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the Commission's website and WHSCC NEWS, our print-edition
newsletter, which is published twice a year.
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1 - June 7,
May 31, is the official kick-off date for Disability
Awareness Week (DAW). 2008
marks the 21st consecutive year that New Brunswick has
held an awareness week promoting
better educational, workplace and community access for
people with disabilities.
to facilities and programs means more than wheelchair
ramps and reserved parking spaces.
Canada reports that at least 14.4% of New Brunswick’s
population has some kind of disability. This week is a
chance for all New Brunswickers to better understand the
challenges and obstacles the disabled face, while
celebrating their progress and victories. DAW began
after Rick Hansen wheeled around the world in a
wheelchair and became a Canadian hero.
year’s theme, "Disability Supports Create Self
Sufficiency", highlights the extent that disability
supports can help a person overcome barriers of daily
living. A few examples of disability supports
include: hearing aids; wheelchairs; service animals,
such as guide dogs; specialized computer software that
provides users who are blind access to printed and
electronic materials and vehicle hand controls.
These new technologies, along with increased access to
post-secondary education, allow people with disabilities
to do work that many employers would never
recognition of DAW, the WHSCC is hosting an Open House
at the Workers’ Rehabilitation Centre (WRC) in Grand
Bay-Westfield on Friday, June 6. The open house
showcases the services provided by WRC for injured
workers and offers a forum for stakeholders to discuss
the importance of opening doors for the disabled in our
community. WHSCC is also organizing Walk &
Roll events at both the WRC and the Portland Street
office. Employees and guests will join in a walk in
observance of Disability Awareness
more information on DAW events and for DAW project ideas
visit www.gnb.ca/0048, or
contact Randy Dickinson or Christyne Allain at the
Premier’s Council on the Status of Disabled persons toll
1 800 442-4412.
an annual production value of $1.5 billion, the mineral
industry is New Brunswick's second
industrial sector. More than 3,000 people are directly
employed in the industry. Many more work to provide the
industry with $200 million worth of supplies and
services annually. Along with
its important contribution to New Brunswick’s economy,
however, there is risk, and tragedies such as the
Westray disaster in May 1992 serve as a constant
reminder of just how dangerous the mining industry can
rescue competitions test the preparedness of miners who
may one day have to face a rescue situation. From May 23
to 24, 2008, three teams of mine rescuers will face a
mock disasteras they
compete in the inter-provincial Mine Rescue Competition
in Bathurst, N.B. The competition tests the miners’
first aid and firefighting skills in a simulated
emergency rescue situation, which includes
an underground scenario in
a mock mine constructed inside the K.C.
Irving Regional Centre in Bathurst.
Each team must also complete a bench test, consisting of
a written test and an equipment check.
competitions highlight the need for stringent standards
in mine safety,” says Richard Blais, chief compliance
officer with the Workplace Health, Safety and
Compensation Commission (WHSCC). “And although our
primary goal is prevention, emergency preparation is
also key. We hope these skills will never be needed, but
mine rescue training and competitions such as these
ensure miners will be ready to respond appropriately if
the need ever arises.”
competition is a joint effort among the New Brunswick
and Nova Scotia mining industries and provincial
agencies, including the WHSCC and the Department of
Environment and Labour (N.S.).
explains that mine rescue began in New Brunswick in
1966, when the Department of Natural Resources
established the first rescue station in Bathurst, and
created the position of Mine Rescue Superintendent. New Brunswick
was one of the first provinces to buy mine rescue
1966 until 1981, the Department of Natural Resources
provided training for mine rescue and co-ordinated the
mine rescue competition. The first mine rescue
competition in New Brunswick was held at Brunswick Mine
in Bathurst in 1972.
the early 1980s, a joint Industry/Province Standards
Committee was formed to establish training standards and
testing and to review the annual Mine Rescue
Competition. Another important function of the committee
is to review mine rescue equipment to ensure it meets
industry standards. The committee continues to meet and
is chaired by the WHSCC, with mine rescue co-ordinators
representing each individual mine.
are more than 90 active mine rescue members in New
Mine rescue training consists of multi-level
ongoing certification, co-ordinated by the WHSCC and New
Brunswick’s mining industry.
recognition of Disability Awareness Week, the WHSCC will
host its 7th annual Workers' Rehabilitation Centre Open
House on Friday, June 6 at WRC. The Open House provides
employers and physicians with a tour of the facility and
overview of the WRC’s services for injured workers. A
new program format this year combines the employer and
physician sessions, and includes an "Ask the Experts"
round table discussion. After the facility tour
(which includes overviews of the Work Recovery,
Vocational Evaluation and Assistive Devices
programs), the following sessions will be offered:
is free to New Brunswick physicians and employers
(maximum of two representatives per organization).
Seating is limited so register today by calling Chad
Humphries at 632-2804 (in Saint John) or toll free at 1
800 222-9775, ext. 2804.
RTW Planning: Principles and
Experts: Round Table
it possible to suffer from heat stress if I am working
inside and away from the sun?
*Name has been changed for privacy
Hot summer weather can cause dangerous conditions for
people who work indoors in places such as bakeries,
foundries, restaurant kitchens, laundries and pulp
mills. A combination of high outdoor temperatures with
heat build-up inside can be fatal. It is important that
all workers listen to their bodies and learn to
recognize the three main forms of heat stress and their
symptoms that are listed
cramps – painful muscle spasms, excessive
stroke – hot, dry, flushed skin; severe
headache; confusion, delirium, convulsions and loss of
owe it to yourself and your co-workers to recognize the
signs of heat stress and to know the proper first aid
measures. Here are a few simple tips to prevent heat
stress from happening in the first place.
plenty of fluids – Drink large quantities of fluids
before you begin to work and about one cup every 20
minutes while you work. The best fluid to drink is
water, or liquids with some sodium
your salt intake slightly – The salt in most prepared
foods should be sufficient, but if you’re working in
extreme conditions, drink liquids with some sodium
appropriate clothing – wear light-coloured,
loose-fitting clothing that doesn’t leave too much
skin exposed. Wear a hat in the sun.
it slowly – start by working slowly and taking short,
frequent breaks. Gradually increase the frequency,
intensity, or duration of your tasks as your comfort
If you have a
question for Ask us! please forward to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recent Accident Reports
was shunting a box-train with an electric cable
system when the cable unhooked and smashed into
WHSCC conducted 6,838 workplace health and safety inspections
in 2007 and wrote 5,193 orders (violations of the
Occupational Health and Safety
John Petropoulos Memorial Fund (JPMF) has launched a new
campaign, Driving For Change, promoting workplace safety for
all emergency services workers such as firefighters and police
officers. This new campaign is asking people to please slow
down when passing emergency workers at the side of the road,
and give them room to work. The JPMF honours the memory of
Const. John Petropoulos, of the Calgary Police Service. He
died on the job on Sept. 29, 2000. This non-profit group aims
to ensure all emergency services employees make it home safely
after every shift. For more information, go to www.jpmf.ca.
Sclerosis Awareness Month
Disease Awareness Month
Public Health Association 2008 Annual
Public Health in
Canada: Reducing Health Inequalities Through Evidence and
Competent Trainer in Fall
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