Ninety-four per cent of Canadians currently employed say that workplace health, safety and mental well-being is very important or somewhat important when choosing a job, according to an Angus Reid poll commissioned by the Manufacturing Safety Alliance of BC. Yet BC employers lost 2.75 million work days to workplace injury or occupational disease according to WorkSafeBC statistics for its most recent reporting year.
Last week, the Manufacturing Safety Alliance of BC (the Alliance) executives and board members met with Minister of Labour Harry Bains and MLAs from across the province in Victoria to raise awareness about workplace health and safety and its impact on recruitment and retention. The Alliance shares the Ministry’s goal of making BC the safest place to work in Canada and delivers a range of services to support workplace safety, health, and wellness: the human factors in sustainability for BC manufacturing and food processing brands.
“Challenged to recruit and retain staff in the face of the lowest unemployment in Canada, more BC employers are recognizing they need a robust health and safety system to attract and retain qualified workers,” said the Alliance CEO Lisa McGuire.
“We know that a safe and healthy workplace is what job-seekers are looking for. What this tells us is there is a gap between what is currently happening in Canadian businesses and the management best practices that would help employees feel safer at work,” said McGuire.
The Manufacturing Safety Alliance of BC guides companies through Occupational Safety Standard of Excellence (OSSE) certification — the Certificate of Recognition (CoR) program for manufacturers. From 2015 to 2017, companies actively engaged with Alliance services saw a 23.7 per cent reduction in time-loss claims, an improvement nearly three times the rate of non-member companies. A strong Occupational Health and Safety culture is the foundation of a sustainable company. The Alliance helps employers transform their culture to frame health and safety as a key value within the organization.
Manufacturing is an important driver in the BC economy, accounting for 174,200 jobs and 7.1 per cent of the provincial GDP. In 2017, more than 5,900 workplace injuries cost BC manufacturers $230 million in premiums.
IMPORTANCE OF SAFETY TO EMPLOYEES VS. CONSIDERATION IN BUSINESS DECISIONS
Angus Reid Poll of 1000 working Canadians on Employee Perception of Workplace Health & Safety | February, 2019
- According to the Angus Reid survey, slightly more women than men (97% compared to 91%) said that workplace health and safety was very important or somewhat important.
- Among young people aged 18-34, 96% of those responding said it was very important or somewhat important compared to 93% of those aged 35+.
- Meanwhile, just 77% of working Canadians said that decisions made in their workplace consider employee health, safety and well-being all the time or some of the time.