Everyone who works has a responsibility for workplace safety. That’s the message WCB Nova Scotia is asking workers and employers to remember as they mark North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week, May 7 – 13, and the 25th Anniversary of the Westray mine disaster on Tuesday, May 9.
“Nova Scotia’s workplaces are safer today than they have been in the past,” says WCB Nova Scotia CEO Stuart MacLean, who will join other leaders in workplace safety at the 2017 NAOSH Week Symposium this morning in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
The province is at its lowest rate of time-loss injury on record, at 1.74 per 100 covered workers. Acute workplace fatalities have also been trending down over time.
“Safety progress is cold comfort to those who have lost someone on the job. There is still too much injury and tragedy. All of us can do something to make our workplaces safer,” MacLean says.
The Internal Responsibility System (IRS) is at the core of the province’s safety legislation. The central message behind the IRS is that everyone in a workplace shares responsibility for safety, based on their own level of authority and ability.
A new educational campaign about the IRS is among a number of programs the WCB and its safety partners are rolling out to workplaces this NAOSH Week.
- “Simple Acts” tells the story of how the IRS is meant to work. When everyone does their part, people go home safe at the end of the day. The educational video is supported with a discussion guide and other materials for workplace discussions.
- Workplaces across the province will receive a kit of materials focused on the most important reasons for workplace safety – the “other jobs” we all have outside of work. The kits are meant to inspire and support discussions in the workplace about why workplace safety is important.
- The province’s workplace safety awareness and education website, worksafeforlife.ca, has been updated to be mobile responsive, with new tools to help workplaces assess their safety culture.
These tools are just a few examples of the WCB’s work to build a safety culture in Nova Scotia, together with our partners.
Nova Scotia has seen progress in workplace safety, but there is still much to do. While some industries like fishing and construction have reduced the impact of workplace injury and tragedy significantly, others, like long-term care and home care, face injury prevention challenges.
The WCB is working with several stakeholder partners toward a long-term safety strategy for health and community services, particularly long-term care and home care.
“The good news is that safety leaders are emerging across Nova Scotia,” says MacLean. “The province’s safety culture has improved, but we must all do our part to continue improving workplace safety – this NAOSH Week, and always.”
For information, contact:
Manager, Communications and Marketing, WCB Nova Scotia