COHS PROGRAM REVISION
Presented to D. Meston
November 26th, 2014
This study of the three most important safety programs is based on my experience in the Canadian Forces. As operational hazard is a part of the job pre-requisite, those programs are mainly applied in training and day to day operations. Some of these programs are also applied in conflict areas where the situation permits. Any derogation to those programs must be documented by the medical authority in the field. I have included the reference to these programs at the end of this document. Context and program Description
The Canadian Forces employs roughly 65.000 military personnel and about 27.000 civilian employees. Most of these programs are observed by both type of employees. Where there is provincial regulation stricter than the program, both the federal and provincial regulation is followed and observed. In addition, Reservist military personnel also observed these programs.
A team of preventive medicine technician is on site at almost every Canadian Forces bases and is trained to inform, instruct, evaluate and intervene when necessary to insure respect of these programs. They represent the Chief Medical officer (the position in charge of safety and health of DND personnel.
All military personnel and some civilians have an initial medical assessment and regular medical follow-up afterward. Their health is assessed and when required, additional medical procedure is ordered. Specific jobs are identified as Very hazardous and the personnel have specific medical schedule to follow.
The hazards in the military jobs come from various sources. The main concerns from my standpoint are: Respiratory hazards, Noises hazards and Physical hazards (mainly heat stress and cold stress). I will in the following paragraph explain why I believe that those program, in the way they are designed and put in application, are well made, complete, and they protect adequately the workers while they are in training/domestic operations. One downside of the military operation is that armed conflict does not provide with an environment that is always in accordance with proper protection. One aspect that is mostly indicative of that reality is hearing conservation. Although the program is well structured and procedures/responsabilities well defined, this program is falling short of expectation as some studies on veterans have shown in 2005 by veterans affairs Canada. Respiratory Protection Program (RPP)
This program provides an almost complete coverage of the respiratory hazards in the Canadian forces. The CBRN (chemical, bacteriological, radiological and nuclear) inherent to the military profession is covered by specific training and is not a part of the program. Specific means of protection, sampling and decontamination for these hazards are part of the mandatory annual training of military personnel. The RPP is complete and also take into account specific responsibilities of various entities within the forces (fire marshall, Preventive medicine tech, Chief medical officer, direct supervisors, etc.). One drawback of this program is that no data is kept in the centralized medical file for fit testing of mask or apparatus. The assessment of the individual for its ability to wear is the responsibility of a department which does have limited access to the medical information of the worker. In addition, civilian employee’s medical file is not included in the centralized database. Supervisor’s notes or comments about the workers respect for protection usage are not accessible to medical personnel. This limits the ability of the preventive technician to assess properly the situation and possibly make a correlation between exposure and protection measure, individual or administrative. I have included the program in my assignment submission. ....
References: National Defense / Canadian Forces
Respiratory Protection Program.
C-87-040-000/MS-001, Feb 2004;
National Defense / Canadian Forces
Hearing Conservation Program
National Defense / Canadian Forces
Physical Hazards Surveillance Program: Heat Stress
National Defense Health Policy 4440-16 (French version attached)
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