The Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System, or WHMIS is changing soon in Canada. The GHS (Globally Harmonized System) has been approved by the UN and is being implemented worldwide to improve communication and safety in workplaces where hazardous chemicals are present. While it has not yet been passed as international law, it is expected to take effect on June 1, 2015. To align with the transition, SafetySync is offering an updated WHMIS 2015 course to reflect the changes impacting WHMIS compliant workers, employers and suppliers. The updated course will include the changes published in the Canada Gazette Part II on February 11, 2015.

The implementation of GHS will introduce five major changes to the current WHMIS:

  1. Introduction of new hazard classes and sub classes of chemicals
  2. Introduction of new hazard pictograms adding to the existing ones currently referred to as WHMIS symbols
  3. Standardization of hazard signal words, statements and meanings used on Supplier Labels and Safety Data Sheets
  4. Introduction of new supplier labels with new formats and added requirements
  5. Replacement of the 9 section Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) with a new 16 section Safety Data Sheet (SDS)

Our WHMIS 2015 course will amend our existing WHMIS course with the changes outlined in the Canada Gazette Part II. The WHMIS course we presently offer is sufficient for compliance until the GHS legislation is in place. When compliance with our WHMIS course expires, WHMIS 2015 will be available for a seamless upgrade in training. The material complies with all WHMIS standards and provides detailed information on the GHS. We'll post an announcement when the course is active and available to all clients.

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A slowdown in the oil and gas sector is a great chance to save money by supplementing your safety profile. Now is the time to take advantage of some of our other great courses and boost the safety culture in your workplaceOver a hundred courses are included in your SafetySync subscription, many of which may not be required for your workers, but can help to build safety awareness in other areas. Safety is a broad and growing concept, with many applications in various fields. For example, the Emergency Preparedness module includes lessons to help workers respond to workplace accidents, injuries, chemical spills and even earthquakes. Our new N.O.R.M. course teaches ways to measure and control radon hazards in the home and workplace; a timely subject of growing concern. And the Health and Wellness course offers learning opportunities in a wide range of topics, from nutrition to the flu. Here's a short list of other courses that will add value to any work force:

  • Safe Driving Practices - Even if not all of your workers are on the road, most are probably drivers, and they need to get to and from work safely.
  • Vehicle Maintenance - This is invaluable knowledge that many workers may not have the time or money to learn on their own.
  • Flood Readiness - Rising water affects more of the population every spring. This course teaches critical lessons in building protection.
  • Fire Safety - Knowing how fire behaves and how to control it can save the lives of workers and their families - priceless training for free.

Market uncertainty will pass. This is a great opportunity for SafetySync customers to expand the safety knowledge of the workforce with free supplemental training online.

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With oil prices unstable and companies in the petroleum sector on edge, cutting costs wherever possible is a key to survival. Keeping workers trained and compliant can be a challenge too, with course fees in the hundreds of dollars and tickets expiring in regular cycles. In tough times, taking advantage of government programs and incentives is a great way to trim expenses and boost your company's compliance at the same time.

One example of a timely government incentive is the Oil Well Service Vehicle Cycle Exemption Permit. Drivers of commercial vehicles whose business involves crossing provincial or international boundaries are subject to the federal Hours of Service Regulation and are limited by the number of hours that they can drive.

But Section 63 of the federal Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulation, allows for qualified carriers to be exempted from the cycle requirements provided they meet certain criteria. To qualify for this permit exemption, a carrier must meet the regulatory definition of an oil well service vehicle and the driver must successfully complete training directly related to safety requirements of the oil or natural gas field services sector.

The permit is intended to help balance the risks associated with allowing drivers to take a minimum of three 24-hour periods off duty every 24 days instead of following Cycle 1 or 2 under Section 63 of the regulations. Because of the serious nature of this permit, it is expected that permit holders will take all steps necessary to ensure they are meeting the specified criteria, including additional training.

Two of the required criteria for the exemption permit are part of SafetySync's included courses component:

Not all of the government requirements may be covered in these courses and additional training may be needed, but using SafetySync resources to train and certify workers always translates into savings for cost conscious companies.

  • Save money. The training is free with SafetySync, compared to perhaps $200 per person at a training facility.
  • Save time. Workers can complete training “on demand” during slow times, compared with booking time to train off site.
  • Reduce workloads. The system does all the work, tracking completion and compliance. Compare this with staff trying to locate and document each ticket.

Money is tight in the oil patch but training can be recession-proof with SafetySync. Watch this blog for more ways to $ave with SafetySync, the best online safety management software available.

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