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WHSC Invites Students to Apply for 2009 Scholarships
Published: March 26, 2009

Employers in the service and manufacturing sectors, where many young workers are employed, comply less with Ontario health and safety law than those outside of these sectors, according to the Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL).

A MOL safety inspection blitz in June, 2008 found, “The rate of orders issued per field visit during the young and new worker blitz in the service and manufacturing sectors was double the rate for the entire industrial program during the 12 months ending March 31, 2008.”

Is there a correlation between lack of compliance and injuries suffered by workers? Many believe there is. Between January 1, 2002 and December 31, 2006, 61 per cent of lost-time injuries to young workers occurred in service and manufacturing sectors, according to Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) statistics.

“Workers do not suffer injuries because they are young or old,” says Dave Killham, executive director, Workers Health & Safety Centre. “They are injured because they are exposed to hazardous working conditions, they lack training and they lack experience on a particular job. Exposure to hazardous working conditions and a lack of training are a direct result of non-compliance.”

Much more evidence points to the fact young and new workers are injured at rates exceeding others beyond just those employed in manufacturing and service sectors.

The WHSC annual scholarship program seeks to raise awareness among students about this excess risk but equally important about their occupational health and safety rights and the legal duties placed on employers to prepare all workers for work and to provide a safe and healthy work environment.

This year, applicants seeking a WHSC scholarship are being asked to share their ideas on “How work can be made safer for new and young workers?”

Here in Ontario, employers have many general and specific legal duties to ensure workers are not placed in situations where their health or safety is at risk. For instance, the Occupational Health and Safety Act requires employers to:

  • provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health or safety of a worker, and
  • take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker.

Ontario health and safety law also mandates general and specific training requirements including training to address issues related to Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), forklifts, confined spaces, transportation of dangerous goods and Certification training for members of joint health and safety committees.

Applicants for the 9th Annual WHSC Scholarship Initiative have the option of writing an essay or creating a poster related to this year’s topic. Any student residing in Ontario and beginning their first year of full-time or part-time studies leading to a degree, diploma or certificate from any publicly-funded Ontario college or university is eligible to apply. Up to eight scholarships will be awarded. Each successful candidate will receive $1000. 

Submission deadline is Friday, June 5, 2009 4:00 pm. Successful applicants will be contacted in September 2009.

A portion of the proceeds from the annual Workers Centre/Cliff Pilkey Invitational Golf Tournament are used to fund these scholarship opportunities.

Want to know more about the 2009 WHSC Scholarship initiative?

For further information please contact Sandy Warden at 1-888-869-7950.

Published by
Workers Health & Safety Centre
802 – 15 Gervais Drive
Toronto, ON  M3C 1Y8
Tel: (416) 441-1939
Toll Free: 1-888-869-7950
www.whsc.on.ca



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