Author Archives: Susan

Photo of concrete pumper truck on bridge under construction

To help prevent concrete pumping incidents, stakeholders in B.C.’s construction industry launched a certification program for concrete pump truck operators.  Every day, workers on construction sites around the world operate concrete pump trucks to pour ready-made concrete. But when something goes wrong, it can be catastrophic. In 2016, one worker died and another was injured […]

of Nicole Boeder, recipient of the Roberta Ellis Award, with Chris McLeod, left, and Roberta Ellis, right

UBC graduate Nicole Boeder shares with me about being awarded for her work in occupational hygiene and what it’s like to be a safety advisor at the airport.  Recently I was “speaking of safety” with occupational hygienist Nicole Boeder. In 2017, she won the first-ever Roberta Ellis Award for Excellence in the Study and Practice […]

Photo of a worker using a powered pallet jack in a warehouse

An increase in online shopping is putting pressure on warehouse workers. It’s important they know how to operate power pallet jacks safely.  As online shopping rises in popularity, more companies are competing for their share of the market, promising lots of stock and quick delivery. At the same time, there is a labour shortage and […]

Photo of a hand pulling toilet paper from a roll on a wall next to an unseen toilet

Flushing toilets can release norovirus and other pathogens into the air. A study shows how UVC technology can prevent the spread of bacteria in hospitals.  You’ve likely heard that germs can be released into the air when a toilet flushes. Well, recently I learned a few more details about this unpleasant but interesting topic. (If […]

Photo of forest nursery worker wrapping tree seedlings at a workstation with wrists in a neutral wrist posture (straight wrist)

Forest nursery workers who grow trees for planting need proper training, lighting, and posture to avoid musculoskeletal injuries (MSIs).  I came across this CBC news story that said planting a trillion trees could be the “most effective way to fight global warming.” It also included this interesting statistic: professional tree planters can plant up to […]

Photo of young child in winter gear, using skis on flat ground covered with snow, and nearby trees covered in snow

Consider the gift of safety for people on your shopping list this winter. Here are a few gift ideas for keeping people safe as we head into the year 2020.  In this post, here are a few gift ideas related to safety topics I’ve covered. Protection from cold weather Help people ward off the cold […]

Photo of man texting sitting at desk with laptop open

Workers using mobile devices for long periods are at risk of musculoskeletal injuries (MSIs) like “text neck” and would benefit from ergonomic intervention.  Recently, a friend told me how much he uses his smart phone for his work at a rental company. He uses it for managing transportation and shipping documents, rental agreements, and inventory […]

Photo of the outside of a motel office at night

Last spring, a B.C. motel worker was assaulted while working alone at night. Employers have specific responsibilities when it comes to lone worker safety.  In May 2019, a worker was assaulted, tied up, and robbed while working alone at night at the front desk of a Victoria motel. To prevent others from experiencing this type […]

Photo of newspaper opened to Jobs ads, with cup of coffee and pair of glasses on the table.

Today’s labour shortage means workers have lots of employers to choose from. Employers with good health and safety programs are more likely to attract them.  Attracting qualified workers is a challenge for many industries today. Recently I spoke with Lisa McGuire, CEO of the Manufacturing Safety Alliance (the Alliance), about what this challenge looks like […]

Photo of roadside sign saying Welcome to British Columbia, in Mount Robson Provincial Park

It’s now easier for staff at immigrant-serving organizations to share information about workplace health and safety in B.C. with new immigrants and refugees.  In 2016, the Immigrant Services Society of BC (ISSofBC) opened the ISSofBC Welcome Centre in East Vancouver for newcomers, including immigrants and refugees. The centre is the first integrated service facility of […]