Work Smart. Work Safe.
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Summer is within view – and so are our six safety stories!

By Melissa Babcock

May long weekend has arrived and with it comes warmer temperatures (we hope), longer days and the beginning of summer just around the corner. This means countless students will soon be pounding the pavement looking for summer jobs, if they haven’t already. The influx of many new, possibly inexperienced young workers into any industry or organization brings with it the need to ensure everyone’s knowledge of workplace safety is complete and up-to-date. After all, a quick perusal through the newspaper will tell us exactly what can happen if one doesn’t work smart and work safe.

So without further ado, here are your six safety stories, which will—I hope—inspire all workers, young and old, to stay safe in the workplace, this summer and beyond!

Taking a step towards safety. Steps for Life is a fundraiser held annually by the Threads of Life organization, a charity that supports the families of Canadians who have suffered as a result of workplace injuries, fatalities and occupational disease. Every year in May, supporters across Canada gather to walk and raise funds and awareness about the importance of workplace safety. Over 1,200 people participated in Lethbridge’s walk on May 2, helping Steps for Life raise more than $60,000 overall.

Putting their money where their mouth is. In an effort to promote and improve workplace safety through training, education and preventative programs, Massachusetts’ Department of Industrial Accidents Office of Safety administers grants to employers and employees via their Workplace Safety Training and Education Grant program. Seven employers from the Bay State were recently awarded over $100,000 in grants, which will go towards safety-related training for more than 500 workers.

Increasing recruitment through safety. A body shop owner in Regina had trouble finding and keeping staff because of the hazards associated with the industry, so he decided to completely overhaul his business’ safety practices. Among other changes, his was the first body shop in Saskatchewan to sign the Mission Zero charter.

Lights, camera, safety! The winners of WorkSafeBC’s annual student video contest were announced on May 4. This year’s theme was No bullies at work – my right to a safe and respectful workplace and the talented winners were clearly inspired.

Ground-breaking legislation for young workers. Just in time for high school students to start lining up their summer jobs, the governor of Oklahoma signed into law a bill designed to provide workplace safety education in schools. This law is the first of its kind in the United States.

And finally… A construction company in Ontario was fined after an incident in September of 2013 where a worker fell from a roof at a job site in Niagara and suffered broken bones and a head injury. The worker was not wearing any kind of fall protection when the accident occurred.

Do you have a safety story to share? Leave a comment or tweet us @HeadsUpAB!

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