Canadian Safety Blog – Continual Improvement Efforts

Hi folks…sorry that I haven’t posted any updates lately.  Most of my recent blog efforts have been behind the scenes.  You’ll probably notice a few updates recently.  Here’s a list of new features at the Canadian Safety Blog:

  • One thing you’ve probably noticed is that I’ve made the blog more…Canadian.  The banner pic was actually taken while I was in Ottawa back in 2006 at a CSSE Conference (check out the CSSE Conference page for more information about the 2011 CSSE Professional Development Conference in Whistler BC).  It was a wonderful event and I had the chance to go out one late summer afternoon and get some nice shots of our Parliament buildings and some other interesting sites.  Check out the gallery in the sidebar for some cool photo’s that I’ve taken over the years.
  • I’ve added an email subscription area on the sidebar.  If you’d like an email sent to you to let you know when there’s a new post please enter your email.  I don’t sell or use your email for any other purpose.
  • You’ll notice a graphic slider at the top of the post area.  This slider links to some of the more popular posts on the blog.  I’ve been watching the google searches that point to the blog and these posts seem to be the ones getting the most traffic.  Check them out by clicking on the graphic of interest.
  • I’ve added some Google ads to support some of the costs of the blog. Over the last 6 months or so I’ve made $19.06..total.  Once I reach $100 Google will send me a cheque. I’ve got a long way to go before I see any money.
  • I’ve also added a couple of Twitter widgets in the sidebar – one for my personal account @safetyforge and the other one (in red) is actually a summary of all tweets with the words “Canada” and “Safety” in them.  Please do check out the blog on a regular basis to see what’s happening on Twitter.
  • Paper.li is a fascinating web-based Twitter newsletter.  It takes information from a Twitter account or from a search term to put together a daily summary of the more popular happenings on Twitter.  I’ve added a Canadian Safety and Safety Forge paper.li widget to my blog.  Check out the links to see what paper.li is all about.  This is a great way to view Twitter content!
  • A number of RSS feeds are in the sidebar as well.  I’ve selected feeds from most of the provincial safety jurisdiction, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, Canadian Business Online news and safety jobs in Alberta.  Another great resource for safety jobs can be found at the CSSE Career Depot.  If you have a job opportunity and are looking to attract candidates please do consider using the Career Depot to post a opportunity.
  • I’ve updated my profile information in the About the Author tab at the top of the blog.  You’ll find a photo of me and some information about who I am.  Not only that, but I’ve added some motivational theme music (fully licensed) that will start up once you go to the page.  Turn up your speakers and enjoy!…I know…I’m a little weird sometimes…

So again, thanks for reading.  I’ve found the blogging experience to be wonderful and I’ve learned a lot about the web and social media as a result of this effort.  The blog provides me an outlet for my thoughts, opinions and creativity.  My hope is that it provides you, the reader, with some interesting safety and health information and ideas on how you can leverage social media to get your message out there.  I am firmly convinced that we all, as individuals, can make a difference in this world. We just need to stand up and speak our minds.

I’d be interested to get your thoughts on the Canadian Safety Blog…like me, it’s a work in progress.

Thanks for listening to a Canadian Safety Guy trying to cause safety to happen at work…..Andrew

Friday Safety Grab Bag

I apologize for the lack of recent blog posts, I’ve been travelling a bit and have been depending on Twitter lately to get my message out.  Here’s a look back over the last week or so of interesting resources that I’ve tweeted about:

  1. WorkSafeBC ladder safety posters to download and print – excellent resources on a basic but vitally important topic!
  2. Alberta Workplace Health and Safety – Explanation Guide to the AB OHS Code – I recently showed this to a colleague from Ontario and he liked how Alberta has provided additional detail to describe how to comply with the requirements of the OHS Code.
  3. Alberta Where’s the line? video related to powerline safety – Even Godzilla is not immune to this hazard!
  4. Alberta Best Practice Guideline for Workplace Health and Safety During Pandemic Influenza – another excellent doc from AB Workplace Health and Safety.
  5. Association of Worker’s Compensation Boards of Canada Key Statistical Measures for 2008.
  6. H1N1 Update from WHO – Feb. 23, 2009.
  7. Information about Threads of Life Steps for Life Run Walk events being held across Canada on the Sunday of NAOSH Week.
  8. COS Magazine video with Norm Keith about OHS regulatory trends in 2010. Norm is really plugged-in to the legal side of OHS in Canada and you need to hear what he’s saying!
  9. You can now follow NAOSH Week on Twitter at @NAOSHWeek.
  10. You can also download a copy of the Canadian NAOSH Week Resource Guide in PDF form.

If you’re a health and safety professional you really need to be using Twitter to keep up to date with what’s going on.  You can find up to the minute news and some incredible resources that you didn’t know were available.

You can sign up for Twitter here.  For more information about how to use Twitter check out this online FAQ.  I’ve only been using Twitter for about a month or so and find it invaluable!

Please take the time to check out the links above.  If you like you can follow me on Twitter at @safetyforge.

Cause safety to happen today in your workplace…Andrew…a Canadian Safety Guy

I am now officially a Safety Twit

Haven’t had anyone call me that for a long time…just kidding, I’ve been called much worse.  Today, I’d like to discuss one of the new (for me) social media tools, Twitter.

I recall back last year when Ashton Kutcher challenged Larry King on CNN to reach 1 million followers on Twitter and I just didn’t get it.  So who wants to know what you had for your last meal?  What’s the big deal about this thing?

As I was starting up Safety Forge Consulting, I thought that I should see what this Twitter thing was about so I signed up for an account at www.twitter.com.  It was pretty easy to set up and there were lots of options to make your Twitter page your own.  Within a few short minutes www.twitter.com/safetyforge was a reality.

Ok…so I have a Twitter account…what do I do with it?  I didn’t really know.  Many of you probably have been up to speed on this for months, but there are still a few of us that are a wee bit suspicious of this social media stuff.  I’m one of the latter.  I’m not too sure about throwing pictures up on Facebook and am scared of someone finding a picture of me from my days in residence at Carleton University in Ottawa – kind of like what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.  Then there are the hundreds of other social media tools on the web – Digg, StumbleUpon, Ning, Delicious, Yelp, Jaiku, blah, blah, blah, etc.  You get the picture; it seems that they invent a new one every week.

So back to Twitter.  From my research I’ve discovered that Twitter is a micro-blog.  It allows the user to post 140 characters (letters, numbers, symbols, spaces) of anything that comes to mind.  The reader is called a follower.  A follower is someone who has an interest in your 140 character tweets and has signed up to watch your life in, possibly, gory detail.  So far I have 4 followers and am following 12 other tweeters.  I’ve been using Twitter to espouse my safety wisdom and to provide updates on new posts to this blog.

The other more valuable use for me is following large safety institutions as they post updates on their work.  For example, yesterday the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) posted a tweet announcing the release of a new study on the effectiveness of OHS training.  I immediately went to their site and checked it out.  I also added a news item to my blog for the interest of my readers.  I’m following the CSSE, COS magazine, CCOHS, Health Canada, IOSH, WHO and a few others for the same purpose.  I have to say I was really pleased by the quality of information from the CSSE Twitter account; lots of up to date news and information.  Health Canada is interesting because they post a lot of information about product recalls.  I’m following the World Health Organization so that I can get up to the minute updates on the H1N1 outbreak and other health issues.

I’ve wracked my brain about other safety uses for Twitter.  Here are some thoughts:

  • Keep your boss or team up to date on your activities or on an important project.  Use the privacy features of Twitter to allow only selected individuals to follow you.
  • Set up a Twitter account for your safety committee so they can keep employees informed of their activities.
  • Inform employees and leaders on key safety performance measures, new programs, safety tips, etc.
  • Post on new products/services for the information of your clients.
  • Inform the world of your achievements ie. successful audits, implementation of a new safety program, registration to OHSAS 18001 or CSA Z1000, etc.
  • Status updates on plant/facility maintenance and the operation of key process equipment (especially the fussy stuff that never seems to run quite right)

These are my ideas.  What about you?  Got any great tips on Twitter use that you’d like to share.  Please post a comment.

My challenge to you…sign up for Twitter and starting tweeting.  Social networking is not going to go away and it’s a great communications tool for the new generation of workers and leaders.  More information about Twitter can be found at www.twitter.com or at this twitter wiki.  WIKI…omg…there’s another one!

Have a good one.

Andrew…a Canadian Safety Guy