PROVINCE ANNOUNCES ACTION PLAN TO PROTECT MANITOBANS ON THE JOB, FOCUSING ON YOUNG WORKERS AND FAMILIES: HOWARD
In honour of the Day of Mourning, the Manitoba government has launched an action plan to keep young workers safe, Labour and Immigration Minister Jennifer Howard, minister responsible for workers compensation, announced today.
“Since 1999, we have made great strides to protect Manitoba workers,” said Howard. “We have more work to do. Today we are moving forward and building on this progress by engaging our young people, supporting families and victims of workplace tragedy, and strengthening our protection of workers.”
The Manitoba government’s action plan includes steps to protect and support workers:
A $20,000 grant program aimed at stimulating creativity in Manitoba schools to develop innovative projects encouraging and educating students on workplace safety. Students, classrooms and schools are invited to submit videos, songs, posters and their ideas to promote SAFE work. Ten innovative proposals will be selected and the schools will be rewarded a grant of $2,000 each to fund their project. More information can be found at www.safemanitoba.com.
A long-term funding agreement with the Safe Workers of Tomorrow to provide stable and sustainable funding of $105,000 annually to support its work helping educate young people about their safety and health rights in the workplace as well as an additional $50,000 for pilot projects.
A victims services co-ordinator position at the Manitoba Labour and Immigration Workplace Safety and Health Division to assist families and workers in accessing information on the status of their investigations and to help link them with additional support services.
A $10,000 grant for Threads of Life, an organization that provides peer-to-peer support to victims and families of workplace tragedies in Manitoba.
The government will continue to focus on reducing the time-loss injury rate, which has decreased more than 40 per cent since 2000, translating to thousands fewer workplace injuries each year due to actions by government to improve the protection of workers and by all the efforts of workers, employers and partners in SAFE work, Howard noted.
“The government has fulfilled its commitment to hire 20 new safety and health officers for greater consistency in enforcement and improved prevention of injuries and illness in Manitoba workplaces,” she added. “Safety and health officers now conduct over 10,000 inspections every year and the government has also increased fines for workplaces who break the law.”
Howard announced the action plan following the Day of Mourning Leaders’ Walk organized by the Safe Workers of Tomorrow. The event draws attention to the importance of workplace safety and health, emphasizing young worker safety, she said.
“We are committed to taking the steps necessary to protect our workers of tomorrow and all Manitoba workers from senseless workplace tragedies,” Howard said.
The Day of Mourning honours the men and women in the province who did not come home from work. In 2010, 15 Manitobans lost their lives at work and many more were seriously injured on the job. The Manitoba government is committed to making sure all Manitoba workers return home safely to their families every day, the minister said.