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North American Occupational Safety and Health Week strives to focus the attention of employers, employees, the general public, and all workplace safety and health partners on the importance of preventing injury and illness in the workplace, at home and in the community.

NAOSH Week is led by the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering (CSSE) in partnership with the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), and Labour Program, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC). NAOSH Week continues to be a truly continent-wide event, celebrated in Canada, along with North American partners: Mexico and the United States.

How to Make Safety a Habit in Your Workplace

North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week, May 4-10, is a time in which attention turns to the importance of preventing injury and illness in the workplace, at home and in the community. This year’s theme is Make Safety a Habit, and organizations all over North America are promoting their activities. If you are looking for ideas on how to celebrate health and safety at your workplace, Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety has a few suggestions: participate in a Steps for Life Walk in your community; watch the new free webinar Healthy Workplaces: A Team Effort; listen to podcasts for safe work tips; or display posters to promote health and safety messages. Observed annually, North American Occupational Safety and Health Week, or NAOSH Week happens during the first full week of May. Occupational Safety and Health Professional Day (OSHP Day) falls on the Wednesday of that week. Each year, American Society of Safety Engineers offers employers and co-workers the opportunity to recognize the outstanding efforts of their occupational safety health and environmental professional through our “Salute your Safety Professional” initiative. American Society of Safety Engineers urges everyone to get involved in NAOSH Week in an effort to better educate the public about the positive benefits a safe workplace provides not only for workers, but for their families, friends, businesses, their local communities and the global community. Our neighbors to the south –  Mexico, also participates this week of health and safety promotion in businesses. Thousands of companies in our continent support this important event. 

Make Safety a Habit is the theme that explains it all. If workers get in the habit of ensuring their equipment is in good shape, and follow all their safety training, it will be a much safer environment for all. Let’s let that apply to our homes and communities, too!

 Source: Canadian Society of Safety Engineering; American Society of Safety Engineers



Navigating a snow storm is a difficult and treacherous task. This is especially true for residents in the northern part of the United States and along the Canadian border. Winter always brings a significant amount of snow in this region where lake-effect snow from the Great Lakes can converge with rain systems moving up the east coast. This sets the stage for a classic nor’easter, which is a regular event on the eastern seaboard. Everyone should have an emergency pack in the vehicle, but there are some general rules on what situations to avoid when driving in dangerous weather conditions.

Evaluate Road Conditions
Temperatures normally stay near or below the freezing point in snow events, so any precipitation may also occur while previous snow fall is still on the ground. This is particularly true at higher elevations. The combination of weather events results in significant stretches of time where all individual forms of transportation are done on snow-covered roadways. Many cars have difficulty here, but cars sports utility vehicles can usually be effective in reasonable conditions due to their ability to switch into 4×4. Regular drivers must develop a knack for driving in hazardous conditions, with the primary focus being awareness and significantly reduced speeds.
Avoiding the Ice
Ice is practically impossible to navigate safely. Patches of ice can be just as damaging as solid ice because it can instigate a sliding situation, which endangers everyone in your pathway since neither you nor they have vehicular control. Depending on the situation though, tire chains can be effective. Motorists should always remember that chains are only for emergency conditions in deep snow and ice. Studded tires might also help, but they are still a short term alternative. It is just best to avoid ice altogether though, because other drivers may not be as considerate or observant of dangerous conditions. 

Do Not Drive Any Motor Vehicle Impaired
Driving any motored vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a chargeable offense and can land an impaired driver in huge trouble. This obviously also includes operating cars purposely built for navigating snow. Alcohol use is very problematic for irresponsible users. Not only is it illegal as any DUI lawyer in Massachusetts or Vermont will tell you, but the capacity for bad judgement is intensified and reactions to hazardous conditions are greatly reduced. Being able to react quickly in a skidding or sliding situation is hard enough for sober drivers. It’s the best policy never to drive drunk, but especially not when there is snow or ice on the roads. Even a short trip to the store can result in several more to the courthouse. Accidents happen far more often during inclement conditions, so the opportunity for very serious accidents increases.

Many drivers do not realize that any blood alcohol content level can constitute a charge for driving under the influence. This is a bad practice in good weather, but it’s especially dangerous in bad weather. Minimal amounts of alcohol can result in a reckless driving charge, even if the operator is not impaired enough for a DUI conviction. The fact that someone was driving impaired in inclement weather can be a material fact in any case and might impact punishment. Accidents happen, regardless of impairment, and automatic negligence is common in cases involving impaired drivers.

Saam Banai is a freelance writer and editor, and he has spent years navigating the snowy roads of the north and avoiding drunk drivers. Jack Diamond is an experienced DUI lawyer in Massachusetts who has over a decade of experience representing drunk drivers in and around Boston. As an accomplished and passionate attorney, he will deal with your case involving intoxication, accident, and field sobriety with expertise and compassion.

NAOSH WEEK – MAY 6 – 12, 2012


NAOSH (North American Occupational Safety and Health )Week occurs every year during the first full week of May to raise awareness about occupational safety, health and the environment and safety, as well as health and engineering professions.  The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) joined with the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering (CSSE) and partners in Mexico to promote awareness in North America during NAOSH Week. This is one tool the almost 100-year-old ASSE and its 32,000 SH&E members use throughout the year to promote occupational safety, aimed at preventing injuries and illnesses. Several organizations representing thousands of businesses have partnered with ASSE and CSSE to support NAOSH Week, including U.S. federal agencies such as the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). 

NAOSH Week began in 1997.  Canada originally began observing Occupational Safety and Health Week in 1986.  During the NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) talks in 1997, the representative from Canada suggested that Mexico and the United States become involved in a similar endeavor.  Hence, this continent-wide event got its start. 

Each year ASSE urges everyone to get involved in NAOSH Week in order to better educate the public about the positive benefits a safe workplace provides not only for workers, but for their families, friends, businesses, local communities and the global community 

Wednesday, Occupational Safety and Health Professionals Day is observed.  This began in 2007, with the goal of honoring occupational safety, health and environmental professionals who have dedicated their lives to protecting people, property and the environment.  

Occupational Safety and Health Professionals are dedicated to focus, reinforce and strengthen workforces to concentrate on staying safe and healthy on the job.  Among their many requirements are teaching things such as:

  • Team building and commitment.
  • Establishing safety committees.
  • Creating a safety-minded culture.
  • Improving attitudes toward safety.
  • Increase cooperation among workers.
  • Further understanding of the benefits of working safely and remaining healthy.
  • Reduce workplace injuries and illness.
  • Catastrophe awareness and preparedness.
  • Proper ergonomics in the workplace.
  • Fleet safety classes.
  • Preventing roadway crashes.
  • Mining safety.
  • Transportation safety. 

Safety Professionals encourage safety committees to ensure that company employees are properly trained and aware of the hazards presented in their particular job duties.  One very important piece of the safety puzzle is seeing that workers have the correct type of P.P.E. (Personal Protective Equipment).  Whatever P.P.E. is required, i.e., hardhats, ANSI safety glasses, gloves, fall arrest systems, etc., should fit correctly and always used when on the job.  Employees should understand the importance of taking care of their protective equipment and know when it should be replaced.

There are many ways of working safely and not taking chances.  We must endeavor to stay safe at work and on the job.  This is a good time to encourage new safety and health activities during NAOSH week, and thank the professionals that encourage safety. 


Source: NAOSH.org; Canadian Society of Safety Engineers



If you are not among the lucky ones that are going to the spectacular country of Canada for the 2010 Winter Olympics, get out the hot chocolate, popcorn, candy and other goodies and get ready for some excitement and beautiful scenery.   British Columbia, Canada, is home to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games from February 12 through 28, and the Paralympic Winter Games from March 12 through 21.  Host venue cities are Vancouver, Whistler, and Richmond.  The official torch is already crossing Canada.

Officials have been preparing for months, and Canadians are excited to welcome athletes and fans from all over the world.  The government is taking serious precautions with safety, health and security concerns for all visitors and athletes, as well as their own citizens.

One of the health issues is the spread of the H1N1 virus.  The World Health Organization is sending a representative to monitor for potential disease outbreaks, but officials feel the threat has passed.  However, British Columbia health officials have been planning for the possible impact it would have on the games since before the pandemic was declared in June.  In their planning, they decided to keep a large supply of antiviral drugs on hand, just in case.

To avoid a major outbreak, the best practices are to continue with these sanitary protocols: washing hands often, covering coughs and sneezes, and when sick, don’t get out in public.  Persons traveling to the games need to be watchful for exposure to sick persons, and not touch surfaces if they can keep from it.  Those with children should be extra cautious in protecting them from the illness.  Keeping hand sanitizer in ones’ bag or purse will serve as a reminder to keep your hands clean.  First and foremost, persons planning to attend need to get both the seasonal flu shot and H1N1 shot.  Hopefully, the athletes will have had theirs.  More than 100 staffers of the U.S. Olympic Committee are getting their H1N1 vaccines before they head to Vancouver.  Athletes are saying there may be more “elbow bumps” than hand shaking this time!

The Canadian organizers of the games have contingency plans for staffing should the virus affect regular staff members.  A security team of 750 officers will be on stand-by in case of illness or emergency.  There is a pool of volunteers that can be ready in short-order time.  Although they can’t make it a requirement, all staff members and volunteers have been asked to take the vaccine.  Many teams are arriving this month, and will have the opportunity to take the vaccine in time for it to be effective, if they haven’t already taken it.  Public health nurses will be at the athletes’ villages, as well as venues, including hotels where officials and sponsors will stay to monitor for illnesses.

We wish the country of Canada much success in keeping athletes, their families, and all the visitors to the Olympics both safe and well.  There are many security issues that they are dealing with, as well as health concerns.  With the very best athletes representing their home countries, this is a time for focusing the eyes of the world toward the good sportsmanship that is displayed by those who have worked so very hard to achieve their goals.  We wish good traveling and health to all those who are fortunate to attend these Winter Olympics, in addition to the excitement of seeing the true beauty of Canada.