Canadian Occupational Safety

November/December 2020

Canadian Occupational Safety (COS) magazine is the premier workplace health and safety publication in Canada. We cover a wide range of topics ranging from office to heavy industry, and from general safety management to specific workplace hazards.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 22 of 31 23 assessing risks, implementing controls, policies and effective communication plans, training staff and continuing to monitor to ensure the plan is working effectively. "Leadership plays a critical role. Actions and decisions that consider the well-being of the workforce build trust," says McGuire. It is that trust "that allows a company to adapt quickly to this changing, unknown landscape — to thrive as opposed to survive," she says. "Regular, clear communication is another essential ingredient, ensuring workers understand the changing environment and have a clear pathway to raise concerns, "McGuire says. "The joint health and safety committee plays a critical role in building the safety plan and communicating with staff. Use them as a critical resource for the organization." According to McGuire, "Knowledge is MAKE IT SAFE 2020 Lisa McGuire, CEO and founder of the Manufacturing Safety Alliance of BC Source: Make it Safe powerful. It really helps all of us understand better what to do when something happens." She says it's important to address negative assumptions and questions early. In addition, she notes, it is crucial to incorporate mental health strategies for those who need additional help, ensuring that the organization is equipped to provide these services. "There's been a lot of conversations around how we are preparing our business for a second wave," says McGuire. "From what Dr. Bonnie Henry has shared with us in B.C., it is not a matter of if but when, recognizing that every previous pandemic has experienced one." McGuire says the Alliance has been working to help prepare businesses to operate effectively under the "new normal" environment. "We need to get good at following our COVID-19 safety plan," she says, "reviewing and revising it as needed to adapt to the virus risk in our area. "You want to adopt processes to prevent complacency," she says. "We need to remain vigilant because it can be a slippery slope if we stray from our safety protocols, and the impact is significant." Observation, communication and an open environment that support questions and feedback are critical. In anticipation of a potential outbreak, McGuire says, every business should consider developing a response plan. "Preparation is key, and with the approaching flu season, we need to be prepared." What is the future for the Alliance? Like many organizations, the Alliance has sharpened its focus on the advantages offered by expanding digital platforms, offering virtual events, services and training to a broad audience that has expanded beyond both provincial and national borders. The Alliance will be hosting a virtual, global conference Oct. 29-30. The Make it Safe 2020 Virtual OHS Conference + Trade Show ( will connect attendees and experts to address the changing health and safety needs of industry in the pandemic and recovery. International experts and supporters will share perspectives from across Canada as well as Mexico, Italy, Germany, Spain, New Zealand, the U.K. and the U.S. In 24 interactive sessions, speakers and panelists will address critical topics for executives, safety and HR professionals and youth. "Presenting Make It Safe online allows us to bring expertise and perspectives together from around the world — and create opportunities for attendees to build new connections while sharing knowledge and experiences that we can adapt to our workplaces," says McGuire. "The pandemic has changed the world we live in today and that will impact how we operate safely tomorrow. We are hoping that the connections we all make at this conference will open the door to a world of new health and safety knowledge that will stay with us well beyond the pandemic." When? October 29-30 What? Virtual OHS conference and trade show Why? Connecting OHS experts, leaders and youth from around the world to share experiences and lessons learned about the pandemic Who? 24 interactive sessions with speakers from around the world

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Canadian Occupational Safety - November/December 2020