Shutdown Season Part 1

For us trades people, shutdown season is a little love-hate. Lots of hard work, tons of hours and crazy long shifts… Usually in camp. On the plus side… It’s a ton of money. So much so, some workers just chase shutdowns, only work a few a year and are set for the rest of the year. However; for the rest of us, that may not be used to working a shutdown, there are a few extra hazards we should go over.

There will be way more people on site and in camp than usual. These sites are losing money every day they are shut down for maintenance, so they understandably want to get as much work done as possible every day. There will be almost every trade working side by side in the same area. You need to safely work around each other and communicate with one another. This isn’t the time to start the “which trade is better?” discussion. This is the time to make sure you’re all on the same page so no one gets hurt. A lot of calls and postings go out for these jobs, so you will have some newbies on site. Make sure you set the example and help them out. A “green as grass” worker is more likely to get injured or cause an incident, so look out for them. There will also be more sub contractors, they may not be green workers, but they may not have been to this site before. It doesn’t hurt to help them out if they need it too. Check out our next post as we continue to go over shutdowns.

When the Supervisor isn’t there

We are all basically safety officers when the white hats around, right? Anytime a foreman or a legit safety officer is in the vicinity, we all take extra care to do everything so safely. For some workers though, as soon as no white hat is in sight, it’s back to their same old ways. How does that make any sense? If we can be safe in front of supervisors to save our jobs, you’d think we would want to be safe all the time to save… I don’t know…. OUR LIVES! Safety isn’t just for when the foreman is roaming site. It absolutely should be an everyday, all the time part of your job. Keep this in mind the next time you’re about to take a risk… Ask yourself “would I do this in front of the foreman or superintendent?” If the answer is no… then don’t do it even if they are nowhere around. Act like you’re always being bird dogged if needed. Be the worker that is safe even when the supervisor is nowhere to be seen. Set the example.

Uneven Terrain

The snow is melting! The snow is melting! I’m pretty pumped to be typing that! I feel like I don’t know what the work site looks like without snow. As excited as we all are to be snow free, it does come with a bit of a hazard. Once the snow starts to melt, the ground below can be a mess. From the months of being covered with snow, pathways and ruts can turn into mud pits. Puddles can leave us clueless about the gaping canyon that lurks below. These hazards can very easily cause sprained and broken ankles along with an array of slips, trips, and falls. So do your part, if an area is a hazard, fix it. You can fill a hole or very uneven terrain with gravel or flag it off till it has dried up and is safe to use again. Don’t leave it for the next guy to find the hard way. Be proactive, then we can all enjoy this spring air.

The Luck of the Irish

Some of us may be a little worse for wear this morning after partaking in some Saint Patrick’s Day festivities. I know the call of those green beers, leprechaun costumes and the social acceptance of pinching a perfect stranger is too much for some of us to say no to. However, showing up to work hungover and on a couple of hours of sleep just won’t cut it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for celebrating the Irish or any other event where I get to drink beer mid-day. But being hungover can lead to some serious safety hazards.

Tying one on the night before and only getting three or four hours of sleep may not be enough for you to get the alcohol out of your system. Therefore, you are technically still impaired which leads to so many safety hazards such as delayed response, poor judgement, bad decision making and absent mindedness…..not to mention the physical hazards, like sluggishness, dehydration and exhaustion. No one is saying you can’t unwind and enjoy a big event like St. Paddy’s Day, but if you have to be on site the next morning try and ease up. Make sure to not go overboard, drink a lot of water and call it quits with enough time for you to get a good night’s sleep and recover. Try and keep your big party nights for when you have no work the next day. If you do overindulge on “Sunday funday” it’s best to call in sick rather than putting yourself and co-workers in danger. I wouldn’t make a habit out of this, you may end up unemployed with no pot O’gold. ☘️

Spring Melt Down Part 2

Potholes are inevitable in these parts of the country. Spring is when all the new ones make their debut. Also, these pesky annoyances usually don’t get repaired until summer, so we need to deal with them for the next few months. It may feel like you’re in a boxing match with all the bobbing and weaving you’ll be doing while trying to avoid them. Sadly, that’s all you really can do. Only avoid them where you can, safely. Yes, I know they cause damage to your car but so does an accident with another vehicle. So be very cautious that you are not swerving into oncoming traffic or sideswiping another vehicle.

This time of year you also want to make sure your vehicle is in tip top shape even if it’s a company vehicle. I’d recommend a good check on your entire vehicle. Our winters are just as harsh on our vehicles as they are on us. Check your tires, brakes, wipers and make sure all your fluids are topped up. I’d also suggest having an extra washer fluid in the trunk. With muddy conditions you can go through washer fluid super fast and definitely don’t want to be driving like Ace Ventura just so you can see.

Now, I know once the roads don’t have snow, lots of us get the urge to crack the window, turn the music up and hit that gas pedal. This is such a bad idea for so many reasons.
1- Speeding causes around a quarter of all traffic fatalities and also according to the Canadian Association of Chief of Police, speed is the cause of 19% of serious injuries.
2- It can cost you a ton of cash and demerits.
3- If you’re in a company vehicle, you may lose your job.
So save your Mario Andretti moves for video games.

By this time every year, we are all over winter and look forward to spring. It seriously can’t come quickly enough. While you enjoy the warmer air and that great smell of spring while driving with your windows finally down, just remember all the hazards you could face and be prepared.

Spring Melt Down Part 1

Yay! It’s almost March. That means rain showers, Easter and spring are right around the corner. I know living in these frigid temperatures, covered in snow, it’s hard to image flowers and the Easter bunny but they are on their way… I promise. As magical as spring sounds, a change in the season can come with a lot of hazards especially when it comes to the roads. Most of the time when we think of bad road conditions, we think of winter. However, spring can cause hazards on the roads as well. Things we need to watch out for are pot holes, rain (that can feel like a torrential downpour), black ice, slush, and that  “snow is gone” feeling of wanting to go fast. Here are a few tips to keep you riding smoothly.

Between melting snow and spring downpour, the roads are constantly slushy and wet, making them extremely slippery. So take your time and keep your distance from other vehicles. Even if you are taking all the precautions for slippery roads, don’t forget that huge puddles could have monstrous potholes lurking under them.  Wet roads can also cause hydroplaning. Watch out for slushy ruts too, they can cause steering hazards. So make sure you have good tires and are always paying attention. Even though winter may be coming to an end, it doesn’t mean that black ice is gone too. With all the melting and freezing again, the roads can be covered in it… So beware on those cold days. Come back tomorrow and we’ll dive into the most hated road hazard of all… Potholes!

Don’t Forget

Hey safety guys and gals, don’t forget we will be doing our live announcement of the winners for those Oilers tickets, gift card to Mercer Tavern and an ABCS swag bag on Monday the 25th. So if you haven’t already entered or you want to tag some more friends, head on over to our “Kind of a Big Deal” post and do so. You have till 12 pm PST on the 24. Tell your friends, tell your family, heck tell the dog (okay maybe not pets🤷) let’s get the word out! Good luck everyone and remember the more people you tag that follows either our Facebook or Instagram page, the more likely you are to win. So spam all your Facebook and Instagram friends!

Laser Safety

Depending on what trade you work and what task you’re working on, lasers can help get the most accurate measurement in half the time. No more dirty caulk covered plum bob, grab a laser, turn it on and presto, you’re good to go. These types of lasers have made our lives so much easier, from measuring to cutting, but they do come with a serious hazard, that no one really talks about. So let’s dive in.

All lasers are an “amplified” light source. This light is so amplified that it can cause permanent vision loss and third degree burns. There are different classes of lasers and you need to know exactly which class you’re working with. Some classes will need extra training. The lowest power lasers are class 1 and 2. These lasers will not harm in normal working conditions. They are not strong enough to burn your skin and your blink reflex will occur before any damage is done to your eye. However, taking a bet on how long you can stare into the laser would definitely not be advised. You will cause damage. The medium powered lasers are class 3R and these ones can cause some serious injuries if focused directly into the eye. Don’t forget that reflections of the laser bouncing into your eye or a co-worker’s eye can still cause damage. The most high powered laser you may come across on site is class 3B and 4. To use these lasers, you will need extra training and a trained laser safety officer to guide the way…..and for good reason! These high powered lasers can cause all sorts of injuries. From permanent vision loss, third-degree burns all the way to actually severing a limb! Yes, you heard that right, some class 4 lasers can cut parts of you clean off.

Always know what class of laser you are working with, the hazards associated with it and have the proper training. Use your JHA’s to identify all the hazards. Post warning signage to alert other workers not to enter when higher powered lasers are in use and of course wear the proper PPE. Lasers can be so helpful, so follow the proper protocol to keep them helpful and not a hazard.

Happy Family Day 👨‍👧‍👦 👨‍👨‍👧 👨‍👩‍👦‍👦 👩‍👩‍👦 👩‍👧‍👦

Happy Family day everyone! We hope you get to enjoy this day with all your loved ones, reminding you of why you work safe every day. Making the decision to take the time and effort to do your tasks safely, doesn’t just make you a great worker, it makes you a great Mom, Dad, son, daughter, brother and sister. Thinking of a life where you couldn’t play catch or dress up with your children, annoy your siblings or make your parents proud is a tough thought and easily avoided by making the right choice to be safe; always. So take this day and enjoy every minute of it! Press the reset button and head back to work tomorrow with a positive outlook on safety and work, not just for you but all your loved ones as well.

Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day to all our hard working trades people. We hope you take a moment today to think about the ones you love and why going home safe to them every night is one of the best gifts to show your love and appreciation. Some chocolates and a card wouldn’t hurt either 😉. And always choo- choo- choose safety 🚂 ♥️♥️ (wow my jokes are painful 😬)