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S2SA Safety Champion 2020

Graphic with a photo of a man, Chris Herrera, holding an award and the following text: S2SA Safety Champion Chris Herrera Capital Ford Lincoln

Chris Herrera, Shop Foreman at Capital Ford Lincoln, was chosen as the recipient of this year’s S2SA Safety Champion Award for his dedication and passion in making his workplace a healthier and safer place to be! He was nominated for his high level of involvement and genuine concern for his coworkers’ overall safety.

Chris embodies what it means to be a Safety Champion, maintaining a safe work environment through hazard identification and control, as well as creating a strong safety culture through frequent and meaningful communication.

Capital Ford Lincoln is working towards SAFE Work Certification by developing, revising, and implementing safety policies and procedures, communicating safety information via Safety Talks, and ensuring staff receive the proper safety training. A driving force within their organization is the Safety Committee, where Chris and his team are conducting quarterly workplace inspections and ensuring all safety concerns are addressed. Capital Ford Lincoln has made a commitment to health and safety for their staff and customers. This is evident through the hard work of Chris and the rest of the Capital Ford Lincoln team.

The Safetys

The Safetys was created to present several Manitoba occupational safety and health awards at one signature event. It’s a cross-industry gala to recognize and reward Manitobans who go above and beyond to make their workplaces safer and healthier.

This year, due to COVID-19, The Safetys were held virtually. If you missed it, you can go to their website to see all the winners.

See Other 2020 The Safetys Award Winners

S2SA Safety Champion 2021

If you or someone in your organization has what it takes to be next year’s S2SA Safety Champion, nominations open June 2021. Follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn to stay in the loop!

Past S2SA Safety Champions:

2019 – Lloyd Gross, Birchwood GM
2018 – Kelly Waddell, Murray Chevrolet
2017 – Dawn Steiner, Kelleher Ford Sales Dauphin

Published: October 7, 2020

Global Ergonomics Month

Picture of woman rubbing her neck

October is Global Ergonomics Month! It’s an international campaign to raise awareness of ergonomics and musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) hazards in workplaces.

Ergonomics is the science of matching work tasks to the body, i.e. “fitting the job to the worker”. Good ergonomics improves efficiency, productivity, health, safety, and comfort, and reduces the risk of musculoskeletal injuries (MSIs).

What are MSIs?

Musculoskeletal Injuries (MSIs), also known as Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs), are injuries or disorders of the muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, nerves, blood vessels, or related soft tissues. Injuries can include sprains, strains, inflammation, and more.

They can be caused by:

  • Poor working postures,
  • Excessive physical and cognitive demands of the worker,
  • Work set up including improper work heights, reaching zones, lighting, temperature in the environment,
  • Tasks such as reaching above shoulder level, rotating arms, bending wrists, and prolonged sitting,
  • Duration, frequency, work rate, and scheduling of tasks.

The Danger:

  • Chronic pain, aching, fatigue, and weakness persist at rest,
  • Inability to perform light duties,
  • Pain, weakness, swelling, burning sensation, or ache over the affected area,
  • Drastic effects on mental and physical health, as well as impact on the lives of the workers family,
  • Time loss and long-term Workers Compensation Board claims.

MSIs are one of the most common injuries experienced in almost any type of work. They made up nearly 38% of all injuries reported by Manitobans to the Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba (WCB) in 2017.

What Can You Do?

There are three considerations which all work together to create a safer and more comfortable work experience. They include the interaction between:

  1. The worker – eg. human characteristics and capabilities
  2. The environment – eg. temperature, lighting, physical layout and surroundings
  3. The tasks – eg. pace of work, how it is set up and organized, use of equipment and tools

What Employers Can Do:

  • Assess the ergonomics of your workplace,
  • Use job design and design work environments to suit each task and worker,
  • Use job rotation to avoid repetitive work,
  • Teamwork can provide a greater variety and more evenly distributed muscular work,
  • Train employees on safe lifting techniques,
  • Provide, train for, and encourage use of ergonomic equipment such as carts, lifts, adjustable chairs, anti-vibration gloves, etc.,
  • Provide frequent breaks.

What Employees Can Do:

  • Perform tasks close to your body,
  • Position your work and equipment to keep your gaze straight ahead,
  • Work with your wrists in a strong, natural position,
  • Avoid leaning and stretching forward to reduce stress on your lower back,
  • Use teamwork when possible. It can provide a greater variety and more evenly distributed muscular work,
  • Use safe lifting techniques,
  • When possible use carts, lifts, or rollers to move materials,
  • Properly use ergonomic tools and equipment,
  • Improve your posture by taking the time to adjust your body and adjust the load or equipment you are using,
  • Include micro breaks in your tasks for body recovery and fatigue prevention,
  • Take breaks from long periods of sitting,
Learn More

Risk assessment

Contact your S2SA advisor or email [email protected] for information on our ergonomic assessments.

If you’d prefer to assess your workplace yourself, SAFE Work Manitoba has a handy Ergonomic Assessment Checklist:

Ergonomic Risk Assessment Checklist
How to Use the Checklist

Related Ergonomic Topics:

SAFE Work Manitoba Courses:

Published: October 2, 2020

“MSD Prevention Guideline for Ontario”,https://www.msdprevention.com

“Ergonomics”,https://www.safemanitoba.com/topics/Pages/Ergonomics

Combating COVID Fatigue

Sad man lying down covering his face

You may have heard of something called “COVID Fatigue”, “Coronavirus Burnout”, or “Pandemic Fatigue”, or even felt the effects of it yourself. COVID fatigue is real and it’s causing some people to be less careful. It’s caused by living in a state of prolonged stress: we’re tired of being cooped up, tired of being careful, tired of being scared.

After working so hard to keep our numbers low, it’s important to continue our success and sustain our physical and mental health. We must remain vigilant, but not fearful. As Dr Alex Nataros of Comox, British Columbia puts it: “We need to learn to be crocodiles: Relaxed, aware, but not expending excess energy.”

COVID Fatigue is completely normal and is actually to be expected. In the event of a disaster, communities goes through stages of what is known as Disaster Stress. The fatigue is part of Stage 5: Disillusionment.

During the disillusionment phase, communities and individuals realize the limits of how quickly life can return to normal. As optimism turns to discouragement and stress continues to take a toll, negative reactions, such as physical exhaustion or substance use, may begin to surface. What’s important at this time is to recognize your own mental health needs and seek help when needed.

Phases of Disaster Stress:

Graph showing the stages of Disaster Stress

What Can We Do?

  • Keep up with the basics: a balanced diet, exercise, and safe social interactions,
  • Practice Self-Care in ways that work for you,
  • Talk to loved ones,
  • Ask for help when you need it,
  • Be compassionate towards others and towards yourself,
  • Continue to adapt to public health recommendations and requirements,
  • Try to accept the new reality.

And although we are tired, it is still imperative to continue to employ spread-limiting techniques such as wearing masks, proper hygiene, and social (physical) distancing.

Some Ideas

Get Creative with Your Mask

Get or make a mask in a pattern you really like!
Easy Sew / No Sew Mask Tutorials Fitted Mask Tutorial Pleated Mask Tutorial

Embrace Outdoor Activities

As the weather cools down, our instinct is to stay indoors but it is important to stay social and active.

  • Go for walks and watch the fall leaves change,
  • Go for bike rides,
  • Do yard work,
  • Go apple picking,
  • Visit a pumpkin patch and pick pumpkins,
  • Have people in your social bubble over for a bonfire and hot drinks.

Celebrate Holidays Safely

Keep your holiday traditions, but rethink them to keep everyone safe.

  • Decorate for the Holidays as you would normally, even if you can’t celebrate normally,
  • Zoom or skype Thanksgiving supper with your grandparents,
  • Send a Thanksgiving “What I’m Thankful For” email to loved ones to update them on what’s going on in your life,
  • Netflix party a scary Halloween movie with friends,
  • Carve pumpkins with people in your bubble,
  • Show off your Halloween Costume on Instagram,
  • Put together candy goody-bags for children in your social bubble.

Published: September 25, 2020

Tomiyoshi, Tricia. “’COVID fatigue’ is hitting hard. Fighting it is hard, too, says UC Davis Health psychologist”, UC Davis Health, 7 July 2020, health.ucdavis.edu/health-news/newsroom/covid-fatigue-is-hitting-hard-fighting-it-is-hard-too-says-uc-davis-health-psychologist/2020/07

Parrish, Carisa. “How to Deal with Coronavirus Burnout and Pandemic Fatigue”, Johns Hopkins Medicine, 11 August 2020, www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/how-to-deal-with-coronavirus-burnout-and-pandemic-fatigue

“Phases of Disaster”, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 17 June 2020, www.samhsa.gov/dtac/recovering-disasters/phases-disaster

Nataros, Alex. “Letter to the editor: Time to adapt and embrace to the new normal”, Comox Valley Record, 12 September 2020, www.comoxvalleyrecord.com/letters/letter-time-to-adapt-and-embrace-to-the-new-normal/?fbclid=IwAR1UQ_sheHrRgKziU-zAW8H1xySUg_qgktjp7fY7s3XgQeXN42F_D35Qqm0

Cold and Flu Prevention

Coughing into elbow

This year, it is especially important to get the flu vaccination and / or take steps to prevent the flu as the health care system is already under stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cold and Flu Prevention:

  • Get the flu shot if you are able. Getting the flu shot can reduce your chances of contracting influenza,
  • Disinfect common surfaces such as doorknobs, keyboards, phones, and light switches, tools, etc.
  • Practice good hygiene,
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow,
  • Stay home if you are sick,
  • Avoid touching your face,
  • Wear amask,
  • PracticeSocial (Physical) Distancing,
  • Monitor your health closely for symptoms,
  • Get plenty of sleep and exercise,
  • Eat healthy.

In the Workplace:

  • Cross-train other employees so they can cover when one is away,
  • Stay home from work if you are sick,
  • If you begin to feel sick at work, go home as soon as possible.
See Our Cold & Flu Safety Talk

Cold vs Flu vs COVID-19:

For both COVID-19 and flu, it’s possible to spread the virus for at least 1 day before experiencing any symptoms.

Not much is known about how the two diseases might interact, but it is possible to have both COVID-19 and seasonal flu at the same time. Both illnesses attack the respiratory system and both cause fever. The risk of such coinfections is typically low, but it gets higher when two viruses are circulating heavily in the same region.

When To Seek Medical Attention

People experiencing these warning signs should obtain medical care right away.

Emergency warning signs for COVID-19 or Flu*:

  • Trouble breathing,
  • Inability to wake or stay awake,
  • Bluish lips or face.
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen,
  • Persistent dizziness, confusion,
  • Seizures,
  • Not urinating,
  • Severe muscle pain,
  • Severe weakness or unsteadiness,
  • Fever or cough that improve but then return or worsen,
  • Worsening of chronic medical conditions.

*This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

Published: September 18, 2020

“Coronavirus and the Flu: A looming Double Threat”, Scientific America, 24 July 2020, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/coronavirus-and-the-flu-a-looming-double-threat/

“Flu (influenza): Prevention and risks”, Government of Canada, 29 October 2019, www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/flu-influenza/prevention-risks.html

“Cold Versus Flu”, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 31 August 2020, www.cdc.gov/flu/symptoms/coldflu.htm

“Similarities and Differences between Flu and COVID-19”, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 31 August 2020, www.cdc.gov/flu/symptoms/flu-vs-covid19.htm

Proper Use of Masks

Mask

Non-medical masks or face coverings may help reduce the spread of respiratory droplets from the user to others or to the surroundings.

Masks have limitations. Non-medical masks, such as homemade and cloth masks, are not medical devices and are not regulated like medical masks and respirators. These types of masks may not be effective in blocking virus particles that may be transmitted by coughing, sneezing or certain medical procedures due to potential loose fit and the materials used.

Be sure to also use other methods of preventing spread such as social (physical) distancing and proper handwashing.

Choosing a Mask:

Masks Should:

  • Allow for easy breathing,
  • Fit securely to the head with ear loops or ties,
  • Be comfortable and not require frequent adjustment,
  • If cloth, be made of at least 2 layers of tightly woven material fabric (such as cotton or linen),
  • Be large enough to completely and comfortably cover the nose and mouth without gaping.

Masks Should Not:

  • Have an exhalation valve (as these masks do not protect others),
  • Impair vision or interfere with tasks,
  • Be made of plastic or other non-breathable materials.

How to Put on a Mask:

How to put on a mask
How to put on a mask

While Wearing a Mask:

While wearing a mask
While wearing a mask

How to Remove a Mask:

Disposable Mask:

How to remove disposable mask
How to remove disposable mask

Reusable Mask:

How to remove reusable mask
How to remove reusable mask

Cleaning a Reusable Mask:

  • Washing by Machine: Wash using a hot cycle then dry thoroughly,
  • Washing by Hand: Wash it thoroughly using soap and warm/hot water, allow to air dry completely.

Other Things to Keep in Mind:

  • Never share your mask with someone else,
  • Do not handle a mask belonging to someone else,
  • Do not allow other people to handle or touch your mask.

Masks in the Workplace

Employers, use this template to create a mask Safe Work Procedure for your workplace: SWP COVID-19 – Non-Medical Masks

For assistance, contact us at [email protected].

Published: September 4, 2020

“Non-medical masks and face coverings: About”, Government of Canada, 24 July 2020, www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevention-risks/about-non-medical-masks-face-coverings.html

“Non-medical masks and face coverings: How to put on, remove and clean”, Government of Canada, 16 July 2020, www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevention-risks/how-put-remove-clean-non-medical-masks-face-coverings.html

Foot Safety

Safety Boot Icon

Impact, compression, and puncture are the most common types of foot injury in the workplace. These injuries can be prevented with proper footwear.

Safety Footwear

If there is a risk of foot injury, appropriate protective footwear should be worn.

Safe Work Practices

Employers:

  • Complete a risk assessment of your work environment to determine the what hazards are present and determine appropriate PPE for all tasks,
  • Create a policy on the use, care, replacement, and type of safety footwear required,
  • If providing toecaps to visitors and contractors, ensure they are CSA approved.

Employees:

  • Wear good fitting socks,
  • Fully tie laces,
  • Keep the CSA tag on,
  • Inspect footwear for cracks in soles, breaks in leather or exposed toe caps. Replace footwear if they are damaged.

Safety Shoe Tags

Green Triangle
Green Triangle: Grade 1 steel toe cap with puncture-resistant sole,

White Square
White Square: Electrical protection, for work environments where accidental contact with live electoral conductors can occur,

Yellow Square
Yellow Square: Anti-Static protection, this footwear should not be used where contact with live electrical conductors can occur,

Red Square
Red Square: Electrically conductive, this footwear should not be used where contact with live electrical conductors can occur,

Black Square
Dark Grey Rectangle with M: Metatarsal (middle of foot) protection. For work environments where heavy objects can crush the metatarsal region of the foot

Footwear will also be marked to indicate the level of slip resistance. These markings may be on the packaging, the footwear, or on a product sheet.

If you are not sure about which safety footwear is right for you, contact us at [email protected].

Non-Safety Shoes

For those not required to wear safety footwear, it is important to pick shoes that are comfortable, closed-toed, with proper insoles, and slip-resistant soles.

Foot Comfort

Foot comfort is an important issue for workers, especially those who mainly stand for their jobs. Problems can include aching feet, blisters, fallen arches (flat feet), and more. Such injuries cause discomfort, pain, and fatigue, setting the worker up for further injuries affecting the muscles and joints. Also, a worker who is tired and suffering pain is less alert and more likely to act unsafely.

Workers should vary tasks, when possible, and shift positions often when standing for long periods of time. They should also take frequent breaks and rest their feet.

Flexible floors such as carpeting, rubber, or anti-fatigue matting can help increase comfort for standing tasks.

Who Should Provide Safety Footwear?

Manitoba Safety and Health Act

Footwear: responsibilities of employers and workers
6.12(1) An employer must provide a worker with
 (a) outer foot guards that provide metatarsal protection, when there is substantial risk of a crushing injury to the worker’s foot; and
 (b) protective footwear, when the worker’s feet may be endangered by a hot, corrosive or toxic substance.

6.12(2) Subject to subsection (1), a worker is responsible for providing for himself or herself protective footwear that
 (a) is appropriate for the risk associated with the worker’s workplace and work; and
 (b) meets the requirements of
    (i) CSA Z195.1-16, Guideline for selection, care, and use of protective footwear, or
    (ii) CSA Z195:14 (R2019), Protective Footwear,
if the worker may be at risk of injury from a heavy or falling object or from treading on a sharp object.

Published: September 11, 2020

“Protect Your Feet!”, Government of Canada, 16 July 2013, www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/health-safety/reports/feet.html

“Safety Footwear”, Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, 8 January 2016, www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/prevention/ppe/footwear.html

“Foot Comfort and Safety at Work”, Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, 22 May 2015, www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/prevention/ppe/foot_com.html

“Footwear – Assessment Checklist”, Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, 8 January 2016, www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/prevention/ppe/footwear_assessment.html

Slips, Trips, and Falls – Same Level

Wet Floor Sign

Slips, trips, and falls are serious workplace hazards. It only takes a moment to lose your footing and plummet to the ground – regardless of height. Take the following precautions.

Top 5 Common Slip, Trip, and Fall Hazards

Top 5 slips trips and falls

Preventing Slips and Trips

Housekeeping

Good housekeeping is important in preventing falls due to slips and trips. It includes:

  • Clean all spills immediately,
  • Mark spills and wet areas,
  • Mop or sweep debris from floors,
  • Remove obstacles from walkways and always keep walkways free of clutter,
  • Secure mats, rugs and carpets that do not lay flat,
  • Always close file cabinet or storage drawers,
  • Cover cables that cross walkways,
  • Keep working areas and walkways well lit,
  • Replace used light bulbs and faulty switches.

Protective Equipment and Signage

  • Proper footwear, such as slip resistant shoes,
  • Non-slip mats,
  • Signage and/or yellow paint marking areas that change in elevation or protrude.

Precautions

  • Take your time and pay attention to where you are going,
  • Adjust your stride to a pace that is suitable for the walking surface and the tasks you are doing,
  • Make wide turns at corners,
  • Always use installed light sources that provide sufficient light for your tasks,
  • Use a flashlight if you enter a dark room where there is no light,
  • Make sure that things you are carrying or pushing do not prevent you from seeing any obstructions, spills, etc.

What Employers Should Do

  • Have a company policy in place that clearly outlines the rules for housekeeping, lighting and inspections,
  • Ensure that required personal protective equipment, and other equipment, is in good repair and used properly,
  • Provide proper training to workers on how to clean up spills,
  • Provide continuous follow-up to make sure that the rules are adequate and are being followed, and to identify what needs improvement,
  • Investigate all incidents to determine how to eliminate the cause.
Learn More

Published: August 14, 2020

“Focus on Falls”, Workplace Safety North, 22 January 2018, www.workplacesafetynorth.ca/news/news-post/focus-falls

“Prevention of Slips, Trips and Falls”, Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/safety_haz/falls.html

“Welcome to OSHA’s Fall Prevention Campaign”, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, www.osha.gov/stopfalls/index.html

“Falls”, Ontario Ministry of Labour, May 2019, www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/topics/falls.php

Safe Lifting

Picture of a person lifting a box

A leading cause of back injury at work is lifting or handling objects incorrectly. By practicing these safe lifting techniques, and avoiding bad lifting habits, you and your staff can stay healthy and on the job.

Lift Safely

Plan Your Lift

  • Check for a weight listing or test the weight of the load before lifting.
  • Consider how far the item must be carried. Ensure the path is clear of objects you could trip over, and any doors are propped open for ease of access.
  • If the object has sharp edges, are slippery, or hard to handle, consider using gloves.

Know your limits!

  • Do not lift or handle more than you can easily manage.
  • Ask for help if you think the item is too heavy to safely lift by yourself, or if lifting the object would block your sightline.
  • Whenever practical, use aids such as a dolly or a cart when lifting, carrying, and moving heavy items.

Make the Lift

  • Take a wide stance with the load between your feet. Bend the knees and hips similar to sitting down on a chair to lower yourself toward the load. Keep you back straight and upright.
  • Grasp the object to be lifted, trying to keep your shoulders set back.
  • Lift with your legs, not your back. Use small steps to turn to avoid twisting your back.
  • Keep the load close to your body, once standing.
  • Move smoothly, don’t twist. Use your feet to change direction, taking small steps. Lead with your hips as you change direction. Keep your shoulders in line with your hips as you move.

Safe lifting techniquesSafe lifting techniques

Putting Down the Load

  • Lower the load using the same procedure as lifting the load, in reverse.
  • To place the load on a high shelf, keep the elbows tight to the body while pushing upward. Tighten the abdominal muscles to keep the back from arching backward

Avoid

  • Bending, twisting, or reaching while lifting.
  • Lifting a heavy object above shoulder level.
  • Wearing jewelry while lifting.
Learn More

Published: July 31, 2020

“Safe Lifting Tips”, NHS.uk, 2 August 2019, www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/safe-lifting-tips

International Self-Care Day

Picture of a woman wearing undereye cooling gellies

July 24 is International Self-Care Day—an opportunity to raise awareness about self-care and the important role it plays in leading a healthy lifestyle. The date chosen for International Self-Care Day (24/7) is a reminder that self-care is important to lifelong health, and its benefits are experienced 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Self-Care is for Everyone

Self-care is about taking care of yourself and making choices that help your physical, mental, and emotional health, like eating healthy, getting enough sleep, exercising, and spending time with loved ones. Although it’s a simple concept, it’s something we very often overlook, especially when we are busy. Good self-care is key to improved mood and reduced anxiety. It’s also key to a good relationship with oneself and others.

7 Pillars of Self-Care

7 pillars of Self-care

1. Health Literacy

The capacity of individuals to obtain, process and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.

Includes:

  • Knowing where to look for health information and how to use it,
  • Knowledge of common diseases and their causes,
  • Knowledge of the major risk factors of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and of other avoidable risks to health,
  • Understanding the value of health screenings at key life points,
  • Understanding medicines and vaccines,
  • Knowing when to seek professional advice.

2. Self-Awareness

Self-awareness encompasses knowledge of your own mental and physical wellbeing.

Includes knowledge of:

  • Your mental and emotional health,
  • Your stress levels,
  • Your sleep profile,
  • Your family’s medical history and any genetic predispositions,
  • Which vaccinations you have had,
  • Your resting heart rate and blood pressure,
  • Your weight, height and body mass index (BMI),
  • Your cholesterol levels,
  • Your oral health.

3. Physical Activity

Regular moderate intensity physical activity significantly improves health, fitness and mood.

Adults in the 18 – 64 year old age-group, should:

  • Throughout the week, do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity or an equivalent combination.
  • Perform aerobic activity in bouts of at least 10 minutes duration,
  • Muscle-strengthening activities should be done involving major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week.

4. Healthy Eating

Eat a nutritious, balanced diet with appropriate levels of calorie intake. Maintaining a healthy diet has been repeatedly shown to have preventative benefits, reducing the risk of many non-communicable diseases.

Recommendations include the following:

  • Achieve an energy balance and a healthy weight,
  • Increase consumption of fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and nuts,
  • Limit energy intake from fats and shift fat consumption away from saturated fats to unsaturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids,
  • Limit the intake of simple sugars,
  • Limit salt (sodium) consumption from all sources and ensure that the majority of salt consumed is iodized.

5. Risk Avoidance

The avoidance or reduction of behaviours that directly increase the risk of disease or death.

Risk mitigation includes:

  • Making sure you are vaccinated,
  • Not smoking or quitting smoking,
  • Practicing safe sex,
  • Drinking in moderation,
  • Protecting yourself from the sun,
  • Driving carefully and wearing a seat belt,
  • Wearing your helmet when you ride a bicycle.

6. Good Hygiene

Hygiene refers to the conditions and practices that help to maintain health and prevent the spread of diseases.

Good hygiene includes:

  • Maintaining a clean living and working environment,
  • Sterilization of drinking water (where necessary),
  • Proper food handling,
  • Regular oral healthcare,
  • Washing the body often,
  • Wearing clean clothes,
  • Hand washing,
  • Preventing the spread of communicable diseases,
  • Turning away from other people and covering of the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.

7. Optimal Use of Products & Services

Involves individuals safely and effectively managing their health, with appropriate medicines, products, or services.

Self-care products and services may include the use of:

  • Prescription medicines (in conjunction with a doctor),
  • Non-prescription medicines,
  • Preventative health products, e.g. dental care, mosquito netting, sleep aids,
  • Natural health products, traditional medicines, vitamins, minerals, and supplements,
  • Devices and diagnostics, e.g. glucose monitering device for diabetes,
  • Substance control products, e.g. nicotine gum for quitting smoking,
  • Wellness services, e.g. nutrition planning, gym memberships,
  • Health services, e.g. acupuncture, chiropracty, addiction programs.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends:

  • Always read the directions on the label and leaflet, and any other information you get with your medicine,
  • Follow instructions. Be aware of other medicines, foods, or activities (such as driving, drinking alcohol, or using tobacco) that you should avoid while using the medicine,
  • Have the pharmacist or doctor explain anything you do not understand,
  • Call your doctor right away if you have a serious side effect or if a side effect does not get better.
Learn More About the 7 Pillars
Learn About Mental Health Self-Care

Published: July 24, 2020

“The Seven Pillars of Self-Care”, isfglobal.org, isfglobal.org/practise-self-care/the-seven-pillars-of-self-care

Heat Stress

Picture of warm summer sunset

Heat stress occurs when the body no longer has enough water to cool itself down. This causes dehydration, increasing internal temperature. If the internal temperature exceeds 38°C, severe harm to the body or even death may occur.

Factors that can contribute to this are increased temperature and humidity, personal protective equipment (PPE), physical work, and the work environment.

Symptoms

Heat Cramps Heat Exhaustion Heat Stroke
  • Painful muscle cramps

If left untreated, may lead to heat exhaustion

  • Shallow breathing
  • Weak, rapid pulse
  • Sweating
  • Headache and nausea
  • Fainting
  • Muscle cramps
  • Increased heart rate
  • Pale, cool, clammy skin

If left untreated, may lead to heat stroke

  • Sweating stops
  • Confusion
  • Headache
  • Hot, dry, flushed skin
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Increased breathing rate
  • Shock
  • Irregular pulse
  • Seizures
  • Cardiac arrest
  • If you have any of these symptoms during extreme heat, move to a cool place and drink liquids right away.
  • Call 911 if you are caring for someone who has a high body temperature and is either unconscious, confused or has stopped sweating.
  • While waiting for help – cool the person right away by: moving them to a cool place, applying cold water to large areas of their skin or clothing, and fanning the person as much as possible
See Our Heat Stress Safety Talk

Working in the Heat

In temperatures above the thermal comfort zone, often with the added perils of humidity, slow wind speed and a lack of shade, many outdoor workers find it difficult to escape the heat. Take measures to protect workers from heat stress by avoiding heavy exertion tasks, extreme heat, sun exposure, and high humidity when possible.

Provide plenty of Water

Workers should drink water continuously throughout the day.

Allow frequent breaks

Allow workers to rest and cool off in a cool area such as shade or air-conditioned buildings or vehicles.

Set up Shade Structures

If possible, it is a good idea to erect temporary shelters or move some tasks indoors or in the shade. At the very least, workers should take advantage of rest breaks to get out of the sun.

Plan Your Work

Schedule lighter tasks between 11am and 4pm, saving more strenuous work for the cooler hours of the day.

Wear Proper Clothing

Have workers wear loose, light, breathable clothing, UV-rated sunglasses, and a wide-brim hat.

Sunscreen of at least 30 SPF should be applied at least every two hours, or more frequently if sweating. Unfortunately, sunscreen also blocks the pores of the skin, restricting perspiration and evaporation (the body’s natural cooling process). Clothing and shade are the best sun protection.

Note that protective equipment may increase heat retention! Work requiring this equipment should be scheduled at cooler times or allow for more frequent breaks.

Learn more

Published: July 20, 2020

“Tip Card: Outdoor Heat Stress”, SAFE Work Manitoba, www.safemanitoba.com/Resources/Pages/tips-heat.aspx

“Heat Stress and Your Health”, Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, www.ccohs.ca/newsletters/hsreport/issues/2013/07/ezine.html