Danger Will Robinson! Creative OHS initiatives at Extendicare Cedars Villa and Hillcrest

Danger Will Robinson!

by CCSA Safety Consultant, James Davis

“Danger Will Robinson! Danger!” Yells Safety Robot B9 of Extendicare Cedars Villa and Hillcrest as it rolls down the hall toward a spilled mug of water.  Extendicare Cedars Villa and Hillcrest Safety Robot

“Danger Will Robinson!”, repeats the cardboard and tinfoil robot - the voice of which sounds suspiciously like its creator, Sherri J.

“Danger Will Robinson!”

After the third iteration of the famous 1960’s tv catch phrase, Sherri rushes to help explain the message that Safety Robot B9 is trying to tell a nearby housekeeping staff member.

“Safety Robot, what seems to be the danger?” she inquires, “You called out ‘Danger Will Robinson’ three times – what’s wrong?”

A hush falls between Sherri, the robot, and the housekeeping staff member. The silence lingers for a moment and is finally broken by the housekeeper who, through muffled laughter replies “…the spill?”

Sherri, and presumably the robot, nod as the worker bends down to wipe up the liquid hazard (using perfect body mechanics!) thus saving everyone else from danger.  Good job!

Safety Robot B9 is a familiar figure at Cedars and Hillcrest Villas in Central Calgary. Members of the health and safety committee have been using the Safety Robot to help increase awareness about the importance of addressing hazards as soon as they are spotted. Although it may seem silly to an outsider, the results have been no joke. The Safety Robot bit has led to increased awareness of the importance of staffs’ own safety and the safety of others, a key element in reducing workplace injuries.

Maybe you don’t have your own safety robot - that’s ok there are other ways to increase engagement.  Getting workers excited about safety can be challenging so using some creativity that engages workers, like Safety Robot B9, is a great idea.  A light-hearted, human connection can really get people interested in taking action and bringing your workplace’s health and safety system to the next level. As Extendicare in Cedars Villa and Hillcrest have found, sometimes you need to build a robot to get that human touch.