Today marks the start of Safety and Health Week in Saskatchewan. The week is observed not only in Saskatchewan, but across Canada, and in the United States and Mexico. The aim of the week is to bring attention to the importance of preventing injury and illness in the workplace, in the home, and in the community.
This is the 25th anniversary of the first time the week was observed. It was originally called North American Occupation Safety and Health Week. It is also the 50th anniversary of Saskatchewan’s Occupational Health Act.
"Our province has a long history of leading the way for health and safety in the workplace," Labour Relations and Workplace Safety Minister Don Morgan said in a release. "It is important that we continue to work together to ensure everyone goes home safely at the end of each workday."
The act, passed by the Allan Blakeney government, was introduced due to concerns for workplace health and safety, as well as the implications for economic and social development. The first of its kind in North America, it outlined a joint responsibility for safety between the employers and the employees. It also established three rights for protecting workers that remain in effect today: the right to know what hazards are present in the workplace, the right to participate in keeping the workplace safe, and the right to refuse unusually dangerous work.