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February 2016

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Until recently, about the only workplaces where employers had to worry about noise levels were factories, mines and oil rigs. That all changed December 9th of last year when Regulation 381/15 was approved. Set to take effect July 1, 2016, the regulation extends noise protection requirements to the following workplaces: Farming Operations Construction Projects Health Care Facilities Schools Fire Services Police Services Amusement Parks The stated objective of the Regulation, which falls under the Occupational…

On February 22, 2016, the United Nation’s aviation agency, the International Civil Aviation Organization (“ICAO”), approved an interim ban on cargo shipments of lithium-ion batteries on passenger aircraft. This safety measure comes in response to growing concern about the risks presented by air transport of lithium-based batteries, including recent recommendations for greater restrictions from ICAO’s top technical body. The International Aviation Transport Association (“IATA”) quickly issued an update on lithium batteries, confirming that beginning on April…

In February 2016, EPA announced its National Enforcement Initiatives for Fiscal Years 2017-2019.  EPA conducts this process of identifying enforcement priorities every three years with the intent of focusing Agency resources on areas of significant non-compliance where federal enforcement is considered to be effective. EPA solicited public comment on its proposed National Enforcement Initiatives last year. The Agency maintains that the final priorities incorporate this stakeholder feedback. The seven National Enforcement Initiatives for FY 2017-2019 are as follows:…

An employee’s use of intoxicants, like marijuana, can adversely affect the work environment by: compromising the ability of employees to perform their job duties; threatening the health and safety of the employee and his or her co-workers; and undermining the employer’s reputation. It is no surprise, then, that employees who are found to be under the influence at work often face discipline. Yet, the rise of marijuana as a treatment for disabling medical conditions (such…

Waste electronics (and electrical equipment) recycling obligations across Canada will extend from “sea to sea to sea”. Northwest Territories Launches Program On February 1st, 2016, the Government of the Northwest Territories launched its NWT Electronics Recycling Program, branded “rethinkit”. The program is modest in its initial scope (computers, display devices and printers), similar to “phase I” of the now more comprehensive programs adopted by the more mature programs to the south. No Non-Residency Exception The rethinkit…

Environment Canada’s Chemical Management Plan (the “CMP”) continues to expand the scope of its investigation into substances already in commercial use in Canada.  The newest target for CMP scrutiny and industry reporting are nanomaterials – substances that are manufactured and/or have internal or surface structures measured in nanometers. Aren’t These Substances Already Approved? While many of the 206 substances are on the CMP’s Domestic Substance List as approved for use and distribution in Canada, Environment…