Workplace health, safety and well-being important to job seekers: poll

Ground Water Canada
May 14, 2019
By Ground Water Canada
Chilliwack, B.C. – Ninety-four per cent of Canadians currently employed say that workplace health, safety and mental well-being is important when choosing a job, according to an Angus Reid poll commissioned by the Manufacturing Safety Alliance of BC. 

Yet B.C. employers lost 2.75 million work days to workplace injury or occupational disease according to WorkSafeBC statistics for its most recent reporting year. And only three-quarters of Canadians currently working said that decisions made in their workplace consider employee health, safety and well-being all or some of the time, according to the poll conducted in February. 

Last week, Alliance executives and board members met with Minister of Labour Harry Bains and MLAs from across the province in Victoria to raise awareness about workplace health and safety and its impact on recruitment and retention, said a news release from the Alliance, which shares the Ministry’s goal of making BC the safest place to work in Canada and delivers a range of services to support workplace safety, health, and wellness: the human factors in sustainability for B.C. manufacturing and food processing brands.    

“Challenged to recruit and retain staff in the face of the lowest unemployment in Canada, more B.C. employers are recognizing they need a robust health and safety system to attract and retain qualified workers,” said Manufacturing Safety Alliance of BC CEO Lisa McGuire. “We know that a safe and healthy workplace is what job-seekers are looking for.” 

According to the Angus Reid survey, slightly more women than men (97 per cent compared to 91 per cent) said that workplace health and safety was very important or somewhat important. Among young people, 96 per cent of those 18 to 34 responding said it was very important or somewhat important compared to 93 per cent of those over 35.  

Meanwhile, just 77 per cent of Canadians currently working said that decisions made in their workplace consider employee health, safety and well-being all or some of the time, according to the poll conducted in February.  

“What this tells us is there is a gap between what is currently happening in Canadian businesses and the management best practices that would help employees feel safer at work,” McGuire said 

The Manufacturing Safety Alliance of BC, an industry-funded organization with a board of directors elected from B.C. manufacturing industries, guides companies through the Occupational Safety Standard of Excellence certification process. From 2015 to 2017, companies actively engaged with Alliance services saw a 23.7 per cent reduction in time-loss claims, an improvement nearly three times the rate of non-member companies, the Alliance said.

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