CNIB leads workshops for construction workers

Workshops across B.C. promote vision safety on the job

A province-wide series of workshops on vision safety has launched in British Columbia to raise awareness about eye-sight safety in the workplace. The British Columbia Construction Safety Alliance (BCCSA) has joined the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), the BC Association of Optometrists and WorkSafeBC to promote the workshops.

Brad Waghorn, the workshop leader, will blindfold the participants to allow them to experience how he lives on a daily basis.

"When you lose your sight, all of sudden you have to find a different way of identifying denominations of money to pay for things at stores and you have to plan carefully how to get around the city," said Brad Waghorn, CNIB B.C. manager of the industrial eye safety program. "The BCCSA is showing leadership to the construction industry by encouraging employers and workers to increase their emphasis on vision safety as a part of their regular safety programming."

In the construction industry, injuries resulting in blindness or permanently reduced vision can result from construction materials hitting a worker in the face or dust or other fragments coming in contact with the worker's eyes. The Occupational Health and Safety Regulation of the Workers Compensation Act, sets out workplace rules for the use of eye protection.

"As a result of an increased emphasis on safety for the past few years, B.C.'s construction industry has an improving safety record, however we know we still have a long way to go" said Mike McKenna, executive director of the BCCSA. "The daily use of eye protection on a construction site is an easy, low cost safety habit that can prevent devastating accidents that can result in blindness."

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