Wednesday November 17, 2010

City Hall News

Safe On The Job And At Home

City receives NAOSH honourable mention award in municipal category




anadian workplace statistics tell us that three workers are killed every day in this country. According to CUPE, in 2007, the number of workers killed on the job or from work-related causes was 1,055. This number was up from 976 in 2006.

Additionally, on an annual basis, there are over 1-million workplace injuries where thousands of workers are made sick or diseased by their jobs and at least 12 die from occupational illnesses.

On Monday, Samantha Piper and Carl Hird-Rutter, from the Health and Safety Committee, were at City Hall to talk about the North American Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week and present council with an award.

NAOSH Week was created during the North American Free Trade talks in September 1996 for and by Canada, the US and Mexico in an effort to bring increased understanding of the benefits in occupation health and safety, raise awareness arounf the issue of workplace accidents and reduce injuries and illness by encouraging health and safety activities. The week received it's official designation in June 1997.

Last year, NAOSH Week was held from May 2-8 with the theme "Commitment For Life: How Safe Are You?"

"Participation and involvement in NAOSH Week has been shown to improve attitudes towards safety, increase understanding of the importance of occupational safety and health, foster a safety-minded culture, increase cooperation, assist in team building and improve communications between employees, safety committees and safety professionals," said Piper.

During the open house last year in the City Hall lobby, reps from the BC Cancer Association, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Canadian Diabetes Assoc., Worksafe BC, CN Rail, the Alzheimer Society, Chilliwack Community Policing set up a booths and provided handouts, and in some cases giveaways, to the general public and city employees.

"In addition, two nurses from Chilliwack Hospital conducted blood pressure and blood sugar testing for city employees and I would like to take this opportunity to send out a big thank-you to all those nurses and volunteers who helped make this event happen and a success," said Piper.

Piper also acknowledged the committee for the effort involved in the planning and organizing of the event and invited the Mayor to accept the honourable mention award in the municipal category.

"Since 2004 each year Chilliwack entered the NAOSH competition they have received awards. The first year they won 3 awards, Best Municipality, Best New Entry and Best over all. 2005 and 2006 were both Best Municipality awards," said Hird-Rutter. "In 2007 we did not enter due to the threat of flooding and the workload required to ensure public safety. 2008 we won an honorable mention. 2009 we did not send in an entry and this year once again we won an honorable mention."

"The goal is to make staff and the public aware of safety and health issues. Although this is the goal I have to confess it is a wonderful feeling when we get to attend the safety awards ceremonies and people come up to us asking where we are from. Once we say Chilliwack, the response is invariable, 'Oh you won again, congratulations!'"

In 1991, the federal government passed the Workers Mourning Day Act and designated April 28 as the National Day of Mourning for workers who have been killed or injured on the job.

For more information visit the NAOSH website at:


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