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WSIB safety campaign targets workplace health and safety

Toronto, ON -- Feb. 1, 2002 -- Everyone in Ontario must share responsibility for keeping workplaces safe -- that's...


Toronto, ON — Feb. 1, 2002 — Everyone in Ontario must share responsibility for keeping workplaces safe — that’s the key message of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board’s ad campaign, launched last month. The campaign’s slogan is “Safety Starts with You.”

Over the next few weeks, WSIB ads will emphasize the emotional and human dimensions of workplace injuries and fatalities, while raising awareness of the importance of safe work practices.

The WSIB’s message will be featured in high-profile television, radio, newspaper and transit advertising, as well as movie theatre slides and shopping mall posters.

“We are committed to changing public attitudes and behaviours,” said Roy Mould, the WSIB’s vice-president of prevention. “We want everyone to believe, as we do, that work-related injuries, illness and deaths are totally unacceptable and totally preventable.

In 2000, the WSIB allowed a total of 294,703 claims, including 104,154 involving injuries severe enough to require time off work. WSIB benefit costs in 2000 totalled more than $2.5 billion.

The WSIB ads raise awareness of the dangers we face in our workplaces by featuring six “prevention ambassadors.” These are people who have been personally affected by a workplace injury or fatality.

The “Safety Starts With You” campaign ambassadors are:

* Rob Ellis, a small business owner from Burlington, whose 18 year-old son David was killed on his second day on the job.

* Raymond Smith, left legally blind after a piece of wood became lodged in his eye while he was working as a janitor.

* Paul Allen, survivor of a workplace injury that doctors say few people live to talk about.

* Paul Kells, founder of the national Safe Communities Foundation, who lost his 19-year-old son Sean in an industrial explosion.

* Mary Long, whose husband Dick was killed in a workplace fall, and who has since become a certified health and safety representative.

* Jean Jacques Turgeon, left paraplegic after a workplace explosion at a logging camp.

The WSIB ads include a toll-free number that employers and workers are encouraged to call to obtain additional information, to ask questions or voice concerns about unsafe workplaces or workplace practices. It is 888-921-WSIB.