MRO Magazine

SARS in the workplace update: WSIB ruling, more website resources, where to find N95 masks

Toronto, ON -- (updated April 18, 2003, to include additional website links and sources for protective masks) -- In...


Health & Safety

April 18, 2003
By MRO Magazine
MRO Magazine

Toronto, ON — (updated April 18, 2003, to include additional website links and sources for protective masks) — In light of the recent health alert in Ontario regarding SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) has ruled that, “Workers with symptoms of SARS who were infected in the course of their employment may be entitled to the usual benefits and services available under the [Occupational Health & Safety] Act. As in all disease claims, their entitlement is decided on a case by case basis.<br>
<br>
“The Act does not provide coverage for workers who are symptom free, even when quarantined or sent home on a precautionary basis. However, such workers may be entitled to benefits and services if they develop symptoms or an illness compatible with their occupational exposure.”<br>
<br>
Keep in mind that the risk to the general population remains very low. Washing your hands frequently is always the best way to prevent infection from any illness. <br>
<br>
However, In an effort to limit the risk of exposure in the workplace, supervisors and managers should be made aware of the travel plans of all employees to help ensure that employees at risk do not return to the workplace until cleared to do so.<br>
<br>
As reported on www.mro-esource.com earlier, the following hotline numbers and websites can help answer questions you may have:<br>
<br>
<b>Hotlines</b><br>
<br>
Toronto Public Health: 416-338-7600.<br>
<br>
If people are experiencing symptoms and are concerned that they should be seen, Toronto Public Health will talk to them to see what should be done and will direct them appropriately.<br>
<br>
Telehealth Ontario: 1-866-797-0000.<br>
<br>
People who have general queries regarding SARS can call this number and speak with a registered nurse to get information and advice.<br><br>
<b>Websites</b><br>
<br>
Toronto Public Health: www.city.toronto.on.ca/health/pneumonia_report.htm (regarding who should and who not should be isolated and/or quarantined).<br>
<br>
The Centre for Disease Control (CDC): www.cdc.gov/ncidod/sars in Atlanta Ga. (for background and FAQ sheet).<br>
<br>
Telehealth Ontario: 1-866-797-0000 <br>
<br>
Ontario Ministry of Health: http://www.health.gov.on.ca<br>
<br>
City of Toronto: http://www.city.toronto.on.ca/health/sars/sars_factsheet.htm<br>
<br>
Health Canada: 1-800-454-8302; http: www.hc-sc.gc.ca/english/index.html<br>
<br>
World Health Organization: http://www.who.int/csr/sars/en/<br>
<br>
To view a summary of the latest news reports on SARS, visit the website of OHS Canada magazine at www.ohscanada.com/magazine/sars/default.asp.<br>
<br>
<b>Dustmasks</b><br>
<br>
As a recommended precaution, the N95 dustmask may assist with the prevention of contacting SARS. Click on your N95 manufacturer of choice for a list of authorized distributors in your area.<br>
<br>
<b>North Safety</b><br>
<br>
Ontario: http://www.ohscanada.com/magazine/sars/masks/north-ontario.asp<br>
<br>
Quebec: http://www.ohscanada.com/magazine/sars/masks/north-quebec.asp<br>
<br>
Western Canada: <br>
<br>
http://www.ohscanada.com/magazine/sars/masks/north-western-canada.asp<br>
<br>
Eastern & Atlantic Canada:<br>
<br>
http://www.ohscanada.com/magazine/sars/masks/north-eastern-atlantic.asp<br>
<br>
<b>Draeger:</b> <br>
<br>
http://www.ohscanada.com/magazine/sars/masks/sars.asp<br>
<br>
<b>Degil: </b><br>
<br>
http://www.degilsafety.com/<br>
<br>
<b>Moldex:</b> <br>
<br>
http://www.moldex.com/test8.html<br>
<br>