March 2015                             FRANÇAIS     ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ      INUINNAQTUN

Hazard Alert! Snow Removal from Roofs


As winter retreats and temperatures rise, people at work and at home head up on their roofs to remove snow. 


While removal of snow build up is necessary in maintaining the safety and integrity of structures, remember that working on roofs poses a significant risk to people. Serious or fatal injuries can occur from falling. You should always ensure you have the necessary fall protection for any job where you work at a height of 3 metres or more.


Fall protection could include one, or a combination of, the following systems:  

  • Guarding with barriers and guard railing;
  • Work platforms;
  • Safety nets;
  • Fall arrest system; or
  • Fall restraint system. 
Read WSCC's Hazard Alert for more information.


Morel Mushroom Harvesters in the NWT: make sure you are covered this season


Morels are prized mushrooms, commonly found in abundance one year after a forest fire occurs.  With an expected rush of morel mushroom harvesters in the Northwest Territories this summer, harvesters should know that if they are working for themselves, and not an employer, they are not automatically covered by the Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission (WSCC). 


Most workers automatically receive WSCC coverage through their employers. If they get hurt at work, or become sick because of work, the WSCC provides benefits for them. 


If self-employed morel mushroom harvesters want to receive the same benefits and protections as other workers, they can buy Personal Optional Coverage.


Benefits may include:

  • compensation for lost work income up to the amount of coverage accepted;
  • payments for health care;
  • medical and job rehabilitation; and
  • a permanent disability award if the incident leaves them permanently disabled. 

Applying for WSCC coverage is easy. Fill out and submit the Personal Optional Coverage form, available by calling the WSCC or visiting our website. Our Employer Services team is available to walk you through the process, and explain the benefits and cost. Coverage starts when we receive your completed form and full payment. The minimum amount of time you can buy this coverage for is one month 


To learn more about how Personal Optional Coverage can protect you, visit or call 1-800-661-0792. 



The Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) is changing to incorporate the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS).


The new system, named WHMIS 2015, brings a consistent approach to classifying chemicals and communicating hazard information through labels and safety data sheets. 


Changes include relabeling 'controlled products' as 'hazardous products', new pictograms, creation of more hazard classes, and new supplier labels. While it's important to note that worker, employer, and supplier roles and responsibilities do not change under the new system, training and education are still a vital part of occupational health and safety around chemicals.


Check out the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety's free online course to learn more. Information on how these changes affect the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and the rest of the country is available through 

Policy Updates 

The Governance Council reviewed and approved changes to the following policies and directives at its March 2015 meeting:
  • Policy 04.14, Return to Work 
  • Policy 09.02, Safe Advantage
  • Policy 10.01, Doubtful Accounts and Write-offs
  • Governance Council Directive B-004, Governance Council Directors' Honoraria
Please refer to the WSCC Policy Manual and Governance Council Directives manual to view all policies and directives.

Course Tips

Upcoming Safety Courses


Our partners, Northern Territories Federation of Labour (NTFL) and Northern Safety Association (NSA), offer courses about workplace safety and awareness. Stay informed!  

Northern Safety Association - Contact the NSA for more information


Certificate of Recognition (COR) Program
April 23-27

Northern Territories Federation of Labour -  Find out more information on courses here!


Supervisor Safety Training (2 days)
YellowknifeApril 8-9
Step One: Understanding Workers' Compensation
YellowknifeApril 21
Step Two: Introducing Return to Work
YellowknifeApril 22
Step Three: Developing Return to work Programs (3 days)
May 26-28

Holiday Reminder


WSCC's Iqaluit office closes at noon, Thursday, April 2, for Toonik Tyme, and reopens 8:30am, Tuesday, April 7, following the Easter Long Weekend.   


During the Easter holidays, WSCC offices close at 5pm local time on Thursday, April 2, 2015, and reopen 8:30am Tuesday, April 7, 2015.


To report a serious workplace incident, please call our 24-hour Incident Reporting Line at 1-800-661-0792. 



Interested in any of these topics, or looking for more information? Check out our website, or email us! We'd love to hear from you!   /  1.800.661.0792   *  /  1.877.404.4407