OHSAH Health & Safety Update

Get Your Flu Shot!

Flu season is fast approaching! In Canada, epidemics of influenza usually start during the late fall and last right through to early spring. Annual vaccination is highly recommended for all healthcare workers, particularly those who work with people who are at high risk for medical complications from influenza or more likely to require medical care (e.g. children under six months of age, persons aged 65 years or older.) For healthy adults under 65 years of age, the flu vaccine has proven 70% - 90% effective.

The flu is caused by one of two viruses, both of which can mutate so that slightly different strains of the virus emerge each year. Each years vaccine contains the current circulating strains ... which is why it is necessary to get a flu shot every year.

A flu shot can protect you even after influenza activity has already begun! Frequent hand washing and good respiratory hygiene (coughing or sneezing into your sleeve) also help to prevent the spread of the virus. Get your annual influenza shot as soon as it becomes available this fall!

PEARS Annual Provincial Meeting

This years PEARS provincial meeting was held on Monday, October 6, 2008 in Burnaby, BC. This years theme of -Bridging the Gap" in Work Disability Prevention helped draw attention to the existing gaps in the area of musculoskeletal work disability prevention, while involving various stakeholder perspectives on how to best address these gaps as it relates to PEARS.

The agenda was a diverse blend of presenters from across the province and from the varied spectrum of healthcare. Workshops consisted of three parts: identifying opportunities for change, collecting shareholder input towards new applications and tagging potential barriers to those actions.

You can view the agenda and several of the presentations on the OHSAH website: http://www.ohsah.bc.ca/EN/pears_provincial_meeting/

2008 Northwest Occupational Health Conference

Thursday, October 16, 2008 - The Statistics and Evaluation Team attended the 2008 Northwest Occupational Health Conference in Seattle. Several presentations were made at the conference over a period of two days.

Topics included:

  • Compensation patterns for Healthcare workers in British Columbia, Canada
  • Evaluation of Ceiling lifts Transfer Time, Patient Comfort and Staff Perceptions
  • Potential Allergy and Irritation Incidents among Workers in the Health Care Industry: Findings from British Columbia, Canada
  • Comparing Occupational Injury Risk Among Rural and Urban HCWs in BC
  • Epidemiology of Falls Among BC Healthcare Workers
  • Occupational Injury among Full-time, Part-time and Casual Healthcare Workers

To view the presentations please contact OHSAH

BC Health Authorities Conference

The BC Healthcare partner associations have formed a collaborative group to host a Workplace Health, Safety and Wellness Conference: September 14-15, 2009 in Kelowna, BC.

The conference is intended to share current international initiatives and best practices with healthcare workers; and provide an environment for networking and sharing ideas.

Anyone responsible for health, safety or wellness in the healthcare environment is welcome to attend.

For more information, click here.

Fall Health and Safety Newsletter
The Fall Health and Safety Newsletter is now available on the OHSAH website

In this issue we touch on:

  • Opinion leaders and their influence with flu shots
  • Ceiling lifts: are they inefficient?
  • Research Initiatives at OHSAH and
  • Team OHSAH in an ultra cycling race in Utah.

SOEH Risk Communication Conference

Join Drs. Peter M. Sandman and Jody Lanard in a workshop on risk communication and outrage management pertaining to issues in environmental health and safety.

Alerting, Reassuring, Guiding: Three Risk Communication Toolkits for Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) Professionals will take place March 9 & 10, 2009 in Vancouver, BC.

Visit the
UBC School of Environmental Health
for more information.
Information Session on Injury Prevention and Disability Management for Home Care Workers

Home care providers are invited to an information session on injury prevention and disability management in Vancouver, Friday November 21st. The single day event is hosted by the Health Employers Association of BC and WorkSafeBC to discuss strategies, tools and resources that home care providers can use to improve worker safety and claims management. The theme is employers helping employers build safer workplaces.

The session will take place on Friday November 21 from 8:00 am ... 3:30 pm in the Alice MacKay room at the Vancouver Public Library, 350 West Georgia, Vancouver, BC.

Please contact WorkSafeBC for more information or to register:
Shelagh Locke, WorkSafeBC