At CSS Office Solutions, safety is part of our everyday practices and routines. Literally!
When our workers are kept safe and hazards are identified and controlled, everyone goes home safely at the end of the day.
In fact, the cover page of our comprehensive safety manual reads: When everyone makes it home safely at the end of the workday, this is always a good day! We stand by this through and through as our work family’s safety is of the highest priority.
It is our responsibility as a company, to ensure that all of our workers are safe, performing their job duties safely and are aware of their rights as they relate to workers’ safety.
Do you know the rights of workers as per the CCOHS (Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety)?
As a worker you have three rights that are fundamental under the OHS law:
- The right to know.
- The right to participate.
- The right to refuse dangerous work.
It is also good to know that as an employee, you are expected to work in ways that ensure your own health and safety, plus the health and safety of others. At CSS, we always evaluate a workers’ awareness and how cognizant of the surrounding they are when it comes to safety protocols. Think of all those split-second decisions that are made, and then something catastrophic happens because someone didn’t take a moment to ask: is this safe, what should I be doing, or asking for, to make this safer for me and everyone else?
Awareness and openness are critical components of a safety program. It is one thing for your workers to be aware, but it takes it one step further when a company can create an open, non-judgmental environment when it comes to safety practices. As in life, and as in safety, there are never stupid questions!
Including safety practices and protocols as part of our business operations is crucial to keeping our workers safe. In fact, there are a number of inclusions, practices and policies that are mandatory if operating a business in the province of Alberta.
At CSS, we have a couple of practices that have become second nature for our staff.
One of the first items we require before any worker can step foot on a CSS worksite (aside from all the on-boarding stuff in the background), is STEEL TOED FOOTWEAR. This seems like a no-brainer, our staff are working with heavy items, are moving items that have multiple pieces and chances are high that something could drop and land on your foot. We actually had a worker many years ago, while carrying a safe with other workers, have the safe drop on his foot…holding your breath? You can breathe knowing that because this worker had steel toed footwear on, his foot was saved from intense damage! The footwear had to be replaced as the steel was literally crushed inwards! But his foot was safe, the worker had no lost time, and now we have a real-life story to share about the absolute importance of wearing the proper equipment. For our workers that includes mandatory steel-toed footwear, no exceptions! If a worker shows up to work, and isn’t properly outfitted with the necessities, we send them home to get what they should have arrived with.
You would think that workers in our industry wearing steel toed footwear would be a standard, right? Well, think again. Sadly, having workers in this industry wear steel toed footwear is not always the norm! When we see other companies performing work like we perform, and their staff are wearing running shoes…we’re absolutely in shock and it should raise a red flag to have you ask, does that company really care about their workers’ safety? What happens if…?
If a company can take little steps and create simple rules and regulations to maintain workers’ safety, then it should be undeniably implemented.
We have a policy at CSS, that if we’re working under a desk and are drilling into the underneath of the desk surface, we have a mandatory rule that eye protection of some kind must be worn! Why all the time? Why is this mandatory? Because many years back we had a staff member that did not wear safety glasses while drilling a hole for an install on the under part of the desk surface, low and behold shavings from the desk landed in his eye – OUCH! This equated to a time-lost claim as the employee had to be off for a couple of days to ensure his eye would heal properly from the scratched eyeball, not pleasant, right? So, now we have a mandatory rule because we have learned that reviewing incidents and implementing steps to avoid potential hazards is paramount to our safety program.
We know some accidents cannot be avoided, but accidents can be analyzed and evaluated for proactive solutions that can prevent them from happening again. Obviously, we know this isn’t always the case, but doing the analysis post-incident, is just as important as conducting the hazard assessment before beginning any work.
Safety matters to not only us, but to our clients as well. It isn’t out of the realm to be asked to produce our safety stats and information about our internal safety program. At CSS, we’ve always had an excellent safety rating with the Workers’ Compensation Board – Alberta. For the 2022 reporting year (which includes the three years’ incidents/claims from 2020, 2019 and 2018) our Safety Experience Ratio was 86.66% lower than our industry average! Breaking it down, that means that CSS experienced 86.66% lesser claims than our counterparts in the same industry. That’s pretty darn incredible in our view and an indicator that we’re doing the right things in the awareness and training of our staff.
Safety needs to remain a priority, especially in our industry of office moving, furniture installation, warehouse storage, etc. If you’re hiring a company, don’t be shy to ask them about their safety program and safety statistics. And pay attention to how equipped the workers are. Are they wearing steel toed footwear, and is their company educating them on the employee’s rights when it comes to safety?
Keeping safe and aware allows CSS to keep on doing what we’re doing in offering the very best in office services and moves. We’re proud of our safety statistics and are always happy to educate and inform our staff working in this industry.