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Racking Targeted in Ontario’s November Workplace Inspection Blitz

The Ontario Ministry of Labour’s November 2011 workplace inspection blitz will target racking and storage facilities at industrial workplaces.  Ministry of Labour inspectors will be visiting industrial workplaces in Ontario to inspect racking and employer procedures for working around racking.  Among other things, inspectors will be examining whether racking and storage systems have been properly selected and installed and that any required pre-start health and safety reviews of the systems have been conducted.  Inspectors will also be focusing on whether the systems are being maintained in a good state of repair and that any damaged components have been promptly replaced or repaired.  Further, inspectors will be checking to ensure that aisles are clear of obstructions, pallets are being maintained in good condition, lift trucks are being operated safety and workers have been provided with required training.   For more information, see the Ministry of Labour’s Alert:  http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/sawo/pubs/fs_rackingstorage.php

Racking Targeted in Ontario’s November Workplace Inspection Blitz

Stress Claims Soon to be Accepted in British Columbia

On Thursday last week, the B.C. government announced that it will amend the B.C. Workers Compensation Act to extend coverage for mental stress claims. Employees who suffer from a mental stress condition arising out of the workplace will now be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Currently only those who suffer from an “acute reaction to a sudden and traumatic event” are eligible. The change will now benefit those who suffer mental stress as a result of on-going or cumulative events in the workplace.

This change will bring B.C. in line with the law in other provinces, including Quebec, Saskatchewan and Alberta, and the three northern territories.

Several studies have found that stress is the primary reason for absenteeism from the workplace. Many employees claim that that stress is caused by their work environment: unmanageable workloads, overly-demanding superiors, or tense relations between co-workers. Undoubtedly this amendment will significantly increase the number of workers’ compensation claims that are made . In fact, the Labour Minister has estimated that WorkSafe BC’s yearly costs will increase between $10 million and $18 million.

The B.C. government has yet to announce when the proposed new legislation will be tabled, or what the amendment will look like. Stay tuned …

Stress Claims Soon to be Accepted in British Columbia