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Live Safe! Work Smart!

eNewsletter for Ontario Teachers • June 2014

It’s Your Job video contest: Ontario secondary school videos win national honours!

National celebrity judges, including Jim Caruk and Carson Arthur from HGTV, Marc Kielburger from Free the Children, actress Mag Ruffman, Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety CEO Steve Horvath, injured worker Jonathan Plante and parents of young workers who lost their lives at work Paul Kells, Rob Ellis and Shirley Hickman, reviewed winning secondary school videos from across the country and chose Canada’s winners. Cash prizes will be awarded by the coordinating body for deputy ministers of labour from across Canada, CAALL, who sponsored the national contest. Congratulations!

1st place in Canada: On Call

Winner: Ben Croskery, John McCrae Secondary School, Ottawa

This video won second place in Ontario, earning both the student and the school $750 in May. For having the top secondary school video in Canada, the school and the student will both receive an additional $2000.

2nd place in Canada: Flower

Winners: Pranay Noel and Martin Czachor, St. Francis Xavier Catholic Secondary School, Mississauga

This video tied for first place in Ontario, earning both the student team and their school $1000. For having Canada’s second place secondary school video, both the team and their school will receive an additional $1500.

See, share and show the videos

The videos produced by our talented secondary school students are available for your use at

Submit next year

Check the website in September for the 2014/15 contest details and entry forms. Your students could be next year’s winners!

Safety requirements for powered folding partitions

Hazard summary

The Ministry of Labour has posted a hazard alert to raise awareness about the potential for serious injuries that could result from the use of powered folding partitions.

These partitions are commonly used to separate areas, including in school gymnasiums, community centers, and conference rooms in hotels, convention centers or any other workplace space that may be partitioned.

Powered folding partitions are designed to stop when fully extended against the wall or fully retracted. The movement of these partitions is often controlled from a switch located on one side of the partition, which restricts the operator’s ability to see the leading edge of the moving partition.

Since only one side of the partition is visible from the control panel, a “blind spot” can prevent an operator from seeing another person who could be crushed. The crushing forces of the moving partitions may be great enough to cause severe injury and even death.

More information is available on the Ministry of Labour website.

Live Safe! Work Smart! updated teacher resource

A 2014/15 twelve page Live Safe! Work Smart! resource package for teachers, that includes links to videos, e-learning tools, posters, guest speakers and more, was released last month at the OCEA and OCTE conferences to appreciative audiences of teachers. Get yours at

Workplace warning signs

Young workers should be aware of their workplace rights as they start their summer jobs. Here are a few signs to watch for:

  • Not getting paid on time
  • No pay stub
  • Not paid for extra hours
  • No time to eat
  • No public holiday pay
  • Unexplained deductions from pay

Learn more:

Reminder: worker awareness becomes law July 1st, 2014

Read more in the January 2014 edition of this newsletter.

Ministry of Labour education initiative

From September 9, 2013, to October 31, 2013, Ministry of Labour (MOL) inspectors conducted an enforcement initiative to promote health and safety in the Ontario education sector. The ministry focused on schools with woodworking shops, science labs, technological education labs and other kinds of shops (e.g., auto body, construction and manufacturing).

MOL Inspectors visited private schools and also revisited some public and Catholic schools that had been visited during a similar education initiative conducted from September 2011 to June 2012. (View results of the 2011/12 initiative.)

Inspectors checked on compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and its regulations.

The goals were to:

  • Continue to raise awareness of hazards in the education sector
  • Encourage employers to identify and control hazards
  • Address non-compliance with the OHSA and its regulations through appropriate enforcement action
  • Deter non-compliant employers
  • Enhance occupational health and safety partnerships

Results of the initiative are available on the Ministry of Labour website.


Enjoy a safe summer. Email your ideas for articles to: or

Ministry of Labour resource website for teachers