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Safety in the news from a newbie’s perspective – and the latest safety stories!

By Melissa Babcock

When it comes to news, I typically follow only one kind – entertainment. You know, the type of “news” that appears in the pages of People Magazine or US Weekly. I’ll admit, I don’t know much about politics or sports or the current status on global warming, but I know far more than any person should about the Kardashians, Lindsay Lohan’s latest arrest and what all the stars wore to the Golden Globes.

It’s all about priorities people.

Since joining the Heads Up team however, I have noticed myself paying more attention to news stories that have to do with workplace safety. For example, here in Edmonton there was a recent workplace accident involving a freight train and three workers. This story was all over the local news so I couldn’t help but hear about it and previously, I probably would have just thought “Oh that sucks,” and then immediately forgotten about it.

But not this time. I found myself avidly listening to every news broadcast about the story, reading every article, hoping the workers were okay (they are) and wondering what additional safety precautions could have been taken to prevent this accident. Since I’ve spent most of my working life behind a desk, my biggest worry regarding workplace safety used to be the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome. But now, I’m starting to see that no matter what industry you work in, there is something to be learned from every workplace accident that makes its way into the news. Even if that lesson is something as simple as needing to work smart and work safe.

So without further ado, here is the latest batch of safety in the news!

Even the NFL experiences workplace safety issues – Fed Ex Field in Maryland, home of the Washington Redskins, has fallen into such a state of disrepair that the field is being blamed for several recent injuries to the team’s players. (Did you know that athletes are not covered under workers compensation legislation in Alberta?)

Added incentive to take workplace safety seriously – The Protections and Compliance Amendment Act went into effect on Dec. 10 in Alberta. Under this act, companies who ignore safety codes can be fined as much as $10,000.

Nova Scotians are committed to safety in the workplace – The Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia and their provincial government are working together to develop a five-year workplace safety strategy. (In Alberta, Health and Safety is managed by Occupational Health and Safety, Ministry of Human Services.)

Is workplace safety in New Zealand “a disgrace”? – In the wake of the Pike River mine disaster, in which an explosion killed 29 miners back in November, an independent taskforce on workplace health and safety says major changes are needed in the small Oceanic country.

A police officer has a near miss on the job – Winter road conditions in Edmonton resulted in a close call for a local police officer who escaped serious injuries when she was hit by a car while investigating another collision.

Got another safety-related news story you want to share? Leave a comment below or send us a tweet @HeadsUpAB.

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