by Lisa McGuire, CEO – Companies make pragmatic decisions that impact not only the viability of a company, but also the health and safety of its workers. The health and safety professional, as a member of the management team, needs to be aware of the changing environment and emerging risks that can affect the business, workforce and overall sustainability of the organization.
Risks, like cybersecurity and the use of automated equipment on the shop floor, and regulatory changes such as the legalization of cannabis, emerge quickly. It is critical to be prepared to identify and assess emerging risks, and proactively reduce and mitigate them with effective controls and a risk management program. The most successful approach is to develop a culture that everyone, from shop floor worker to CEO, accepts as a core value of the company. Leaders must inspire and promote innovation and in particular the out of-the-box thinking that allows employees to contribute to the growth and prosperity of the organization while managing current and emerging OHS risks.
Transformation starts by recruiting and empowering OHS professionals who have the appropriate level of knowledge, skills and abilities to inform and support the leadership team and translate the outcomes and expectations to all employee levels.
In response to the evolving needs of the manufacturing industry, the BC Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training has provided funding through the Sector Labour Market Partnership program to develop a strategy that defines standards for the occupational health and safety profession within the manufacturing industry. This will support organizations more effectively and positively impact both the worker and long-term sustainability of the organization.
The Alliance is hosting its annual health and safety conference on October 24 and 25 at the Anvil Centre in New Westminster. This year has a great lineup of speakers to invoke innovation and inspire transformation of your workplace safety culture. I hope you can join us.