What steps are you taking to ensure the health and safety of those working with you in your operation this harvest season? - In the video below, John Agioritis, partner at MLT Akins in Saskatoon, shares a safety message and story of a farm in Saskatchewan that was fined $80,000 after a worker was fatally injured.
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Aerial Work Platforms are an extremely useful tool for any construction/industrial worksite. They allow workers to gain access to areas without the use of the deadly ladder. They are very smooth to operate and usually allow more than one worker to operate within them. With the right training and practice, they are the cat’s meow.
In training, you learn one of the most dangerous actions when operating them is moving, repositioning, or travelling with them (Driving). Due to the design, what may look like a bit of a bump for the machine, turns into a massive bump for whomever may be within or on them.
Utilizing fall protection equipment that RESTRAINS a worker within the platform is essential. This includes the use of a fall protection harness, a short lanyard, and a complete connection to the anchor point on the lift. In this case... there was obviously not so much of a complete connection.
Does your operation work at heights? Do your employees know how to inspect a fall protection set up to ensure its proper operation? Our fall protection courses range from entry level to supervisor and inspector level training. By training with us, you support injury prevention efforts across Saskatchewan.
Why are so many Saskatchewan workers being hurt due to falls?
Workers are receiving fall protection training, but injury statistics are not improving. A common factor in these workplace injuries is a lack of competent supervision.
But why would we need competent supervisor training for fall protection? Is fall protection really that complicated?
Well, what are the first things that come to mind? Systems like harnesses, lanyards, ropes, and other equipment seem like the right answer. Supervisors working in fall protection may take the obvious safety precautions, like suggesting PPE for their crew. But can they answer why the equipment is being used, and the particulars around how?
Any worker can follow a rule. But do they understand why that rule is in place? A competent supervisor is one that not only recognizes what equipment is necessary, but can also demystify for their crew why the sometimes complicated fall protection systems are needed.
Without competent supervision, an employee’s training may fade over time. Bad habits can develop, jeopardizing the entire crew’s safety. A competent supervisor has the knowledge and skills to understand how bad habits can be turned into training opportunities.
Industries that require fall protection training are at high risk of injuries. More than following rules, the legislation that is in place needs to be thoroughly understood. A Competent Supervisor will effectively share that understanding with those working under them.
After all, how expensive is the cost of training compared to the cost of a workplace incident?
Learn more and register for Competent Supervisor training: https://www.sasksafety.org/fall-protection-competent-supervisor.html
Have you ever wondered why small and medium sized businesses in Saskatchewan get charged or fined for Occupational Health and Safety violations?
Certified Health and Safety Consultant & Member of the Saskatchewan Safety Council Board of Directors, Jeff Peters, found that over half of the companies involved in summary convictions pertaining to occupational health and safety in Saskatchewan were in violation of clause 12 – meaning that the requirements for adequate information, instruction, training, and supervision had not been met. Simply put, the companies in question did not have a safety program.
If you ask ten employees the same safety question, will you get ten different answers in return?
When it comes to workplace safety protocol, relying on 'common sense' can only result in common injuries. As Jeff describes, your safety protocol must be rooted in a documented program.
"A new employee shows up at your business... What do you tell them? And what do you tell everybody with consistency so you can actually say 'I do have a program'? By having a program, you address all of the (training) requirements, you document it, and you deliver it."
Safety programs serve as more than just legal checklists for small and medium sized business owners. A developed safety program allows businesses to document and deliver consistent training to their employees, while keeping the busienss safe, organized, and penalty free.
Want to learn more about safety programs in Saskatchewan? Watch part two here.
Ready to improve your safety program? Learn about consulting services here.
For many people, the phrase “Ground Disturbance” conjures up images of big equipment turning up dirt to build roads or other infrastructure. This is indeed the case; this type of heavy construction recognizably engages in ground disturbance operations. However, many other residential and civil construction projects regularly deal with underground facilities. This means that ground disturbance concepts extend to many popular trades outside of heavy construction. Landscaping, residential projects, other construction fields, and the agriculture industry all actively require awareness of ground disturbance operations. The Saskatchewan Safety Council is proud to announce the latest addition to the Career Safety Education program - “Ground Disturbance for Saskatchewan Workers,” a completely free course aimed at young workers in the province seeking to enter these common trades that deal with disturbing the earth’s surface.
Three organizations – The Saskatchewan Common Ground Alliance, Heavy Construction Safety Association of Saskatchewan, and the Saskatchewan Safety Council have collaborated to produce this training course on Ground Disturbance. Course material covers concepts that are directly applicable to ground disturbance operations while also including generalized concepts designed to build a young worker’s awareness in many other fields that work in soil or alongside utility infrastructure.
The main objective of the course is to teach students how to properly identify underground facilities while also providing information to help students maintain safe practices when dealing with soil. “New and young workers often find some of their first jobs in sectors that deal with ground disturbance concerns. Every year, we hear statistics of people being injured and sometimes killed in this line of work, but these are not statistics, they are our friends, neighbours, nieces, nephews, and children. Through this multi-agency collaboration and the financial support of the SCGA, we can make sure that every person who needs to take ground disturbance training to learn about the hazards and risks in their work, can do so without barriers.” - Ryan Jacobson, CEO, Saskatchewan Safety Council
For employers in industries that frequently engage in ground disturbance operations, a young employee who has taken Ground Disturbance Training will be much better oriented to receive onboarding training than an employee who has not. Many employers in these common industries will recognize the important concepts that the course will introduce. These ground disturbance concepts include Identification of worksite equipment, designation of colour-coded flags and markers, the influence of differing soil types, hazard identification, proper reporting procedures, emergency preparedness, and other relevant subjects as it pertains to ground disturbance. These subjects were developed in consultation with the Heavy Construction Safety Association of Saskatchewan, a non-profit safety association dedicated to promoting the arts and science of safety to the “R” code employers & their employees in order to try to reduce incidents & accidents that result in injury & property damage. “As we see younger employees entering our industry constantly, this is a fantastic opportunity to build that safety skill mentality right as they start their careers.” says Natalya Uchacz, Safety Program Consultant, of the HCSAS.
A key objective when developing the course was to ensure the highest possible accessibility and affordability to the public. To address accessibility, “Ground Disturbance for Saskatchewan Workers” will be provided online available to anyone with an email address, and it is free. Certificates of completion are provided, rewarding students of the program with a lifelong token of their valuable knowledge and experience gained. This certificate gives a valuable reference for the students completing the program as they apply for work in the relevant industries.
The Saskatchewan Common Ground Alliance (SCGA) develops and promotes “effective damage prevention practices” when dealing with underground facilities, believing in a collective approach to damage prevention and worker safety in the province. Developers of “Sask 1st Call”, the SCGA passionately supports the Ground Disturbance training initiative as a preventative measure in the fight against property loss and workplace injury in the field. “The cost to the economy of these incidents is significant, but more importantly, there is also a risk of injury and even death from events that are most often entirely preventable,” said Derrick Mann, SCGA President. Developing safety habits when one is young “produces a lifetime of benefits” says Mann, believing a graduate of the program may become a future role model to champion safe behavior.
Collaborative efforts such as this address the needs of Saskatchewan people. This exciting initiative is one more example of how the Saskatchewan Safety Council, Saskatchewan Common Ground Alliance, and the Heavy Construction Safety Association of Saskatchewan are working together to create a province of safety excellence.
The course was officially launched on July 15th 2021, at a public event hosted by Wappel Construction at a jobsite in Northeast Regina.