Canadian Occupational Safety

January/February 2021

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.

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Page 18 of 47 19 something you do from day one," says Verster. He says that you need to fill your organization with people who are passionate and excited about safety, so that people feel that they are accountable for it, for their own safety and also the safety of their colleagues. "Safety culture to me is really about similar values and perceptions around health and safety, which are shared by everyone within an organization, irrespective of their position," says Harris. "Safety culture is also where leaders demonstrate commitment… by being supportive and also present, to collaborate with workers to identify and control exposures proactively and then, additionally, to strive for looking forward, which was really, really inspiring." Challenges facing the construction sector "The biggest challenge for the construction industry and for organizations and companies that do construction for us is a degree of complacency with regard to unmanaged risks. I see too many unmanaged risks on worksites: risky work situations, risky practical situations," says Verster. "The next challenge for us would be to get more safety risk assessments and the practice of safety risk assessments in the workplace and set and managing those risks. That has to be the next big area of focus." This, says Verster, is not only a challenge in 2020 but a challenge going into 2021 as well. "If you teach someone how to do something safe, you also have to help them to believe in why it's important to do it that way. Just knowing what to do doesn't help. It's a start, but you've got to get people to believe that it's the right thing to do," says Verster. Building safety leadership and culture Our three winners shared their views on what safety culture means to them and how to build effective safety leadership. "People sometimes talk about culture in a very abstract way. For me, culture is "The biggest challenge for the construction industry and for organizations and companies that do construction for us is a degree of complacency with regard to unmanaged risks." Phil Verster, Metrolinx continuous improvement in the areas of environment, health and safety." "When I think of safety and when I think of where safety fits in, everything we do out there has got to be something that is in people's frame of reference; it must be in their behaviours," says Verster. He says a big aspect of safety for him is not only behavioural and cultural but also practical and technical. "Technical safety is how do people technically do the work? How do they engage with others in a technical way to be safe, and that is whether it's training in manual handling, manual materials handling, how you pick something heavy up, how you move it. There are TOP TRENDS FOR 2021 Improving employees' mental health Looking out for ergonomic concerns for those working from home Increasing networking and collaboration among OHS professionals Preventing COVID-19 fatigue among workers Getting employees up to speed with new technology and digitalization

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