Friday, April 8th, 2016  
  Bluedrop Learning Networks: Safety Forever!


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.

The World of Work is Changing – Again! When I started my career in the workers’ compensation system back in 1993, repetitive strain injuries (RSI’s) were on everybody’s mind. How would we adjudicate these types of injuries? What evidence would we need? How could they be prevented? Surely these injuries would bankrupt workers’ compensation systems everywhere!

As it turns out, RSI’s did not end the world. We developed policies and prevention strategies to effectively mitigate these types of risk factors in the workplace and fairly adjudicate claims when RSI injuries did occur. The world of work changed and we adapted. Now, RSI’s seem like an easy problem to deal with when compared to the massive changes we are currently experiencing and those looming on the horizon.

Last week, my Bluedrop Learning Networks colleague, Charmaine, and I had the opportunity to attend the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety’s (CCOHS) Forum: The Changing World of Work. Bluedrop is proud to have been a silver sponsor for this event that once again turns our focus to what’s happening and changing in workplaces- and what needs our attention from a health and safety management perspective. All of the speakers were informative, many coupled information with entertainment and some were downright scary. How will we adapt to the changing world of work – again?

Dr. James Orbinski, former international president of Médecines Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders, highlighted some major international challenges in his talk at the Forum, not the least of which is the Syrian refugee crisis. However, I found his presentation to be a beacon of hope as he talked about how passionate people who work together and take action can literally change the world. Dr. Orbinski provided two incredible examples: (1) the development and the implementation of the International Criminal Court and (2) the creation and work of the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi) that has resulted in affordable treatment for victims of AIDS in Africa (bringing the annual treatment costs down from $13,000 USD to under $100) – simply amazing accomplishments. In the shadow of such mazing human accomplishments, I hope everyone in the room was motivated to take action to make their own workplaces safer and healthier!

I have heard Dr. Linda Duxbury speak numerous times and she never fails to scare the pants off me. I know the demographic realities we face as the baby boomers age out of the workplace, but she has a humorous, yet incredibly effective, way of putting that reality front and centre. How will we cope with workload issues? How will younger staff want to be treated? How will technology fill the gaps in the labour market? What impact will these changes have on the health, safety and well-being of workers?

Every presentation at the CCOHS forum was thought-provoking and presented new challenges from a health and safety perspective, especially as the world of work continues to change. The CCOHS organizers did a great job in bringing together a diverse group of speakers and provided opportunities for delegates to learn from each other through networking breaks, integration of collaboration time in the program and through the innovation showcase. Thank you CCOHS!

As a technology company, Bluedrop Learning Networks is excited by the opportunity to see how our innovative solutions in the world of online health and safety training management can help workplaces navigate the changing world of work.

Safety Forever!