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Safety in the news – springtime edition

By Melissa Babcock

If ever a season brings about a motley of feelings, it’s usually spring. While most people are thrilled that winter is behind us and are happy to put away the snow boots and heavy coats, others bemoan the dirty puddles and slush that come with warmer temperatures, not to mention the havoc melting snow can inflict on people with allergies. Excuse me while I sneeze for the millionth time today.

News stories are much the same when it comes to mixed emotions. When I was looking for articles to share in this blog, most of what I found were sadly rooted in disaster or loss. But as I read on, at times I noticed a thread of hope permeating some of what I was reading. Often, tragedy ends up inspiring change.

So without further ado, here is your latest batch of safety stories:

Upholding safety in the future. In the wake of two tragic incidents late last year in which two clerks were killed while working alone late at night, Alberta’s Occupational Health & Safety have plans to inspect around 200 convenience stores across the province, to ensure workplace safety measures are being met.

Opening the lines of communication. Workplace deaths are on the rise in Singapore, with 22 lives lost at work so far this year (compared to 18 at this time last year). As a result, the country’s Workplace Safety and Health Council has urged employers to review their existing practices and increase communication with their workers in an effort to improve safety on the job.

Speaking from personal experience. Two-time Grey Cup champion Dan Comiskey was the keynote speaker at the City of Kingston’s recent Safety Days sessions. He gave his perspective on the issue of workplace safety, drawing not only on his years in the CFL but also on his experiences losing his brother in a workplace accident and seeing his father-in-law suffer a serious injury on the job.

A recurring problem, despite precautions. An Amtrak train recently collided with a maintenance vehicle outside of Philadelphia, killing a backhoe operator and another Amtrack worker. The crash was at least the fifth such incident in the last 12 months, despite millions of dollars being spent on railroad safety programs in recent years.

And finally… A few weeks ago, a 29-year-old Alberta worker tragically lost his life. The young man was working on a job site north of Fort McMurray when he slipped off some scaffolding and fell approximately 70 feet. Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family.

Have you seen any safety-related stories in the news lately? Share it by leaving a comment or tweeting us @HeadsUpAB.

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