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

Back in the habit… Your six safety stories!

By Matt King

I know it’s been a long while, but have you ever seen Sister Act? What about the 1993 sequel? In the first one, Whoopi Goldberg plays a woman running from some criminals, only to find herself working with a group of nuns and their choir. The movie shows them having to break out of their older habits, the ones that weren’t helping them (not the ones that were clothing them – zing!), so that they can raise enough money to save their convent. But really, it’s not a complete change of pace for them – they still sing about the same things, just in a different way.

Workplace safety is similar: you’ve got to rid yourself of practices that don’t work and are unsafe and get in better, safer habits, making sure to trust your gut and ask questions. If you’re a regular reader of this blog feature, then you already have one good habit. Here are your six safety stories!

  • Catching the rebound… Researchers are working on innovations to help the aging Canadian workforce, age 65 and older, for whom the leading cause of injuries is falls, leading to hospitalizations. Some of these innovations include bouncy “flex-floors” and “smart canes.”
  • Keeping the breaks at bay… According to this article from, more employees miss work because of sprains and strains than almost any other work-related injury. The same publication offers some helpful tips on how to identify and control such injuries, keeping you safe at work.
  • Pictures in my head… In a recent poll regarding mental health in the workplace, North Americans came out on top, with Americans and Canadians having the highest marks. 27 per cent of workers in 24 countries said they are not happy with some psychological aspects of the workplace, while 47 per cent said they are and 26 per cent weren’t sure.
  • Skin to skin no more… Tom Phillips, the chair of Safe Work Australia, reported that workplace skin diseases are now the second most common work-related disease in Australia. This is partly due to a lack of training, which Phillips hopes to remedy as soon as possible.
  • Securing workers from violence… Writing for Security Info Watch, Marleah Blades gave an extensive overview of the need to update hospitals’ security policies and procedures. With the high tension of the hospital workplace, violent threats are a worry; a formal security program, Blades says, would help eliminate this epidemic and move towards a safer workplace.
  • Speaking of violence… IT World had an interview with Bill Whitmore, President and CEO of AlliedBarton, who recently did research on workplace tension, economic stress and workplace violence prevention. Whitmore gives some interesting statistics as well as some tips on improving the workplace atmosphere.

As usual, remember to always work smart, work safe.

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