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Safety, well-being important to 9 in 10 Canadian job seekers

Robust OHS system can attract, retain qualified workers
Almost all young people (ages 18 to 34) said workplace health and safety was very important or somewhat important. Shutterstock

Ninety-four per cent of working Canadians say that workplace health, safety and mental well-being is important when choosing a job, according to an Angus Reid poll commissioned by the Manufacturing Safety Alliance of BC. Yet British Columbia employers lost 2.75 million work days to workplace injury or occupational disease in 2017, according to WorkSafeBC statistics.

Recently, executives and board members from the Manufacturing Safety Alliance of BC met with Minister of Labour Harry Bains to raise awareness about workplace health and safety and its impact on recruitment and retention.

“Challenged to recruit and retain staff in the face of the lowest unemployment in Canada, more B.C. employers are recognizing they need a robust health and safety system to attract and retain qualified workers,” said Manufacturing Safety Alliance of BC CEO Lisa McGuire. “We know that a safe and healthy workplace is what job-seekers are looking for.” 

According to the Angus Reid survey, slightly more women than men (97 per cent compared to 91 per cent) said that workplace health and safety was very important or somewhat important. Among young people, 96 per cent of those 18 to 34 responding said it was very important or somewhat important compared to 93 per cent of those over 35.  

Meanwhile, just 77 per cent of Canadians currently working said that decisions made in their workplace consider employee health, safety and well-being all or some of the time, according to the poll.  

“What this tells us is there is a gap between what is currently happening in Canadian businesses and the management best practices that would help employees feel safer at work,” said McGuire.  

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