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Ontario moves to reduce injuries to manufacturing workers

Toronto, ON -- A manufacturing panel for the new Health and Safety Action Group in Ontario's labour ministry was es...


Toronto, ON — A manufacturing panel for the new Health and Safety Action Group in Ontario’s labour ministry was established earlier this month. The expert panel will establish priorities to reduce injuries in the manufacturing sector, ensure proper policies are in place, and promote safety through education, training, regulation and enforcement.

“The manufacturing sector is the backbone of Ontario’s economy,” said Ontario labour minister Chris Bentley. “Yet workers are still being injured and killed on the job. There is tremendous room for reducing injury and illness rates in manufacturing workplaces if we work together and harness existing knowledge.”

In February 2004, the ministry established the first Action Group panel for the construction sector. Other sectors will be studied as the Ministry of Labour works to reduce the nearly 300,000 workplace injuries people suffer every year in Ontario.

In 2003, there were 72 workplace fatalities in Ontario, the highest level in a decade. The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) recorded approximately 100,000 accidents in 2003 that resulted in lost time at work and almost 200,000 others that did not cause lost time at work.

The following representatives were named to the manufacturing panel: The Hon. Chris Bentley, Chair, minister of labour; Paavo Kivisto, deputy minister of labour; John Macnamara, president, Business Council on Occupational Health and Safety; Cathy Walker, director, health and safety, Canadian Auto Workers’ Union;

Norm Huebel, regional director for Ontario, Canadian Chemical Producers’ Association; Satinder Chera, director, provincial affairs, Canadian Federation of Independent Business; Ian Howcroft, vice-president, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (Ontario Division);

Mark Nantais, president, Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association; Keith McMillan, national representative, Communications, Energy and Paperworkers’ Union; Maureen Shaw, president, Industrial Accident Prevention Association; Dave Ritchie, vice-president, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers;

John Oudyk, Occupational Hygienist, Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers; Wayne Samuelson, president, Ontario Federation of Labour; Cam Sherk, education representative, United Food and Commercial Workers’ Union;

Dave Killham, Executive director, Workers’ Health and Safety Centre; Roy Mould, vice-president, prevention division, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board; and Geoff Kempster, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.