Valerie Royle – VP, Workplace Safety & Apprenticeship, is responsible for providing national and international strategic direction by leading the Bluedrop product development and account management teams on Occupational Health and Safety Training Management Systems and Apprenticeship Solutions. These aspects focus on working with apprenticeship authorities, workers' compensation boards and OH&S authorities.
You can take the girl out of the safety industry… Life is like a box of chocolates. Wait, that’s already been taken. One small step for man. Drat – writing a blog isn’t as easy as it sounds.
What is easy, at least for me, is incorporating safety into everything I do personally and professionally. Perhaps this is due to my 20 years in the workers’ compensation business where I saw the results of preventable workplace injuries – the physical, mental, social, emotional and financial toll injuries can take on workers, their families, co-workers and communities. Or maybe it’s because the names of every worker who died on the job under my watch as President/CEO of the Yukon Workers Compensation, Health and Safety Board are etched forever on my brain. Whatever the cause, safety awareness at work or at home is as natural for me as breathing. Up Here Business Magazine once called me a “safety crusader on a mission”. And so I am.
I thought that the primacy safety had in my psyche would have receded when I left the workers’ compensation/occupational health and safety industry in 2012, answering the call of Yukon’s Premier to assume the role of Deputy Minister of Education. I was wrong. As DM, I was now responsible for the health and safety of over 1,400 employees as well as thousands of school children. I then thought that when I parted ways with Yukon Government in 2015 and started working with Bluedrop Learning Networks, my passion for safety would take a backseat. Wrong again. As soon as I saw the work that Bluedrop was doing with WorkplaceNL on a certification training registry that could track all the workers taking safety courses in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, I immediately spotted the data as a leading indicator for prevention – the holy grail of OH&S authorities everywhere! It turns out that you can take the girl out of the safety industry, but you can can’t take safety out of the girl.
In addition to seeing the workplace injury, illness and disability prevention implications of Bluedrop’s products, I continue to drive my family and friends slightly crazy as I spot health and safety hazards all around me. This has spilled over to my Bluedrop co-workers; just yesterday, I launched into a diatribe about health hazards versus safety hazards when a co-worker casually mentioned that there were no hazards in our office environment. Before anyone knew what was happening, I had filled a whiteboard and was in full on lecture mode. (My co-workers love me. Really. They do.)
Now I plan to share my view of the world through the lens of safety with you through this blog. I have to warn you, there may be ranting. I sometimes can’t help myself. I do rant and roar like a true Newfoundlander. It’s in my blood. Rick Mercer doesn’t have the market cornered on a good rant; however, I can guarantee that I won’t be jumping into a frigid lake, or any other stunts that Rick does so well.
I will help you see the world differently, not so that you will be too afraid to venture out of your home, never to take a risk or have any fun, but so that you smartly identify hazards, assess the risk and mitigate appropriately. It’s truly not that difficult – you just have to know how to look.