Workplace safety not only protects workers, it is also good business, and that is good for Nova Scotia.
That was the focus of discussions during the Leadership Matters conference on workplace health and safety today, Dec. 3.
Co-hosted by the Department of Labour and Advanced Education and the Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia, the event was attended by almost 100 of Nova Scotia’s business, labour, private and public sector leaders.
Minister of Labour and Advanced Education Kelly Regan and CEO of the Workers’ Compensation Board Stuart MacLean also attended the conference where linkages were made between the province’s economic prosperity and improving workplace safety.
“Both the oneNS report and the Workplace Safety Strategy call for action, and that action starts with us, whether it is on the shop floor, or in the boardroom,” said Ms. Regan. “We all share the same goals; we want a healthy, safe and prosperous Nova Scotia. In order to make those goals a reality, workplace safety needs to be a part of every business decision.”
Rick Clarke, president of the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour, and J.P. Deveau, president of Acadian Seaplants Ltd. and past winner of the Mainstay Safety Award of Excellence, spoke during the conference. Their panel discussion focused on how organizations need to put their efforts behind creating strong workplace safety cultures within their workplaces, and how leadership at all levels is crucial in making this happen.
“People, now more than ever want to work for companies that care about their communities and their workers. Simply put, workplace safety is good for your people, it’s good for your reputation and it’s good for business,” said Mr. Deveau.
“At Acadian Seaplants we have valued safety from day one – it’s part of our DNA. I truly believe that safe workplaces help companies retain and attract the best and brightest, a safe workplace helps improve production and prosperity. We learned early that safety is a foundational key to our success.”
Nova Scotia’s Workplace Safety Strategy is a guide to improving safety across the province. Nova Scotians are moving from knowing about workplace safety to caring about workplace safety, a trend Mr. MacLean wants to see gain momentum.
“When Nova Scotia becomes the safest place to work in the country, we will go well beyond our previous ideal of being a healthy and productive province. We will be positioned as a region to invest in – a region that not only boasts the safest workplace record, but workplaces that are caring, disciplined and productive,” said Mr. MacLean. “We will send the message to the world that we are ready and equipped for more business.”
“Business may have different ways and strategies to help reach those goals, but when people simply put their safety and the safety of others before anything else, that is true leadership.”