OTTAWA — The 20th anniversary of North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week kicked off May 8, paying tribute to the past, while recognizing the strides made today and what can be done in the future to continue to improve safety practices across Canada.
The 2017 national launch, coined a Reflection on the Past, Present, and a Look to the Future, celebrated more 150 years of occupational health and safety in Canada, from the establishment of provincial occupational health and safety acts, to the Westray Mine disaster, to the recognition of mental health as a workplace hazard. It was held at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa.
Program partners, federal, provincial and municipal government dignitaries as well as health and safety professionals from across Canada gathered to reiterate the message that safety should be the number one priority for employers.
"NAOSH Week serves as a valuable 'Call to Action' for all employers and workers throughout our country to focus on occupational safety and health, with the ultimate goal of all workers going home safe at the end of every work day," said Kathy Tull, president of the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering, in a statement.
PCL Constructors Canada Inc. was honoured to conclude the official launch by proclaiming NAOSH Week as officially underway and challenged workplaces to lead by example by taking part in the awareness campaign.
"By maintaining attention on high-risk activities, promoting safe behaviours, and by working as partners, and not just individual companies, we fully believe that we will achieve our vision of ensuring that everyone returns home safely, every day," said Sean Scott, senior district HSE manager at PCL Toronto, who is also a member of the NAOSH national launch planning committee.
NAOSH Week was established in 1997 by Canada, the United States and Mexico as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement, to shine a light on the needed partnership between government, industry and labour to raise awareness and understanding of the importance of occupational safety and health in the workplace.
For more information about NAOSH Week and how to get involved, visit www.naosh.ca.