Health Care is Not an Exception
- WorkSafeBC accepted 14,446 health care claims in 2014
- In 2014, WorkSafe BC accepted 487 health care workers permanent disability claims due to injury or occupational disease
- From 2005 – 2014, WorkSafeBC has reported 26 deaths among healthcare professionals
- In 2014 – three healthcare workers died from work-related causes
In 1983 I took my first course on Occupational Health & Safety, learning to be a Worker Representative. Working in a unionized facility I quickly discovered that there can be a polarization between Management and the Unions, in some organizations when it comes to how occupational health & safety issues are viewed.
As I became more aware of risk identification and assessment I quickly developed the belief that health and safety hazards showed no favoritism when it came to risk level. An unsafe situation was just as unsafe to a manager as it was a worker. Both were at risk, hence both play a part in working towards a solution.
As a Worker Representative for several unions I have served as a member of several Joint Occupational Health & Safety Committees. One was quite dysfunctional and conflict laden, another proactive and effective.
I don’t believe that we should be leaving our health and safety in the hands of our employers or our worker representatives. If we are to have health and safe worksites it behooves all of us to make sure that happens. Everyone deserves to come home safe at the end of their work day.
On April 28th I urge you to not only give thought to those that have been injured or have lost their life as part of their job but to look around your own particular worksite and see what difference you can make to make it safer and healthier.
As Red Greene used to say on his television show “We’re all in this together … “
Something to think about …