Fire Safety in the Workplace


You probably remember practicing fire drills in school but as you move into the workplace other measures can be taken to avoid accidents. For instance, there are standards put in place by Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) that outline the basics of fire safety including the causes of workplace fires, prevention practices and guidelines for evacuation.

However, according to Statistics Canada there were 247 business use/personal service fires in 2014 that cost companies millions of dollars in damages! It’s clear that there are preventative practices in place but there is no hiding the fact that unforeseen fires in the workplace can be extremely dangerous. Therefore, we have outlined four ways you can keep your workplace safe:

Accessibility

It is important to keep workplaces neat and tidy to ensure that there is full accessibility to sprinklers, firefighting equipment and emergency exits. Moreover, equipment and other materials should be properly stored and ready for use in the case of an emergency.

Precautions

It is vital to follow all recommended and required precautions to prepare for ignition in potentially explosive atmospheres. These precautions include evacuation plans, semi-annual fire safety training and proper signage. Implementing safer practices such as the use of non-sparking tools and proper static electricity control will help prevent workplace incidents!

Safe Handling

Safe handling practices are fundamental when it comes to workplace fire safety. Always read the label and the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) to assess flammability and other fire hazards of substances.

It is also imperative that employees have the proper protective equipment for handling hazardous materials, access to proper waste disposal and report hazards that occur. 

Don’t forget to follow the operating procedures and established safety protocols that are in place!

Maintenance

All in all these three steps will get your establishment in the right direction for fire prevention safety, but in the long run it is essential to maintain these procedures. Check and perform maintenance on machines/tasks regularly and keep a record of this routine maintenance. In essence, following these four steps will ensure effective results in fire safety!

5 Reasons to Celebrate National Coffee Day!


  1. Boosts Energy

There is no hiding the fact that a cup of jo will wake you up in the morning but have you ever wondered why? According to Gunnars, it has to do with the fact that coffee contains three prominent psychoactive substances! The most commonly known is caffeine but theobromine and chlorogenic acid are also active compounds in coffee that have a stimulant effect and can help with those tired mornings.

In particular, caffeine blocks an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain called adenosine then releases neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine. The result is heightened alertness and stamina to get you through your day!

  1. Increases Metabolism

Without a doubt, caffeine is the most commercialized ingredient in coffee, but it is not because of the taste. Studies show that caffeine can increase individuals metabolic rate by 3-11 percent depending on the amount ingested. Larger doses have a stronger effect, but it is vital to control consumption as individuals can become tolerant.

Tolerance also depends on the person and is typically less prominent in obese or older individuals and more notable in younger individuals. Interestingly, most of the increase in metabolism is due to a rise in the burning of fat which leads to the next underlying reason to indulge!

  1. Mobilizes Fat

That’s right caffeine burns fat! It stimulates the nervous system, which sends direct signals to the fat cells to tell them to break down fat.

Ultimately, caffeine increases adrenaline in the bloodstream which breaks down the fat tissue and releases it into the blood. This process mobilizes fat from the fat tissues and makes it available for use as free fatty acids in the blood!

  1. Prevents Disease

The health benefits don’t stop there. Research shows that drinking coffee can help prevent a variety of diseases. For instance, researchers at the University of Georgia have discovered that the chlorogenic acid compound found in coffee may help prevent some of the damaging effects of obesity. Previous studies have also shown that coffee consumption may lower the risk for chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Shockingly, those are only to name a few. Caffeine intake is associated with a significantly lower incidence of Parkinson’s disease and the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. It’s no wonder why coffee is so popular!

  1. Administers Happiness

With that said, the final reason why coffee is so renowned is since it acts as a mild antidepressant by aiding in the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline. A study done by the Harvard School of Public Health determined that drinking between two and four cups of coffee can reduce the risk of suicide in men and women by about 50 percent.

Another study done by the National Institute of Health found that those who drink four or more cups of coffee were about 10 percent less likely to be depressed than those who had never touched the java. Study author, Honglei Chen, states that the proposed reason coffee makes you feel good is those trusty antioxidants!

Therefore, there are no excuses not to celebrate International Coffee Day!

So what should you do next?

Have a cup of coffee and reap the benefits that it has on the human body today!

Workplace Stats to Recognize International Women’s Day!


Happy International Women's Day

March 8th is International Women’s Day! We would like to look at some recent developments of women in the workplace (our own head office consists of 75% female employees, including top leadership positions)! While there are many more strides to be made – it’s great to see gender equality taking shape over time:

  • women were 47.3% of the total labour force in 2016 (compared to 37.1% in 1976) [Source]
  • between 1976 and 2007 employment for mothers with children under 6 years old more than doubled from 31.5% to 68.1% [Source]
  • by 2012, college attendance went up to 71% for women (while staying stagnant at 61% for men) [Source]
  • Women in executive roles earn 72.3% of what men in the same position earn [Source]
  • 15.6% of SMBs are majority owned by women, and 19.7% are equally owned by women and men [Source]
  • in 2015, Prime Minister Trudeau named 15 women and 15 men to his cabinet, marking the first ever gender-balanced cabinet in Canadian history! [Source]

These are just some of the stats that show the progress we’re making in having equality at the workplace. While not perfect it does show change towards the positive! If you’re looking for more resources, tools and articles on the gender gap in the workplace check out World Economic Forum’s Women & Work section.