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North American Occupational Safety and Health Week

#MentalHealthAwarenessWeek

With North American Occupational Safety and Health week upon us, it’s time to reflect on the measures we have in place to prevent injury and illness in the workplace, at home and in our community. By starting with strong health and safety practices at home, we can make safety a habit that will translate into a safer work environment for all employees.

In the staffing industry, it is said that people are our greatest asset. To ensure this, The Adecco Group believes in forming proper safety habits that translate both on and off the job. Whether you’re an associate, colleague, client or partner, the goal of NAOSH week is focusing on the importance of prevention and keeping you safe at home and in the workplace. 

– Jason Berman, The Adecco Group National Manager, Workers Compensation, Safety & Compliance –

A safe work environment is a right, not a privilege. To support this right, we should be careful not to take safety for granted, even when it’s regulated in the workplace. Forming good habits can help prevent workplace accidents and injuries, creating a safer workplace for all. Whether it’s physical, chemical or ergonomic safety, developing good habits in our personal lives will help make safety a priority in our professional lives.

Safety

From a young age, we are taught to look both ways before crossing the road, make sure our shoelaces are tied to avoid tripping, never leave a hot element unattended, etc. These same principles apply to the work environment. By practicing general safety at home, you are ensuring these preventative measures become second nature, helping you avoid these hazards on the work site.

Physical

Physical injury can be caused by improper lifting techniques, repetitive motions and unsafe machine handling. Away from work, we avoid these injuries and hazards by stretching before exercising, wearing supportive/proper footwear and taking breaks from repetitive tasks. At work, the same safety practices apply. Wearing proper PPE can help you avoid hazards, while proper lifting techniques and small breaks from repetitive motions will help prevent injuries.

Chemical

Depending on the industry, chemicals in the workplace can include cleaning supplies, and flammable and combustible substances. At home, we ensure cleaning supplies are properly labelled, stored separately from consumable items and kept out of reach of children. These same tactics apply in the work environment. In addition, employers should ensure all staff complete WHMIS and MSDS training.

Stress

Since work is acknowledged as the main source of stress for 62% of Canadian workers, learning to prevent stressors at work is a good practice for all of us.[i] One way to do this is by utilizing the same tactics we use in our personal lives — whether it’s paying bills or doing household chores, we can use organization, task prioritization and responsibility delegation to deal with our stress. If that fails, talk it through with a colleague or manager. They may have additional ideas about how to address your concerns, plus the conversation itself may be just the cure.

Ergonomic

Ergonomic injuries are common for office workers due to the sedentary nature of their jobs. Away from work, we have greater control over ergonomic injuries, with the ability to limit our time standing, looking at television or computer screens, and performing other repetitive motions. With nearly 2 million Canadians suffering from RSI (repetitive strain injuries)[ii], ergonomic controls should be a priority. Workers are entitled to ergonomic mats for standing, as well as ergonomic chairs, keyboards and even standing desks.

Although safety at home can translate into good safety practices at work, there are additional considerations both employees and employers should keep in mind to ensure a safe and healthy work environment.

How employees can maintain safety habits at work:

  • Be mindful of your surroundings.
  • Follow set safety rules and procedures.
  • Always wear recommended or required PPE.
  • Take breaks to avoid strain.
  • Report any unsafe work conditions.

How employers can maintain safety habits at work:

  • Promote NAOSH Week within your company.
  • Revise and/or launch new safety programs.
  • Provide incentives for reporting potential safety hazards.
  • Build a Joint Health and Safety Committee and hold regular meetings.
  • Maintain proper injury reporting.

Regardless of the size of your company or the nature of your business, workplace safety must always be a priority. By implementing safety practices at home, we are creating positive habits that will translate into better workplace safety, instilling practices that will benefit the health and safety of colleagues, management and customers alike.

To view more of our blogs and articles, visit our Employer resources page on our website.


[i] http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11-627-m/contest/finalists-finalistes_2-eng.htm

[ii] https://www.mun.ca/safetynet/library/OHandS/SafetyNetOfficeErgonomics.pdf

 

Cannabis – The New Economy

With predictions[1] for cannabis demand in Canada reaching $22.6 billion a year, the Canadian economy can expect a huge boost from its legalization.

Impacting the labour market, post-secondary education and tax revenue, cannabis legalization is set to have far-reaching effects on the Canadian economy.

New marketplace, new jobs

The obvious contribution legalizing cannabis will make to the Canadian economy is job creation. Thousands of jobs are destined to emerge, including hands-on positions such as research and development, production, packaging, and security, as well as positions required to run a new enterprise or corporation including clerical, legal, marketing, and accounting roles. We can expect mass hiring of employees to staff these developing new enterprises from the ground up.

Building an industry

Alongside growth in jobs, other infrastructural changes are inevitable, including the need for new growing facilities[2] and supply chain improvements. As a result of increased demand for cannabis, we will also see growth in demand for complementary goods and services.

Cannabis and higher education

With a new industry comes increased demand for qualified professionals in an unexplored field. To accommodate these needs, new post-secondary courses and fields of studies are emerging,[3] providing students and young professionals with the skills and background knowledge required to be successful in this budding business. As production and legal recreational consumption becomes normalized, it’s expected that students will increasingly explore professions and post-secondary programs in the field.

Tax and fees

Finally, legalization is expected to bring in hundreds of millions of dollars[4] in tax and fee revenue for Canada — which includes taxes, retail markups, producer licences and private retailer licences in select provinces.

With the birth of the legal cannabis industry in Canada, the far-reaching impact on the Canadian economy is unfolding in front of us. The effects of increased demand of both the product and other elements in the supply chain will become clearer as the regulatory framework is established and market demand comes into focus.

This is the last in our series on the legalization of cannabis. You can find previous posts by visiting our Employer resources page on our website.


[1] http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/marijuana-ontario-price-market-sales-1.4298311

[2] http://business.financialpost.com/real-estate/property-post/the-rush-is-on-for-grow-ops-as-canada-heads-toward-legal-weed

[3] https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/canada-universities-colleges-expand-course-offerings-for-careers-in-marijuana-industry/article37847833/

[4] https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/305790

Cannabis and the Impact on Employee Health

With legislation set to pass and legalize cannabis, the intricacies of its usage may change. To keep health and safety at the forefront in the workplace, employers will need to set clear boundaries regarding its use.

Although consumption of cannabis during work hours for medical purposes is not a new phenomenon, recreational use has the potential to affect an employee’s health, and, the health and safety of a company’s workforce.

Use in the workplace

The Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC) extends to allow disabled workers the use of medical cannabis when prescribed. Although under this act, employers must accommodate these workers, this code does not permit the worker to be impaired at work or endanger their safety or the safety of others.[i] Should a worker show signs of marijuana impairment, an employer must assign the individual tasks considered safe. For recreational users, employers still hold the right to set rules for the non-medical use of marijuana in the same manner they set alcohol consumption restrictions. Increasingly, employers will need to prioritize their workplace policies and clearly outline and communicate their policy regarding the recreational use of cannabis during work hours.

Employee health and safety

Similar to alcohol, the effects of cannabis will vary from person to person. The THC in marijuana can affect coordination, reaction time, focus, decision making abilities and perception.[ii] This means that there may be potential effects on an employee’s body, brain and overall mental state. For that reason, cannabis consumption in the workplace can be particularly dangerous for employees in fields like construction and manufacturing — or any position requiring the operation of a vehicle or heavy machinery. To prepare for its changing legal status, employers should revisit drug workplace policies to identify whether a change is required to reflect the change in legislation, in addition to outlining disciplinary action for substance abuse in the workplace.

Benefit plans

With more recognizable medical benefits and the normalization of cannabis as a treatment option for symptoms ranging from arthritis to cancer, the number of medical marijuana patients across Canada nearly doubled by the end of September 2017; reaching more than 235,000.[iii] As this number continues to grow, so does the pressure on benefit providers to include cannabis coverage in their health plans. Sun Life is the first provider to accommodate, providing members with the option to add medical cannabis coverage only for set conditions and symptoms. With the pending legalization, it is only a matter of time before other benefit providers follow suit and normalize cannabis coverage options.

The changing legal status of recreational cannabis use will undoubtedly impact the workplace in its early stages. With clear boundaries and rules in place surrounding the recreational use of cannabis, employers can mitigate any potential issues and maintain a happy, healthy workforce.

To view more of our blogs and articles, visit our Employer resources page on our website.


[i] https://www.pshsa.ca/cannabis-in-the-workplace/

[ii] https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/hc-sc/documents/services/campaigns/27-16-1808-Factsheet-Health-Effects-eng-web.pdf

[iii] http://business.financialpost.com/news/fp-street/sun-life-financial-to-add-medical-pot-option-to-group-benefits-plans

 

The Evolution of the Administrative Professional

The Administrative professional role has evolved to mirror changing times. Expanded responsibilities and skill sets has given this vital role a new meaning and organizational impact.

 


The early days

Started by the Industrial Revolution, administrative assistants were first referred to as secretaries. As the industrial expansion caused office businesses to face a large amount of paperwork, the role of the “secretary” was introduced to resolve this influx of work.[i] The term itself had the eventual connotation of something private or confidential, as with the English word secret. A secretarius was a person, therefore, overseeing business confidentially, usually for a powerful individual. Initially, men held this prominent position, however, the introduction of women into the workforce allowed companies to hire females in these roles at lower wages[ii] Often designated as “personal” or “private” secretaries, the role was popular amongst women seeking a professional status.  At that time, secretaries were required to possess strong typography and communication skills in order to support such tasks as answering and dispatching calls, and, redacting documents on their typewriters. Although undervalued, secretaries played an essential role in the overall performance of the office.

Present day

Often referred to as Administrative Professional, Office Coordinator or Executive Assistant — gone are the days of a singular title to categorize this pivotal role. An evolving society and the introduction of technology has clearly changed all facets of the administrative professional role. Today, administrative professionals manage the day-to-day functions of an office and many even have the added tasks of managing budgets, bookkeeping, maintaining websites, travel arrangements and managing meetings. Many organizations seek administrative professionals with a varying skill set —  from typing at high speeds using technical or foreign languages, accounting to strong communication skills to interact with the public.

This profession has gone from being male dominated and entry level to a female dominated field offering full-time careers with competitive salaries and a potential for career growth. For every call you answer, document you prepare, spreadsheet you manage and of course the many other tasks you complete every day, thank you and happy Administrative Professionals day!

Looking to start your next administrative career? Look no further! With thousands of online training courses in applications such as Microsoft Office, we have all the tools you need to snag the admin job of your dreams!

To view more of our blogs and articles, visit our Employment resources page on our website.


[i] http://money.cnn.com/2013/01/31/news/economy/secretary-women-jobs/index.html

[ii] http://money.cnn.com/2013/01/31/news/economy/secretary-women-jobs/index.html

 

Legalizing Cannabis: What We Know So Far

After years of prohibition, cannabis is finally set to be legalized in Canada in the summer of 2018. Here’s our primer on what we know so far about the process of legalizing cannabis in Canada. 

Aiming to reduce illegal distribution and underage consumption, Canada is set to legalize the recreational consumption of cannabis by the end of the summer. As the final vote on Bill C-45 is set for June 7, 2018, Canadians have much to consider in a short amount of time.[i] From provincial policies, legal implications and regional differences, the legalization of cannabis is sure to affect the whole country.

Shaping policies

As Bill C-45 is set to legalize recreational use of cannabis in Canada, provinces and territories have an opportunity to shape policies to best accommodate users while managing negative responses and perceptions. With perceptions of cannabis as diverse as the people in Canada, creating policies for the legalization of cannabis use can be challenging. It will take input from government officials, health professionals and law enforcement to design policies to limit substance abuse while keeping cannabis out of the hands of minors.

Legal implications

With the goal of stamping out the cannabis black market in Canada, legalization sets to regulate distribution of the substance. However, though legalization intends to limit illegal sales and distribution, there are other legal concerns that arise from Bill-C45, including operating a motor vehicle while impaired. With no current consensus on how long it takes to be able to drive safely after consuming cannabis,[ii] and no 100% effective way to test for cannabis impairment in drivers, there are still many regulatory questions that have yet to be settled.

Regional outlook

Although the production of cannabis will be regulated by the federal government, individual provinces are responsible for determining age restrictions and seller regulations. Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick will rely on the provincial government for sales, while provinces including Alberta and Manitoba will provide licenses for private retailers.[iii] Provinces and territories will also control limitations for growing cannabis in personal residences, where cannabis can be consumed and personal possession limits.[iv]

Myth vs. reality

Though some may believe that there will be consumption of cannabis throughout the streets of major cities across Canada come summer 2018, this is not the case. Much like regulations surrounding alcohol, there will be rules and regulations not only surrounding sales of the substance, but also the end user’s consumption habits. Legalization is designed to better regulate the distribution of cannabis, keeping the substance away from minors and decreasing organized crimes.

Though Bill C-45 has its critics, with the co-operation of policymakers and law enforcement, policies can be formed with the best interest of the Canadian public in mind.

Join us as we examine the legalization of cannabis in Canada in our blog series examining organizational policy and job opportunities.

To view more of our blogs and articles, visit our Employer resources page on our website.


[i] https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/pot-could-be-legal-june-7-but-sales-delayed-until-at-least-august-senator-1.3808111

[ii] https://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-drive/culture/commuting/how-much-marijuana-can-i-have-and-still-be-safe-to-drive/article27897258/

[iii] https://globalnews.ca/news/3867467/marijuana-legalization-canada-progress/

[iv] http://www.opha.on.ca/getmedia/6b05a6bc-bac2-4c92-af18-62b91a003b1b/The-Public-Health-Implications-of-the-Legalization-of-Recreational-Cannabis.pdf.aspx?ext=.pdf

 

Cannabis – A Shift in Perception

With the legalization of cannabis only a couple months away, many Canadians still have reservations about its accessibility and the effects its consumption will have on the workplace.

In the past few years, Canadians have experienced a growing reliance on the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes. Its usage for treatment of pain, relief of cancer symptoms, and epilepsy has paved the way for the legalization of cannabis and has slowly altered the way the general public perceives the historically illegal substance.

Though studies show the majority of Canadians agree with its legalization[i], recreational use of cannabis still has its critics. Here, we examine three areas of concern related to the legalization of cannabis and its impact on the workplace.

Managing a “high” workplace

Though employers must accommodate employees who have prescriptions to use medicinal marijuana, the imminent legalization of cannabis brings up concerns about controlling recreational use at work. Employers have the right to set limitations on the consumption of cannabis on work property in line with a drug-free workplace policy. The policy should outline disciplinary action for offenders in attempts to prohibit impairment on the job.

Managing the credibility of employers and employees

Regardless of the pending legalization, or the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes, there is still a stigma surrounding the consumption of cannabis. Once legal, employers should make attempts to change policy vocabulary. For example,  the substance should no longer be defined as “illegal” to recognize the legislated reality and to help shift perceptions away from traditionally negative views of recreational consumption by employees.

Negotiating differences in perceptions across demographics

Cannabis purchases vary based on demographics, with 25-44 year-olds accounting for 40% of the purchases while the 45-64 year-old group accounts for only 23% of cannabis purchases.[ii] Though this number has grown, the large gap in consumption between the age groups indicates greater acceptance towards cannabis from the 25-44 year-old demographic. By instituting a drug-free workplace policy, employers can accommodate the varying perceptions of cannabis across your workforce.

Regardless of the varied perceptions, the legalization of cannabis is imminent, and with it, proposed preventative measures instituting proper control of substance distribution and consumption will be introduced that seek to allay negative perceptions of the legalization of cannabis. Employers can also respond to shifting perceptions with clear workplace policies for their employees.

To view more of our blogs and articles, visit our Employer resources page on our website.


For more information on how this budding industry will affect organizational policy and job opportunities, stay tuned to our series examining the legalization of cannabis in Canada.

[i] http://www.macleans.ca/society/majority-of-canadians-support-marijuana-legalization-says-survey/

[ii] http://business.financialpost.com/commodities/agriculture/canadians-spent-c5-7-billion-on-cannabis-in-2017-statistics-canada