NAOSH Week highlights workplace safety, wellness

The importance of preventing injury and illness in the workplace will be highlighted at a number of events in the Red Deer from May 6-12.

The importance of preventing injury and illness in the workplace will be highlighted at a number of events in the Red Deer from May 6-12.

North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week is an annual initiative led by the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering.

Together with the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, Threads of Life and the American Society of Safety Engineers, focus is given to the importance for raising awareness of safety and health issues.

To kick-off NAOSH Week in Red Deer, organizers have arranged a 5-km walk called Steps for Life this Sunday at Bower Ponds.

Participants will walk in remembrance of the victims of workplace tragedy and will also raise funds for the Walk of Life charity, which provides support for the families of those who have died or been seriously injured at work.

Registration is at 10 a.m. and the walk starts at 12 p.m.

Amber Misner, chair of the organizing committee, says last year 123 people passed away due to a workplace incident. Ten years ago Misner’s co-worker died in a workplace tragedy.

“So we are taking some time to walk in memory of them,” she said.

“In my opinion this is the best way to show support for safe and healthy workplaces. We all want to come home at the end of the day and we all want our family members to come home at the end of the day.”

To raise awareness for the younger generation, organizers will set up a realistic mock accident scene at Mattie McCullough Elementary School at 26 Lawford Avenue on May 7 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Grade 4 and 5 students will see a re-enactment of a pedestrian accident involving a motor vehicle that involves emergency response.

The mock accident is intended to reinforce the message of road safety.

“It gives some real life experience for the kids to understand,” said vice-chair for the Central Alberta chapter of the Canadian Society of Safety Engineers Dan Trottier.

Trottier says there will be many opportunities during NAOSH Week for training seminars such as fall protection, arc flash awareness, confined space awareness and personal protective equipment training.

“It is a time for organizations and companies to sit down and look introspectively and to think about safety as it relates to their employees and their families,” he said.

For more information visit www.naosh.ca.

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