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					Vol. XLVII No. 1                                                                                                               January 2003



                               SAFETY CANADA
                                         The member newsletter of the Canada Safety Council


    How the Canada Safety Council Fulfils its Mandate
                                                                                                   Public Policy
I  n 2003, the Canada Safety Council
   enters its 35th year. Those years have
   seen impressive progress in safety.
As new issues emerge, CSC’s leadership
role is as vital as ever. Although many
                                                       CSC has always stayed abreast of
                                                developments in the safety field to
                                                provide information and resources
                                                based on the most reliable research and
                                                statistics. To address specific issues,
                                                                                                   Advocacy is a small part of CSC’s
                                                                                                   overall activity, with the purpose to
                                                                                                   promote a full and reasoned consider-
                                                                                                   ation of an issue. The Council is not a
things have changed, the original               knowledgeable staff members draw                   lobby group, and does not put pressure
mandate set 35 years ago continues to           upon a network of experts and                      on individual politicians or other
drive its work.                                 practitioners — researchers, public                organizations. Its policy positions are
                                                sector agencies, and other not-for-                based on consultation with stake-
Dedicated to Safety                             profit groups.                                     holders such as police, insurers, industry,
       In 1968, the Canadian Highway                   Public awareness campaigns,                 and health professionals, and reflect
Safety Council, the National Safety             publications and Web sites combine                 their combined expertise or expressed
League of Canada and the Canadian               with extensive behind-the-scenes work              endorsement. Its role in representing
Industrial Safety Association merged to         to enable CSC to achieve its objectives.           safety interests is to help formulate
form the Canada Safety Council. The             The media are important allies, with               laws that address clearly identified
purpose was to establish one national,          well over 100 million exposures during             problems, are based on well-researched
not-for-profit organization solely              2002 in print alone. Newspapers,                   evidence and can be enforced.
dedicated to the safety of Canadians.           television and radio receive safety                      CSC often adds to the public
       The number one Object in CSC’s           information on an ongoing basis, and               debate of a safety issue by providing
Constitution was: “to minimize                  interviewers contact CSC for a safety              reliable information and raising
avoidable death, injury and damage to           perspective on current issues. The                 concerns that may not have otherwise
property by devising, recognizing,              Council’s public awareness and                     been considered — offering a voice
encouraging and promoting methods               education mandate complements the                  of reason on emotionally-driven issues.
and procedures leading to improved              work of many other safety-related                  By articulating an objective, well-
safety, protection and health among all         organizations.                                     informed perspective, CSC engages the
persons in public and private places                                                               public, legislators and the media in
throughout Canada.”                                                                                discussion. Directors and members are
       The second Object was “to focus                                                             kept advised of these activities, and
attention on the vital importance of                                                               relevant communications are accessible
safety.” Further Objects included                                                                  to the public on the Internet.
assisting in the drafting and enactment                                                                  CSC, with its broad mandate, is
of safety legislation, dissemination of                                                            not a single-issue organization. It does
safety information, maintaining close                                                              not represent victims or commercial
liaison with organizations concerned                                                               interests, but takes into account
with safety, and related objectives such                                                           information from a wide spectrum of
as encouraging research and uniform                                                                stakeholders in the overall context of
systems of reporting statistics.                 As an independent, non-government organization,
                                                                                                   the public good.
                                                CSC works with government to form and implement
                                                         public policies related to safety.                                          To page 2...
              INSIDE
Speed Limits ........................... 2
Intersection
                                                                                 Drivers At Work
  Red Light Cameras .............. 3
  Seat-belts in Alberta ............ 3
  Child Seats .......................... 3
                                                   riving is an
                                                Dcompanies. occupationalservice and utilityand not only forheavyworkers, police
                                                                Emergency
                                                                            safety issue —
                                                                                             vehicles, taxis,
                                                                                                              transportation
                                                company cars are driven on the job. Maintenance workers, postal
                                                                                                                    machinery and
Public Platform                                 and sales representatives are exposed to risks from traffic.
  Poisoning ............................ 5            Traffic crashes are the leading cause of work-related fatalities in the United
  Straw Mazes ........................ 5        States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 2,000 deaths a year
  Tap Water Scalds ................. 6          result from occupational motor vehicle crashes in that country. This represents
  Online Dangers ................... 6          over 30 percent of the total annual fatalities from occupational injuries, but does
  Helmet Legislation ............... 6
                                                not include employees killed or injured when travelling to and from work.
On the Job
  Stairs and Fitness ................. 7              Australian research suggests that half of all work-related fatalities occur on
  E-Waste .............................. 7      roads, including travel to and from work. Work-related travel in that country is
Did you know? ....................... 8         estimated to make up from one-third to two-thirds of all driving.
                                                                                                                                     To page 4...
SAFETY CANADA, No. 1, 2003                                               2                                         Canada Safety Council
                                                 Mandate, from page 1.
    President’s Perspective                      New Issues                                  and programs. Occasionally, CSC
                                                 CSC addresses longstanding safety           provides expert input to standing
 A suggestion that Ontario might                                                             committees reviewing legislation and
 raise the speed limits on its 400               issues on an ongoing basis, working in      expert witness to coroner’s inquests.
 series highways to 120 km/h has                 collaboration with public sector            CSC uses government sources for
 apparently been shelved.                        agencies, including federal government      statistics when available. While some
                                                 departments, police, schools and health     government agencies are members,
        Ontario’s road safety record             professionals.
 for 2000 was the best in Canada.                                                            operations are not funded by
 The Canada Safety Council warned                       A new issue may come to light        government grants.
 the government that raising speed               from news reports, journals, research,             CSC’s motorcycle training
 limits would put this impressive                statistics, communication from              program is a good example of its
 safety record at risk.                          concerned individuals or organizations,     partnership with government. In 1974,
                                                 or a combination of these. Following        responding to the high number of
        Fatal crashes rise with speed            are some recent examples:
 limits. As speed increases over 100                                                         deaths and injuries involving
                                                 - A number of serious dog bite              motorcycles, Transport Canada gave
 km/h, the survival rate for vehicle                incidents came to CSC’s attention        the Canada Safety Council seed
 occupants drops dramatically. The                  during 2000. Further investigation       funding for a national program to train
 chances of being killed in a vehicle               revealed that dog attacks are not        beginning motorcyclists, the first of its
 travelling at 120 km/h are four times              uncommon, and injuries can be            kind in the world. Today, over 70 per
 higher than at 100 km/h.                           severe. When CSC made its                cent of new riders in Canada take
        Proponents of higher speed                  concerns public, it heard from           Gearing Up—Canada’s Motorcycle Skills
 limits ignore several critical factors:            victims, breeders and organizations      Course. Training has contributed to the
                                                    dealing with pets. CSC’s position        long-term drop in motorcycle fatalities,
 • The impact on safety and                                                                  from a high of 903 in 1973, to 179 in
    insurance rates due to well-                    was developed in collaboration with
                                                    these groups. A partnered Web site       2000 despite a significant increase in
    documented higher risks.                                                                 the number of riders. The program has
 • Enforcement capabilities: Will                   on dog bite prevention was launched      been self- funding since the late 1970s
    “Zero Tolerance” apply? Will the                in summer 2002.                          from student fees and contributions
    new speed limit be equally                   - In 2000, seven people were killed in      from the motorcycle industry.
    enforced in both rural and urban                several incidents related to school             Council staff participate on a
    sections of the highway?                        trips. These reports raised CSC’s        volunteer basis in government
 • The needs of older drivers:                      concerns about safety precautions        committees. For example: Transport
    Drivers over 80 are the fastest                 on such trips. Further investigation     Canada (Dangerous Goods and
    growing segment of Ontario’s                    and inquiries through a school           Railway Safety); Canadian Council of
    driving population.                             insurer revealed a high number of        Motor Vehicle Administrators (various
                                                    injuries and led to a call for           traffic safety committees);
 • The increase in older vehicles on                educators to apply risk management
    the road.                                                                                Environment Canada (Working Group
                                                    to all school trips.                     on Road Salts); and Health Canada
 • The risk involved in catching                 - Demands to ban cell phones in cars        (Canadian Health Network).
    high-speed offenders —                          arose from public concern about
    unacceptable to both the police                                                                 Recent projects include: Truck
                                                    drivers using cell phones. Advocates     Driver Incentives (Transport Canada);
    and the public.                                 cited a report by a Toronto              Falls Prevention (Health Canada/
        An overwhelming body of                     physician, which CSC found flawed        Veterans Affairs Canada); School
 evidence shows speed increases the                 and out of date. CSC drew attention      Bullying (Justice Canada, in partnership
 likelihood and severity of a crash.                to recently released studies by          with National Film Board of Canada).
 The bottom line is that raising                    credible traffic safety researchers at
 highway speed limits is a bad idea.                well-respected institutions              Independence
                                                    (University of Montreal and              Like most not-for-profit organizations,
                                                    University of North Carolina). It        CSC regularly approaches the private
                                                    pointed to laws already in place to      sector for funding. Industry groups
                                                    address irresponsible cell phone use     often sponsor initiatives related to their
                                                    and launched a public education          interests. However, by maintaining a
                                                    campaign about the underlying
  SAFETY CANADA                                     safety issue of driver distractions.     diversified revenue base, CSC avoids
                                                                                             conflicts of interest that might
Safety Canada is the member newsletter of the    Relations with Government                   compromise its independence.
Canada Safety Council. It is also published on
CSC’s Web site. Articles may be reprinted        Working with government to form and               Margins from training programs,
with credit, except those copyrighted to other   implement public policy is integral to      magazine subscriptions, and
organizations. Please send a copy to the         the Canada Safety Council’s mandate.        sponsorships contribute to overhead.
editor. ISSN: 0048-8968                          As a non-government organization,           Corporations and individuals fund the
             Canada Safety Council               CSC suggests, supports and educates         Council’s work through membership
          President: Emile-J. Therien            the public about safety legislation, with   donations. With this support, plus a
        Editor: Ethel Archard (ext. 228)         a strong emphasis on gaining public         dedicated, knowledgeable staff and
          1020 Thomas Spratt Place,              understanding and acceptance of laws        cost-effective operations, CSC fulfils its
            Ottawa, ON K1G 5L5                   and regulations.                            safety mandate.
          Telephone: (613) 739-1535
              Fax: (613) 739-1566                      CSC maintains relationships with        Impaired Driving: an Example of
       Web site: www.safety-council.org          government agencies through committee        Input to Federal Policy, see page 4.
                                                                                                                olicy,
                                                                                                       Federal Policy
     Charitable BN: 11882 8565 RR 0001           work, direct correspondence, projects
SAFETY CANADA, No. 1, 2003                                            3                                                   Canada Safety Council



                    Intersection
                    Red Light Cameras
R      unning red lights is one of the most dangerous aggressive driving
       behaviours. A recently released survey found 70 percent of drivers under 40
        years of age and 80 percent of those 60 and over view running red lights as
a serious or extremely serious problem.
       The survey suggests that in rating           For example, a study of red light
the seriousness of the problem, drivers cameras in Oxnard, California found
assess the risk of a crash. They do not     seven percent fewer crashes overall and
see drivers running red lights as often     29 percent fewer injury crashes at
as they observe other aggressive            intersections after the cameras were                   Lower Universal Anchorages
behaviours such as speeding or unsafe       introduced. However, not all collisions
passing. However, they feel the             at intersections involve red light running.             for Infant and Child Seats
potential consequences are more                                 When the data were re-
serious. Over 60 percent of survey
respondents agreed or strongly agreed
with the use of red light cameras to
catch drivers who run red lights.
                                                                analyzed to take into
                                                                account only those
                                                                crashes related to red
                                                                light running, the
                                                                                                   N       ew regulations will make it
                                                                                                           easier to install infant and child
                                                                                                           seats in the rear seat of a vehicle.
                                                                                                         Effective September 1, 2002, all
                                                                findings showed much               new Canadian vehicles must be equipped
Proven to Reduce Crashes                                        greater benefits — 20              with lower universal anchorage bars. In
Studies show red light camera                                   percent fewer crashes              recent years, some vehicles sold in
                                             Standard sign for                                     Canada were already fitted with this
programs reduce crashes at                   photo enforcement and 46 percent fewer
intersections. However, estimates of                           injury crashes.                     innovative anchorage system.
their impact vary widely, from seven                After examining the methodology                      Also, all new Canadian infant and
percent to 46 percent. The Insurance        of previous studies, the Institute                     child seats must have two connectors,
Institute for Highway Safety in the US      determined that red light cameras reduce               that can be attached to a vehicle’s lower
attributes the variation to                 injury crashes by about 25 to 30 percent.
methodological problems.                                                                           universal anchorage bars. These new
                                                                                 To page 4...      infant and child seats also work with
                                                                                                   the seat belts in older vehicles, which
                                                                                                   may not have lower universal
         Alberta Gets Serious About Seat-Belts                                                     anchorage bars. If you have an infant
                                                                                                   or child seat designed to work with a
   ccording to a
ASeptember 25,report releasedAlberta
                  2002, by the
                               on
Occupant Restraint Program, only 76
                                             these areas. He discovered that in rural
                                             areas, Alberta’s seat-belt wearing rate
                                             was only 69 percent.
                                                                                                   seat belt, you will still be able to use
                                                                                                   your car seat in a newer vehicle
percent of Albertans buckle up. Rural               In Spring 2002, MacDonald                      equipped with lower anchorage bars.
Albertans and truck drivers are least        introduced a new tactic to reduce the                       A top tether strap must be used
likely to fasten their seat-belts.           number of people killed because they                  on all forward-facing child seats,
       This may explain in part why the      were not wearing a seat-belt. He                      whether the child seat is secured by a
vast majority of motor vehicle fatalities spearheaded a campaign to give morgue                    seat belt or by the new lower universal
in Alberta occur in the rural areas. In      toe-tag tickets to motorists not wearing              anchorages.
about 60 percent of fatal crashes in         a seat-belt. Offending drivers had to fill
Alberta, the victims are not wearing         in their own names as “deceased” and                        For further information, contact
seat-belts. Edmonton RCMP Staff Sgt.         give next of kin. “Reasons” for not                   the vehicle manufacturer, the
Steve MacDonald won the 2000                 wearing seat-belts appeared on the                    manufacturer of the infant or child
National Police Award                                           reverse of each tag;               seat, or Road Safety, Transport Canada
for Traffic Safety. After        Morgue toe-tag tickets for example, “Feel you
                                          toe-tag                                                  at 1-800-333-0371.
finding that half of the                                        haven’t lived until                Transport Canada, October 2002
vehicle occupants killed         for unbelted motorists you’ve experienced
in collisions on RCMP                                           compound fractures?”
patrolled highways were unbelted, he                The approach was intended to
initiated a crusade to increase seat-belt    jolt unbelted Albertans into realizing
use in rural Alberta, with the ambitious they could be killed, disfigured and
goal of 95 percent usage by 2010.            maimed if they don’t buckle up.
       Major urban-based seat-belt                  Dr. Lou Francescutti, head of the
surveys showed that 90 percent of            Alberta Centre for Injury Control and
Albertans were buckling up.                  Research, suggested making people pay                     Look for this symbol on infant
MacDonald recognized, however, that          some of their medical costs if hurt in a                  and child seats as well as on
80 percent of Alberta’s fatal crashes                                                                  vehicle seats. Consult the
                                             collision when not wearing a seat-belt.                   vehicle’s owner’s manual.
were on the province’s rural highways        Alberta’s health minister was
and saw a need for a survey specific to
                                                                                    To page 4...
SAFETY CANADA, No. 1, 2003                                                         4                                                            Canada Safety Council
Driving At Work, from page 1.                        Red Light Cameras, from page 3.
       In the United Kingdom, evidence               Psychology the Key to Success                                 Impaired Driving: an Example
presented to a Work-related Road Safety                                                                            of CSC Input to Federal Policy
Task Group in 2001 found that between                To stop motorists from running red
                                                     lights, signs must be posted at all                           Since its inception the Canada Safety
25 and 33 percent of all serious and fatal                                                                         Council has participated actively in
collisions involved someone who was at               intersections where cameras may be
                                                     operating. Without signs, accusations                         initiatives and meetings related to
work at the time. This suggests that job-                                                                          legislation, countermeasures and
related deaths and injuries are more likely          that red light cameras are simply cash
to occur on the road than in a fixed                 machines are arguably justified.                              education to reduce impaired driving.
workplace. A special police study                                                                                  National Safe Driving Week (December
                                                            Perception of apprehension is                          1 to 7) has been used to enhance public
undertaken for the task group found                  known to be a very effective deterrent.
that 30 percent of all serious and fatal                                                                           awareness of this issue and related
                                                     If people believe they will be caught,                        legislation.
collisions investigated involved at least            they are far less likely to offend. The
one person “at work.”                                objective is to prevent violations —                          Regular media releases and articles
       While Canada has little data on               ideally, to give no tickets. If the number                    address impaired driving and respond
work-related driving, there is every                 of violations is high, the program is                         to news coverage. CSC has also
reason to believe the situation in this              not working properly.                                         commissioned studies to add to informed
country is similar in scale to the US,                                                                             consideration of possible counter-
Australia and the UK.                                                                                              measures. These documents are available
                                                      Red light cameras reduce injury                              to the public on its Web site
Workplace Driver Improvement
Employers should approach work-related                 crashes by 25 to 30 percent.                                (www.safety-council.org).
driving as they do other occupational                                                                              1997 Commissioned research on
health and safety risks. Driver                                                                                             preventive programs for the hard
improvement programs for all employees                     Australia has been using red light                               core drinking driver, as the basis
who drive on or off the job need to be               cameras for over 20 years. In Melbourne,                               for policy and awareness work.
part of the plan. Providing the Canada               for example, 35 red light cameras are                         1998 Co-sponsored a meeting of
Safety Council’s Defensive Driving                   rotated among 132 sites, all of which                                  stakeholders to establish
Course is a good way to start.                       have warning signs. Motorists won’t want                               common priorities and
       The six hour classroom program is             to risk a ticket at any of those 132 sites.                            recommendations for changes to
designed to help employees avoid                                                                                            the Criminal Code to make the
                                                           Six Ontario municipalities have                                  law more effective.
collisions both on and off the job. The              been piloting the cameras since 2000,
defensive driver takes every reasonable                                                                            1999 Presented recommendations to
precaution to prevent traffic mishaps,               and the pilot projects are being
                                                     extended to 2004. The Canada Safety                                    the House of Commons
over and above what is required by law.                                                                                     Standing Committee on Justice
Participants learn what is involved in               Council continues to express concerns                                  and Human Rights (March 1999).
driving defensively, why and how various             that the success of these red light
types of motor vehicle collisions occur,             camera projects is compromised                                2000 Commissioned a poll to assess
                                                     because the cameras are not                                            public knowledge and
and what it takes to prevent them.                                                                                          perceptions of Canada’s
                                                     accompanied by warning signs.
       A completely revised DDC will be                                                                                     impaired driving laws, including
released in the first quarter of 2003. It            The Road Safety Monitor 2002: Risky Driving. Traffic                   1999-2000 changes.
                                                     Injury Research Foundation. (www.trafficinjuryresearch.com)
has been nicknamed the Green DDC                                                                                            Co-sponsored a national
because of its new fuel efficiency com-              Status Report, Vol. 37, No. 5, May, 2002. Insurance
                                                     Institute for Highway Safety. (www.highwaysafety.org)                  workshop to establish directions
ponent. The state-of-the-art course of-                                                                                     for countermeasures over the
fers eight one-hour modules, with five                                                                                      coming nine years.
core topics and a choice of one out of               Alberta Gets Serious, from page 3.
                                                                                                                   2001 Convened a meeting of national
three optional ones. Topics include pre-             “intrigued” by the idea that individuals                               stakeholder organizations to
ventable collisions, driving conditions,             who make the personal decision not to                                  discuss priorities in the light of
driver attitude, impairment, intersections           wear a seat-belt should be made to bear                                the 1999-2000 amendments to
and passing, winter driving, fuel efficiency         the consequences of that choice.                                       the Criminal Code.
driver distractions and more. There are
also brand new materials, visual aids and                   Transport Canada’s July 2001                           2002 Commissioned a comprehensive
films (now in VHS and DVD format).                   survey of seat-belt use in Canada found                                study by a legal expert to
                                                     that 90 percent of us buckle up.* Ontario                              determine the validity of claims
       If your workplace does not already                                                                                   that Canada’s blood alcohol laws
include driver improvement in its safety             boasts the highest seat-belt wearing rate,
                                                     at over 92 percent. Alberta and                                        were weaker than those in other
program, make 2003 the year you start                                                                                       comparable countries. *Questions
DDC. For more information please send                Manitoba are the lowest provinces, at
                                                     85 and 82 percent respectively.                                        about impaired driving statistics
an e-mail (csc@safety-council.org). You                                                                                     were discussed at a meeting of
will be notified when the new DDC is                        Alberta has a history of resistance                             government and safety officials.
available.                                           to seat-belts. In 1988, seat-belt
NIOSH Alert: Preventing Worker Injuries and          legislation was challenged and initially                      * Canada’s Road Safety Vision 2010 (in which
Deaths from Traffic-Related Motor Vehicle Crashes,   overturned in that province, leading to                       CSC is a participant) aims for a 40% reduction in
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 98-142                                                                                road users fatally or seriously injured in crashes
                                                     a drop in usage from 83 percent to 45                         involving a drinking driver by 2010. CSC recently
Roadkill, Paul Somerville. National safety, The      percent, and a corresponding increase
Journal of the National Safety Council of                                                                          pointed out that respected Canadian sources cite widely
Australia, March 2002                                in deaths and injuries.                                       varying statistics. Consistent reporting of the number
                                                                                                                   of fatalities is necessary to determine whether the
Work-related Road Safety Task Group                  * Estimate of seat-belt use by all occupants in light-duty    national goal is met.
Discussion Document, Health & Safety                 vehicles (passenger cars, passenger vans and light trucks).
Commission (2001).                                   The Transport Canada survey tends to focus on urban areas.
SAFETY CANADA, No. 1, 2003                                                  5                                                     Canada Safety Council



          Public Platform                                                                                               Kwiz Korner
                                                                                                               Do you know the facts about
     Poisoning Data Reveal Overdose Problem                                                                    poisonings?
 oisoning ranks                    motor vehicle collisions as
Pfrequent type ofnext to falls andto hospitalization in Canada.the third most
                   injury leading
                                                                                                               1. What age group has the highest
                                                                                                                  rate of unintentional poisoning?
      According to the Canadian               child or the product with you when you                           A. 1 to 4 B. 5 to 9
Institute for Health Information              answer. When you have visitors, keep                             C. 10 to 14 D. 65 +
(CIHI), there were 28,581 poisoning           purses and other personal belongings
cases admitted to Canadian hospitals in       out of reach; they may contain                                   2. Which statement is false?
1999-2000, out of a total 197,002             medicines or other items that could be                           A. Iron supplements are a common
admissions for all injuries. Medications      harmful to a curious toddler. Similar                               cause of poisonings in young
are the most common substances in all         precautions apply to visits to homes                                children.
poisonings.                                   that have not been child-proofed.                                B. Infant medication is more potent
      Most poisonings in Canada are           Deliberate Self-harm                                                than children’s medication.
intentionally self-inflicted. The                                                                              C. Philodendron is a safe house
CIHI statistics show the average              Except for children under 10 and
                                                   adults 65 and over, most                                       plant for homes with young
age of hospital cases rose from                                                                                   children.
33.6 years in 1995-1996, to 36.3                    poisonings are deliberate self-
years in 1999-2000, and 60                           harm. Tragically, poisonous                               D. All of the above.
percent of the patients were                           substances are often used to
                                                        commit suicide. Among                                  3. What is the most common cause
female. About 68 percent of                                                                                       of all poisoning hospitalizations?
all poisoning admissions                                 women, drug overdoses are
                                                         the most common method of                             A. Medicine/vitamins.
were classified as suicide
and self-inflicted. An                                  suicide; men are most likely to                        B. Household cleaning products.
additional 10 percent                            choose firearms. Firearms are                                 C. Carbon monoxide.
(primarily in the age                            instantly lethal, whereas drug                                D. Alcohol.
groups with high rates of                        overdose casualties often end up in
intentional injury) are of                       hospital.                                                     4. What age group accounted for
undetermined intent.                                    The highest incidence of self-                            over 40 percent of all poisoning
                                              inflicted poisoning is among women in                               admissions to Canadian hospitals
Child Safety Precautions                      their 20s to 40s who use tranquillizers,                            in 1999-2000?
Parents with small children must take         analgesics, anti-depressants and other                           A. Under 15 B. 15 to 24
safety precautions to eliminate the risk      psychotropic medications. The                                    C. 25 to 44    D. 45 and older
of a child coming in to contact with          statistics point to an urgent need to
poisons. Many common products are             focus on mental health and suicide                               5. Poisoning represents what
potentially life threatening if ingested,     prevention issues in this group.                                    percentage of all self-inflicted
including medications, some house                                                                                 injuries?
plants, cleaning products, alcohol and        Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) National        A. 8% B. 24% C. 57% D. 83%
other substances in the home                  Trauma Registry Bulletin: Poisoning Injury Hospitalizations in
                                              Canada, 1999/2000. Toronto (ON): 2002.                                                  Answers on page 6.
workshop or garage.
      First and foremost, keep those
products out of sight and out of reach,
preferably locked up. Buy products in
child-resistant containers with safety caps
                                                                                 Mazes Pose Fire Risk
and keep them in their original containers
so they will be easily identified.
                                                          made of straw, hay or
                                              Mazes regulations,summer andcorn seasons. These structuresofare exemptintegrity.
                                                     during the late
                                              fire safety
                                                                                  fall
                                                                                       stalks attract thousands visitors especially
                                                                     and also from any regulations affecting their structural
                                                                                                                              from

                                                    In early October 2002, a terrifying fire engulfed a straw maze on a farm
 Many common products can                     north of Toronto. The fire was deliberately set.
be life threatening if ingested.                    The incident raised concerns among fire officials and others, including the
                                              Canada Safety Council, about how well the public is protected. Immediately
                                              following the fire the Ontario fire marshal issued an October 23 communiqué,
      Always administer medicine              Fire Safety for Amusement Activities on Farms and Other Sites, to provide direction to
according to the directions. Adults           the fire service.
should take their medications out of                Without formal safety regulations, these popular attractions pose a threat to
the sight of children, and should never       public safety.
refer to medicine as “candy.”
                                                    At CSC’s request, the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes has
      Supervision is critical. When           referred this safety concern to its Standing Committees on Fire Safety and
using cleaning products never let young       Occupancy, as well as Hazardous Materials and Operations. Safety requirements
children out of your sight. If the            for straw bale mazes may involve expanding the scope of current codes and will
phone or doorbell rings, take either the      require consultation with provincial and territorial jurisdictions.
SAFETY CANADA, No. 1, 2003                                               6                                                              Canada Safety Council


                            Tap Water Scalds                                                                 Bike Helmet Legislation
                                                                                                             Reduces Head Injuries
                       water in the
          Hot tap are treated inhomeOverannually incauseseniors and people with
               among young children.
          disabilities
                                        is the leading
                                    hospital
                                             300 children,
                                                           of scalding injuries
                                                       Canada for scald injuries
            caused by hot tap water.
      Serious burns and scalds require
long and painful treatment. They can
                                                states a performance expectation
                                                limiting the temperature of hot water
                                                                                                            R      esearch at The Hospital for
                                                                                                                   Sick Children and the
                                                                                                                    University of Toronto has
                                                                                                            shown that mandatory bicycle helmet
result in permanent scarring, physical          at plumbing fixtures to a maximum of                        legislation reduces the number of
and emotional disability, and years of          49 C. The designer, supplier or installer                   bicycle-related head injuries in
skin grafting operations. The very              would have flexibility in how to meet                       children. In Canada, five provinces
young and the elderly are most at risk          the requirement. The Canadian                               (British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario,
because they tend to have a slower              Commission on Building and Fire                             New Brunswick and Nova Scotia)
reaction time and/or thinner skin.              Codes will post the proposed                                have adopted bicycle helmet
                                                amendment for public review from                            legislation.
      In Canada, most home hot water            January 2 to March 31, 2003
heaters are set at 60 C. At this tempera-       (www.nationalcodes.ca). If adopted, it                            The study looked at data on the
ture, water burns human skin in one to          will become part of the code in the                         9,650 Canadian children (five to 19
five seconds. A child’s skin will burn in       spring of 2004.                                             years of age) hospitalized for bicycle-
less than one second. A slight reduction                                                                    related injuries from 1994 to 1998.
would have a significant impact on                    The CSA/ANSI standard for gas                         The results indicate that the bicycle-
reducing the number and severity of             water heaters specifies a preferred                         related head injury rate declined
injuries. It would take 10 minutes for a        factory pre-set temperature setting of                      significantly (45 percent reduction) in
child to suffer a third degree burn in 49       49 C. The next edition of the CSA                           provinces where legislation had been
C water, which some have proposed as            standard for oil water heaters, expected                    adopted compared to provinces and
the maximum temperature for domestic            to be published in early 2003, will also
water heaters. However, there is concern        specify a factory pre-set temperature                       territories that did not adopt
about possible technical problems.              setting of 49 C. The forthcoming oil                        legislation (27 percent reduction).
      The National Building Code                water heater standard also requires a                             Bicycle helmet legislation had
currently allows a maximum tank                 special anti-scalding water warning                         been shown to increase helmet use,
temperature of 60 C. Safe Kids Canada           label and recommends the use of a                           but the effect on the rates of head
has worked with the Canadian Advisory           water tempering or mixing valve to                          injuries was unknown. This research
Committee on Plumbing to develop a              limit hot water temperature at point of                     shows that helmet legislation is an
proposed amendment to the National              use to 49 C.                                                effective tool to prevent childhood
Building Code and the National                        The CSA Standard for electric                         bicycle-related head injuries.
Plumbing Code. The proposal simply              water heaters specifies a 60 C                              The Hospital for Sick Children and Safe Kids Canada
                                                                                            To page 8...

                                                                                                                    Answers to Kwiz Korner
                        Online Dangers                                                                        1. A. Young children are naive and
                                                                                                                 curious, so special precautions are
     ccording              Canada, children are
AtelevisiontoasStatisticstime atwouldcomputer. spendinghealththan sitting inother of
               and more
activities such outdoor play
                                 the            From a
                                                         less time watching
                                       be far more beneficial
                                                               standpoint,
                                                                             front
                                                                                                                 needed.
                                                                                                              2. C. Many plants in and around the
                                                                                                                 home can be toxic to children or
a screen for long periods. From a personal safety standpoint, the unregulated                                    pets, including philodendron. It’s
environment of cyberspace is virtually impossible to police.                                                     best to keep all plants out of the
      The Internet has been called an electronic Trojan horse. It offers education,                              reach of young children. For young
entertainment, and communication with people around the world — all potentially                                  children, vitamins with iron
good experiences. Unfortunately, it also attracts con artists, pedophiles, ideologies                            supplements are very dangerous.
and other material to which parents might not want their children exposed.                                       Infant medication may be more
                                                                                                                 potent so it can be administered in
      The Canada Safety Council and Media Awareness Network                                                      smaller doses.
Web sites provide Internet safety tips to help parents protect their                                          3. A. Poisonings by drugs, medicinal
children from the Dark Side of the World Wide Web.                                                               and biological substances
                                                                                                                 represented 90 percent of
Name Exposure                                                                                                    hospitalizations. The most common
Exchanging e-mail with friends seems like an                                                                     medications include tranquillizers,
innocent activity. However, after children exchange                                                              antidepressants and
e-mail addresses they may start to receive                                                                       acetaminophen.
forwarded messages, some re-forwarded by several                                                              4. C. Out of 28,581 hospital
senders. Everyone uses the CC field, exposing the                                                                admissions for poisoning, the 25 to
e-mail addresses to more and more strangers,                                                                     44 age group accounted for 42.8
sometimes into the hundreds.                                                                                     percent. Of these, 78 percent were
                                                                                                                 classified as suicide or self-inflicted.
      Spammers pick up names from these chain e-                                                              5. D. Most serious self-inflicted
mails, enabling them to clog Inboxes with                                                                        injuries are suicide attempts.
                                 To page 8...         Parents must monitor their children’s Internet use.
SAFETY CANADA, No. 1, 2003                                              7                                                   Canada Safety Council



                          On the Job                                                                    E-Waste Solutions
                                                                                                        isposal   computers,
                                                                                                   Dscannersofand — called printers,
                                                                                                                     other telecommuni-
                       Stairway to Health                                                          cations equipment           “e- waste”
                                                                                                         — has emerged as a major environmental
                                                                                                         issue. (See Safety Canada, October 2001,

T         he Canada Safety Council works with Health Canada through the Canadian
         Council for Health and Active Living at Work (CCHALW) to bring active
         living programs into workplaces. Stairway to Health is a new CCHALW
initiative to encourage office workers to use stairways instead of riding elevators. It was ment was recycled or refurbished for
launched in Lake Louise at the October 2002 Health, Work and Wellness Conference.
                                                                                                         Trashed Computers.) During the 1990s
                                                                                                         only about 10 percent of this equip-
                                                                                                         reuse in Canada.
         The simple choice to take the stairs                                                                   E-waste contains toxic materials
instead of the elevator can make a big                                                                   that can be hazardous if not managed
difference to employee health and fitness.                                                               properly. In particular, the lead oxide
• Daily living activities like climbing                                                                  used in the cathode ray tubes (CRTs)
                                                               Tools to develop and manage a             of computer monitors is a concern
    the stairs significantly contribute to              Stairway to Health program will be               because it is in a soluble form.
    the 30 minutes of daily exercise                    launched online in 2003; watch Safety
    everyone needs.                                                                                             Proper recycling of the
                                                        Canada for the URL. The Web site will            hazardous materials from computers is
• Using the stairs burns twice as many give practical advice on how to                                   an important health and safety
    calories as walking, and requires no                introduce and maintain the program. It           concern. However, computer waste
    special skill, equipment or clothing.               will also provide management tools,              also contains valuable parts and
• Regular stair users have greater leg                  downloadable posters and other                   precious metals, such as gold and
    strength and aerobic capacity than                  promotional resources.                           copper, which offer potential business
    non climbers.                                              The program is meant to be                opportunities.
• Taking the stairs is often faster than                customized. Strategies will depend on                   The Information Technology
    waiting for the elevator, especially                the unique nature of each workplace.             Association of Canada represents the
    during peak usage times.                            For example, some workplaces may opt computing and telecommunications
                                                        for an ongoing program, others for a             industry. It has proposed a national
         The Stairway to Health program is              special event or events.
designed to help incorporate active                                                                      action plan that gives municipalities and
living into the workplace. For                                 Encouraging the use of stairs is          consumers the responsibility to collect
organizations that already have                         an easy and inexpensive way to enhance the equipment. Industry would cover
employee fitness programs, it can be a                  employee fitness — especially with the           transportation costs and processing. A
simple add-on. For those who still need                 resources from Stairway to Health. The           proposed front-end fee on IT
to be convinced, a Web based resource, benefits can be significant, including                            equipment would finance the program.
The Business Case for Active Living at                  lower turnover rates, reduced                           In February 2001, Alberta
Work (Safety Canada, July 2001)                         absenteeism, fewer medical claims,               launched the first provincial initiative
demonstrates the value of fostering                     higher productivity and improved                 to recycle obsolete computers, and a
employee fitness. The Stairway to Health                employee morale.                                 commercial e-waste recycling facility
program offers a good starting point!                                                                    opened in Rimbey, Alberta in
                                                        may start to require take-back of used           September 2002. When fully operational,
                                                        equipment and fees to recycle CRTs.              the facility will process over two
                                                                                                         million kilograms of e-waste annually.
                                                               Manufacturers are trying to
                                                        remove hazardous substances such as                     Manitoba prefers a return-to-
                                                        lead and mercury from computers. For             retailer model for electronics waste,
                                                        example, the lead in sol-                                           and in British
                                                        der will likely be phased Computer waste contains                   Columbia there have
                                                        out over the next five                                              been requests that the
                                                                                          valuable parts and precious provincial government
                                                        years. However, there metals which offer potential
                                                        are major challenges.                                               develop an e-waste
                                                        Lead-free solders tend to         business opportunities.           program that is
                                                        be more brittle than the                                            financed and managed
                                                        current lead-based solders used to glue                             by industry. Ontario
                                                        components to motherboards. In                   established a new waste diversion
                                                        addition, changing the solder requires           organization in June 2002. Waste
                                                        the cooperation of all component                 Diversion Ontario is based on the
                                                        manufacturers. Everything works                  premise that industries will pay half of
                                                        together. If even one of the hundreds            the cost of handling their materials in
                                                        of components on a motherboard is                municipal recycling programs.
                                                        dislodged, functioning of the computer                  The European Union is taking
                                                        is compromised.                                  strict measures requiring the industry
     Point-of-choice posters are the most effective way Solid Waste & Recycling, October/November 2002.  to collect and recycle obsolete
     to persuade employees to take the stairs.          ZDNet News, September 12, 2002.                  computers. In the U.S., individual states
                                                                                                         have recognized the problem. Some
SAFETY CANADA, No. 1, 2003                                          8                                                     Canada Safety Council

Online Dangers, from page 6.                                                                      Did you know?
unwanted e-mails, from sales pitches to pornographic and                    A recent survey of Canadian drivers found that 16 percent
hate spam. They may also be able to obtain personal                         reported driving a vehicle within two hours of consuming
information if the e-mail address is attached to traceable                  alcohol in the past 30 days. In the past year, about 1.7 million
identifying information through an ISP.                                     Canadians (8 percent of drivers) drove when they thought
                                                                            they were impaired, for an estimated 8 million impaired
       When you give a friend your phone number or address,                 driving trips. Fewer than three percent of drivers accounted
you don’t expect that he or she will pass it along to everyone              for more than 80 percent of all impaired driving trips.
they phone or send mail to, and that the next person will                   The Road Safety Monitor 2002: Drinking and Driving. Traffic Injury
then do the same. Most parents and children do not realize                  Research Foundation, December 2002
the risks and consequences of this common practice.                         Customs officers seize about one gun a day from U.S. motorists
Bullies                                                                     entering Canada at southern Ontario border crossings. In
                                                                            2001, officers seized 364 firearms at crossings in Niagara
A survey released in April 2002 by the UK children’s charity                Falls, Fort Erie, Windsor and Sarnia. Most of the individuals
NCH found more than one in four teenagers had been bullied                  say they are carrying a gun for personal protection. However,
either by e-mail or mobile phone. The 856 respondents were                  police believe many of the guns are being smuggled to
between 11 and 19 years of age. Sixteen percent had received                Toronto for sale to criminals and street gang members.
bullying or threatening text messages, seven percent had                    Toronto Sun, October 30, 2002
been harassed in Internet chat rooms and four percent by e-                 Of all Quebec drivers convicted of criminal offenses (such
mail. One in three of the victims had told no one.                          as those related to impaired driving), only two percent earn
                                                                            more than $50,000 a year. Forty-one percent earn less than
      The Internet takes bullying beyond the school yard —                  $30,000 a year, and a full 43 percent have no income.
there is no safe haven, even at home. Bullies can create hate               Editorial, The Gazette, Montreal, November 7, 2002
Web sites about other children and distribute the URLs through              According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, the average
Internet chat rooms. A bully can harass by persistent e-mails.              cost per claim for private passenger automobiles went from
The Internet provides an anonymity that creates the                         $4,258 in 1997 to $5,970 in 2001 - an increase of 40% over
confidence to make threats a child would not make in person.                five years. These figures do not take into account Quebec,
      Victims should change their mobile number or e-mail                   Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, which have
address if they receive threats. If the messages continue,                  government auto insurance.
they should not be afraid to go to the police.                              Insurance Bureau of Canada, November, 2002
                                                                            There were 3,145 injury deaths in Ontario in 1999/2000 —
Cyber Stalking                                                              down 14 percent from 1995/1996. Falls were the leading
      A cyber stalker is someone who contacts or seeks to                   cause of fatal injuries and 85 percent of fall casualties were
gain intimate personal knowledge of another person through                  aged 65 over. Motor vehicle collisions came second. Of
                                                                            these, half were drivers and one-quarter were passengers.
online communication without their consent or after being                   The remainder included motorcyclists, pedestrians and
told to cease. Stalkers lurk in chat rooms, news groups,                    snowmobilers. Drugs and/or alcohol were involved in nearly
bulletin boards and e-mail. Their objective is to create fear               one-quarter of all motor vehicle fatalities.
and get a reaction. They may also send viruses or masses of                 Canadian Institute for Health Information, December 4, 2002
spam, or hack into a computer.
      According to a 1999 report of the US Department of                Hot Water, from page 6.
Justice, one out of every 10 Internet users had been stalked            maximum thermostat pre-set temperature setting. The
online. Most victims are adults, and 80 percent are women.              technical sub-committee for electric water heaters is
Alarmingly, one out of every five cyber stalking cases                  considering the feasibility of harmonizing temperature
becomes an offline, real-world stalking case.                           requirements with the other two CSA water heater standards.
      If you feel you are being stalked, respond to absolutely          CSA is also participating in a task force spearheaded by the
nothing sent by the stalker. Use a filter or blocking software to       Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating to address the
prevent the e-mails from reaching your Inbox. If the                    issue of water temperatures for the retrofit market.
problem only exists on ICQ or IRC, completely change your                     In the standards development process, CSA functions
online identity.                                                        as a neutral third party, providing a structure and a forum for
      The offender will eventually give up when you won’t               committees of volunteers which develop CSA standards.
play the game. If harassment continues you can report the               Committees are structured as a ‘balanced matrix’, meaning
stalker to both their ISP and your own. With sufficient                                              the interests of all participants are
grounds, most ISPs will terminate offenders’ accounts, but              At 60 C, a child’s           considered. Standards are
beware that doing this could aggravate the situation. You                                            developed using a consensus
may have to change your e-mail account or even your ISP.                skin will burn in less process, which includes the
Cybertip.ca                                                             than one second.             principles of inclusive
                                                                                                     participation, and respect for
In 2002, a new Web site was launched at www.cybertip.ca.                                             diverse interest and transparency.
The site is operated by Child Find Manitoba in partnership
with the federal government and private sector partners. It                   Over 20 years ago, several American states (Washington,
handles tips from individuals reporting the online sexual               Wisconsin, Florida and others) mandated that hot water
exploitation of children. There is also a toll-free phone line          tanks be installed and pre-set at 49 C. In the State of
(1-866-658-9022).                                                       Washington, hospital admissions for tap water injuries were
      Incidents of child pornography, luring, child sex                 reduced by half within the first five years. In 1988, the
tourism, or child prostitution can be reported. Cybertip.ca             industry voluntarily agreed to pre-set hot water tanks across
receives and analyses the tips, then refers leads to the                the U.S. to 49 C. However, American products shipped into
appropriate law enforcement agencies.                                   Canada are still set at 60 C. In other countries, such as New
                                                                        Zealand and Australia, building codes mandate the installation
                                                                        of temperature control devices to limit temperatures.