Archive for September, 2010
September 30, 2010
“Who’s responsible for safety when workers get behind the wheel at work?”
You’ll find answers to this question in “Driver’s Seat,” a story in the Sept/Oct 2010 issue of WorkSafe Magazine by Helena Bryan. And just ask Rick Mercer.
September 28, 2010
A friend, let’s call her Beth, recently told me she is faced with the risk of violence every day in her job as a registered nurse in a hospital. Agitated patients try to kick, scratch, and punch her as she attends to their needs – not to mention verbal abuse from patients and their loved ones.
“If I was to report every time a patient actually tries to strike out at me or literally tries to claw me or kick me, we’d be drowning in a sea of paperwork,” said Beth, who has worked as a nurse for four years. “There’s huge under-reporting because it’s ‘just part of the job’ – but it shouldn’t be.” Read more
September 23, 2010
Earl works at a seniors activity centre in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside – and, for the most part, people are peaceful.
In his job as an activities worker, Earl calls BINGO, offers computer training, and leads music classes for elder clients who visit the centre to socialize with their peers. Some live in an adjoining seniors building and others live elsewhere in this neighbourhood known for its struggle with poverty and addiction.
I asked Earl via Facebook about his training in violence prevention. He said he and his colleagues in the recreation department take seminars on the topic every two years.
September 21, 2010
Crew talks are an excellent way to deliver information on the job site. I first learned what it takes to deliver a good crew talk from WorkSafeBC’s Bruce Jackson at a Manufacturing Safety Conference (see also the full article I wrote for the May/June 2008 issue of WorkSafe Magazine).
When it’s time to show the crew how to use a new piece of equipment or perform a new process safely, follow these eight steps to communicate your message on the shop floor, outside the site trailer, or at the cash register. Read more
September 16, 2010
“People love giving and receiving high-fives,” says Canadian Paralympic medallist Josh Dueck, who High Fived 9,307 people on August 27 and 28 in Vancouver.
Josh smashed the GUINNESS WORLD RECORD™ for the most high-fives by one person in 24 hours to raise awareness of young worker safety. Read more
September 14, 2010
If a tree falls in the forest – better that it’s not beside someone’s tent or picnic table.
Thanks to the mountain pine beetle invasion, thousands of trees in B.C. are designated as “danger trees” because they have severe lean, root damage, or rotten branches that make them likely to fall. For safety’s sake, these trees are being removed from within striking distance of campsites, picnic tables, outhouses, and parking lots.
“Just because it’s dead, doesn’t make it a danger tree because it’s still got good roots,” said recreation officer Doug Harris, who has overseen the removal of 14,000 trees since 2003 from recreation sites in his region. Read more
September 09, 2010
Can you spot six hazards in this photo? WorkSafe Magazine invites you to e-mail your answers to the editor and be eligible for a prize awarded to one person each issue. The magazine publishes as many responses as possible.
This photo challenge is drawing answers from as far away as Africa, Poland, India, Ireland, and the United Arab Emirates. Readers are asking for permission to reprint the photos and are cutting them out, laminating them, tacking them to bulletin boards, and sharing them online. Employers, health and safety organizations, and educational institutions are using them for training, safety meetings, and workplace contests.
Answers from the last issue
In July, when the magazine featured an excavation photo, I wrote out my own list of hazards. I checked them online today.
One thing I totally missed from the July/August 2010 photo was hearing protection. Of course that saw operates loudly enough to damage hearing. I didn’t notice the lack of side shields on the glasses – which do not count as proper safety glasses. Hearing and eye protection are important factors I will watch out for next time I take the challenge.
The story behind the photos
I’m so curious to talk with the safety officer who stages the photos with the mag’s editorial team. How do they get their ideas? Stay tuned for this story soon.
Congrats to WorkSafe Magazine on the popularity of this year-old feature!
September 07, 2010
Is your emergency eye wash up to par? If not, you’re not alone, says Del Goudreau – an occupational first aid attendant who treats and transfers injured workers to hospital from remote industrial sites.
Del visits forestry, construction, and manufacturing sites througout southwest B.C. and Vancouver Island. He wrote a Letter to the Editor that appeared in the July/Aug 2009 issue of WorkSafe Magazine – asking employers to make sure workers have access to proper eyewash supplies.
Del’s letter said, “I never see adequate emergency treatment measures or resources to assist injured workers when their eyes have been exposed to chemicals….” That surprised me. I phoned Del for more details.
“You go to some sites and they don’t even have an emergency eyewash, or it’s not in a conspicuous place that’s accessible,” he said. “At best, they’ll have an emergency eyewash bottle which is only one litre of fluid – and most of the time, I don’t know what the fluid is. It’s not very well-marked and it’s not maintained.”
That’s bad news for anyone who gets chemicals or particles in their eyes. Flushing with water ASAP makes a big difference. In some cases, it can save vision.
Workplace rules and regs on eyewash vary among jurisdictions. Here in British Columbia, Canada, the WorkSafeBC Regulation Part 5 Chemical Agents requires employers to select appropriate eye wash facilities: “based on an assessment of the risks in each workplace.”
September 02, 2010
The workplace safety community is venturing online quickly – sharing news, views, videos, photos, tweets, and more from around the world.
Here are five blogs (from Melbourne, Arizona, Birmingham, London, and Massachusetts) that cover workplace health and safety issues in their jurisdictions and in general. Some evaluate regulatory changes (in great detail) and all are updated at least twice a week
Subscribe with Google Reader (or whatever you use for reading blogs) and stay on top of workplace safety news. See how it compares with your region and maybe you will have some ideas to share in the comment section. Remember that, with few exceptions, bloggers (including me) love getting comments.
Here are the five blogs to check out:
Edited by Kevin Jones, this daily blog is based in Melbourne, Australia. Kevin is an OHS consultant and freelance writer who writes much of the content, along with guest contributors. He is @SafetyOZ on Twitter.
What’s new at HSE?
The Health and Safety Executive of Great Britain is “the national independent watchdog for work-related health, safety and illness.”
“We are an independent regulator and act in the public interest to reduce work-related death and serious injury across Great Britain’s workplaces,” reads the blog’s About section. The HSE website has a large selection of resources in support of injury prevention.
Latest Construction Health and Safety News
Construction incidents are detailed in this blog updated several times per day by Philip Poynter in Birmingham, England. PP Construction Safety is an OHS information and consultancy service. He’s @PPConstruction on Twitter.
Workers Comp Insider
This blog covers workers’ compensation, risk management, business insurance, workplace health & safety, occupational medicine, injured workers, insurance webtools & technology and related topics. It’s written by Lynch Ryan, a consulting firm in Wellesley, Massachusetts, USA.
The Safety Blog
Training tips, news, and how-to’s for different safety topic are presented in this blog created by Safety Services Company, based in Yuma, Arizona, USA.
Care to recommend any others?