Last year, Alberta’s workplace fatalities totaled 144, a 15% increase from the previous year’s total of 125, despite the economic downturn which resulted in the loss of thousands of jobs across Alberta’s worksites.
This week (March 12 to 18) is Canadian Agricultural Safety Week, the annual awareness and education campaign targeting safety in agriculture. With a focus on improving safety initiatives on farms, the campaign is encouraging adults in the the agriculture industry to lead by example, communicate and demonstrate proper safety procedures, and develop safety plans that are personalized for their operations.
From ethical sourcing methods, recycling programs, and renewable energy initiatives, sustainability has become a core value and a large part of many businesses long term strategies, placing emphasis on the future and long term goals of organizations rather than focusing on short term profits. Organizations are becoming increasingly successful in incorporating and balancing social, economic and environmental factors into their business decisions. However, one factor of sustainability that needs more emphasis is health and safety.
The City of Edmonton has launched a comprehensive review of safety in the province’s municipal workplaces. The city wants to re-examine and improve upon the QHSE processes and safety culture of its municipal workplaces, eventually translating the positive results to the public sector. With a focus on the three distinct areas of people, processes and technology, the review will examine and evaluate the city’s safety culture from frontline workers up to upper management.
Health and Safety Trends for 2017
Last year, OSHA released its recommend practices for heath and safety programs, with the goal of improving QHSE processes across workplaces. The recommendations hope to prevent injuries and move safety culture from being reactive to encouraging proactive health and safety practices.
Cemex, a global leader in the building materials industry, has launched their innovative QHSE training initiative called the Health and Safety Academy, with the goal of fostering a more robust safety culture emphasising leadership, awareness, education, and a commitment to excellence.
A recent study suggests that CEOs and senior management play the most critical role in creating and developing their organization’s safety culture, which they role model and pass down to middle management and supervisors. This emphasis and focus on safety eventually permeates throughout the entire organization, directly influencing the number of frontline employee injuries.
A new set of recommended practices for health and safety programs has been laid out by OSHA, intended to provide employers with a methodical approach to improving the health and safety of workplaces.
With a new and easier to use format, the document has updated the 1989 OSHA guidelines, with supporting tools and resources to particularly help small and medium-sized business continuously improve and keep up with modern health and safety practices.
Now that the Bill 6 consultation process is winding down, the coalition of Alberta agriculture groups, AgCoalition, is turning its focus back to advancing safety culture and QHSE on Alberta farms.
The annual Alberta Health and Safety Conference kicked off yesterday, with more than 450 health and safety industry leaders in attendance, sharing their thoughts on health and safety related topics. Held at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, the conference is a great source of health and safety education and an ideal place to share ideas and learn from health and safety professionals. With this year’s theme being “Recognizing Greatness”, the conference is hosting more than 30 educational sessions and a trade show with 100 manufacturers of QHSE related products.