Getting creative with OH&S education

By Kiren Klair and Kristen Honeybourne
The Report, December 2018

As Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) stewards at Inclusion Langley Society, we have taken on the challenge of developing some fun approaches to promoting OH&S at our worksite. While the impacts of OH&S awareness often go unseen, our educational and outreach initiatives have supported the wellbeing of our members at work, and helped keep them safe.

At Inclusion Langley Society, we work in Children’s Services. Kristen is a consultant with the Aboriginal Infant and Supported Child Development Program and Kiren is a consultant with the mainstream Infant Development Program. We have been on the Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee with Children’s Services for a couple of years.

The majority of the staff working in Children’s Services are in and out most of the day, supporting families with children that have special needs through home visits or in the community at daycares, preschools, and out-of-school care. Some provide support through the Child and Youth Program.

As most staff are coming and going most of the day, we thought it would be nice to be able to provide them with a healthy, portable snack, and incorporate health and safety education at the same time. This is how Grab and Go Snacks came to be.

Once a month, we offer healthy snacks that are easy for staff to grab. And as they do that, they can enter a draw to win a $25 gift card. To enter the draw, they must answer a health and safety-related question.

We’ve found a creative way to educate staff on different health and safety policies, some of which are specific to our worksite, and some of which are more general. This activity has also started discussion amongst staff members and brought up questions that we are able to follow up on.

In addition to Grab and Go Snacks, we hosted a tailgate meeting in the parking lot to discuss vehicle safety. Through this outdoor gathering, we educated staff on some different vehicle emergencies that can arise, and how to deal with them in the moment. Some staff were briefed on the meeting ahead of time, and they played out a different vehicle scenario for their co-workers. By having the meeting outside, we created a new educational environment for members.

This year, we also celebrated Pink Shirt Day in our workplace. Pink Shirt Day is commemorated annually to raise awareness around bullying, which can happen in schools, at work, at home, and online.

We put out pink treats in our kitchen at work, and we created a jar with kindness quotes and inspirational messages inside, which staff could draw from throughout the week. It was something nice we could do to commemorate the day. Staff members could reach inside and pull out a piece of paper with messages like, ““Compassion for others begins with kindness to ourselves,” or “You are making a difference every day.”

We thank HSA for supporting these initiatives.

Here are some examples of health and safety questions we used for draw entries:

  1. The internationally recognized sign of distress in the event of a vehicle emergency is:
    1. Put your emergency flashers on
    2. Honk the horn a few times
    3. Raise the vehicle hood
  1. Once the shaking stops after an earthquake, how many seconds should you count before carefully coming out of your drop, cover, and hold-on location?
    1. 15 seconds
    2. 30 seconds
    3. 60 seconds
  1. When exiting the office in the event of a fire drill or actual fire, it is important to:
    1. Grab your belongings as you leave
    2. Ensure the door the office is locked once the last person exits
    3. Feel the door for heat before exiting

To read the December 2018 issue of The Report, click here.