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Safety & Health Week Events Earn National, Provincial Honours

November 14, 2011

Faye Bychuk (second from right), RRC's Safety & Training Coordinator, accepts the national NAOSH Award in Whistler, B.C., in September.

Red River College has been recognized at both the provincial and national level for its activities during North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week 2011.

RRC’s Joint Safety and Health Committee received a national NAOSH award, presented in September 2011 at the Canadian Society of Safety Engineers Conference in Whistler, B.C. In October 2011, the committee scored a provincial award in the “Most Innovative” category.

“Red River College’s active participation in NAOSH Week is a demonstration of leadership, knowledge, training, education and reinforcement of proper safety practices and procedures,” says Daryl Nielsen, RRC’s Manager of Environmental Health & Safety.

“The combination of events and communication strategies allowed us to spread the NAOSH message throughout RRC and each of its campuses … The lessons learned will have an ongoing impact on safety at the College.”

In addition to flying the NAOSH flag on campus for the entire week (April 28 – May 6, 2011), the College also implemented a number of strategies and initiatives aimed at promoting workplace health and safety. Messages and public safety announcements were broadcast via a range of media — including newspaper and radio ads, updates on RRC’s outdoor electronic sign, and fitness and safety tips in the All Staff News bulletin.

The overall theme of NAOSH Week — “Safety and Health: A Commitment for Life! What’s Your Plan?” — also prompted discussions and demonstrations relating to emergency preparedness, lockdown and evacuation procedures, fire extinguisher training, and workplace hazards.

The College held a  “What’s Your Plan?” contest to promote safety and planning at work and at home, and the week culminated in Celebration BBQs at both the Notre Dame and Roblin Centre campuses.

The last time RRC won a national NAOSH award was in 2008, when the College won “Best Representation of the Theme” in Quebec City. (The College also picked up “Best Overall” honours at the provincial level the same year.) In 2009 and 2010, RRC received honorable mentions at the provincial level.

Led by the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering (CSSE), NAOSH Week is a continent-wide event that aims to increase understanding, raise awareness and reduce injuries and illness in the workplace, at home, and in the community. Next year’s NAOSH Week takes place from May 6-12, 2012; the theme of the week is “Making it Work.”

For more information, see www.naosh.ca.