NOTE: A list of North American Occupational Safety and Health Week activities follows this release.
More than 250 safety professionals kicked off North American Occupational Safety and Health Week at a symposium in Dartmouth, today, May 4.
Participants learned about a new small business safety toolkit that provides easy-to-use, step-by-step guidelines and sample forms to identify hazards and develop a safety plan.
“When you’re running a small business you have a lot to manage,” said Labour and Advanced Education Minister Kelly Regan. “This toolkit will help business owners and managers protect their most valuable resource — their workers — so they can return home safe at the end of the day.”
Topics on the agenda included safety leadership, occupational health and safety law, psychological health, and how to make safety a part of daily operations.
“At the NSLC we see workplace safety as a partnership in prevention,” said Brad Doell, vice-president of supply chain and procurement, Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation. “To be successful everyone needs to be a participant. This includes having buy-in from the top and an actively engaged and involved team of employees.”
Participants were also updated on the province’s Workplace Safety Strategy, including:
— changes to the administrative penalties system to put more focus on education, and to direct fines collected towards initiatives that will help make workplaces safer
— an increase in targeted inspections, doubling those of high-risk companies with poor safety records
— the creation of a Safe at Sea Alliance, made up of fishermen, their families and community members, to examine safety in the industry
— the introduction of an online workplace health and safety quiz
The annual event provides an opportunity for government, employers, workers and safety leaders to share insight and best practices on how to make workplace safety a habit.
“In life, we often learn by doing and habits are passed on from person to person. Ensuring the knowledge and sharing of best practices in an organization helps establish good habits that are the fabric of safety culture,” said Stuart MacLean, CEO of the Workers’ Compensation Board. “That’s how we’re going to continue to improve, and that’s how we’re going to make Nova Scotia the safest place to work in Canada.”
For more information on North American Occupational Safety and Health Week, visit www.naosh.ca .
The Workplace Safety Strategy progress report is available online at www.workplacesafetystrategy.ca .
The new Small Business Safety Toolkit is available online at www.workplace-safety-toolkit.ca/toolkit.aspx .