Life is fragile

 

We started a series of shoots with employees and members of management who had experienced or witnessed a work accident.

Did you know that work-related accidents happen every six minutes in Quebec? That amounts to 90,000 employees per year in this province alone. CSST statistics indicate that, in Quebec, the ratio of workplace accidents has decreased by more than 37% over the past 10 years. It’s good but still much too high.

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Health and safety at the forefront

Health and safety has become a priority at Cascades. Take for example our corporate group Norampac, at which a lot more time and money is being invested to make equipment and the work environment safer. The topic is always on the discussion table: all production meetings at our plants start with a discussion on health and safety.

Beyond improving our equipment, we believe that each employee should be made aware of the dangers around them. We all need to realize that health and safety starts with yourself. If you wear a helmet while riding a bike, does that mean you stop paying attention? No. The same goes for a plant, where you work with machines, knives, electricity, etc.

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Videos that inspire discussion and reflection

Norampac is putting in a lot of effort into getting across to its 4,000 employees how important health and safety is for the company. In 2010, management started a series of shoots with employees who had experienced or witnessed a work accident. Two 30-minute videos were produced from the shoots. They feature employees and members of management sharing their points of view on health and safety, as well as what they experienced. Here is an extract:

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The videos have caused a lot of chatter. Thanks to the generosity of the employees who shared their experiences and opinions on the matter on camera, the videos have become powerful tools for their fellow employees! After they aired at all our plants, we received a lot of feedback from employees who said they had changed their attitudes. They said they realized the impacts accidents can have on your quality of life, loved ones and work.

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Let’s share our best ideas!

Preparations for our third OHS video are currently in full swing. It will focus on good practices for plants and top health and safety ideas. We are exploring all health-and-safety-related initiatives taken by the teams, to spread the good ideas among all our plants.

Don’t hesitate to share your comments and experiences on this subject; we would be interested in reading them.

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About the Author
Geneviève Boyer

Geneviève serves as the Communications Coordinator for Norampac, a corporate division of Cascades. She joined the team in 2006, not long after completing her studies at the Université de Montréal with a BA in Communications and Political Sciences. She also boasts a management degree from Montreal's HEC Business School. A dedicated humanitarian, Geneviève enjoys taking on a wide variety of challenges. "Communicating effectively within a corporation is a mission I take very much to heart, and one which covers a lot of different issues – including dealing with the media, day-to-day operations and employee concerns. I appreciate the opportunity I have been given, since the beginning of my career, to work for a company which fosters and encourages creativity. It's very satisfying, for example, to have had a personal influence on projects such as the videos we produce to ensure a safe, healthy work environment."

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