Although legalization of cannabis in Canada is expected to go ahead this spring, employer education remains a missing but necessary part of the legalization equation. Employers must adapt to legalization in a way that respects workers’ rights while maintaining a safe, healthy working environment.
International Women’s Day is a day to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of women while making strides toward equality. This IWD, we acknowledge that gender equality in the workplace is still not a reality. It’s a sad truth that women continue to face barriers to accessing equal opportunities in the working world across a wide swath of professions. This is especially true in male-dominated fields like construction, resource extraction, carpentry, and other skilled trades.
On December 31, a pilot was arrested in Calgary after he was discovered unconscious in the cockpit of an aircraft that was just minutes from its scheduled takeoff. Many are wondering: how did this irresponsible pilot come so close to flying?
The government of Canada has announced that it will be introducing a comprehensive ban on the use, production, and export of asbestos, the cancer-causing mineral that until recently was a commonly used building material. The substance has already been banned in around 50 countries worldwide, prompting Health Minister Jane Philpott to admit that the move toward a comprehensive asbestos ban is “long overdue.”
The Toronto Transit Commission announced early this month that it will go ahead with plans to randomly test employees for drug and alcohol use. The random testing program was originally proposed back in 2011 when, after a tragic bus accident killed one person and injured 13 others in Toronto, the driver of the bus refused a post-incident drug test and was found to have marijuana in his possession at the time of the accident.
Workplace health and safety advocates are celebrating after Public Services and Procurement Canada released its long awaited national asbestos inventory. The forty-page document contains a list of every government building in Canada that contains asbestos, and its release marks a victory for health and safety advocates across the country. However, advocates also say there is still work to be done: Denis St-Jean, national health and safety officer for the Public Service Alliance of Canada, points out that the list does not contain details about precisely where the dangerous materials are located, meaning that people are not being fully informed about the the risk.
You may have heard about BC’s public health emergency over the surge in fentanyl use and abuse over the past few months. Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid (“narcotic”) medication estimated to be 50-100 times more potent than morphine, has also recently gained notoriety as the drug that caused Prince’s fatal overdose earlier this year. Now, the drug is becoming a grave health concern as it grows in popularity across Canada.
Around 40,000 Canadians in the workforce use medical marijuana. And, with the legalization of recreational marijuana expected to occur in spring of 2017, this number is expected to increase. As you take steps to protect your workplace against accidents and unsafe situations, it is also important to protect yourself from legal difficulties down the road so you can successfully navigate human rights concerns and avoid wrongful dismissal suits. Here are a few tips on how to walk that narrow line between safety and human rights correctly.
Since 2010, the total number of opioid prescriptions dispensed has risen from 17.5 million to 21.7 million annually. Opioid-related fatalities exceeded motor vehicle accident-related fatalities in 2010. Here’s how you can protect yourself and your workplace from accidents and fatalities due to opioid use.
In 2014, Suncor’s proposal to incorporate a random drug testing policy was quashed when an arbitration panel found that the program would constitute an unreasonable violation of worker privacy. However, a Court of the Queen’s Bench judge overturned this decision after reviewing the evidence, and plans are in the works to review Suncor’s drug testing plan in the coming months.
A recently posted article in the Edmonton Journal has shed some light on to what is now becoming a big problem in the workplace. Leonard Banga of Xtreme Mining and Demolition, located in Saskatoon, has said nearly all of the recent applicants to the company had failed a routine drug test. During a ten day period, 22 out of 26 individuals failed the drug test.
If you own a vehicle you have without a doubt noticed substantial change for the cost to fill your tank. For the average white collar worker the savings is a bonus, but for many blue collar workers in Alberta 2015 is off to a rocky start as the dropping price of oil impacts employment opportunities across the province.
Wanting to implement a new drug testing program in your business? Do you current have one but are searching for better outcomes? A recent article was published in the February 2015 edition of the Occupational Health Safety magazine, pushing for employers to use Hair Drug testing as the new and improve way of testing employees who were or are under the influence of drugs.
Over the weekend, the shooting of two RCMP officers in St. Albert shook up the residents of the city. The man responsible for the shooting was charged with over 100 offences dating back to 1994. “Since 2010 Rehn had been sentenced a total of 10 years in jail for a variety of offences including possession of a prohibited fireman, escape from custody, and breaking and entering.:
Canadian Model for Providing a Safe Workplace – Alcohol and Drug Guidelines and Work Rule
On October 8th the Construction Owners Association of Alberta (COAA) released an updated version of the Canadian Model. The Canadian Model provides industries with recommendations for drug and alcohol testing procedures; it is the only document of its kind and was created to reduce the risk of substance abuse in the workplace.
After numerous edits to improve clarity, consistency, and readability Version 5.0 of the Canadian Model was launched. Click below to view the latest edition.
Earlier this month TSN reported that the Federal Government has been applying pressure to the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) to direct attention and resources towards drug testing Canadian athletes who are representing Canada while competing at international events.
The oil and gas rich province of Alberta was responsible for all of Canada’s net employment growth over the past 12 months, adding 81,800 jobs while the rest of Canada lost 9,500. Alberta’s immense growth is attracting tens of thousands of young workers to the area on the employment hunt which is quickly becoming the country’s highest paying salaries.
Last spring, four of the 63 applicants (6.3%) in a trial program involving seasonal labourers and drivers for the roads division in the city of Calgary tested positive for drug use.