Nobody Gets Hurt Today

As Noted By The BCFED Health & Safety Centre:

Day of Mourning – April 28th

THE FACTS

British Columbia – As reported to the Workers Compensation Board, in 2017:

  • 198 workers died
  • 6 young workers
  • 102 died from occupational disease

Canada – According to the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada, nationally:

  • Every year, approximately 1000 workers die.
  • Every day, nearly three workers die.
  • Every year, workers suffer from 250,000 work-related injuries/diseases.
  • Every day, workers suffer from 685 work-related injuries/ illnesses.

Internationally – More people die each year because of work than because of fighting in wars. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), across the world:

  • Every year, more than 2.3 million workers die
  • Every day, 6,300 workers die.
  • Every year, workers suffer from 317 million work-related injuries
  • Every day, workers suffer from 870,000 work-related injuries
  • Every year, workers suffer from 160 million non-fatal occupational diseases.
  • Every day, workers suffer from 440,000 non-fatal occupational diseases.

1 of these fatalities – reportedly 2.02 million workers, died because of occupational disease.

Around the world, every 15 seconds

  • One worker dies
  • 151 work-related injuries get reported
  • 76 non-fatal occupational diseases emerge

One of the best decisions a Company can make is having a safety program in place. Why?

  • A COMPANY’S MOST VALUABLE ASSET – ITS PEOPLE, are protected.
  • It’s productive in ensuring a culture where everyone feels safe for one and productivity increases when employees know that the company cares about putting their health and safety 1st.
  • It improves your bottom line with clients because they see that you value safe working practices. In other words: “YOUR REPUTATION.”
  • Being aware of the surroundings helps to eliminate uncertainty and can prevent financial loss in the case of an accident or life-altering illness. Would you want to be the one causing it, due to neglect?

Health and safety are essential parts of preventing injury, illness, and death in and outside of the workplace. Every workplace has hazards – can your employees recognize them within yours?  The purpose of hazard reporting is to try to stop accidents before they occur. Employees must be aware of their surroundings to prevent injury if possible. People can address only those hazards that they know. The following is not a complete list, but offers some suggestions:

Opening the lines of communication

  • Communication with the supervisors
  • Open channels of contact with the workers

Discussion by way of Took Box Talks

Understanding the potential hazards that workers face is an essential component in health and safety programs that help not only the employer but employees.

Doing a “Job Hazard Analysis”

  • What are the steps in the job
  • What are the potential hazards in a specific situation
  • What are the protective measures for the safety of the worker(s) assigned to do the work?

The purpose of a Job Hazard Analysis is to identify, control or eliminate potential or actual dangers in a job or task.

Breakdown of Job Steps

  • Job or task identified for analysis by supervisor
  • Supervisor overseeing the job breaks the work into steps with the assistance of crew members, health & safety rep.
  • A job step is defined as a segment of the operation necessary to advance the work, keep the steps in the correct sequence

Identifying actual or potential hazards

  • Observation of the job
  • Knowledge of accident and injury causes
  • Personal experience
  1. Can anybody part get caught in or between objects?
  2. Do tools, machines or equipment present any hazards?
  3. Can the worker make harmful contact with objects?
  4. Can the worker slip, trip or fall?
  5. Can the worker suffer strain from lifting, pushing or pulling?
  6. Is the worker exposed to extreme heat or cold?
  7. Is excessive noise or vibration a problem?
  8. Is there a danger from falling objects?
  9. Is lighting a problem?
  10. Can weather conditions affect safety?
  11. Is harmful radiation a possibility?
  12. Can contact be made with hot, toxic or caustic substances?
  13. Are there specks of dust, fumes, mists or vapors in the air?

The final stage is to determine ways to eliminate or control the hazards identified.

  • Eliminate the Hazard
  • Contain the Hazard
  • Revise Work Procedure
  • Reduce the exposure

Am I an expert in safety? Far from, but I thank the lucky stars that I received both the education and training to be able to identify hazards and do something about it. An employer’s commitment to safety begins with training, education and ensuring the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment – “PPE” is available EVERY TIME for managers, employees, clients, etc.  Clients don’t generally do business with companies that are only looking to increase their bottom line while risking the safety of employees, no matter what the environment is. And most importantly, employees aren’t interested in being a number within a company, but a person who can make a difference to your bottom line.

A special thank you to Bharat Mathur for being a guide by my side and for his invaluable assistance with this article.

 THINK SAFE, WORK SAFE, BE SAFE!

Suzana Matkovic
Suzana Matkovic
SUZANA has a PhD from the School of Hard Knocks. With the guidance of a loving family, she aspired to the best job of Life: Motherhood. People that know her journey will understand how this beautiful and tragic chapter forged her resilience and tenacity to bring her passions to life by being part of the change. Upon graduation in 84, she moved into an extremely successful 30-year career. Nonetheless, she walked away from it in 2014, in order to pursue something more personally meaningful. A School of Life that enabled her to meet people of different nationalities, cultures, races, languages and outlooks, is what she sought. She is an avid advocate and volunteer motivated to help others reach their full potential by raising awareness of numerous social issues affecting many and establishing a legacy for change. Suzana’s training and experience have provided her with a unique foundation from which to produce communication that is Significant, Relevant and Actionable. Her knowledge in sales/business development and marketing started in the early 90’s where she received numerous awards for innovation, customer satisfaction and quality management. She has worked in all business categories: Local Government, Manufacturing and Distribution, Logistics and Lumber Export. Some of the more notable products and services were sold into the Environmental Energy Sector and building products that represented Structural, Civil, Electrical, Mechanical and Architectural Engineering. In addition to Marketing initiatives for various NGOs and causes near and dear to her heart. All this was accomplished by a high school graduate with determination, vision and passion. She attributes her success to many wonderful mentors throughout her personal and professional life and the inner strength God blessed her with.
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