Ontario Ministry of Labour called upon for a ruling of unsafe work.

Discussion in 'Canada Forum' started by SloHand, Feb 21, 2013.

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  1. SloHand

    SloHand Eh? Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    Kingston, Ontario
    I don't know where to start with this issue. For anyone who has read my old blogs, this is just a continuation of the crap I’ve had to endure in my workplace. My employer is just about to release a new, revamped, directive on vaping and e-cigarettes that someone close to the top (management) has given me a heads up on. As soon as I get the actual text I'll post it here but in essence .... e-cigarettes will no longer be permitted in the building or on the grounds for fear that employees are being exposed to toxic chemicals.

    My Association is useless, they refuse to defend me at all (misrepresentation?). My two other vaping buddies here in the building are represented by a Union. It is their union that has pressured the employer into enacting this policy through the cover of the Joint Health and Safety Committee. My two buddies asked for representation from their union and were refused (again, misrepresentation?).

    There has been a work refusal here by three people, all members of their respected bargaining unit executives, of "unsafe work" as defined by the Ontario Ministry of Labour. They have gone through the first two steps of the process with the employer and continue to refuse to return to work. That means that step three is that the Ministry of Labour has been called in to come and inspect. They will be here tomorrow. These ‘workers’ refusal is because they 'feel' that they are being exposed to hazardous toxins in the workplace. Number one, I don't vape in the workplace. I vape outside with the smokers. Management has (in the first two steps) tried to solve the issue by drafting a communique to all staff that would essentially ban all but preloaded devices and no liquid for refills. Yeah that’s going to work really well with my 30 ml bottle(s) and my S-Dog and Orion as my main devices. How they would enforce that, I don't know, full body cavity search? Anyway the bargaining agents (yes that's right, the unions) have refused and want management to enforce a full ban of anything vaping from the building or near the premises to be enforced across the province at all of its’ worksites.

    I'm not sure what the MOL is going to do? Ask for liquid to test? Can they. Should I refuse? Don't know of any reason why I would? Think I’ll just tell them to order their own.

    Here are some other important things that have happened in the last 24 hours. An email went out to a select group of 'ANTIES' and was worded to make it look like it had been sent to the entire bargaining unit, urging its members to join the work refusal. I or the other two vapers were obviously not on that email distribution.

    People have gotten out of the elevators when I've been there, they turn around and walk the other way to avoid me. This really sucks. Not feeling real warm and fussy right now. This has really 'poisoned' my work environment. Anyone know of a good job in a vape friendly environment?

    I know I’m addressing a partisan crowd here and we can all appreciate how unbelievable moronic this is but please, please please. I’m looking for some constructive help here.
     
  2. SoUnique

    SoUnique Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    Mar 24, 2012
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    Onatrio, Can.
    OMG SloHand, I so feel for what you are going through. I'm also so very angry at peoples rude ignorance.

    Do you make DIY juice? If so, I would let the MOL test it. I'd actually let them test 2 juices, one with flavor & nicotine, and one that is simply a PG/VG juice with no nic or flavor.

    This is leaving the door opened for some nastiness. If it were me & I lost, I would it turn do a work refusal, if I had to be exposed to the stench of anyone who had had an analog. With all the chemicals and toxins released from a burning cigarette, you could be in an unsafe work environment. If that smell stays on clothes and hair, surely it could be unhealthy to be around it.
     
  3. SoUnique

    SoUnique Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    Location:
    Onatrio, Can.
    Also SloHand, I'm the Health & Safety Rep. where I work. I really can't see juice being banned from the work place as a "toxin" or "chemical" not when most work environments and homes contain numerous ones.
     
  4. Lilkurty

    Lilkurty Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2013
    Location:
    Canada
    Hey Slohand,
    I can feel your frustration man. I know this sucks but keep in mind that most people's perception of vaping is probably not positive. I have been vaping for only 1 month and I must admit when I first got my eGo it reminded me of paraphernalia. However, I have done alot of reading up on just what is inside of our PV's and the really interesting thing is that PG's properties when inhaled are very positive to overall lung health. You can check out my blog I've referenced some actual studies and highlighted a few things that I thought were important.
    Anyway, my husband has some respiratory issues (he had lung surgery) and I just sent him to work with my PV and some no nic 70/30 vanilla. He's the VP of a pretty big company and works with alot of the movers and shakers so to speak.
    Anyway, I am interested to see the reaction that he gets as he will explain that he is vaping (I told him to make sure to use that term) for his lung health.
    For example in one study
    "Dr. Robertson placed groups of mice in a chamber and sprayed its air first with propylene glycol, then with influenza virus. All the mice lived. Then he sprayed the chamber with virus alone. All the mice died."

    If I may make a suggestion. Arm yourself with as much reasearch as possible (like I said you'll find some on my blog, but I just started) and have it available when this dude shows up. Explain that you realize that people may be worried as this is a relatively new phenomenon however the safety of the FDA approved ingredients have been studied for 70 years.
    I'll attach the whole Tim article here as I have a subscription and if you don't you won't get the whole article when you click the link.
    Time Magazine
    Medicine: Air Germicide
    Monday, Nov. 16, 1942

    A powerful preventive against pneumonia, influenza and other respiratory diseases may be promised by a brilliant series of experiments conducted during the last three years at the University of Chicago's Billings Hospital. Dr. Oswald Hope Robertson last week was making final tests with a new germicidal vapor—propylene glycol—to sterilize air. If the results so far obtained are confirmed, one of the age-old searches of man will finally achieve its goal.

    The idea of sterilizing the air is not new —London's great fire of 1666, for example, was touched off by the countless fires which townsmen lit to purge the air of plague. Use of chemical sprays to control air contamination was first attempted in 1928 by three doctors who tried a fine mist of sea water containing sodium hypochlorite. This venture gave promising results, but all such research lapsed for another decade. Within the last few years, several research groups (notably the University of Pennsylvania's new Air-Borne Disease Laboratories) again began testing various sprays. Many chemicals were found to kill airborne micro-organisms quickly, even in concentrations as low as one gram of chemical per 500 cu. ft. of air. Trouble was that all these air germicides smelled bad, or were toxic, or irritated the respiratory tract. Dr. Robertson's propylene glycol vapor is odorless, tasteless, nontoxic, non-irritating, cheap, highly bactericidal.

    Its discovery was accidental. Dr. Robertson and his colleagues were trying out another possible germicide—a detergent or "soapless soap" (similar to Dreft, Aerosol and other products widely sold for household and industrial use). Water solutions of the detergent were only mildly effective, so the researchers tried solutions of detergents in propylene glycol, which is a sort of thin glycerine. Results were much better. Then the researchers found that the propylene glycol itself was a potent germicide. One part of glycol in 2,000,000 parts of air would—within a few seconds—kill concentrations of air-suspended pneumococci, streptococci and other bacteria numbering millions to the cubic foot.

    How did it work? Respiratory disease bacteria float about in tiny droplets of water breathed, sneezed and coughed from human beings. The germicidal glycol also floats in infinitesimally small particles. Calculations showed that if droplet had to hit droplet, it would take two to 200 hours for sterilization of sprayed air to take place. Since sterilization took place in seconds, Dr. Robertson concluded that the glycol droplets must give off gas molecules which dissolve in the water droplets and kill the germs within them.

    Dr. Robertson placed groups of mice in a chamber and sprayed its air first with propylene glycol, then with influenza virus. All the mice lived. Then he sprayed the chamber with virus alone. All the mice died.

    Propylene glycol is harmless to man when swallowed or injected into the veins. It is also harmless to mice who have breathed it for long periods. But medical science is cautious—there was still a remote chance that glycol might accumulate harmfully in the erect human lungs which, unlike those of mice, do not drain themselves. So last June Dr. Robertson began studying the effect of glycol vapor on monkeys imported from the University of Puerto Rico's School of Tropical Medicine. So far, after many months' exposure to the vapor, the monkeys are happy and fatter than ever. Dr. Robertson does not expect mankind to live, like his monkeys, continuously in an atmosphere of glycol vapor; but it should be most valuable in such crowded places as schools and theaters, where most respiratory diseases are picked up.
    Propylene glycol is harmless to man when swallowed or injected into the veins. It is also harmless to mice who have breathed it for long periods. But medical science is cautious—there was still a remote chance that glycol might accumulate harmfully in the erect human lungs which, unlike those of mice, do not drain themselves. So last June Dr. Robertson began studying the effect of glycol vapor on monkeys imported from the University of Puerto Rico's School of Tropical Medicine. So far, after many months' exposure to the vapor, the monkeys are happy and fatter than ever. Dr. Robertson does not expect mankind to live, like his monkeys, continuously in an atmosphere of glycol vapor; but it should be most valuable in such crowded places as schools and theaters, where most respiratory diseases are picked up.


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  5. GoatScrote

    GoatScrote Full Member Verified Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2011
    Location:
    Kingston, Ontario
    I'm in the same boat as SloHand (literally, I work down the hall and around the corner), and we are truly puzzled by this one... I definitely appreciate the suggestions and information, keep it coming!

    SoUnique, I don't think I will give them a sample of my juice, the problem is trust. I can't talk to my union, or my managers about this, and the government seems to be taking an "I'm not sure about this stuff, but I don't like it, I do like exorbitant tobacco tax DOLLUHS, so I'll squash it..." kind of approach. Look at the way the FDA study was flawed to show inaccurate results that made the juice look like toxic poison. Who's to say what happens to my sample after I give it to them? I'm nearly positive it won't be tested properly or impartially. They might just "happen" to "find" something really bad in there that I could be disciplined or dismissed for! I'm also a bit hesitant to go the route of refusing to work myself. The thing is, I would definitely prefer to come out of this whole mess nice and squeaky clean. I don't want to stoop to their level, basically. I could however (depending on how all of this goes down), see myself getting close to the point where I might need to seriously consider talking to my doctor and taking a stress leave, although I'd prefer not to go that route either.

    Lilkurty, that's an interesting article, I've read that one before. We have the MSDS fact sheets on the ingredients in e-liquid, and we are armed with a decent amount of documentation, but more is always better! One of the main problems is that I've already tried pointing these people to the documentation, but they just ignore it. They don't want to hear about it, they don't want to research or know about it, they seem to just want it gone, because that's easier than trying to understand it.

    Ultimately, I'd preferably like to find a way to:

    a) Take the high road.
    b) Avoid losing my mind trying to reason with the unreasonable.
    c) Avoid saying or doing anything that could be detrimental to vaping or the vaping community.
    d) Somehow force these people into open discussion and debate where facts and research can be shared - not fears and nescience.
    e) Have this policy somehow reviewed so that it can be proven to be groundless and ultimately removed.
    f) Pick winning lottery ticket numbers.

    That's all that I can think of at the moment, because this topic hurts my noggin.

    Thanks,
    The Scro'
     
  6. struckus

    struckus Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2012
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    lol what? the smokers are ok to smoke but you can't vape? i'd be filing an action of unfair treatment and human rights violations..
     
  7. NickFit

    NickFit Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2012
    Location:
    Newfoundland
    I would go to the union and ask why smoking would be given a pass but vaping is toxic... doesn't make sense. I'd guess that it is not the official union pushing this but someone within your local, maybe an executive member?

    Like Struckus, I would argue unfair treatment as well as workplace harassment. The union should have rules against workplace harassment and unfair treatment. It is singling out the vapers, all workers should be treated equally. Get the smokers behind you as well, they will likely be next and this may just be a stepping stone.
     
  8. Lilkurty

    Lilkurty Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2013
    Location:
    Canada
    This nonsense is all a direct result of the FDA and HC putting out misinformation and then having it repeated over and over again in the media. Unfortunately perception is reality. I just can't help but think of all of the accommodations that are made in schools, work places etc. to accommodate those that have special needs. One person that has a sensitivity to peanuts and all are affected. I am not saying that is wrong, just that it is acceptable. You are also taking steps to improve your health because at the end of the day if you go back to smoking and then quit your job at some point, you will have compromised your health for work. I am reminded of the workers that were exposed to asbestos with companies knowing full well of the dangers. Now at tourneys get rich prosecuting them.
    Now my noggin hurts too!
     
  9. SloHand

    SloHand Eh? Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    New development. At five to four today just before I left work an email was circulated with my personal home address and phone numbers under the disguise of being a distribution of "contact information for emergencies". I will be filing a complaint under The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). This is just soo way out of hand.

    Never under estimate ignorance.

    My information was the only complete one on the list.
     
  10. Esharp

    Esharp Super Member ECF Veteran

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    Nov 7, 2012
    Location:
    London, Ontario
    Wow - Wow and Wow. Holy s#@t. Really! I can't believe this at all. Obviously you have an anti among you. This is the same BS that we get from groups like the NSRA. Ya, smoking is way better for everyone involved. Total BS.

    I talked to my Health and Safety people at work. They are behind me 100%. I vape in the work place with discretion, I don't try and get caught. But, if I did, my Health and Safety people and my union would stand behind me. They already told me that they would take it to arbitration. One of my foreman is a vapor. The studies are showing that vaping is at least 99 % safer than smoking if not higher. It blows my mind that you are having this degree of difficulty with this. Know your enemies pal, obviously this is where all your problems lie. Don't take this lying down.
     
  11. SloHand

    SloHand Eh? Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    I agree with Nickfit. This is isolated to my location. I have attempted to contact the Union involved. No response as of yet.
     
  12. Esharp

    Esharp Super Member ECF Veteran

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    NickFit you are so right! And I'm not barking up the wrong tree.
     
  13. SloHand

    SloHand Eh? Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    Your all good esharp, would you be willing to disclose your union organization? The Union in question here is OPSEU and the Association is AMAPCEO. Don't need to be a rocket scientist now to figure out where I work :p
     
  14. SloHand

    SloHand Eh? Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    I must also point out that Union organizations have been unbelievably helpful to me throughout my working life. This however is the absolute dregs of labour representation that I have been part of. Truly a disgrace. Shame.
     
  15. Esharp

    Esharp Super Member ECF Veteran

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    No worries SloHand - My Union is SEIU Local 2 Branch Local #1. That's in London, Ontario.
     
  16. Esharp

    Esharp Super Member ECF Veteran

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    I'm actually waiting for the day they catch me. I'll walk into the the meeting armed to my teeth. Not that it will do me any good. As it is there place of business. But, It will give me a chance to educate the ignorant, and they are ignorant even with their MBA's.
     
  17. SloHand

    SloHand Eh? Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    Awesome. When I was president of CUPE Airline Division Local 4026 your union donated tons of cash to us during our 18 month lock-out. Thank you!
     
  18. Esharp

    Esharp Super Member ECF Veteran

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    We're in this together buddy! Always have been. And the fight is long from over. We will be fighting till were dead, and beyond. The 1%ers are dicks. Don't ever forget it.
     
  19. GoatScrote

    GoatScrote Full Member Verified Member

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    Location:
    Kingston, Ontario
    I'm even more dumbfounded now. Tomorrow will very surely be an interesting day.

    Struckus, the smokers are still allowed to smoke, yes - but they (obviously) have to do it outside. And yes, it does seem ridiculous that us vapers are targeted by this policy. We have not been told (officially yet) that we can't vape, just that we can't do it inside the workplace. With the new amendment to the policy however, it would make it even harder to vape anywhere near the building. I fear the next one could make it impossible to even bring any type of vaping product at all to work, maybe not even store it in my car for use on breaks.

    NickFit, I do believe it is a local, and I think filing a complaint / violation might be useful. My union does have rules against this type of thing, but it gets a bit dicey when you figure out that your representation is punching holes in your hull while you're bailing water. I'm not sure how to go about this process just yet, but I imagine it might require me to go over a few heads.

    Lilkurty, agreed!

    SloHand, damn! I didn't receive an email like that. Probably a good idea to file that complaint!

    Esharp, agreed!
     
  20. Esharp

    Esharp Super Member ECF Veteran

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    GoatScote - I think there is very little we can do in the long run regarding the workplace. If the employer says you can't do it in the workplace then you can't do it. Regardless if it's based on BS. It's the same as if someone was doing something at your home that you did not approve of regardless if it was right or wrong, you have the final say, as it is your own property. Malls are a perfect example, most people think of it as public property when in fact it is private property. And property rights are very strong in this society. As for the workplace and co-workers, if co-workers are being difficult because you are a vapor, take note, do your job and nothing more especially with a co-worker that is being a jerk because you are a vapor. It all comes around in the wash eventually, they may want to switch days off for example, screw them. That's knee jerk for sure, and not my first approach to this ,but that's where it can go. Communication is the best place to start, fear is usually borne out of ignorance. Time to educate the masses, including the ignorant. Everything in your liquid is FDA approved. Can't say that about a cigarette. Remember, you are promoting the truth, the anti's are promoting the lies and the ignorant believe the anti's.
     
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