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Preventable falls from a height will make your crew look down on you, says new WorkSafeBC campaign

By COS Staff

WorkSafeBC has launched a campaign to reduce the number of workers who fall from heights on job sites.

In partnership with five Lower Mainland construction companies that represent 22 job sites, the campaign strives to address findings from WorkSafeBC’s research.

From 2004-13, falls from a height in B.C. accounted for 92 worker deaths and 22,610 serious injuries. WorkSafeBC’s 2013 Statistics report states the greatest number of deaths and injuries occur in the construction industry. Twenty-five per cent of construction claims are related to falls from a height, making them the more common and costly incidents in the industry.

"Worker safety is a top priority for our government,” says Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour Shirley Bond. “With one million job openings projected by 2022 many of them will be in the trades — and many of them in the trades at the highest risk for falls from heights - this makes it doubly important for WorkSafeBC to focus on educating and training employees and employers about safe practices on job sites.

“Every worker in our province deserves to get home safely at the end of their shift."

The 2013 Statistics publication looked into how workers are hurt and some of the reasons why the accidents occur. Research on the issue showed time and economic constraints, lack of training, and an enhanced need for leadership in the area of safety are all contributors to the high rate of falls. Peer pressure and engrained work habits makes it difficult to create a culture of safety, the research says.

This campaign seeks to address the findings and provide new training resources, a social media contest, hard hat stickers, posters, perimeter fencing and innovative, large signage reminding employers and workers that: “Focusing on safety won’t make your crew look down on you. Falling will. Speak up for safety.”

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