Healthy Workplaces

Healthy WorkplaceWhat is a healthy workplace?

A workplace can only be considered healthy if three key elements/avenues of influence are addressed:

  1. The Physical Environment:
    Addressing "traditional" health and safety legislation requirements
  2. Personal Health Resources:
    Supporting healthy lifestyle practices
  3. The Organizational Culture:
    Creating the right psychosocial work environment

These three elements of a healthy workplace influence/impact one another. For a workplace health strategy to be effective, each avenue of influence must be addressed in an integrated, comprehensive manner. Health and safety measures, lifestyle-related programs, and a positive culture that supports these initiatives and employees' psychosocial needs are imperative to a healthy workplace.

What the law says

The Occupational Health and Safety Act, which gives the Government of Ontario broad powers to make regulations, sets out general principles and duties for the workplace parties. The regulations set out in detail how these duties are to be carried out. Many regulations have been made under the Act. For example, there are four separate safety regulations that apply to industrial establishments, construction sites, mines, and health care facilities.

Employers, supervisors, owners and constructors, among others, have an obligation to know and comply with the regulations that apply to their workplaces. Contact your health and safety provider for the specifics on the regulations that cover your workplace.

How having a healthy workplace program can help your business

There is data linking healthy workplace strategies to:

Decreased:

  • Absenteeism and turnover
  • Litigation
  • Accidents, illness, levels of stress and depression
  • Insurance claims and costs
  • Use of short- and long-term disability

Increased:

  • Health and safety performance
  • Employee satisfaction
  • Employee engagement
  • Productivity
  • Profit

Three things are clear:

  • Unhealthy, unsafe and stressful workplaces are costing Canadian employers billions of dollars annually
  • Workplace interventions can make significant improvements and save at least 20% of these costs
  • Comprehensive, healthy workplace interventions cost far less than they are likely to save the company, returning between $1.15 and $8 for every dollar spent on developing healthy workplaces. Some effective interventions are virtually free.

Source: Creating Healthy Workplaces, 2006

What you can do

  1. "Gain commitment" from your management and other key stakeholders
  2. "Do a needs assessment" by identifying health and safety performance issues, compiling a list of existing organizational activities that support a healthy workplace approach, conduct interviews and/or focus groups, and administer a needs assessment survey with employees
  3. "Analyze the results" of the needs assessment and develop a summary of recommendations
  4. "Develop a workplace health plan" that clarifies your healthy workplace goals and objectives for the next three to five years; identify success/evaluation criteria, and develop a healthy workplace policy/standard
  5. "Develop program action plan" that help guide the planning and implementation of culture change activities; provide supervisor and employee training
  6. "Review and evaluate" your plan and tools, and identify opportunities for improvement and celebration/recognition

Consulting Services

General Consulting Services

General Consulting Services

Integrating health and safety into your workplace is good business.  WSPS’ consultants employ a results-based approach to health, safety and environment, focused on building self-reliance,  and enabling your organization to implement, manage and continually improve your health and safety programs.

WSPS Safety Group

WSPS Safety Group

WSPS is the largest Safety Group provider and one of the longest running sponsors in the province. With our extensive experience and proven track record, by working with us and other member firms participating firms can achieve better results, and qualify for WSIB rebates.

Training

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) (2 days)

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) (2 days)

NEW! Train your employees to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental disorders and provide appropriate assistance.
View Details 
$230.00

Mental Health in the Workplace: Working with the National Standard

Mental Health in the Workplace: Working with the National Standard

NEW! Obtain practical assistance to develop a sustainable psychological health and safety action plan and implement mental health strategies within your federally regulated workplace.
View Details 
$2,050.00

E-Courses

Respect in the Workplace (90 minutes)

Respect in the Workplace (90 minutes)

NEW! Recognize and prevent bullying, abuse, harassment, and discrimination (BAHD).
View Details 
$36.00

Stress in the Workplace (English) (1 hour)

Stress in the Workplace (English) (1 hour)

This course introduces participants to the complex issue of stress in the workplace.
View Details 
$49.00

Stress in the Workplace (French) (1 hour)

Stress in the Workplace (French) (1 hour)

This course introduces participants to the complex issue of stress in the workplace.
View Details 
$49.00

Downloads

Eye Safety

Eye Safety

"Goggle Up" in the workplace

Did you know that up to 90% of eye injuries are entirely preventable?

In 2011 across the province, there were almost 25,000 eye injuries requiring care from a hospital and/or from an eye surgeon. It is estimated that 90% of these injuries could have been prevented with the use of protective eyewear.

This downloadable infographic shows how easy it is to prevent eye injuries and reduce to the number of eye injuries in Ontario. It's simple! Just remember to "Goggle up".

792 KB PDF
Healthy Workplaces: Journey to Excellence - The Complete Guide

Healthy Workplaces: Journey to Excellence - The Complete Guide

Six chapters devoted to helping you establish a healthy workplace, including definitions, how to get started, and benefits versus costs.
496 KB pdf
Mental Health in the Workplace: Organizational Factors and Resources

Mental Health in the Workplace: Organizational Factors and Resources

Mental health in the workplace: Organizational factors and resources
1600 KB PDF
Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace

Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace

To put health and safety solutions within reach of every employer and employee in Ontario.

810 KB PDF
Work-Related Asthma: Preventing Work-Related Asthma in the Cleaning Industry

Work-Related Asthma: Preventing Work-Related Asthma in the Cleaning Industry

Developed in cooperation with the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers Inc., this booklet is designed to help employers and joint health and safety committees to recognize work-related asthma, put into place general strategies to help prevent work-related asthma and to know when, where and how to get professional help.
598 KB pdf

Articles

Help injured workers avoid depression with these 8 suggestions

Help injured workers avoid depression with these 8 suggestions

New research suggests that the first six months after a workplace injury may be critical to an injured worker's ongoing mental health.

Feb 13, 2017
Canada's new asbestos ban: a call to action for workplaces

Canada's new asbestos ban: a call to action for workplaces

While airborne asbestos fibre has been long recognized as a lethal hazard, a recently announced federal ban on importing and using products containing asbestos has brought the substance back into the headlines - for good reason. Asbestos exposure is the number one cause of occupational cancer, which has surpassed injuries as the leading cause of work-related deaths in Canada.

Jan 17, 2017
7 best practices to create a safe and healthy workplace while increasing your bottom line

7 best practices to create a safe and healthy workplace while increasing your bottom line

"Canada's workers are both overwhelmed and overworked," says mental health expert Dr. Ian Dawe. The resulting stress translates into $6 billion dollars a year in lost productivity and lost time, but Dawe says there is an alternative. "Understanding the human cost of workplace mental health helps employers develop action plans that will improve the bottom line as well as employee well-being."

Jan 13, 2017
12 ways you can make Global Ergonomics Month a game-changer

12 ways you can make Global Ergonomics Month a game-changer

October is Global Ergonomics Month - a perfect time to introduce changes in your workplace that reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and improve productivity, says WSPS ergonomist Sandra Patterson. "MSDs consistently remain the single biggest cause of lost workdays, and they occur in every industry sector and age group. Make big gains against these injuries by launching your own campaign during Global Ergonomics Month."

Sep 08, 2016
6 ways to prepare for marijuana legalization

6 ways to prepare for marijuana legalization

In just about one year, marijuana is expected to be legalized in Canada. However, there are no details on what this means and what tools will be made available to employers. So far, there has been no indication this will include explicit legislation allowing employers to carry out post-incident, reasonable cause, random or other testing.

Jul 29, 2016
8 tips on holding a mental health lunch 'n learn

8 tips on holding a mental health lunch 'n learn

The introduction of CSA Z1003-Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace in 2013 sent a signal to employers that Canada is taking mental health at work seriously, says WSPS consultant Paul Hartford. "It's time to open up the conversation with your employees, work to eliminate stigma, and convey that you too are serious about mental health at work." One great way to do this is through a series of lunch 'n learns - an informal onsite training or awareness-building session offered at a time when most employees are available.

Jul 29, 2016
New AODA requirements are in effect now. Here's what you need to know

New AODA requirements are in effect now. Here's what you need to know

Under regulatory amendments that took effect July 1, all of an organization's employees and volunteers must now be trained on accessible customer service and how to interact with people with disabilities. "This is a significant shift," says Jennifer Threndyle, a WSPS consultant and AODA compliance expert. "Previously, only members of your organization who work with customers or create policies and procedures on how to interact with people with different disabilities required the training."

Jul 05, 2016
6 steps to take before Bill 132 comes into force on September 8

6 steps to take before Bill 132 comes into force on September 8

"Don't wait for September. Start preparing your workplace and your workforce now for Bill 132, Ontario's new sexual violence and harassment legislation, before it becomes enforceable," advises WSPS consultant Paul Hartford.

Jun 07, 2016
Integrating occupational hygiene into your H&S program: a success story

Integrating occupational hygiene into your H&S program: a success story

Like most workplaces, THK Rhythm Automotive Canada doesn't have or need in-house expertise to assess worker exposure to chemical, physical or biological agents. The task requires rigorous scientific methodology, best left to specialists like WSPS occupational hygienist Ilma Bhunnoo.

Jun 07, 2016
Champions of beer, responsibilities and health and safety

Champions of beer, responsibilities and health and safety

Ted Moroz, President of The Beer Store, first discovered how deeply he felt about creating a healthy and safe workplace when he bumped up against the apathetic attitude of a boss who figured if employees weren't 100%, they should just go off on disability. Moroz believed the employer should do everything possible to care for employees and keep them in the fold. He didn't listen to his boss and he brought people back on modified work. Many still work with him today.

 

Sep 04, 2015
Meet your next AODA deadlines with this handy guide

Meet your next AODA deadlines with this handy guide

On track to meet your Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) obligations? Ontario's ambitious program to eliminate barriers for Ontarians with disabilities comes with workplace compliance deadlines. A series of tables below explains what's required to satisfy upcoming obligations. Failure to meet these deadlines puts employers at risk of fines, as well as less traditional but potentially greater consequences, such as being called up before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

Jul 14, 2015
What you need to know about Ontario's sexual violence and harassment action plan

What you need to know about Ontario's sexual violence and harassment action plan

Under Ontario's proposed new plan, employers will face requirements for preventing sexual harassment. Part of a broader social effort to protect people from sexual violence and harassment, these requirements will come with tools to help workplaces implement changes. Here's what you need to know.

Apr 08, 2015
BlackBerry thumb, iPod finger, text neck: these repetitive strain injuries are no joke

BlackBerry thumb, iPod finger, text neck: these repetitive strain injuries are no joke

Don't be misled by the flippant labels. Repetitive strain injuries from overusing handheld electronic devices are just the latest in a long list of equipment- and task-related injuries that can cause painful and sometimes permanent damage to our musculoskeletal system, undermining our well-being and productivity. What's new is how these hazards are creeping from our work lives into our personal lives.

Feb 25, 2015
New and young worker blitz: 5 tourism and hospitality tips that work for any sector

New and young worker blitz: 5 tourism and hospitality tips that work for any sector

Jobs in tourism and hospitality hold great appeal for young and new workers: the settings are dynamic, the work fast-paced, and many positions are entry level so newcomers can pick up skills as they go. However, these features can also challenge managers responsible for keeping workers safe.

Jun 05, 2014
Do you work for one of Canada’s safest employers?

Do you work for one of Canada’s safest employers?

Celebrate your workplace’s commitment to health and safety by submitting a nomination for a Canada’s Safest Employers award. But act now. Nominations close Tuesday, June 24, 2014.
May 13, 2014
Make Mental Health Awareness Week your starting point for a healthier, more productive workplace

Make Mental Health Awareness Week your starting point for a healthier, more productive workplace

Since stigma is often the greatest barrier to seeking or offering help with mental health problems, make May 5-11, the Canadian Mental Health Association's 63rd Mental Health Awareness Week, your first step in promoting stigma-busting conversations at work.

Apr 03, 2014
Medical marijuana and other prescription drugs at work: 9 steps to create a supportive and productive workplace

Medical marijuana and other prescription drugs at work: 9 steps to create a supportive and productive workplace

As of March 31, regulatory changes at Health Canada allow physicians and nurse practitioners to prescribe medical marijuana. No one expects a surge in users, but it's a timely reminder to include prescribed or approved medications in your drug and alcohol policy. Some medications are potentially intoxicating, or may cause nausea, drowsiness or other side effects that could compromise safety and productivity.

Apr 03, 2014
How to fulfill your employer responsibilities to provide a psychologically safe workplace

How to fulfill your employer responsibilities to provide a psychologically safe workplace

Earlier this year, the Canadian Standards Association and Bureau de normalisation du Québec launched CSA-Z1003/BNQ 9700-803 - Psychological health and safety in the workplace. This national voluntary standard, available at no cost, provides workplaces with tools to measurably improve workers' psychological health and safety.

Dec 04, 2013
Overdrive is not the only gear: how to curb excessive work hours

Overdrive is not the only gear: how to curb excessive work hours

No car or truck fleet owners would consistently push their vehicles to the limit, so how can we treat ourselves as well as or better than we treat our equipment? Read on to learn more about how overwork affects performance, and how we can prevent overwork while maintaining personal and organizational health and productivity.

Dec 04, 2013
Two-thirds of employees returning from absence due to depression are less productive: CBOC study

Two-thirds of employees returning from absence due to depression are less productive: CBOC study

Two out of three employees who return to work after an absence due to depression have trouble concentrating, remembering things, making decisions, and performing tasks - even though they may no longer be depressed. This is one of several key findings from a recent Conference Board of Canada survey of 2,004 randomly selected people working part or full time, including 727 front-line supervisors.

Oct 16, 2013
New psychological H&S standard - plus implementation tools - available at no cost

New psychological H&S standard - plus implementation tools - available at no cost

A new voluntary national standard provides workplaces with the tools needed to continuously and measurably improve workers' psychological health and safety. "It will help workplaces prevent mental harm by enabling them to identify and address root causes," says Andrew Harkness, a healthy workplace specialist with WSPS. "It's a strategic approach, with all the long-term benefits that come with strategic planning."
Nov 15, 2012
Work organization and health: recent findings call for action

Work organization and health: recent findings call for action

Two recent research reports add to a growing body of research showing that how we organize work can affect worker health. "For workplaces already investing in employee health," says Andrew Harkness, Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS)'s healthy workplace specialist, "these reports provide reassurance that you're on the right track. But for workplaces unaware of the relationship between work organization and worker health, take note that doing nothing could adversely affect your business."
Sep 19, 2012
Study links overtime to depression

Study links overtime to depression

If you regularly work more than 11 hours a day, you could be twice as likely to experience a major depression compared to a colleague who works seven to eight hours a day. So says a study that examined the careers of 2,000 middle-aged British civil servants.
May 15, 2012
Tribunal expands entitlement to traumatic mental stress benefits

Tribunal expands entitlement to traumatic mental stress benefits

A recent decision of the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal has significantly expanded the scope of entitlement for benefits arising from workplace events that cause traumatic mental stress.
Jan 23, 2012
Putting Canada's Healthy Workplace Month into ongoing practice

Putting Canada's Healthy Workplace Month into ongoing practice

October is Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month, but don’t limit your healthy workplace initiatives to once a year. Leverage the occasion into an ongoing opportunity to improve employee health and wellness, strengthen your health and safety culture, and boost performance.
Oct 11, 2011
You can help uncover disease risk factors in 30 minutes

You can help uncover disease risk factors in 30 minutes

Twenty Canadians are diagnosed with diabetes every hour. More than 1.5 Canadians have heart disease, and 75,000 Canadians will die from cancer. You and your co-workers can help reduce these statistics, and raise your own understanding of your personal health, by completing a confidential 30-minute survey. The results will improve Ontarians’ personal lifestyle choices, promote healthy workplace behaviour, influence future clinical care, and shape government health policy.
Aug 23, 2011
Over-qualified immigrants at risk of poorer mental health

Over-qualified immigrants at risk of poorer mental health

Many recent immigrants end up in jobs for which they are over-qualified, putting them at risk of poorer mental health within a short period of time, according to a recent study from the Institute for Work & Health. The study explored just how common over-qualification is among new immigrants to Canada, and how it affects their general and mental health.
Jul 28, 2011

Videos

Mental Fitness:

Mental Fitness: "Consider...Connect..."

Use this 1 1/2 minute visual time-out to reflect on the need for mental well-being.
Nov 14, 2011
Mental Fitness:

Mental Fitness: "Leadership Matters"

The essence of leadersip and how to nurture the best in employees: key points presented by Michael "Pinball" Clemons (CFL Hall of Famer), Dr. Dan Dawe (Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences), Doug Smeall (Sun Life Financial), Zoe Gordon (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health), Dr. Dwight Chapin (High Point Wellness Centre).
Nov 14, 2011
Mental Fitness:

Mental Fitness: "Summit 2011"

Overview of the Mental Fitness Summit held at the Centre for Health & Safety Innovation (CHSI), narrated by the conference host, Dr. Dwight Chapin (High Point Wellness Centre).
Nov 14, 2011
Mental Fitness:

Mental Fitness: "Top 2 Stress Relief Exercises"

Try these two simple ways to lower your stress level, as presented by Dr. Ian Dawe (Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences) and Zoe Gordon (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health).
Nov 14, 2011
Shiftwork: Effects and Adaptation

Shiftwork: Effects and Adaptation

This video summarizes a Research Exchange presentation, originally held in April 2012 highlighting the effects of shiftwork, including circadian rhythms, consequences of fatigue, health effects and strategies to optimize adaptation to shiftwork. 
Aug 30, 2012

ThinkMentalHealth.ca

ThinkMentalHealth.ca is a joint effort from Ontario Health & Safety System Partners to provide business owners with the resources needed to better understand and prevent mental health problems.
Jun 06, 2017  Open link