And to all a safe night - Seasonal North Pole operation hazardous, yet injury free



    HALIFAX, Dec. 20 /CNW/ - A northern toy manufacturing operation looks to
be headed for yet another safe production season, according to the WCB of Nova
Scotia and its colleagues in Canada's North.
    Despite crafting hundreds of millions of toys annually, the world-famous
North Pole workshop - which also has a global distribution system - has never
reported a workplace injury.
    "Our safety officers attribute this workshop's stellar safety record to
an effective health and safety program," says Dave Grundy, Director,
Communications and Information with the Workers' Compensation Board of the
Northwest Territories and Nunavut, which includes the magnetic North Pole. "In
fact, last month, Santa's workshop became a certified Go Safe Worksite."
    In addition to the busy manufacturing facility, the secretive operation's
distribution channels bring a host of additional hazards, which are clearly
being well managed. The mix of cold temperatures, air freight operations,
heavy lifting of toy-filled sacks, animal husbandry, confined spaces, and
visits to slippery rooftops would require stringent hazard identification and
control.
    Controlling workplace safety hazards is an important concern for all
employers - because workplace injury is all too real, says the Nova Scotia
WCB. In 2006, there were nearly 6,000 Nova Scotia workplace injuries in
manufacturing and nearly 1,500 in transportation and storage.
    There were more than 100 real-world injuries related to work on or about
rooftops, including 13 falls, and dozens of injuries due to ice and winter
conditions.
    More than 1,500 Nova Scotians were injured during overexertion in
lifting. In fact, 61 per cent of the province's time-loss injuries were
musculoskeletal, stemming primarily from the way work is designed and carried
out. Musculoskeletal injury costs more than $20 million in direct compensation
and medical costs every year, and an estimated $100 million to $1 billion in
indirect costs.
    "Regardless of industry, at work and at home, safety shouldn't be the
stuff of make believe. Injury prevention comes from real, concerted efforts at
all levels - it's not magic," says Nancy MacCready-Williams, CEO of the WCB of
Nova Scotia.
    "Workplace injury takes an incredible human and financial toll in not
just in our province but throughout Canada and the world," says
MacCready-Williams.
    "At this time of year, it seems fitting to remind employers and workers
how incredibly important workplace safety is. We wish all Nova Scotians a safe
and happy holiday season."

    About the WCB of Nova Scotia

    The Workers' Compensation Board of Nova Scotia (WCB) is committed to
keeping Nova Scotians safe and secure from workplace injury. The WCB provides
workplace injury insurance for more than 18,000 employers, representing about
300,000 workers across the province. The WCB sets the standard for workplace
injury insurance by informing and inspiring Nova Scotians in the prevention of
workplace injury. If an injury occurs, we support those whose lives it touches
by championing a timely return to safe and healthy work.

    About the WCB of NWT and Nunavut

    The Workers' Compensation Board of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut
(WCB) provides compensation to injured workers and promotes workplace safety.
With offices in Yellowknife and Inuvik in the Northwest Territories, and
Iqaluit and Rankin Inlet in Nunavut, the WCB serves northern employers and
workers by ensuring they are properly cared for in the event of a workplace
injury or illness. In addition, the WCB works hard to prevent workplace
incidents from happening in the first place through safety training,
industrial and mine safety inspections, targeted social marketing, and
innovative safety programs like Go Safe.
    The Go Safe program is an exciting partnership between Northern employers
and the Workers' Compensation Board of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut
(WCB), geared toward improving workplace safety. Go Safe equips employers with
support and resources to prevent serious workplace illnesses, incidents, and
injuries.


    
    BACKGROUND INFORMATION
    ----------------------

    Nova Scotia workplace injury statistics, 2006
    Based on registered claims

    Nova Scotia                            Total          Time-loss
    Manufacturing                          5,976          1338
    Transportation                         1,445          478
    Agriculture and related services       206            56

    Total (all industries)                 31,810         8,274


    Injury details (total claims)

    Nova Scotia
    Involving lifting                      1,569
    Falls from rooftops                    13
    Primarily due to winter conditions     88

    Number of Claims Received by the Nova Scotia WCB, by Accident Date, 2006

    December 24, 2006       19
    December 25, 2006       12
    December 26, 2006       29
    




For further information:

For further information: or to schedule interviews, please contact:
Michelle MacLean, Senior Communications Advisor, Workers' Compensation Board
of Nova Scotia, (902) 491-8102, michelle.maclean@wcb.gov.ns.ca; Dave Grundy,
Director, Communications and Information, Workers' Compensation Board of the
Northwest Territories and Nunavut, (867) 669-4442, DaveGru@wcb.nt.ca

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Workers' Compensation Board of Nova Scotia

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