VIDEO: Prevent Distracted Driving on the Job

November 26, 2014

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.

I wrote about this in my post Ensure distraction takes a back seat to driving. And now I’m raising the issue again because it’s a warning that bears repeating.

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.

Finding answers to questions about safety in fishing

November 19, 2014

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:

* Stability
* Fisheries resource management
* Lifesaving appliances
* The regulatory approach
* Training
* Safety information
* Fishing industry statistics
* Fatigue
* 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.

VIDEO: Prevent Distracted Driving on the Job

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.

No argument about safe winter driving

Commercial vehicles must carry chains between October 1 and March 31 – and it’s also a good idea for anyone else on snowy, icy roads.

What to expect in an inspection

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.

Resources for safety committees

Today there are many resources to guide the members of workplace health and safety committees – but things were much different in past years.

“Falling will make coworkers look down on you”

In BC, falls from a height accounted for 92 worker deaths and 22,610 serious injuries from 2004 to 2013. That’s why a new partnership has been formed to address this tragic reality.

Machines don’t know where you are

“The machine doesn’t know you’re there, so if it’s got to move from Point A to Point B, and you get in the way, it’s not going to stop.”

Calling WorkSafeBC’s Prevention Info Line

WorkSafeBC’s Prevention Line receives an average of 1,000 to 1,100 calls a week from workers, employers, and first responders with questions and concerns about safety.

Share your ergonomic solutions in the 2014 Innovations Contest

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.

Another reminder to call before you dig (VIDEO)

This video shows what happens when an excavator hits a power line on a construction site.