Archive for May, 2012
May 29, 2012
This weekend I was talking with a friend who paints home interiors and movie sets. On the topic of workplace safety, he said that – without a doubt – the biggest safety precaution he recommends is keeping a clean worksite.
He’s been a professional painter for 20 years and often works with different trades. They need to work with the lead contractor to stay aware of each other’s activities, which requires constant awareness on site. Too often he sees a lack of clean-up, which really frustrates him because of the risks it poses to others.
A shop machinist echoed this sentiment. He told me, via Facebook message, that a messy shop can lead to “slipping on spills and debris, catching your ankles on equipment and pallets, badly racked material falling.”
When I asked him if he had anything else to say about the importance of a clean shop, he said no.
“It’s just common sense – too hard to explain because it’s so obvious,” he said.
I agree it’s an obvious message – but if people aren’t cleaning up properly, they need to be reminded because the risks to others are significant.
“Many injuries result from poor housekeeping in the shop. Trips, slips and falls account for the bulk of these mishaps,” reads Shop Safety Basics on the Canada Safety Council website.
“Scrap material and wrappings, loose parts, scattered tools and equipment, or oil spills can cause injury. Debris should be swept up and disposed of in designated areas. Parts should be kept on work benches. Tools should be placed where they cannot fall and cause damage or injury. Oil spills should be covered with absorbent material and cleaned up.”
The importance of proper clean-up extends to other industries as well, so below are some tips that can be printed and posted in different types of workplaces. If you have any ideas on how to remind people of the obvious, please do share!
Toolbox meeting guide for construction housekeeping – from WorkSafeBC
Slips and trips in health care – safety bulletin from WorkSafeBC
Clean up spills and keep floors clean – kitchen safety poster from WorkSafeBC
Don’t let someone else take the fall – warehouse safety from WorkSafeBC
Prevention of slips, trips, and falls – from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety
Housekeeping at Work – from Ontario’s Industrial Accident Prevention Association
This WorkSafeBC video uses a retro style to spoof the safety videos of yesteryear.
May 14, 2012
I recently visited the CanSav website and read about the lives of people affected by asbestos-related illness.
Bob Katzka – founder of the Canadian Society for Asbestos Victims – emailed a link to the site when he introduced himself after finding my blog. I checked out his link right away – so glad he’d taken the time to write – and I noticed the site included a Tribute section.
That’s where I read about Bob’s father Michael, who died in 2008 from mesothelioma – a lung cancer nearly always caused by exposure to asbestos.
The tribute says Michael was only 18 – back in 1942 – when he joined the Canadian Navy and worked for two years on a ship that was “full of asbestos – the insulation, the boilers, etc.” After years of “excellent health,” Michael was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2007 and died four months later.
Value of sharing stories
Bob shared his father’s story and encourages others to do the same.
“By sharing experiences, those in pain may at least know the comfort that comes in the knowledge they are not alone,” reads the CanSav website.
“In many ways, the most significant and meaningful way to contribute is by sharing your own experiences with asbestos-related disease. Too many victims – those diagnosed as well as the people who love and care for them – have suffered under this burden alone.”
In addition to the tributes, the website includes links to articles on asbestos-related disease, support for people diagnosed with mesothelioma, information on exposure to asbestos in Canada, and links to more support.
WorkSafeBC’s HiddenKiller website includes information on what to do if you are concerned you have been exposed to asbestos or any other harmful substance at work.
Thanks to Bob for the introduction, and for all you’re doing for people faced with similar challenges to your dad’s.
May 10, 2012
Check out WorkSafeBC’s entertaining NAOSH Week music video. The song is based on the 80s hit “Making It Work,” from the Vancouver band Doug and the Slugs.
May 08, 2012
“Webinar” stands for web-based seminar – and this platform is a great way for people to connect and share information from any where.
I took part in a webinar hosted by the BC Forest Safety Council and listened to a presentation called How WorkSafeBC Sets Rates, by Gerry Paquette, a manager in WorkSafeBC’s Certification and Rate Modification Department. It was the first time this popular in-person seminar was offered by webinar.
How it works
I received an email invite to the webinar from Laura Maguire – BCFSC’s manager of training and development. It included a link to join online, using a program called WebEx, so at meeting time, I re-opened Laura’s email, clicked the link, and followed the easy instructions to get online.
If you don’t have a computer with a mic, speakers, and an internet connection, you can still take part by calling in from any phone and watching online.
About 10 of us connected via computer and phone and were greeted by moderator Gerard Messier, who explained the system and let us know we were on “mute.” No one could hear us unless we “un-muted” ourselves to ask a question, and we could also type our questions into a text box for the moderator to ask.
Gerry gave a high-level introduction to how WorkSafeBC set its rates using an employer classification system. He “shared” his computer desktop with the online participants, allowing them to see the diagrams and notes on his screen – and at the end, everyone had a chance for their specific questions.
BCFSC has already offered other webinars that cover injury management, ergonomic solutions, and high-frequency injuries such as slips, trips, falls, overexertion, and struck by incidents. They’re also sharing their use of technology with training managers at other industry safety associations – seeing how they can use it to serve the employers who rely on them for training and safety certification.
It’s exciting to picture what this techology can offer – especially to employers and stakeholders in remote areas. I’m glad I had a chance to take part, and I’ll follow up with more webinar options for you in the future.
May 03, 2012
I talked with Kathy, an industry specialist for WorkSafeBC, at the
2012 Western Conference on Safety trade show in Vancouver on April 23. She sits on BC’s NAOSH Week steering committee which judges NAOSH Week award entries.
“On the Day of Mourning, we recognize people who’ve had tragedies and workplace incidents, then the following week is NAOSH Week. That should be the call to action for people – to do something to make the change in their health and safety culture in their organization,” Kathy said. “How can they do that? By having safety meetings, doing training, and there are so many things organizations can do.”
Suggestions on how to take part in NAOSH Week are in the 2012 safety planner – so if you’re not taking part this year, consider what you might do in 2013.
Staff barbecues, earthquake drills, safety video competitions, PPE fashion shows, and take-home quizzes are a few options.
2012 NAOSH Week Launch
This year’s BC launch for NAOSH Week is Monday, May 7, at 10:30 a.m. at the Vancouver Airport (YVR) and the public is welcome.
The April 2012 issue of SkyTalkOnline says YVR’s NAOSH activities through the week include a health and wellness fair, an airside barbecue, and an airside clean-up walk where staff volunteers pick up loose objects like screws, luggage tags, and bits of plastic on the runway and around the terminal.
Winning NAOSH entries
Here’s some interesting NAOSH projects I’ve featured on Speaking of Safety:
What are you doing?
Please let me know – in a comment below – what you’re planning for NAOSH Week.
May 01, 2012
He described them as “literal artists.”
That’s how John Gilder, general manager of the Canadian Materials Handling and Distribution Society, described some of the competitors he’s seen at forklift rallies over the years.
“They are on these machines eight hours a day. That’s where their career is spent – on a machine. Some of them are incredible. It’s like the machine is a part of them,” said John, who I quoted in my post about the 2011 forklift rally.
Now it’s rolled around to that time of year again. On Saturday May 5, 2012, the 15th Annual BC Championship Forklift Rally will take place at the Cloverdale Agriplex.
Forklift operators from around BC will gather to test their knowledge in writing and their skills behind the wheel. For the first time, participants will also have a chance to win one of four pairs of Canucks tickets.
Here’s a link to more info on What is a forklift rally? The public is welcome – so check it out if you’re in the neighbourhood. Here’s what it looks like on video.