Health and Safety News updated May 18, 2013
MAY IS BETTER HEARING AND SPEECH MONTH
Itinerant Teachers of Deaf and Hard of Hearing are pleased to promote better
hearing during the month May to increase awareness and initiate discussions
about hearing loss.
SIGNS OF HEARING LOSS:
Hearing loss is one of the fastest growing hidden disabilities. According to research conducted by the Canadian Hearing Society in 2002, almost 25% of adult Canadians report having some degree of hearing loss. 10% of those people identify themselves as deaf, deafened or hard of hearing. It was also reported that 46% of people between the ages of 45-87 have some degree of hearing loss. (VIBES, Canadian Hearing Society, 2011)
It is important to recognize the early signs of hearing loss
- Difficulty hearing conversations, especially where there’s background noise
- Frequently asking people to repeat what they've said
- Finding it difficult to hear on the telephone
- Turning up the volume on the TV or radio louder than others in the room prefer
- Removing yourself from conversations because it's too difficult to hear
- Straining to hear or keep up with conversations
Signs of a Hearing loss in children
- need to search right and left to find the voice or sound
- start talking later than children the same age
- can’t say words and sentences the right way
- difficulty hearing one voice when several people are talking.
- performing poorly at school
Common behaviours in children with hearing loss
- Angry and frustrated at not being able to hear or communicate
- Quiet and withdrawn at school – they can’t hear the teacher well or follow instructions
- Exhaustion - hearing takes a lot of energy. Children with a hearing loss are often exhausted by the end of the day.
- Low self-esteem – some children start to view themselves as less capable as their peers, not realizing they have missed some classroom instruction.
If a hearing loss is suspected, contact your doctor. A visit to the
audiologist would also be necessary. In Ontario, you do not need a doctor’s
referral to visit the audiologist.
For more information, contact Canadian Hearing Society at www.chs.ca.
Fifth Disease at St. Lucy SchoolIf you are pregnant, may be pregnant, or will be pregnant, you should be aware of 5th Disease.
You may find additional information by scrolling down this section to the article, Fifth Disease .
Minutes of the September 20 Joint Health and Safety Meeting
Health and Safety 2012-2013
Valerie Longo - Your Elementary Joint Health and Safety Committee OT Rep
It is my honour and privilege to once again, be your Occasional Teacher Rep on the Elementary Joint Health and Safety Committee for the 2012/2013 school year.
As an accredited member of this committee for the fifth year, I have grown to realize that healthy changes for the betterment of Occasional Teachers (including all LTO teachers) do occur however, it takes time and diplomatic persistence. Representation on this committee is crucial and has resulted in forward strides such as receiving training for the Pandemic Plan implemented by all schools and training provided for OTs who are interested, in the emergency use of the new evacuation chairs for special needs students.
As your Elementary JHSC Rep I realize that vocalizing your concerns and issues are a vital part of our meetings therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to remind you once again, that you may feel free to contact me with any health and safety concerns. If there is already an answer for you, it will be provided. If not, it could possibly be an issue that might be brought to the table such as classroom air quality, missing window screens and the associated anaphylaxis risks, dangerous school yards with missing or uneven concrete or any number of issues that may concern you are always dealt with. My email address is email@example.com and again, please do not hesitate to contact me with any health and safety issue in elementary schools; no matter is too trivial.
A final reminder about the Elementary Joint Health and Safety Committee Meeting Minutes - all Minutes are required to be displayed in school staff rooms. Please contact me if you are in a school where this is not the case.
When it comes to health and safety - prevention is paramount!
God Bless everyone with a safe, healthy and happy school year.
Policy/Program Memorandum 144 & 145 (PPM 144 - Bullying Prevention and Intervention & PPM 145 - Progressive Discipline & Promoting Positive Student Behaviour)A memo has been sent to all school boards asking them to incorporate access to students' personal information and school transfers into their current safe school procedures. It is important to note that under disclosure of students' personal information the boards are to inform "All school staff, including occasional teachers, who work directly with students will need to know those behaviour(s) that may resent a potential risk of physical harm to staff or students as documented in the student's OSR."
The Dufferin-Peel Board representative on the OTBUnit's Staff Liaison Committee meeting still did not know how the occasional teachers who work directly with the students will be informed.
Dufferin-Peel's We Share the Air - Scent Sensitivity Awareness Campaign
Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board is committed to a safe and healthy environment for staff, students and visitors. In recognition of the medical evidence that the health of some people is affected by scented products, the Board encourages staff, students, and visitors to avoid use of scented personal care products
This is a reminder to you that the board promotes awareness and ask that you familiarize yourself with our “We Share The Air” website. Just click the following link to take you directly to our webpage. On this site you will find many helpful links. http://www.dpcdsb.org/CEC/About+Us/ACCESS+Dufferin-Peel/We+Share+the+Air.htm
Your Right to a Safe Workplace - Bill 168
Bill 168, an Act to amend the Occupational Health and Safety Act with respect
to violence and harassment in the workplace and other matters, came into effect
June 15, 2010. The law is an attempt to protect workers, including teachers,
from acts of violence and or harassment in the workplace and will have far
reaching effects in schools across the province.
It is the first such law enacted in Ontario and places many responsibilities on Boards of Education and their supervisory staff. Policies and procedures outlined in the Act were to be implemented by June 15, 2010 and OECTA is currently examining these to ensure Boards are in compliance with the law.
Under Bill 168, teaching staff have the right to know when they might come into contact with those who have a record of violent behaviour. Bill 168 states that employers and supervisors must provide at risk staff with specific information including the personal data of anyone, including students, with a history of violent behaviour. Furthermore, school boards must produce policies and procedures with regard to the dissemination of such information.
Although there are a number of laws restricting the release of information with a view to protecting one’s right to privacy, the Ministry of Labour has made it clear that employer obligation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act supersedes other legislation.
OECTA is determined to ensure that teachers receive the information they are entitled to by law. Violence against teaching staff is not a common occurrence but there may be instances when their workplace safety is at risk.
Your right to be aware of that risk should be sacrosanct in every workplace and OECTA will be working with local Unit Executives to ensure it is.
If you have any questions or concerns please contact your local OECTA office.
Secondary School Directive -
Science experiments with flammable or combustible liquids
Recently, during a science curriculum demonstration designed to distinguish the difference between a complete and an incomplete combustion reaction, an accident occurred resulting in personal fire injury.
In response to the request from the Peel Region Fire Prevention Services, the
following directive is NOW in force:
Any science experiment that involves flammable or combustible liquids, that may be ignited intentionally or unintentionally SHALL NOT be performed until an investigation by the fire officials has been completed and further direction from the office of the Associate Director of Instructional Services has been received.
Supply Teacher Handbooks are to be updated to reflect the directive.
HOLD and SECURE
“Hold and Secure” procedure. GAP 502.05 - B: Procedures for a “Hold and Secure” (previously heightened risk) is a new term used for a step below ‘Lockdown’.
A 'Hold and Secure' is identified as an incident that is brought to the
attention of the principal or designate, such as a police investigation in the
area or person(s) in a vehicle approaching students near the school, that may
require actions that are prudent but less than the actions required in 'Lockdown
During the “Hold and Secure” procedure, the school’s exterior doors are locked, no one is allowed in or out of the school, movement within the school is curtailed (activities such as Library, computer labs and gym may be unavailable at this time), but activities within each classroom continues as usual (Language, Math, Social Studies, Fully Alive, etc.). These 'Hold and Secure' situations may require increased supervision.
If you are pregnant, may be pregnant, or
will be pregnant, you should be
aware of 5th Disease.
Fifth Disease is a mild viral infection that occurs most commonly in children, especially in the winter and spring seasons, but can infect adults. By adulthood 50 - 80% of people have been infected with 5th Disease and will not get it again if exposed. It is caused by parvovirus B-19 and women in the first trimester of their pregnancy are most at risk for any adverse affect upon the unborn child.
The signs and symptoms of 5th Disease are: a brief illness of fever, headache, muscle aches and tiredness that may occur 7 – 10 days before a red, lace-like rash appears, first on the arms and then on the rest of the body. The rash may last weeks to months and fluctuate in intensity. The virus spreads the same way as a cold, on the hands of someone who has the infection, on some things that has been touched by someone who has the infection or in the air by the infected person sneezing and coughing. People spread the disease before the rash appears. The disease is mild for healthy children and most adults. Adults with disease may have painful joints that can last for months. The infection may be more serious for children and adults with chronic forms of anemia or who are immunosuppressed. Infection in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy can cause severe anemia in the fetus. Women in the first half of pregnancy should see their family doctor if they have been in contact with someone diagnosed with 5th Disease.
There is no treatment for 5th Disease and no vaccine is available. Practice good personal hygiene. Frequent hand washing is the most effective way of preventing the spread of 5th Disease and many other diseases. Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing. All women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant should see their physician to discuss 5th Disease and to request blood work to determine immunity to the disease.
In the event that a case of 5th Disease is diagnosed by a physician and reported to the principal, there is a procedure to follow according to Board Policy 6.54 "Communicable, Infectious or Contagious Diseases and the Health & Safety of Staff and Students". Should you be pregnant or may be pregnant, it is highly recommended that upon your arrival you ask the secretary/administrator if there are any confirmed cases of 5th Disease in the school. Hopefully, this will ensure the safety of your unborn child as well as give you peace of mind.
We will continue to ask the Board for the names of the schools in which confirmed cases were reported to be placed on WebTracs and the phone system.. Until we get a more efficient way to communicate this information to our OTs, we will keep you informed through this website of any cases as they are reported to the Association. If you hear of any cases, please call the office at 905-206-9200.