Work Smart. Work Safe.
Keep your "Heads Up" and work safe!

Jul
24

July has been an active month in the news world.  From new farm regulations to hover crafts on the move to spread awareness of work safety, check out this month’s Safety in the News features.

Working through fire and water

Forest fires and floods have caused havoc at outdoor worksites. The hot temperatures have dried forest materials and lightning storms have sparked fires in forests all over Western Canada. These storms have made working outdoors unsafe and have even caused flight delays and cancellations at the Calgary International Airport.

Hovering for work safety awareness

An Alberta man is moving across the province on a hovercraft to increase awareness about worker safety for the Threads of Life charity. His goal is to go across Canada once the logistics of the Alberta tour get worked out.

The hovercraft in action. Image credit: medicinehatnews.com

The hovercraft in action.
Image credit: medicinehatnews.com

Computer assisted work safety

Radio frequency identification (RFID) chips have been placed into hard hats and safety vests at Edmonton Transportation Services, to ensure workers’ safety on site. The chip identifies when a worker is close to a machine and alerts the machine to the worker’s presence. A warning signal goes off and LED strips light up to alert the individual that he/she may be near an operating machine. This gives the worker the opportunity to get away from the machine and move to a safer location.

Farmers to get occupational health and safety legislation

A new government in Alberta has created opportunity for new regulations. Agriculture Minister Oneil Carlier is focused on ensuring farm workers have the same regulations that are in place for other workers in Alberta.

Concern over physical threats at work

After a non-work-related fatal shooting in Burnaby, the City of Vancouver increased its security in the workplace to ensure worker safety. The steps taken by the City have raised questions about how safe employees feel in the workplace and what kinds of emergency plans are in place.

What emergency plans does your employer have set up for your safety? Leave us a comment or tweet us @HeadsUpAB!

Jul
17

By Lauren Smith

Dinosaurs. Chris Pratt. More dinosaurs!

What more could you ask for in a summer film?!

When news broke of Jurassic World, I was among many who could barely contain their excitement.

I’ve been a fan of the franchise ever since Jurassic Park hit the theatres in 1993. Although not all the films are critically acclaimed, the nostalgia high I get from hearing the film’s signature score gets me with each addition to the franchise.

So, without hesitation, I forked over the near $20 it cost to see Jurassic World (in 3D) on a Saturday night. (And I’d do it again!)

For a movie about escaped dinosaurs, it’s no surprise that there were a few safety blunders in the film. So, in true safety and the movies fashion, let’s take a look at them, shall we?

1. PPE is no laughing matter

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Image: stylenews.peoplestylewatch.com

Not many audiences missed the fact that Bryce Howard Dallas was wearing high heels throughout the ENTIRE film! I don’t think you need to be female to understand how incredibly difficult (and pretty much impossible) it would be to navigate the terrain of the Jurassic jungle in even the kitten-est of heels.

To poke fun at the absurdity of this costume choice, Chris Pratt attempted the same stunt on The Late Late Show with James Corden. As expected, hilarity ensued.

I’m sure you already know where I’m going with this. On the job, having the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) is no joke. PPE is required for a job to keep you safe from any potential risks or hazards (hopefully dinosaurs aren’t one of those).

2. Listen to the experts or face impending death

Image: screenrant.com

Image: screenrant.com

Experts are experts for a reason. They have the knowledge and background to make sound decisions based on available information. When on any job site, it’s important to listen to the advice and guidelines of your safety manager, coordinator, or whoever is in charge of safety—they know what they’re talking about.

Multiple times in the film, characters ignore the advice of Velociraptor expert and trainer Owen (Chris Pratt). He has an in-depth knowledge and understanding of dinosaur behaviours and without fail, predicts how a dinosaur would behave or react to a situation.

What happened when the film’s characters ignored Owen’s expert advice? PEOPLE DIED.

3. Never go MIA

Image: craveonline.com

Image: craveonline.com

The boys thought it was super cool to sneak away from their chaperon and wander the park alone. And it seemed like a fun idea, until a dinosaur escaped. They were blissfully unaware of the looming danger and no one knew where they were because they took off without letting anyone know. Not such a fun idea anymore, is it?

If ever your job takes you off site, it’s vital to let your employer know where you’ll be and how he/she can reach you in case of a containment anomaly or other emergency.

What did you think of the latest installment in the Jurassic Park franchise? Comment below or tweet us @HeadsUpAB!

Jul
10

By Calissa Reid

This past month I have been absolutely fanatical about sports.  Canada was fortunate enough to host the FIFA Women’s World Cup, and then to add some blue-and-orange icing to this sports-filled summer treat, The Edmonton Oilers secured the number one draft pick for the year – hello, Connor McDavid!

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An Oiler fan modified a street sign to welcome Connor McDavid to sweet, sweet #YEG.

For athletes like Christine Sinclair and Connor McDavid, playing a sport is their job, but for most of us, sports are a great way to get active and have some fun.  Whether you play for fun or for funds (see what I did there?), you can be at risk for injury when playing a sport. Here are some tips to keep safe while playing a sport this summer.

Get the go-ahead.  Before starting a new sport or workout regime, check in with your doctor if you have been inactive for a while. Get a physical to make sure that you’re ready to join that soccer team or pick up that tennis racquet.

Dress the part. This can mean you’re wearing full body armour or finding the right pair of shoes.   One of the best ways to prevent a sports injury is to wear the right gear to protect you in case of a nasty fall or a big hit.  In addition to having the gear, it needs to fit you.  As you grow, you need to review the size and padding levels of equipment to make sure it’s protecting you like it should.

 Hydrate.  Some of the Women’s World Cup games I went to this summer were scorchers, and I’m not just talking about the game play.  These women had to play in 25-degree-heat, which can easily lead to dehydration. The national teams are pros, and whenever a whistle blew you could see the women grabbing water bottles to re-hydrate. Take a look at Caitlin’s post to learn more about the importance of staying hydrated this summer.

Warm it up. There has been debate around this recently; some scientists believe that warming up and stretching does not decrease the risk of injury, but the scientific literature is inconclusive. You may question if stretching helps prevent injury, but I do believe that a quick jog to get your body moving and your head clear can help get your head into the game.

IMG_5325

It was a sea of red at the FIFA Women’s World Cup opener. What an honour to watch these women!

For me, this has been a sports-filled summer, but only as a spectator! I’m hoping to change that this upcoming weekend, and will keep these tips in mind to stay safe and have fun.

Do you have any summer safety tips to share? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @HeadsUpAB

 

Jul
03

By Caitlin Kehoe

Ahhh, expo season. I can picture it now: the smell of mini donuts in the air, winning prizes, spending most of your day standing in line …

Well, the prizes and mini donuts are good, anyway!

The Calgary Stampede, the city’s event of the year, kicks off today. Later this month, Edmonton’s K-Days will follow suit.

I have heard many awesome things about the Stampede (I haven’t had the chance to go yet), and I typically go to K-Days to take in some musical talent (I highly suggest you check out July Talk — they are incredible live and play both expos this year).

July Talk plays the Calgary Stampede on July 10 and at K-Days on July 20. Image credit: JulyTalk.bandcamp.com

July Talk plays the Calgary Stampede on July 10 and at K-Days on July 20.
Image credit: JulyTalk.bandcamp.com

For many Albertans (myself included), large expos are the backdrop for many of the summer’s most memorable moments. For others, a summer job at an expo is an exciting way to make some cash during the warmer months.

But despite the fun atmosphere, events like the Stampede and K-Days pose unique safety risks. Whether you are working at an expo or visiting one, be aware of what the risks are and how to avoid them, so you can stay safe and enjoy your time on the midway with peace of mind.

  • Don’t lose your cool: Extreme heat can be just as dangerous as extreme cold, so it’s important to be prepared. Pay attention to weather forecasts and dress accordingly. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen if you plan to spend long periods of time outdoors, and drink plenty of water.
  • Know when to take cover: We know how quickly our weather can take a turn for the worse. Watch the sky and, if you see lightning or hear thunder, head indoors until it passes.
  • Keep your wits about you: The Calgary Police Service advises against carrying large amounts of cash, and recommends keeping valuables in a secure place on your person instead of in a backpack or purse. They also ask that you be wary of large crowds, which can easily become dangerous, particularly for smaller individuals and children.
  • The most important suggestion of all: Have fun! Be prepared and be safe so that you can relax, play, eat, and create some memories!

What’s your favourite event of the summer and how do you stay safe while you enjoy it? Comment with your answer or tweet us at @HeadsUpAB!

The Calgary Stampede  Image credit: festivalseekers.com

The Calgary Stampede
Image credit: festivalseekers.com

Jun
26

By Melissa Babcock

It’s a day of red, white and maple leafs as far as the eye can see. On July 1, Canadians from British Columbia to Newfoundland come together to celebrate Canada’s birthday, with the Great White North turning 148 years young this year.

Canada Day traditions vary, from backyard barbecues to city-wide celebrations to fireworks. But no matter what your plans are for the day, it’s important to keep safety in mind. An injury or illness is a surefire way to put a damper on your holiday. Who wants to spend Canada Day in the emergency room? Exactly.

So how can you make sure your Canada Day passes without incident? Here are a few tips:

  • Travel carefully. Most of the Canada Day celebrations in larger cities take place in and around the downtown area, which means the streets and sidewalks are typically clogged with people trying to get to where the fun is. So be mindful of crowds while you’re out and about (whether in a car or on foot) and allow yourself extra time to get to your destination.
  • Don’t waste the holiday sick in bed. If you’re planning or attending a Canada Day barbecue, make sure all the food is being handled and prepared correctly, that raw meat is stored properly and use clean utensils to avoid cross contamination. Nothing says ‘the party’s over’ like food poisoning.
  • Here comes the sun. If we’re lucky enough to have hot, sunny weather on July 1 and you plan to spend a chunk of the day outside, make sure you drink plenty of water, use copious amounts of sunscreen and wear a hat. You don’t want to miss the fireworks because you’ve come down with heat stroke.

From the Heads Up team, have a safe and happy Canada Day!

Oh Canada, our home and native land…

Oh Canada, our home and native land…

With summer upon us, do you have any tips for staying safe over the holidays? Leave a comment or tweet us @HeadsUpAB!

 

Sources:

http://www.consumerprotectionbc.ca/blog/item/155-tips-on-being-safe-this-canada-day

http://ottawa.ca/en/news/city-provides-health-and-safety-tips-canada-day-celebrations

http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/eating-nutrition/safety-salubrite/tips-conseils/barbecue-eng.php

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