NAOSH Week: A national call to make safety a habit

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noash launch 2017
(Left to right): Perry Ruehlen, executive director, CSSE; Kathy Tull, president, CSSE; George Gritziotis, chief prevention officer and associate deputy minister, Ontario Ministry of Labour; Sean Scott, senior district HSE manager, PCL Toronto; Gareth Jones, acting president & CEO, CCOHS; James Smith, vice president, ASSE; Scott McKay, director, partnerships & fundraising, Threads for Life.

More than 100 participants, including North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) program partners, federal, provincial, and municipal government dignitaries and agencies, as well as health and safety professionals from across Canada, gathered at the Canadian Museum of Nature on May 8 to officiate the Canadian launch of NAOSH Week 2017.

“NAOSH Week serves as a valuable ‘Call to Action’ for all employers and workers throughout our country to focus on occupational safety and health, with the ultimate goal of all workers going home safe at the end of every work day,” says Kathy Tull, president of the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering. “NAOSH Week is one week that truly can last through the whole year and beyond – paving the way towards greater safety awareness and injury prevention.”

As a motivational champion, PCL Constructors Canada Inc. concluded the launch by proclaiming NAOSH Week as officially underway, and challenged workplaces to lead by example by taking part in the awareness campaign.

“PCL is proud to support NAOSH Week and its partners to influence making safety a habit at work, at home, and at play,” said Sean Scott, senior district HSE manager at PCL Toronto, and member of the NAOSH national launch planning committee. “By maintaining attention on high-risk activities, promoting safe behaviours, and by working as partners, and not just individual companies, we fully believe that we will achieve our vision of ensuring that everyone returns home safely, every day.”

To celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, and to commemorate the 20th anniversary of NAOSH week, the 2017 national launch, a Reflection on the Past, Present, and a Look to the Future, paid tribute to more than 150 years of occupational health and safety in Canada; from the establishment of provincial occupational health and safety acts, to the Westray Mine disaster, to the recognition of mental health as a workplace hazard.

NAOSH Week was established in 1997 by Canada, the United States, and Mexico as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement, to shine a light on the needed partnership between government, industry, and labour to raise awareness and understanding of the importance of occupational safety and health in the workplace, at home, and in the community.

During NAOSH Week, CSSE is encouraging investment in workplace health and safety through events across the country. For more information about NAOSH Week and how to get involved, visit www.naosh.ca.

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