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Safety in the News

By Angela Unsworth

Over here at Heads Up, being safe at work is usually top of mind. But, just like Melissa—who wrote in her post about this last week—when I was younger, safety at work was not the first thing I thought about. Now, I try to stay up-to-date about workplace safety and I’m frequently checking the news. Sometimes, I struggle emotionally while reading through the articles.  For example, reading about the heartbreaking situation in Fort McMurray, where so many people are being displaced, I feel sorry for their loss. However at the end of each article, there is a summary of all the support that Albertans are offering and one common theme emerges; resiliency.

In the face of adversity, there are always stories of hope, of lessons learned and of the collective working together to show resiliency by overcoming obstacles..

To help keep you up-to-date with work safety in the news, I’ve collected the following stories for you:

Day of Mourning. Each year, the National Day of Mourning honours workers who lose their lives while at work. In 2015, there were 125 workplace fatalities and on April 28, many organizations took time to remember those workers.

Two separate workplace incidents on the same day. Sadly, on April 27, one day before the National Day of Mourning, two individuals were killed in two separate work-related accidents, one in Redwater, AB and the other in Blackfalds, AB. Each incident is being thoroughly investigated by Occupational Health and Safety officials.

Fort McMurray forest fires. As wildfire spread into Fort McMurray, 88,000 residents were evacuated. Although they found themselves stranded along the highway without gas or food, the province pulled together to send relief efforts to those displaced by the fires. While crews continue to struggle to keep the fire under control, the Alberta Government is considering next steps to support the evacuees, including financial aid and transitional housing. Shell has shut down operations in the area to maintain safety for its employees.

And finally… The Canadian Labour Congress is advocating for a complete ban of imports with asbestos, while the Automotive Industries Association is looking to discontinue its use. Though workers follow all safety measures when handling products that contain asbestos, there is no absolute protection. The use of asbestos has been banned for federal construction projects, but these groups are looking to expand the ban.

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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