The IHSA Safety Podcast is a free podcast from the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association that seeks to improve the lives of workers in Ontario — one thought-provoking discussion at a time.
We engage with professionals and industry influencers to help them implement and improve health and safety solutions for workers and the workplace. Each episode explores best practices, resources, and training to control and eliminate safety hazards in work environments involving high-risk activities in the industries that IHSA serves: construction, transportation, and electric utilities.
Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and pain relievers available legally by prescription, including oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine, and morphine. Opioid overdoses and deaths are a public health crisis affecting many working Canadians.
Everyone has mental health concerns from time to time. But what some may consider “normal”
challenges can develop into a mental illness if left unaddressed. A mental illness is a medically
diagnosed disorder that affects how a person thinks, behaves, and interacts with others. It can
have a prolonged, negative effect on quality of life.
Compare that to workplace-related fatalities, which are about three daily, or 1,017 per year
Resources mentioned during the podcast can be located below, and within IHSA’s Assessing Your Mental Health Safety Talk.
Mental health and physical health are similar concepts: they both refer to states of well-being. Mental health includes your thoughts and emotions, feelings of connection to others, and ability to manage life’s highs and lows. We all have mental health challenges, just as we all have physical health challenges, from time to time. It’s important to monitor your mental health and seek help and support if you are concerned.
Resources mentioned during the podcast can be located below, and within IHSA’s Assessing Your Mental Health Safety Talk.
Sam Pitaro, Lead COR™ Auditor, brings his experience with the external audit process to this episode as he outlines what to expect during the audit as well as how to achieve a smooth and successful experience. Sam and Stacey also talk about important timelines and administration associated with an external audit.
The Occupational Health and Safety Act (Ontario) has been amended to require employers to provide naloxone kits and comply with related requirements if the employer becomes aware, or ought reasonably to be aware, that there may be a risk of a worker having an opioid overdose at a workplace where that worker performs work for the employer, or where the prescribed circumstances exist.
UBC’s Dr. Chris McLeod describes the methodology he and his team utilized in conducting their research on how the Certificate of Recognition (COR™) program affected lost-time and high-impact injury rates in Ontario. In this discussion, IHSA’s Paul Casey also shares what prompted IHSA to engage with Dr. McLeod and the University of British Columbia.
Toxic masculinity is a cultural norm that involves pressures on men to behave in a certain way—often based on outdated and unrealistic stereotypes of “manliness.” This does not mean that men are toxic. However, the pressures we place on men to live up to masculine ideals have been shown to be harmful to both men and women.
According to some researchers, toxic masculinity has three core components*:
1. Toughness: The notion that men should be physically strong, behaviourally aggressive, and unemotional.
2. Antifeminity: The idea that men should reject anything considered to be feminine, such as showing emotion or accepting help.
3. Power: The assumption that men must work toward obtaining power and status (social and financial) to gain the respect of others.
Stigma is a set of negative beliefs and prejudices about a person or group of people. It is often based on myths and outdated social norms, and can lead to discrimination—unjust treatment and behaviours directed toward a person or group. Many people are stigmatized or discriminated against for more than one reason, including sexual orientation, gender, culture, or physical disability.
Experiencing stigma and/or discrimination can:
Working in the trades comes with certain risks. Every day on the job, ironworkers, powerline technicians, long-haul truckers, and all other tradespeople face hazards that can affect their health and safety. We have long understood the need to control physical hazards. Less, however, has been done about the mental health risks that workers face.
On average, workers in construction and related industries have a greater risk of experiencing mental health challenges. This is due to a number of job-related factors that IHSA’s Safety Talks explore in detail. Left unaddressed, mental health problems can lead to everything from poor job performance and absenteeism to substance abuse and suicide.
By learning more about mental health, assessing your own well-being, and leading by example, you can promote ongoing discussions that will benefit your workplace right now and in the years to come.
In the past, employers may have viewed mental health as a personal issue and not one to discuss with employees. But the topic should not be ignored at work. Employers and supervisors should find a way to connect with workers, as they can play an important role in identifying early signs and symptoms of mental health issues.
Starting a conversation about mental health is a simple way to begin building mental wellness into your workplace health and safety culture. But simple does not always mean easy. That’s why IHSA has released eight new safety talks to support recognizing and managing mental health in the workplace.
Each worker and family member who has been affected by a workplace tragedy is a thread in the quilt of life. The Association for Workplace Tragedy Family Support, known as Threads of Life, is a Canadian registered charity dedicated to supporting families after a workplace fatality, life-altering injury or occupational disease. Their network of family members and corporate partners believes traumatic workplace injuries, occupational diseases and deaths are preventable.
The objective of the National Construction Safety Officer (NCSO™) Certificate is to combine practical construction experience with a range of health and safety training. A certified NCSO™ is a valuable resource for construction firms when implementing health and safety measures, recognizing, assessing, controlling, and evaluating hazards or working toward building a strong health and safety culture. They can oversee others and provide support and advice specific to the industry and work.
Driving in Northern Ontario presents a unique set of driving-related hazards and some not so obvious differences than driving in Southern Ontario and many road users don’t understand and or fail to consider the uniqueness and are unprepared for safe traveling.
Whether you drive a commercial motor vehicle or a passenger vehicle, it’s important to be aware of the driving hazards and unique road conditions in Northern Ontario.
Our multi-part series on Supervisors continues with a discussion with Doug Heintz, Manager – Health & Safety Training.
Our multi-part series on Supervisors kicks-off with a discussion with Federal Labour Program Ontario Regional Director, Bruce Christianson.
ESDC OHS inspection video
Our multi-part series on Supervisors continues with a discussion on “Training Requirements” with Alex Hernandez, Health and Safety Consultant at Infrastructure Health & Safety Association
Our multi-part series on Supervisors continues with a discussion on “Documentation and Communication” with Jennifer McKenzie, Manager, Regional Operations North & East at Infrastructure Health & Safety Association
Our multi-part series on Supervisors continues with a discussion on “Duties of a Supervisor” with Alain Leger, Manager Powerline Apprenticeship & Training.
Our multi-part series on Supervisors continues with a discussion on “Identifying and Addressing Hazards” with IHSA Health and Safety Consultant, Alana Stewart.
Our multi-part series on Supervisors kicks-off with a discussion with Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development’s Assistant Deputy Minister, Jody Young. Jody oversees the Fair, Safe and Healthy Workplaces Division, and is all too familiar with why supervisors are a critically important component to a healthy and safe workplace.
Whether you drive a commercial vehicle or a passenger vehicle, it’s always important to be fully aware of the hazardous road conditions created by winter weather. In this podcast, IHSA’s Ken Rayner and Michelle Roberts discuss winter driving tips and break them down into four basic principles: preparation, planning, patience, and practice.
You can find additional winter driving resources at IHSA.ca:
Dr. Joel Moody, Ontario’s new Chief Prevention Officer (CPO), joins IHSA to talk about his recent appointment and extensive background in public health, Ontario’s response to the pandemic, and the Prevention Office’s path and opportunities moving forward.
In this episode, Stacey Blea, Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems Consultant, speaks to lead COR™ Auditor, Peter Smith, about what is involved in preparing for an internal COR™ audit. They look at what’s required in setting up for a successful internal audit including resources, training, and official documents.
This episode introduces IHSA’s COR™ team and looks at the various important roles each member plays in IHSA’s COR™ program. Guests include: Scott Needs, Maren Gamble, Deb Moskal, David Dametto, Peter Smith, John Kelly, and Sam Pitaro.
This conversation with Paul Casey, Vice-President of Programs and Strategic Development, and David Steinschifter, Manager of Strategic Programs, provides an overview and starting point for those interested in getting into COR™ in Ontario. Paul and David discuss the history of COR™, its proven benefits, and the impact it is having across Ontario.
Ron Kelusky, Ontario’s outgoing Chief Prevention Officer looks at key points from the Prevention Office’s new 5-year strategy. Ron also discusses his office’s key accomplishments during his tenure, and his view on the future of health and safety.
Ron Kelusky, Ontario’s outgoing Chief Prevention Officer, shares his view on the impact of COVID-19 and the opportunities it presents in raising the profile of workplace health and safety.
Ron Kelusky, Ontario’s outgoing Chief Prevention Officer with the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, joins IHSA to discuss his background and successes in working with industry to advance workplace health and safety.
In the fifth and final episode of our special series focusing on what IHSA is and what we do, Ken Rayner, Vice-President of Customer Relations, Market Development and Labour Relations discusses how IHSA’s customer service team provides support to members, some of the many, many products IHSA offers, and the different communication channels IHSA uses to raise health and safety awareness in Ontario.
In our fourth episode of IHSA’s five-part series on who we are and what we do, Dean Dunn, Vice-President of Stakeholder and Public Relations, discusses the Labour-Management Network and the important role its committees and partnerships play in the health and safety system across the province.
Our special five-part series on IHSA continues with this third episode where we talk with Paul Casey, Vice-President of Programs and Strategic Development. Paul provides an overview of three important IHSA programs: the Certificate of Recognition (COR™), Health and Safety Excellence (HSEP), and the National Construction Health and Safety Officer (NCSO™) program.
In this second episode of our five-part series on IHSA, we talk to Greg Williamson, Vice-President of High Risk Activity, Training and Operations. Greg talks to us about how companies become IHSA members, some of the high-risk activity training courses IHSA offers, the Powerline Technician Apprenticeship program, and more.
Our next five-part series of IHSA podcasts looks at who we are and what we do. Kicking off the series, IHSA President and CEO, Enzo Garritano, talks to us about IHSA’s history, our vision, and mission. We also look at the key services IHSA provides and the different sectors we serve across the province.
We wrap up our special five-part series on Falls Awareness with our series-long guest, Brian Barron from the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development. In this final episode, we look at fall protection quick facts including common FAQs, the hierarchy of controls, training, fines, and much more.
This fourth episode in our five-part series on Falls Awareness looks at the most common issues identified by inspectors from the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development when conducting inspections on different job sites.
Our five-part series on Falls Awareness continues with our series guest, Brian Barron from Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development. In this third episode we look at training requirements for workers when working at heights. We also discuss training providers, the duties and responsibilities of employers, and much more.
In this second episode of our special Falls Awareness series, we continue our talk with Brian Barron from the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development. We specifically look at the different roles and responsibilities that employers, supervisors, and workers have in preventing falls on job sites.
In this first episode of our special five-part series on Falls Awareness, we talk to Brian Barron, Senior Manager of the Construction Health and Safety Program within the Ministry of Labour. Our first discussion with Brian considers the various methods of fall protection and the different situations in which they are required.
Warmer weather is great for getting out on the road, but it also means there is increased volume on the road and more vulnerable road users, like motorcyclists and construction workers, sharing the road too. IHSA’s Michelle Roberts and OPP Sergeant Kerry Schmidt talk about seasonal road safety tips for warmer weather.
In our very first episode, we have the privilege of sitting down with OPP Sergeant Kerry Schmidt for a candid conversation about road safety. He breaks down the most common risky behaviours on the road—also known as the “Big Four”: lack of seatbelts, impaired driving, speeding, and distracted driving.
The Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA) is Ontario’s trusted health and safety resource. Our goal is to improve the lives of Ontario workers. We provide resources and training to control and eliminate safety hazards in work environments involving high-risk activities.
At IHSA we have always maintained a standard of excellence. We are proud of our role in helping to make Ontario one of the safest places in the world to work. Our focus is on workers and on keeping our promise to provide them with the tools to Work Safe for Life.
As part of Ontario’s health and safety system, we are recognized by the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, the Ministry of Colleges and Universities, the Ministry of Transportation, and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board as designated trainers and consultants. So you can be sure that the training you get from IHSA meets regulatory requirements and compliance standards.