Instead of our usual multiple-choice type of survey, this month we asked our reader panelists to share their thoughts on the past and present of health and safety in Canada. Here's what they had to say:
What do you see as the most important event in the history of occupational health and safety in Canada?
· "Environmental awareness is getting better and better among employers and employees."
· "I can think of several distinguishing events but I'm unsure of dates. Creation of WCB and oh&s legislation. Mississauga train derailment in the area of disaster planning. Creation of TDG legislation. The BATA shoe decision to convict a CEO under TDG."
· "In the domain of the federal public service, the most important date was the day that the Canada Labour Code, Part II was changed in 1996 when the Canada Labour started to apply to federal public servants."
· "The creation of Bill C-70 which ultimately resulted in workers being able to read material safety data sheets for the first time. I remember the first few I read, how terrified I was. We were using one of the products in the worst way possible."
· "The Elliott Lake uranium mining strikes of 1974-5 which led to the Ontario omnibus Occupational Health & Safety Act patterned on the Saskatchewan OH&S Act."
· "The Ham Commission and the subsequent report."
· "The introduction of 'workers compensation' at the dawn of the last century was the beginning of a cultural awareness for worker (and employer) related losses and liabilities related to workplace accidents and injuries."
· "Unfortunately it has been tragic events that have prompted the most monumental changes."
Compared with other countries, what is unique about oh&s in Canada?
· "For the most part we have been able to keep the lawyers out of the pictures."
· "It is not enforced properly."
· "Workers know their rights in Canada more than the workers in other countries. But safety standards in Germany are better."
· "Some of the provincial ministries of labour are avant-garde in affording protection to the workers."
· "Joint Health & Safety Committee involvement and right to know legislation."
· "Some of our standards setting organizations (i.e. CSA) are world class, and set the standards for the rest of the world to follow."
· "The generally cooperative approach between government, industry and labour, good standards and an expectation of safe workplaces."
· "As Canadians, we are often perceived as being somewhat 'warm and fuzzy' when it comes to the regulation of health and safety. We strive for cooperation and consultation to resolve our issues."
· "We are not unique. We can learn from what others are doing around the world."
Many thanks to our reader panelists who sent birthday wishes to our magazine (several are reprinted on page 2).
Translation: Somebody just whacked his skull ? on an overhead pipe... on the hood latch of a truck engine he was repairing... on the protruding corner of a motor housing... or on any one of hundreds of objects in places where head bumps and scalp lacerations are a threat.
From a 1966 hard hat ad for Fibre-Metal (Canada) Limited, Toronto
Read 3325 times | Like this? Tweet it to your followers!
Published in Reader Panel