May 2015


Message from the Executive Director

Let's celebrate ...Spring has sprung - Watch the Hazards

Last week, I started my yard cleanup; the dreaded spring clean-up! I have a tendency to take more on than I can handle and creating more work for myself!  I was not thinking about safety until I had a near miss. I decided to trim up the over-grown apple tree and nearly was poked in the eye by the branch I was cutting off.   Needless to say, I should have been wearing eye protection. I also was rushing and the fatigue factor had set in.  All these important factors that should be considered before starting any job. I learned my lesson and would be donning my safety glasses  he next time I undertake any yard work!

Earlier this month, NAOSH Week was held "Make Safety a Habit for Your Career" was the theme.  How did your organization celebrate NAOSH week? Congratulations to the Mainstay Award winners who have demonstrated excellence in the leadership of work-place safety.


This issue of the newsletter brings in news on Contractor Safety. This has been a key topic of interest and conversation throughout the health and community services sectors.  We are undergoing a Board member recruitment drive.  Have you formalized your membership to AWARE-NS? If not, contact us and we will facilitate your application.

Check out all the hot button issues, and links. Don't forget to check out Heather's training calendar as the Steps for Safety - Work shop 2- Steps 4 and 5a workshops are being held around the province in June.  



Contractor Safety

At one point or another, whether it be for repairs, renovations or even grounds keeping, your organization may hire a contractor to help you out. What many organizations forget, or are unaware of, is that they are also responsible for the health and safety of the contractors. 

When your organization requires a contractor, there are a few things you must consider.

Before hiring the contractor ensure:
- All licenses are valid
- All training records are up to date
- The contractor has appropriate Policies, Programs and Procedures
- The contractor is experienced

Ask Questions such as:
- What is the contractor's safety history
- Do they have WCB insu rance 
- Do they have liability insurance


Before contractors begin work, ensure the following tasks are completed:

* Contractor orientation (ensure it is signed)
* Determine the safety leads for both parties (contractor and employer)
* Sharing of employer's safety policies, procedures and programs
* Review organization's emergency procedures
* Communicate all hazards that may occur in the workplace
* Identify hazards through a workplace inspection. The inspection is to be performed by the employer
* Both organizations shall exchange their MSDS's
* A process for reporting workplace incidents/near misses exists

During the work process it is important for the organization's safety lead to periodically monitor and document the work being done. This is to ensure that the contractors are complying with the law and with your organization's policies, procedures and programs. This also gives time for both safety leads to get together and discuss any issues they may have.

Once work has been completed, the two safety leads should inspect the area. Ensure the work space has been been cleaned sufficiently. also inspect area to ensure that no new hazards have been created.

It is also a good idea to evaluate your contractor. If you deem they have done a sufficient job safely, you may want to hire them again in the future.




Contractor Policy


Prior to starting work on the Organization's sites, the contractor shall submit the following document to the Organization:

  • Current Letter from Worker Compensation
  • Proper Liability Insurance to meet the requirements of the work performed
  • Safety policy

                        Other information if applicable

  • Table of Content of safety program
  • Certificate of Recognition or Letter of Good Standing from a recognized Safety Association.


Prior to starting work with the Organization, the contractor is required to participate in an orientation program where the following information will be covered:

  • Check in and out Policy
  • PPE and CGMP Policy and Training
  • Evacuation Plan
  • Smoking Policy
  • General Rules
  • Safe Work Permit system training
  • Contractor Policy
  • Confidentiality Agreement


Contractors working with the Organization shall, prior to starting work, complete:

  • A Hazard Assessment.
  • Communication information with regular contact numbers as well as emergency contact numbers.

Contractor Name (please print): _______________________________________


Company Name (please print): ___________________________________________



Contractor's Signature                                    Date



ONC Rep Name                                               Date



Safety Rep: ______________________________Date:_________________






Name (print):____________________________


Company: ______________________________



  • Check in/out procedure                                                   ____
  • Emergency Evacuation/Muster Area                            ____
  • Safety Policy signed off                                                   ____
  • Confidentially agreement signed off                           ____
  • Contractor Policy signed off                                           ____
  • Safe Work Permits                                                            ____
  • PPE                                                                                      ____
  • Washroom/ Lunchrooms                                                 ____
  • All Required Documentation                                           ____
  • Handbook Read and Test completed                              ____



This will Certify that I have been given the Organization's orientation briefing on the above noted subjects as indicated by me with an "X" and that I fully reviewed and Understand its Contents.


Signature: _________________________________Date:__________________


Safety Rep: ______________________________Date:_________________






Prepared By                                                           Date



Application Deadline June 10, 2015 

 Invitation for Applications


The Nominating Committee of the board of AWARE-NS, the Nova Scotia Health & Community Services Safety Association, is seeking applications for the following Board positions that will become available at the Annual General Meeting, September 24, 2015:

  • 1 for facility based long term care (Department of Community Service funded);
  • 1 homecare/home support;

Our Vision is "Safe and healthy people; safe and healthy workplaces".  Our focus is prevention and our mission is to work with stakeholders and partners to promote and improve safety and health in health and community services workplaces. 

Do you want to help make a difference by serving on our Board of Directors? We are seeking Directors to foster the growth and development of AWARE-NS and assist the Association in fulfilling its Vision

Specifically, we are looking for people who meet these criteria:

  • Board Governance experience in organizations (public, private, non-profit);
  • Critical, independent thinker with a strategic focus;
  • An understanding of the health and community services sectors;
  • A commitment to a strong workplace safety culture;
  • Willing and able to commit the time necessary to prepare for and effectively participate in meetings;
  • Demonstrated sense of community and individual responsibility and accountability.


It is anticipated that the Board will meet in person during working hours, at least four times per year and by teleconference as required, and that your commitment to the AWARE-NS Board will span at least three years.  The meetings are estimated to require a full day of active participation and are of paramount importance. AWARE-NS will reimburse travel expenses if they are not covered through your sponsoring organization.


Newly appointed Board members will receive an orientation to the Board's Governance process, the AWARE-NS Strategic Plan, and the Strategic Operational Plan.


If you would like to receive additional information about AWARE-NS please contact Catherine Martin, Executive Coordinator via e-mail at or by phone at 902.832.3868, toll free 877.538.7228 or visit our website


Completed applications can be submitted to the attention of Catherine Martin via Applications can be found @







Recently, the AWARE-NS website has had some technical difficulties. These difficulties have lead to multiple links being broken. 


The two course links effected is Safety Accountability and Stay at Work/Return to Work.


As a result, all information for these courses, from April 3 to present has been lost. If you or members of your organization have completed these courses after April 3, we ask that, if possible you could email us a list of all those who completed the courses. We will honour all names we receive.


Please send email to 


If you have any questions, please call Kenzie 902-832-3868 ext 101


Share Your Stories



AWARE-NS is interested in hearing what you and/or  your organization had done for NAOSH week. Please share your stories with us and we will publish them in the next newsletter!


Please send to 

WHMIS 2015 (GHS)



What was originally going to be name Globally Harmonized System (GHS) is being renamed to WHMIS 2015. Here is a schedule for the implementation of each phase:



201 Brownlow Avenue, Unit 1 Dartmouth, B3B 1W2

Phone 1-877-LETS-ACT (538-7228)  Local Phone 1-902-832-3868 
Fax 1-902-832-3445
In This Issue
Upcoming Dates to Remember






 Importance of Managers doing Workplace Inspection


June 11- 1:30pm



Click here to register for webinars






We are offering the following sessions below in the communities indicated:


Steps for Safety: Workshop 2, steps 4 and 5a


June 2 - 9am-12:30pm - Truro


June 5- 9am-12:30pm - Halifax


June 9 - 9am-12:30pm - Amherst


June 10 - 9am-12:30pm - Antigonish


June 16 - 9am-12:30pm - Sydney


June 17 - 9am-12:30pm - Port Hawkesbury


June 19 - 9am-12:30pm - Berwick


June 23 - 9am-12:30pm - Yarmouth


June 24 - 9am-12:30pm - Liverpool



Sign up now by emailing


Make sure to check Heather's calendar for regular updates.


Coming Soon..

WHMIS 2015 (GHS)