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Safety in the News- From Clothes to Hippos

By Brenna Hill

After the collapse of the garment factory in Bangladesh international companies are taking a stand. clothesBuyers from all over the world (including Canada) are now making sure factories they buy from are making a safe workplace for their employees. Some companies have stopped placing orders until there is a guarantee that the workers are not in harm’s way.

It was a sad day last week, when a Calgary construction worker was killed on the job. Last Monday morning the worker was struck and run over by a grader. Occupational Health and Safety has launched an investigation into the incident.

Companies are not allowed to do random alcohol tests in the workplace, says the Supreme Court of Canada. The ruling stems from a grievance filed by a union against a company in New Brunswick that was making employees in safety-sensitive positions take random tests. The Court ruled that general safety precautions were not sufficient to make employees take random alcohol tests. The decision limits testing to a specific set of circumstances.

Two employees were killed in a fireworks factory explosion in Quebec on June 21. The accident is under investigation as the 40-year-old factory did not have a sprinkler system installed, and isn’t located anywhere near fire hydrants. Over 100 fire trucks had to transport water to the factory in order to put out the flames.

Talk about for the love of animals! The zookeepers at the Calgary Zoo risked their lives to relocate animals to higher ground during the flood. Zookeepers had to arm themselves against a hippo when he escaped his holding area while the keepers were trying to help move giraffes to safety. Turns out the water had risen so much that the two hippos, Sparky and Lobi, had been able to escape from their enclosures. The zookeepers were able to build a sandbag ramp and get Lobi back to into his enclosure without anyone getting hurt.


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