Improving Workplace Health Through Education, Awareness and Advocacy
That's the theme of CCOH's strategic plan. The CCOH Board has adopted four strategic priorities to implement its vision for improving workplace health:
1. Provide training opportunities for people to become accredited professionals and to obtain professional development in occupational hygiene.
2. Promote awareness about the impact workplaces can have on worker health and the value the occupational hygiene profession brings to the prevention of work related disease and illness.
3. Advocate for action on occupational disease and illness prevention.
4. Establish a sustainable financial and operational framework to enable the CCOH to become the national champion for workplace health.
This strategy only represents a small step towards achieving our vision and we will need the help and dedication of many
individuals to see it implemented. If you would like to get involved with CCOH or learn more about CCOH, don't hesitate to contact your local Board member or email us here.
You can read the strategic plan in further detail here.
April 28th is the National Day of Mourning observed every year to commemorate workers injured, disabled or killed on the job or who suffer from occupational disease. The Government of Canada officially recognized this day with the passing of the Workers Mourning Day Act in 1990 and it is recognized in over 80 countries around the world.
The numbers are staggering. In 2010, 1014 "accepted" workplace deaths were recorded in Canada - an increase from 939 the previous year. As we take pause to remember those workers who have suffered or died due to unsafe work, we can each make a renewed committment to strive for safer workplaces.
In a new research published by the IRSST, the researchers observed important styrene exposure peaks in the fibreglass reinforced plastics industry, even though in certain cases, the measured styrene values exceeded the standards prescribed by the Regulation respecting occupational health and safety. Furthermore, the researchers noted that the volunteers exposed to styrene at average concentrations of 137 mg/m3 showed a frequency of irritation symptoms higher than the “Control group” or the “Average group.” For the other tests and symptoms, the results showed no relationship between styrene, at the exposure levels in this study, and measurable effects on the nervous system. Also, the results obtained with the “Group with peaks” were no different from those obtained with the “Control group” and the “Group without peaks.”
In several studies, the styrene exposure duration (more than eight years) has been demonstrated to have a possible effect on the nervous system. This is an important factor to consider in studying the chronic effects of styrene. The average duration of exposure of the workers in our study was only 5.6 years, which could explain the negative results that we obtained. The concentrations of the peaks remain high in the fibreglass reinforced plastics industry (FRPI) and must continue to receive particular attention by occupational hygienists when measuring styrene concentrations in the workplace.
To download the full text in English please go here.
The document is available in French as well by going here.
The Alberta AIHA local section is presenting a 1-day professional development course, Risk and Crisis Communications: Methods and Messages on March 8, 2012 followed on March 9, 2012 with a 1-day Symposium and Annual General Meeting. Details of both events can be downloaded from the Alberta local section web site here.
The IRSST published an evaluation of whole-body vibration (WBV) exposure of operators of soil compactors. Single-drum vibratory compactors are widely used for compaction of soils and road building.
This study investigates vibration properties and operator exposure to WBV of single-drum vibratory soil compactors through measurements, and presents spectral classes of vibration that could be applied for identifying desired interventions. Two test series were undertaken to characterize the mechanical vibration properties of the vehicles and vibration exposure of the operators. The first test series was performed on a test track under controlled conditions, namely, the speed, the amplitude of vibration due to the rotating mass integrated within the drum and the soil properties. The objective was to determine the vibration behaviours of the vehicles in terms of dominant ride frequencies and probable vibration modes. The second test series was undertaken at two different worksites in Québec in order to quantify and assess the WBV exposure under typical working conditions.
The Canadian Council of Occupational Hygiene (CCOH) is proud to announce that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA). The MOU between the not-for-profit organizations was signed June 2 and will promote the coordinated effort to improve worker health and safety.
The relationship between CCOH and AIHA will generate joint activities which enhance and highlight the role of occupational hygienists and other OEHS professionals, advancing the practice and industry at-large. This collaboration will foster joint educational programming, including professional development activities, and contribute to the annual American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition (AIHce).