Out from the shadows: work safe this groundhog day

Out from the shadows: work safe this groundhog day

Posted on February 2, 2018

By Steve Hnatishin, Safety Trainer

‘The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.’

We’ve all heard this quote at one point in our life and most of us would subscribe to this theory. So why do we see this approach repeated so often when it comes to workplace safety & health committees?

Often, many elements of a safety program and many functions of our workplace safety & health committees are done on a compliance-based scope. But what are we achieving? Avoidance of fines and improvement orders perhaps. Should the goal not also include increased avoidance of loss? Specifically, keeping our employees safe and injury free. Ensuring our workplace safety & health committees are operating at their fullest potential is an underused opportunity in our workplaces.

The Manitoba Workplace Safety & Health Act & Regulations states in several of places that we must work in consultation with our committee; including safe work procedures, investigations, working alone and more. One of the first and most influential references is the Section 7.4(6), which tells us that the workplace safety and health program must be designed in consultation with the committee. This means that the entire safety & health program requires committee involvement.

Why not turn these mandatory elements of our safety program into substantial activities that include multiple levels of our organization with full participation from our workplace safety & health committee? Our worker members are the boots on the ground – the people who face the risks every day. Our management members have the power to create the change. Get them involved and change up the old method.

Don’t get stuck in an incident prone Ground Hog Day.