League of Champions marks National Day of Mourning

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By Kelly Walters

Special to Ontario Construction Report

It only takes a moment. A lapse in judgment, a distraction, or sudden mechanical failure and lives can be lost or drastically changed in that moment. The National Day of Mourning, is a poignant time when we remember those lives lost or injured due to a workplace tragedy as well as the devastation to families, friends, and coworkers following a workplace accident. The League of Champions respectfully remembers and honours alongside those individuals, companies, and communities who have been affected due to workplace injury, illness, or fatality.

As active participants in the construction industry, we also want to honour the memory of those lost by looking forward and renewing our concerted efforts to making every workplace in every industry, safe for everyone – today, tomorrow, and every day.

As an organization dedicated to health and safety excellence, the League of Champions (LOC) continues to help inspire and influence leaders to commit, collaborate and take action to improve safety culture through awareness, education, promotion, and recognition leading to safer construction workplaces in Ontario.

“Safety isn’t proprietary, it’s something that we can all share among ourselves to make our offices and our jobsites better places to work, and to make sure that every person on our sites comes home safe at the end of their day,” says Craig Lesurf, LOC chair and president of Gillam Group

Building a culture of safety includes recognizing and rewarding safe behaviours both on and off the worksite and sharing best practices for overall industry changes.

“Safety guidelines come down from the top of an organization to the team on the front line, but it does not become a cultural shift until everyone on the front line owns their actions and the ensuing results. Anyone can be a leader in establishing a culture of safety excellence in your workplace.”

The LOC encourages leaders at every level to commit to making their workplaces the safest they can be not only for themselves but also for the person working next to them.

Standard industry practices show that training, appropriate PPE, and preventive equipment maintenance are important, but the LOC and our members recognize that the measurement of safety actions and attitudes also has a strong effect on reducing workplace incidents.

Going into our second year of the Safety Culture Initiative using S-CAT®, a safety culture assessment tool, the LOC works with our members to measure and analyze the way safety is managed and embodied on the worksite. Understanding which areas are on track and what needs improvement is the best way for safety culture to help become top of mind for all workers.

Over multiple years of applying the S-CAT®, an organization will have a clearer picture of strengths and improvements over time that improve safety outcomes and benefit the entire industry. Stopping even a single incident is why we strive to promote change and honour those lives already lost, those who have suffered injury or illness, and those affected through workplace injury, illness, or death.

LOC wishes to recognize that the National Day of Mourning is not only a day to remember and honour those lives lost or injured due to a workplace tragedy or illness, but also a day to collectively renew our commitment to improve health and safety in the workplace and prevent further injuries, illnesses, and deaths.

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