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Richmond, B.C., May 9, 2009 —Today, the City of Vancouver and WorkSafeBC unveil signs that encourage drivers to slow down near public worksites and protect workers from potential injury. The life-sized signs feature photographs of City workers and their children, aged 2 to 17.
Last summer while working, Teena Girard, a traffic control instructor with the City of Vancouver, was hit by a vehicle. Her injuries resulted in a strong desire to raise public awareness about worker safety and motivated Teena, her co-workers, CUPE 1004, and the City of Vancouver to join WorkSafeBC’s “Slow Down” campaign, a safety initiative focused on workers who work in close proximity to the driving public.
Eight volunteer families from four different departments within the City of Vancouver are featured on large utility vehicle decals and upright signs.
The City of Vancouver joins 16 other “Slow Down” campaign partners, which includes Metro Vancouver, the Township of Langley, the City of Pitt Meadows, as well as companies from the Construction Safety Network and the Construction Safety Association of British Columbia.
“We want to do everything we can to keep our workers safe on the job,” says Vancouver City Councillor George Chow. “The ‘Slow Down’ campaign is a great way to raise public awareness about the need to be careful and courteous around City workers when driving by work sites.”
Initially launched July 2007, the “Slow Down” campaign features actual workers and their families and has been featured on prominent road-building and construction projects such as The Canada Line, the Sea-to-Sky Highway, the Coast Meridian Overpass Project, Prince George's Simon Fraser Bridge, and Kelowna's William R. Bennett Bridge, to name just some of the construction projects.
“On a daily basis, the men and women who deliver services to Vancouver residents put their safety in the hands of drivers who have been affected by the amount of roadwork in the past four years,” says Ray Roch, WorkSafeBC’s regional director for the Lower Mainland. “These signs remind drivers that these are real people who provide services and that motorists have a critical role to play in keeping workers safe.”
Today’s unveiling will occur during the City of Vancouver’s Family Day – an all-ages celebration for employees and their children. Family Day is the culmination of the City’s participation in North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week: an annual week-long event that focuses on workplace health and safety.
WorkSafeBC is an independent provincial statutory agency governed by a Board of Directors that serves about two million workers and more than 200,000 employers. WorkSafeBC was born from the historic compromise between B.C.’s workers and employers in 1917 where workers gave up the right to sue their employers and fellow workers for injuries on the job in return for a no-fault insurance program fully paid for by employers. WorkSafeBC is committed to safe and healthy workplaces and to providing return-to-work rehabilitation and legislated compensation benefits.
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