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Huge health and safety conference starts in Toronto April 14

Toronto, ON -- The Industrial Accident Prevention Association (IAPA) is paying special attention to the emerging is...


Toronto, ON — The Industrial Accident Prevention Association (IAPA) is paying special attention to the emerging issue of metal health in the workplace at its 86th annual Health & Safety Conference and Trade Show taking place April 14-16, 2003 at the Metro Convention Centre in Toronto

The event is expected to attract over 7,000 delegates from Canada, the United States and internationally.

The theme of this year’s event is “Hand in Hand for Health and Safety,” a reference to the cooperation, collaboration, strategic alliances and partnerships that are critical to achieving healthy and safe workplaces and lifestyles.

The event, which is Canada’s largest conference, will cover more than 200,000 sq ft of trade show space, with over 360 exhibits.

This year, IAPA president and CEO Maureen Shaw and honorary chairman, the Hon. Bob Rae, will welcome the North American Agreement on Labour Cooperation (NAALC) Working Group on Occupational Health and Safety. The NAALC provides NAFTA countries with the means to advance issues and monitor labour laws within the partners’ borders.

The conference’s emphasis on mental health in the workplace reflects the international health and safety community’s recognition that this is an issue of growing importance. IAPA’s Shaw notes that “the more we learn about mental health at work, the more we recognize its role in promoting and conversely undermining, the safety, health and productivity of our workplaces.”

More than 170 sessions and workshops are planned over the three-day event. They will address a wide range of subject areas: psychosocial factors; ergonomics; legistation, due diligence and compensation; best practices; risk management; general health and safety; technology; specific hazards; certificate training; and a symposium on ergonomics and safety of lift trucks.

In keeping with the conference’s focus on mental health in the workplace, there are numerous sessions with psycho-social focus such as: work-life balance, emotional intelligence, workplace violence, anger mastery and workplace mobbing – emotional abuse.

Other seminars will look at food and water safety, hidden hazard recognition, falls, the Dofasco Healthy Workplace Award, young workers, health and safety urban legends, OHS law and trends and major organizational change management.

The CBC’s Peter Mansbridge launches the conference on Monday, April 14, with a keynote address. Lt-Gen. Romeo Dallaire speaks on Leadership: The Human Dimension on Tuesday, April 15. The plenary session, Stress in the Workplace: A Ticking Timebomb, immediately follows the address.

Also on Tuesday, Dr. Thomas Homer Dixon, author of the Ingenuity Gap and advisor to the Clinton White House, tackles the question: Can we solve problems in a world that’s becoming too complex and fast-paced to manage?

Steve Smith, (Red Green) will offer a light-hearted look at accident prevention and duct tape in his keynote address on Wednesday, April 16.

A complete listing of all programs can be viewed on the website (www.iapa.on.ca) under the IAPA 2003 Conference & Trade Show icon.

The IAPA is a not-for-profit, member-driven organization providing consulting, training, educational programs, products and information services for the prevention of injury and illness in the workplace. The association is the leading and largest workplace health and safety association in Canada, representing more than 47,000 Ontario employers with over 1.5 million employees.