Workplace Safety Training FAQs

Why provide workplace safety training?

  • To ensure the people who work for you can do so safely and without risk to their health
  • Because the law requires it!
  • To develop an awesome safety culture, where working safely is second nature to everyone

Good training will help make your people capable when it comes to safety which in turn helps your business avoid the stress which comes with worksite accidents and injuries – stress that could be personal to workers and their families, financial to your business, or things like reduced productivity & poor quality of goods or service from demotivated staff who feel unsafe.Protect your back

What if someone is a contractor or self-employed?

Even when a person working for you is considered self-employed or a contractor for finance/tax purposes, the law often considers them your employee when it comes to health and safety! So YOU are expected to make sure they have appropriate training and to do what it takes to protect them.

So who needs workplace safety training?

You, your managers or supervisors, your staff, your contractors… everyone!

Applying dangerous goods symbol to a vehicle for transportWhether you are an employer or self-employed, are you sure that you’re up to date with how to identify the hazards and control the risks from your work? Do you know what’s expected of you and from your staff/employees/contractors? For example if someone is driving as part of their employment with you, then you are responsible for making sure they do so safely. If you don’t know these things, you might want to get yourself some training!

If you have the kind of business where there are managers or supervisors, you need to be providing direction. Do they know what you expect when it comes to workplace safety and are they aware of the deliverables? You need to understand where managers fit in and how they are expected to manage safety at work. They may well need training in the specific hazards of your worksite/processes and how you expect risks to be controlled.

Everyone working for you (even the contractors/self-employed staff) needs to be able to do so safely. This is where things like Occupational First Aid, WHMIS, TDG and many specialised courses come in. The staff need to know about safety laws/regulations and how to implement them at your worksite. Of course, they also need to know who they report concerns to and how these concerns will be dealt with. lockout tagout equipment

Who might need extra safety training?

You know your staff better than we do! Consider these groups of workers when you’re developing your training plan (you do have a training plan, right?):

  • Contractors – they may not know your worksite(s) or processes as well as regular staff
  • New Hires – will need to make sure their training is up to date and may need site specific induction training.
  • People changing jobs, or who undertake a lot of different roles for the organisation
  • Youth – especially if they are also inexperienced in your business/industry
  • Safety Reps – basically need to know the safety aspects of every process

Follow these steps to help you decide who needs what training.

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Free eBooks on Safety Training

Free eBooks – really? Yes!! Sure you can sign-up-for-spam somewhere on the web and get “Ten Free Safety Tips” but our job is to help you stay safe, not email crap to you. We have written seven free eBooks for you and they’re ready to download – no sign up, no selling your first-born to the devil. From kids colouring pages to workplace assessments, there’s probably one for you. There’s likely one for your friends too and as they’re all free, why not share!?

1. Choosing Safety – this free eBook is all about how to assess who needs safety training in the workplace. Understand who already has training, do needs assessments, train to fill the gaps.

2. Documenting Training – in the workplace. This follow-up eBook focuses on how to document that training – whether it’s something staff already have, or some on-line training they took, or classroom based work… if it’s not documented then as far as the safety inspector is concerned, it might as well not have happened.

3. Alphabet Soup! – if you’ve ever done a first aid course, you probably know the ABC’s of first aid, but it goes further than this. Drink you the alphabet soup and learn about the ABCDEFGs of first aid in this free eBook.

Download any/all of them right here, free.

4. 10 Things you wanted to know about CPR that (probably) weren’t covered in your last class….. How old do kids need to be before they learn? What exactly are you doing when you perform CPR? This free eBook clarifies the questions you didn’t even know you had until the person next to you in class asked. Yes these are all genuine students questions.

5. Choking – your number one fear? I often start class by asking people what they want/expect to learn, and what they are afraid of having to deal with. Often we can have whole classes whose only fear is Kids Choking. So we wrote an eBook about it, and what to do if it happens. And that eBook is free.

free safety ebooks

6. Freddie the First Aid Frog – an eBook that’s not actually ours. We’ve no idea where it came from (let us know if you do!) but it’s a good opportunity to discuss the basics with your youngest while they colour in the pages. (Hint: Print out the pdf, don’t let them colour on your screen unless you use washables, and even then…)

7. 101 Driver Safety Tips – to accompany our on-line driver safety training. We got upset with seeing the same basic ‘Top 10 Tips'; then we got mad; then we wrote 101 top tips for you. Come to think of it, I’m sure we went overboard and added one or two more bonus tips too. Yes we know you think you’re Gods Gift to the road, do everyone else a favour and download this.

Download them now! Then share the download page (or this post) with three of your closest friends. They’ll thank you for the free gift and there’s no sign-up-to-be-spammed or any other web nonsense, it’s just plain free.

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Slow Down, Move Over

Got $173 to spare? Want to waste 3 points? Thought not… get wise to this new legal requirement in B.C. then. From 1st Jan 2015 drivers need to slow down and move over of all official vehicles. Currently the law requires drivers to do this for emergency vehicles, but there has been some confusion about when you need to slow down and move over.

You’ll be glad to hear things have been clarified, and this should make roads safer for those who have to work on them, from tow trucks to highways maintainance.

What does ‘slow down, move over’ mean?

  • slow to 70 km/h in a zone with an 80 km/h or higher speed limit
  • slow to 40km/h in a zone with a speed limit under 80 km/h
  • AND on a multi-lane road, move into another lane to pass where safe to do so

So when do we slow down, move over?

Whenever you see one of these types of vehicle stopped at the roadside and displaying flashing lights:

  • Police
  • Fire
  • Ambulance
  • Park Rangers &/or Animal Control
  • Conservation Officers
  • Tow trucks
  • Commercial Vehicle safety enforcement vehicles
  • Highway maintenance
  • Utilities

The legal change basically says slow down & move over for all vehicles with a flashing red, blue or yellow light. Which should be pretty easy for us all to remember.

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Epi-Pen Misuse is Killing People

Epi-pens and other epinephrine auto-injector devices are designed to be easy to use in the case of an anaphylactic reaction, but 4 out of 5 people who have one don’t use it correctly! As I’m writing this, it’s Christmas eve and the chances of someone accidentally encountering an allergen and having a reaction are high, so let’s brush up on using Epi-Pens and talk about recent research that say’s people are messing up.

Epi-Pen Adult and Epi_pen Jr.

Epi-Pen adult and Junior. “Blue to the sky, orange to the thigh!”

How to use an Epi-Pen

  1. Remove the auto-injector from the clear carrier tube or any other packaging
  2. Grasp the auto-injector in your fist with the orange tip pointing down. With your other hand, remove the blue safety release by pulling straight up without bending or twisting it.
  3. Hold the auto-injector with orange tip near the outer thigh.
  4. Hold the auto-injector with orange tip near the outer thigh.
  5. Hold firmly against the thigh for approximately 10 seconds to deliver the drug. The injection is now complete.
  6. Remove the auto-injector from the thigh. The orange tip will extend to cover the needle.
  7. Massage the injection area for 10 seconds.
  8. Get emergency medical help right away.

Get the full information sheet from the manufacturer right here.

All of these steps are covered in the majority of our training courses, along with a demonstration and the chance to see & handle training devices… and it seems easy enough, so what could go wrong?

Epi-Pen Misuse

Based on recent research in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology…. 102 patients who use an Epi-pen were studied. 16% of them used the epi-pen correctly! Yes that’s right, 84% (more than 4 in every 5) of people with an Epi-Pen are using it incorrectly. So how can you misuse an Epi-pen if they’re meant to be so easy?

Fully three-quarters of people do not hold the injector against their thigh for long enough. Although medication delivery is rapid, the 10 second requirement is put there by the manufacturer and presumably for a good reason.

Next, well over half of people are not holding the device in the palm of their hand. It may seem minor, but if a user accidentally injects their thumb or fingers the medication won’t work to save their life… and it reduces circulation in the thumb/finger, putting them at risk of gangrene if they survive long enough.

Other common errors included failure to place the needle end of the device on the thigh and failure to depress the device forcefully enough to activate the injection. The least common error was failing to remove the cap before attempting to use the injector.

Most patients made multiple mistakes and more than half (56%) missed 3 or more steps and would not have benefited from self-administration of the potentially life-saving
treatment if the need arose.

A full list and tables showing how many people make which mistakes can be accessed via ScienceDirect.

Epi-Pen Training

If you aren’t sure how to use an Epi-pen and you need to know, find out now! Don’t leave it until the day you need it. Join one of our courses, take a course with someone else, view the videos on the manufacturer’s website. Whatever it takes – don’t just assume they’re easy to use, apparently that’s not true.

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