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Safety Week 2022 emphasizes building back connections

Angela Gismondi
Safety Week 2022 emphasizes building back connections

Connected. Supported. Safe.

That is the theme of Construction Safety Week 2022 which will be marked May 2 to 6.

“It’s appropriate given we’ve been disconnected through the pandemic and now we need to be better connected and supporting each other to keep each other safe,” said Craig Lesurf, president of Gillam Group, who is also chair of the League of Champions and the Ontario General Contractors Association safety committee.

“We have always said that every day is safety day and every week is safety week and every month is safety month, but sometimes it takes a little extra effort just to bring it to everybody’s attention that they do need to pay particular attention to being safe and watching their surroundings.”

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety are hosting Safety and Health Week from May 1 to 7 beginning with a virtual national kick off Monday (May 2) at 2 p.m. Other events will also be held throughout the week.

This is the first time in two years many events will be held in person.

“I’m looking forward to doing it in person and getting in front of people, because the surest way to actually affect somebody is to get in front of them,” Lesurf noted. “We talk about how it only takes a moment in time, a momentary lapse in judgment for something tragic to happen and sometimes people need to be reminded of that.”

Tuesday (May 3) will also mark the second annual Occupational Health and Safety Day, Lesurf noted. Bill 152, passed last year by the Province of Ontario, proclaims the first Tuesday in May of each year as Occupational Safety and Health Day.

In honour of safety week, various events and activities will take place across Canada and the U.S. organized by various stakeholders in the construction industry. Examples of events include safety appreciation breakfasts and lunches; toolbox talks; morning stretch sessions; raising money for safety related charities or mental health charities; activities like bocce ball or a putting contest; draws; and demonstrations from suppliers.

“We’re hoping to keep safety in the forefront of everybody’s thoughts because everybody can become complacent and that’s the biggest fear,” Lesurf said.

A number of companies will also be holding League of Champion events throughout the week. Gillam Group, for example, is having workers on their sites sign the League of Champions jersey again or for the first time if they haven’t signed it already.

“We want them to renew their commitment to make sure they work safe every day, make sure everybody beside them works safe every day and everyone goes home safe at the end of the day,” Lesurf said. “By doing that we’re going to refocus everybody’s energy to the spring. We’re coming out, hopefully, of the sixth wave and we’re going to put the old ways behind us and come up with a new reality which is working safe every day in a pandemic state where COVID exists.”

May 2 to 8 also marks the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Mental Health Week. For more information visit https://www.mentalhealthweek.ca/

For more information on Safety and Health Week visit https://www.safetyandhealthweek.ca/english/ or https://www.ccohs.ca/events/safety-and-health-week/

For more information visit Construction Safety Week – Safety Week 2022.

 

Follow the author on Twitter @DCN_Angela.

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