Sunday, August 11, 2013

Life Changing Events

As a Safety person I talk a lot about life changing events on a regular basis. I try to remind people that it doesn`t mean death or dismemberment but covers a range of changes to what you can do. August 1st I had one of those life changing events when I stepped off a curb while walking to to work

 I`ve walked more to work this year than I have for ages and truly appreciate the time and expense companies take in training their company vehicle users in defensive driving to minimize driving incidents. I also realized that this would be the last year I would walk to work. The intersection I have to cross is poorly controlled in spite of traffic lights and a high impact area. All the defensive driving courses in the world will not protect me from 40 year old drivers swooping around in their pick up trucks and SUVs nor school bus drivers who think they always have the right of way.

But back to August 1st. I had walked to the major intersection I had to cross then waited for the light to change. I always stand well back from the road as there are some big trucks travelling on it. The traffic light had changed and cross traffic had stopped. It was clear for me to go and it seemed that the vehicle beside me was waiting. Stepped off the curb and heard an engine rev to move. I thought I turned and exclaimed thing I knew I was opening my eyes while lying on the ground. I could see through one eye - uh oh, nope clearing good. A woman is apologizing and saying she`s putting pressure on the back of my head to stop bleeding; a man is holding my head still with a towel and a third man is calling an ambulance. As soon as the woman saw I was conscious she asked someone to move her vehicle then changed it to turn off. I tried to call work to say I`d be late - I could see my ankle was irregular but thought it would be better by the afternoon. Police came, ambulance came things proceeded.

It's amazing the things you don't know about your health care system. I've used mine for regular checkups and the odd thing but not much. So about the only things I know are show your health care card for services and don't use the ambulance unless you really need to, it's expensive (or so I've heard). One thing I found really interesting is no one looked for ID (which I had) although I was asked my name. I had been to the hospital before so all my Health Care stuff was on file. I could sign stuff like, yes they can do what's necessary to repair my foot, including ambulance me to Edmonton.

And leaving the hospital, again easy. A doctor says you can leave, you say you want to leave. The nurse will ensure home care is arranged, you have a ride and prescriptions and follow up info info is exchanged then, off you go free, don't forget your stuff. No letters for employers or anything - probably the injury is enough

But what about the life changing part. I'm not worried about being laid off but I won't be able to do my full job for at least 6 months I estimate. As part of my job, I walk a lot, climb ladders, etc. doing inspections. I am also very active outside of work, going to exercise classes, walking dogs, snorkeling and such. I will have arthritis in my ankle after it's healed. I will have to learn to be patient.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Month end blues

Many people don't like month end because it involves a lot of extra work - especially since metrics have become so important to business. I don't like month end because it reminds me just how futile my job is and how low my purchase price is.

My position is like house work, never ending and with very little in the way of success markers unless you count no one getting badly hurt or killed. People don't particularly want to be involved as it would take effort and I totally understand since the name of the game for my corporate overlord is circumventing as many labour laws as possible when it comes to paying workers and generally have a disdain for any kind of training that creates skilled employees.

Management would no doubt defend hiring of inexperienced people as giving opportunities except it is *not* giving opportunities to people who have spent time and money gaining experience by getting an education that includes interning. He'd rather hire someone who thinks they "would like to work there" then wonders why they don't do the job well and leave when any standards are attempted. Must be those useless supervisors - that's sarcasm.

Oh well, if no one is going to actually complain about the law not being followed in spite of the Code being posted I guess they are happy enough - or they leave, using their experience to get better jobs. And Management wonders why they can't keep people. As for me, I'll just keep doing charitable donations, working my hours, retire ASAP and pull on the pension as long as I can. Just doing my part to balance corporate expenses.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Crime and Punishment Canadian style

Sometimes you find out stuff from the strangest places.

I was reading an OHS Canada magazine article where they were discussing the increase of inmate and inmate on corrections officer violence. In it they mentioned that double bunking is an indication of overcrowding and increases inmate on inmate violence. That's when I realized my view of prison is very coloured by movies in spite of actually seeing holding cells in my youth. I had to pick my brother up from the cop shop when he was picked up, almost passed out in his vomit, by the police. I saw 2 small cells with one bunk in each. There may have been more cells but I'm sure nothing like the empty cage you see in the movies.

I'm not for omnibus bills but I am for the changes these bills will bring. We need more prison space in Canada. Not because there are so many more criminals - crime is trending downward - but because we've closed a lot of prisons and many remaining ones are aging. People, perhaps criminals more so, need their own space where they don't have to interact directly with others. We also need to stop sending people to prison unnecessarily (which should be an effect of the bill passing). If we can deter people from getting in too deep before they become entrenched, it's worth a try to me; especially youths/young adults.

People are happy to think (if they think at all) criminals become law abiding citizens if they are just thrown in jail as often as necessary, or just leave them there to rot. But that is not the role of the justice system in Canada. After punishment, people have to be re-integrated into society. I don't want jail to be a form of social assistance for the violent or asocial.