JUNE 2016                                                                  FRANÇAIS

The potential Canada Post labour disruption will change the way the WSCC can work with you. Please click here to see how we plan to mitigate this potential disruption.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 59th Annual Mine Rescue Competition. It takes a team to make this event a success, whether you were a competitor, a volunteer, or staff. To everyone who dropped by to take in the sights with your family, we thank you as well! Without your support, our Mine Rescue Competitions would not be as fun as they are.

For the second year in a row, Ekati Diamond Mine walked away with both the Overall Surface and Overall Underground Trophies, sponsored by the WSCC.

The individual tasks were awarded to the following teams:

First Aid
Meadowbank Gold Mine
Surface Practical Bench
Gahcho Kué Diamond Mine
Fire Fighting
Ekati Diamond Mine - Underground Team
Rope Rescue
Ekati Diamond Mine - Surface Team
Surface Written Test
Ekati Diamond Mine
Underground Written Test
Diavik Diamond Mine
Surface Smoke
Gahcho Kué Diamond Mine
Underground Smoke
Diavik Diamond Mine
Underground Bench/Field Test
Ekati Diamond Mine
Surface Obstacle/Extrication
Ekati Diamond Mine
Underground Obstacle
Hope Bay Gold Mine
Bench Tech
Ekati Diamond Mine - Gordon Zdyb
Overall Surface
Ekati Diamond Mine
Overall Underground
Ekati Diamond Mine

Mine Rescue competitors, we'll see you next year for the 60th anniversary! Save the date: next year's Mine Rescue Competition will be taking place on Saturday, June 10, 2017.

Every year, the summer months bring the construction season, and that means buildings may be demolished or renovated in your neighbourhood. If you operate at such a construction site, be aware that there are buildings constructed after 1990 in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut that may have asbestos-containing materials.
The Northwest Territories and Nunavut's definition of asbestos is any manufactured product or other material that contains 1% or more of asbestos. Common materials that may contain asbestos includes:
  • T-bar ceiling tile;
  • Drywall jointing materials;
  • Vinyl asbestos tiles;
  • Stippled finishes; and
  • Pipe insulation.
If you work in one of these industries, be aware and understand how to protect yourself and others:
  • Building Construction or Renovations, including:
    • Carpentry
    • Construction Work
    • Insulation Installation
    • Plumbing
    • Roofing
    • Shipbuilding
    • Textile Work 
  • Remediation and Waste Management
Workplace diseases and fatalities associated with asbestos exposure are preventable. Provide Asbestos Awareness training to educate yourself and your workers. If a work site is at risk for asbestos, ensure that the inspection is conducted by a qualified person. Equip all workers with the proper personal protective equipment (PPE), and understand proper handling procedures in the presence of asbestos.
Remember: you may not necessarily be aware that you have been exposed to asbestos. The long latency period of asbestos-related diseases (20-40 years) can lull you into thinking you were not affected.
For additional information, visit the Asbestos Abatement Code of Practice on our website.

Did you know that if you are harvesting morel mushrooms in the Northwest Territories and you work for yourself, you are not covered by the WSCC? If you want to receive the same benefits and protections as other workers, ensure that you buy Personal Optional Coverage from the WSCC.
Applying for WSCC coverage is easy. Fill out and submit the Personal Optional Coverage application. 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.
For more information, click here, or contact us at 1-800-661-0792.

Every year, we welcome a new generation of young workers (aged 14 to 25 years) to the workforce, the majority of whom are only seen in the summer months. Young workers most often engage in seasonal, part-time, or temporary work, and as such, employers may sometimes neglect to inform them of their rights as workers:
  • Right to Know
  • Right to Participate
  • Right to Refuse
Young workers are more likely to be injured due to inexperience. Over the past three years, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut has seen an average of 200 reported young worker injuries each summer. Between the months of April and August, the number of young worker claims was:
  • 2013: 175 claims
  • 2014: 190 claims
  • 2015: 236 claims
The top three types of injuries were the same across all three years:
  • Cuts and lacerations;
  • Sprains, strains, and tears; and
  • Bruises and contusions.
If you are hiring young workers for the summer, teach them the importance of workplace safety. Follow these tips:
  • Provide safety orientations before they begin working, whether they are new or returning young workers.
  • Take time to explain the job. Workers learn in different ways, so try a combination of talking and hands-on learning.
  • Take them on a guided tour of the worksite, and introduce them to key safety people in your organization (i.e. a Health and Safety Manager, or your Occupational Health and Safety Committee members).
  • Make sure they are aware of any workplace hazards, and how and to whom they must report any new hazards.
  • Educate them on safe work practices and company procedures, including hazard identification and proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE). Many young workers may not have used PPE before.
  • Inform them of their worker rights and responsibilities. Are they aware that they can refuse unsafe work? Do they know they can report any unsafe work practices?
  • Pair young workers with experienced and safety-conscious workers, and continue to regularly monitor their work.
Make sure the workplace environment is set up to welcome questions. Young workers may want to prove themselves, and may not wish to admit they don't know how to complete a task. A welcoming environment invites young workers to speak up.

As their employer, you are their supervisors, mentors, and leaders. The law does dictate that you must ensure the safety of everyone at your work site, no matter the age or season, but remember that you are leading the next generation of safe workers. Guide and empower them: it is never too early to start sharing knowledge on workplace safety.

To learn more about employers' rights and responsibilities, click here. Employers, remember that Section 14 of the new OHS Regulations speaks to where a young person cannot work.
Take your time

The weather is beautiful, you have a long to-do list, and the timing is perfect for some weekend work. Before you get going, take a few minutes to go over these everyday ladder safety tips.

Did you know?
  • Not every ladder is suited for every job. You should select the right ladder for the job. Inspect the ladder before use; look for broken rungs and cracks, and legible manufacturer stickers.
  • Use the ladder best-suited for the landscape, whether it's one with non-slip feet or spikes.
  • Set up ladders away from doors. If necessary, block off the door and post warning signs.
  • Check overhead clearance, and never use metal or wire-bound ladders near electrical conductors.
  • Never use the top two steps or rungs of a ladder, and note that the top two steps are the last two steps of the ladder before you reach the top of the ladder - the top of the ladder is not a step.
  • Maintain three-point contact at all times, and never surpass your hips on a ladder, or you may lose your core balance.
  • Never use a wooden ladder that has been painted; it hides cracks and defects.
For more tips on ladder safety, click here for our Safety Bulletin. The WSCC has ladder safety stickers to apply to the top rungs of your ladder to ensure everyone's safety. If you would like some for your workplace, please email us. (Available in English, French, Inuktitut, and Inuinnaqtun.)
Safety under the midnight sun

The return of the midnight sun means that many of us will be taking advantage of the great outdoors between now and the end of August.

Whether you are working outdoors or simply enjoying the sun for recreational purposes, you need to consider your health and safety when exposed to the sun. If you are an employer, make sure your workers are educated on sun safety and protection from skin cancer.

What is heat illness?

There are five types of heat illness:
  1. Heat Stroke - The most serious of the heat illnesses. It is caused by body-heat overload.
  2. Heat Edema - Results in swelling of the hands, feet, and ankles.
  3. Heat Cramps - Results in painful cramps that occur in frequently used muscles (i.e. arms, legs, or stomach).
  4. Heat Exhaustion - Caused by excessive loss of water and salt.
  5. Heat Rash - Results in a red bumpy rash that is extremely itchy.
What are the symptoms of heat illness?
  • Dizziness or fainting;
  • Nausea or vomiting;
  • Headache;
  • Extreme thirst;
  • Heavy sweating;
  • Decreased urination, and dark yellow urine;
  • Red, hot, dry skin;
  • Convulsions;
  • Confusion;
  • Rapid breathing and heartbeat; and/or
  • Weakness.
What should I do for myself or others who are at risk of heat illness?
  • Drink water every 15 minutes, even if you are not thirsty.
  • Wear a hat and light-coloured clothing.
  • Watch out for signs of heat illness in others.
  • Rest in the shade.
  • Report any symptoms of heat illness immediately.
What should employers do to ensure workers are safe?
  • Train workers on the symptoms of heat illness and how to recognize the signs and symptoms of heat stroke and heat exhaustion.
  • Provide workers with cool, fresh water to drink.
  • Provide a shaded area for workers to cool down.
  • Give workers time to get used to the heat, especially new workers.
  • Schedule outside work or rigorous work to be done during cooler times of the day.
  • Prepare a heat stress plan to prevent heat illness.
For more information, refer to our Code of Practice on Thermal Conditions.
Safety education

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

Northern Territories Federation of Labour - view upcoming courses here.

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

Arctic Response Canada - view upcoming courses here.

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

WSCC's offices (Northwest Territories and Nunavut) are closed on Friday, July 1, in celebration of Canada Day, and reopen at 8:30 AM on Monday, July 4.

To report a serious workplace injury or incident, call 1-800-661-0792.
This information will soon be available in Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun on our website.

wscc.nt.ca   /  1.800.661.0792  |  wscc.nu.ca  /  1.877.404.4407