NSTSA launches OHS training

by Matthew Sylvain

TRURO, N.S. – The Nova Scotia Trucking Safety Association (NSTSA) has launched an occupational health and safety training program to help reverse the skyrocketing increase in workers’ compensation claims relating to the province’s trucking industry.

The inaugural two-day session of the Kentville, N.S.-based associations’ training seminars was held Nov. 7, in Truro.

“The trucking industry is under attack from a cost perspective with rising fuel costs and operating costs,” says Bob Briggs, the chairman of the NSTSA. “One of the ways we can reduce our costs is to reduce those associated with workplace accidents.

“Traditionally, our industry has concentrated on highway safety and we have made great strides in accomplishing this and, in fact, the Department of Transportation compliance audits showed Nova Scotia has one of the best records with regards to commercial vehicle operating records.

“From a workplace perspective, only six per cent of our injuries are associated with vehicle accidents,” says Briggs. “This program is directed at dealing with the other 94 per cent of those accidents.”

By introducing standards for the trucking industry and making workers and employees familiar with proper work practices and procedures, the NSTSA hopes to reduce non-standard operating procedures.

“Through education and then auditing these firms, we will implement an industry-wide understanding and compliance with this standard, thus reducing workplace injuries,” he explains. The association’s first workshop was attended by 16 people from nine Nova Scotia trucking companies, including King Freight Lines Ltd., Clarke Road Transport, Nova Enterprises Ltd., and Midland Transport.

“Right now we’re primarily doing them for people who have four or more employees,” says Diane Isnor, the NSTSA’s executive director. “(The sessions) are for management and safety managers and personnel and officers.” n

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