Canadian Occupational Safety | April 26, 2024
Kevin Fortune, BASc, MBA, MBB, CRSP, EP | Health & Safety Program Manager

As Canada approaches the National Day of Mourning on April 28th, the nation pauses to remember the lives lost and renews its commitment to improving workplace safety. With 993 workplace fatalities reported in 2022, including 183 in the construction industry, the need for proactive measures to prevent such tragedies is paramount.

"The National Day of Mourning serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of prioritizing workplace safety," says Kevin Fortune, health, safety, and environment manager at RJC Engineers. "It's imperative for organizations to adopt a proactive approach to prevent incidents and protect their workers."

Fortune says fostering a culture of safety starts with a commitment from leadership. "Organizations must cultivate a safety-first culture that permeates all levels of the organization," he advises. "Leadership must lead by example, demonstrating a commitment to safety through actions and providing the necessary resources to support safety initiatives."

Engagement with employees is another critical aspect highlighted by Fortune. "Empowering employees to actively participate in safety initiatives fosters a sense of ownership and accountability," he explains. "Regular communication and feedback mechanisms enable organizations to identify potential hazards and address them proactively."

Technology also plays a significant role in enhancing workplace safety, according to Fortune. "Utilizing advanced technologies such as SiteDocs allows organizations to capture real-time data on field-level hazards," he notes. "This data-driven approach enables organizations to identify emerging risks and take proactive measures to mitigate them."

Fortune stresses the importance of continuous improvement in safety practices. "Organizations should regularly review and update their safety protocols in response to changing workplace conditions and emerging risks," he advises. "Investing in ongoing training and education ensures that employees are equipped with the knowledge and skills to identify and address safety hazards."

As Canada honors the memory of those who have lost their lives in workplace incidents, Fortune's insights offer actionable strategies for health and safety professionals to enhance workplace safety. 

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