When unsafe working conditions are ignored or safe practices are minimized, people can get hurt, get sick, or tragically, they can die. Last year, 173 workers in British Columbia died. Now, 173 families mourn their loved ones.
Every year on April 28, Canadians come together at ceremonies held to remember those who have lost their lives to injury or disease on the job.
While every employer has a responsibility to keep their workplace safe year-round, the Day of Mourning is an opportunity to review your health and safety programs and procedures to ensure your workers are safe on the job.
Creating a Culture of Health and Safety
Whether you have 20 workers, or are a one-person operation, creating a culture of health and safety is an important step in keeping your workplace safe. If we all commit to building a culture where health and safety is the priority, and we’re all encouraged to make a contribution, we can work to make fatalities and workplace incidents a thing of the past.
So how do you create a culture of safety when you’re pressed for time and resources? WorkSafeBC has partnered with Small Business BC to create greater access to tools and resources to help small businesses develop and maintain successful health and safety programs.
With proper planning and an emphasis on safety in your workplace, incidents can be minimized or avoided altogether. The best way to keep your small business safe is to create a health and safety program. An effective program should include:
- Safety education and training for new and young workers
- A plan to hold regular safety meetings and safety inspections
- Descriptions of employer, supervisor, and worker responsibilities
- A schedule for regular maintenance and updating of the safety program
The Small Business Primer and the Small Business Health and Safety Log Book are two great resources that provide employers with information on registering with WorkSafeBC and how to set up a basic health and safety program.
Add Value to Your Business
Helping your employees do their jobs safely adds value to your business, and providing support and training is a great place to start. Ensuring the tools your workers use are safe and appropriate for the task and keeping the dialogue of your safety culture going with regular safety meetings and checks will help you avoid the financial and human cost of a high injury rate.
Information can be a powerful tool. With access to so many valuable resources on worksafebc.com such as videos, meeting guides, and training materials, safety planning is not only easier, it can help save lives. And if you can prevent incidents from occurring, you can keep your operation running, keep employees healthy, and improve your overall bottom-line.
Attend a Day of Mourning ceremony
There are 29 Day of Mourning Ceremonies held in local communities around BC, including:
10:00 a.m. at BC Children’s and Women’s Hospital Project – 800 W 28th Ave
10:30 a.m. at Vancouver Convention Centre
5:00 p.m. at the Vancouver Art Gallery
12:00 p.m. at Ben Lee Park (at Franklin and Houghton)
6:00 p.m. at St Andrew’s Church
12:00 p.m. at Pioneer Plaza Waterfront
12:00 p.m. at the Workers’ Memorial Statue
To find a full listing of all Day of Mourning ceremonies or for more information, visit dayofmourning.bc.ca.