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On the birth of a nation… Your six safety stories!

By Matt King

Apparently, the first week of July is a big time for the birthing of nations. Both Canada and the United States had their respective holidays, Canada Day and Independence Day, this week, and people celebrated accordingly. Fireworks exploded in the air, those beautifully bright streams of colour stretching their arms across the night sky and people likely altogether enjoyed the, admittedly, kind of rainy weather.

But what of the original birth? How is a country born? I’m sure a political science or history student could tell you, but I’m neither of those. Is it with a thunderous speech or just a whisper, a revolution or a quiet expression of, “Let’s be a country now, shall we?” The nation that Canada is today obviously didn’t form overnight: the journey has had its peaks and valleys. The same can be said for your workplace safety.

Bear with me. No one expects you to have everything right, or to know exactly how to do something right away. That’s why it’s important that you learn. Sometimes, that needs to happen quickly, but no matter what, ask the questions that you need to ask, seek the training you need to seek and only do what feels safe.

But enough of my blathering, here are your six safety stories…

  • A bun in the (coal) oven… Two Laurentian University professors have put out a new “Guide to Healthy Pregnancies in the Mining Workplace” at the request of Ontario’s Workplace Safety North. The guide book addresses the fact that pregnant women working in mines and smelters can still be safe.
  • Spines and skeletons, Australian-style… In 2005, the New South Wales (NSW) Government in Australia implemented a plan to reduce musculoskeletal injuries by at least 40% by 2012. However, as it’s only dropped by 25%, NSW’s WorkSafe Victoria is implementing a new campaign to help spread awareness and reduce injury.
  • Training will save lives… In Singapore, Construction workers are about to have more in-depth and detailed training implemented. The goal is to better prepare workers for practical concerns such as working at heights.
  • Drugs, drugs, drugs… and alcohol… Employers, labour associations and unions across Alberta have joined together in a two-year plan to evaluate the effectiveness of comprehensive workplace drug and alcohol programs, including random testing.
  • An injury out on the road… A 66-year-old man was injured on Thursday afternoon last week during storm cleanup efforts on Highway 366. Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health is investigating.
  • In memoriam… A 57-year-old truck driver died in a single vehicle accident in Middleton, P.E.I. Police are investigating

Remember, work smart, work safe.

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