August 2013

Health and Safety

Health Canada Launches Consultation Process to Improve Labelling and Classification of Workplace Chemicals - Government of Canada moves forward on key Regulatory Cooperation Council initiative

The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, announced that Health Canada is launching a consultation that begins the process of applying the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) for workplace chemicals in Canada.

Harper Government Launches Plain Language Labelling Initiative to Improve Drug Safety for Canadians - Proposed changes will make it easier for Canadians to read drug labels

"Every day millions of Canadians rely on drugs to maintain and improve their health. While medications offer significant benefits, they can also carry some risks," said Minister Aglukkaq. "I am pleased to announce that our Government will be making plain language a requirement on drug packages in order to help prevent adverse drug reactions, medication errors and protect Canadian patients."

Heat Stress and your Health

During the hot summer months, many workers are exposed to heat and can be subjected to heat related injuries both at home or on the job. This article goes through some of the different warning signs you should be watching out for and some tips and tricks on how to make sure that you keep your body properly regulated in the summer’s heat.

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety Launches CANWrite GHS

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) announced today that it has released its newest version of CANWrite. This latest CANWrite release is based on the U.S. HazCom 2012 implementation of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). CANWrite GHS will produce an OSHA GHS and WHMIS compliant safety data sheet (SDS). Clients will be able to write and maintain quality (M)SDSs that meet current Canadian WHMIS and U.S. OSHA requirements.

Harper Government Invests in Ontario Healthy Living Project

The Honourable Dr. Kellie Leitch, Member of Parliament for Simcoe-Grey, on behalf of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, today announced an investment for a project that will address the conditions that lead to physical inactivity and unhealthy weights in Ontario. The announcement was made at St. Alban’s Boys and Girls Club in Toronto.

Human Resources

Ontario looking at minimum wage

Ontario has appointed an advisory panel to look into the province’s minimum wage rate, which currently sits at $10.25 per hour and hasn’t risen for three years.
The panel, chaired by Anil Verma, professor of HR management at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of management, will examine the current minimum wage policy and provide advice on how the province should determine the minimum wage in the future.

Canadian Unemployment at 7.1%

Statistics Canada report little change in employment in June and the unemployment rate remained at 7.1%. However, employment is up by 242,000 compared with a year ago, mostly in full-time jobs. Manitoba and Saskatchewan were the only provinces showing an increase in jobs in June, while employment fell in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

Looking for the “ideal worker”? Time to wake-up

A staggering amount of organizations have admitted to searching for the “ideal worker” – unattached, young males who are willing to work long hours. This trend is harmful to employers and employees, a report from Kronos found.

Workers feel trapped by part-time work

Many workers these days are struggling to maintain full time and permanent jobs. Three out of four part-time employees feel they have no prospect for promotion, but also feel they’re unlikely to find another job with similar seniority and flexibility, a new survey has found. This may lead to opportunity to build engagement and attraction to new employees by offering what they cannot get in other practices.

Health, dental benefits costs plateau in 2012: Survey

The increase in cost of employer-sponsored health and dental benefits plateaued in 2012, according to a survey by Towers Watson.
For active employees, the overall employer health-care spend increased just 2.1 per cent in 2012, down from 2.7 per cent the previous year.
Drug costs are trending at negative 0.2 per cent and the cost of dental care is up by only 1.3 per cent from 2011 to 2012, found the survey of 193 organizations representing 875,000 active and retired employees.

One-half of workers likely to job search while at work: Poll

Three-quarters (76 per cent) of Canadian workers would not have a problem looking for new employment before leaving their current firm, according to a survey of 261 people by Accountemps.
Some may go as far as searching for a new gig while at the office — 56 per cent of respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 said they are likely to conduct job-search activities at work.

Industry

Surgical delays cost Canadians nearly $1 billion in lost time

The average value of time lost during the work week was $1,129 for each of the estimated 870,462 patients waiting for surgery last year. When hours outside the work week are factored in, including evenings and weekends (less eight hours of sleep per night), the estimated cost of waiting vaults to about $3,447 per patient — more than $3 billion in total, found The Private Cost of Public Queues for Medically Necessary Care.

ER doctor calls for lower speed limits in municipalities

A prominent New Brunswick doctor is calling on all municipalities to reduce speed limits in residential areas and areas with high pedestrian traffic from 50 km/h to 30 km/h.Dr. Paul Atkinson is calling on all N.B. municipalities to reduce the speed limit in residential areas and areas with high pedestrian traffic to 30 km/h.Dr. Paul Atkinson is calling on all N.B. municipalities to reduce the speed limit in residential areas and areas with high pedestrian traffic to 30 km/h.

Dr. Paul Atkinson chairs the New Brunswick trauma program's research committee and is an emergency physician at the Saint John Regional Hospital.

New health minister promises open door, pledges to work with doctors

Canada’s new Health Minister Rona Ambrose attempted to mend her predecessor’s sometimes strained relationship with the country’s leading doctors in an August 19 speech to the Canadian Medical Association. In particular, she promised to listen to and work with physicians, and to have an open-door policy for their representatives to discuss the nation’s pressing health issues, particularly family violence.

Can a usable H7N9 vaccine be made? Research should offer clues soon

Can a usable vaccine against the H7N9 bird flu virus be made? Studies that are about to start should offer clues soon, says the director of the U.S. government program spearheading the work.

Four flu vaccine manufacturers have started or will soon start clinical trials on H7N9 vaccines, with four more expected to conduct trials in the late fall or early winter, says Dr. Robin Robinson. The work will cost the U.S. government about $100 million.

Canada needs seniors' health care strategy: CMA report card

August 18, on the cusp of its three-day meeting, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) called on all levels of government to cooperate in creating a seniors’ strategy, citing the looming pressure ageing baby boomers will place on the health-care system.

Product Recalls and Advisories

Nova Max Blood Glucose Test Strips Recalled: Certain Lots May Give False High Results August 2013

Certain Sandoz Products for Injection - Possible Volume Under-Fill of Some Vials August 2013

Important Changes to the Availability and Conditions of Use for Drugs Containing Calcitonin July 2013

Synthetic Calcitonin (Salmon) Nasal Spray (NS) - Market Withdrawal of All Products, Effective October 1st, 2013 July 2013

Germi-Stat Prep Gel July 2013

Calcimar (Synthetic Salmon Calcitonin-Solution for Injection) - Labelling Changes to the Product Monograph Due to an Increased Risk of Cancer with Long-Term Use July 2013

RITUXAN (rituximab) - Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) Recurrence in Patients: Updates on Screening and Management July 2013

Vita Health Products Inc. Compliments Iron Ferrous Gluconate Tablets Pose Risk to Those with Allergies to Sulfate July 2013

Apo-Gliclazide July 2013

Compliments Ferrous Gluconate July 2013

Seized dangerous products from retailer in Langley, B.C.: Well Beings Health & Nutrition Centre July 2013

Apo-Atorvastatin FCT 40 mg July 2013

Natural health products contain hidden ingredients: May pose serious risk to health July 2013

Technetium-99M Medronate July 2013

Cloxacillin Sodium for Injection 500mg July 2013

Voluven and Volulyte (hydroxyethyl starch (HES))- Increased Mortality and Severe Renal Injury July 2013