Toolbox talks, workplace policies and procedures, safe work practices, paperwork, inspections, hazard assessments; these are just a few of the safety tasks we carry out every day.
Although it may seem overwhelming, repetitive, and daunting, these are in place for good reason.
Many of us don’t realize the steps we take towards safety every day are the reason why we go home injury-free. Since there is no true way to tell that an incident or injury was prevented due to the controls put in place, we often take safety for granted.
Not long ago, the safety of workers was undervalued, which lead to many suffering from health and safety issues. During that time there were far more deaths, injuries, incidents, and occupational diseases arising from the workplace than there are today.
Over the past 60 years, the evolution of safety in Canada has been extraordinary and something we should take a minute to think about. Today, the lengths that employers go to provide health and safety to their workers is something we must appreciate and not take for granted.
Below are major events over the last 60 years that have changed our work environment and show that Canada values the health and safety of its people.
1964: Safety Defined
Safety is defined as “freedom from injury to the body or freedom from damage to health”. Employers were required to ensure worker safety as reasonably practicable.
1968: Canada Labour (Safety) Code
Federal jurisdiction directing laws and regulations concerning the occupational health and safety of workers.
The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety is created, providing health and safety information, training and education.
Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System is created, which educates workers about chemicals and how to protect themselves from hazardous materials.
1999: Young Worker Awareness Program
This program was established following a series of fatalities involving young workers.
2004: Bill C-45
Imposing criminal liability to organizations and people who direct the work of others for occupational health and safety violations resulting in injury or death.
There are many more milestones that have changed Canadian Occupational Health and Safety to today’s standard. These measures were enacted for us to get home at the end of our workday. Let’s take a moment to appreciate all those of the past, present, future, and ourselves, who appreciate safety and the work it takes to keep it in place.
Have a great week!