Eye-patch basketball sends safety message

Photo credit: MinimalistPhotography101.com on Flickr

Photo credit: MinimalistPhotography101.com on Flickr

A group of young warehouse workers at Versacold/EV Logistics in Metro Vancouver found an interesting way to get their coworkers thinking about what it’s like to live with an injury.

During NAOSH Week, workers organized games like eye-patch basketball, one-armed slap-shot, and one-legged golf putting – and this is one of the reasons they were chosen as best overall winner in BC’s NAOSH Week competition for 2011.

Mike Stephens, occupational health and safety manager for the Versacold’s Western Canada region, said planning for safety week begins by asking for volunteers – known as “Safety Week Champions” – to be the lead organizers for events at their facility.

“They found a way to reach out to the employees so they get the message, and they also have fun doing it,” Mike said. “At the EV Logistics locations, the workforce is largely made up of young males. One of the things of interest to young males is sports – like basketball and hockey.”

From the video: "VersaCold - First in Cold" on YouTube

From the video: “VersaCold – First in Cold” on YouTube

Other activities held throughout the region included a partnership with the Canadian Blood Service to hold a blood drive clinic, multiple in-house forklift rally competitions, evacuation drills, health and fitness seminars, and more.

“We have participated in NAOSH week in the region since 2006. It is a great opportunity to focus on safety initiatives, have some fun and take some time to reflect on the importance of working safe every day in our jobs,” Mike said, describing what he likes about NAOSH Week.

“It’s good to see people get really enthused about safety. The safety champions at each facility are great at developing new innovative and creative ideas to promote safety during NAOSH Week. The really rewarding part is the cultural change in our employees and overall improvements to safety in our organization.”

Mike accepted the award on behalf of Versacold, but he gave credit to the many others who made NAOSH Week a success.

“I’ve got to hand it to the people at our facilities – the managers, the champions that sponsored and put on these events. They’re the ones who really deserve the recognition. They’re the ones who put the time and effort in. I’m just the overall organizer.”

Thanks to Mike and congrats to Versacold/EV Logistics.


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