WorkSafeBC Adds Slip & Fall to Manufacturing High Risk Strategy

The Manufacturing High Risk Strategy was introduced in 2018. It addresses seven strategic focus areas: machine guarding and lockout, powered tools, hand tools (knives), material handling (falling objects), falls from elevation, falls on the same level, and mobile equipment.

WorkSafeBC announced March 7 that its 2019 high-risk strategy for manufacturing will include a focus on preventing slips, trips, and falls because they are a widespread cause of injuries throughout the manufacturing sector in British Columbia. The conditions that lend themselves to slips, trips, and falls are often not perceived as significant hazards, but they can easily lead to severe injuries, according to the agency. Its release reported that about one-fifth of these injuries in manufacturing are defined as serious.

"Contributing factors to injuries are often seasonal — such as slippery surfaces after rain or snow — or are indirectly related to the manufacturing process," said Dan Strand, director of Prevention Field Services with WorkSafeBC. "We're tackling complacency around these avoidable incidents by educating employers and workers through inspections, and providing effective resources."

The efforts will be reinforced during 2019 with the development of an employer resource and two marketing campaigns, one that addresses slips, trips, and falls generally and another that highlights winter risks. Strand said when WorkSafeBC developed its 2018-20 high-risk strategy, it recognized that flexibility would be needed to add other focus areas as required.

The Manufacturing High Risk Strategy was introduced in 2018. It addresses seven strategic focus areas: machine guarding and lockout, powered tools, hand tools (knives), material handling (falling objects), falls from elevation, falls on the same level, and mobile equipment. The agency's high-risk strategies identify and target industries and employers with a high risk of serious workplace injury and a significant contribution to the serious-injury rate. High-risk strategies include four industry sectors: construction, forestry, health care, and manufacturing.

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