Ministry of labour announces safety program

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On Monday morning, Ontario’s Minister of Labour Kevin Flynn officially launched the 2017 Occupational Health, Safety and Prevention Innovation Program (OHSPIP) at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Announced in the Paul Martin Centre on the Waterloo campus, MPP Flynn explained that this year’s support will mainly focus on initiatives to improve workplace mental health, address mobile equipment hazards and prevent occupational diseases and secondary injury, such as reducing the impact of workplace injuries and preventing workers from long-term work-related disabilities.

“Investing in inventive approaches to workplace health and safety focuses our resources on where they will make the biggest difference. These projects will foster collaboration and spur innovation to help reduce injuries and save lives in workplaces across Ontario,” Flynn said.

In July, the university was awarded $197,702 to lead a range of community partnerships and increase workplace transportation safety through developing training and awareness.

In the fall of 2015, the university’s Safety, Health, Environment & Risk Management (SHERM) submitted their proposal to the Ministry of Labour’s Health and Safety Prevention Innovation Program.

Also known as En Route to Safety, SHERM’s proposal aims to reduce the number of workplace transportation accidents and provide training and awareness resources to employers across the province.

The En Route to Safety project features a range of community partners, such as the University of Waterloo, the City of Brantford and the City of Waterloo, among many other services.

Stephanie Kibbee, director of SHERM, was also in attendance at the announcement.

According to Kibbee, the project will provide employers in the province with free guides on how to create a traffic safety program for their workplace.

“We really appreciate the grant we received from the Ministry’s Occupational Health, Safety and Prevention Innovation Program which we are using to help reduce workplace traffic incidents and fatalities by providing resources to employers whose employees drive, walk or cycle at work,” she said.

According to Kibbee, the project is well underway. The SHERM development team, led by Sarah Lamb, Andrew Good and Janet White-Bardwell are currently in the midst of bringing this multi-media project to life.

“On behalf of Laurier University, we are proud to be creating a program with a singular objective: to make Ontario workplaces safer,” Kibbee said.

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