There is an epidemic of accidental injuries in this province, and Gord Moker hopes that together we can change that. The CEO of Safe Saskatchewan, Moker came to the city to promote Mission Zero, a campaign to reduce the number of accidental injuries to zero.
Moker says there are over 160,000 injuries reported annually by the province’s health regions, and he says that the hospitalization rate is twice the national average. He also notes that the death rate in the province is 1.4 times the national average.
“Every day, 435 people are injured. Every day, 26 of those will end up in the hospital, 10 will suffer permanent injuries and one will die. There’s no doubt based on those statistics, and the families behind those statistics, we’re at epidemic proportions,” Moker says.
Preventing injuries is something that the entire family can be involved in, he adds, and he notes that it’s often little things that can prevent injuries. As an example, he says putting boots at the top of the stairs could cause someone to trip and fall down the stairs.
“I think that little things done every day make a huge difference. It’s a matter of getting into the habit of assessing our environment and doing little things to assess the potential of an injury.”
The focus of the campaign is in the home, because the rate of injuries in the home is much greater than that at work, and Moker says that there needs to be a cultural shift to help change how people view injuries. He also notes that there are many programs and partnerships with workplaces and other organizations to help make a workplace safe, but that it doesn’t apply at home.
“When it comes to 5:00, people get the sense that they don’t have to concern themselves with their own safety. Maybe they’re not aware that the hazards are continuous, 24/7. It’s a matter of increasing those investments in health and safety away from the workplace, and getting people to take on injury prevention as a core value.”
The goal of Mission Zero is to have that core value consistent throughout a person’s life.
“What we’re starting to see is a more holistic view of injury prevention, and our vision is to be at the point where when people talk about injury prevention, they make no division between workplace injury prevention, off-workplace injury prevention, playground injury prevention, that it’s just injury prevention.”
Moker says that the goal of Safe Saskatchewan is to get people to work together and prevent injuries in all spheres of their life.