“Every year in Ontario hundreds of people go out to earn a living and end up paying with their lives. We must put an end to this carnage. We must get to Zero.”

The Road to Zero

The WSIB is committed to making sure every worker comes home safely to their loved ones. We want every workplace to be a model of occupational health and safety. We want all Ontarians to participate in this journey on the Road to Zero.

The WSIB’s vision: eliminating all workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities

At the WSIB, we believe that everyone from the part-time student to the CEO needs to take personal responsibility for keeping themselves and their workplaces healthy and safe. When you’re educated and aware, all injuries are preventable. There really are no accidents.

We need to eliminate workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities by building a culture of health and safety in every Ontario workplace.

We need to eliminate the belief that “accidents just happen.”

That’s the only way we’ll get to zero.

Sharing the message

Our chairman, the Honourable Steve Mahoney, has travelled around Ontario and had the privilege of meeting thousands of Ontarians and talking with them about how we can realize the WSIB’s vision – the elimination of all workplace injuries, illnesses, and fatalities.

He has talked to workers and labour leaders about the need to follow their training and use their safety equipment properly.

He has talked to employers and industry leaders about the importance of making a “top down” commitment to implementing and maintaining a stellar safety program.

He has talked to all workplace parties about working together to identify and eliminate workplace hazards.

At the WSIB, we all agree that zero workplace injuries is the ONLY acceptable number. After all, there really are no accidents.

Honourable Steve Mahoney

 

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) will begin a workplace safety award program for young entrepreneurs – the WSIB Chair’s Awards. The announcement was made last night at the Canadian Youth Business Foundation’s (CYBF) Chairman’s Awards Gala.

Totalling $10,000, the WSIB Chair’s Awards will be distributed through two prizes to young entrepreneurs within the CYBF program who demonstrate a commitment to workplace safety. One award will be given to a new business starting in the CYBF program that includes a meaningful health and safety strategy within their business plan. The second award will be given to an existing business already successfully operating within the CYBF program that has developed and is implementing a detailed workplace health and safety plan as part of their ongoing business growth strategy.

“Offering two awards in this way helps the WSIB reach young entrepreneurs as they start out in business and reinforces the vital importance of workplace health and safety to existing business owners succeeding under the CYBF’s guidance,” says Steven Mahoney, WSIB Chair. “This partnership with CYBF helps us send a significant message to Ontario’s young entrepreneurs; an investment in workplace safety is an investment in the success of your business.”

About five to 10 Ontario-based new entrepreneurs apply for consideration under the CYBF National Award program each year, and more than 100 existing Ontario businesses are at various stages of their mentorship and development within the CYBF program.

“As our boomer population ages, this next generation of entrepreneurs must both succeed and apply resources wisely,” says Vivian Prokop, CEO of CYBF. “A safe workplace and a safety attitude are parts of the solution that anyone can use. We hope other provinces follow the lead of the WSIB.”

The Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) is a national charity that provides youth, age 18-34, who have a great business idea but are unable to access funds through other traditional sources, with the start-up financing, mentoring and business resources to create their own successful business. Lending based on character not collateral, CYBF has invested in more than 1,900 young entrepreneurs since 1996, whose businesses have generated approximately $217 million in sales revenue, $51 million in tax revenue, $23 million in export revenue, and have created more than 11,000 new Canadian jobs. CYBF is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, with offices across Canada. Information about CYBF is available at www.cybf.ca.

Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) plays a key role in the province’s occupational health and safety system. The WSIB administers no-fault workplace insurance for employers and their workers and is committed to the prevention of workplace injuries and illnesses. The WSIB provides disability benefits, monitors the quality of healthcare, and assists in early and safe return to work for workers who are injured on the job or contract an occupational disease.

 

So far this year – by November, 73 workers have died from traumatic injuries at work in Ontario.

In 2010, over 100 died from traumatic injuries, and more than 57,000 workers in Ontario suffered from injuries or serious illnesses as a result of dangerous hazards. They all lost time at work. Some never completely recovered or returned to see their jobs or families again.

In 2010 alone:

  • 51 workers per day suffered from overexertion injuries while lifting, pushing or pulling
  • 43 workers per day suffered injuries like bruises, fractures or concussions when struck by equipment
  • 40 workers per day slipped, tripped or fell, resulting in injuries ranging from minor sprains and multiple fractures to paralysis
  • 12 workers per day were exposed to harmful substances that caused conditions like skin disorders or respiratory illnesses
  • 10 workers per day had a hand, arm, leg or their entire body crushed by or caught in equipment
  • 1 worker per day suffered burns or smoke inhalation from fires or explosions

These are just a few examples of some of the ways Ontario workers get injured or become ill each day. Remember, there are many more injuries that did not result in lost time, but still caused pain and suffering and sometimes permanent impairment or disfigurement.

On average, one worker in Ontario dies every day from either a workplace injury or illness.

Were they accidents? No, accidents don’t happen. But safety does. There really are no accidents.

Learn more about the different types of injuries and illnesses and their causes from our Statistical Supplement

The High Cost of Workplace Injuries

Workplace injuries are not only dangerous, they’re expensive.

The average compensation cost of a claim for 2010 is estimated at over $19,000.

But the associated costs for a workplace injury could total three to 10 times that amount.

These include:

  • Lost productivity and revenue
  • Surcharges and lost revenues
  • Ministry of Labour orders

But there are also emotional and financial costs to the worker:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Income reduction and an uncertain future
  • Impact on their families, friends and the community
 

Prevent-It.ca is launching a hard-hitting campaign to raise awareness about occupational health and safety. The campaign includes provocative television ads that depict “accidents” and talk about how they could have been prevented. The ads are graphic and disturbing but the
message is simple. The ads are designed to get people talking about the importance of workplace safety and to help change the mindset that says workplace injuries and illnesses are inevitable and acceptable. The only acceptable number of workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities is zero.

Kick-off events for the campaign were held in Hamilton, Ottawa, London, Thunder Bay, and Toronto. At a press conference in Toronto’s Union Station, WSIB Chair Steven Mahoney acknowledged that the television ads are shocking and and difficult to watch. “We’re not afraid to be controversial. This is not a feel-good campaign. We’ll feel good when the number of injuries and fatalities go down.”

A key message of the campaign is the idea that creating a safe workplace is everyone’s responsibility. “We’re not pointing a finger at the employer or the worker,” says Mahoney. “We need to bring them together to solve this problem.”

In 1998, the WSIB adopted “the elimination of all workplace illnesses and injuries” as its vision statement. Today, we’re taking that vision beyond words in a call to action for all Ontarians. There are potential hazards in every workplace; each one of us needs to take some responsibility for eliminating those hazards and keeping ourselves and each other healthy and safe at work.

The WSIB, along with its health and safety partners, is working toward achieving a fundamental change in attitude and behaviour towards occupational health and safety in Ontario – a change from a society which accepts workplace injuries and fatalities, to one which embraces health and safety. We want Ontario to have the safest workplaces in the world. If we believe it we can do it.