Work Smart. Work Safe.
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(Safely) leaving on a jet plane, or a bus, or a car or something

By Matt King

Next week, I’m going to Kenya, in Africa, to visit some family over the holidays. As I’ve gotten ready, I’ve started thinking, naturally, about travelling, both in relation to my own trip, but also in general.

For my trip, I’ve had to prepare. I’ve had to book my tickets and get the necessary vaccines. I had to get a prescription for malaria pills and then fill that prescription. I had to figure out medical insurance for while I’m away and where I’ll stay during an overnight layover in some European country to which I’ve never been.

Much of this has to do with keeping me safe and healthy. I need to book tickets to simply get there, but the rest – the needles, the prescription, the pills, the insurance and even, to a degree, the place to stay – all has to do with keeping me safe, whether it’s explicitly related to my health or just finding shelter for a night.

Travel always needs safety preparation, and that’s true at work too – or rather, on the way to and from work.

In Alberta, this is especially true in winter, when the snow seems to come down in a giant cloud of fog that only dissipates when it’s turned all the roads into some sort of Stars on Ice rink, where the stars are people’s vehicles and they probably shouldn’t be doing those triple axels.

Edmonton after a snow dump this week.

Edmonton after a snow dump this week.

So how do we stay safe, when there are so many obstacles just on our way to work? Whatever way you take to get to your workplace, it is important to prepare.

Listen to traffic reports and check the weather before you head out. If you take the bus, make sure you bundle up and dress warmly, as waiting at a bus stop can turn into a rather painful encounter with frostbite or worse. That goes for driving too – it’s always a good idea to carry a blanket or something that will keep you warm if your vehicle fails.

Remember, in order to work smart and work safe, you first need to travel smart and travel safe. Do as the scouts do: be prepared.

How do you get to work? Do you drive? Do you take the bus or walk or ride your bike (an admittedly difficult task in Alberta winters)? Do you have another way of getting there, such as a ZORB ball?

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