canada. 

Take regular breaks in a shaded area or a cooler area to ensure your body temperature has a chance to go back down to a comfortable level. 

Start work in a well-hydrated state and try to maintain this throughout the day. To prevent heat stroke drink lots of water before you start work, continue through the day and even on your way home. You may not feel thirsty but keep drinking anyway.

If you don’t have the water in your body to produce enough sweat to cool yourself down you are in big trouble. It can take 3 or 4 hours to get the water you need back into your system after sweating, so don’t get behind in your water consumption. Your dehydration may carry over from one day to the next if you don’t drink enough after work.

Limit time spent working or exercising in heat until you’re conditioned to it. People who are not used to working in hot weather are especially susceptible to heat-related illness. It can take several weeks for your body to adjust to hot weather.

Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing.

Open doors and use fans if available to increase air movement.  

Ensure you are aware of the signs and symptoms of heat related illness.  Remove yourself if you feel ill and look for the signs in other workers. 

There is no one legal limit for working in the heat in Canada.  Most jurisdictions use the ACGIH recommendations. 


Free Safety Topics and Free WHMIS Training

Did you know that you can access Canadian Standards Association (CSA) standards free of charge if they are referenced in health and safety legislation? You can
access all these CSA standards for free but you cannot print them (unless you
use the snipping tool). All you have to do is register

If you wondering if the guard on the conveyer is adequate or how often the lift truck operator needs to refresh their training this is the place to look. There is a new confined space standard but it looks like it is not available for free yet.

Some of the standards available include:

1.Workplace electrical safety

2.Safety Standard for Lift Trucks

3.Protective Footwear

4.Safeguarding of Machinery

5.Safety in Welding, Cutting, and Allied Processes

6.Portable Ladders

7.Full Body Harnesses

8.Industrial Robots and Robot Systems – General Safety Requirements

9.Hearing Protection Devices – Performance, Selection, Care, and Use

10.Eye and Face Protectors

11.Selection, Use, and Care of Respirators
Don’t forget about our free WHMIS online training

What other sources of information do you use that you can
access for free?