On 20th November 2018 in New Westminster, British Columbia, Nathan Appleton lost his life when a wall collapsed over him during work on a construction site. He left behind a wife and three kids, ages 3, 5 and 7.
Nathan was tasked to fix a pre-fabricated wall. He had no previous training in carrying out this job and was only asked to do it because concerned personnel wasn’t present. Upon seeing the wall falling from the crane, his co-worker jumped away from the impact, but Nathan wasn’t as lucky.
What is The Reason behind Workplace Deaths?
The reason why Nathan died, and why most occupational injuries and deaths occur, is because workers aren’t aware of the hazards in their working environment.
Companies are required by the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) to provide workers with Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) which contains all the risks and hazards associated with their job.
In 2017, CCOHS recorded 951 workplace fatalities across Canada. These deaths could have been avoided if organizations were taking proactive measures to keep their employees safe.
How Can Organizations Reduce The Risk Of Workplace Injuries?
Employees and managers can play a huge role in ensuring workplace safety. Most of these injuries happen because of an unsafe work environment or employees’ negligence. Ensuring that safety standards are being met and protocols are being followed at all times will reduce the risk of workplace fatalities.
Proactive Measures from the Management
When people from the management initiate a narrative for workplace safety, it might quickly become a part of regular conversations. Showing commitment towards ensuring employees’ safety is one of the many ways to make them feel valued to the company. It is important for them to realize that their safety comes first. And this can only happen when management proactively participates in this narrative.
By providing workplace safety courses and having safety protocols in place, the company can prepare its employees to deal with safety hazards.
Taking Employees’ Opinions and Experiences into Consideration
It’s your staff who are working on the ground. They’re the ones who know more about safety hazards in the workspace than anyone else.
When drafting out safety protocols for the company, factoring in employees’ opinions can be beneficial. It can prevent the company from devising superficial safety standards. Their experiences are important in bringing about a change in the workplace ecosystem. It also makes them feel empowered, heard and valued by the company.
Deaths like Nathan’s can easily be avoided if companies would strictly follow workplace regulations set by CCOHS.
Here at Metro Safety, we make sure that workers around British Columbia are trained in occupational first aid courses and emergency response so that there are fewer workplace injuries and fatalities. Contact us to know more about our services.