Starting Young

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					                                                                            views on organizational
                                                                            health + safety + wellness
                                                                            Spring 2007                volume 2 number 1




Starting Young                                                              contents
   for a Lifetime of Safety                                                 To Bike or Not to Bike . . . . 3
                                                                            Be the Manager
                                                                            You’d Love to Have . . . . . . 4
                                                                            EAP / What’s new. . . . . . . 4
                                                                            Preventing Pests
                                                                            in Your Garden . . . . . . . . . . .5
                                                                            OH&S / Meet the Test . . . . .6
                                                                            Dancing with the Stars . . . .6
                                                                            Success Stories
                                                                            in Wellness . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
                                                                            Reader’s Word . . . . . . . . . . 8
                                                                            Employee Recognition
                                                                            Update . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

north amerICan oCCupatIonal SaFety and health
(naoSh) week runs from May 6 to 12. This year’s theme is Safety
and Health: A Commitment for Life. It underscores the fact that health
                                                                             editorial Board
                                                                             If you have any ideas, or comments for future
and safety is a lifelong experience, no matter what your age or where
                                                                             issues of @ the window or would like to
you work.                                                                    contribute an article, please contact a member
                                                                             of the editorial board.
                                                                             Joan Parks-Hubley, Chair ■ PSC
The Canadian Society of Safety engineering (CSSe) is NAoSH Week’s            Valerie Wadman ■ Community Services
official sponsor and Nova Scotia is the lead province this year. Joel        Holly Cameron ■ Environment & Labour
Marsman, CSSe Nova Scotia chapter chair, said the Pier 21 kick-off           Wanda Pierrynowski ■ PSC, EAP
                                                                             Jeff Brett ■ NSGEU
ceremony runs from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. with dignitaries from the
                                                                             Adele Poirier ■ Communications Nova Scotia
u.S. Canada, and Mexico, as well as provincial, municipal, and federal       Patti Pike, Executive Champion ■ PSC
officials in attendance. “Simultaneously, a number of flag raising           Sarah Hansworth ■ Education
ceremonies will be held at various NSCC campuses across Nova                 Marriam Nauman ■ PSC
                                                                             Joanne MacPherson ■ CUPE
Scotia, and one of the week’s highlights will be an all-day symposium,
including an awards ceremony, at the NSCC Akerley Campus in
Dartmouth, May 10.”


Issues related to youth and inexperienced workers are among the
topics for this year’s NAoSH Week symposium (get more details at
www.nssafety.ns.ca/naosh.php). This subject raises a key question
                                                                                              (




for parents of young workers: Do you know what your child does at
work and what the risks are?


                                                    continued on page   2
 Spring 2007                                                                                                         2

continued from page   1
Bruce Dodge, manager of education and research for            the fundamental safety information that can help
the Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia, says          them avoid getting injured when they first go to work.
having a conversation about work with your children           The course often functions as an attractive resume
can be a great investment in their future.                    highlight for prospective employers, too.


“In 2005 alone, 4,754 workers in Nova Scotia under            This is all good news to Jeannette Sanchez-Smith. A
the age of 25 were injured at work, with 991 of these         Public Service Commission employee and mother of
injuries serious enough that they couldn’t return to          four teens, Sanchez-Smith says she’s impressed by the
work the next day,” says Dodge. “As employers and             amount of workplace safety training they receive.
parents, we have a responsibility to ensure young
workers have the knowledge and abilities to do the            “Two of them are lifeguards or swim instructors
work safely.”                                                 and I’m amazed at the amount of recertification and
                                                              retraining required of them, and the majority of it
Like all workers, young workers have the right to know        involves the occupation health and safety aspect. I
about the things that could hurt them at work, and how        am really impressed with what they do, what they are
to do the work safely. They have the right to participate     taught,” she says.
in safety committees and to help make the workplace
safer. They also have the right to refuse unsafe work,        “My daughter started working in retail before
says Dodge. He noted that young workers may be                Christmas,” she says. “This is a small retail place, but
reluctant to ask for direction and don’t want to appear       she brought home a whole section – seven or eight
not to know something. That’s why training is critical.       pages – on occupational health and safety. It surprised
                                                              me that she would get so much training, and she works
“Young workers should expect safety orientation and           one day a week.”
training in how to do the work safely, a safe workplace,
and appropriate equipment,” says Dodge. “They                 Sanchez-Smith adds that it seems like attitudes and
should also know who to ask if they are unsure, and           training around workplace safety are becoming an
how to report unsafe conditions.”                             expected, integrated “part of our everyday lives.”


Thanks to the Workers’ Compensation Board, learning           Here are some online resources for young worker
this important information can be fun. Their online           safety:
tool, Health and Safety 101, is a free, interactive e-        www.wcb.ns.ca
course that will engage any young person with its             www.ccohs.ca/youngworkers
virtual hosts, audio and video stories, simulations           www.notworthit.ca
and games loaded with vital information. It delivers          http://passporttosafety.ca




                  Family Caregiving and the Workplace
      “ It was a tremendous course providing a wealth of information on
         many topics. I would highly recommend attendance to anyone
                who finds themselves in a caregiving situation.”
                             Mary Anne Fox, Continuing Care, Department of Health, Bridgewater


                                                   Next Courses:
                                  May 15 and 16 (filled) and November 1 and 2, 2007.
                                          Register at http://learnnet.gov.ns.ca
Spring 2007                                                                                                                                   



To Bike or Not to Bike?




                                                                                     Signals - Cyclists should use these hand signals to
                                                                                     indicate a turn or a stop. Although not shown in the
                                                                                     Drivers’ Handbook, an alternative right hand signal is
                                                                                     widely recognized.
It’S that tIme oF year when many people are                    FIguRe 1

CrawlIng out oF theIr wInter CoCoonS and
taking to two wheels to enjoy the sun and fresh air. But
for many, cycling alongside cars seems too scary to
attempt.
    It’s true that cycling can be dangerous without the
                                                               Left turn signal   Right turn signal   Alternative right    Slowing/stopping
proper knowledge and experience. But when everyone                                                    turn signal          signal
follows the same set of rules of the road, safety is
significantly increased.                                       Helpful Tips for motorists:
    everyone—motorists, cyclists, and even pedestrians
—must share the road with each other at all times.
                                                               •     Always watch for cyclists. The most common
                                                                     collisions occur at intersections, therefore it is
under the Nova Scotia Motor Vehicle Act, bicycles are                important to yield and never turn across a cyclist’s
classified as vehicles. Their riders have the same rights            path.
and responsibilities as motorists when on the road.
                                                               •     Make room for cyclists. Leave at least one metre of
                                                                     space between you and the cyclist.
Helpful Tips for cyclists:                                     •     Know a cyclist’s hand signals—they’re doing it for

•     Ride with the flow of traffic and use as much of the
      lane as required to be safe from roadside hazards.
                                                                     a reason!
                                                               Cycling is a great form of physical activity for any

•     use your hand signals (see Fig. 1).                      age or fitness level. And the more people who do it,

•     Ride in a straight line. Don’t weave between
      parked cars, otherwise a motorist may lose sight of
                                                               the better our air quality becomes with reduced gas
                                                               emissions. So if cycling is something you think you’ll
      you.                                                     enjoy, get a copy of the Nova Scotia Bicycle Safety

•     Always look behind you. A quick look over your
      shoulder is good. A rearview mirror on your
                                                               Handbook from Service Nova Scotia and Municipal
                                                               Relations (http://www.gov.ns.ca/snsmr/rmv/safe/
      helmet or handlebar is better as you’re less likely      Bicycle_Safety_hl.pdf). You can participate in HRM Bike
      to swerve when checking it.                              Week from June 2-10. Visit www.halifax.ca/bikeweek

•     Be extra careful at intersections and turns. Make
      sure you remain in line with the flow of traffic, wait
                                                               for a schedule of events and information. So take the
                                                               challenge and start biking to work. Your body and
      your turn, and always signal.                            planet will thank-you!

•     Don’t forget to watch out for pedestrians.               RIMA THoMeH, PuBLIC SeRVICe CoMMISSIoN, HeALTHY

                                                               WoRKPLACe
    Spring 2007                                                                                                       



Be the Manager You’d Love to Have
who waS the BeSt manager you’ve ever                       The policy recognizes that everyone contributes to a
worked wIth? Chances are this person was                   healthy workplace, and managers have an important role
supportive, a positive coach or mentor, a good             to play in helping to make this positive culture change.
communicator, respectful, fair, or perhaps, more
focused on your work and less on the clock.                A new series of tools called “Be the Manager You’d
                                                           Love to Have” was designed to support managers in
These are some of the characteristics of a good            the implementation of the Healthy Workplace Policy. A
manager, according to research conducted by Linda          calendar containing Healthy Workplace themes, tips,
Duxbury at Carleton university’s School of Business.       and websites, was mailed to all managers in February.


“employees with supportive supervisors or managers         A self-assessment tool for ‘Managing a Healthy
report higher job satisfaction, trust of managers,         Workplace’ can be downloaded at www.gov.ns.ca/
commitment to the organization and less role               psc/healthyworkplace. It was developed to help
overload, job stress, depression, poor health, work-life   managers see how well they are supporting the three
interference, fatigue, absenteeism, and intention to       elements of a healthy workplace and it can generate
leave the company,” says Joan Burton in her article,       ideas for improvement. one manager who helped to
“The Leadership Factor: Management Practices can           pilot the tool said, “I kind of went ‘ouch’ when I read it.
Make employees Sick” (NQI, 2002).                          There is so much more that can be done at little cost.”


on February 1, 2007, the provincial government’s           Training for managers will be piloted in the future.
corporate Healthy Workplace Policy came into effect.
It expresses government’s long-term commitment to a        JoAN PARKS-HuBLeY, CooRDINAToR oF HeALTHY WoRKPLACe

healthy workplace and provides a framework to guide        PRogRAMS, PuBLIC SeRVICe CoMMISSIoN

all healthy workplace-related activity and program
development.




                                                           new eap training
                                                           (For Managers/Supervisors/HR/oH&S)
                                                           •   Half-day training
                                                           •   Register through LearnNet or arrange training for
What’s new...                                                  your group through eAP
The Nova Scotia government’s employee Assistance           •   eAP will visit your workplace to provide the training
Program (eAP) offers confidential assistance/referral to
employees and their families who may be experiencing       This NeW eAP Training includes:
problems/stressors. eAP staff can provide information      • Key components of eAP
or, if necessary, a referral to outside help.              • Perceptions of eAP
                                                           • Resources for supervisors and managers
new eap awareness training:                                • Harmful involvement, depression, enabling
•     For all employees working with Nova Scotia           • Formal referral process
      government                                           • Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM)
•     one-hour training                                    • Workplace scenarios
•     eAP staff will visit your workplace to provide the
      training                                             For more information, or to set up training, call EAP at
•     employees will learn all the key components of eAP   424-7948 or 1-800-777-5888.
 Spring 2007                                                                                                           



Preventing Pests
                                     in Your Home Garden




at one tIme or another, moSt home garden                      surface with shredded bark, straw, hay or other organic
plantS Fall vICtIm to InSeCtS or dISeaSeS.                    materials. This helps conserve soil moisture, too. on
But an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.          the lawn, mowing the grass at a height of 5 to 7.5 cm
Whether you have a lawn, annual flowers, perennial            can reduce weeds by 50% to 80%.
landscape plants, a vegetable garden or fruit trees and
bushes, the following general gardening tips will help        5   Sort out the good, the bad and the ugly. There are
keep your garden healthy and problem-free.                    literally thousands of species of insects in the average
                                                              home garden but only a few are harmful. generally,
1       Choose the right plants for the conditions in your    each plant in your garden will only be attacked by
garden. Select sun-loving plants for hot dry sites and        a few specific insects and diseases. Learning about
shade-loving plants for shady areas and heavily wooded        these pests and the factors that promote them will go a
lots. Choose plants, especially trees, shrubs and             long way to helping you manage your pest problems.
perennials (plants that come back year after year like        garden centres, gardening books and websites can be
rhubarb and delphinium), that are resistant or tolerant       good sources of information on common local pest
to the pest problems common in your area. Your local          problems and their management.
nursery or garden centre staff can help you with this.
                                                              The Department of environment and Labour offers
2       Start with good quality seed and healthy plants.      information on environmentally responsible pest
Bargain plants are not a bargain if they have been            management at www.gov.ns.ca/enla/pests .
mistreated. Avoid buying plants that look wilted,
damaged or unhealthy.                                         6   even with good gardening practices, pest
                                                              problems may sometimes develop. Pesticides can be
3       Keep ‘em’ healthy. Healthy plants can resist attack   an effective way to control an occasional pest outbreak.
from insects and diseases and compete better with             Check on your municipal laws regarding pesticide use
weeds. Keep lawns and garden plants healthy by                as some products are banned. Regardless of what is
providing good growing conditions. Most plants need           allowed, it’s best to select the least toxic, most specific
about 2.5 cm of water per week and benefit from a little      product for the pest you are trying to control. Ask your
fertilizer each year. Home-made compost, well rotted          garden centre staff about insecticidal soaps, boric acid,
manure or organic fertilizers are great for building the      diatomaceous earth, horticultural oils, lime-sulphur
soil.                                                         fungicides and other reduced risk products. Buy just
                                                              enough pesticide to do the job, or to last for one
4       Keep weeds in check. Weeds compete with the           season at the most. And remember to read the label
lawn and garden plants for light, water and nutrients.        before you use any pesticide.
In the garden, weeds can promote disease and insect
problems. Prevent garden weeds by mulching the soil           LYNDA RANKIN, PoLLuTIoN PReVeNTIoN SPeCIALIST,
                                                              DePARTMeNT oF eNVIRoNMeNT & LABouR
Spring 2007                                                                                                         



Does Your Knowledge of the
OH&S Program Meet the Test?
In preparatIon For a Corporate oh&S                      the oH&S Program audit
program audIt, Laurie Rantala, executive Director        expanded to include other
of Labour Services, tasked staff members Mary-Lou        staff both within and
Stewart and Diana Hartley to come up with a fun          outside the DeL. Mary-Lou
activity to help prepare Department of environment       and Diana coordinated
and Labour Labour Services staff for the audit.          the Department’s first
                                                         oH&S Program Jeopardy
Together with Mary-Lou’s creative thinking and           competition between staff
Diana’s technical abilities, the two developed an oH&S   of various divisions of the
Program version of the Jeopardy game. In keeping         Department. A certificate of
with the theme, game categories, props and prizes all    participation was awarded
related to occupational Health and Safety were used.     to the division with the       photo (l-r) Diana Hartley
For instance, hard hats were used to draw staff names,   highest score as well as       and Mary-Lou Stewart
oH&S promotional mugs and band-aids were some of         individual prizes.
the prizes awarded.
                                                         If you are interested in obtaining a copy of the
The game was a hit!                                      presentation, please contact Diana Hartley / hartledl@
                                                         gov.ns.ca or Mary-Lou Stewart / stewarml@gov.ns.ca.
Word spread quickly throughout the rest of the
Department. Delivery of the game in preparation for      DePARTMeNT oF eNVIRoNMeNT & LABouR




Dancing with the Stars at NSED
SInCe the BegInnIng oF the new year, some                Yuriy Shelkovyy, an employee at economic
economic Development employees have been shaking         Development, who danced competitively in ukraine,
what they got at a lunchtime dance class.                has been dedicating one hour of his time every second
                                                         week to teach his fellow co-workers dance moves.


                                                         They have now mastered the foxtrot, and the jive, and
                                                         are working on the cha-cha and the three-quarter waltz.
                                                         This is not only a fun workout, but also a great way to
                                                         meet folks within your department. So come on out
                                                         and bring your dancing shoes!


                                                         DePARTMeNT oF eCoNoMIC DeVeLoPMeNT HeALTHY

                                                         WoRKPLACe CoMMITTee, DePARTMeNT oF eCoNoMIC

                                                         DeVeLoPMeNT SoCIAL CoMMITTee
 Spring 2007                                                                                                          7



Success Stories in Wellness
It’S all aBout lIFeStyle Change and portIon
Control. While Regina Martin, an employee with
Halifax Correctional Services, always watched her
diet and exercised regularly, she still wanted to lose
weight and gain control of her life. After hearing an
ad on the radio, she decided to join L.A. Weight Loss
in May 2006.


After joining, Regina made even more healthy food
choices. She increased her intake of fruits, vegetables,
fish, and water. As she began weighing her food,
Regina realized the importance of portion control.
She began experimenting with a recipe book and                   Regina Martin by the
discovered that healthy meals were not only simple to            office Wellness Corner
prepare, the food actually tasted good.


To complement her new eating habits, Regina also               For anyone who wants to lose weight, Regina
changed her exercise routine. She now visits the gym           recommends taking small steps. “Don’t let setbacks
three times a week and incorporates physical activity          hold you back – it’s going to take time,” she says.
into her daily routine by walking to and from the bus          “Set a deadline to start, but not to finish.” Regina also
stop. She also discovered the value of stretching and          believes it is important to be held accountable for
toning exercises and includes at least 15 minutes of           your weight loss. excellent advice and congratulations
them to enhance her flexibility.                               Regina on your success!


According to Regina, once she puts her mind to
something, she just won’t quit. Her perseverance has           We think Regina was successful because she:
certainly paid off – Regina has lost at least 30 pounds.       o    drank more water
Attributing her success to a combination of portion            o    controlled portion sizes
control and lifestyle change, Regina now has more              o    increased fruits, vegetables and fish
energy and self-confidence. She feels more attractive          o    increased physical activity
and says that after dropping a dress size, she has had a       o    made lifestyle changes she could live with
grand time shopping for new clothes.                                for a lifetime




           “The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life,
              acknowledge the great powers around us and in us.
       If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man.”
                                                Euripides (484 BC-406 BC)
               reprinted with permission from “Wellness News You Can Use” at the National Wellness Institute



                                   During National Mental Health Week - May 7-13,
                                    check out new Work/Life Balance resources at
                                          http://www.cmha.ca/bins/index.asp
 Spring 2007                                                                                                       



The Readers’ Word
The @ the window editorial board is pleased to
receive comments and questions from our readers.


Q: In line with the healthy workplace initiative, are    Corrections
there plans to offer Nubody’s discounts to government    We’re human and we sometimes make mistakes. We
employees to encourage personal fitness?                 made one in the Winter 2007 article on page 6 titled
                                                         “Wellness event getting Participation, Results.”
A: Personal fitness is strongly encouraged, and we       It described a wildly successful program among the
recognize that Nova Scotia is home to a number of        Continuing Care staff in District 9. In fact, the staff
fitness organizations across the province, including     who are achieving these results work in the eastern
the metro-based Nubody’s. At present, government         region of the province in District 8. The @ the window
has discounts with Curves, Dartmouth Sportplex and       editorial board has agreed to use the names of
Dalplex, which were arranged through an RFP process.     districts, not the number, in the future.
We hope to expand the list with other companies
through a similar RFP approach in the near future.
employees will be informed when this happens.




Employee Recognition Update


employee recognition policy
government has a new employee Recognition Policy.        Following the call for submissions last october,
  A tool kit has been developed to assist departments    employees submitted 25 nominations for the Premier’s
in the implementation of the policy. In addition to a    Award of excellence.
step-by-step process on how to create a recognition        An external panel has reviewed all nominations
program, the tool kit includes service milestone         and has prepared recommendations for the Premier’s
certificates and general certificates and note cards     consideration and approval. once again, the panel had
for day-to-day recognition. These tools can soon be      the challenging task of reviewing a group high-calibre
ordered through stationary stockroom.                    nominations.
  These tools support what employees have expressed        The Premier’s Award of excellence event will be held on
through the How’s Work going? employee survey –          June 12. Award recipients will be announced on that day.
that they want meaningful recognition for the valuable   More detail on the recognition policy, tool kit and
work they do every day.                                  Premier’s Award of Excellence recipients will soon be
                                                         available at www.gov.ns.ca/psc/recognition.

                                                         LISA PALeRMo, PuBLIC SeRVICe CoMMISSIoN

				
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