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March 10, 2021

By 2021 Speakers

Lisa Bolton of Sherrard Kuzz LLP made a presentation on COVID-19 Vaccination and the Workplace. The presentation was on screening customers/visitors for vaccinations; mandatory employee vaccinations; and compliance with current health & safety requirements to address COVID-19.

When considering if businesses should require proof of vaccinations, they need to weigh the objectives of protecting health & safety & minimizing potential liability under the Occupiers’ Liability Act and Bill 218; vs. the risks of Human Rights Code or privacy complaints/violations. She suggested not to implement vaccination screening for customers/visitors unless the benefit outweighs the risk. If implementing vaccination screening develop a policy you will need to identify why screening is a reasonable business requirement and confirm accommodation will be provided to those who cannot comply for a human rights-related reason. If collecting personal information follow Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act including identifying how information will be used, securely stored, safely destroyed, etc. and obtaining consent prior to collection.

Before implementing a vaccination policy, encourage voluntary compliance through education and incentives (if appropriate) assess objective vs. risk.

Vaccination status (currently) is not an exemption from compliance with public health and safety requirement. Businesses are obligated to ensure public health requirements and recommendations are followed by employees and the public on business premises.

Be prepared for a workplace inspection by having a COVID-19 workplace safety plan and following all health and safety requirements/guidance. Safety plan is a written roadmap addressing how business will address COVID-19 transmission risk. The plan includes education, workplace screening, physical distancing, mask or face coverings, cleaning & disinfecting and wearing of PPE.

January 19th, 2021

By 2021 Speakers

Jeff Yuan of Apotex made a presentation on Apotex COVID-19: Site Management Plan. The key points were:

The purpose of the Plan is to prevent and contain COVID-19 and demonstrate due diligence for Public Health, WSIB and MOL.

The Preventative Measures implemented include:

  • A working from home policy.
  • Self-monitoring & screening.
  • Screening contractors and vendors.
  • International screening.
  • Changing cafeteria arrangements.
  • Limiting the numbers of employees allowed in certain areas.
  • Eliminating the cross-over of shifts.
  • Restricting travel between Apotex sites.
  • Controlling locker room access.
  • Segregating of hallway traffic.
  • Sharing & communicating the Plan.
  • PA announcements & posted signage reminders of COVID-19 protocols.
  • Mandatory mask usage on site.
  • Restricting the number of entrances and temperature screening at entrances.
  • Employee training and testing.
  • No sharing of work vehicles.

Apotex is contact tracing for presumptive or positive cases.

Effectiveness checking is undertaken using audits of site controls, management walkthroughs, getting feedback from employees and regular reviews on updated COVID-19 guideline through Public Health.

Facility changes were made to the cafeteria, locker rooms, hallways & stairwells, temperature screening, cleaning and signage.

The presentation concluded with an outline on the managing process for confirmed cases, notifications for any workplace outbreaks and available resources.

November 18th, 2020

By 2020 Speakers

Mark Jasper of GHD made a presentation on Virtual Exercises and the Technology Used. The key points were:

How to run exercises while social distancing and limiting travel during the pandemic.

  • The Success of an Exercise in a virtual environment is dependent on: exercise planning; a strong exercise package; trained facilitators; leveraging existing communication technology platforms; and integrating innovative technology for participants.
  • To design a Virtual Exercise you need: objectives; a participant list; scenario selection; and a Master Scenario Event List (MSEL) that lays out the exercise play. He used an example of a virtual exercise in Winnipeg indicating that there is a need to interact with government agencies as if there is a real emergency.
  • To create a MSEL you need to consider: how you deliver the inject; who receives it; and what do you want them to do.
  • The evaluator of the Exercise needs to: observe the completion of objectives; clarify what may have been completed; and coach the participants. The results should not only have negatives, but focus on the positives as well.

There are various Digital Tools available for modelling, augmented reality, virtual reality and live drone feed integration. He showed examples of: graphics on top of air photos, drone images & plant schematics; modelling spills, transport and air dispersion; and camera tracking, photogrammetry and augmented reality.

Kevin Wallace of Spartan Response made a presentation on Decontamination & Disinfection Services

Kevin talked about Spartan’s programs and work plans to disinfect facilities per Covid- 19 recognized best practices, resulting in an efficient process while ensuring the safety of the Spartan staff and respecting client assets. They provide detailed verification that are protecting client’s employees from virus contact. The Standard Pre-Service client engagement includes: a site visit; identifying key client contacts, layout drawings and general operational details.  Upon engagement, Spartan would work with the client to identify the specific at-risk areas to disinfect (contacted by suspected carrier).

Spartan summarizes the key information is a responder database, making it readily available to personnel for 7/24 call support. Spartan developed a specific training indoctrination for its employees to ensure best practices are understood and followed with respect to decontamination and PPE requirements. Kevin showed examples of incident reports and certificates are typically posted on Health & Safety billboards.

September 18, 2020

By 2020 Speakers

Sharon Walker of Vaughan Emergency Planning made a presentation on COVID 19: Innovations and Lessons Learned.

Sharon provided an overview of innovations and process improvements in operations and service delivery that resulted from COVID’s impact on the public service. The results were process improvements, financial efficiencies, productivity gains, improvements in customer satisfaction, enhanced service outcomes, partnerships, safety and employee morale.

There was a shift to e-services, many programs were delivered thru curbside programs. There were a number of innovations at the EOC and many systems upgrades at the City.

Ryan Wheeler on behalf of Trans Northern Trans-Northern Pipeline made a presentation on the 2019 Bleasdell Exercise.

Ryan did a presentation on the Bleasdell Exercise, a full scale emergency response exercise on Oct. 8 & 9, 2019 in Quinte West Ontario. The scenario was a pipeline rupture and discharge into the Trent River near the Trenton’s drinking water intakes. The objectives were to validate using ICS, communication, field protocols and procedures with Quinte West and other stakeholders; establishing a Unified Command, Joint Information Centre and Science Table; source water protection; and testing software.

The Exercise Learnings Strengths were:

  • The TRG IAP software was a good communication tool.
  • Support from TNPI shareholders Shell and IOL.
  • Collaboration and teamwork from participants.

Sat Anand of Anco Chemicals Inc. made a presentation on Security Awareness and Security Plan for Railway Loaders under Transport Canada.

Sat presented a security awareness and a security plan for Railway Loaders, Anco has under Transport Canada.

  • A railway security plan includes:
  • Goals & objectives.
  • Prevention, mitigation, response and recovery from security concerns.
  • A security policy.
  • Staff training for security awareness and security plan.
  • Dealing with risks from suspicious persons, behavior and objects.
  • Gate locking, signage, fencing, cameras and alarms.
  • Security checks & visitor sign in.
  • Procedures for opening & closing, emergencies and onsite response.
  • Back up records.
  • Security Plan risk assessment.

Sat also mentioned about CN Tariff 9000. A company can be fined by CN for any safety violation near a railway track in the facility; track maintenance; and or any equipment in operation near the track.

July 8, 2020

By 2020 Speakers

Ryan Wheeler of Trans-Northern made a presentation on COVID-19 Response for Business Continuity

Ryan said that Trans-Northern was designated as an essential business and used their Business Continuity Plan to develop a Pandemic Plan.

The objectives of the Pandemic Plan included: ensuring the safety of TNPI employees, consultants and contractors; maintain operations and assets; and mitigating operating risks. The strategies and tactics to implement the Plan included: communicating workplace guidelines; providing a self-assessment tool for staff; developing and implementing a line control mitigation plan; ensure the supply of safety equipment (PPE); identifying critical staff and 3rd party services; developing and distributing essential service engagement letters; implementing a communications strategy; and developing a recovery plan and workplace guidelines to prevent COVID transmission.

TNPI also implemented: virtual internal response planning exercises; liaising and community outreaching through on-line platforms; and face to face meetings with emergency responders.

Sat Anand of Anco Chemical made a presentation on Anco’s COVID Plan

Sat overviewed Anco’s response to the Coronavirus and flu prevention. A memo was issued and discussed with the staff explaining possible safety instructions with policy to follow including: staying at home when sick; washing hands; wearing masks; avoiding gatherings; cleaning surfaces (including providing hand sanitizers, cleaning sprays and wipes); asking some employees to work from home and some to work alternately in the workplace; only 1 employees per room was allowed; and providing guidelines for travel and gatherings. Security changes included locking all gates and office entrances; monitoring trucks entering the property; relocating pick up and drop off locations for couriers to the parking lot; and discussing the RDC security code and railway loader security plan.

The Continuity and Recovery Plan included: following the Public Health guidelines; conducting a workplace risk assessment; mitigating risks; adding PPE; and cautiously & safely bringing staff back to the workplace maintaining social distances with proper PPE.

Cathy Campbell and Catherine Wieckowska of Responsible Distribution Canada made a presentation on COVID-19

Cathy and Catherine made a presentation on RDC’s response to COVID-19. They talked about phone apps for COVID-19. Companies should consider the stress and fear involved with the pandemic and the return to work. Companies should show compassion in their response. They showed that the perceived risks of re-opening was higher among women.

Cathy overviewed that there are 2 million unemployed in Canada. 39% of worker were interested in teleworking. And there was a significant drop in emissions during the pandemic. Catherine said that compassion is a business imperative.

Mark Jasper, Ben Scott and Danielle Chambers of GHD made a presentation on COVID-19

Ben Scott talked about the changes to business’s internal operations such as: Office closures, working remotely, self-isolation, limited field work and PPE for employees. He talked that GHD has a Boarding Pass app and is identifying innovative solutions for clients. The talked about the app is a self-assessment app with a temperature check and questionnaire.

Danielle Chambers from the GHD Waterloo office talked about specific services offered for COVID-19 including assisting clients with preparing plans, assessment, screening, training, movement strategies, messaging and education, mitigation, industrial hygiene audits, FIT testing and training for care and PPE use.

January 15, 2020

By 2020 Speakers

Mitchell Gibbs from First Response made a presentation on Clandestine Drug Labs which had a special focus on emergency responders, removing waste and remediation. He said it is very dangerous for emergency responders to deal with drug labs. Fire and explosions are the primary risk. Meth labs contain hazardous unknown chemicals. Most chemicals are not labeled. There is no WHMIS or TDG. Many of the unknown hazardous chemicals are dealt with on site by responders. The sources of many of the chemicals to make meth can be purchased at drug stores and hardware stores. Owners are responsible for the cleanup of the site.

Mitchell said that anyone can buy a book on-line on how to make meth. He showed the group many examples of the locations of drug labs. He concluded his presentation mentioning the Meth Watch Program and that local chemical companies must watch who they sell to and a lot of the chemicals are brought in via trucks and shipping containers.

November 13, 2019

By 2019 Speakers

Jennifer Threndyle from WSPS made a presentation on Violence and Harassment. She defined workplace violence and workplace harassment. She outlined the need to prepare policies to prevent violence and harassment including:

  • Developing and maintaining programs to implement the policies.
  • Assessing the risks of workplace violence based on the nature of the workplace and type of work.
  • Developing measures and procedures to control the risks.
  • Taking reasonable precautions to protect workers who are at risk of physical injury.
  • Alerting certain workers to the risk of workplace violence from persons with a history of violent behaviour.

The WSPS is able to complete a Workplace Violence Risk Assessment specific to a workplace, assist in developing a program and present an awareness session. At the end of the presentation, Jennifer mentioned various online resources such as the WSPS Workplace Violence & Harassment Toolbox; MLTSD Resources and the Excellent Program which replaces all other Health & Safety Rebate programs.

September 11, 2019

By 2019 Speakers

Poonam Chodha of Amazon toured the CAER group around the Amazon Fulfillment Centre in Brampton. The Brampton Fulfillment Center is an 80,000 sq. ft. facility on 4 floors which services the Canadian market from Brampton. The operations are made up of inbound and outbound departments. Inbound receives products from hundreds of vendors. Once received, these products become available on the Amazon website to order. Outbound operations, fulfills customer orders by picking, packing and shipping customer orders within specific and tight deadlines. The group toured the facility seeing robots, belt conveyors, packing stations and the shipping of the outgoing goods.

May 8, 2019

By 2019 Speakers

Sat Anand of Anco Chemicals made a presentation called “E2 Planning” at the CANECT Conference. E2 planning has 4 steps: prevention, preparedness, response and recovery.

Prevention involves: identifying in advance the risks, studying past emergencies, predicting scenarios, containing spills, operating procedures, preventive maintenance, facility design, operator competence, leak detection/alarms, incident investigation and compliance to standards. Prevention is essential for reducing the frequency and severity of E2 through preventive action, corrective action and risks managed. Prevention success stories should be prepared. A risk management program should be implemented in advance including process design and operation, training and smooth facility operation. RMP is far less expensive than dealing with the human health problems and environmental damage.

A risk management program includes: hazard identification, risk analysis, reduction of risk and response plans. Preparedness means involving first responders and nearby stakeholders, communicating risk and controls to surrounding facilities, communities and the public. Providing adequate resources to responders including mutual aid agreements, maintaining equipment, testing the plan and informing the public. Preparedness success stories should be prepared.

Quick and effective response relies on sound planning, pre-established partnerships and regular testing. Effective response includes quick activation of the plan, adequate resource mobilization, rapid assessment of the emergency, notification to first responders and alerting public, evacuation, accounting for personnel and adequate reporting. Partners include: other industries, communities, local organizations and government.

Recovery means restoration of environmental damage during the emergency. The best method is to discuss among all involved parties, to assess the damage and agree on a restoration plan. The objective of recovery is to provide sufficient direction to minimize recovery time and reduce impacts. The longer the recovery takes, the higher the ultimate cost.


Sharon Walker of Vaughan Emergency Planning made a presentation at the CANECT conference on Planning E2 Exercises. The first step is to contact municipality for assistance and participation in exercise. Business must decide when to hold an exercise, weather considerations, time of day and implications to neighbouring industries/businesses. They must choose the types of exercise (notification, case study, table top, simulation cell and field exercise). When planning the exercise you do need to: know your goals and objectives; what you plan to achieve; what are you exercising (part of the plan or the whole plan); and is the training and practice for staff or the evaluation of relevance and effectiveness of the plan. She suggested to create a 5 year schedule to work up to the field exercise. The Exercise Planning Objectives should be simple, measurable, achievable, realistic and time specific. To develop your exercise: create a scenario, determine the scale or size of the incident, the internal and external participants and establish a planning team.

When Creating a Scenario she said to keep it real, based on risk assessment, painting a picture with words and avoid creating an Armageddon. She suggested using safety videos from the Chemical Safety Board

Pre-Exercise Training includes building mini scenarios, creating hands on training activities and a walk-about. When conducting the exercise you should stay on schedule, control access to the site, ensure necessary resources are available, use props to simulate the incident, clearly identify Evaluator and Observers. Remember that Developers and Controllers do not actively participate and be prepared for real incidents during the exercise.

The Evaluation includes debriefing all participants. Evaluations should be confidential. Questions include: What went well? What could be done better? What do we need? What did you learn? After the evaluation an Action Report containing action items should put together.

March 20, 2019

By 2019 Speakers

Mitchell Gibbs
Mitchell Gibbs of First Response Environmental made a presentation: “The Deadly Environmental Malibu Fire”. Mitchell showed a news video early on in the Malibu Wildfire. He talked about the mixed messages on evacuations, the 18,000 structures that were burned over 250,000 acres and the 89 lives lost. He said that most of the deaths were inside vehicles attempting to leave the area late. 250,000 people were successfully evacuated. First Response dealt with the clean up afterwards. He mentioned that Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) were available to help with evacuation, but were not recognized by local official and utilized.

Mitchell estimated that it cost $150,000 to clean up each house. LA County Fire and the US EPA paid for the initial clean up and teams like First Response complete the cleanup. Another issue during the fire was the decommissioned nuclear testing facility (Santa Susana Field Laboratory) where the soil was contaminated and nuclear waste was stored had been partially burned. After the fire, flooding and landslides were an issue since there was no vegetation remaining, 14,000 home were leveled and Pacific Gas & Electric & several insurance companies went bankrupt.

Mitchell wrote a book on the fire.


Sharon Walker
Sharon Walker of Vaughan Emergency Planning made a presentation called “Exercise Loco Motive”. This was the City of Vaughan’s annual exercise. The objectives were to practice: roles & responsibilities; emergency notification procedures; incident assessment & action planning; coordination, communication & interoperability; using Dashboard; implementing the Drinking Water Emergency Plan; identifying continuous improvements to plans & procedures; and compliance with the Emergency Management & Civil Protection Act.

The scenario was a tanker hit by a train which involved a derailment, fire, chlorine release, helicopter crash and drinking water issues. The exercise involved both CN and Alectra. The methodology was calling in with issues, with 2 shift changes and mock media briefings.

The lessons learned was that: communication was a strength; Dashboard worked well (a training session before the exercise worked); maps and GIS are valuable tools; training staff to keep their briefings short; and situational awareness.

What could be done better: need better audio visuals; drone view from above was great for mapping and video feeds; message; common maps approval needed; updating dashboard; mapping and video feeds further development; procurement form process; and streamline communication.

Recommendations: install audio-video systems in the EOC; purchase IMS colored vests; sections update procedures; investigate mapping software; develop more efficient public alerting; and on-going training.