In the past, it was part of the job for workers to communicate using handheld devices while driving. But things have changed – and people are now fined for distracted driving. If the worker has an accident, and the employer knew (or even encouraged) the use of handheld devices, the employer can also be held at fault. On average, according to WorkSafeBC, 30 workers a year are killed in motor vehicle incidents. Twenty-five percent of all vehicle crashes (including people who are driving for work and those who are not) are attributed to distracted driving.
Here’s a link to this new video from WorkSafeBC that describes how employers can support the safety of their driving workers. It’s one of 150+ videos on WorkSafeBC’s Safety Videos App. Find more information on the Distracted Driving page on the WorkSafeBC website.
On average, each year from 1999 to 2008, commercial fishing accidents took the lives of 13 workers in Canada. The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) did an independent investigation of these tragic fatalities.
I learned about this issue from Glenn Budden when he spoke at the Human Factors Community of Practice at WorkSafeBC. He described the jurisdiction of his Board and answered questions from safety professionals. Some asked about the TSB’s guarantee of confidentiality in the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act
“The confidentiality that our Act provides is our biggest asset. Those involved in accidents can feel protected and feel good about helping us prevent a similar accident happen to others,” Glenn said.
The TSB is “an independent agency, separate from other government agencies and departments, that reports to Parliament through the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons,” reads the TSB website.
“Our independence enables us to be fully objective in making findings as to causes and contributing factors, and in making transportation safety recommendations.”
Glenn is the Pacific regional senior investigator of fishing vessels and he described the report that outlines deficiencies and recommends solutions.
Read the full report - Safety Issues Investigation into Fishing Safety in Canada – which includes the 10 greatest hazards to people who fish for a living:
* Fisheries resource management
* Lifesaving appliances
* The regulatory approach
* Safety information
* Fishing industry statistics
* The cost of safety
* Safe work practices
What happened? Why did it happen? How can we prevent it from happening again? These are the basic questions that need answering, as Glenn describes in the video above.
The purpose of the inspection is to audit and assess safety systems and help you address deficiencies – and you can request the report be delivered in person, for answers and guidance on how to proceed.
Have you done anything to lighten the load and reduce workers’ risk of musculoskeletal injury? If so, here’s a chance for BC workers and employers to share their stories during October Occupational Ergonomics Month.