The Moment: A Safety Documentary
The Forest Around Us - We Must Remember
Small Changes for a Healthier Life
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The Moment: A Safety Documentary
Created for Western Forest Products by zactv.com
In this 2007 documentary, employees and contractors of Western Forest Products in British Columbia, Canada, share their perspectives on being in "the moment" at the workplace. Life is made of moments and hopefully watching this video will help to shape your own perspective on the importance of staying safe at all times on the job to protect yourself and the people who love you most.
With health and safety as a foundational core value, Western Forest Products believes that nothing they do is worth getting hurt for and that all safety incidents are preventable - knowing that management, employees and contractors have a shared responsibility to prevent injuries. The goal of Western Forest Products is for all company employees and contractors to be able to return home every day injury-free.
This video was created for Western Forest Products by zactv.com and has been shared with forestry companies in dozens of countries around the world.
We Must Remember
There can be no doubt as to the sincerity of so many in this industry as to wanting to see a reduction in this terrible toll against life.
From THE FORESTS AROUND US by Bill Moore - BC Lumberman May 1980
I have before me as I write this the list of fatal accidents reported by the B.C. logging industry for the year 1979. The figures are appalling. They show a quite dramatic increase in fatals over 1978. In totals they read, 1978 – 47 and 1979 – 61.
These are not statistics – they are people. Our own British Columbia people. These are unforgivable figures to many lonesome people in our province. Those lonesome people remember. We must remember too.
In the horror of world tragedies today, it is natural for most young people going about their daily routines to harden themselves to the hostage takings, the assassinations, the mass killings that are a part of the evening television news hour. And sadly, it seems that such affairs will only get more severe as the bitterness of minorities and revolutionary groups grows. We are helpless to do very much about such world tragedies. But we must not let this horror of other places dull our sense of responsibility, so needed now, to our own people.
The figures I have quoted are from the Workers’ Compensation Board of B.C. They are the reported figures, they are not necessarily all directly attributable to an “on-the-job in an eight hour day “ accident. Included in the figures, as they have been for the twenty-five years that I know of, are those of the work force killed in air, land or sea accidents, while possibly on their way to a job. Last year eight such cases occurred. In 1978 there were three. In all these cad figures there is always a carryover of accidents that became fatal the following year.
I state the above not to soften the blow, but to bring realism to such reports. I have heard those who would even argue with the figures saying that sometimes certain of the cases are not really “on the job” accidents. I am convinced that they are reasonably consistent down through the years and that to question whether three or four of the cases are compensible or not is a very moot point. The figures represent people – B.C. People who died because of a related accident associated with the workplace. They are still unforgivable figures.
Words and words and words are written and said about our industrial accidents. I have spent 35 years saying those words, listening to them, writing them and reading them. The accidents are no different now, in the logging industry, than they were in 1945 except the machines involved may be different.
A careless act by the deceased has nearly always been the major cause of death in our hazardous workplace, the forest. Looking over the description of the fatal accidents for all these years one is always shocked to see the sameness involved in the causes. The log, hooked in the middle, upended. The snag coming backwards at the faller. The vehicle going to fast. The sadness lies in the sameness of the accidents.
There can be no doubt as to the sincerity of so many in this industry as to wanting to see a reduction in this terrible toll against life. But sincerity is not enough. Action and a change in attitudes about accident prevention will be the only answer accepted on the fatals reports in say 1990. And that attitude must change, through management and labor and from big or small, organized or unorganized.
Accident prevention and safety have for the most part delegated to camp committees, managers and a few dedicated safety instructors who generally work apart from each other. Where there once was some form of big company safety coordinated training program, now the individual companies look after their own individual programs. The WCB has the only coordinated accident prevention teaching body in our province. But we know it is a large industry that cannot be reached by just one group. There are simply not enough people to go around. So much duplication is created this way and new men are not instructed or shown how in the same manner from company to company.
The Council of Forest Industries once had an excellent staff of top flight safety instructors that toured the camps, put on foreman seminars and had the trust of many loggers. There was a time when the Truck Loggers Association also belonged to this group and as a result nearly all the logging camps on the coast had good instruction from good instructors on a coordinated consistent level. Sad to say this is not the case anymore. And it is not what that program did, but what its potential was if it had kept healthy and grew as the camps and plants grew.
Patience is the greatest virtue of those “dedicated” to safe production. No program is ever completed, there is no ending to safety. It goes on and must always be guided by ever-better ways and means. Just as a good salesman must “Tune up” his program every so often to keep in step with the times, so must good safety instructors “tune up” their process of instruction.
I not only feel let-down about the company policy – or lack of it on safety, but am also deeply concerned with the union’s role in safety today.
There is still a reluctance on the part of union to “scold” or “be open” or, yes, discipline its own members who flagrantly violate safety rules. The old school tie is just as dominant here as at any old conservative school. This is not in line with the teachings of I.W.A. men like John T. Atkinson or Andy Smith, who devoted years to teaching sensible safety to their brothers. I spent some time on many podiums with them and sat after hours with them following a safety seminar. They were men who would not tolerate sheltering of a violation or nonsense by a manager. Where is their spirit today?
We must remember – if we are to be so-called leaders, big or small – that we must accept the responsibility of leadership. There is no one holding a knife at your back who says you must stay there.
That leadership is faltering right now in accident prevention in our logging industry. It will not be improved by top management continuing to completely delegate safety to the “on-the-job scene.” Nor will it be accomplished by unions hollering foul.
Let’s get rid of all these old ghosts that haunt us and make a new, sincere effort at a proper, coordinated safety program for this industry. The IWA and forest management have recently shown great new responsibility in labour negotiations. Some of the distrust is starting to wear off and let’s hope it continues.
Now we need a meeting of the minds of the people that direct – at the top, management and union – to discuss in calmness and in trust, the serious question of today’s accident prevention programs and safe production programs. Is that trust ready to move? Can the buck still be passed to the camp level? Tune in – 1990. We must remember.
Keep out of the bight,
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Small Changes for a Healthier Life
However busy and stressful your life, making small adjustments to your routine with new, healthier habits and choices can help you to feel better.
Making small changes for a healthier life
While there may be more information available on living a healthy lifestyle than ever, it’s not always easy to make the right choices. Between a stressful job, long working hours, commuting and looking after a family and home, many of us are left tired at the end of the day and more inclined to resort to the easiest options – fast food, a drink or two after work and slumping in front of the television for the evening. This fact sheet suggests some healthier habits and choices to help you feel better and give you more energy.
Eating and drinking well
There are often times in a busy working day when we find ourselves low on energy, but with too little time or opportunity to buy or make a healthy snack (e.g. mid–afternoon in the office, waiting for a train home, or sitting on a plane). However, a little preparation can stop you from grabbing a chocolate bar or quick coffee, and instead give you a healthy energy boost that will last. Protein gives us energy, so try to keep a high energy snack (e.g. nuts) in your bag or desk. For a healthy sweet hit, keep dried, naturally sweetened fruit or fresh fruit on hand and at the ready.
If you’re feeling thirsty, the best choice you can make is water. Try to drink about half your body weight in water to keep your body hydrated and your mind sharp. If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation according to your local published health guidelines. And avoid drinking before bed as alcohol can affect your sleep. Caffeine can also have an impact on your sleep, so watch your intake throughout the day.
Getting enough exercise
It’s easy to assume you don’t have time for exercise. But regular physical activity can improve your health and actually give you more energy. Just 30 minutes of brisk walking a day will impact your ability to think more clearly, rest easier, reduce stress and just feel better in general. You don’t have to do 30 minutes all at once either – you can do 3–10 minute walks. Try to build in 20–30 minutes of exercise, at least three times a week. You don’t have to go to the gym – housework, gardening and running up stairs counts as exercise, too. Stop taking the lift or escalators, and go for short walks during breaks at work.
Exercise is a great solution for reducing stress, but it’s not the only one. Another great way to reduce stress is through relaxation techniques that can be learned through reading, videos and local programs. These techniques are simple and effective ways to calm your mind and spirit. Gentle stretching exercises like tai chi and yoga can also help you become in tune with your physical body and calm your mind, releasing tension and making you feel good.
If you’re finding it difficult to cope with stress, try to get into the habit of sharing your concerns with friends, colleagues or family. Just talking about how you feel can help, and sometimes someone else may have a perspective or solution that you hadn’t considered. If you’d rather not share your feelings with someone close, join a support group or speak to a counselor.
Whatever problems or ill health we may face in life, there’s one healthy habit that never fails to make us feel better – laughter. Remember that life is about the journey, not the destination. So try to enjoy the ride where you can, and smile often. Even if you don’t feel like it at first, smiles are infectious and can make other people – and you – feel much better.
Courtesy of livewell.optum.com.
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SAFER Council's mission is to assist workers and employers in the BC Forest Industry to improve accident prevention and create a healthy environment, both on and off the job. To reach this safety goal, SAFER has taken a leadership role in the development of safety training sessions for workers.
It is pretty clear to someone just hearing about SAFER that safety is the chief concern of this organization. The name, SAFER, stands for Safety Advisory Foundation for Education and Research.
SAFER was created through broad negotiations between the IWA Canada (now United Steelworkers) and FIR on the coast and the IFLRA in the southern interior for the 1988-1991 master collective agreements in both regions.
SAFER continues to be jointly managed by USW, FIR, and the IFLRA where the industry and the union enjoy equal representation.
Under the leadership of two Co-Chairs selected from the union and industry ranks, the SAFER Council coordinates its safety activities and initiatives under the guideance of eight safety advocate board members and four trustees.
SAFER will celebrate 25 years of creating healthy environments and improving accident prevention for workers and their families in early January 2013.
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