Work Smart. Work Safe.
Keep your "Heads Up" and work safe!

Jul
29

By Angela Unsworth

During the summertime, we’re caught up in many different activities that take us outside to enjoy the long awaited sunshine. For myself, I put a harness on my cat, attach a leash and take her for walks outside.

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It’s true; I’m that crazy cat lady that lives down the street from you. This is my cat on one of our walks.

As I was walking the other day, I pulled out my phone to take a picture of the adorable beastie to share on Instagram and, of course, I almost missed a step on the sidewalk. There’s nothing more embarrassing than falling flat on your face because you’ve got your nose in a phone.

Now, why is this important for you to know? My point here is that sometimes the weather is so nice and we’re just so distracted in our enjoyment of it, that we might not be very aware of safety. I’m sure the last thing you’re doing is heading inside to check the news on your computer. To help keep you updated about what’s going on—so you can keep your free time to enjoy the outside and the summer sun—I collected some work safety related stories in the news for you:

Ramping up safety inspections. Throughout the rest of the summer, residential construction companies will be undergoing surprise safety visits from provincial safety inspectors. These inspections will take place until the end of September, during some of the busiest months for construction companies.

Rollover resulting in two fatalities. On Monday afternoon, two workers passed away after their construction vehicle rolled into a ditch. This happened near Beaverlodge, AB. No other vehicles or individuals were involved in the accident. Occupational Health and Safety and RCMP are continuing to investigate this incident.

And finally…there’s an app for that. A software company called eCompliance launched a new Hazard Assessment Module which is an assessment database that tracks workplace hazards across all jobs and sites. It’s been tested by the University of Alberta, which found that it improved the level of communication about potential hazardous situations.

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

Jul
22

By Caitlin Kehoe

As we all know, festival season is in full swing and there are plenty of awesome events in and around our province to enjoy. Last week, Melissa shared some great safety tips to keep in mind while you adventure at festivals this summer.

But what about those of you who will spend time working or volunteering at one? Attending festivals as a fan can be a little overwhelming at times; when you’re there to do an important job, it can be even more so, and it comes with its own set of risks.

The good news is it’s totally possible to be safety conscious during your shifts and still have the time of your life!

Volunteer1

Image source: su.nottingham.ac.uk

Bottles of water and reflective vests are necessities for these festival volunteers.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Fuel up. When you are spending hours in the hot sun, you can become dehydrated more quickly than you realize. Take the time to drink water (and plenty of it). Be sure to eat, too. This seems obvious, but there could be times when eating may not be at the forefront of your mind. Keep small snacks like granola bars on hand and use your breaks to eat a full meal. Not only is this important for your health, you will also be much more useful to the people around you when your energy levels are high.

Use the buddy system. The tried-and-true system we learned in kindergarten is still around for a reason—it works! Make friends with a fellow volunteer and keep tabs on each other during your shifts. If you see a person who looks sick or hurt, for example, and you want to head over and make sure they’re okay, let your buddy know where you’re going so they will be ready to help if needed. Someone should always know where you are in case of emergencies, even if you’re just taking a quick washroom break.

Volunteer2

Image source: trespass.com

Know where important places like the first aid and security stations are.

Be prepared. We are all aware that weather in Alberta is unpredictable, and this becomes extra relevant at outdoor festivals. Regular attendees have the option of finding a shady area or taking cover from the rain but, as a worker, you’ll likely have to stay put at your post. Make every effort to be prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws your way. Wear a hat and sunglasses as protection from harmful rays and have a lightweight disposable rain poncho ready to go. When it gets dark, wear a reflective safety vest to stay visible.

Give yourself a break, kid! We typically default to “go mode” at festivals so this can be challenging, but it’s important to delegate some downtime to rest and recharge. This is especially true if you’re scheduled to work a shift during crazy late or early hours. On your breaks, take the time to sit, grab a bite and enjoy the music or other events. At the end of the day, be sure to get some quality sleep. Your body will thank you in the morning.

Volunteer3

Image source: su.nottingham.ac.uk

Stay safe and have fun out there this summer!

Whether you’re heading to a festival as a worker, a volunteer, or a fan, be sure to bring your safety-conscious attitude and make some unforgettable memories while you’re there!

What are some safety tips that you think should be shared with festival-goers? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @HeadsUpAB.

Jul
15

By Melissa Babcock

Over the years, summertime in Alberta has become synonymous with one word: festivals!

The summer months are rife with so many festivals, you can literally find something to do or someplace to be almost every weekend in July and August. The legendary Calgary Stampede is already underway, with K-Days soon to follow. Edmonton’s iconic Folk Music Festival is also right around the corner. Or if country music is your thing, maybe you’re planning to head to Camrose for the Big Valley Jamboree. And if you’re a theatre nerd like me, there is no better place to bookend your summer like the Edmonton International Fringe Festival.

As with almost anything, safety comes into play when attending any kind of summer festival. Lauren wrote a blog on this very topic a few years ago and offered up some great safety tips, such as bringing extra clothing and the right footwear for any climate (a festival must go on, rain or shine!) and practicing safety in numbers. Here are a few more things to keep in mind so you can fully enjoy the festival experience:

Lock ‘em up. When festival-ing, only bring the essentials with you. Leave your valuables (like your wallet, jewelry and electronics) either at home or safely locked in the trunk of your car. That way, you can enjoy yourself without having to worry about your things going missing.

Here comes the sun. In addition to a variety of clothing to keep you cool in the sun and warm in the rain, it’s important to have sunscreen on hand. Sunburns can occur even when it’s cloudy and nothing puts a damper on a day at a festival like a painful, blistering burn.

Drink water (and anything else) responsibly. Festival-goers often enjoy a more, shall we say, adult kind of beverage (which is fine, provided you’re of legal age). But be sure to balance your trips to the beer gardens with lots of water. Staying hydrated is the best way to avoid sunstroke and can help minimize the inevitable headache the next morning.

If festivals aren’t your thing, don’t worry – our tips can apply to all sorts of summer activities, like camping, hiking and even just a mid-afternoon stroll on a warm day. Make the most of the summer months! Before you know it, there will be snow on the ground once again.

What is your favourite summer festival? How do you enjoy them safely? Tell us by leaving a comment, or tweet us @HeadsUpAB!

Jul
08

By James Cadden.

We’re always thinking about workplace safety, even while watching movies. Check out our safety and the movies vlog to see some suggestions we have for Tom Cruise’s safety:

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to tell us of any movies you’ve seen where you can identify workplace safety hazards. Leave a comment or tweet us @HeadsUpAB!

Jun
24

By Caitlin Kehoe

When I think about the film industry, I tend to think of glitz and glamour and how much fun it must be to live the life of a movie star. What I don’t think about as often— at least, I didn’t before I started this job—are the safety procedures and precautions that are in place on a film set.

I’ve become much more safety conscious of late and I fully appreciate that, as one of the news stories below illustrates, accidents can happen in the film industry just like they can anywhere else.

Remember, whether you’re a movie star or an (equally glamorous) summer student like me, you always have the right to refuse unsafe work. Safety is the top priority no matter how glitzy the job.

maze runner

Image source: joblo.com

Have a look at what’s been going on in safety news:

Fox Productions failed to keep Maze Runner star safe on set. After conducting an investigation, WorkSafeBC has determined that the serious injuries Dylan O’Brien, lead actor of the Maze Runner film franchise, sustained during filming were the result of unsafe work practices. In March, O’Brien was rushed to a Vancouver hospital after he was struck by a car while performing what WorkSafeBC said was an unplanned and unrehearsed stunt.

Fatality at Alberta fertilizer plant. An investigation is underway at a plant north of Edmonton where a 30-year-old man died after being buried under the phosphate rock he was working with. A second employee was working with the man during the incident and is unharmed.

Edmonton worker seriously injured on the job. A 52-year-old man was rushed to the University of Alberta Hospital in serious condition after he was injured while disassembling an air-conditioning unit at an east Edmonton HVAC company. The incident is currently under investigation.

“Sleepidemic” affecting a third of Canadian youth. A recent study found that a combination of too much screen time and a lack of exercise is making it difficult for Canadian kids to fall asleep at night. Lack of sleep can cause hyperactivity, low IQ scores and depression. It also increases the risk of injury. According to the study, teenagers aged 14 to 17 should get between eight and 10 hours of sleep per night and younger kids require even more.

Canadian bus drivers rally for safer work environment. More than 100 transit workers from across the country rallied in Kelowna this month to proclaim their need for job safety. In order to protect themselves from the verbal and physical attacks they regularly endure, the drivers want all busses to be installed with barriers that can be lowered in the case of threats. On average, there are two physical assaults on Kelowna bus drivers each month. In May, however, four assaults occurred on one day.

New committee launched to ensure work safety at Samsung. An independent panel lead by three Korean university professors has been appointed to monitor work safety at Samsung factories. The launch comes after an agreement between Samsung and a group of former employees who contracted fatal diseases, such as leukemia, while working for the company. The panel, which includes 10 other academics and medical professionals, will recommend ways in which the technology giant’s safety practices can be improved. The work is expected to take three to six years.

 

Did you catch any other safety stories in the news lately? Let us know what you found in the comments below or tweet us @HeadsUpAB.

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