When it comes to workplace injuries and deaths, there’s really no such thing as an accident. Remember, if you think something at your workplace is unsafe, tell your employer. If you feel danger is around the corner, you must refuse to do it. If you’re unsure, call 1‑866‑415‑8690 in Alberta. It’s your life – so share the job of protecting it.

Five Questions to Ask Your Boss!

Asking your boss five easy questions could save you a world of hurt at work:

  1. How can I be injured doing my job?
  2. What safety procedures do I need to follow?
  3. Who will give me safety training?
  4. Do I need any safety gear?
  5. What happens if I get hurt?

Prevent This

At the Store
That crazy fall could have been prevented by:

  • Following appropriate and safe methods for using ladders.
  • Choose the right footwear!
  • Never step on the top two rungs.
  • Make sure that the ladder’s feet are secure on a firm, level surface.
  • Check the ladder for any loose screws, hinges or rungs.
  • Never over-reach or lean away from a ladder.
  • Making sure all lighting is protected against damage.
  • Having a system in place that allows solo workers to communicate with others in an emergency.

At the Deli
That embarrassingly bloody amputation could have been prevented by:

  • Ensuring you keep all necessary guards and safety features in place at all time.
  • Making sure the machine is working properly before you start.
  • Being properly trained in the sage operation of equipment.
  • Always paying close attention to the task at hand. Distractions can be deadly.

At the Restaurant
That disgustingly deep cut could have been prevented by:

  • Having adequate training on how to do your job safely. In this case, the right way to handle a knife to prevent injury.
  • Ensuring your work has full first aid supplies that are accessible at all times.
  • Most importantly, learn where your first aid kit is.

At the Gas Station
Those brutal chemical burns could have been prevented by:

  • Storing all hazardous and corrosive materials properly (i.e. in locked cabinets, away from public access).
  • Substituting hazardous materials for less hazardous ones, where possible.
  • Getting proper training on how to use harmful substances.

At the Cafe
All that nastiness could have been prevented by:

  • Substituting hazardous materials for less hazardous ones, where possible.
  • Storing all hazardous and combustible materials properly (i.e. away from sources of heat like deep fryers).
  • Ensuring you are properly trained to handle hazardous materials.

At the Lumberyard
Those hideous broken bones could have been prevented by:

  • Paying close attention to your surrounding at all times. That means protecting the health and safety of yourself and other workers.
  • Asking for proper training in safely operating equipment and inspecting areas where other workers may walk.
  • Ensuring all warning systems (i.e. back-up/reverse alarms) are working properly.

Real Stats

  • On average, over 7000 young Albertans, aged 15-24, have to take time off work each year because of any injury.
  • Over 35% of workplace injuries happen during the first six month on the job.
  • Young guys are more likely to be injured on the job, and the #1 workplace injury is sprains or strains caused by lifting objects.

Real Stories

Rob’s Story

Rob was happy to land a summer job working with a local homebuilder, installing flooring. One afternoon, Rob was working in a new house with a coworker. As he worked, Rob backed up a couple of steps and fell through the floor joists down into the basement. The fall resulted in a badly broken leg and left Rob on his back screaming in pain. After a plate and several pins were installed just below his knee, Rob continues to hope for full movement. More than a year later he's still waiting. No-one ever told Rob that openings in the floor should be barricaded to prevent falls.

Nicole’s Story

Nicole was working part time at a small fast-food restaurant in her town. The restaurant was always busy with many orders being filled at one time. Over a dinner rush one night, Nicole was dumping some fries into the deep dryer when a large bunch of fries fee into the hot oil, splashing Nicole. The scorching oil covered her left arm and other parts of her body, leaving her with third-degree burns. After 14 months of painful skin grafts, Nicole is left with a major scar that will never go away.

Cindy’s Story

Cindy’s older brother Scott was working for an electrical contractor, rewiring as assembly line machine. The electrical connections were supposed to be “locked out”, which meant that they shouldn’t have been power. Unfortunately, they were. As soon as Scott touched the connecting screws he was electrocuted and died almost instantly. During the investigation it was revealed that Scott never received any safety training, even though it was his right as an employee.

Timothy’s Story

Tim was just a 19 year-old high school grad when he was asked by his boss to help put up a large event tent. Tim was raising a 28-foot (8.53 m) pole from inside the tent when it struck a 14,400-volt power line, only 27 feet (8.23 m) off the ground. Tim never saw the power line and was electrocuted, killing him instantly. Even though the law requires employees to keep workers 10 feet (3.05 m) away from live power lines, Tim was asked to do something dangerously. The company was fined $100,000 for failing to protect its workers, but didn’t give Tim his life back.

Modified: 2014-10-21
PID: 15134