CBC Radio Interview

CBC Radio Interview

Labour Day – Fall Begins!

31

Sept, 2017

For many of us, including me, Labour Day signals the final days of our short but sweet Canadian summer.  While safety doesn’t slow down for summer, I certainly did this year! After a relaxing break at the cottage, I am recharged and ready to rock – returning to life on the road, with several exciting events planned from Montreal to Melbourne and many stops in between.

As we make our plans and prepare to enjoy our last long weekend of the season, let’s not forget what we are celebrating.  Labour Day came to be as a day designated for workers, giving them the chance to campaign for better working conditions – including safer working conditions.  

Workplaces are becoming healthier and safer, more inclusive and increasingly aware of the importance of returning the workers they have borrowed from their families home to them safely.

Thanks to the members of the Toronto Trade Assembly who organized Canada’s first significant demonstration for workers rights in 1872. We not only have a have a reason to celebrate, we also have the right to return to a safe and healthy workplace. Hip Hip Hooray!

 

I will be returning to work, and to the inagural TImmins Health and Safety Conference hosted by Workplace Safety North on September 5th.  https://www.workplacesafetynorth.ca

Many thanks to CBC Up North for the opportunity for a radio interview – to promote safety in the workplace and the upcoming conference.  Take a listen!

Candace Carnahan

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Day of Mourning – 2019

Day of Mourning – 2019

Day of Mourning – 2019

28

APRIL, 2019

Safety
Life
Motivation

Today is a day to remember.  A day to give pause in recognition of so many who lost their lives at work.  Those who died making a living. For me, it also signifies, and calls to mind, all of the details of the day that my life as I knew it changed.  I was one of the lucky ones who survived what countless others did not – I didn’t return home at the end of the work day, but I did eventually go home.  

What could have been my ending, turned out to be a new beginning.  For that I am eternally grateful. As I sit quietly this morning – the Day of Mourning – sipping my coffee, I give pause and I think of my own family, knowing that no matter how many years pass, the day that changes your life forever will always feel like yesterday… if you’ll allow yourself to revisit.  If you can summon up the strength to go there.

I believe today, it’s important to make that journey, as it is through reflection that we not only remember the past, but we also reset for the future and consider the role we plan to play in making our world a safer place to work.  A place where getting hurt or killed at work is in no way part of the job.

While mourning and hope aren’t typically thought to go hand and hand, making time and space for our grief is a continuous part of the coping process –  a process that will for many, never end. It is my thought that hope often times defeats helplessness. That taking positive action towards preventing what we failed to do in the past may not lessen the pain, but can offer us purpose.  

Today, there are services taking place in communities nationwide to commemorate the Day of Mourning.  We can also choose to honour those lives lost by visiting a space within ourselves where we truly think about our actions, and commit to improving on an aspect in our lives that directly relates to safety.  We can all do “onethingsafer”.

We can all do “onethingsafer”.

Candace Carnahan

Thank you to the Toronto Star for shedding much needed light on this important day – and allowing me to share my story .. to read the complete online version click here

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PPE- You’re wearing it.

PPE- You’re wearing it.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – you’re wearing it.

01

April, 2019

You may not know it, but you are already wearing the most effective and powerful PPE money can’t buy.

It’s your instinct. You’re born with it. An employer will not hand it over to you, you can’t purchase it at a store, and you don’t need a lesson in learning how to use it. Your instinct is one of the most powerful pieces of PPE you’ll never take off.

Yet sometimes we choose not to use it.

Why is that? Personal protective equipment isn’t about protecting machinery, infrastructure, or profit. It’s about protecting people. And regardless of your work experience or industry, everyone comes to work with this same piece of equipment.

Think about what would happen if we paused when our instinct kicked in. How many times have you said to yourself, “I knew that was going to happen” but only after something, often times unpleasant, unplanned, or unfavorable actually happens?  If our gut is sending us strong signals, why do we choose to ignore them – to hit the override button and continue on?

Is it lack of confidence in our ability or judgement? Are we overly optimistic? Or, is the powerful and human condition of believing that the bad things can happen (but just not to us), driving us to ignore the voice that doesn’t make a sound but speaks volumes – our own.

I can’t answer these questions for you, but I can suggest that you ask them of yourself. And here’s what might happen if you developed a closer relationship to your instincts; the more you listen to them, the harder they become to ignore. The harder they become to ignore, the more helpful they become to you. Your instincts can keep you safe.

As champions for safety, our role is to listen to our own instincts and to respect the instincts of those around us. Let’s try trusting our instincts as #onethingsafer.

 

 

Candace Carnahan

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Labour Day – Intro to Fall 2018

Labour Day – Intro to Fall 2018

Labour Day 2018

01

Sept, 2018

For many of us, including me, Labour Day signals the final days of our short but sweet Canadian summer.  While safety doesn’t slow down for summer, I certainly did this year! After a relaxing break at the cottage, I am recharged and ready to rock – returning to life on the road, with several exciting events planned from Montreal to Melbourne and many stops in between.

As we make our plans and prepare to enjoy our last long weekend of the season, let’s not forget what we are celebrating.  Labour Day came to be as a day designated for workers, giving them the chance to campaign for better working conditions – including safer working conditions.  

Workplaces are becoming healthier and safer, more inclusive and increasingly aware of the importance of returning the workers they have borrowed from their families home to them safely.

Thanks to the members of the Toronto Trade Assembly who organized Canada’s first significant demonstration for workers rights in 1872,  we not only have a have a reason to celebrate, we also have the right to return to a safe and healthy workplace. Hip Hip Hooray!

I will be returning to work, and to the inagural TImmins Health and Safety Conference hosted by Workplace Safety North!  https://www.workplacesafetynorth.ca

Check out my radio interview with with more on me and the conference at CBC Up North

Candace Carnahan

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Working on Love

Working on Love

WORKING ON LOVE

14

February, 2018

Workplace Safety

Stories

Valentines Day

 

Some women wear their hearts on their sleeve. I wear mine on my leg. 

I’m 39 now, but when I was 21 I took a step that would change my life forever. At my summer job at a paper mill, I put my foot on top of an unguarded conveyer belt. It would be the last step I would take with my left foot before the machinery mangled it. My leg had to be amputated below the knee.

My heart was broken. I was no longer the girl spending time contemplating what shoes to wear or skipping out the door in the morning after eating my dad’s banana pancakes. Instead I was  trying to choose a suitable foot to replace the one I had lost. 

I came as close as one could by way of a English gentleman called David. His eye would craft the look of my first custom designed high heeled limb. His hands would shape it. Though our time together was brief, his affection for me I would wear for the rest of my life by way of a tiny heart, disguised as a freckle on my left ankle. 

One of the best ways to show you care to the people you love is to come home safe.

I had my heart back. Rather than wasting my time looking for love in all the wrong places, I looked within. It wasn’t always easy. Ever since the incident, when looking in the mirror, what was missing was all I had been able to see. But I also came to see that what happened to me was not a “freak accident.”  

Every day Canadians—young Canadians in particular—are losing lives and limbs at work. In 2015, the most recent year for official statistics,there were 852 workplace-related fatalities in Canada, according to the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety. Among those dead were 15 workers under age 24.  

I deliberately don’t use the phrase “workplace accidents” because that implies these deaths could not have been prevented. Injuries in the workplace are preventable. So if we want to change our culture, we need to change our language and our approach. If we are going to eradicate these injuries in the workplace—and that is an achievable goal—companies and individuals need to accept responsibility.

Candace Carnahan

I am not a not a workplace health and safety specialist. I’m a person who got hurt, one of many. My role is not to speak about rules and regulations – but to appeal to the hearts and minds of the workforce to make safety personal and never optional. Put another way: if you don’t truly understand how a workplace injury could affect your life, no amount of training will matter.  

And I want to reach the employers too. I see mandates and missions boasting “Zero Injuries” as the only acceptable goal for corporate Canada.  

Just this week I learned about a 33-year old man in New Brunswick who lost his life this month from a fall on a construction site, a fall that could have been prevented.  

Once again, my heart is broken. I know his mother’s phone will ring—just as my mother’s did on August 11, 1999. This mother will not be nearly as lucky as mine was. Her son is not coming home.  

As another Valentine’s Day approaches, I’ve had enough relationships and time to reflect on the meaning of love — and loss.  My love letter to Canadian workers is a short one: No one goes to work alone and no one gets hurt alone.  One of the best ways to show you care to the people you love is to come home safe.  Trust me when I tell you, when you take a risk it’s not just your risk to take.   

People say that when you do what you love, it isn’t work. But it takes a lot of heart to do this work.  Thank heavens I have a spare one on my ankle. 

Happily,

Candace

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