Taking the message of safety home is the next logical step.
As more employers see within their workplaces that their employees repeatedly identify and minimize risks, it makes sense to encourage that same behaviour outside of work.
A message of safety in homes and the community was shared as a part of the North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week May 2-6. NAOSH is marked the first week of May each year to draw attention to reducing injuries and illness in workplaces, homes and communities in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.
“Make Safety a Habit” was the theme of the week. In Saskatchewan, several events were held to bring people together to share in that message.
Luncheons featuring guest speaker Kevin Burns were held in Regina and Saskatoon as were Steps for Life Walks to support Threads of Life.
Earlier in the week, the City of Prince Albert proclaimed it Emergency Preparedness Week and flew the NAOSH flag.
There was also a barbecue in Prince Albert. Displays were posted there for the public to learn more about safety issues, such as distracted driving and emergency preparedness. Organizations interested in promoting safety posted the displays, including the Canadian Red Cross, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, the Prince Albert Fire Department and SGI.
It makes sense to Keith Bird that the focus on safety now be extended beyond workplaces to the employees’ homes and communities. Bird, who is the internal operations manager of RNF Ventures, is also on the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association which co-hosted the barbecue with the Prince Albert Regional Safety Committee.
“It seems as though companies are moving ahead,” said Bird who believes there has been significant growth in the last three to five years of safety being embraced by workplaces.
“In our company, safety is an everyday thing … Safety is almost second nature. It’s always top of mind.”
But Bird says a look at the injury rates in homes and communities shows that more education must be done to help the people to recognize and minimize risks outside of work.
Being prepared for emergency situations as well as fires in homes and communities was taught to the public attending the barbecue. What has happened in Fort McMurray in recent weeks has shown the importance of being aware and prepared, Bird said.
Bird said what was shared during NAOSH week will continue to be spread in his workplace in discussions with employees during the year. His workplace has a long record of being attentive to safety , but
Bird said that focus has become an accepted way of working.
“We talk about safety on the job all the time and the next logical step is safety away from the site. We want that message to go home as well,” said Bird.