Canada’s government sector is increasingly coming under scrutiny for both lagging privacy and security both in legislation and in practice.
In a sign of the times, figures released in February to the House of Commons reveal that the personal information of at least 144,000 Canadians was mishandled by Federal department and agencies, including the Security Intelligence Service and Department of National Defense. The breaches were widespread, impacting over 10 separate departments and agencies, with evidence indicating that these figures are being under–reported due to inadequate reporting requirements. The Canada Revenue Agency led the pack with 3,020 identified breaches over the last two years impacting at least 59,065 Canadians.
When do you need an SDS?
SECTION 10 – Stability and Reactivity
Why do you need help managing your Safety Data Sheets?
MySDS.ca can build and maintain your SDS library which can give you peace of mind, save you money and keep you compliant!
Stay WARM and SAFE this winter season.
Setting up and managing a Chemical Inventory can be a difficult task, even when you think you have done your research or have prepared yourself with a spreadsheet or list to follow. The difficulty comes when you begin attempting to cross-reference Chemicals with the Vendor SDS, which may create significant problems if you are unable to do so.
Tracking chemicals in the workplace requires detailed knowledge of all possible “hiding places”. Chemicals can be found in the strangest places –and they can be easily overlooked.
It is not always obvious that certain items can also be considered “chemicals” – did you know that welding rods and certain building materials (IE. insulation batts, bricks) may be hazardous if exposure to by-products occurs? As a result, you may not be able to perform risk assessments for the whole site. Chemicals often interact explosively with other chemicals, so storage location may be a problem if you need to have multiple chemicals with a certain distance between them. The Inventory must identify the distance between chemicals so that appropriate incompatibilities reporting can take place.
Chemical Inventory and Safety Audit made easy…
Green Lights and MySDS will work with you to determine which procedures and information are necessary for your business.
We will conduct a physical inventory of all hazardous chemicals including *consumer products.
*Consumer products are products that do not require a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) when purchased by a consumer in a retail setting, however, some of these products do require an SDS when they are brought into the workplace (example: paints, hand soaps, inks)
We will compile a list including:
• Chemical name (i.e Acetone)
• Amount – unit of measure (i.e 1 litre)
• Container type (i.e Glass bottle)
• Manufacturer (i.e Aldrich)
• Exact location (i.e Building C, Warehouse Office, Shelf A)
We will also update the chemical inventory database when you:
1) Move to a new location
2) Acquire a new hazardous chemical
3) Your inventory volumes change more than 10%
4) You remove a chemical from your inventory
A company must declare their inventory status even if there are zero chemicals in stock when their inventory is conducted.
Other areas that may need to be reviewed during a Chemical inventory or Safety Audit:
· Designated Substances
· CAS Numbers
· Hot-Spot Identification
· Chemicals Incompatibility reporting
· Hazardous Substances reporting
· Dangerous Goods reporting
· Radioactive materials, biological materials (or etiological agents), or controlled substances;
are maintained in separate tracking systems.
We do ALL the work. We keep you compliant!
Green Lights Environmental is the sister company of MySDS inc.
In short: leaders create risk, and managers reduce it.
LEADERSHIP ANTICIPATES THE BEST OUT OF PEOPLE, AND MANAGEMENT ANTICIPATES THE WORST. While leadership invites others to follow, management ensures the followers are following.
Leadership is the act of inviting others to a new and better future. A leader inspires and creates change by casting a vision of a destination that is different, better, and achievable.
Management is the ensuring things happen by creating, communicating, and monitoring expectations. It tracks individual people to see that they perform as expected, as opposed to inspiring a number of them.
Leadership skills can be summarized as those skills relevant to interacting with large groups of people, and to inspiring and creating vision. Conversely, management skills are those which are relevant to interacting with individual people, and to specifying and monitoring performance.
Many of the skills required to lead people are also the ones used to manage people. However, the expression of these skills can be significantly different. For instance, a leader needs to effectively communicate to be compelling and inspirational, and a manager needs to effectively communicate to be precise and personal.
Because of the skillset overlaps between management and leadership, it is quite possible that a single person assumes either of these roles.
Want to learn more about leadership? Check out EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT LEADERSHIP.
Bad bosses can be deadly. One 15-year study found that when employees had a difficult relationship with their boss, they were 30% more likely to suffer from heart disease. Perhaps really bad bosses have lower coronary disease because their hearts are seldom used!
If you have ever said, “My boss makes me sick!” you might be right. A British study found that stress induced by a bad boss lowers immune response, and participants were more susceptible to a cold virus.
As with much in life, it’s not what happens to us, but what we do about it. A bad boss might victimize you, but you choose whether to be a victim. Strong leaders don’t wait, they initiate. If you have a bad boss, you can decide that he or she’s not unbearable and live with your situation, fire your boss by leaving, or practice upward leadership with some boss management.
Boss management or leading upward is one of the most popular topics on our website. Recently The Globe & Mail published my column on Five Ways to Deal with a Bad Boss in their Leadership Labs section. I condensed years of writing and coaching on this topic into five steps:
- Strengthen your credibility and relationship
- Check your timing and approach
- Don’t wait, initiate
- Speak up
- Fire a bully boss
Click here to read the column for a brief description of each step.
A reporter once asked the Dalai Lama why he didn’t hate the Chinese Communists. Now they have some bad bosses! The Dalai Lama replied, “They have taken over Tibet, destroyed our temples, burned our sacred texts, ruined our communities, and taken away our freedom. They have taken so much. Why should I let them also take my peace of mind?”
It has been a spring that many will say there was nothing to smile about. It was cold, rainy and dark. From all the rain we have beautiful green lawns and flowers starting to bloom. Again there are many people in parts of the world that are not smiling with all the rain causing flooding and destruction. I wanted to take this opportunity to write about smiling and how contagious it may be in our workplace and for our clients.
Some people are always smiling, cheerful, and they seem to brighten up a room. Their positive attitude and gusto are identified by those they come in contact with. Moreover, we have all encountered those have the opposite effect on people-the “doom and gloom effect.” we often refer to one’s attitude and yet what is that? It is your mental state or the position you take regarding life.
Zig Ziglar once said, “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” If you take the word “OPPORTUNITYISNOWHERE,” some people see the “no where” while others see “now here.” So is the glass half empty or half full? Often the difference between success and failure is not linked to how we look, how we dress, or how much education we have; it is based on how we think!
Great leaders share the same thought; knowing that a positive attitude is contagious. As leaders, it is vital that we display a positive mindset daily. After all, if we expect our employees to express positive attitudes, we should model such behaviours for them to see.
Each day we have a choice of whether we elect to display a positive or negative attitude. Daily, we encounter negative attitudes at work and in our personal lives. If you remain positive amongst pessimism, you can be contagious.
Some times it is not that easy. I have found some tips I would like to share to help you be positive from “Attitudes are Contagious. Is Yours Worth Catching” by Patti Wanamaker.
- – people love to be around enthusiastic people. Enthusiasm is contagious and draws others to you like a magnet.
- – if you want to stay positive, stay away from people that drag you down. Associate yourself around like-minded people.
- – smiling makes it all better. Smiling releases endorphins and serotonin, which are known as the feel-good hormones. It is a lot easier to adopt a positive attitude when you feel good!
- – positive thoughts lead to a positive attitude, while negative thoughts lead to an adverse reaction.
- – limit your complaints. Whining and griping about anything and everything will not create a positive attitude. When you are complaining, you are spreading negativity.
· If you want more success in your leadership role and to have a positive impact on your employees, then make sure your attitude is worth catching.
Many of you are thinking, what is there to smile about, and why maintain a positive attitude when there are doom and gloom around us? Research has shown that there are health benefits of smiling in the workplace. We are dealing with conflict, mental health issues and have difficult situations arising every day as we manage our workplace. Interestingly many years ago, it was declared that “the smile is the best medicine for the happiness of humanity.” Later scientific research explained the effects and physiological benefits of smiling for a healthier life. Smiling can be beneficial, in dealing with illness, pressures of everyday life, stress at work, and smiling can even substantially change the quality and forecasts of our lives.
Would life not be better if people smile regularly? I think smiling every day would keep you away from the doctor and feeling self-confident. Try these:
- By smiling, we can reduce the level of stress hormones. Smiling helps us to increase the number of antibody-producing cells and improve the effectiveness of other cells.
- Smiling is good for our general health. Smiling 100 times is equivalent to ten minutes of rowing or cycling in fifteen minutes.
- Sometimes we just want to laugh or cry. That means you want to release all the pent feelings in your head, making you feel both physically and mentally better. So to reduce anxiety smile often, even when you are not happy. Smiling at others will, in turn, help them be happy.
- Smiling can take you from being angry, stressed, feeling guilty, and negative to putting you in a more favourable frame of mind. Smiling will make you change yourself and improve the attitudes and thinking to other people to the better.
- When people can view an event that may be frightening as funny, they may be able to feel more content and see the events occurred just merely as a “challenge” in life, rather than a threat.
There are times when smiling, and laughter can be contagious. If you smile more than you can make other people around you also smile more. So by smiling yourself, you can reduce the stress levels of people around you and change their moods. Maybe even improve the quality of social interaction, and reduce your stress level as well.
They say that optimists have a stronger immune system and can fight disease better than the pessimists. There is a link between a positive attitude and good health, which is measured in many different ways. In general, researchers have discovered that optimistic people are more healthy, and they have a stronger immune system.
According to the British Organization of Dental Health, a smile has the level of stimulation as eating 2000 chocolate bars.
A smile does not cost you a cent, and it is easy to spread. A recent study showed that preschool children laugh 400 times a day, but the time we reach adulthood, we just laugh an average of 17 times per day.
So take the challenge and smile more often and find things in your lives that you can laugh about.
Stay great and healthy.
Monika B. Jensen PhD is Principal of the Aviary Group and can be contacted by email at [email protected]
You already know muniSERV.ca offers a full suite of tools for municipalities – most of which are free.
But, we’re always on the hunt for even more new and innovative tools and resources to help Canadian municipalities – and we’ve found another perfect partner!
We’re pleased to announce that muniSERV.ca has entered into a partnership with GoByDesign, for their innovative new platform – BoxOfDocs, The Ultimate Sharing Platform For Canadian Municipalities.
Whether you are updating your existing bylaws or policies, or looking to develop new standards, and want to see what similar municipalities have in place, BoxOfDocs is here to help.
*Bonus Partnership Offer
Now, when you register for free on muniSERV, you can also activate your Free Trial of the BoxOfDocs, Municipal Premium Membership, which lets you effortlessly share documents with other Canadian municipalities and gives you with access to thousands of documents your municipality uses daily!
If you have not committed to being an active member for either muniSERV or BoxOfDocs yet, now is a great time to join both and network with other Canadian municipalities to take advantage of valuable tools and services offered under this new partnership.
Founder & Principal,
muniSERV & muniJOBS
October is Mental Health Month. Recently there has been bigger mindfulness of the impact of mental health problems on individuals and the workplace. The economic impact is realized through direct treatment costs to the health care system as well as indirect costs, such as reduced or lost productivity due to absenteeism.
Mental health problems account for about half of employee absences due to illness each year in Canada for example, 3.5 days lost per employee per year are due to mental health problems. It is estimated that mental illness results in 35 million lost workdays each year in Canada.’
Employees living with mental health problems may feel and behave out of character at home and work. There may be feelings of things not quite right, yet they are unable to pinpoint the problem. Their co-workers, supervisors and family members may start to notice a change in mood and behaviour.
Signs that indicate an employee or colleague may have a mental health problem are:
· Regular late arrivals or often absent
· Lack of teamwork or an over-all disinterest in working with co-workers
· Lower output
· Increased mishaps or safety problems
· Numerous complaints of exhaustion or unexplained pains
· Difficulty focusing, not being decisive or forgetting things
· Making apologies for missed deadlines or poor work
· Decreased attention or involvement in one’s work
· Working excessive overtime over a prolonged period
· Expressions of outlandish or grand ideas
· Displays of irritation or pointing the finger at others
It is important to highlight that people behaving in these ways may be just having a bad day or week or dealing with a difficult situation in their personal life that may be temporary. A pattern that continues for a more extended period, however, may point to an underlying mental health problem.
Stress is a consistent part of life and work, and it can be positive or negative. Unwarranted hurtful stress through life events, including workplace issues, can contribute to mental health problems. Work itself can be expected to generate a certain level of stress associated with meeting deadlines and expectations, the need to feel valued and the loss of control over one’s time.
There are many causes of workplace stress. One key to effective stress management is maintaining awareness of the potential stressors and readiness to address them before they become problematic. Some of the most critical sources of work-related stress are listed below.
· Poor communication
· Incongruity in work demands, individual ability and amount of control over working practices
· Work overload and work underload
· Shift work and/or night work
· Segregation, isolation and/or unstructured support for home workers
· Short-term contracts
· Role conflict, uncertainty and changing roles
· The uneven weight assigned by management to consultation, support and control
· Lack of training for managers in communication and people skills
· Uncomfortable physical workspace
· Introduction of new technology, if not planned and gradual
· The culture of presenteeism, in which an employee feels the need to be seen working at all times
· Work-life imbalance
· Home-based stresses that support or feed off of work-based stresses
Managing workplace stress can include training for employees to raise awareness about the causes and effects of stress, as well as to learn skills for coping with stress at work and in their personal lives.
Research has shown that some job stressors are worse than others, such as jobs that continuously involve imposed deadlines over an extended period and give individuals little control over the day-to-day organization of their work (high demand/low control). These jobs can lead to more than double the rate of heart and cardiovascular problems. As well as significantly higher rates of anxiety, depression and fell of being undermined. High demand/low control jobs also lead to substantially higher alcohol, prescription and over-the-counter drug use, and a significantly higher susceptibility to infectious diseases.’
Jobs that require high physical or mental effort but offer little in the way of compensation, status, financial gain or career enhancement (high effort/low reward) also affect employee stress levels. These jobs are associated with triple the rate of cardiovascular problems and significantly higher rates of depression, anxiety and conflict-related problems
The health of workers does not have to be compromised by stress. Changes to the workplace can make for a more mentally healthy workplace, especially when employees feel adequately rewarded and have greater control of their work.
Mental health problems can seriously affect someone’s ability to work. If left untreated and the mental health problem worsens, the employee may need to stop working altogether.
On the other hand, employees may try to continue to work knowing that they are not performing to their usual standards. If mental health problems are acknowledged early, and proper treatment is obtained, most people can quickly return to their regular performance at work, and much unhappiness and suffering can be avoided.
Monika B. Jensen Ph.D