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It seems that after over a year of stops and starts, the province of Ontario is cautiously re-opening their businesses for good.  While we are all excited to get back to our regular operations, there are many lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic that we want to keep at top of mind – namely safety on the job.

At Jancon, we place safety in the highest regard. With health and safety regulations more significant than ever, we reached out to our Health & Safety Representative, Hugo Munera, to highlight some best practices that are essential both on and off the job site.

“The health and safety of all team members is the first priority of any job.  There are some important ways that organizations can keep their employees safe while remaining efficient and productive – and it all centers around teamwork.” 

1. Improving Safety Culture

Employees should be aware that their employer cares about their safety. In order to make sure everyone feels comfortable talking about safety, offer resources to allow them to speak up. This can include surveys, one-on-one calls, feedback forms, etc. 

A culture of safety can only benefit an organization, so ask for first-aid training, or equipment training – whatever you think you need to do your job safely and keep those around you free from risk as well.

2. Avoid Work Fatigue

Avoiding work fatigue can go beyond your sleep schedule. A lot of fatigue can be traced back to stress, especially stress impacted by a huge workload. To work with this, implement a support system where employees can share about and improve stress situations. Allow yourself and your employees to take micro-breaks throughout the day and give your employees permission to reduce multitasking and overscheduling whenever possible.  

As industry leaders, it is our responsibility to let our teams know that they are valued and not let safety be compromised to the pressures of a job site deadline.

3. Hazard Communication

Always stay aware of your surroundings. Feel compelled to educate other employees on potential safety hazards when the opportunity arises. We recommend sharing professional resources – such as websites and brochures – with your employees, as well as speaking with them about the best safety practices for certain situations.  Knowledge truly is power, and in this case could save your life – or that of your colleague.  Keep your lines of communication open, and make sure your team is in regular contact on this topic.

4. Take Breaks

Make sure employees (office workers especially) are taking breaks to move. It is not healthy to stay immobilized all day long. Even 15 minutes of low-intensity exercises, such as walking or stretching, can improve your overall health and wellness! Think about planning group break times, or organize time slots during the workday where employees can go outside for a walk or to exercise.

5. Ensure Everyone is wearing PPE

Personal Protective Equipment may seem like an obvious safety measure and it all goes back to safety culture. Proper PPE is the difference between adequate safety and serious injury. Protective personal equipment, such as safety gloves, shoes, glasses, and bodysuits, can be worn to minimize exposure to hazards that cause serious workplace injuries and illnesses. Check in on your workplace’s PPE regulations and programming and try to remind your employees of these guidelines on a monthly or weekly basis. Remember – all personal protective equipment should be maintained in a clean fashion and should fit comfortably for all employees. Employees should also be trained on how to use PPE and when it is necessary to use.

“In our current climate, the proper use of PPE is another important way we can all stay safe while moving forward with projects and deliverables.  We encourage everyone to stay mindful and vigilant about their personal protection to remain Covid-free”

Ensure your next job is focused on safety above all.