As Noted By The BCFED Health & Safety Centre:
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
- Can anybody part get caught in or between objects?
- Do tools, machines or equipment present any hazards?
- Can the worker make harmful contact with objects?
- Can the worker slip, trip or fall?
- Can the worker suffer strain from lifting, pushing or pulling?
- Is the worker exposed to extreme heat or cold?
- Is excessive noise or vibration a problem?
- Is there a danger from falling objects?
- Is lighting a problem?
- Can weather conditions affect safety?
- Is harmful radiation a possibility?
- Can contact be made with hot, toxic or caustic substances?
- 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!