June 22, 2012
PROVINCE LAUNCHES GLOBAL REVIEW OF WORKPLACE SAFETY AND HEALTH ENFORCEMENT AND PREVENTION– – –
Greater Enforcement, Accountability Initiatives will help Ensure Manitobans Go Home Safe: Howard
Manitobans will be able to go online to review key information about Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) enforcement actions with employersas part of a new series of initiatives aimed at improving worker safety and, at the same time, the province will undertake an independent global review of workplace safety and health enforcement and prevention, Family Services and Labour Minister Jennifer Howard, minister responsible for the Worker’s Compensation Board, announced today.
“We want to ensure that all Manitobans go home safely after work and that employers are accountable to Manitoba workers,” said Howard. “While this review is underway, I have directed my department to make better use of administrative penalties in instances where employers have demonstrated a wilful disregard for WSH orders through non-compliance and repeat offences.”
The minister said the review will be used to develop a comprehensive five-year strategy that will transform the way in which Manitoba approaches workplace injury and illness and will include:
- a review of the Workplace Safety and Health Act;
- a review of public awareness initiatives, as well as education and training; and
- an external evaluation of the Workers Compensation Board’s current rate setting model.
The resulting review will be a collaborative effort of industry, labour and technical stakeholders, the Workers Compensation Board, the Advisory Council on Workplace Safety and Health, Manitoba’s Workplace Safety and Health and Manitoba’s new chief prevention officer, the minister said. Dave Gaudreau, MLA for St. Norbert, will also work with community stakeholders to identify the steps they see as beneficial to reducing Manitoba’s time-loss injury rate.
“We are striving to develop a new strategy that will transform the way we approach workplace injury and illness,” said Howard. “This new strategy will address the needs of modern workplaces by combining best practices for injury prevention with effective, creative solutions for enforcing and promoting safety and health.”
Manitoba Family Services and Labour has worked closely and collaboratively with stakeholders to reduce work place injuries and significantly reduce Manitoba’s time-loss injury rate. Having increased the number of inspections done annually to over 12,000 from 1,000 and more than doubling the number of safety and health officers, this review will build on the good work that has already been done and will help to insure Manitoba workplaces are safe and healthy places for Manitobans, Howard said.
More information on workplace safety and health in Manitoba is available at www.safemanitoba.com.
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