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Safety Matters


Our blog discussing workplace safety opportunities in Nova Scotia and around the world.

5 Steps for Safety Leadership during NAOSH Week
Nova Scotia is becoming a safer place to work. That’s something to celebrate during NAOSH Week. But it’s also a call to action to do more.

The 2017 time-loss injury rate of 1.76 per 100 covered workers represents a slight increase from last year, when the injury rate was 1.74, but we are seeing steady reductions in the number of workplace injuries overall. 

There were 5,906 time-loss claims in 2017, compared to 5,847 in 2016. By comparison, in 2005 more than 9,000 workers were hurt seriously enough to lose time from work. 

The WCB received a total of 23,952 claims in 2017, a slight decrease from 24,311 the year before. These include all workplace injuries in covered workplaces – most of which required some health care but didn’t result in time lost from work. 

Many workplaces across Nova Scotia have committed to improving their safety performance in recent years. We see the impact of their efforts in our improving results. They are leaders in the safety culture movement. To follow the path set by these workplaces and demonstrate that safety leadership in your own, your workplace should:

1. Encourage and expect safe work practices from the top down.
2. Help employees recognize their role in protecting their own safety and that of others.
3. Ensure managers and supervisors understand they are responsible and accountable for the health and safety of their employees.
4. Empower managers and supervisors to ensure equipment, materials and the work environment do not pose undue hazards.
5. Identify an individual safety leader to coordinate health and safety responsibilities. This safety leader must have direct access to, and the support of, senior management. 

These steps can help your workplace become safer. And remember, a Joint Occupational Health and Safety (JOHS) Committee is required by law if you employ 20 or more people. A JOHS Committee brings together managers and employers to collaboratively put the right policies and practices in place. Make that team a key part of your safety culture.

As you think about safety during NAOSH Week, remember that it is equally important throughout the rest of the year. Your leadership will make the difference.

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