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Safety Bulletins

March 11, 2019

Safety bulletins have been created to provide industry with timely proactive communication of risk and initiatives.

Issue Number and Description

02-2020 "Mental Health" As with any workplace injury, employers have a legal obligation to have a work plan or make accommodations for psychologically injured workers. Assisting an injured worker with returning to suitable work as quickly and safely as possible following a workplace injury remains an employer's best option for managing claims.

01-2020 "Asbestos Management":  Asbestos fibres enter the body primarily by way of inhalation and because the fibres are very small, they bypass the lung’s defenses. The body’s reaction to asbestos in the lungs is the progressive formation of scar tissue that can lead to occupational diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma. These diseases contribute significantly to workplace fatalities in the oil and gas industry.

10-2019 "Changes to Alberta HSCs and HS Representatives": On December 13, 2019, the Government of Alberta announced changes to the requirements for health and safety committees (HSCs) and representatives. Key changes include: Employer-based, rather than site-based, requirements for HSCs and HS representatives and the elimination of the Part 1 prerequisite HSC/HS representative training.

09-2019 "Winter Tires": Choosing the right tires for winter conditions is something you should do before severe weather conditions kick in. Understanding the difference between all-season, all-weather and winter tires will help you identify the type that will be most effective for the driving conditions in your area.

08-2019 "Working with Third-Party Equipment"Third-party equipment is temporary and often for specialized use. Therefore, this equipment generally represents a change from standard operations and workers using it may not be familiar with or aware of the hazards. This bulletin highlights common factors that contribute to incidents involving third-party equipment and provides recommendations.

07-2019 "Cannabis Edibles": Edibles are products you eat or drink that are infused with cannabinoids, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or cannabidiol (CBC). They are typically used as an alternative to smoking or vaping consumption. Canada's second wave of cannabis legalization under the Cannabis Act comes into effect on October 17, 2019 to regulate three new classes of products, including edibles.

06-2019 "Hazard Assessment Includes Bullying and Harassment"All hazard assessments include identification of potential hazards for jobs and tasks at each work site. Employers should also consider including workplace psychological hazards that can result in harm to workers and strive to reduce the causes and mitigate the impacts. How do we include evaluating risks, identify and control psychological hazards and determine appropriate controls?

05-2019 "The Cost of Mental Health on Workers and Employers": Mental health claims are complex and are the fastest growing class of all disability costs. Each year in Canada, $33 billion in productivity and 35 million workdays are lost, all due to mental health issues in the workplace.

04-2019 "Safety-Critical Procedures": Issues with procedures are often identified as a significant factor in major incidents: procedures were not adhered to, were inadequate (unclear or incorrect) or were missing. One strategy to avoid such issues is to define certain tasks and equipment as safety-critical.

03-2019 "Be Bear Aware": Spring is a time when bears are very active. With many work sites in bear territory, you need to be aware.

02-2019 "New Requirements: Health and Safety Committee Training": The Alberta OHS Act has a new mandatory training requirement for Health and Safety Committees and Representatives. 

01-2019 "Get A Grip On Safety": Did you know this time of year brings an increased likelihood of worker injury from slips? Every spring many industries, including oil and gas, experience incidents with workers slipping on melting ice and snow.

26-2018 "Bonding and Grounding": Bonding and grounding remove stray currents and static electricity, which are potential ignition sources when a flammable atmosphere is present.

25-2018 "Common Safety Orientation": On November 1, 2018, Energy Safety Canada launched one of its first standards for the oil and gas industry: the Common Safety Orientation (CSO)

24-2018 "Life Saving Rules": A common set of Life Saving Rules establishes a consistent approach to serious injury and fatality prevention and is foundational to the Common Safety Orientation (CSO).

23-2018 "Legal Does Not Equal Safe": As of October 17, 2018, recreational cannabis is legal in Canada. The use of alcohol and drugs can have serious adverse effects on the safety of workers and the public. Impairment in the workplace has always been unacceptable and will continue to be unacceptable. Cannabis use will be dealt with the same as any other cause of impairment.

22-2018 "Rig Moving at Night": Rig Moving is a complex series of tasks that involve a number of hazards. When working during hours of darkness, these hazards are compounded.

18-2018 "Lightning/Hail"Weather across Canada can be challenging even during the summer months. From June to September, operations may encounter torrential downpours with lightning, or golf-ball size hail. To mitigate the risks, it is important to be aware of weather conditions and have a plan.

17-2018 "Cannabis-Impaired Driving": The use of cannabis can make driving a vehicle unsafe and puts yourself and others at risk. It is important to understand the risks associated with driving under the influence of cannabis.

16-2018 "Skidding Rigs": The practice of skidding or sliding the drilling rig over to an adjacent well location has become more common with multi-well pad construction, despite an engineered solution: hydraulic walking rig systems rated for full setback (tubulars in the derrick).

June 1, 2018 - Work Site Parties are to be compliant with the new Alberta OHS Act. Work Site Parties include 10 named key stakeholders (employers, supervisors, workers, contractors, owners, prime contractors, suppliers, service providers, self-employed persons and temporary staffing agencies) and are responsible for health and safety in the workplace. The following safety bulletins are intended to assist the oil and gas industry with understanding theses changes: 

05-2018 "Loading and Moving Shale Bins": Shale bins are used on drilling rig sites to collect drill cuttings. Shale bins can be light-weight or heavier metal bins with three or four sides. Three-sided bins are emptied with a front-end loader that partially drives into the bin, while four-sided bins are emptied with a track-hoe.

04-2018 "Positive Air Shutoff ": Positive air shutoffs are designed to keep a diesel engine from over-revving and “running away”. This is a unique hazard with diesel engines because they do not require a spark for ignition and can continue to burn hydrocarbons in the air even when the diesel fuel is exhausted or the key is removed. As a result, positive air shutoffs are an important barrier to prevent the over-revving and subsequent explosion of the engine. Such an explosion could result in injury or be the source of ignition for a larger fire or explosion.

03-2018 "Diesel Particulate Exposure ": Diesel exhaust comes from the burning of diesel fuel and is a complex mixture of particulate, gases and hydrocarbon vapours. Diesel exhaust contains diesel particulate matter (DPM). It is that puff of black smoke you may see when a diesel engine is started or revved.

02-2018 "Adequate Lighting": The level of light on worksites is critical to the prevention of incidents and the efficient completion of work. Adequate temporary lighting may be required on a variety of worksites such as drilling and completions worksites and is dependent on the type of work being conducted.

01-2018 "Safety Program Check-Up": Statistics show that the rate of worker injuries has increased by 38% as compared to the same period last year. This increase in injury rate warrants action.

10-2017 "Line of Fire": When stored energy is released it can cause serious or fatal harm to those in its path. It’s important for workers to recognize when they are putting themselves or others at risk for line of fire injuries. 

09-2017 "Peer Influence": New and young workers are impressionable to the actions and behaviors of their colleagues, coaches, and mentors. Whether intended or not, workplace interactions can prompt changes in safety behaviors, values and attitudes.

08-2017 "Stop the Job": Empowering workers to raise safety concerns promotes a safe work environment. While procedures may vary between each company, the overall result is workers thinking proactively about risks and hazards. These basic steps are a reminder to the worker of the process and responsibility that everyone shares.

07-2017 "Falls on Same Level Older Workers": Fall related injuries can affect workers of all ages and experience. Pre-existing injuries and health challenges can increase the severity of the fall injury resulting in higher costs.  An efficient workplace can reduce the risk of a fall injury by using adequate lighting, guardrails and handles, clear footpaths, and minimizing travel over hazardous paths.

06-2017 "Workplace Perceived Pressures": Workers at all levels can experience an increase workload and pressure to get the job done. Workers in safety sensitive positions should assess pressures they are faced with to maintain perspective. Understanding internal or external pressures, whether real or perceived, can influence the ability to manage workloads.

05-2017 "Coaching and Mentoring Young Workers": It is important to assign young workers a coach to improve their performance on the job and ensure continued success in their future. Often coaches become mentors who provide young workers the support, encouragement and guidance to obtain their long-term goals.

04-2017 "Training Young Workers": Young workers between the ages of 15 and 25 are associated with the highest rate of incidents across Canada. Training young workers can prevent workplace injuries by increasing their knowledge of the work process, equipment, and safety requirements. Employers can further encourage young worker development by providing formal training, coaching and support, and on-the-job applications.

03-2017 "Middle-Aged Workers and Overexertion": Statistics show middle-aged workers between the ages of 35-44 are prone to overexertion injuries in Western Canada. Overexertion occurs with excessive effort; enough stain that injury results. The highest overall injury claim rate after a downturn for middle-aged workers is overexertion.  

02-2017 "Summer Students": Summer student employment gives young workers the opportunity to develop job skills, gain meaningful experience, and learn how to work safely. In 2016 there were, 366,000 full-time students employed throughout the summer months in Western Canada.

01-2017 "Impact of increased industry activity on worker injuries": Industry activity leads to more hiring, and statistics show that this increase in industry activity is matched by an increase in injury counts and rates. For young workers (under 25), the injury rate doubles. These young workers are more likely to be injured from being struck by objects like tools and equipment (pipe, hoses, etc.).

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