During the week of June 5 – 7, The First Nations Waste Minimization team partnered with St. Theresa Point First Nation, Wasagamack First Nation, and Garden Hill First Nation to organize an in-community safety training session for waste management staff. There were 20 participants in total – 12 from St. Theresa Point (STP), 4 from Wasagamack, and 4 from Garden Hill. Participants took the Safety First: 4R Hazard Awareness Training offered through the Manitoba Environmental Industries Association (MEIA).
The goal of the training is to help waste management staff be aware of the daily hazards they encounter at work and to go home safe to their families every day. Landfill and ELV yard operations can pose a number of threats to staff members’ immediate and long term health. Some steps that can be taken to mitigate hazards in the workplace are blind spot awareness when operating heavy equipment, proper labeling and storage of drums to prevent leaks and accidental mixing of incompatible chemicals/toxins, and general workplace tidiness to prevent trips and falls- which are the number one cause of workplace injuries.
The training sessions were hosted in St. Theresa Point First Nation over the course of two days, at their End-of-Life Vehicle garage and waste management office. Wasagamack and Garden Hill staff boated in both days to attend the training, which was developed and conducted by Randy Webber with MEIA. Training included an on-site assessment and walk-through of the site at STP. Safety instructions and best practices were shared such as secondary containment for used oil, proper labeling of drums, and how to avoid repetitive strain injuries when doing continuous lifting.
Overall, feedback was very positive! Participants report that they learned a lot of best practices, and are more aware of hazards as they return to their day-to-day activities.
The waste crews were treated to a BBQ lunch on the first day, and another BBQ feast was held on the second day. Spirits were high, music was playing, and there was even a grand prize bingo! Pathfinders are thankful for the hospitality of the community and we look forward to returning for Bannock Fest!
Thanks to all who attended!