December 08, 2011
“As a supervisor, I do inspections and take feedback from workers to deal with safety issues immediately.”
That’s what aquatics supervisor Chris Cordova wrote in his winning entry to the Raise Your Hand challenge. He had 25 words or less to answer the question “How do you raise your hand for safety at work?” and his answer won him an Xbox game package in this contest I told you about in July.
I emailed Chris to say congrats and ask him about his work – and here’s what he wrote back:
“Working with a lot of young workers, we try to prevent injuries from happening through regular inservice training. This includes how to use safety equipment… [and] we have made daily checklists for the staff to complete such as checking the diving boards to make sure they are secure and making sure none of the overnight staff left chemicals on the pool deck.
“We have regular facility inspections and… things we look for are items such as loose tiles that people could trip on, areas of the pool deck that have lost grip and may be more slippery when wet, checking lane ropes for when they become frayed so that staff don’t cut their fingers, I’m also in charge of inspecting the first aid equipment to make sure that our kits are stocked and ready to use.
“Often with my staff being on the pool deck, and the number of patrons who come into the facility, I’ll learn about safety issues from my staff directly, since my office is close to the lifeguard control room. If I’m not in and if the issue is not severe, staff will usually contact the Building Service Worker and I’ll usually have a post-it note on my door telling me of the issue. Depending on the severity of the issue, I’ll make a decision as to the best course of action whether it be closing a section of the facility, or having a staff member deal with the situation at hand (ie: cleaning). I’ll also check on staff and the facility during my work day to make sure there are no safety issues.”
I found this info on Aquatic Safety Audits from the B.C. & Yukon Branch of the Lifesaving Society
Recently at the pool, I saw some kids having a fight, and was impressed by the lifeguard’s respectful treatment of all involved. Then I found this Sample Anti-Violence Policy for Recreation Facilities from the Government of BC
Congrats again to Chris – and thanks for sharing the extra details on keeping your workers safe at the pool.
August 09, 2011
Recent media reports have me feeling even more cautious about bear encounters than I was before.
One person was killed by a black bear in BC and others have been injured. CBC reports that people are encountering more bears this year because our cold spring delayed the snow melt, and bears are coming further down the mountains in search of food. Yikes!
Now I’m trying to keep this information in perspective as I prepare for my first camping trip of the summer. I won’t allow my fear to ruin my enjoyment of the woods, so I’m reviewing some bear safety tips that I’ll share with you.
Get bear smart
The Get Bear Smart Society is based in Whistler, and they educate people – including the general public, non-governmental organizations, government agencies, and law enforcement officials – on how to co-exist with bears.
Dr. Lynn Rogers puts things in perspective by pointing out that “each year in the USA and Canada, 1 in 16,000 people commit murder, 1 in 35,000 grizzly bears kills a human, and 1 in 100,000 black bears kills a human,” she writes on the Bear Smart site.
While looking at it that way is a good reality check, I’ll definitely follow these tips offered by Bear Smart while enjoying my trip:
1) Store food and garbage in a bear-proof container or hanging it in a tree
2) Avoid animal carcasses when out walking
3) Travel in a group during daylight hours
4) Alert bears by talking calmly and loudly or singing, especially in dense bush where visibility may be limited or around rivers or streams
5) Obey trail closures and information signs
More bear safety tips
Safety tips for travelling in bear country from Gadling, a travel blog
Bear Safety Tips for the Outdoor Enthusiast from Canada Trails
Bear Safety from BC Parks
Bears and People from Parks Canada
Beware of bears and be prepared from WorkSafeBC
April 12, 2011
A video clip from WorkSafeBC got me thinking about my own experiences travelling on BC’s logging roads.
Once I went camping with some friends outside Bella Coola, in a beautiful spot, up a logging road – also known as a “resource road,” used by industry. The mountains, water, forest, and fresh air were amazing, but when a fully loaded logging truck thundered by, I got pretty worried.
My companions, who were from the area, insisted it was safe. We had already braved the narrow switchback roads through the Chilcotin Mountains driving from Vancouver to Bella Coola in my Ford pickup. One of my friends took over the driving after Williams Lake – all downhill, through the peaks, into the valley that led to their town. When he pretended to lose control of the brakes, my heart skipped a few beats. 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