Boating Safety Videos

If you’re fortunate enough to live on or near the water you know the joys of boating. All too many people, however, get on the water without understanding the safety rules. Driving or sailing a boat can be extremely dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing, what the rules are and how to navigate properly.

Fortunately, if you want to learn the rules, has got you covered. They have 15 different videos you can watch free of charge that cover all the basics of boating safety.

Check them out at

While you’re there, get your boater’s license. Just select your state, study up and test the test. You only pay when you pass so you’ve got as many tries as you need to get it.

Hands-Free Communication is Still Distracting Drivers

The idea that keeping two hands on the steering wheel and your eyes on the road means that you are driving safety was just proven wrong by a new study commissioned by the American Automotive Association (AAA) and the University of Utah. After studying subjects using hands-free In-Vehicle Information Systems they found that even after they stopped using it, it took a while for the brain to switch back to giving driving their full attention.

The study broke users up into three classes based on age (21-34, 35-52 and 54-70) with a minimum of 4 males and 4 females in each category. The study tested their cognitive abilities as they used one of 10 different In-Vehicle Information Systems (IVIS). The vehicles were as follows:

  • Buick LaCrosse
  • Chevy Equinox
  • Chevy Malibu
  • Chrysler 200C
  • Ford Taurus
  • Hyundia Sonata
  • Mazda 6
  • Nissan Altima Toyota 4Runner
  • VW Passat

The results of the study concluded that practice does not eliminate distraction. Doing the same tasks over and over doesn’t mean that you get less distracted when you do them.

There were difference in the IVIS depending on how easy or difficult the tasks were to perform.

Most importantly, the study concluded that even hands-free, voice activated IVIS still impaired cognitive abilities in drivers and that those distractions remained up to almost half a minute after the task was performed.

Part of the problem with IVIS is that, without any data to back this, we are being directly or indirectly lead to believe that we can have our cake and eat it too. Fact is that anything that takes even a portion of our attention off the road is a distraction that can lead to accidents.

If you want to read the whole study, it is located here and is 46 pages in length.

OH YES I DO HAVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE unsafe work Federal Changes or NOT!

Today’s blog post is a post from a guest bloggers, Terry Penney (see contact information at the end of the post)


The definition of danger reads as follows:

“any hazard, condition or activity that could reasonably be expected to be an imminent or serious threat to the life or health of a person exposed to it before the hazard or condition can be corrected or the activity altered.”

In Canada

Amendments to the Canada Labour Code impact the right to refuse dangerous work the NEW LIBERAL GOVERNMENT SAID THEY WOULD REPEAL THESE CHANGES!!!!

Refusal of dangerous work

As it relates to an employee’s right to refuse dangerous work, there have been four key changes to the definition of “danger” under the code.

First, under the prior definition of “danger”, an employee could refuse work which posed an “existing or potential” hazard or condition. The “existing or potential” qualifiers have been struck from the definition. Now an employee can only refuse to perform work in the face of present hazards or conditions.

Second, the old definition permitted an employee to refuse to work in respect of a “current or future activity.” The “current or future” qualifiers have been struck, so that an employee must actually be engaged (or ordered to engage) in the alleged dangerous activity at the time the work refusal is made.

Third, prior to the amendments an employee could refuse work if he or she reasonably expected the activity would cause “injury or illness.” Now, an employee must meet the higher threshold of demonstrating he or she reasonably expects the activity would cause “an imminent or serious threat” to “life or health.”

The right to refuse dangerous work

Any employee subject provincial or federal legislation has the right to refuse dangerous work as long as they have reasonable cause to believe that it presents a danger. Specifically the Code states that an employee may refuse in the following circumstances:

  • to use or operate a machine that constitutes a danger to the employee or to another employee;
  • to work in a place;
  • to perform an activity that constitutes a danger to the employee or to another employee.

The HEALTH AND SAFETY LEGISLATION contains certain exceptions regarding the right to refuse dangerous work. These exceptions include: if the refusal puts the life, health or safety of another person directly in danger; or, the danger in question is a normal condition of employment.

An employee wishing to exercise the right to refuse dangerous work shall immediately report the dangerous situation to the employer. If more than one employee has made a report of a similar nature, those employees may designate one employee from among themselves to represent them during the work place committee’s or representative’s investigation.

The employee shall also specify to the employer whether he or she intends to pursue the matter under the Code or under a collective agreement, when applicable, to deal with the refusal. The employee’s decision cannot be changed unless both the employee and the employer agree to do so. If the employee decides to exercise recourse under the collective agreement, the Minister will not intervene.


Disciplining employees

Unchanged by the amendments is the fact an employee may be subject to discipline if he or she willfully abuses his or her right to refuse dangerous work. It has been held that a purported work refusal is not an appropriate means of generally challenging an employer’s policies or procedures or to criticize a training program. In addition, an employee (or group of employees) should not utilize the right to refuse unsafe work as a way to gain an advantage in a collective bargaining process.

While discipline is permitted in appropriate circumstances, the code places specific requirements on an employer who issues discipline in response to a work refusal. First, discipline cannot be issued until the investigations and any appeals from those investigations have taken place. Second, at the employee’s request, an employer must provide written reasons for the disciplinary action taken.

Although the recent amendments to the code have not changed the provisions relating to disciplinary action, the narrowed definition of dangerous work may assist employers by removing vague and speculative words such as “potential” or “future” harm.

As a result of these amendments it is important that federally regulated employers ensure their supervisors and managers are aware of the new rules and trained in how to respond to a work refusal. Employers should also review and update their internal investigation protocols and discipline assessment tools to ensure compliance with the new requirements.

REMEMBER   legislation holds employers responsible to protect employee health and safety. Enforcement is carried out by inspectors from the government department responsible for health and safety in each jurisdiction. In some serious cases, charges may also be laid by police or crown attorneys under Section 217.1 of the Canada Criminal Code (also known as “Bill C-45”). This section imposes a legal duty on employers and those who direct work to take reasonable measures to protect employees and public safety. If this duty is “wantonly” or recklessly disregarded and bodily harm or death results, an organization or individual could be charged with criminal negligence.


NIOSH addresses aging workforce


From the NIOSH website…

Today, one in every five American workers is over 65, and in 2020, one in four American workers will be over 55, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Although there is no consensus on the age at which workers are considered “older workers,” the aging workforce phenomenon is real. These demographic shifts have made the issue of healthier workers, especially those of advanced age, much more pressing. Aging is a relevant process experienced by all workers throughout their life. Vital to any workplace is the safety, health and well-being of workers, from their first day on the job to their last.

To address this issue, NIOSH has put together a resource on it’s website designed to help employers deal with their aging workers.

Check out their information, data, resources and tools. If you don’t need it now, you will soon.

Sex, drugs and…

When you think about the dangers that your teenagers face what are the top three that first come to mind?

Most parents listed things like sexual activity, drug use, alcohol, peer pressure and similar dangers. Fewer than 1 in 4 parents (24%) listed car crashes as a major item of concern.

The fact is however that parents seriously underestimate the risk of car crashes in teenagers who have gotten their driver’s license in the past year.

Worse is the fact that most parents believe that their teenagers will “do as I say, not as I do”. In other words parents who talk on the cell phone or text while driving do so with their teenager in the car even though they tell their teen not to.

While the council recommends that parents spend 50+ hours most spend a whole lot less than that. While the council recommends not allowing new teen drivers to have others in the vehicle, most parents either allow or encourage them to do so.

Find out more about the Parents of Teen Drivers Public Opinion Poll published by the National Safety Council.

Free Hot Work Training Module

From our friends at convergence training….

According to the Chemical Safety Board, at least 60 people have died as a result of explosions and fires caused by hot work since 1990. That’s about three people every year.

Because hot work accidents can lead to such tragic ends, we’ve created a free hot work training module for you. It includes images from our own 3D-animated Hot Work training modules, the Chemical Safety Board’s “Dangers of Hot Work” video, and some interactive wizardry we’ve programmed specially for this occasion.

Don’t forget we’ve got two separate, full-length, 3D-animated “hot work” training courses in our health and safety training library–one on Hot Work Safety, and a second on Hot Work Permits. Need more information from Convergence Training about hot work training or any other training need? Drop us a line to request a demo.

We hope you enjoy this. Don’t forget you can play the game here now, bookmark the site and come back to play it again later, or click the download button below to download a version in SCORM and import it into your SCORM-compliant LMS. (If you don’t have a SCORM-compliant LMS, check out the family of Convergence learning management systems).

NOTE: Please read that last paragraph closely. The download you’ll get is a zipped folder in a format called SCORM. Once you’ve downloaded it, you cannot open the folder and play it without first importing it into a learning management system (LMS).

Need more information? Here’s more information about learning management systems.

Tool Box Talks

“Tool Box Talks” is consistently the top search term on this blog. There are many of you out there who have to come up with a topic for the monthly safety meeting and who need a little help (after all it isn’t like it’s your only job, chances are it’s something that someone tacked onto your already full schedule).

With that in mind, here’s a link to a whole mess of tool box talks. Enjoy!

TBT1(Click on image to go to the website)