Safety Symposium Comes to Vancouver – May 22, 2014

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WorkSafeBC is partnering with BC/Yukon Association of Ergonomists to host one-day event.

If a workspace, work tool, or work process is well-designed, it can improve productivity and reduce costs. Most importantly — it can increase safety. 

That’s the premise behind the upcoming one-day symposium being held in Vancouver on May 22, 2014. The event will showcase the concepts, theories, and application of safety by design. Six speakers from a variety of industries, including construction, health care, forestry, and utilities, will discuss the range of benefits that come from thinking about safety in the early stages — before the work starts.

“We want to introduce the concept of designing for safety up front, rather than dealing with hazards and risk after the fact,” says human factors specialist Heather Kahle, who is helping to organize the one-day event.

What is safety by design?

“Safety by design is about being proactive,” Heather says. “It means identifying, reducing, or eliminating hazards during the early stages of a project or process, or the development of a product or structure.”

This kind of thinking applies to both large and small safety projects.

For example, if you’re constructing a building, you could install permanent fall protection anchors in anticipation of future work on the building. You could also choose materials or work processes that are inherently safer than the alternatives, such as using scaffolding as part of a work process, instead of a ladder.

With the safety by design concept, everyone from workers and employers to health and safety committees and engineers plays a vital role in reducing the risk. “That’s why safety by design is such an important concept. It can really protect people from potential injuries,” Heather says.

More information

For more information, please contact the Human Factors team at To register, visit the B.C. division of the Association of Canadian Ergonomists’ website.