May 2015

Health & Safety

Occupational Health and Safety Prevention and Innovation Program

The new Occupational Health and Safety Prevention and Innovation Program aims to improve occupational health and safety outcomes in Ontario workplaces by funding initiatives that strongly align with the Ministry of Labour's prevention priorities and Ontario's Integrated Health and Safety Strategy.

The program targets funding to workplaces where there is a need to improve health and safety outcomes, such as those that employ vulnerable workers. The program launched in September 2014 with an open call for initiatives through three streams: prevention, culture and innovation.

Ontario awards grants to improve occupational health and safety

As part of the new Occupational Health and Safety Prevention and Innovation Program (OHSPIP), $1.7 million was awarded to the 12 successful applicants.

The program targets funding for workplaces where there is a need to "improve health and safety outcomes," states a release. It launched in September 2014 with an open call for initiatives through three streams: prevention, culture and innovation.

Excellence Canada’s Healthy Workplace Standard now incorporates the National Psychological Standard

Excellence Canada and Kimberly-Clark Professional* are pleased to announce the launch of the revised 2015 Healthy Workplace®Standard, a four-stage comprehensive strategy to guide organizations as they build and safeguard the physical and mental health and safety of their people.

A complimentary copy of the Healthy Workplace®Standard may be downloaded to help employers measure the wellness of their workplaces.

Successful organizations can be certified and recognized through the Standards of the Canada Awards for Excellence Program at each of four milestone levels of achievement, as hundreds of role-models across Canada have done before them.

Federal Health Minister announces more money for pharmacy inspections to fight prescription drug abuse

The federal government announced an increase of $13 million in pharmacy inspections Tuesday to help fight the illicit abuse of prescription drugs, a growing public health and safety concern in North America.

“This is a preventable and treatable issue.” federal health minister Rona Ambrose said during a symposium in Edmonton.

The symposium invited provincial officials, doctors, pharmacists, First Nations representatives and law enforcement specialists to discuss the prevention and treatment of prescription drug abuse.

Alberta patients put at risk by adrenalin injection mistakes, documents show

A dozen patients in Alberta were incorrectly given intravenous shots of adrenalin over the past four years, mistakes that could have killed them, CBC News has learned.

The details are outlined in leaked internal documents. In each case, the patient received a shot of adrenalin, or epinephrine (the hormone used in EpiPens), directly into the bloodstream, when it was supposed to be injected into muscle or under the skin.

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices Canada, an independent watchdog, says such mistakes — called "wrong route errors" — can cause "severe harm … or death."

Human Resources

Ceridian presents technology’s impact on Human Resources at the Conference Board of Canada Conference

Ceridian announces it will discuss how technology can improve workforce performance and become a platform for HR innovation and better decision making during The Conference Board of Canada's Technology-Enabled HR conference. Kelly Allder, vice president of HR programs at Ceridian, will identify recent developments in workplace technologies and their effect on the HR function. Subsequent discussion will focus on how Canadian organizations can successfully integrate technology into the workplace while being mindful of HR strategies and the impact of emerging cloud based solutions.

HRPA, National Institute of Disability Management and Research and Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences partner to help employers build accessible workplaces

The Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) is proud to announce a partnership agreement that will see its 21,000 members gain access to workplace disability management assessment tools and educational resources to help establish effective disability management programs in Ontario workplaces.

The partnership with the National Institute of Disability Management and Research (NIDMAR) will provide HRPA members and their more than 9,000 Ontario organizations with its Disability Management Self-Assessment (DMSA) tool.

Workshop in Richmond Hill offers Canadian Anti-Spam Law refresher

Companies were eager before Canada Day, the day the legislation went into effect, to get your permission to continue sending you emails.

The law prohibits sending electronic messages by email, social media and cell phone text messages without the recipient’s consent.

It also prohibits the use of false or misleading claims in online marketing and prevents the collection of electronic addresses contrary to federal laws or for other unauthorized purposes.

But after the barrage of pre-July 1 consent-seeking emails last year, the issue appears to fallen off the radar screen and email users may once again be receiving messages from companies to which they haven’t provided consent, Javed Khan said.

Is your small business ready to face the top three HR challenges of 2015?

Earlier this year Deloitte reported on the Global Human Capital Trends of 2014, emphasizing the need of businesses to focus on engaging the workforce of the 21st century.

The report surveyed 2,532 business and human resources (HR) leaders in 94 countries. Despite Canada’s reputation as a global hotbed for highly educated workers, businesses here have not been impervious to the new global challenges that have developed since the economy slipped into recession less than a decade ago.

Welcome to the new era of Human Resources

It is believed that the first human resources department was established by The National Cash Register Company in 1901 following a bitter strike. Then referred to as "personnel," the new department’s role was largely compliance-based, and focused on record keeping, workplace safety, wage management, and employee grievances.

"A hundred years later, a lot of organizations are still running HR that same way; focusing on risk, focusing on compliance, focusing on the transactional side of it, but there's this whole new era, and things like unions and pensions and transparency of the workplace have changed," says Jason Averbook, CEO of the Marcus Buckingham Company, a Beverly Hills-based management training and consulting firm.


How to reduce wait times in Canadian Health Care

Wait times have long been a source of concern for Canadians, and in some jurisdictions, remain a significant problem. Recently the Canadian Institutes of Health Information (CIHI) released their report for 2015. There is both encouraging news and areas in need of attention.

CIHI follows the wait times for five interventions across all jurisdictions in Canada including cancer care (radiation), cataract removal, surgery for hip fractures and total joint replacements of the hip and knee. In each instance, the question posed by CIHI is: "What percentage of people receive treatment in a timely fashion?"

Canada welcomes visitors, but not their health bills: What you need to know to make sure your visitors are insured

From the Rockies to the Red River, it's springtime in Canada, and that means an influx of visitors from around the world. According to the Canadian Tourism Commission, Canada received over 17 million visitors in 2014, and each one was vulnerable to the costs of the Canadian health care system.

"Health care in Canada is expensive", says Robin Ingle, Chairman of travel and health insurance group Ingle International. "There are common misconceptions about the Canadian health care system and what it will and won't cover—a non-resident visitor can expect to pay up to $5,000 per day in a hospital and double that for the intensive care unit," explains Ingle.

OpEd: Canada, look to Asia for health-care policy lessons

Policy-makers in North America are paying a lot of attention to Asia these days. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe recently became the first Japanese PM to address a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress. More broadly, U.S. and Canadian negotiators are deeply involved in moving the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement forward. As 2015 began, the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement came into force. And a Canada-Japan Economic Partnership is beginning to take shape.

With Canada’s pursuit of stronger Asia-Pacific economic links, we should look also to increasing the flow of policy ideas from the region, particularly those that can help us address important problems we share. One such issue is how to deliver health care services effectively and efficiently in the face of growing demands driven by new technologies, increased patient expectations, and population aging.

Government of Canada supports healthcare innovation with establishment of world-class research facility

Today, the Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification (WD), announced $3,596,041 in funding for Simon Fraser University and the City of Surrey to establish the ImageTech Lab, a world-class research imaging facility, located at Surrey Memorial Hospital.

The WD funding will help the lab acquire two key pieces of equipment, a magnetic resonance imaging machine (MRI) and a magnetoencephalography (MEG) machine. A first in Western Canada, this rare combination of equipment will provide unique ways to examine brain function, and provide significant opportunities to develop new diagnostics and treatments.

It’s the pill or nil for many health care plans

Today, there is a dizzying list of options: The Pill. The Patch. IUDs. Diaphragms. Condoms. An injection. The vaginal ring. Contraceptive implants. Your womb, your choice, right? Not quite.

When federal employee Siobhan Hutchinson wanted to switch from birth control pills to the hormone-releasing intrauterine device Mirena, she was shocked to find out that her extended health care benefits would not cover the cost of anything but the pill.