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Who Should Be on a Joint Health and Safety Committee?

The Occupational Health and Safety Act, Ontario’s legal framework for workplace safety, requires that workplaces with 20 or more regular workers on-site have a Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC). This post provides an overview of who should serve on these committees based on best practices and occupational health and safety laws.

Number of JHSC Members

The law in Ontario requires that workplaces with 20 to 49 workers on-site regularly have a Joint Health and Safety Committee with at least two members.

Workplaces with 50 or more regular workers must have at least four members on a JHSC.

Worker Members and Supervisor Members

When there are 40 or more workers regularly employed at the workplace, the Joint Health and Safety Committee must include representatives who are workers (those who do not exercise a managerial function for the employer) and representatives who are supervisors (those who do exercise a managerial function).

At least half of the JHSC members must be workers. The employer is required to select the remaining members from people in a supervisory role at the workplace.

How Worker Members Are Chosen

In a non-unionized workplace, the employees can elect to join the Joint Health and Safety Committee or select members to join. In a unionized workplace, it’s the trade union or union that chooses the worker members.

Members with a Certificate in Health and Safety

At least two members of the Joint Health and Safety Committee must have a certificate in health and safety, obtained by completing health and safety training under an approved training provider. At least one of the two must be a worker and one a supervisor. Once certified, these members must complete refresher training within three years and every subsequent three years to retain their certification.

There is no limit to the number of members who may be certified. Many employers elect to have all members of the JHSC complete health and safety training. However, if there is more than one worker member with certification, the workers must designate one person to exercise the rights and perform the required duties of the certified member.

The Ministry of Labour’s Guide to Health and Safety Committees has more information on these rights and obligations.

Choosing a JHSC Chair

The Occupational Health and Safety Act has no provisions to specify who must chair a Joint Health and Safety Committee. In an editorial for Canadian Occupational Safety Magazine, Dave Rebbitt makes a strong argument for choosing a member who is not a health and safety specialist to chair the committee. Electing to have a specialist run the committee, he argues, marginalizes ordinary workers who have a day-to-day perspective of the site’s operations and whose engagement is crucial in monitoring health and safety at the workplace.

10 Tips To Save Money On The Road

Most of us individuals believe that road travels can be more affordable than traveling via plane, particularly if you bring all your family members. There are still ways you can get a good deal while you’re on the road. Getting a good deal while traveling means more cash to spend on your vacation.


Here are the different ways to lessen your expenses while you’re on a trip.


  1. Plan ahead

To take advantage of your trip, it’s important to prepare ahead of time. Guide out your courses, places you wish to visit and where you need to eat. Preparing will help you while making your financial plan. You’ll have the capacity to make sense of how much time it will take to achieve your purposes, how much cash you have to designate for gas, and any well-known restaurants you wish to visit.


  1. Set a budget

Making a financial plan is an initial phase in ensuring that you remain on track with your get-away spending. The way to remain on track with your budget plan is to figure out which kind of activities you intend to do. For instance, if your trip will be a foodie adventure, you’ll need to assign a higher part of your budget plan towards food and cut back on your other expenses.


  1. Avoid ATM fees

Do huge withdrawals at one time, rather multiple withdrawals. Also, try to pay for most things with your debit card. Our bank gives us money back when we utilize our debit card. Reward Money!


  1. Utilize your credit card

For every swipe you make using your credit card, you earn points or rebates. This will accumulate in succeeding time and can be used as a discount or another purpose. Also, in some store, specific credit cards have promos ongoing. Make use of it while it’s valid.


  1. Rebates and coupons

Make use of rebates and coupons you accumulated over the year or so. It will give huge discounts specifically on the things that you might need during your trip. Examples of food, gas, accommodations and more.


  1. Prepare snacks

Bringing your own snacks is an incredible method to set aside some cash as opposed to stacking up on accommodation store passage. Intend to bring things that don’t require refrigeration, for example, granola bars, nuts or trail blend so they can remain crisp longer.


  1. Pack smart

Best packing tip is to just possess lightweight snacks — that way you never overpack. Here and there you need to move things, now and then you need to settle on hard decisions, yet on the off chance that you overlook something you get the chance to shop and that is constantly fun.


  1. Stroll around more

Get dynamic and see things at a slower pace – walking is FREE. You can encounter all the more just by meandering around a city and getting lost, chatting with local people, and people viewing. Investigate neighborhood showcases, meander and take photographs, or even climb to the highest point of a slope for a wonderful view.


  1. Look for accommodation with complimentary breakfast

When booking a hotel, search for one with breakfast included or meals.


  1.  Find free parking spaces

One cost individuals normally overlook when making a trip to real urban areas is stopping. Tragically, this can be somewhere in the range of $10 to $30 every day, contingent upon where you remain.

5 American Universities Using Made-in-Waterloo Tech to Study Physical Vapour Deposition

I love seeing a local company go global. Waterloo-based thin film technology manufacturer Angstrom Engineering has placed custom-build deposition systems in research laboratories around the world, including a few prestigious universities. These American institutions are among the many using the best sputtering system from Angstrom Engineering to do important and awesome things.

1. University of Chicago and Drexel University

A joint research team made up of researchers from Drexel’s Science and Engineering Department and Argonne National Laboratory at the University of Chicago recently published a research paper on ion beam deposition. The experiments in question were carried out using Angstrom’s Evovac PVD platform. Using this technology, the team was able to develop a new niobium nitride synthesis method.

2. Colorado School of Mines

The Colorado School of Mines is a teaching and research university dedicated to engineering and applied science, particularly (as the name implies) in the study of natural resources. Earlier this year, Angstrom built a Covap thermal evaporation system for use by the school’s department of physics. Among other areas, this small but versatile system will be used to study nanotechnology and photovoltaics.

3. Kent State University

The Evovac system also has a home at the Lüssem Lab at Kent State, where Assistant Professor Dr. Björn Lüssem and his team study organic semiconductors and other organic devices.

4. Harvard University

The Rowland Institute and Fellowship Program at Harvard University supports young researchers conducting groundbreaking work in various scientific fields. It’s fitting that Angstrom developed a Nexdep PVD system for use in one of the school’s laboratories. There, researcher Dan Congreve uses the Nexdep to produce and study LEDs, solar cells, and other types of thin films.

5. University of Vermont

The University of Vermont’s graduate program in Materials Science is another proud adopter of Angstrom’s Nexdep platform. Installed in 2017, the custom-built system enables student researchers to study device physics of thin film electronics. In a blog post, Dr. Matthew White explains how the new system has improved their work: ““The Angstrom system has revolutionized our work-flow. We are much more confident in our processing, and can push true scientific boundaries without worrying about the possibility that some technical detail will throw the experiment off.”

New YouTube Feature: Time Watched

YouTube has evolved as time progresses. They have changed their algorithm in regards to monetization this year and now new updates are being revealed.  YouTube is the most recent application to pick up another “digital wellbeing” area in its iOS and Android applications, enabling you to see how much time you’ve spent viewing YouTube recently. Google declared at I/O in May that it would present a “Time watched” area in YouTube, and today the rollout has started.


When you update the YouTube app on iOS to version 13.33, you can open the application and tap your profile picture in the upper right corner, at that point tap “Time watched.” The principal details zone indicates the amount of YouTube you have watched today, yesterday, the previous week, and all things considered every day. This history depends on your own YouTube history crosswise over YouTube items aside from YouTube Music.


Underneath this section are tools to deal with the time you spend on YouTube. Including a set time will remind you to take a break. If you want to use the new feature, it is customizable. The feature will notify you of keeping as a reminder of how long you are watching.


Outside of “Time watched,” there is also another notification region in the settings tab of YouTube. Tap your profile symbol, settings, and afterwards look down to warnings. In here, you can choose a “scheduled digest” of your notifications, which will appear of your YouTube push notices into a solitary notice every day, at your own favored time.


To additionally reduce the measure of time you spend on YouTube, this feature will give you a chance to silence the warning sounds and vibrations totally amid any hours you indicate, a component that can be found in settings. YouTube painted these new highlights as a major aspect of a move to give “new instruments that assist individuals better comprehend their tech utilization, center around what is important most and detach when required”. The post likewise itemized how clients can limit interferences by dealing with the recurrence of cautions the YouTube application is serving up.


Computerized wellbeing devices have turned out to be hugely prevalent in the course of recent months, with Macintosh propelling its own framework wide iOS “Screen Time” includes in iOS 12 this fall. As of late, individual applications have taken to presenting their own instruments, including Facebook and Instagram.

In Ontario, At What Age Can a Child Legally Decide Which Parent to Live With?

Child custody and access is a highly complicated area of law. A prevalent issue raised in this area is the question of whether a child can decide which parent he or she wants to live with. According to one lawyer, this is one of the most common questions asked in a custody case; unfortunately, it is also a question without a clear-cut answer.

At What Age Can a Child Legally Decide Which Parent to Live With?

While the decision of where a child should live is ultimately in the hands of the judge deciding the case, the child’s wishes can have an impact. This is especially true if the child is in his or her teenage years. But the weight given to the child’s personal preferences will vary from case to case.

Generally, the court will give more and more weight to the child’s wishes as he or she grows older. This is not just a matter of the child’s maturity, but of practicality as well; the older a child gets, the harder it is for the court to enforce undesirable living arrangements upon them.

In Taylor v Taylor (1989), the judge noted that, “It is probably futile to ignore the wishes of an older child in his or her mid-teens, who is determined to live with a parent of his or her own choice.” Another Ontario judge echoed this view years later in Goodman v Browne (2003), writing that, “It has often been said that children ‘vote with their feet’.”

In other words, there comes a point at which a child is old enough to pack their things and move out on their own, whether the custodial parent (or the court) likes it or not. While a teenager’s wishes are not the sole determinant of the court’s decision, it will invariably have an impact.

When Should Parents Let the Child Decide Which Parent to Live With?

What if the parents aren’t contesting custody? In that case, should the child decide who to live with?

Not necessarily.

Tracy Miller, Kitchener’s best family lawyer, has written on this subject on her blog. Having seen dozens of custody cases through the years, she has observed the potential pitfalls of allowing children to make the call on where to live.

“The responsibility should not be forced onto a child – they shouldn’t have to live with their decision of picking one parent over the other,” she writes. Letting children decide puts them in a position where they have to pick sides between parents, which can be very harmful to their mental health and well-being.

Miller also reminds us that children often tell their parents what they want to hear, fearing that the same kind of conflict that arose between parents will also befall the parent-child relationship.

As said in the beginning, there is no simple answer to the question of when children get to decide where to live. I highly recommend Miller’s firm KW Law for legal advice related to child custody issues. Even if your case is not headed to court, it is enormously helpful to receive sound advice from an experienced source.

Generic PrEP A Further Aid in the Fight Against HIV

By Jeffrey Beall (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons


After many years and several different drugs that proved problematic, the fight to prevent HIV infection took a major step forward with the approval of Truvada. Research showed that when taken under recommended guidelines, Truvada was extremely effective at preventing HIV in such common risk groups as gay and bisexual men, and transwomen.

Originally created to treat people with HIV, it was also discovered that Truvada was very effective at preventing infection. That was excellent news, however, like most new drugs, Truvada proved to be extremely expensive, about $1000 per month. This was beyond the ability of many people to pay and several private insurers also refused to cover the drug even though the cost of pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP) as a preventative is considerably lower than HIV medication.

As Health Canada had only approved the drug for HIV treatment, not prevention, insurance companies sometimes used that as an out, saying that they would not fund “experimental treatment.”

Fortunately, there have been some significant developments since then. Health Canada has now altered its stance, saying that daily use of PrEP, in combination with safe sex practices, is an effective way to prevent HIV infection. That shoots down the insurance company claim that the drug is merely experimental. Also, the introduction of generic forms has significantly reduced the cost ($250-$280 per month), which will also make insurance providers more willing to sign on.

In more good news, Ontario has joined Quebec in saying that the province will now cover the drug. There can still be some cost involved depending on your age and situation, but much, much less than there was even a year ago.

As mentioned above, the drug is generally taken daily, though at least one study suggests that a smaller monthly quantity will suffice for less sexually active users.

How to Survive Winter

You say winter is not your favorite season? Believe me, I hear you. Just because I have spent my entire life in Canada, foreign friends think this means that I must love ice and snow. Well, I am here today to say that you can love the country and hate the weather.

Well, I actually only hate it six months out of the year, but you get the idea. Winter just plain sucks: ice cold temperatures, mountains of snow, ice seemingly put in your path for the sole purpose of inducing falls and other accidents, and lingering dryness in the air that allows bacteria to flourish. If you love winter sports, more power to you, just don’t make me listen to how great your last skiing trip was and how you can’t wait to go again. I’ll be by the fireplace drinking hot apple cider.

Even with enticements like Christmas and New Year’s Eve, winter leaves me cold (see what I did there?). There is just nothing to get excited about, at least, as an adult. Sure, it was fun to throw snowballs and slide down icy sidewalks as a child. I could also somehow stand (and actually wanted) being out in freezing temperatures covered in snow for hours at a time. Those days are gone and, outside of the occasional reminiscence with old friends, they can stay gone.

If you find your spirits dropping this time of year, it might be a case of S.A.D., which is short for Seasonal Affective Disorder. One way to combat that is to get outside more and benefit from the wonder of sunlight, but, yeah, that also means freezing your face off. Fortunately, S.A.D. lights are available, and they do a pretty good job of simulating sunlight. If all else fails, try speaking to your doctor and/or a therapist. These professionals can offer worthwhile suggestions on how you can hang in there until spring.

In the meantime, just remember: you’re not alone in hating winter. Far from it, in fact.

How to Look for Another Job When You Already Have One (and Why You Should!)

Nobody enjoys job hunting, so it is something that most of us only do when out of work. However, as odd as it sounds, the best time to look for a job is when you already have one.

Hear us out on this! If you have been out of work for some time, potential employers will look less favorably on you than someone with few or no gaps in their work record. The fact that you are gainfully employed is solid evidence that you can hold a job.

However, before you adopt this job hunting strategy, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Keep Quiet

Imagine you are a supervisor and one of your employees told you that he is looking for another job. Why would you invest any more time or thought in that person? In fact, you would most likely start looking for a replacement or maybe even go ahead and fire them, in order to save a bit of money this quarter.

When you start looking for another role, don’t tell your boss or anyone you work with. That includes people whom you consider to be friends. Anyone can accidentally blurt that information out and then everyone will know. You can announce it once the new position is confirmed and you have signed on the dotted line.

It is also wise to limit the number of people outside of work who know. Loose lips sink ships.

No Job Search on the Job

One way you can give up the game is being caught doing job search at work. You never know who will walk into a room and look at your computer screen, or see what you are printing out. Many companies closely monitor what their workers do online. It’s just not worth the risk, so confine your job search to when you’re at home.

Networking Warning

The same applies when networking. This is a very important aspect of job search, so don’t leave it out. However, you can talk about your employment goals without saying specifically where you work. Mention the industry and just leave it at that.

Having Trouble Focusing When You Write?

Do you have trouble staying focused when you write? Programs like Word are wonderful for the way in which they can make writing and editing so much easier. However, if your computer has access to the internet, it can be remarkably tempting to click out of Word, go into Chrome, and see what is happening on Facebook. Or Twitter. Or Instagram. And on and on.

This temptation can be particularly strong when your assignment involves something that is not particularly interesting to you. Most writers must adhere to hard and fast deadlines, so this can be quite stressful. And yet, that pressure is not always enough of an incentive to keep on track. Do you have this problem? If so, the following suggestions can help:

Put Off the Research

If you must use the net for research, and you’re not sure you won’t get off track, leave the research portion of the work for later. Work around that section of the piece as best you can and for as long as you can. Writers get the most done when they reach a sense of flow; stopping to do research can make it very difficult to get that rhythm back. That means you will fall behind and chances are the quality of your work will also suffer because you will feel rushed and disorganized.

When writing, use a searchable term, such as “break” to indicate where you have stopped working. This allows you to easily find that term when returning to these sections later on.

Change Your Computer Settings

If the internet is calling to you and you are having trouble resisting, make some changes. Turn off all instant messaging functions, news notifications, and anything else that might interrupt your train of thought. If worse comes to worst, you can always turn off your modem.

Retirement May Not Be the Answer to a Long Life

You may have noticed a lot of grey-haired people out and about lately. That is because human beings are living longer than ever before, thanks to advancing medical technology and improved treatment. It is perfectly common for people to now live well into their 80s and even 90s.

This has caused the population to change significantly in the past couple of decades. In the wake of lower numbers of children being born, the elderly now outnumbers young people in some countries. This development has put a strain on the health care system in those areas.

The standard American/Canadian retirement age of 65 is also being questioned. Should people really stop working at that age when, in many cases, they still have as much as 20-25 years of life left? Some retirees are already returning to the workforce because they have not been able to make ends meet. However, others are doing it voluntarily because they miss the routine and benefits that working provided.

Studies show that seniors remain healthier, more mentally agile, and just all around better if they remain active, rather than sedentary. While this does not necessarily mean working full time, a part-time position or even volunteer work can be advisable to help retain physical and mental conditioning. A large number of seniors also suffer from depression; physical activity is also very good at helping to alleviate such symptoms.

Thus, it is quite clear that having older citizens continuing to make their skills and experience available to the working world is a benefit for both them and society as a whole. These workers require less training, tend to me more dependable than younger employees, and are also more likely to stay in positions longer, with less hopping from one job to the next. That’s good news for companies looking for talented employees that they can count on to stay put.