Cultivating solutions with Innovation at Work grants

September 02, 2015

It’s a call for ideas. WorkSafeBC invites BC researchers to apply for Innovation at Work grants to pursue “practical shop floor solutions” to specific problems.

Speech Bubble, Image credit: Ian Burt on Flickr

Speech Bubble, Image credit: Ian Burt on Flickr

In 2014, WorkSafeBC awarded $499,799 in funding to eight new research projects “aimed at transforming societal attitudes towards workplace health and safety, and better recognizing and preventing occupational diseases in B.C.,” reads this news release.

It’s amazing to see the solutions people create when they work together, and I like to see their ideas being supported.

“The knowledge generated by these studies will support the development of new, evidence-based approaches for reducing work-related injury, illness, disease, and death, and minimizing the associated human and economic costs,” says Ed McCloskey, Director of WorkSafeBC’s Research Secretariat, quoted in the above news release.

These projects included:

* A Multidisciplinary Study of Factors Influencing Hazard Reduction Strategies, Using Noise Exposure and Hearing Loss as a Model (UBC)

* Assessing Attitudes, Beliefs, and Readiness for Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention in the Construction Industry (UBC)

* A Systematic Review of the Effectiveness and Cost-effectiveness of Social Marketing Campaigns in Occupational Injury Prevention (Institute for Work & Health)

* Measuring the Effectiveness of a Hand Hygiene Campaign on Health Care Workers’ Knowledge, Attitudes, and Intention to Comply with Hand Hygiene Guidelines (Vancouver Coastal Health Authority)

* Using Social Marketing to Increase Occupational Health and Safety (University of Regina)

* Sustaining Health Care Professionals During Pandemic Influenza: A Pre-incident Pilot Project (UBC)

* Reduction of Asthma Risks Among Cleaners in the B.C. Health Care Industry: Protocol Development (UBC/ Occupational Health and Safety Agency for Healthcare in BC)

* Occupational Exposures to Fertilizer and Contaminants among B.C. Tree Planters (UBC/ Forest Engineering Research Institute of Canada)

Who is eligible for an Innovations at Work grant?

The Innovations at Work grant is available to any Canadian resident, in addition to university researchers (as you see in the list above). Successful applicants must have experience, expertise, and input from those affected by the problem and solution.

“Workers, employers, researchers, and educators may become involved in creating healthy and safe workplaces in BC and/or in the partners’ jurisdictions by helping to find solutions to the priority problems which affect workers. We encourage collaboration….”

Researchers are asked to file “notice of intent” to apply for a grant by September 14. Final deadline is November 2, 2015.

Please share this information far and wide because people have so many good ideas and solutions that can be put into action with the right support.

Stop domestic violence from entering the workplace

August 26, 2015

Image credit: Nicolas Raymond on Flickr

Image credit: Nicolas Raymond on Flickr

Domestic violence doesn’t just happen at home. It also happens at work.

More than half the time, domestic violence spills into the workplace, says a study described in the June/July issue of Canadian Occupational Safety Magazine.

In 2012, Ontario researchers surveyed 8,429 people who experienced domestic abuse. They found that “at least one type of abuse act occurred at or near their workplace” more than half (53.5 percent) of the time.

How does it enter the workplace?

It happens when a worker is harassed, stalked, threatened, or harmed at work. It is “characterized by abusive, coercive, forceful or threatening acts or words by one member of a family, household, or intimate relation against another,” reads the WorkSafeBC information sheet Domestic Violence in the Workplace.

“When this happens, the safety of a workplace can be compromised. This can endanger co-workers and clients, putting an entire workplace at risk,” says Susan Dixon, knowledge transfer manager with Research Services at WorkSafeBC.

Susan co-managed the team that put together WorkSafeBC’s domestic violence toolkit that also includes the info sheet Why employers should care.

By actively taking steps to prevent and address domestic violence in the workplace, employers can foster a safer, more supportive environment. If a violent incident happens in the workplace, the employer has a duty to investigate, in accordance with Workers Compensation Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation.

“Employers can create a workplace atmosphere that encourages those experiencing domestic violence to ask for help,” Susan says. “Research shows that workplaces can and do make a difference in contributing to the safety and well-being of those experiencing domestic violence.”

Cultivating solutions with Innovation at Work grants

Looking for “practical shop floor solutions” to specific problems.

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The dialogue speaks for itself, along with the silent hurt in the eyes of those who are targeted.

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Road safety workshops near you in BC

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Wishing you a happy and safe Canada Day

Of course, as you might expect, I have some safety tips to share. “Don’t leave pets or kids in parked vehicles” is one of them!