What’s New – October 2016 – Issue #77
Brought to you by the Ontario Ministry of Labour.
As part of its balanced plan to build Ontario up and help people in their everyday lives, Ontario raised the general minimum wage from $11.25 to $11.40 on October 1, 2016—the third consecutive year it has increased.
Hazards related to chemical handling can lead to serious worker injuries, occupational diseases—even death. Workers may be at risk from chemical flammability and reactivity, contact with corrosive chemicals, asphyxiation hazards, and damage to body organs or systems. They are also at risk of developing contact dermatitis, asthma and cancers. This fall, the ministry is focusing on hazards involving chemical handling in an inspection blitz at industrial workplaces.
Some employees are at greater risk than others of not receiving their employment standards entitlements. They may also not understand their rights under the Employment Standards Act, 2000. From May 2 to June 30, the ministry conducted two simultaneous blitzes, focusing on young workers and temporary foreign workers. Learn what the ministry found.
Automotive body shops and service garages have begun using rubberized coatings on painted surfaces of vehicles or vehicle components, such as rims and spoilers. The coating is used to protect the painted surface or to change the appearance of the vehicle. While increasingly popular, the process of applying this coating may pose a hazard to workers as it is a flammable liquid that could be ignited by heat, sparks, flames or static electricity.
The risk of injuries rises when firearms are involved in a performance. Given the inherent danger of working with weapons, ammunition or powder, workplaces should consider using alternatives whenever possible. Learn more about the handling of guns on set and how to protect workers.
Small businesses represent 95 per cent of employers in Ontario, and are a key contributor to the economy. While running a business involves risks and costs, a strong commitment to health, safety and fairness makes good business sense. To commemorate Small Business Week, which runs fromOct. 16 and 22, visit the ministry’s Small Business page to learn more about your workplace responsibilities as a small business owner, and access our free resources and tools.
Sun exposure is a serious workplace hazard. Outdoor workers have up to 3.5 times greater risk of skin cancer than indoor workers. Sun exposure is the leading cause of skin cancer and can lead to sunburn, skin and eye damage, cataracts and heat stress, according to Dr. Thomas Tenkate, the project lead for Sun Safety At Work Canada. The organization has launched a new website—sunsafetyatwork.ca—
Work shouldn’t hurt! The ministry, along with its occupational health and safety system partners, will take part in various activities to raise awareness of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in the workplace. Employers and workers are encouraged to take part in planned activities or to develop their own. The ministry has posted a new listing featuring events, webinars, courses and conferences across the province.
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