In Canada, April 28 is observed as the National Day of Mourning. It is a day to remember and honour workers who have died, been injured, or suffered illness because of their work. The day also serves as a reminder for all employers of the ongoing need to improve workplace safety and prevent future workplace injuries and fatalities. April 28 is also recognized as the World Day for Safety and Health at Work. This day is dedicated to raising awareness about occupational safety and health and promoting safe working practices around the world.
On April 28, organizations and individuals worldwide hold events and activities to raise awareness of workplace safety issues and promote safe working practices. These may include training sessions, safety talks, workplace inspections, and other initiatives to improve occupational safety and health.
At Agilus, we place external contractors and temps in multiple industries and take our workforce’s health and safety seriously. The Director of Quality, Health, and Safety, Andrea Ryan, oversees our comprehensive Quality, Health, and Safety (QH&S) program that has been COR certified since 2004.
“We conduct site assessments and screen for H&S compliance during the hiring/selection process. The QH&S department evaluates the program annually to ensure all policies and procedures are at or exceed all legislative standards. “We care about our contractors and temps like we do for our internal staff, and by being diligent with our Health and Safety standards, we demonstrate our commitment to their well-being,” says Andrea Ryan.
Building a safety culture
Building a safety culture at the workplace requires a concerted effort from all levels of the organization, from management to employees. Here are some steps that can help create a safety culture:
It is important that leadership, from top management to supervisors, shows a commitment to safety. This means providing resources, setting safety goals, and regularly communicating the importance of safety to employees.
Employees need to be involved in safety planning, implementation, and monitoring. This includes encouraging employees to report safety hazards, near-misses and injuries, and empowering them to make safety-related decisions.
Communication is key to creating a safety culture. Regular safety meetings, safety training, and safety messages help keep safety top-of-mind for employees. To ensure our contractors and clients are keeping their Health and Safety top of mind, Agilus emails quarterly bulletins with topical content and timely reminders to maintain a safe workplace and support a healthy lifestyle. See our quarterly H&S bulletins here.
Hazard identification and control:
Employers should regularly assess and take steps to control workplace hazards. This includes implementing engineering controls, administrative controls, and personal protective equipment (PPE) where necessary. Hazard identification and mitigating risk is a shared responsibility. Employers should make it easy and mandatory for employees to report potential hazards, near misses and accidents. Failing to do so puts everyone safety at risk and could impact an employer’s insurance and standing with their provincial WCB.
Recognition and incentives:
Employers who recognize employees for their safety contributions and provide incentives for exemplary safety performance see a marked improvement in the reduction of accidents and lost time due to illness and injuries. Rewards could include awards, bonuses, or other forms of recognition.
“A safety culture is never "done." Employers need to regularly assess their safety programs and look for ways to improve. This includes seeking employee feedback and making changes based on their input,” adds Andrea.
To enhance the safety culture of any company, it is a fundamental right to involve workers in all aspects of the safety program, including reporting their concerns and offering ideas for making processes safer. Providing employees with access to information such as risk assessments and safety reporting procedures is essential, as is creating an environment where workers feel comfortable reporting safety concerns without fear of retaliation. Management should also encourage employees to share their past experiences and empower them to make safety-related decisions.
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