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The Guardian Fall Team Blog

In this economy, often it seems that any job is better than no job, but that’s not always true. Apply for a job and they have a lot of information about you, but what do you know about them? What if they have a long history of accidents and safety violations?

Finding information like that isn’t always easy. Most companies aren’t in the habit of broadcasting their safety failures. However, if the company is in the Canadian Province of Alberta, their safety record has just been laid bare.

The government of Alberta has put together a new site using data obtained by the Worker’s Compensation Board (WCB). The site just went up September 30th, but it’s still fairly impressive, listing over 140,000 companies and their safety records since 2005. You can search by company name, industry, or city. A quick search will give you the number of employees, number of lost-time claims, number of fatalities, and other pieces of useful information.

Not only do they post violations and accidents, but they also post if they have a certificate of recognition. With a few clicks of a mouse, you can find out if a company you might be working for or hiring for contracting work is the sort of company you want to deal with or not. It’s an incredibly informative site.

While the site isn’t complete, only showing companies that are insured by the WCB, the concept is something others should take notice of. Safety records that are transparent and accessible help create safer work environments. Job seekers are less likely to join a company with a long history of safety violations or accidents. Not only that, but employers are less likely to cut corners if they know that any violations are going to be made public and easily accessible.

This is the sort of site every government should be putting up. Transparency in safety records tends to make everyone safer. It may have taken a lot of time and money to put together but there’s no doubt that Alberta’s new site is going to save lives.