Year after year, slips, trips, and falls account for 1 in 5 lost-time workplace injuries in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. As an employer, there are several steps you can take to help prevent these incidents.
Good housekeeping practices are an easy way to reduce the risks of slips, trips, and falls:
• Don’t leave slipping hazards on the floor! Clean them as soon as they happen, and be sure to mark wet floors.
• Clear walking paths of any debris, obstacles, or clutter.
• Loose carpets, rugs, and mats create ideal conditions for tripping. Secure them to the floor so they lay flat and even.
• Cover any cables that may cross the floor. Cables and cords may not seem like major hazards, but with a split second of distraction, it can cause a painful fall.
• Ensure areas where ice can build up are sanded to prevent slips. Keep in mind these areas can become covered with new snow that will mask slippery conditions.
To avoid falls, workers need to see where they are going. Make sure there is adequate lighting in the workplace and immediately replace burned-out light bulbs or defective switches. Think about using head lamps when outdoor light conditions are low.
Improving flooring is another way to minimize these risks. Recoating walking surfaces, and installing mats or abrasive strips will improve traction, and reduce the occurrences of slips.
To learn more about slips, trips, and falls and how to prevent them, visit WSCC’s Safety Spotlight webpage
Do you have employees that spend a lot of time on the road? If so, are you providing them with the proper equipment for winter driving? A breakdown in a remote location can have disastrous results in the winter.
In the North, winter driving conditions last for at least half of the year. Communities are far apart, and drivers travelling on the roads or on the land won’t encounter much traffic. If you need help, it can take hours to arrive.
Before driving, make sure the vehicle is in good working condition, and has been recently serviced. Insist on circle checks before getting into vehicle and driving. Even though it’s not mandatory, wheeled vehicles such as cars, trucks and SUV should have winter tires, as they provide better traction in cold conditions.
Each vehicle should have a winter kit assigned to it. This kit should include at least the following items:
• A shovel
• Traction boards or traction aids, such as sand, or kitty litter
• A warm sleeping bag or blankets
• A first aid kit
• A fire extinguisher
• Emergency candles and a lighter or matches
• Energy bars and water
• A communication device that will work in locations without cell phone coverage
To learn more about preparing your employees and vehicles for safe winter driving, check out:
Safe Workplace recognizes employers across Nunavut and the Northwest Territories who make health and safety a core value.
If you haven’t visited your Safe Workplace Dashboard, check it out on WSCC Connect! Here you can download your badge and certificate, grant permission to list you on our public Safe Workplace employer list, and keep track of your occupational health and safety legislative requirements. If you aren’t a Safe Workplace yet, this dashboard shows you which criteria you haven’t met, and gives you information on how to meet them.
If you’ve recently registered with WSCC, you can find out your Safe Workplace status after you’ve filed your Occupational Health and Safety questionnaire with your Annual Payroll Report.
Through the Safe Workplace program, employers are helping to create a network of safer workplaces across the north. Visit your Safe Workplace Dashboard to get in on the action!
Check Out Our New Strategic Plan!
We recently released our 2023-2027 Strategic Plan, called Paths Towards Safety. The strategic plan is our road map for the next five years, it will guide us toward our mission of promoting workplace health and safety, while providing no-fault insurance to employers and care for injured workers.
The plan focusses on three strategic priorities:
• Advancing Safety Outcomes
• Delivering Quality Services
• Ensuring Financial Sustainability
Each priority has its own short, medium, and long-term objectives.
To learn more or to consult our 2023-2027 Strategic Plan, visit WSCC’s website.
Correction – Policy Update
Our January issue of Safety Net included a list of policies that the Governance Council reviewed during its December 2022 meeting. Included on that list was Policy 10.3 on Procurement, which is actually being brought forward for consideration at the March 2023 meeting.
Source: WSCC website