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#OHSMatters November 2019

Written by: Lisa Hallsworth

Published on: 19 November 2019

Quinte Trailblazer Award

Rillea Technologies Wins Quinte Business Achievement Trailblazer of the Year Award!

“It is with great pride that we accept the Quinte Business Achievement Trailblazer of the Year Award”, said Lisa Hallsworth, CEO of Rillea Technologies. “It is awesome to be recognized for our forward-thinking innovation, hard work and the social good that we are leading in Canada and around the world from right here in the Bay of Quinte!"

The Quinte Business Achievement Trailblazer of the Year Award recognizes organizations who demonstrate product or process innovation or technological achievement that has commercial relevance and practicality. Pictured above from the left is Amber Darling, Executive Director Trenval, Lisa Hallsworth and Todd Smith, MPP Bay of Quinte.

After decades working in the chemical industry, Rillea's co-founders Lisa and Rob Hallsworth, both chemical engineers, could see a huge gap in the way that chemicals are being managed in the workplace. Most managers and workers are intimidated by chemical documentation and regulations. These often go unread, leaving organizations and their stakeholders at high risk to lost time, presenteeism, absenteeism, employee turnover and regulatory fines due to chemical-related workplace exposures. More than that, work-related lung disease and cancer are placing a heavy burden on our healthcare system.

Could Rillea's team build digital technology to summarize important information to make it easier for people to access, understand and act upon? You bet! 

Today, Rillea’s many clients, including the National Research Council of Canada, use SDS RiskAssist, to digitize their WHMIS safety data sheets. The web platform instantly re-organizes this data into simple summaries so that workers, company directors, leaders and safety personnel can understand hazards and prevent exposure. Prevention pays dividends not only to employers but unburdens our healthcare systems and is better for our environment.

Upcoming Webinar on Chemical Safety

Thinking about implementing a chemical safety program and looking for steps to get started?  Rillea's COO, Rob Hallsworth, will be delivering a webinar called "Chemical Safety - It's More Than WHMIS!" as part of the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering's continuing education online learning series, on December 5th, 2019. Non-members are welcome.  To register and for more information, click on the button below.

Did You Know Styrene is a Probably Human Carcinogen?

Styrene is a sweet, floral-smelling liquid that is mainly used in manufacturing food containers, plastic packaging, synthetic rubber, insulation, carpeting backing and can be found in some consumer products. It has recently been added to the 2019 International Agency for Research on Cancer's list as a 2A carcinogen (Probably carcinogenic to humans). As well as cancer, styrene can affect hearing, balance, nerve conduction and cause other problems such as dermatitis.

Among Rillea's client's, styrene appears as an ingredient in substances that are used in automobile maintenance, resins and coatings. In SDS RiskAssist, clients can quickly identify products that contain styrene by typing "styrene" in the Ingredient search box from the Exposure page. 

The Occupational Exposure Limit for styrene in Canada varies from 20 to 100 parts per million. However, now that styrene has been classified as a 2A carcinogen, exposure should be kept "as low as reasonably achievable" (ALARA).

Studies show that the styrene odour at 60 PPM is detectable but not irritating. Therefore odour is not a good indication of exposure limit and awareness of the potential for exposure is the best approach to keeping workers healthy.

To assess the risk of worker exposure to styrene, employers can take the following steps:

  1. identify the products being used that contain styrene,
  2. consult employees to understand how frequently these products are used and for how long (risk increases with frequency and time used),
  3. consider elimination of the product or substitution with a less hazardous product,
  4. ensure the product is used in a fume hood or with local ventilation,
  5. if the product must be used in an area with low or no ventilation, ensure that employees are equipped with proper personal protective equipment, they understand how to wear it properly and are trained to respond appropriately to a spill.

Customer Success Story:
Rillea Technologies Helps Toronto Dentist Excel at Workplace Safety for Healthier Bottom Line

Dr. Eva Iperifanou knows the value of workplace health. As the Dental Director of Unite Here Wellness & Dental Centre, she invests huge resources into ensuring her team of dentists, dental assistants and hygienists are working in healthy, well-managed environments at each of Unite Here’s three locations in Toronto and Mississauga.

“It’s a worthwhile investment that allows these professionals to focus on providing high-quality patient care”, she says.

RilleaTech in the News!

 Quinte Business Achievement Awards Celebrate Success,
Belleville Intelligencer, October 28th, 2019

Let's keep the conversation going!

Follow any or all of our social media feeds (see links below) to hear news about Rillea Technologies or SDS RiskAssist. We'd love to answer any questions you may have and support your journey in responsible chemical management.

 __ Lisa & Rob, Rillea Technologies

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SDS RiskAssist an Ontario-based company that uses the power of technology to give employers control and understanding over the otherwise pervasive and worrisome use of chemicals. SDS RiskAssist enables workers to know why chemicals are being used, what their benefits and hazards are and how to use them safely! Workers can access this knowledge via mobile or desktop SafetySnaps™, from anywhere in the world. SDS RiskAssist is the winner for 5 years running, of Readers’ Choice Awards by Canadian Occupational Safety Magazine (2018-2022); the 2019 Innovation Guelph Startup of the Year Award; the 2019 Quinte Business Achievement Award (Trailblazer category) and The Ottawa Network’s 2020 Bootstrap Award (SaaS category). We support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, working with our clients to take action for a sustainable planet.