Workplace Health E-Bulletin

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Issue 6 - November/December

Issue 5 - September/October

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Issue 4 - July/August 

Summer is here!  Take care of your mental and physical health at work and when celebrating Canada's 150th!

 have THAT talk Psychological Health and Safety Video Series
 

banner with drawn workers.  Reads 'Mental health in the workplace matters! What can I do?)

 The two videos we are highlighting in this issue are Recognition and Reward Involvement and Influence.

Recognition and Reward is present in a work environment when employees' efforts are appropriately acknowledged and appreciated in a fair and timely manner.

Involvement and Influence is present in a work environment when employees are included in discussions about how their work is done and how important decisions are made.

Don't forget to check out our other have THAT talk videos for workplaces at www.haveTHATtalk.ca.  

Are you looking for new ways to let staff know about your commitment to employee mental health?  These videos are a great way to get the conversation going with staff and managers.  If you aren't sure where to start, meet with one of our Public Health Nurses!  We can show you how to use the videos and facilitator's guide to meet the needs of your workplace.  Contact our Workplace Health Line today at workplacehealth@ottawa.ca or by calling 613-580-6744 ext. 24197.

 Sun Safety for Outdoor Workers
 

picture of sunny blue sky

If you work outdoors, chances are you spend a lot of time in the sun.  The sun can be a good source of vitamin D.  However, the sun can also cause a variety of illnesses such as:

  • Skin cancer
  • Eye lesions
  • Skin damage
  • Cataracts
  • Sunburns
  • Retinal burns 

Check the daily forecast for the ultraviolet (UV) Index UV Index forecast and protect your skin accordingly.  (This includes cloudy days as the UV can still be high). When the UV Index is 3 or higher, protect your skin as much as possible.

Outdoor workers are usually working when the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays are strongest, typically from 11am to 3pm.  If you are working on or around asphalt, sand, concrete, water or snow, this can increase the harmful effects of UV rays.

Here are some tips to protect your skin and eyes from the sun:

  • Use a generous amount of sunscreen on skin not covered by clothing.
  • Sunscreen should be labelled:
    • "Broad spectrum"
    • "Water-resistant"  
    • With a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30
    • UVA and UVB  resistant
  • Apply sunscreen generously and reapply after sweating, strenuous activity, or toweling off.
  • Wear lip balm with sunscreen in it
  • Cover as much skin as possible, as appropriate to the work and weather.
  • Attach a back flap to a construction helmet or baseball cap to cover the back of your neck and ears
  • Work in the shade if possible, or make your own with a temporary shade structure
  • Wear close fitting/wrap around sunglasses or prescription eyeglasses with UVA and UVB protective lenses. (such as UV 400 or 100% UV protection)

Some things to avoid:

  • Getting a tan or sunburn. This is because even those who only tan and do not burn can still suffer from sun's negative effects. A good rule is to apply lots of sunscreen, and apply often.
  • Exposing yourself to UV rays to get your vitamin D needs.  Use food or supplements instead.

Check out the new National Sun Safety for outdoor workers factsheet.

Are you looking for a sun/UV safety policy for your workplace?  Check out this ready-to-use sample policy on our website!

 Summer BBQs and Healthy Celebrations
 

Picture of a beverage with lemon

 Is your workplace celebrating Canada's 150th birthday with staff BBQs or team building activities?   Are you planning summer BBQs with friends and family?  Great celebrations do not have to involve alcohol.  If you are planning to celebrate with alcohol, Canada's Low Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines can help!

Many people reach for a drink after work or when they are feeling stressed out.  While alcohol can make you feel more relaxed it is short lived. Regularly drinking above the Guidelines can make your stress worse.  Try out these stress busting ideas instead of reaching for that drink.

You may have heard that alcohol provides health benefits.  Alcohol does not benefit everyone.  One drink increases the risk of several chronic diseases.  In addition, there is no safe level when it comes to alcohol and cancer.  And youth do not benefit from alcohol at any level.

The overall harmful effects of alcohol outweigh the good for most people.  Do not add alcohol to your routine for better health, especially if you don't already drink.

If you do drink, follow the Guidelines to reduce the immediate and long-term harms.

If you are concerned about yourself or someone else's drinking, there is help available. You can also take the free, anonymous and bilingual "Check Your Drinking: How Do I Compare" quiz.

 A Substance Misuse policy can let employees know your workplace is committed to supporting those who may be struggling with substance misuse issues.

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