Occupational Health & Safety

This course contains modules with health & safety related information including Introduction to OH&S at The Lighthouse; Communicable Diseases; and Sharps Safety.

Intro to Occupational Health & Safety at The Lighthouse

The Lighthouse Safety Philosophy

The Lighthouse believes that all workers have a right to a safe and healthy workplace. It is the responsibility of all Lighthouse directors, managers, supervisors and staff to work collaboratively to support an integrated approach to a healthy and safe workplace.

Occupational health and safety is a shared responsibility in the workplace. The Saskatchewan Employment Act, Part III, and The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 1996 set out a structure for this system in Saskatchewan.

Copies of this legislation can be viewed online at the following:

The Lighthouse Occupational Health Committee

The Lighthouse Occupational Health Committee (OHC) meets monthly with the goal of creating a safe and healthy work environment for all Lighthouse staff, volunteers, and clients! The OHC is made up of management and worker members (shown below)

If you have questions or concerns about Occupational Health & Safety at The Lighthouse, please contact one of the following members!

Ed Berntsen

Maintenance

Ed joined the OHC in January 2016. He is a worker member who represents the Maintenance/Janitorial employees.

Kerri Sperling

Complex Needs Case Manager

Kerri joined the OHC in November 2016. She is the note taker at meetings and represents Complex Needs/Case Managers.

Shawn Fraser (Worker Co-Chair)

Front Desk Support Worker

Shawn joined the OHC in 2015He is the Worker Co-Chair and represents the Front Desk employees.

Leanne McIntyre

Front Line Manager

Leanne initially joined the OHC in 2015 as The Lighthouse Addictions Counsellor. She rejoined as a management representative in May 2017.

Raeleen Viklund (Employer Co-Chair)

Human Resource Manager

Raeleen joined the OHC in May 2016. She is the Employer Co-Chair and represents management.

Bryan Assman

Building Manager

Bryan joined the OHC in 2015. He is a management representative.

OHC Bulletin Board

  • We have an Occupational Health Committee Bulletin Board located near the photocopier at Front Desk. 
  • There are hazard report forms pinned to this board; staff can fill these out and return them to an OHC member.
  • Meeting minutes are posted on this board within two weeks of each meeting.

Worker Rights

All employees have three basic rights under The Saskatchewan Employment Act:

  1. Right to Know
    • You have the right to get information about hazards in the workplace. A hazard is anything that has the potential to cause an injury or illness
  2. Right to Participate
    • You have the right to become involved in health and safety at work. The Lighthouse has an Occupational Health Committee. You can talk to your supervisor or an OHC member if you have safety concerns.
  3. Right to Refuse
    • You have the right to refuse to do any specific job or task which you have reasonable grounds to believe is unusually dangerous. You cannot be fired or disciplined for using this right!

Worker Responsibilities

All workers have an important role in making The Lighthouse workplace healthy and safe!

Under The Saskatchewan Employment Act, Part III Occupational Health and Safety, Division 3, Section 3-10, workers must:

  1. Understand and comply with legislation and workplace health and safety requirements
  2. Follow safe work procedures
  3. Use safety equipment, machine guards, safety devices, and personal protective equipment
  4. Report unsafe acts and workplace hazards
  5. Report incidents (meaning accidents and dangerous occurrences), injuries, or illnesses immediately
  6. Work and act safely
  7. Help others work and act safely
  8. Co-operate with the occupational health committee and others on health and safety issues
  9. Refrain from causing or participating in the harassment of another worker

Handling Health and Safety Concerns

What do you do if you have a health and safety concern?

  1. Specific concerns should be brought to the supervisor.
  2. If problem cannot be resolved with supervisor, take it to an OHC Member for investigation. You can fill out a hazard report form (located on bulletin board by front desk photocopier)
  3. If OHC member cannot resolve the concern they will bring in the co-chairs.
  4. If the co-chairs cannot resolve the problem, bring it up at the next meeting. If the concern is serious, the co-chairs will call an emergency OHC meeting.
  5. If OHC cannot resolve the concern with the employer, an Occupational Health Officer from the division should be contacted.
  6. Status and final resolution of concern will be communicated to everyone involved.
  7. OHC will help everyone concerned by monitoring effectiveness of the corrective action taken by the employer.

How many basic rights do all workers have under OH&S legislation?

  • Two
  • Three
  • Four
  • Five

Select all that apply: Workers have the right to...

  • Know
  • Refuse
  • Inform
  • Participate
  • Report

Occupational Exposure to Communicable Diseases

Overview

Risk of exposure to infectious diseases is a genuine concern for many employees. Proper education and training is essential to assist employees in prevention and post exposure management.

This module outlines four communicable diseases that Lighthouse employees could come into contact with:

  1. HIV
  2. Hepatitis B
  3. Hepatitis C
  4. Tuberculosis


Special thanks to Jeannie Coe (RN (NP), MN), Nurse Practitioner at The Lighthouse, for providing us with the information for this module!

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

  • Weakens the immune system
  • There is no vaccine
  • There is no cure BUT there is treatment
  • Rate of HIV in Saskatchewan is 13.8/100,000
    • This is double the national rate. There are areas in Saskatchewan where the rate is 64/100,000
  • WHO set the "90-90-90 target" for 2020
    • 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status
    • 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy
    • 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression

Transmission of HIV

  • HIV can be contracted by direct contact with HIV infected blood or body fluids. 
  • The most common way of contracting HIV is though injection drug use or high-risk sexual behavior, the latter because the virus can be carried into the body in semen, vaginal fluids, or blood. 
  • At work: most common cause of contracting the virus is by needle stick injuries, cuts with sharp instruments, exposure to mucous membranes (e.g. splashes in eyes and mouth) or through open skin lesions. 
  • The risk of being infected with HIV from a needle stick exposure is 0.3% (1/300).

Hepatitis B

  • Hepatitis B is a virus
  • Causes liver inflammation and disease
  • There is a vaccine
  • Often spontaneously cleared
  • It can be cured
  • Rate of HBV in Saskatchewan is 0.5/100,000
  • 100x more infective than HIV

Transmission of Hepatitis B

  • HBV can be transmitted (contracted) by an infected person’s blood or body fluids entering another person’s body.
  • It is recognized that some job tasks may place an employee at risk of being accidentally exposed to blood and or body fluids in the performance of his/her duties.
  • The virus can also be transmitted through unprotected sexual contact and through sharing needles/injection drug use.

Hepatitis C

  • Hepatitis C is a virus
  • Causes liver inflammation and disease
  • There is no vaccine
  • Sometimes spontaneously cleared
  • There is a cure
  • Rate of HCV in Canada is 7/100,000
  • 44% are unaware of their status
  • In 2013 the HCV rate in SK was 43.7/100,000

Transmission of Hepatitis C

  • Hepatitis C is transmitted (contracted) by an infected person’s blood or body fluids entering another person’s body contracted by one’s blood being in direct contact with HCV infected blood or body fluids.
  • HCV is primarily spread through non-occupational activities, mainly injection drug users sharing needles (even one-time users), and/or related equipment including straws for snorting cocaine.
  • Other activities that create a higher risk of contracting HCV include:
    • unsafe sex with multiple partners;
    • ear/body piercing, tattooing with unsterile needles;
    • sharing personal hygiene materials such as razors, toothbrushes, or dental floss with a person who has HCV and;
    • mothers can pass HCV to their child at birth, and possibly by breastfeeding if the mother’s nipples are cracked and bleeding.

Tuberculosis

  • Caused by a bacteria
  • Usually affects the lungs
  • TB rates in Saskatchewan 7.5/100,000 (4.7/100,000 in Canada)
    • 54% of SK rates are northern residents
  • There is a vaccine, only given in high risk populations
  • There is treatment but it often takes 6 months
  • There is a significant concern around resistance

Transmission of Tuberculosis

  • Tuberculosis (TB) is a communicable disease that is transmitted when a person with active TB growing in their lungs expels the TB germs into the air by coughing or sneezing. This type of TB is called pulmonary (lung) TB. 
  • TB can also occur as non pulmonary (outside the lung) TB. This type of TB is not transmitted by coughing or sneezing. Risk of infection is contingent on several variables: duration of contact, proximity of contact, infectiousness of the infected person, and the amount of ventilation in the room.

Putting Exposure Risk into Perspective

  • About 80% of all accidental exposures to blood come from needle stick injuries. Recapping practices are the cause of 70% of these accidental exposures. However, even following an accidental exposure to a needle stick injury, the actual risk for developing HIV or Hepatitis infection remains very small.
  • The risk for infection after an exposure incident to infected blood and body fluids due to a needle puncture is:
    • Up to 30% for Hepatitis B
    • Up to 10% for Hepatitis C 
    • Up to 0.3% for HIV

What should I do if I am exposed?

  • Wash needlestick injuries and cuts with soap and water
  • Flush splashes to the nose, mouth or skin with water
  • Irrigate eyes with clean water, saline or sterile irrigants
  • Report incident to supervisor
  • Go to ER for assessment, determine need for vaccines (Tetanus, Hep B) and PEP

The WHO 90-90-90 initiative is for which of the following communicable diseases:

  • HIV
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Tuberculosis

Select all that apply: You can contract __________ through coughing and sneezing.

  • HIV
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Tuberculosis

Sharps Safety

What are sharps?


Sharps are discarded articles that may cause punctures or cuts, including, but not limited to all used and discarded hypodermic needles, syringes, lancets, diabetic pen tips, razor blades, etc.

Why is sharps safety important?

Lighthouse staff may encounter needles, syringes, or razors on the job. 

The main risk to workers who have a needle stick injury is exposure to viruses such as hepatitis B and C, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

The purpose of our sharps policy and procedure is to ensure staff are aware of the disposal of sharps to prevent injury and disease transmission.

When sharps are found at The Lighthouse:

If sharps are found they should be handled in such a manner to prevent accidental cuts or punctures. The process is as follows:

  1. Put on disposable gloves, followed by a pair of puncture protective specialty gloves (e.g. Kevlar gloves).
    • Kevlar gloves are available throughout the building (front desk, stabilization shelter, complex needs, mobile outreach van). 
  2. Obtain a sharps container. Take the sharps container with you to the sharp object (do not carry the sharp object to the container). Sharps containers are located at: front desk, nurses’ office, stabilization shelter office, mobile outreach van, complex needs office, and case managers’ office.
  3. Sharps should not be handled directly. Use tweezers, pliers or tongs to pick up by the end that is not the sharp end. Keep away from your body. Use dustpan and broom for sharp objects where appropriate.
  4. Place the object, sharp end first, into the puncture resistant sharps container. Used needles should not be bent, broken, reinserted into their original sheath (re-capped) or unnecessarily handled.

When sharps containers are full:

  • Sharps containers that are full shall be removed from the workplace for safe disposal.
  • When a sharps containers is 3/4 full it should be taken to the front desk staff to be placed in the appointed storage area. Ensure it is closed and sealed with duct tape. (Note: sharps containers have a "full" line indicated on the outside of the container - do not fill past this line)
  • Sharps containers are stored in large storage boxes in the mechanical room by the dining room. Large boxes are lined with a yellow garbage bag with small sharps containers placed inside.
  • Front Line Manager will call Bio Med to arrange for pick-up on a regularly scheduled basis.
  • A representative from OH&S Committee will visit each department on an on-going basis to check if sharps container needs to be replaced. If sharps container is full between these visits, you are to take full container (closed and sealed with duct tape) to front desk staff. Extra sharps containers are stored in mechanical room by dining room.

Remember:

  • DO NOT recap a needle, or bend/break sharps in any way
  • DO NOT empty sharps from one container to another (i.e. never dump from smaller container into large sharps pail)
  • DO NOT use sharps containers past the fill line
  • DO NOT dispose of garbage in sharps containers
  • DO NOT dispose of weapons in sharps containers
  • DO NOT remove any items from sharps containers
  • DO NOT store containers in areas easily accessible to clients/community members

If You Are Poked by a Sharp Object:

  1. Wash all exposed areas with soap and water.
  2. Do not scrub while washing wound.
    • Do not suck on wound.
    • Dry wound and cover with bandage.
  3. Go immediately to an Emergency Room for care. Tell them you have been poked by a needle. You may need antibiotic treatment, vaccination or treatment to prevent disease
  4. Notify your direct supervisor and human resource manager to discuss next steps (e.g. incident report, workers’ compensation form, etc).

*Note: Always assume a sharps object could be contaminated.

Questions about Sharps Safety at The Lighthouse?

If you have questions about sharps safety please speak to one of the following individuals:

  • Your direct supervisor
  • Raeleen Viklund (OHC Employer Co-Chair, HR Manager)
  • Shawn Fraser (OHC Worker Co-Chair, Front Desk Support Worker)

Select all that apply: Who should you notify at The Lighthouse if you are poked by a sharp?

  • Building Manager
  • Health & Safety Committee
  • Direct Supervisor
  • Human Resource Manager

When you find a needle at The Lighthouse you should always recap it.

  • True
  • False

Fire Protocol

Purpose

Why are fire protocols so important?

As an organization that can house upwards of 225 clients per night - in our shelters, Dube Tower, and Affordable Tower - it is important for us to have an effective plan to keep all staff and clients safe.

This module outlines the procedure for staff in each Lighthouse department, as well as for Lighthouse clients.

It is important for you to review procedures for all departments in case you are in a different department when the fire alarm goes off.

General Information

General Procedures

  • When the fire alarm sounds, everyone must leave the building through the nearest fire exit
  • Staff and clients should go to the safe zone - the parking lot behind the back of the building
  • The procedures will vary for staff in each department. 
  • Note: There are three fire clipboards in the building, located at the front desk, stabilization shelter, and executive hallway. 

Front Desk Procedure

If You Discover a Fire

  • Activate the fire alarm pull station
  • Follow all steps below under "When You Hear Fire Alarm"


When You Hear Fire Alarm

** Senior Front Desk Staff Member will become Fire Marshal **

1. Fire Marshal (Senior Front Desk Staff Member)

  • Grab fire clipboard off wall by front desk computer (with two sets of keys)
  • Check the fire panel in main entrance and confirm fire
  • Take clipboard and go out main entrance doors on 20th Street
  • Designate responsibilities to staff present (e.g. staff to assist with directing clients to safe zone as they exit 20th Street entrance)
  • Fire Marshal will wait outside 20th Street doors for any clients using this exit; as tenants exit the building their names will be checked off the tenant list
  • Greet Fire Department; provide them with evacuation clipboard (includes keys to both towers and list of tenants with mobility issues)
  • Do not enter building again until it has been cleared by fire department


2. Second Front Desk Staff Member

  • Call 9-1-1; provide them with Lighthouse address (304 2nd Ave S)
  • Lock the front desk counter windows
  • Take shelter binder and go out main entrance doors to 20th Street
  • Give shelter binder to Fire Marshal
  • Wait for Fire Marshal to designate further tasks
  • If no task assigned, go to the safe zone located in the parking lot behind the building
  • Do not enter building again until it has been cleared by fire department


Stabilization Shelter Procedure

If You Discover a Fire

  • Activate the fire alarm pull station
  • Follow all steps below under "When You Hear Fire Alarm"


When You Hear Fire Alarm

** Senior Stabilization Staff Member will become Fire Marshal **

1. Fire Marshal (Senior Stabilization Staff Member)

  • Grab fire clipboard off wall in stabilization shelter office (with fire panel key attached)
  • Take clipboard and exit Stabilization Shelter doors to back alley
  • Designate responsibilities to staff present (e.g. staff to assist with directing clients to safe zone as they exit the stabilization doors)
  • Do not enter building again until it has been cleared by fire department


2. Second Stabilization Staff Member

  • Take stabilization shelter bed list and exit out stabilization door into the back alley behind Lighthouse building. 
  • Give shelter bed list to Fire Marshal.
  • Wait for Fire Marshal to designate further tasks
  • If no task assigned, go to the safe zone located in the parking lot behind the building
  • Do not enter building again until it has been cleared by fire department


Complex Needs Procedure

*Note: Complex Needs Staff follow the same procedure as Executive Hallway Staff*

If You Discover a Fire

  • Activate the fire alarm pull station
  • Follow all steps below under "When You Hear Fire Alarm"

When You Hear Fire Alarm

1. Fire Marshal

  • Grab fire clipboard off the wall in Complex needs Office.
  • Exit Complex Needs; go down the stairs and toward 2nd Avenue doors (by the executive hallway). Join the staff member from executive hallway who will also be outside these doors with a clipboard.
  • Designate responsibilities to other staff members present (e.g. staff to assist with directing clients to safe zone as they exit the 2nd Avenue doors)
  • Fire Marshal will wait outside 2nd Avenue doors for any clients using this exit; as tenants exit the building their name will be checked off the tenant list
  • Do not enter building again until it has been cleared by fire department

2. Other Complex Needs Staff

  • Exit Complex Needs office and go out 2nd Avenue doors
  • Wait for Fire Marshal to designate a task
  • If no task assigned, go to the safe zone located in the parking lot behind the building
  • Do not enter building again until it has been cleared by fire department


DO NOT USE ELEVATOR

** Do NOT wait for all Supported Tower tenants to evacuate the building before leaving. You MUST leave the building immediately **


Executive Hallway Procedure

If You Discover a Fire

  • Activate the fire alarm pull station
  • Follow all steps below under "When You Hear Fire Alarm"

When You Hear Fire Alarm

1. Fire Marshal

  • Grab fire clipboard off hallway wall, by filing cabinet (with two sets of keys)
  • Exit Executive Hallway and go out 2nd Avenue doors. A staff member from Complex Needs will also stand outside these doors with a clipboard.
  • Designate responsibilities to other staff members present (e.g. staff to assist with directing clients to safe zone as they exit the 2nd Avenue doors)
  • Fire Marshal will wait outside 2nd Avenue doors for any clients using this exit; as tenants exit the building their name will be checked off the tenant list
  • Do not enter building again until it has been cleared by fire department

2. Other Executive Hallway Staff

  • Exit Executive Hallway and go out 2nd Avenue doors
  • Wait for Fire Marshal to designate a task
  • If no task assigned, go to the safe zone located in the parking lot behind the building
  • Do not enter building again until it has been cleared by fire department


Kitchen Procedure

If You Discover a Fire in the Kitchen

  • Exit building through back door of kitchen
  • As you exit:
    • Activate the fire alarm pull station on left side of back door
    • Pull fire suppression system pull station to activate extinguisher above grill
  • Go to safe zone located in parking lot behind the building

When You Hear Fire Alarm

  • Tell all clients in dining room to vacate building
  • Leave the building immediately via the nearest exit
  • Close doors behind you
  • Once outside, go to the safe zone located in the parking lot behind the building
  • Do not enter building again until it has been cleared by fire department


Tenant/Client Procedure

If You Discover a Fire

  • Activate the fire alarm pull station
  • Leave the building immediately via the nearest exit
  • Close and latch all doors behind you - do not lock
  • DO NOT USE ELEVATORS

When You Hear Fire Alarm

  • Leave the building immediately via the nearest exit
  • Close and latch all doors behind you - do not lock
  • Go to the safe zone located in the parking lot behind the building
  • Do not enter building again until it has been cleared by fire department
  • DO NOT USE ELEVATORS

If You Are Unable to Walk Downstairs

  • Stay in your room
  • Put a towel along the base of your door
  • Close windows or doors to minimize spread of fire
  • THE FIRE DEPARTMENT WILL COME FOR YOU

If You Encounter Heavy Smoke

  • Return to or stay in your suite if you are unable to leave by an alternate exit
  • Dial 9-1-1 and await further instructions

REMAIN CALM

Staff members must assist all clients/tenants before exiting the building:

  • True
  • False

It is safe to use the elevator when fire alarm goes off:

  • True
  • False

Injured at Work? - Overview of Workers' Compensation

What is a workplace injury?

A workplace injury is "the result of any work-related event that causes a need for medical treatment and/or time away from work. We consider each work injury on an individual basis, but in most cases, compensation would apply to injuries that occur while a worker is at work, on company premises or on company business. This includes an occupational disease caused by work."

                                                                                                                           - Workers' Compensation Board Website

What if I'm injured at work?

  • Get medical attention if you need it. 
  • Report the incident to your direct supervisor immediately.
  • Complete and submit the Worker’s Initial Report of Injury (W1)  to WCB as soon as possible. The Lighthouse also needs to submit an Employer Initial Report of Injury so it is important that you provide info to your supervisor immediately.
    • Note: Raeleen (HR Manager) can assist you in completing Worker's Initial Report of Injury to be faxed to WCB. We have paper copies of this form at the office.
  • If you seek medical attention: have your healthcare provider submit paperwork to WCB. Any physical limitations resulting from your injury should be documented; this must be provided to your direct supervisor and the HR Manager as soon a possible.

For more information on the Sask WCB process please visit:

https://www.wcbsask.com/workers/if-youre-injured/

Recovery and Return to Work Brochure

Questions?

Do you have questions about Workers' Compensation? 

Please contact Raeleen Viklund (Human Resource Manager) via email at [email protected] or phone at 306-260-5030.

Who must I notify immediately if I am injured at work?

  • Payroll
  • Human Resource Manager
  • Direct Supervisor
  • OH&S Representative