Full registration only $299

Gordon Harkness,
RAU Manager, WorkSafeBC

Session Synopsis: Prevention Initiatives - WorkSafeBC’s New Risk Analysis Unit

Traditionally, employers have used claims data to determine where, why, and how workers are being injured. This common approach to managing risk in the workplace is done with the aim of preventing similar incidents in the future. But wouldn’t it be better to identify those risks even earlier, before the harm is done?

Obviously the answer is: Absolutely. That’s why, three years ago, WorkSafeBC formed the Risk Analysis Unit, a group within Prevention Services who look at "non-aligned risks" - that is, risks that aren’t evident in information collected through the claims process. They may be new and emerging risks, or risks that have so far resulted in only close calls that might one day be catastrophic.

This short presentation will walk delegates through the process of how the unit gathers and assesses risk information as well as outlining various control measures used to manage risk.


Gordon Harkness is currently working as a manager in WorkSafeBC’s Risk Analysis Unit. He received his first undergraduate degree from Napier University, Edinburgh, in biological sciences with a focus on ergonomics and human factors. His second degree, in environmental health, is from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK.

Harkness has approximately 20 years of experience in public and occupational health and safety. He received an award from the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering (CSSE) for work carried out to reduce the risk of violence to operators of low-income accommodation. He holds the UK National Diploma for Occupational Health and Safety and is a Canadian Registered Safety Professional. He is currently studying for his MBA designation.

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