Canadian Safety Reporter

January 2017

Focuses on occupational health and safety issues at a strategic level. Designed for employers, HR managers and OHS professionals, it features news, case studies on best practices and practical tips to ensure the safest possible working environment.

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Safety Reporter Canadian www.safety-reporter.com January 2017 DISEASE FROM BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS AFTER WORK INJURY CAUSED TOTAL DISABILITY: TRIBUNAL Worker disabled by liver disease caused by hepatitis C contracted during surgery pg. 5 NO CHARITY FOR WORKER WITH SAFETY CONCERNS ABOUT BASEMENT WORKSPACE pg. 3 Evidence showed worker's complaints played a role in her dismissal a short time later DISMISSAL FOR SAFETY VIOLATION DOESN'T STAND IF NOT APPLIED CONSISTENTLY Similar safety violations by others led to suspensions, not dismissal pg. 6 INSIDE Navigating the dangerous waters Government measures and large damage awards mean employers had better pay attention to workplace harassment BY JESSICA WUERGLER NOW MORE THAN ever, an employer must take seriously its obligation to properly respond to and investigate an allegation of workplace harassment. Gone are the days turning a blind eye to bullying and unwanted work- place interaction, whether phys- ical, verbal or psychological. Government initiatives — such as Ontario's "It's Never Okay" program and Bill 132 — as well as a rash of high-profile cases have heightened public awareness of the issues. An em- ployer that fails or refuses to get on board does so at its peril, risking public embarrassment, brand damage and employee discontent, not to mention a Shop teacher cuts class over number of students School board's limit of 22 students too many for safety purposes: Teacher BY JEFFREY R. SMITH A NEW BRUNSWICK shop teacher did not have grounds to refuse work due to the number of students in his class, the New Brunswick Workers' Compensation Appeals Tribunal has ruled. The teacher taught skilled trades involving hand tools and ma- chines to high school students in New Brunswick. He had an edu- cational assistant (EA) to help with the students' projects in class. Class sizes were set at a maximum of 29 students, with normal NEWS BRIEF EXXON REFINERY POORLY MAINTAINED HOUSTON (Reuters) — A Louisiana environmental group has said that ExxonMobil Corp.'s Baton Rouge, La., refinery, where four workers were burned in a Nov. 22 fire, has been poorly maintained for years. The Louisiana Bucket Brigade, which works to improve safety and reduce pollution from refineries and chemical plants in the state, highlighted findings of a 2012 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency inspection of the refinery as showing long-standing flaws in maintenance. An Exxon spokeswoman on Tuesday criticized the Bucket Bri- gade's work. "We have not read this latest report, but the Bucket Brigade's previous reports have consistently contained deliberate inaccura- cies and misrepresent industry activities," spokeswoman Ashley Alemayehu said. The 2012 EPA inspection found fault with Exxon's maintenance of equipment and certain proce- dures. The cause of the Nov. 22 fire has not been determined. The U.S. Oc- cupational Safety and Health Ad- ministration and the U.S. Chemi- cal Safety Board are investigating. Harassment > pg. 4 Credit: Shutterstock/Photographee.eu Teacher > pg. 2

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