News | January 8, 2014

Nova Scotia Businesses Focus On Worker Eye Safety

Eye safety in the workplace should never be overlooked; hence officials in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia are taking action.

Nova Scotian employers and employees are reducing workplace eye injuries by participating in interactive training. More than 4,400 Nova Scotian employers and employees have been trained on how to protect their eyes through workshops offered by the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) in the last two years.

“Everyone deserves to come home safely from work,” said Labor and Advanced Education Minister Kelly Regan. “These eye-safety workshops have been making a significant difference and the province’s participation is just one more way to encourage everyone to start thinking and caring more about workplace safety.”

The 90-minute motivational workshop features real-life stories, emotional visuals, and interactive exercises. As a result of this training, 92 percent of participants said they would support wearing eye protection in the workplace.

Employers, Workers Making Changes

“The workplace safety strategy calls for more education and training,” remarked Workers Compensation Board CEO Stuart MacLean. “These workshops will have a real impact on the number of eye injuries around the province. Employers and workers understand the risk and are making changes.”

Heritage Gas has had zero eye-injury incidents since it began participating in this training two years ago and started requiring employees to wear protective eyewear at all times.

“These workshops have helped our employees realize just how traumatic an eye injury can be and understand how to prevent them,” said Steve Clouthier, director of health, safety, environment and operations with Heritage Gas. “As a result, we have adopted a holistic approach to eye safety in the workplace and we also encourage our people to apply that knowledge in their personal lives.”

The CNIB offers workshops throughout Atlantic Canada. The province is stepping up its safety efforts by hiring more safety inspectors, working with industry to ensure officers are getting to more high-risk workplaces, and improving documentation and follow-up of compliance orders.

SOURCE: Nova Scotia