The WCB prevention magazine on occupational health and safety issues
www.worksafebc.com October 2005
act Finding time to develop
effective health and
safety programs is
just one of the many
business owners face
WorkSafe Magazine • October 2005 1
The WCB prevention magazine
WorkSafeBC on occupational health and safety issues
WorkSafeBC (WCB) Editor-in-chief
Communications Donna Freeman
online PO Box 5350 Stn Terminal
Vancouver BC V6B 5L5 Managing editor
Phone 604 231-8690
1 888 621-7233, local 8690 Associate editor
Fax 604 279-7696 Jeff Rotin
WorkSafeBC (WCB) E-mail worksafe@worksafebc.
occupational health and safety www.worksafebc.com Graham Coulthard
books, brochures, videos, DVDs, Photography
and posters can be purchased online Khalid Hawe
from www.worksafebcstore.com Contributing writers
(for orders shipped in B.C. only). Helena Bryan, Ian Gray, Susan Main, Gina
Lego, Anne-Rachelle McHugh, Jeffrey
Rotin, Corey Van’t Haaff
You can also place orders by
filling out the Fax Order Sheet, Benwell Atkins Moore
available online at www.worksafe
bcstore.com, and then sending it Advertising In Print
one of two ways: Phone 604 681-1811
Fax 604 681-0456
• E-mail customer.service@
• Fax 604 232-9703 WorkSafe Magazine is published six times a year by WorkSafeBC (the Workers’ Compensation Board
of B.C.) to inform workers and employers of occupational health and safety issues that may affect or
(toll-free 1 888 232-9714) interest them.
Or you can order by calling To start or stop a free subscription to WorkSafe Magazine, or to update mailing information, visit
604 232-9704 (toll-free 1 866 604 231-8690 or toll-free in B.C. 1 888 621-7233, local 8690, or e-mail email@example.com.
319-9704) from 8:30 a.m. Copyright
No part of this publication may be reproduced for profit or other commercial enterprise, nor may any
to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. part be incorporated into any other publication without permission from the editors of WorkSafe
Magazine. WorkSafe™ is a registered trademark of the WCB.
WorkSafe Magazine strives for accuracy; however, the information contained
within WorkSafe Magazine does not take the place of professional occupational
health and safety advice.
WorkSafe Magazine does not warrant the accuracy of any of the information contained in this publi-
cation. WorkSafe Magazine and the WCB disclaim responsibility for any reader’s use of the published
information and materials contained in this publication. The WCB does not warrant or make any
representations concerning the accuracy, likely results, or reliability of the contents of the advertise-
ments, claims made therein, or the products advertised in WorkSafe Magazine.
The WCB does not warrant that any products advertised meet any required certification under any law
or regulation nor that any advertiser meets the certification requirements of any bodies governing the
Health and safety information
If you have specific questions about health and safety in your workplace, please speak to your firm’s
WCB safety officer or hygiene officer, or call the WorkSafe Call Centre at 604 276-3100, toll-free in
B.C. at 1 888 621-SAFE (7233).
2 WorkSafe Magazine • October 2005
Cover Story: Juggling act ......6
Small business owners know all too well
the reality of juggling a dozen different
jobs. Finding the time to develop a
workplace health and safety program
is just one of them — but one that can
potentially make or break a business.
Hands On: The eyes have it ....4
Eye protection can save your vision —
even your life. This article tells you what
you need to know to protect yourself.
Shaking things up ..................9
The B.C. Shake and Shingle Association
aims to improve safety, one mill at a time. p. 12
NAOSHWeek 2005 winners .........................................12
Thirteen organizations in B.C. have been recognized for their
outstanding promotion of workplace health and safety during the 2005
North American Occupational Safety and Health Week, including Winton
Global Lumber which took best new entry.
Safety soars at YVR ......................................................14
Dialogue, from the boardroom to the front line and back, helped get
Vancouver Airport Authority’s new safety culture off the ground.
Fighting fraud ..............................................................16
Workers’ compensation fraud costs everyone, and here’s how.
Attitude is everything ...................................................18
First-ever benchmark survey reveals pessimistic acceptance of
workplace safety, yet paves the way for improvement.
Publications and videos ............................................................ 2
WorkSafeBC update .................................................................19
WorkSafe courses ................................................................... 22
Policy decisions ......................................................................23
WorkSafe Magazine • October 2005 3
The eyes have it
Eye protection can save your vision — even your life. Here’s what
you need to know.
By Gina Lego
S afety eyewear is an essential piece of personal
protective equipment, but all too often workers
wear the wrong kind or, even worse, don’t wear it at all.
is unique and will require careful selection of proper eye
Safety glasses provide minimum protection and are for
The statistics are startling. In the five-year period ending general working conditions where dust, chips, or flying
2004, WorkSafeBC accepted more than 9,200 short-term and particles may present a hazard. They are available in a variety
long-term disability claims (excluding health care and reha- of styles and provide side protection in the form of shields or
bilitation costs) related to workplace eye injuries, at a cost of wraparound arms. Lenses should have an anti-fog treatment.
more than $28 million. Goggles provide higher impact, dust, and acid or chemical
splash protection than safety glasses. Molded goggles, like
Types of protection
those used for skiing, are suitable when workers are continu-
Conducting a worksite assessment is the first step in deter-
ally exposed to splash or fine dust, and should have indirect
mining the correct fit between eye protection needs and job
venting. For less fogging when working with large particles,
conditions. Whether a worker is exposed to flying particles
direct-vent goggles are recommended.
from drilling or scaling, UVA/UVB rays, welding light and
electrical arcs, or even bloodborne pathogens, each worksite Face shields protect the full face from injury and they offer
4 WorkSafe Magazine • October 2005
the highest impact protection and shelter from spraying,
chipping, grinding, chemicals, and bloodborne hazards. A
face shield is considered a secondary safeguard to protective
eyewear; it should never be worn without safety glasses or
Proper ﬁt is critical
In order to get the maximum benefit from safety eyewear,
individuals should be test fitted and assigned a personal set Close encounter with a 3.5-inch spike
of protective eyewear, then instructed on its care and main- Wade Harding, an ironworker with B.I.D. Construction
tenance. As with any personal item, safety eyewear is more Ltd. in Vanderhoof, learned first-hand the importance
likely to be used if it offers the right look and fit for the indi- of wearing safety glasses when a 9-centimetre (3.5-inch)
vidual. spike from an airnailing gun ricocheted off a board and
pierced the lens of his safety glasses, grazing his eyelid.
“One of the key factors in getting workers to wear safety
eyewear is to offer a choice of styles that suits their indi- “I was holding a board down while the carpenter nailed
vidual needs,” says Kevin Birnie, WorkSafeBC (WCB) occu- it into place using an airnailing gun. One minute I’m
pational safety officer. “People have a real preference for the holding down a bent 2x4 piece of lumber, a split-second
type of eye protection they wear.” later I’m falling back with a spike stuck through my
Darren Giesbrecht, shop foreman at the Oakmont Industries
Division of Guardian Building Products in Surrey, agrees. “My vision was blurry for a couple of hours, but after
“Our workers are offered a choice of about six different styles. getting the thumbs-up from a hospital visit, I went
If we don’t supply a style they like, we’ll reimburse them for back to work and finished off my shift. If I hadn’t been
one of their own choosing.” wearing the eye protection, I would have lost my eye
— or worse.”
Don’t take it off Good safety habits paid big dividends that day, and good
Choosing the right safety eyewear is important, but training helped too. Just one week into his new job with
remember it can’t protect you if you’re not wearing it. B.I.D., Harding was one of many working on a $105-
“Accidents happen when and where you least expect,” says million sawmill expansion project in Vanderhoof. All
Ken Kirby, a WorkSafeBC engineer. “We often see eye new hires must successfully complete a half-day B.I.D.
injuries occurring outside of a worker’s usual workspace Construction core safety program before they’re allowed
— not where the obvious hazards exist. For example, a worker on the job site.
will take off his protective eyewear to do a job in another
area, and that’s when the accident occurs.
That’s why Kirby feels workers can never be too careful.
“Employers are encouraged to consider a general policy
where workers are required to wear their protective eyewear
at all times while on a worksite.”
Eye safety resources
For more information, contact your WorkSafeBC officer, call
the WorkSafe Call Centre at 604 276-3100, toll-free at 1 888
621-7233, or visit the following web sites:
• Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, Part 8: Eye
and face protection http://regulation.healthandsafetycen-
• Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety,
Safety Glasses and Face Protectors www.ccohs.ca/oshan-
WorkSafe Magazine • October 2005 5
Juggling act Small business owners know all too well the reality of juggling a dozen
different jobs. Finding the time to develop a workplace health and safety program
is just one of them — but one that can potentially make or break a business.
By Jeffrey Rotin
ob Rome is, by necessity, a multitasker. With only Kevin Evans, chair of the Coalition of BC Businesses and vice-
R seven employees at Kamloops Jet Vac Ltd., his
busy tank and sewer cleaning and hydroexcavation
business, he has to juggle multiple roles.
president, Western Canada, of the Retail Council of Canada,
says, “It’s not that small employers aren’t concerned about
safety. It’s just that they may lack the expertise and resources
“I have to be the purchasing agent, the marketing manager, that medium-sized and large employers have to develop a
the collection agency, the strategist, and the personnel health and safety program.”
manager,” he says. And sometimes they’re just coping with immediate concerns.
He’s also the safety manager: he and his staff work with heavy “Many small businesses operate from week to week, from
equipment in high-risk underground situations. He needed to payday to payday,” says Evans. “So when you have a short-
implement a safety program not only to protect his workers, term focus on survival, sometimes longer-term issues take a
but also to lend credibility when bidding on contracts. It took back seat.”
months to get safety procedures into written form, but he
sees it as an invaluable long-term investment. “Eighty percent
Making safety a priority
Successful business owners recognize that health and safety
of the work is to get the ball rolling. It takes much less work
needs to be a priority. “The safety and security of your staff,
once the program’s in motion.”
your store, and your products are absolutely critical, says
Unique hurdles Stacy Hall, owner of Justin Stitches. “You can’t afford not to
Small business owners face unique hurdles. Time manage- address procedures around equipment that could set your
ment is certainly at the top of the list. With economics dictat- store on fire.”
ing that staff be kept to an essential minimum, there usually Hall creates and sells embroidered, imprinted, and laser-
isn’t a lot of support to help with the endless amount of engraved clothing and accessories from a retail store and a
paperwork — filing PST and GST, payroll, inventory, regula- corporate sales showroom in Vancouver. That means some of
6 WorkSafe Magazine • October 2005
Part of Stacy Hall’s safety program
is making time to train staff
(shown here with manager Mark
Halliday) on potentially dangerous
machines at her small business,
her 12 workers operate heat presses, embroidery machines,
and a laser engraver. While all the equipment has built-in
safety features, she still must carefully train her staff on
proper safety usage. “You need to spend time talking to them
and not just have them read the procedures outlined.”
As Hall’s company expanded, so too did her capacity to
manage health and safety. “It’s something that evolves as you
get better and more organized in your business.”
“Safety has to be as important as human resources, as inven-
tory, as production,” says Terri Holizki, manager of Industry
and Labour Services, Small Business, at WorkSafeBC (the
WCB). “Once it is, we know it contributes to the success of a
business.” In fact, according to WorkSafeBC data, new busi-
nesses that failed after one year had three times the injury
rate of businesses that lasted five years or more.
Injuries can be devastating
A workplace injury can have serious ramifications for a
small business. “Seventy-five percent of small businesses in
B.C. have five or fewer workers,” says Holizki. “If you have
a serious injury and lose one worker, that’s 20 percent of
your workforce.” That, in turn, can slow production. If equip-
ment was also damaged or inventory was lost in a workplace
accident, it can devastate your business.
That applies even to businesses generally perceived as rela-
tively low risk, such as retail stores and restaurants, which are
among the larger employers of young workers. The restaurant
industry also experiences a lot of staff turnover, especially
students who work seasonally, so the safety message must be
The average restaurant employs fewer than 15 people, so
again you have an owner who’s greeting guests, working in
the kitchen, and managing staff. “Communication is vital,”
says Mark von Schellwitz, vice-president, Western Canada,
of the Canadian Restaurant and Food Services Association.
“Maintaining a consistent safety message can get tricky
during peak times when staff are busy and when staff overlap,
coming and going at different times.”
Continued on page 8
WorkSafe Magazine • October 2005 7
Continued from page 7 What WorkSafeBC is doing Small businesses, those
The Canadian Restaurant and Food with fewer than 20 full-
Resources at your Services Association has worked with
ﬁngertips WorkSafeBC to develop quickly read time employees, make
WorkSafeBC’s Small Business safety tips for restaurateurs. “We’ve up 92 percent of employ-
Service Centre has a wealth of come up with easy-to-understand
material and simple steps that even
ers registered with Work-
online resources geared specifically
to small businesses. Here are a few really busy small business owners can SafeBC and they account
key ones: implement in their establishments to for 46 percent of all
help reduce injuries,” says von Schell-
• A Small Business Primer:
witz. serious injury claims and
Guide to the WCB — A compre-
hensive guide that covers WorkSafeBC’s Small Business Service 36 percent of all fatality
registering with the WCB, Centre has collaborated with various claims.
reducing premiums by prevent- associations and stakeholders from
ing injuries and fostering early different industries to create health
return to work for injured and safety materials that are relevant
workers, dealing with accidents to each respective industry. The goal Top 5 reasons to develop
and compensation claims, and is to provide simple and effective tools, a health and safety
accessing WCB resources. such as booklets, pamphlets, posters, program
• E-News — Free industry-specific and hazard alerts, that make it as easy
as possible for small businesses to 1. You care about your staff. As a
e-mail updates, including hazard small business owner, you likely
alerts, bulletins, industry news- comply with the Occupational Health
and Safety Regulation and create safe have a close working relation-
letters, regulation and policy ship with your employees. That
updates, and incident summa- workplaces.
direct line of communication can
ries. WorkSafeBC has collaborated, for also make it easier for you to
• StartSafe program — Provides example, on a number of safety booklets implement your program.
industry-specific health and for the retail sector, including Health & 2. You care about your business.
safety information to small busi- Safety Guide for New Retail Workers Safety shouldn’t be an after-
nesses that are newly registered and Health & Safety for Retail Small thought. A successful business
with WorkSafeBC. Business. And there’s certainly a includes good customer service,
• Summary of Occupational demand for these materials. Notes good inventory control, good
Health and Safety Requirements Evans of the Retail Council: “When financial planning, and, most
for Small Business — Provides we have presented small retailers with importantly, keeping your staff
small business employers and accessible, useful, customized tools, happy, healthy, and safe.
workers with a quick, easy-to- they’re very quick to grasp the utility of 3. You can reduce staff turnover.
understand reference guide to these and put them into action.” People want to work for
the Workers’ Compensation Act someone who cares about their
It doesn’t take as long as you might
and the Regulation. welfare. It’s a great way to boost
think to implement a health and safety
To find out more about these program, insists von Schellwitz. “For employee morale.
and other resources, visit Small most low-risk industries, such as retail 4. You can save money. A good
Business Service Centre’s web site and hospitality, you don’t have to devote health and safety program can
at smallbusiness.healthandsafety- that much time to implement a proper help reduce injuries, which can
centre.org. Or you can contact the worksafe plan in your establishment,” lower your costs and your insur-
Service Centre at 604 214-6912, he says. “There are some quick and ance rates.
toll-free 1 888 621-7233, or e-mail simple ways that can go a long way to 5. You can get help. WorkSafeBC
firstname.lastname@example.org. keeping yourself and your staff safe.” has plenty of industry-specific
Your industry association may also information tools that are
have health and safety resources. customized for small businesses.
8 WorkSafe Magazine • October 2005
Shaking things up Association aims to
The B.C. Shake and Shingle
improve safety, one mill at a time
By Anne-Rachelle McHugh
he B.C. Shake and Shingle how dangerous the industry can be. Audit ﬁlls need
T Association (BCSSA), in part-
nership with WorkSafeBC (the
WCB), has commissioned a mill-by-mill
“I firmly believe that it’s critical for
everyone in this industry to get on
board to improve the health and safety
“This audit started with the shake and
shingle industry wanting to reduce
injuries and bring up compliance levels,”
audit aimed at helping members improve of every worker in their mill,” says says Kathy Thomas, WorkSafeBC
safety and lowering the industry’s unac- Engh. “Accidents happen so quickly and industry specialist. “When they
ceptably high assessment rate. then all you’re left with is hindsight.” approached us, we addressed it through
BCSAA hired consultant Russ Dosen- Industry Services. Industry money is
The shake and shingle sector is one of
berg to complete thorough safety audits routed back to the industry through
the most dangerous of all sectors within
at each of the province’s 59 mills. Along WorkSafeBC to support these kinds
B.C.’s wood products manufacturing
with his partner, Dennis Clark, he of proactive measures. In this case we
industry. The work is repetitive and
reviews health and safety procedures, look at the quality of the audits and see
labour-intensive. Sometimes workers are
observes work practices, and outlines examples — with names removed — to
poorly trained and/or using outdated
concerns and suggestions in a report ensure the audit is thorough, compre-
equipment and razor-sharp saws.
that employers can use to improve hensive, and easily understood. Our role
safety. The mills are expected to imple- Amputations and accidents among is to help industry help itself.”
ment changes and achieve a substan- young workers are common in the
WorkSafeBC is monitoring the audits to
tially better performance at a follow-up industry. In 2004 the sector experienced
ensure they’re thorough and completed
audit one year later. 16.9 injuries per 100 person-years of
employment. Claim costs totalled $20.5
BCSSA manager Randy Engh hopes million for the five-year period from Dosenberg feels this limited involve-
that mills will embrace the program 2000 to 2004, averaging slightly more ment from WorkSafeBC might make
and take advantage of Dosenberg’s than $9,500 per claim. some mills more comfortable with the
expertise. The two missing fingertips
on Engh’s right hand are a testament to Continued on page 10
WorkSafe Magazine • October 2005 9
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Shake and shingle similar events from occurring. He says mills, which is really bad news,” says
standard safety — like a first aid kit or Engh. “Our whole industry is affected
Continued from page 9 personal protective gear such as steel- by the lowest common denominator, so
process. “I didn’t find anyone hiding toed boots — was anything but standard it’s not good for anybody.”
things,” he says. “There was no pretend- at some mills. Prospective mill off to a
ing they had procedures or training “A lot of these places don’t even have good start
in place when they didn’t. The vast fax machines or computers, let alone a
majority realize that injuries are too Prospective Shake Products Ltd.
safety program. They are the kinds of
high and they were happy for the assis- in Mission was one of the first mills
places where the manager is also the
tance. They particularly liked the hands- audited. When Dosenberg conducted
maintenance guy who cleans up after
on coaching rather than just having a the follow-up visit recently, he gave the
bunch of paperwork dumped on them.” mill top marks — it achieved a year free
Participating mills have much to gain, of time-loss injuries.
Inadequate guarding was the single but not all are eager to embrace the
greatest deficiency that Dosenberg Safety coordinator Sunny Donatelli
change. Both Dosenberg and Engh have
identified when he did the audits. says the audit helped the company see
encountered difficulty dealing with a
Other common problems were improper the importance of “paperwork” such as
few mills whose equipment and attitudes
lockout, insufficient fall protection, and written safety procedures, scheduled
have evolved little over the years. The
inadequate training. mill inspections, and accident investiga-
BCSSA is monitoring mills that don’t
Dosenberg found many supervisors took participate.
“educated guesses” about their responsi- “Before the audit, a lot of accidents were
“Some of the smaller independent mills
bilities, failed to conduct formal inspec- just written off as human error,” she
don’t want to spend the time and effort
tions, and failed to document accidents says. “Now when an incident occurs we
needed to bring this program to their
and complete investigations to prevent
Continued on page 11
10 WorkSafe Magazine • October 2005
conduct an investigation to determine
why it happened and how we can keep it
from happening again.”
The company introduced a number
of changes to its health and safety
program, including monthly crew
talks, Workplace Hazardous Materi-
als Information System (WHMIS)
procedures, and a policy that forbids
cutting shingles smaller than 9 mm.
Other changes include improvements
to lighting, additional guarding, and a
safety manual with some safety regula-
tions in Punjabi.
“We weren’t up to standard and we
knew it,” says Donatelli. “Safety is so
much more of a focus now.”
If your company is interested in partici-
pating in an industry-led safety initia-
tive, contact WorkSafeBC Industry
Services at 604 214-6912, toll-free 1 888
621-7233, local 6912.
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WorkSafe Magazine • October 2005 11
NAOSHWeek 2005 winners
Thirteen organizations in B.C. have
been recognized for their outstand-
ing promotion of workplace health
and safety in this year’s North
American Occupational Safety
and Health (NAOSH) Week from
May 1 to 7, 2005. NAOSHWeek is
an annual event designed to raise
awareness of workplace health and
safety issues. Companies of all sizes
are encouraged to participate. This
year’s theme was “equip.educate.
The 2005 winners are:
Best Overall - YVR/Vancouver International Airport Authority, in conjunction with Air Canada, Servisair/Globe
Ground, World Wide Flight Services, and WestJet
Best New Entry - Winton Global Lumber Ltd.
Most Innovative - YVR/Vancouver International Airport Authority, in conjunction with Air Canada, Servisair/
Globe Ground, World Wide Flight Services, and WestJet
Best Presentation of Theme - Thrifty Foods #6, James Bay
Educational Institutions - Simon Fraser University
Federally Regulated Agencies – Canadian Forces Base, 19 Wing, Comox
Forestry - Winton Global Lumber Ltd.
Manufacturing - Pollard Banknote Ltd.
Marine - Washington Marine Group
Municipalities - City of Chilliwack
Provincial/Crown Corporations - B.C. Legislative Assembly
Retail - Thrifty Foods #6, James Bay
Small Business - Sylvan Vale Nursery
Tourism/Hospitality - Canadian Hotel Income Properties (CHIP Hospitality)
Transportation of Goods - Rempel Bros. Concrete Ltd.
Transportation of People - YVR/Vancouver International Airport Authority in conjunction with Air Canada,
Servisair Globe Ground, World Wide Flight Services, and WestJet
Winner: Participation Award – WorkSafeBC (the WCB) - Kamloops Area Office
Next year’s NAOSHWeek will take place from April 30 to May 6. To learn more about the event and how your organi-
zation can get involved, visit the NAOSHWeek web site at www.worksafebc.com/news/campaigns/naosh_week/.
12 WorkSafe Magazine • October 2005
Best New Entry — Winton Global
By Susan Main
Fake chemical burns and amputated-finger cookies were
some of the ways this Northern company got workers
thinking about safety.
It’s no surprise that Winton Global Lumber in Prince George won
the Best New Entry award for this year’s NAOSHWeek. The company
used a dramatic approach to raise the issue of safety. Among other
activities, supervisors and chargehands dressed up as injured
workers with realistic-looking injuries, including finger amputations,
broken arms, facial lacerations, and severe chemical burns.
“They spent the day walking around with their injuries in full view,
discussing them with the crew — basically saying ‘Don’t let this
happen to you,’” says safety coordinator Terry Rathjen, who learned
about NAOSHWeek online at WorkSafeBC.com.
Winton partnered with the local RCMP, ambulance, and fire depart-
ment to remind community youth not to drink and drive. Seven local
high school students staged a fatal accident in a parking lot using a
car donated by a local wrecker.
Guest speaker Michael Lovett told staff how his life changed forever
when he was 18 after his leg was crushed by sawmill machinery.
Other NAOSHWeek activities included a safety poster contest for
workers’ children, staff safety quizzes, draws for Tim Horton’s coffee
coupons, staff barbecues, and “amputated finger” cookies at a
Winton, previously known as The Pas Lumber Company, employs
350 workers at its Prince George planer mill and Bear Lake sawmill.
The past three years have been a time of transition, with new
management and new initiatives in employee training. For president
Mike Low, NAOSHWeek was an “ideal opportunity” to consolidate
new safety programs with our commitment to employee education
Winton Global supervisors and “It’s not only a benefit to our people, but it also contributes to the
chargehands reminded co-workers industry and the community we live in,” Low says. “It’s something
of the possible consequences of we can all be proud of.”
workplace accidents by modelling
fake but very life-like “injuries”
WorkSafe Magazine • October 2005 13
are part of the process
of changing Vancouver
Airport Authority’s safety
culture from the top down.
Safety soars at YVR Dialogue, from the boardroom to the front line and
back, has helped get Vancouver International Airport
Authority’s new safety culture off the ground.
By Corey Van’t Haaff
hough the planes may all snow and maintaining runways and changing a culture, as they did at the
T be heading for the clouds,
management and employees
at Vancouver International Airport
“People can’t be replaced,” says Patter-
Airport Authority, the dialogue at the
top needs to be about safety.
son. “When you lose a key member of “We have to model and talk about
Authority have their feet firmly planted the team, more and more pressure is what’s important,” she says. “Employees
on the ground when it comes to safety. placed on the organization.” look to the executive team to find out
The results speak for themselves: five
Reducing injuries meant changing the what really matters to the organization.”
years without a time- loss injury in the
Aviation Operations department. entire safety culture at the Airport That’s why every year the Airport
Authority, and that meant starting at Authority shares its business plan with
It wasn’t always that way. Aviation the top. The first step was becoming all employees, and every year the top
Operations was experiencing two or aware of the problems and issues, says objectives are safety, security, and envi-
three injuries a month. Not only did the Patterson. Upper management had to ronmental performance. But it takes
injured employees suffer, but the entire recognize the problems and support far more than a statement to transform
department felt the loss. efforts to correct them, but the actual an organization. It takes action. The
“In a critical operating environment, it’s solutions had to come from employees Airport Authority also defined and
difficult to lose people for any period of on the front line. developed safe work practice codes with
time,” says Brett Patterson, director of input from employees.
aviation operations. His employees are Talk about culture change
Michele Mawhinney, vice president Every Airfield Maintenance shift begins
responsible for operating specialized
of human resources, says that when with a team talk where workers plan
heavy and light equipment for clearing
14 WorkSafe Magazine • October 2005
how they will do their jobs. As they ists trained in airside safety and aircraft “The bottom line,” says Patterson, “is to
discuss activities, they discuss safety. firefighting. start having a conversation about safety.
Employees also spend a few moments John Beckett, manager of safety and We give our employees all the tools to
stretching. The Airport Authority training at the Airport Authority, was do their jobs safely and we want to send
brought in a professional fitness trainer responsible for managing the process of people home with everything they came
to guide workers, and built a fitness translating safety principles into action. here with — all their fingers and toes.”
facility — complete with recommended He says safety must always be the focus.
equipment — for the Airfield Mainte-
nance team. “The minute you take your eye off the
ball, people turn cynical,” he says. The
Eight steps to a better
“As an organization we recognize that safety conversation has to be positive, safety culture
your physical condition is part of who continual, and consistent. 1. Recognize the problem and
you are and it affects your ability to do become aware of the contribut-
your job,” says Patterson. “You need to He says the conversation provides
an opportunity for executives and ing issues.
get your body ready for it.” 2. Plan how employees will perform
managers to talk about the positive
At the end of each shift, there’s a review aspects of safety. That means managers their jobs with safety in mind.
of how the work went and what issues, getting out into the field with employees 3. Empower employees to influence
including safety issues, arose. Patterson and performing tasks alongside them. how they can work more safely.
says all employees know that if they 4. Develop goals and measure
see anything unsafe, they should stop “If you’re not managing the conversa- success.
working. tion, someone else is,” says Beckett, 5. Have consistent, positive conver-
“and it may not be the same conversa- sations with employees about
Keep your eye on the ball tion you want people to have.” safety.
From January 2000 until May 2005, The Airport Authority also implemented 6. Enable employees to prepare
the Aviations Operations department a recognition program for both depart- their bodies for the tasks at
had no time-loss accidents (the record mental milestones and individual safety hand.
was broken during a training exercise achievements. The President’s Award for 7. Debrief after each shift and
for emergency response personnel). Safety Excellence, introduced in 2004, address any safety issues.
During this time the department grew is given to the group whose behaviours 8. Celebrate safety milestones.
from 17 to 43 workers, and included the best prevent injuries.
addition of emergency response special-
WorkSafe Magazine • October 2005 15
Workers’ compensation fraud costs
Fighting fraud everyone, and here’s how
By Ian Gray
raud against the workers’ and stifle economic growth. Fraud also system for everyone involved.”
F compensation system is a
serious crime which affects
workers, employers, and the public. And
casts a shadow of doubt over thousands
of legitimate claims and bogs down the
system. One way or another, everyone
In recent months, Field Investigations
has begun pursuing criminal prosecu-
tion more aggressively as a deterrent
while it’s difficult to estimate the true suffers. for would-be cheaters. The department
scope of workers’ compensation fraud is also increasing its focus on employ-
in B.C., it’s clear that the problem is not What we’re doing about it
ers who under-report payroll, suppress
limited to one specific group. WorkSafeBC is committed to protecting
claims, or purposely avoid registering
the public interest by detecting, inves-
Workers, employers, contractors, service with WorkSafeBC.
tigating, and deterring fraud. Through
providers, and others are all capable of its Field Investigations department, “The cost of fraud from a single large
committing fraud against the system. WorkSafeBC coordinates with provin- employer can easily run into the tens or
A worker may exaggerate the nature cial law enforcement and other regula- hundreds of thousands of dollars,” says
or extent of his or her injury to receive tory agencies to expose and prosecute Eldridge. “Moreover, other employers in
increased benefits. An employer may suspected cases of fraud. Information the same rate group essentially end up
misrepresent the nature of his or her obtained by Field Investigations also subsidizing the costs.”
business to pay lower premiums. A allows WorkSafeBC to deny or cancel
service provider may bill WorkSafeBC unwarranted benefits and recover What you can do to help
(the WCB) for bogus treatment and reha- monies lost. These anti-fraud activities Everyone has a stake in fighting
bilitation expenses. prevented the loss of over $13 million in workers’ compensation fraud. If you
Cases such as these have the potential 2004 — costs that would have otherwise suspect an individual or company of
to cost B.C.’s workers’ compensation been passed on to B.C. employers. committing fraud, call WorkSafeBC’s
system millions of dollars each year. Fraud Tip Line, toll-free at 1 877 523-
“When someone cheats the system, 3315 to make a confidential report. You
But it’s not just WorkSafeBC that it undermines those who play by the
suffers. The cost of fraud trickles down can also e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org,
rules,” says John Eldridge, manager of or fill out a fraud allegation form on
to employers in the form of higher Field Investigations. “Our work helps
premiums, which can hurt businesses our web site at www.worksafebc.com/
maintain the equity and fairness of the report_fraud/default.asp.
16 WorkSafe Magazine • October 2005
Claims Call Centre
Employer Service Centre
Don’t lose sight
of your workers
Each year, hundreds of men and women lose
partial, or complete vision, in worksite mishaps.
The Occupational Vision Plan of B.C. has received reports of workers
who have had their vision saved by prescription safety eyewear.
Others have not been as lucky. OVP is a province-wide network of
optometrists dedicated to providing expert eye care and leading
prescription safety eyewear to B.C. workplaces. Entrust your
workers’ vision to the experts at OVP.
OVP is a program of the B.C. Association of Optometrists.
>> 604-270-6095 >> email@example.com
>> 1-866-687-2226 >> www.ovp.
A proud member of
the BC Safety Council
WorkSafe Magazine • October 2005 17
Attitude is everything
First-ever benchmark survey reflects negative attitudes
toward workplace safety culture, yet paves the way for change
By Helena Bryan
anadians believe workplace deaths caused by drinking and driving
C accidents are inevitable,
according to survey results
WorkSafeBC (the WCB) presented at
each year are seen as preventable,
whereas the same loss of life in the
workplace is considered inevitable.
its recent 2005 Public Forum. That’s
Societal attitudes toward drinking and
bad news for those in the business of
driving have changed so dramatically
keeping B.C.’s worksites injury-free, but
that the fatality rate is half what it was
there’s plenty of room for optimism.
in the 1980s, even though the number
Results of the survey also show it is
of cars on the road has increased
possible to change deeply entrenched
steadily. “We want society to have the
societal attitudes, and that doing so can
same views about workplace injuries
mean fewer injuries.
that they do about drinking and driving
The primary purpose of the Ipsos-Reid accidents — that they’re not inevitable,”
survey, conducted for WorkSafeBC and
says Terry Bogyo, director of corporate
The Ipsos-Reid survey is the first study to
the Association of Workers’ Compensa- planning at WorkSafeBC.
benchmark beliefs about workplace injury
tion Boards of Canada and based on
“The survey confirms what we’ve against attitudes about another signifi-
random telephone interviews with 1,000
believed all along: Societal change is cant cause of injury and death. Some key
Canadians, was to provide a baseline
possible, and shifting the way employ- findings:
understanding of attitudes and beliefs
ers and workers think about workplace
about workplace injury. To do that, the
survey measured respondents’ attitudes
safety is the right strategy to take
injury prevention to the next level”
61 percent of Canadians surveyed
believe that workplace accidents
and beliefs about another significant
says Bogyo. “Five years from now we’ll
percent believe accidents and
cause of injury and death, drinking and
driving, which is perceived very differ-
ently than it was two decades ago.
be able to use these survey results as
a benchmark to gauge how successful 36 injuries caused by drinking and
driving are inevitable
we’ve been in changing attitudes toward
The survey results suggest a double-
standard: it appears that the 1,000
86 percent claim that public
awareness programs raised
their awareness of the risks of
WorkSafeBC uses a number of tactics to drinking and driving
change societal attitudes toward workplace
accidents, such as advertising, personal
presentations from injured workers (shown
68 percent believe we’re paying
enough attention to reduce
above, Mel Camilli), and participation in public
events with mascot WorkSafe Sam.
18 WorkSafe Magazine • October 2005
Free safety seminar for Consultation input wanted
parents At WorkSafeBC, we think it’s impor-
WorkSafeBC is sponsoring a free safety tant to hear from stakeholders before
seminar for parents. “Is Your Child Safe changing the occupational health and
at Work?” is ideal for members of safety safety regulations. In the past, we’ve
committees, as well as for parents of noticed that many comments come
young adults entering the work force. from large employers, associations,
Discover some of the key things new and unions, and a few come from small
and young workers should look for in an business owners, worker representa-
employer, and find out what their rights tives, and joint comittee co-chairs. We’d
and responsibilities are. Don’t let young like to change that by expanding our
people go to work without knowing the web-based consultation process.
risks they face and how you can help If you’re a small business owner, a
protect them from workplace harm. worker representative, or a joint commit-
The seminar will take place at Langara tee co-chair and would like to get
College, Vancouver, on Wednesday, involved in the Occupational Health and
October 26, 2005 from 6:30 p.m. to Safety Regulation consultation process,
9:00 p.m. visit our web site at www.healthandsafe-
tycentre.org and sign up for E-News.
To register, call Langara College’s
We’ll send you e-mail notices about
General Enquiries line at 604 323-5322
proposed changes to the Regulation and
or visit their web site at www.langara.
let you know how you can send us your
WorkSafeBC launches comments at a time most convenient for
TruckSafe program Call for nominations you.
WorkSafeBC (the WCB) officially The British Columbia Safety Authority
launched the TruckSafe Strategy on is accepting nominations for the first Correction
September 20, 2005 during the BC Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Public In the August issue of WorkSafe
Safety Council’s Traffic Safety Sympo- Safety. The award will be presented Magazine, we incorrectly identi-
sium. annually to an organization or individ- fied a department in the “Fraud
The TruckSafe Strategy is a new strate- ual who has demonstrated exceptional costs everyone” advertisement
gic plan to prevent and reduce injuries, leadership, innovation, or achievement on page 20. Contact the Fraud
deaths, and other losses resulting from in the promotion of safety in B.C. Tip Line at 1 877 523-3315 if you
all types of trucking incidents — from Nominations will be accepted until suspect an individual or company
log hauling and chip trucks to freight Friday, October 28, 2005. The nomina- of committing fraud. We apologize
hauling, couriers, and tour buses. Work- tion form and additional information are for any inconvenience.
SafeBC will collaborate with industry, available at www.safetyauthority.ca.
labour, government, and community WorkSafeBC is one of the sponsors of
stakeholders to create and implement the award.
common sense, practical, and cost-effec-
tive solutions to improve the safety of
drivers, trucks, loads, and roads in B.C.
TruckSafe reflects the commitment of
WorkSafeBC and its partners to the BC
Road Safety Plan and Canada’s Road
Safety Vision 2010.
WorkSafe Magazine • October 2005 19
The purpose of “Infractions,” a regular item in WorkSafe Magazine, is to highlight the importance of making workplaces safe. The WorkSafeBC (WCB) Compliance
Section and the editors of WorkSafe Magazine believe British Columbians should know who has been penalized and why. We hope this information will help make
B.C. workplaces safer. The delay between the date of infractions and publication of the infractions in this magazine is partially a result of allowing time for employ-
ers and other interested parties to respond to the initial penalty and for the appeal process. The penalty amounts listed below include the results of any appeals of
Note: Dates shown indicate when infractions were imposed. Addresses shown are locations where infractions occurred, and not necessarily the addresses of the
392733 RFS200400415 Nov. 30, 2004 337161 RFS200300640 Sep. 30, 2004
Super Save Enterprises Ltd. Surrey Cedar Ltd.
19395 Langley Bypass, Surrey 20667 78 Avenue, Langley
After a decision of the Workers’ Compensation Appeal The firm failed to ensure the health and safety of a worker
Tribunal, finding that the firm had taken discriminatory and failed to guard the cab of an excavator used for falling
action against a worker, the firm failed to comply promptly trees. A worker died when a tree crushed the cab of the exca-
with the order to pay wages and remove references to the vator.
worker having been fired.
524667 RFS200400217 Feb. 28, 2005
88977 RFS200300297 Jun. 03, 2004 $2,552
$36,413 Durand Enterprise Ltd.
Dayton & Knight Ltd. Commercial Building
City of Port Coquitlam 480 East Columbia, New Westminster
Harbour Storm Pumphouse, Port Coquitlam Repeat non-compliance with requirements for fall protection,
The firm failed to take action to control hazards to the safety footwear, and instruction and training of workers.
health and safety of persons at the workplace arising from
the movement of vehicle traffic. It also failed to immediately
report a hazard to the contractor on site.
CSA Hard Hat
Contact North for literature on Contact North for the complete
RX Insert and specify catalogue and specify
1 • 877 • 95 •NORTH 1 • 877 • 95 •NORTH
Customer Service & Training Centers Customer Service & Training Centers
Montreal • Toronto Edmonton Montreal • Toronto Edmonton
20 WorkSafe Magazine • October 2005
123773 RFS200400119 Mar. 04, 2005 demonstrated by repeat orders involving lack of workplace
$75,000 inspections, inadequate guardrails and handrails on stair-
West Fraser Mills Ltd. ways, inadequate access to work areas, and poor ladder
Fraser Lake Sawmill usage.
Highway 16, East of Fraser Lake Sawmills
A young worker was fatally injured when caught in an 347075 RFS200400125 Mar. 22, 2005
unguarded idler at a location workers were required to access $4,477
on a regular basis. Citta Construction Ltd.
Sun River Estates
177031 RFS200300212 Mar. 14, 2005 Residential Housing Development, Sooke
$2,500 This employer, as a prime contractor, repeatedly failed to
Canadian Dewatering Ltd. ensure that a qualified coordinator was appointed to ensure
Kelly Avenue, Port Coquitlam the coordination of health and safety activities at multiple-
Failure to maintain the limits of approach resulted in contact employer construction workplaces.
with a high-voltage power line, putting nearby workers at
high risk of serious injury or death. 650366 RFS200400161 Apr. 01, 2005
268080 RFS200400172 Mar. 14, 2005 Andrew Frederick Minter
$3,430 DBA Total Roofing
J C R Construction Ltd. New Seniors Complex
932 Johnson Street, Victoria 55 Cokato Road, Fernie
Workers were observed 12 m (40 ft.) above the ground Workers were observed working on a steep sloped roof
without adequate guardrails or other fall protection. The without fall protection.
employer’s general failure to ensure worker safety was also
Contact North for our
Contact North for free literature complete catalogue
and specify WS-054-QRO and specify WS-054-QDL
1 • 877 • 95 •NORTH 1 • 877 • 95 •NORTH
Customer Service & Training Centers Customer Service & Training Centers
Montreal • Toronto Edmonton Montreal • Toronto Edmonton
WorkSafe Magazine • October 2005 21
Six one-day WorkSafe education courses are
offered by the WCB WorkSafe Education
• Hazard Recognition and Control
• Joint Health and Safety Committee Training
• Occupational Health and Safety in Small
• Preventing and Investigating Musculoskel-
etal Injury (MSI)
• Preventing Workplace Violence
• Supervisor Safety Management
For more information visit the WorkSafe
courses web page at
default.asp, or call the WorkSafe Call Centre
at 604 276-3100, toll-free in B.C. at 1 888 621-
22 WorkSafe Magazine • October 2005
he following is a summary of policy decisions final- • Set out that in long-term average earnings calculations,
T ized by the WorkSafeBC (WCB) Board of Directors.
To view resolutions in full, visit the WorkSafeBC
web site at worksafebc.com/law_and_policy/policy_decision/.
the capital cost allowance or depreciation amount for
equipment that is a required component of the contract of
service will be deducted from gross earnings where it does
not exceed 15 percent of the purchase price of the equip-
Section 251 decision — Recurrence of ment
disability • Clarify the application of the policies to workers who must
At its meeting on August 8, 2005, the Board of Directors pay for any operating costs and/or equipment that is a
considered a decision of the chair of the Workers’ Compen- required component of the contract of service
sation Appeal Tribunal that policy item #1.00(4) (now
The amendments came into effect on October 1, 2005, and
#1.03(b)(4)) of the Rehabilitation Services and Claims
apply to all injuries that occur on or after that date.
Manual is so patently unreasonable that it is not capable
of being supported by the Workers Compensation Act and For more information, contact Cameron Angus at 604 232-
its regulations. This determination was made under section 1849.
251(3) of the Act.
Transfer of experience between ﬁrms
The specific issue for the Board of Directors to determine was The Board of Directors has approved amendments to Work-
whether the policy in question can be rationally supported SafeBC’s policy on the transfer of experience, as provided in
by the Act. To assist in answering this question, the Board of Item AP1-42-3 (Transfer of Experience Between Firms) of the
Directors sought advice from its general counsel, the Policy Assessment Manual.
and Research Division, and from an independent and external
legal counsel. The Board then determined that the policy is When a firm transfers all or part of its business operations
not patently unreasonable and that the Workers’ Compensa- to another firm or firms, WorkSafeBC must determine if the
tion Appeal Tribunal must apply it. original firm’s experience should transfer to the successor
firm(s). Under the old policy the original firm’s experience
For more information, contact Susan Hynes at 604 276-5160. would only transfer to a successor firm if 50 percent of each
firm’s ownership was the same. Item AP1-42-3 is amended to
Average earnings and equipment expenses
enable WorkSafeBC to consider “affiliation” between firms
The Board of Directors has approved amendments to Work-
as criteria for experience transfer. In addition, Item AP1-42-
SafeBC’s policy on workers who have equipment and operat-
1 (Experience Rating) is amended to include a definition of
ing expenses, as provided in policies #68.61, #68.62, and
#68.63 of the Rehabilitation Services and Claims Manual,
Volume II. The amendments came into effect on June 1, 2005, and apply
to all decisions made on or after that date.
The three policies on the average earnings of workers who
have equipment and operating expenses were reorganized For more information, contact Cameron Angus at 604 232-
into two policies, and changed in order to: 1849.
• Add a category of equipment deduction for “light” equip-
ment in short-term average earnings calculations
WorkSafe Magazine • October 2005 23
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24 WorkSafe Magazine • October 2005