WSIB Launches Young Worker Safety Awareness Campaign

Workplace safety may not be top-of-mind for the many young people across Ontario who will soon begin summer jobs – but it should be

TORONTO, ONTARIO — (May 8, 2006) – The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) hopes its newest marketing campaign targeted at young workers, their parents and employers will help to get the message out.

“Everyone probably has a son, daughter, relative or even a neighbour, that they care about deeply and know will be entering the workforce this summer,” says Jill Hutcheon, President and Interim Chair of the WSIB. “This campaign has been created to build their awareness of workplace safety, including questions to ask, and steps to take, to work safely on the job.”

The campaign, featuring radio, web banner and poster ads on public transit and at convenience stores, highlights the true stories of three young people – Trista, Randy and Leonard – whose lives were seriously affected by a workplace tragedy. It is designed to make youth more aware of workplace risks and educate them about their rights and responsibilities, as well as those of their employers.

The statistics are alarming. Young workers 15-24 years of age accounted for one in five of Ontario’s lost-time and no-lost time claims between 2000 and 2004. During this same time period, there were also 60 traumatic fatalities for young workers under 25 years of age.

While employers are accountable under Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act for ensuring that workplaces are safe, young workers have an important role to play in ensuring they stay healthy and safe at work.

“Statistics indicate that young workers are more likely to be injured on the first month of a job than at any other time. It’s vital that we help change this trend and through improved safety tips and knowledge, we are optimistic we can accomplish this,” says Hutcheon.

The campaign promotes the WSIB’s young worker website www.youngworker.ca, along with a toll-free phone number: 1-888-921-WSIB for tips on how to stay safe on the job. The website contains health and safety information for young workers, parents, employers and educators.

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

About WSIB

Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board 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 health care, and assists in early and safe return to work for workers who are injured on the job or contract an occupational disease. Information on the WSIB is also available at our website: www.wsib.on.ca.