It’s a scene that is far too familiar on roads across Canada: a cell phone sounds an alert, the driver reaches for their phone, and in the short time it takes to read the message, a collision has occurred. Essentially, distractions can occur anywhere – through inattention, complacency, rushing to get the job done quickly, financial issues, sick family members, disagreements, and confusing instructions.
Just like with distractions while driving, distractions at work can pose a risk to a person’s life. When workers are not completely focused on the tasks at hand, they may fail to see hazards, which can potentially cause an incident or near-miss.
Here at Northern Weldarc, we cannot fully eliminate distractions, but we try to address them right away. We request that our employees advise us if there are current or potential issues for us to keep a close eye on. They can tell a supervisor, the HSE manager, or a co-worker who is working close to them.
The supervisors and the HSE managers are frequently walking through the shop and yard to make sure all our workers are focused. If a worker is struggling, we will make changes in their workload to ensure that they are not putting themselves or others at risk. We request that everyone concentrate on their work and maintain housekeeping.
We do not allow cell phones on the shop floor to avoid any form of distraction. They are asked to be stored in the lockers and are permitted in the lunchrooms for the worker to use on their breaks. If there is an urgent call, it can be made to the office so that the worker can be pulled off the shop floor to get the phone call.
If our staff members are healthy, less stressed, and feeling good, they tend to handle on-the-job stress better and are aware of the potential risks at hand. A positive attitude goes a long way.
We address all issues and potential hazards by talking to the workers, supervisors, referencing the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Act, Code and Regulations, as well as other resources. One of our main goals is to keep our management, supervisors, workers, and clients healthy and safe! Workplace health and safety is a priority at Northern Weldarc and an ongoing one.