NAOSH Week now underway in cities across the continent

It’s NAOSH week! In terms of North American Health and Safety, NAOSH week is kind of a big deal. Hot on the heels of the International Day of Mourning for fallen and injured workers (April 28) as well as International Workers Day (May 1), North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) week is a great opportunity to raise awareness about occupational health and safety across the continent.

As we’ve discussed recently on the EHS This Week podcast, injuries and accidents continue persist in workplaces across Canada and the U.S., and as OSHA head Dr. David Michaels recently reminded us, every day 12 American workers go to work and never come home as a result of workplace fatalities. Most workplace injuries and accidents are entirely preventable, and this week is all about seizing opportunities to make North American work environments safer.

Jointly sponsored by the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) … Read more...

OSHA releases I2P2 white paper to convince businesses of program’s benefit

If you managed to take a look at our list of our Top 5 most popular blog posts from 2011, you might have noticed that I2P2 is kind of a big deal. If, on the other hand, that acronym means nothing to you, now is a good time to get better acquainted with OSHA’s proposed Injury and Illness Prevention Program (get it? Two Is, two Ps…)

Anyway, OSHA has kicked off the New Year by reaffirming its commitment to I2P2 by releasing a white paper geared to convince businesses of the value of the program. For background, OSHA has been moving towards a requirement that would require most organizations in the U.S. to implement an injury and illness prevention program, which is essentially a safety management system (SMS) designed to proactively reduce injuries and illnesses.

In addition to outlining how I2P2 programs mitigate injuries and save lives, the paper breaks … Read more...

The Top 5 upcoming OHS regulatory events you need to know about: #1

It can be hard for businesses to determine which regulatory events will directly affect how they do business. That’s why I’ve put together a list of the Top 5 OHS regulatory events on the immediate horizon business leaders as well as OHS managers and staff need to know about.

Yesterday we talked about the revised hazard communication standard. Here’s the next issue in the Top 5:

1. The Injury and Illness Prevention Program:

OSHA chair Dr. David Michaels indicated in an online chat earlier this year that OSHA’s top priority for 2011 is publishing and enforcing a new, nationwide Injury and Illness Prevention Program (I2P2).

The scope of the planned regulation is sweeping: it will likely affect every employer in every industry, coast-to-coast. Michaels himself has called it the most significant change in workplace safety culture since OSHA’s inception 40 years ago.

OSHA is expected to model the program …

Sweeping OHS Bill passes in Ontario

After months of debate and consultation, Bill 160 has passed in Ontario, Canada after a 79-0 vote in the provincial assembly late last week. The Occupational Health and Safety Statute Law Amendment Act will take full effect when it achieves Royal Assent, as soon as next month.

The Act will create the position of a provincial Chief Prevention Officer as well as a Prevention Council to work with the Ministry of Labour to develop a comprehensive occupational health and safety strategy and determine training standards.

The act will affect almost all businesses across the province, so make sure you are up to speed with all the bill’s implications by checking out OHS Insider’s very handy and comprehensive Ontario OHS Reform Blog, which features detailed information on the nuances on Bill 160.

As the blog notes, establishing provincewide training standards will be central to the Act after it becomes law.… Read more...

Prevention, training central to Ontario OHS reforms

Ontario is poised to dramatically rework how it manages occupational health and safety.

Earlier this month Bill 160 was amended by the province’s standing committee on social policy and is now headed to the provincial legislature for a third reading and vote, meaning it could be law by as early as June. The proposed bill flows from the work of an expert panel formed in the wake of a string of workplace-related deaths across the province.

Focused on training and prevention, some of the bill’s key elements are as follows:

  • Training standards: The bill would call upon the Minister of Labour to set training program standards and ‘approve’ compliant organizations accordingly.
  • Training provider: In addition to minimum standards for training programs, those who administer training would also be required to achieve “approved training provider” status, though those certified under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act would be automatically approved.
  • Prevention