Archive for July, 2010
July 29, 2010
This worker carefully descends a metal staircase at the top of a high rise in Bangkok. She lives with her family in a camp on the ground.
Photographer Simon Kolton met construction workers and their families in Bangkok and Pattaya. He went to work with them, followed them up the buildings to take photos. Kolton (who goes by “fly” on Flickr) said he was “more scared” than the workers, and that coming down the ladder is much harder than going up.
The construction elevator doesn’t reach the top three floors of the building, so they use the metal ladder.
July 28, 2010
Do people watch safety videos on YouTube? Aren’t they too busy on YouTube laughing at funny videos or singing along to their favorite tunes? Apparently not.
In the past two years, more than 2 million people from around the world have viewed and downloaded safety videos from WorkSafeBC, sponsor of this blog and my long-time client. Some of their videos show graphic injuries and are not for the squeamish. Check out Video: Nail Gun Safety (1 of 4) – Graphic Content!
Here’s a few more sites for you.
YouTube’s Five Most Useful Government Safety Sites for Humans
According to OHS Magazine Online ( Sept, 2009):
The U.S. Department of Labor offers these OSHA videos.“Respirator Safety” shows how to put on and take off common types of respirators. – “The Difference between Respirators and Surgical Masks” explains how to prevent exposure to infectious diseases.
How about you? Seen any good workplace safety videos lately?
July 28, 2010
The photos are of real people – not actors – and they aim for the heart, with messages like: “Slow down. My grandpa works here.”
More than 50 families volunteered to use their images for the campaign and I saw my first one last year by the Canada Line project in Richmond. The smiling images of the working mom with her cute kids, looked out at the road, reminding drivers: “My mom works here.”
Human beings work here
This sends a powerful message. These workers are human beings with families. They are not just annoying obstacles slowing you down.
The current “Slow Down” campaign reminds me of a conversation I had with a safety manager on the Lions Gate Bridge project in 2000. Her name was Nicky Wilson and she said traffic was the biggest risk to workers.
July 21, 2010
Video by Dennis McDade – a Virginia Power lineman by day, songwriter / rap artist by night.
July 21, 2010
Electronic gaming gets a bad rap in many circles, but union rep Herb Conat thinks students’ gaming skills are bringing benefits to the workplace.
According to Herb, students who play video games are more skilled at using the joysticks on heavy machinery than students who don’t game.
“It’s just remarkable. Some of these students would blow you away,” says Herb, who – like these young people – was only 16 when he got his first job operating heavy machines. Today, in his early 50s, he’s still playing an active role in the industry as a union rep for members of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 115.
“The ergonomics of today’s machines – the hand joysticks and stuff like that – are all things these kids use for gaming. They’re not designing them for old guys. They’re designing them for the young person who’s been playing with joysticks since they were a child…” Herb says.
Herb is one of the organizers of “Heavy Metal Rocks” – a hands-on career program for Grade 11 and 12 students who want to try heavy construction and road building equipment.
These lucky students can actually get behind the wheel of some mighty machines – once they have the right training and safety preparation. They get WHMIS training, Level 1 Occupational First Aid certification, and a site-safety orientation from a WorkSafeBC officer who also gives them their own personal safety equipment.
Scientists study effects of gaming
For years, scientists have looked at how video games affect people – especially kids – who play them. For example, a study published in Current Directions in Psychological Science shows that: “the very act of playing action video games significantly reduces reaction times without sacrificing accuracy.”
What do you think, parents? Does this make you feel better about your kids’ gaming?
July 21, 2010
Welcome to Speaking of Safety, a blog for starting and sharing conversations about workplace health and safety.
I’ll start by telling you why I’m writing this blog. It’s because I’ve been listening to people’s stories on the topic since I wrote my first article for WorkSafeBC’s WorkSafe Magazine in 1998.
I’ve spoken with hundreds of people who work in different industries, and many of their stories will stay with me forever.