In This Issue
Why Bed Bugs Are Not a Health & Safety Issue?
Government Hires Safety Prosecutor
Upcoming Events
Quick Links
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De-Escalation Techniques

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

1:30 pm   




Upcoming Events



September 25, 2014

9:30- 11:30

Ivany Place, Bedford


OVCC Annual Continuing Care Conference

Prominent Issues in Continuing Care

October 16-17, 2014 Thursday, October 16th Time: 12:00-4:00

Holiday Inn Harbourview

Friday, October 17th

Time: 8:00-9:00

Holiday Inn Harbourview


Tools for Life

October 24, 2014

Horton High School, Greenwich, NS


Canadian Patient Safety Week

October 27-31,2014









                    July 2014      
Effective July 24th, our office will be located at 201 Brownlow Ave, Unit 1, Dartmouth, NS,  B3B 1W2
Message from the Executive Director

It is hard to believe it's the middle of summer! There used to be a time, when the summer schedule was a little lighter on committee work and meetings put on hold until September. You had time to tackle those files that have been sitting on the corner of your desk; time to catch up on projects and developing that program evaluation plan you promised to do since last year!  


At AWARE-NS, we seem to be in constant motion. Program development tools, resources and plans are in play; Heather is planning her Fall education and training schedule, our Membership drive continues to be a priority and of course, plans are well underway for our AGM being held, September 25, 2014, Ivany Place.


Thank you for your feedback on our new Website, we love it too! Over the summer, a number of self -directed learning topics will be developed and uploaded, so keep an eye out! We are continuing to fine tune the site, so please keep your comments coming.


So, we are definitely on the MOVE!... literally.. We moved our office location this month to Burnside Park in a shared space model with Safety Services Nova Scotia, 201 Brownlow Ave. This location will be much better for stakeholders with easy access and free parking, and a great location to hold training sessions and meetings. Stay tuned for our upcoming open house later this fall.


 This issue of the newsletter brings in news on important key topics: Check out Scott's article on Bedbugs, check out our upcoming webinar, newsy items and don't forget to mark your calendar for important dates!

Why Bed Bugs Are Not a Health & Safety Issue?

Written By Scott Bennett

What Are Bedbugs ?

An oval shaped bug with a short broad head. It's about the size of a pebble. Bed Bugs feed on blood. When they haven't eaten they are the size of a grain of rice and are about 6 -10 mm long. Once they've eat they double in size and turn dark red. Nymphs are shaped like adults but aren't as dark as them. They are more yellowish white in color. Bed bugs eggs are white (about 1mm long and pear shaped.


Bed bugs are not a health and safety issue to us as employees, they are feared because they are hard to get rid of once you have an infestation bed bugs do not carry or spread disease and most people don't even know they have been bitten. For people who are sensitive to bed bugs bites, they may have an allergic reaction such as itchy welts or small red bumps. Most bed bugs bites go away on their own and do not require treatment. Keep the infected area clean and try not to scratch it. If the bites are very itchy a Physician may prescribe a cream or antihistamines to relieve the itchiness.


The most important aspect in dealing with bedbugs is education. As health care professionals you visit a client's home or work in long- term care facilities. Bed Bugs are hitchhikers and you may unknowingly transport them and cause an infestation. But there are some precautions we can take to help reduce the risk of picking up bed bugs:



  • Be Alert. Be educated
  • Report any sighting to your supervisor/manager so they can address the issue
  • Hang personal items such as bags, briefcases and coats from a door knob or hook to keep them off the floor.
  • Minimize the items you take into a potentially infested environment-take only what you need.
  • Check wheelchairs and/or beds regularly for bed bugs. Learn how to spot a problem
  • Consider changing into work clothes and shoes when you get to work and removing them before you go home.
  • Inspect your shoe treads, clothing cuffs, pockets, collar and belongings after leaving your worksite or office for small black (fecal matter) or dark red (blood) stains, along with both live and dead bugs.
  • Heat kills bed bugs. Toss your work clothes in a hot dyer for 30 minutes. minutes. or wash and dry at the with heat by washing your clothes at the hottest recommended setting then tumble dry them on high heat for 30 minutes.



If feel you've been in an area with a potential bed bug infestation, inspect your clothes, shoes, equipment and other belongings after leaving. Also shake clothing shoes before entering any vehicle. If you have any concerns that you picked up a bed bug, remove clothing on hard-floored surface. And seal it in a plastic bag. If you find a bug or see a bug kill it. A great practice is to pick it up with a tissue or plastic bag, so your manager can show it to the pest control company.


Bed bugs are annoying, but they are not a Health and safety issue. These are just some tips and things for you to look out for so you'll be able to deal with this pesky problem. Confidentiality is very important, refrain from discussing potential Bed Bug infestations outside of the workplace. We have an ethical duty to provide services. The more we educate ourselves, the more we take a proactive approach in bed bug prevention thereby minimizing risk to residents, tenants and employees.






Government Hires Safety Prosecutor
Public Prosecution Service/Labour and Advanced  Education
June 17, 2014 11:17 AM

Government has hired a prosecutor to focus on workplace safety investigations.

Alex Keaveny has been appointed to the special prosecutions section of the Public Prosecution Service. Mr. Keaveny, a Halifax Crown attorney, won the competition after a national search.

The Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service and the Department of Labour and Advanced Education worked together to create the position to ensure more workplace accidents with serious injuries or death are thoroughly investigated and prosecuted, where warranted.

As the Crown attorney dedicated to occupational health and safety cases, Mr. Keaveny will provide investigators with advice before charges, and prosecute offences.

"When someone is injured or dies at work, their loved ones understandably look for justice," said Labour and Advanced Education Minister Kelly Regan. "Mr. Keaveny's appointment, plus a strengthened partnership among our inspectors, the police and the prosecutor's office, will help ensure just that.

"In Nova Scotia, we're committed to ensuring workers return home safely at the end of each day."

Mr. Keaveny will also be involved in education and training for safety officers and managers at the Department of Labour and Advanced Education. The training will focus on what to look for during an investigation, and a prosecution perspective on how to gather evidence that can effectively support a court case. Investigators will also receive training focused on Criminal Code offences under Bill C-45, known as the Westray Bill.

"This appointment is another step in the province's commitment to enhance the investigation and prosecution of offences resulting in workplace injuries or fatalities," said Attorney General and Justice Minister Lena Metlege Diab. "Everybody in the workplace must understand there is a legal accountability for workplace safety."

Mr. Keaveny is a veteran prosecutor. He was a Crown attorney in Toronto and Halifax, and has experience in private practice where his focus was on civil and tax litigation, and regulatory defence. Since he joined the Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service, he has prosecuted hundreds of criminal code and regulatory offences.

Government announced in February it will hire 17 additional staff for its safety division, including inspectors, engineers and a division focused on education and compliance. Five new safety inspectors are now on the job completing inspections and increasing education in workplaces across the province. The new inspectors were part of a construction safety blitz last week that targeted high-risk workplaces. During the blitz, inspectors increased their random, unannounced inspections by 25 per cent over the last blitz held in the fall.

The province is also working with industry to identify and target high-risk companies with poor safety records, and will be working with police to share information on safety training and inspections.



The AWARE-NS AGM will be held on September 25, 2014 from 9:30-11:30 at Ivany Place in Bedford. To RSVP for this event please contact: