Translating Safety and Health into Everyday Language

CSAM launches a new, practical hands-on app

By Deb Draper

The Construction Safety Association of Manitoba (CSAM) has officially launched its new CSAM App, which is designed to make understanding and meeting site-specific safety obligations easier and faster than ever before.

CSAM has compressed more than 350 pages of the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Act and its regulations into an easy-to-use app for cell phones and tablets. Once downloaded, the app is accessible offline in remote areas outside of cell reception.

“We’ve been working for two years to create the most streamlined and simple version of this app,” said Sean Scott, executive director of CSAM. “We receive numerous calls from our members about safety and health legislation, requiring clarification or explanation around what the legislation means; this technology was being used in other jurisdictions and we felt we could also utilize an app to create a practical and accessible solution to the confusion around workplace safety and health requirements. We chose the topics in this app based on the most frequently asked questions our advisors receive, as well as the topics that would apply best to all industries.”

Organized alphabetically by subject, the CSAM app is easy to reference and search. It compiles 20 categories of Manitoba’s workplace safety and health laws and presents the complicated workplace safety and health legislation in plain language summaries while also including the original legislated text. By making safety simple and accessible, the app helps employers, supervisors and safety representatives take care of their workers by meeting legislated safety responsibilities.

Scott notes that the app is best used as a tool for employers, supervisors and safety representatives, for a quick reference of safety requirements to ensure a safe job site. For example, a prime contractor is responsible for all companies on one job site, but that can include a wide variety of trades with different hazards and safety requirements.

“Our app provides one go-to guide for many scenarios, regardless of the trades on site. Of course, all employees could benefit from downloading and using the CSAM app. However, we do understand that for safety reasons, not all workplaces allow the use of cell phones on the job,” said Scott.

The app also includes practical resources that can make it even easier for industry to comply with legislated responsibilities.

As the health and safety officer at Glendale Industries, a COR™-certified welding and fabrication shop located in Brandon, Man., Rhonda Gruetzner understands the value that this app will bring to the Glendale construction team and the industry in general.

“At Glendale, we are the most excited about the opportunities this app brings to the workers in our construction component. When they’re out on the jobsite, they have their WHS book in the truck, but sometimes it can be very difficult to navigate and translate into action. The plain language that CSAM has achieved will really help workers if they have a question or concern about what they should or shouldn’t do in certain situations and enable them to understand clearly what needs to be done.

“It’s easy to use. You pick the topic on the menu and under that topic, one tab will have the actual legislation, another will give the plain language [translation] and a third tab provides resources such as inspections, requirements for inspections, links to CSAM’s different inspection templates and formats.” Already Gruetzner is planning a health and safety meeting during which everyone will bring in their phones, download the app and get comfortable using it as soon as possible.

“I definitely think this will help people feel more confident about making decisions and without always having to wait for a supervisor. You don’t necessarily remember everything from safety training when it’s in the moment,” said Gruetzner. “This is one of my favourite things about CSAM – how they are all about whatever the customer wants; they focus on finding what will serve their clients, what we really need.”

The new CSAM app is available for download at no charge on Google Play for Android devices and Apple’s App Store for iOS users. Easy to access and use, this valuable tool puts safety into the hands of workers quickly and effectively wherever the jobsite may be.

“Users can rate and review the app on the respective app stores or they can email with comments, concerns and suggestions,” said Scott. “We are constantly working to find the best ways to service our customers and provide safety and health information, resources, tools and training.”

As legislation is amended and revised, the app will be updated to ensure its accuracy and relevance, and CSAM will continue to evolve the app with the development of new safety resources and technologies.

In the new year, as part of its commitment to providing exceptional customer service, quality and value for its clients, CSAM will be announcing further important changes and initiatives designed to sharpen its focus and strengthen its bond with industry.


photo courtesy of CSAM