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Awareness to Action
Building a Better System for the Future
B.C.'s workplace environment is experiencing rapid and significant change the economy is growing, new industries and jobs are emerging, the composition of the workforce is shifting, and knowledge about work-related health and safety is increasing.
B.C.'s workplace health and safety needs are evolving, says Doug Enns, Chair of the Board of Directors (BOD), and WorkSafeBC should play a leadership role in anticipating and reacting to these changes. We want to make sure that WorkSafeBC and its stakeholders are able to further reduce work-related injury and disease, and proactively address emerging trends, going forward.
The BOD embarked upon its Health and Safety Initiative to meet this challenge. By examining the current and future state of workplace health and safety in B.C., a better system will be built for the future. This reflects the BOD's commitment to increasing awareness that workplace injury, disease and death are preventable and are not an acceptable or inevitable cost of doing business.
The BOD firmly believes that success in building a better system for the future is dependent upon the involvement of all parties — workers, employers, supervisors, unions, associations, the government, and WorkSafeBC.
In order to seek out the valuable ideas and opinions of the parties who play a part in occupational health and safety, the BOD prepared a Resource Guide (PDF 410kb) to facilitate an open and informed discussion, and engaged in direct dialogue with hundreds of stakeholders and WorkSafeBC staff through online surveys (PDF 28kb), regional consultative sessions (PDF 38kb), young worker focus group sessions (PDF 25kb), and a two day Health & Safety Symposium (PDF 72kb) on the following matters:
|Based upon the feedback received, From Awareness to Action: Building a Better System for the Future – Summary and Conclusions, sets out the key themes and preliminary conclusions from stakeholder consultation, and the actions already taken in response to the opinions heard.|
Going forward, the BOD has carefully considered the input provided by stakeholders in order to create strategies that will address emerging trends, risks and opportunities. In taking proactive action, the BOD will build a system that is better able to equip WorkSafeBC and its prevention partners to further reduce work-related injury, disease and death.
From Awareness - We heard from stakeholders that WorkSafeBC should continue to conduct workplace inspections, offer educational and consultative services, and enforce health and safety standards. Support was also voiced for new enforcement tools and enhanced enforcement efforts. In particular, stakeholders told us that there should be increased enforcement against repeat offenders and against supervisors and employers who engage in discriminatory practices and high risk violations.
To Action - WorkSafeBC is committed to upholding health and safety standards, and ensuring that stakeholders understand their obligations. Find out more about the action WorkSafeBC is taking to improve enforcement and compliance:
From Awareness - Stakeholders emphasized the need to raise public awareness about the prevalence and effects of work-related injury, disease and death, and the importance of workplace health and safety standards. However, concern was expressed about a number of issues that give rise to challenges in communicating the health and safety message, such as language barriers, unfamiliarity with technical safety language, and getting past the “invincible” mentality is commonly held amongst many young workers. Stakeholders made it clear they believe a holistic approach to health and safety is necessary — everyone in an organization must play a role in creating a safe and healthy workplace. Stakeholders also told us that health and safety associations play an important role in education, training and the development of industry standards and best practices.
To Action - WorkSafeBC is committed to being a catalyst for change. By encouraging safe work practices, a heightened awareness for occupational safety will be raised and social attitudes will be changed for the betterment of society. Find out more about what action WorkSafeBC is taking to increase awareness about workplace health and safety:
From Awareness - Stakeholders raised issue with number of people at all levels who lack knowledge about their health and safety responsibilities, and expressed concern about the consultation process for regulation development. Stakeholders also told us that they would prefer:
To Action - WorkSafeBC recognizes that access to and understanding of health and safety standards is crucial to preventing workplace injury and death. Find out more about what action WorkSafeBC is taking to make the health and safety standards more user-friendly:
If you have questions or comments about the Board of Directors' Health and Safety Initiative, please contact us by e-mail:
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