DECEMBER 2015                      FRANÇAIS  ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ    INUINNAQTUN

In the lead-up to the holiday season, you may find yourself scrambling around a lot. It's easy to get caught up in shopping for gifts and preparing for holiday dinners with friends and family. However, with the snow flurries, icy ground, and darker days, it's more important than ever to pay attention to your surroundings and avoid slips, trips, or falls.
Your risk of slips, trips, and falls increase in the winter months, but we're here to remind you that these injuries are preventable. In the January issue of SafetyNet, we'll dive into the world of slip, trip, and fall injuries to determine:
  • How slips, trips, and falls can happen;
  • Why you should wear appropriate footwear that fits well;
  • How staying tidy - whether at home or in the workplace - can save you from injury; and
  • Why it's important to plan ahead and take your time.
Until then, enjoy this last issue of 2015, and stay safe. We will see you bright and early in the New Year.

If you are a business owner, partner, registered director, or self-employed, you do not automatically receive WSCC coverage through your employment. To receive WSCC coverage, you need to sign up for Personal Optional Coverage, which provides you with the same benefits as other workers in case of workplace disease and injury.

You can apply for coverage for as little as one month and up to one full year. You need to renew your coverage each year, and renewals are due on December 31, 2015. For additional information, click here to view our Personal Optional Coverage brochure.

To view and fill out the Personal Optional Coverage form, please click here, or email Employer Services in the Northwest Territories or Nunavut for more information.

As homes across the North fire up their appliances to stay warm this winter, the WSCC wishes to remind you to stay current on your carbon monoxide safety preparedness.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a gas that is created by the incomplete burning of fuels. These fuels include gasoline, propane, wood, natural gas, and oil - all of which are common and used daily by many of us.

Carbon monoxide is invisible, odourless, and tasteless, but highly poisonous. It is toxic in concentrations above 35 ppm (parts-per-million), and can accumulate in living spaces due to improperly installed or malfunctioning heating devices.

Heating and fuel-burning appliances that can create carbon monoxide include:
  • Oil, gas, pellet, and wood stoves;
  • Furnaces;
  • Water heaters;
  • Gas room heaters;
  • Engine-powered equipment such as portable generators; and
  • Fireplaces.
Carbon monoxide is a real threat, but there are a few simple things you can do to ensure that you stay safe, at home and in the workplace:
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors where appropriate.
  • Regularly test your carbon monoxide detectors. Ensure the batteries are charged and that the alarms are in working order.
  • Have your heating devices maintained and inspected by a professional.
  • Get an annual inspection for all fuel-fired appliances in your home and in the workplace.
  • If operating a stove or an internal combustion engine in an enclosed or confined space, make sure you have a venting system properly installed.
Alert your employer to any hazards that may lead to carbon monoxide build-up.

Carbon monoxide is slightly lighter than air, and can spread evenly through any room. When installing carbon monoxide detectors, place them high up on a wall or on the ceiling. Carbon monoxide alarms should be installed in central locations, and away from fuel-burning appliances, since these appliances will normally emit a small amount of carbon monoxide upon start-up.

With the long winter season that we experience every year, carbon monoxide awareness is key. Stay safe.

WSCC Ladder Safety Stickers

Did you know that you should NEVER use the top two rungs on a ladder? The Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission has new ladder safety stickers to apply to the top rungs of your ladder to ensure everyone's safety. If you would like ladder safety stickers for your workplace, please email us. (Available in English, French, Inuktitut, and Inuinnaqtun.)

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) has extended their free offer for WHMIS 2015 training. Individuals wishing to take this 1-hour e-course can now continue to do so free of charge until March 31, 2016.

The course will familiarize workers with the newly incorporated WHMIS 2015 system, WHMIS after Globally Harmonized Systems of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). In February 2015, the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) aligned with the GHS to set common rules for classifying hazardous products, labels, and a standard format for safety data sheets.

Learning about WHMIS 2015 is part of the knowledge that you need to protect yourself and your co-workers from hazardous products. Upon successful completion of the e-course, learners will be able to print a Certificate of Completion.

To access this free course, visit the CCOHS site here. For more information on WHMIS 2015, Health Canada has additional details here. For more WHMIS resources from the WSCC, including posters and Safety Bulletins, click here.

The Governance Council reviewed and approved the following policies at its
December 2015 meeting:
  • Policy 07.01 Access to Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission Information
  • Governance Council Directive B-002, Governance Council Rules of Order
Please refer to the WSCC Policy Manual to view all WSCC policies.
Safety education

The WSCC partners with the NTFL and NSA to offer courses on workplace safety and awareness. Stay informed about upcoming courses by visiting the links below.

Northern Safety Association - see a full list of programs and courses here.

Northern Territories Federation of Labour - view upcoming courses here.

For additional approved providers of Occupational Health and Safety Education, click here.

During the holiday season, WSCC offices will close at 5:00 PM local time on Tuesday, December 22, 2015, and reopen at 8:30 AM on Monday, January 4, 2016.

To report a serious workplace injury, incident, or fatality, call the 24-hour Incident Reporting Line at 1-800-661-0792.

We wish you a safe and happy holiday.   /  1.800.661.0792   *  /  1.877.404.4407