May 2 marks the beginning of Safety and Health Week in Canada.
The past year has been challenging. Sometimes it feels like all we talk about is how to keep ourselves and our colleagues safe from COVID-19. An extraordinary amount of time, energy and commitment over the past year has gone into keeping our people safe.
Some employees now work from home, others have seen retrofits to their workplace and we’ve all been introduced to new/updated policies and guidelines to keep us safe from COVID-19 in the workplace. Wearing masks, physical distancing and staying home when sick is the norm.
Being COVID-WISE is critical to maintaining the safety of our people during this pandemic.
But we can’t lose sight of other potential hazards in the workplace and our need to protect ourselves and our colleagues from day-to-day risks.
Did you know…
…the top three accident/incident types in 2020 were overexertion/ergonomics, slips and trips (weather related and housekeeping) and stuck/caught type injuries?
…everyone in the workplace, from the employer to the newest worker, has an important role to play in keeping the workplace safe?
Together we can create safe workplaces and communities
The theme for this year’s Safety and Health Week is “together we can create safe workplaces and communities.” The most important thing you can do to help is to learn and follow workplace safety rules and emergency procedures. When in doubt about any safety practice, ask your supervisor or manager, or reach out to your department’s safety consultant.
More things you can do to help keep our workplace safe include:
- Doing a walkabout to confirm and/or refresh your familiarity with health and safety information in your workplace
- Participate in wellness activities
- Talk to your safety consultant. They are subject matter experts and are available to provide guidance and expertise to individuals and departments across the City on safety legislation, policies, procedures and practices.
- Learn about the work of your Joint Health and Safety committees (JHSC). A JHSC is a partnership between employees and management whose role is to discuss issues related to health and safety and make recommendations to help make the workplace safer. If your area is not large enough for a JHSC you should have a health and safety representative. Be sure you know who this is and reach out to them if you have any concerns.