Health and Safety and the National Day of Mourning
Each year more than 940,000 Canadians are injured in the workplace. 100,000 of those are disabling injuries and 1/3 of all workplace related deaths in Canada (over 1,000 in 2009) are from industrial disease. These numbers are staggering yet at the same time, seem distant from our everyday lives. Until it happens in your shop, on your site or in your place of employment it seems impersonal, almost impossible it could happen to you. But it can.
In this season where we recognize those who have been killed or injured at work it is essential we proactively adopt the three important thresholds of labour safety law:
1. the right to know
2. the right to participate and
3. the right to refuse unsafe work
First, the right to know means YOU have the right to know what are you being exposed to , what are the safety precautions and what risk it is you are running that are integral to that task.
Second, you have the right to participate in safety related activities in your workplace.
Third, you absolutely have the right to refuse unsafe work without fear of reprisal. There is a mechanism that allows work to be reviewed to sort out any issues on the work in question.
If you encapsulate these three thresholds in every workplace activity you will be on your way to avoiding the staggering statistics above. On April 28, attend a ceremony in your community to recognize those that were not so lucky. Contact either your local or provincial building trades council for more information about what is happening in your part of Canada.
Visit the CCHOS website for more information. (www.ccohs.ca)
Click here for more information.