FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 29, 2019
St. John’s, NL – WorkplaceNL has approved $1.5 million, over five years, for the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters NL Division (CME NL) to create a manufacturing and processing safety sector council in the province.
At 3.1 per 100 workers, the manufacturing sector had the highest lost-time incident rate due to workplace injury or illness of any sector in the province in 2018. At 2.2 per 100 workers, the fish processing sector was also higher than the provincial rate of 1.6. Together, these sectors had workplace injury claims that cost $13.4 million in 2018, and $53.7 million in the past five years.
The funding proposal brings together employer and labour representatives in the industry to jointly oversee the council, and includes a sub-committee for fish processing.
WorkplaceNL’s Safety Sector Council Program promotes safe working environments in high-risk industries in Newfoundland and Labrador. Its focus on preventing work-related injury and illness helps return workers home safely at the end of their shift and lower employers’ assessments for workplace injury coverage.
“This investment in the occupational health and safety of workers and employers in the manufacturing and processing industries will help create safer and more productive workplaces and communities in our province,” said the Honourable Sherry Gambin-Walsh, Minister Responsible for WorkplaceNL. “We are always focused on worker safety in an effort to help ensure individuals return home safely to their families and loved ones each day.”
“WorkplaceNL is pleased to work with industry stakeholders, including labour and employers, to positively influence health and safety cultures as well as attitudes on early and safe return-to-work practices in manufacturing and processing facilities throughout our province,” said Dennis Hogan, CEO, WorkplaceNL. “These industry experts can best facilitate training and programs to address hazards specific to their workplaces.”
“Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters NL Division (CME NL) in collaboration and partnership with the Manufacturing and Processing Safety Sector Council (MPSSC) are looking forward to the planning, development, implementation and maintenance of safety systems (including training, coaching, guiding and mentoring) that will reduce workplace injuries and improve health and safety for the sector.” said David Haire, VP, CME NL. “CME NL is also looking forward to working with the other NL Safety Councils to share best practices and lessons learned from their sectors”.
“The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour is pleased with this announcement of support and commitment to the Manufacturing and Processing Safety Sector,” stated President Mary Shortall. “There are over 8,000 workers engaged in this industry. We know there is a real need to build a strong safety culture and to better prevent serious injuries and occupational illness in both manufacturing and fish processing. We are fully committed and ready to help with this work.”
“Employers in the manufacturing and processing sector care greatly about the safety of their employees,” said Richard Alexander, Employers’ Council Executive Director. “The Employers’ Council, CME, the Association of Seafood Producers and other employer representatives have been committed to establishing a Manufacturing & Processing Safety Sector Council for many years. We are incredibly excited to see this initiative get off the ground, and give congratulations to our partners at the Federation of Labour and WorkplaceNL.”
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Serving approximately 13,000 injured workers and 18,500 employers, WorkplaceNL administers an employer-funded, no-fault insurance system that promotes safe and healthy workplaces, provides return-to-work programs and offers compensation to injured workers and their dependents.
Carla Riggs, Director of Communications, WorkplaceNL
709.778.1590 or firstname.lastname@example.org
David Haire, VP, CME NL
709.685.5820 or email@example.com