Healthy Workplaces

| October 2022

Did you know that October has been designated as Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month? The focus of Healthy Workplace Month is to practice habits in the workplace that promote healthy minds, bodies and organizational culture, with the overall goal of creating a culture where employees are encouraged to take care of both themselves and others.

Table of Contents

What Makes a Healthy Workplace?

There are 4 elements that are considered when determining the health of a workplace:

Healthy Lifestyles: This includes support for employees so that they can develop and maintain healthy lifestyle practices (i.e. nutritional diets, regular exercise), quit unhealthy practices (i.e. smoking and excessive alcohol use) and make the most of our health care system (i.e. regular check-ups and vaccinations, etc.). Many times employers are able to support healthy lifestyles through Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), encouraging exercise or walk breaks at lunch and offering healthy food alternatives for lunch meetings.

Corporate Social Responsibility: Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is the relationship between the workplace, community and employees. An organization’s CSR tends to influence the health and wellbeing of employees by addressing things such as occupational health and safety, human rights, community development, environmental and emergency. Generally, organizations with a strong CSR tend to have much happier and healthier employees.

Mental Health and Workplace Culture: A workplace that supports mental health through relationships and communication tend to positively influence the psychological health of employees. A workplace that supports mental health through trust, fairness, respect, diversity, inclusion and teamwork is a healthy workplace.

Physical Environment: Ontario has an Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) that must be followed by all workplaces. The aim of the OHSA is to reduce workplace injuries, sickness and fatalities through regulated guidance. Workplaces that are proactive in adhering to the OHSA tend to have happier and healthier employees overall. Employers that fully and continuously address health and safety issues tend to realize efficiencies in production and cost saving measures and, in addition, provide a safety place for workers.

Preventing Occupational Disease: In support of Healthy Workplace Month in Canada, the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development have launched the Healthy Workers in a Healthy Workplace – occupational disease initiative that will roll out in two phases. The focus is on preventing occupational diseases in different sectors from October to December.

  • Phase 1: Compliance support and awareness campaign, October 3 – December 30, 2022
  • Phase 2: Focused inspections campaign, October 31 – December 30, 2022

The Ministry, with their health and safety partners have developed a compliance plan for the following sectors:

  • Construction: asbestos reporting and compliance with the Asbestos Worker Registry
  • Health care: occupational dermatitis
  • Industrial: silica exposures
  • Mining: diesel exhaust in underground mines
  • Radiation: ionizing radiation all sectors

How Can ECOH Help?

Lisa ScolaroECOH’s Occupational Health and Safety group can help you stay in compliance with the OHSA, ahead of any workplace inspections. Whether it be through the creation of relevant policies and procedures, training, audits or assessment for compliance, we are here to help you ensure that you have the best physical environment to promote a healthy workplace, not just in October, but throughout the whole year!

Contact Lisa Scolaro, Director, Health & Safety to learn more.

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