A morning event that stressed the need for safe digging practices and knowing all the necessary rules and regulations also offered up a hearty meal on Tuesday, April 11.
It was the annual Contractor Safety Breakfast, organized by the Saskatchewan Common Ground Alliance (SCGA) and held at the Jim Kook Rec Plex in Outlook.
The yearly event brought out a large attendance comprised of contractors, producers, municipality reps, emergency responders, industry reps and members of the public. The goal with each breakfast is to convey an important message: Ensure safe digging practices are used at all times when working around underground and overhead infrastructure, as well as bringing awareness to the Click Before You Dig and Look Up and Live initiatives, which organizers stress is particularly important as the 2017 construction season is starting to get underway.
More than two dozen of these breakfasts are held around Saskatchewan every year to bring awareness to safety procedures and promoting these initiatives.
"We do 28 around the province each year," said Peter McLachlan of the Contractor Safety Awareness Association. "My area is around Saskatoon, Rosetown, Outlook, Watrous, and Humboldt."
The goal is to get new people involved and aware of the rules that come with practicing safe digging and working with electricity.
"The message is to get new contractors involved every year," said Peter. "To make sure they know the rules and regulations for ground disturbances and working around overhead structures like power lines so that there's nobody that gets hurt."
The program during the meal, which included pancakes, sausages, eggs, muffins and fresh fruit, included a video on working safe while digging, as well as shared a few stories from workers in the industry, and touched on the consequences of not following the rules. The goal is to move toward Mission Zero; zero injuries, zero fatalities.
"We're going to go through a few scenarios as far as people explaining Safe Dig processes, pre-job planning, and post-job cleanup to make sure the site is clean after you're finished working," said McLachlan.
With these contractor breakfast events having been held in the province for over 25 years, organizations such as the SCGA have been seeing the results of promoting their message of safety. Last year saw a reduction in accidental line hits throughout Saskatchewan, showing that educational tools such as the safety breakfast program are continuing a positive trend.