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Safety Matters


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

5 Steps for Safety Leadership in Your Workplace
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.

We are seeing steady reductions in the number of workplace injuries. The total number of injury claims with the WCB decreased by 5.2 per cent from 2012 to 2013. While that’s good news, it still means that 25,000 Nova Scotians were hurt on the job, many of them seriously. Still others paid the ultimate price and never returned home when the workday was done.

We must keep improving. There is no acceptable number of workplace injuries. One is too many.

To keep improving, we need to create a true safety culture in Nova Scotia. That safety culture will exist when everyone in an organization will only do something if they can do it safely.

It starts with leadership.

Leadership is one of the top priorities in Nova Scotia’s Workplace Safety Strategy. We need leaders in every organization, from the corner office to the shop floor, to make safety a fundamental part of how work is done.

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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