Canadian Safety Reporter

May 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 May 2017 INJURED EMPLOYEE'S DISMISSAL NOT DISCRIMINATORY: TRIBUNAL Small employer didn't have modified work available and sincerely believed worker submitted false medical note pg. 5 FAILURE TO INVESTIGATE WORK REFUSAL UNREASONABLE BUT UNDERSTANDABLE pg. 3 Employer should have investigated employee's health concerns but it was preoccupied with many work refusals SHORTCUT AFTER CHANGE OF PLANS ON ELECTRICAL REPAIR JOB LEADS TO TRAGEDY SaskPower supervisor violated safety procedure and legislation by not redoing formal risk assessment pg. 6 INSIDE OHS contraventions can trigger accusation of manslaughter Quebec court found reasonable person would have foreseen risk BY NORM KEITH THE QUEBEC Superior Court has recently made a decision that will have broad implica- tions for individuals and corpo- rations in high-risk workplaces across Canada. Justice Louise Villemure dismissed a judicial review from the committal trial of Sylvain Fournier for a charge of manslaughter, arising from a workplace fatality. Justice Vill- emure held that a contravention of a duty on employers under the Quebec Safety Code may be an appropriate basis for a crimi- nal charge of manslaughter. Fournier's trial is scheduled for Nov. 27. Misconduct, not work refusal, reason for dismissal Employee had scent sensitivity, but also several instances of discipline BY JEFFREY R. SMITH THE DISMISSAL of a Nova Scotia employee with a scent sensitiv- ity was because of a pattern of bad behaviour, not a refusal to work where he thought he would be in danger, the Nova Scotia Labour Board has ruled. Keith Gillis was an office service co-ordinator with the human resources unit of the Public Service Commission of Nova Scotia (PSC) in Halifax. He was essentially a personal assistant to the di- rector of the human resources division and the job required "a high NEWS BRIEF CONFINED SPACE RISK ANALYSIS DEVELOPED The Quebec-based Robert-Sauvé Research Institute for Occupation- al Health and Safety has published a research report designed to con- tribute to confined space accident prevention by helping companies apply existing regulations. Re- searchers wanted to gain a better understanding of confined space risk management and identify issues based on the literature and field observations, and develop a confined space risk analysis and work categorization tool that meets the needs defined in the first stage of the project. The most common confined spaces in industry are tanks, res- ervoirs, silos, vats, manholes, pits, sewers, pipes and tank cars or trucks that have certain charac- teristics defined in the regulations. The risks run by workers who enter these confined spaces are poten- tially high because of the confine- ment, inadequate natural ventila- tion, isolation, and access, rescue and communication problems. Moreover, accidents are common . A five-step risk assessment tool was developed for confined spaces. The report can be found at http://www.irsst.qc.ca/en/. Contravention > pg. 4 Credit: Shutterstock/hans engbers Employer > pg. 2 PM #40065782

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