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Everyone is responsible for safety at work, but real change starts at the top. That was the central theme of the second Fall Federal Forum in Halifax. The event was organized by WCB Nova Scotia in collaboration with Employment and Social Development Canada for leaders to come together. The daylong forum in late November was a time to innovate and collaborate on how to minimize the cost of workplace injury.
The event brought in 42 attendees from 13 federal government organizations and provincial workers’ compensation boards. The forum was also available as a webcast, where 20 people tuned in from across the country.
Leaders from the federal and provincial levels presented their own workplace success stories and strategies for moving forward. Attendees also took the time to discuss injury prevention and management and to develop their own action plans.
One such success was presented by Gena McDermid from the Nova Scotia Department of Justice and Corrections. The department developed a workplace consulting framework with the aim of reducing costs by preventing injury.
McDermid acknowledged that change starts at the top, and leaders need to be open to accepting help to change. In this case, the department developed a partnership with the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union to help implement a safety plan.
A particular triumph came when the employee engagement survey elicited a 100 per cent response, compared to 92 per cent in other departments.
“Safety wasn’t just important to us, it was important to the employees as well,” said McDermid.
McDermid said that managers must lead by example – if employees get the impressions that managers do not care, then neither will they.
The presentations from the entire day are now viewable online. Find them here.