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Workers don’t know what’s harmful to them at work: UBC Study

Most workers have limited knowledge about exposure to harmful materials

John Ackermann

How well do you know about the deadly materials you’re exposed to at work? A one-day workshop is hoping to answer that question.

A recent study has found almost half of all workplace deaths in Canada are because of harmful exposure and that many of us don’t know enough about the hazardous materials at our places of work.

University of British Columbia‘s Dr. Carolyn Gotay is the lead author of the Workplace Knowledge and Awareness Study.  Over a period of 12-months, researchers looked at how workers understand risks of coming across harmful materials at work and if they know how to reduce the risks.

Dr. Gotay says the key is education but the the message of safety often gets lost in the reading materials you’re given.

“Let’s say if people don’t read very well to start with, having written materials may not be the best way to get information across,” she explains. “If they don’t speak English, it may not help them either. Workers have a right to know that these things are available, but it’s not in a ( continue to end … )

Source: VANCOUVER (NEWS1130)


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