September 2013

Health and Safety

$100k  fine for worker fatality

Failure to protect their workers has seen an Ontario companies receive fines of more than $100,000 in Ministry of Labour cases from the last month.

Pyramid Traffic, a Grimsby traffic service information company, was fined $100,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was fatally injured.

Six steps to building a culture of safety

There are significant financial and social reasons for developing a safety culture. Companies with work environments that are inherently dangerous need to consider their safety culture and take steps to ensure that the culture ultimately reflects the values of employees, management, shareholders and partners.

Building a culture of safety requires that attention be paid to the entire business model, including the strategy, the capabilities, and the values of company. Companies that are leaders in their field are the most likely to have an established safety culture.

UPDATE: Health Canada announces first-ever mandatory recall for a consumer product

Health Canada announced today the first-ever mandatory recall in Canada for a consumer product.

NeoMagnetic Gadgets Inc. was ordered to issue a recall after the company did not take action to remove their magnet sets from the market.

Federal health and safety cuts could put Canadians at risk

Health and safety inspectors who go into federally regulated workplaces say reductions in the number of workers doing the job could put Canadians at risk.

Those workplaces include banks, federal government buildings, airlines, ports and First Nations reserves.

Labour Canada inspector Bruce McKeigan was a guest at CBC Ottawa studios earlier this month to talk about his concerns. (CBC)
Bruce McKeigan, a health and safety inspector for Labour Canada who has worked in the industry for decades, said he's concerned about the staff reductions. He investigated the death of Peter Kennedy, who died in a boiler explosion in 2009.

A major pain in the back

One in five workers in the province have back problems, and it accounts for more days lost than any other type of injury, according to WorkSafeBC.

Between 2002 and 2012, back strain injury affected between 12,000 and 15,000 workers in B.C. annually — totaling more than 140,000 claims. In the same time period, back strain injury also accounted for three deaths, which arose from medical complications from the treatment of the original injury.

Human Resources

New types of leave: What you need to know

Ontario employers should prepare for three new types of employee leave, expected to be approved by the Ontario Government in the near future.

Bill 21 would create the new family caregiver, critically ill child care and crime-related child death or disappearance leaves of absence, increasing the types of leaves from seven to 10.

Regulatory Amendments Made Under Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007

Among other things, O. Reg. 246/13 amends the qualification requirements for certain persons working or employed in a long-term care home prior to the day the Act and O. Reg. 79/10 came into force (July 1, 2010). If specified criteria are met, those persons can be hired in a different long-term care home in the same position without meeting certain qualification requirements under O. Reg. 79/10.

Technology pushing HR delivery changes

Big changes are in store for human resource processes and delivery systems. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, many of those changes will be wrapped in new technologies. Is HR finally diving into mobile technology and shared services, as opposed just to dipping in a toe? A recent Towers Watson survey of HR and HR IT executives from 1,025 companies in 32 countries would indicate yes.

Employers must advertise positions for four weeks before hiring foreign workers as Ottawa toughens temporary worker program

The federal government indicated Wednesday that employers are now required to advertise positions in Canada for at least four weeks, instead of two, before they can apply to hire foreigners.
They will also have to complete a series of questions related to “impacts on the Canadian labour market,” and obtain a positive labour market opinion, showing there are no Canadian workers available to do the job, before the government will grant a temporary foreign worker permit.

Union wages benefit all communities: CLC president says much to celebrate on Labour Day

“We believe in the old saying that what we desire for ourselves we wish for all,” says Ken Georgetti. “Many of the benefits first won by unions are enjoyed by all workers today, including fair wages, overtime pay, pensions, workplace safety standards, parental leaves, vacation pay and protection from discrimination and harassment.”

Georgetti says that researchers at the CLC have found that on average unionized workers in Canada earn $4.97 an hour more than do other, non-union workers. “That extra money in the pockets of the country's 4.67 million unionized employees translates into an added $785.8 million every week paid into the national economy,” he says.

“Not man enough”: male caregivers suffer at work

A series of studies from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management found women without children and men who take on caregiving roles are treated worse at work than individuals who conform to those expectations.


Printing new joints with a 3D printer: advancing regenerative medicine for Canadians

Imagine the day when doctors repair damaged, diseased or arthritic joints with new ones ― not made of titanium or plastic ― but with a patient’s very own tissue. Driven by new research, that day is swiftly approaching.

Scientists at Mount Sinai Hospital’s Centre for Regenerative Medicine and Musculoskeletal Research, including Dr. Rita Kandel, are pioneering an entirely new frontier in Canada: the use of three-dimensional printing to construct replacement parts that mimic the patient’s own joint.

Regulatory Amendments Relating to Independent Health Facilities Proposed

Subject to certain specified exceptions, an IHF is defined in the Independent Health Facilities Act (“IHFA”) as a health facility in which one or more members of the public receive services for or in respect of which facility fees are charged or paid, or a health facility or a class of health facilities designated by the Minister. This proposed amendment, together with amendments to the IHFA, will permit local health integration networks (“LHINs”) to fund IHFs. Currently, IHFs can only be funded directly by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

Compromised wounds: costly and a system-wide problem

People with diabetes admitted to hospitals are nearly six times more likely than other patients to have wounds that don’t heal properly, reports the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI).

In fact, diabetes doubles the risk of infections after operations 
and makes patients nearly 40 times more likely than other patients to develop wounds due to poor blood circulation.

Health Insurance Industry Seeks Reform

When it comes to prescription drugs, only a minority of citizens have public insurance coverage, essentially those over the age of 65, people on social assistance, and a small number of patients with conditions that result in catastrophic drug costs.

More than 23 million Canadians depend on private insurance to pay for their prescription drugs. The bulk – 9.4 million workers and their 13 million dependants – rely on employer-sponsored plans, while another 339,000 self-employed workers purchase health insurance for themselves and their 424,000 dependants.

Explaining why so many cases of cardiac arrest occur in the morning

One of the deepest mysteries about SCD has been its timing. Health experts have known for more than 30 years that the erratic heartbeat responsible for SCD strikes most often at certain times of the day. The peak risk hours range from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., with a smaller peak in the late afternoon. Scientists long suspected a link between SCD and the 24-hour body clock, located in the brain. It governs 24-hour cycles of sleep and wakefulness called circadian rhythms that coordinate a range of body functions with the outside environment.

Product Recalls and Advisories

Sutent (sunitinib malate) - Cases of Severe Skin Reactions - For Health Professionals September 2013

Vita Health recalls numerous Over-the-counter products because of labelling errors September 2013

Precautionary recall of birth control product: Esme-28 September 2013

BiCNU (carmustine for injection U.S.P.) Lyophilized Powder - Shortage of Canadian labelled BiCNU and replacement with U.S. labelled stock - Notice to Hospitals September 2013

Allergy Sinus Medications recalled due to a labelling error August 2013

282 MEP (meprobamate-containing medicine) - Market Withdrawal, Effective October 28, 2013 - For Health Professionals August 2013

Birth control product recall: Freya-28 August 2013

Berichrom Heparin (2013-08-26) August 2013

Neptune and Neptune 2 Waste Management Systems - Rover (2013-08-23) August 2013

Dangerous products from OM Fusion Distributors LLC and other unauthorized health products found at Calgary store August 2013

Personnelle cold and flu products recalled due to a labeling error August 2013

CDI Blood Parameter Monitoring System 500 (2013-08-22) August 2013

Detrol LA August 2013

ZELBORAF (vemurafenib) - Risk of Progression of Certain Types of Cancer and Risk of Serious Rash August 2013

LP(A) SPQ II Test System August 2013

Rexall Extra Strength Allergy Sinus Medication August 2013

Architect System - Phosphorus Assay August 2013

Liberty Splints - CMC Thumb Splint August 2013

Advia 2120 and Advia 2120i Analyzers with Autosampler August 2013

STERRAD 100NX Cassette August 2013

Anastaflo Intravascular Shunt August 2013

Fabrius Trio and Fabius GS Premium August 2013

Inspira Air Balloon Dilation System August 2013

Bucky Diagnost August 2013

VOTRIENT (pazopanib hydrochloride) - Important Change to Frequency of Liver Test Monitoring August 2013

Discovery MR750, Discovery MR450, and Optima MR450w MRI Systems August 2013

Medsurg Bed with Nurse Call Option August 2013

3M Scotchcast Wet or Dry Cast Padding August 2013

VOTRIENT (pazopanib hydrochloride) - Important Change to Frequency of Liver Test Monitoring August 2013

Quadrox and Quadrox-I Oxygenators and Supplies August 2013

Juno DRF August 2013

Foreign Product Alerts: Steelman Capsules 2, CO Feng Shi Gu Tong Ning Jiao Nang, and Fu Fang Feng Shi Gu Kang Ling Jiao Nang August 2013

Soft Tissue Retractor August 2013