IAPA targets cost and cause of workplace accidents with the launch of Ontario's first Small Business Safety Calculator

    TORONTO, March 20 /CNW/ - With today's launch of IAPA's (Industrial
Accident Prevention Association) Small Business Safety Calculator, small
businesses in Ontario will, for the first time, be able to estimate the real
"out of pocket" costs of a workplace injury. Users of IAPA's Small Business
Calculator will also be provided with the resources to help improve workplace
health and safety and prevent work-related accidents.
    Ontario firms with fewer than 50 employees account for more than 90% of
all firms in the province and half of all jobs in Ontario are located in small
businesses. However, statistics from Ontario's Workplace Safety and Insurance
Board (WSIB) also show that the job fatality rates of small businesses are 6.7
times higher than those for larger businesses and lost-time injury rates are
10% higher.
    "Many small business employers may be unaware of their legal obligations
and the potential benefits of a health and safety program to overall business
improvement," says Michael Abromeit, Vice-President of Operations, IAPA.
"Health and safety is not simply a legal obligation. It's an opportunity to
strengthen one's business by reducing injuries, increasing productivity, and
improving their health and safety performance."
    "The Small Business Safety Calculator in no way attempts to quantify the
pain and suffering experienced by an injured worker, their family, their
friends, and their co-workers," adds Abromeit. "Its aim is to promote greater
awareness of occupational health and safety issues, as well as the health and
safety training and education resources that are available."
    When a worker in Ontario is injured on the job, the WSIB pays for costs
associated with the injury claim, including health, rehabilitation, and
disability costs. However, injuries cost small businesses in many other areas
not covered by WSIB insurance:

     -  Incident Costs - time to provide first aid; time for transportation
        to hospital/clinic/home; lost productivity of all affected workers;
        time to make area safe; cost of first aid supplies and equipment
        used; cost of ambulance or taxi
     -  Investigation Costs - time to investigate the accident; time spent to
        complete an accident investigation report; time to complete related
        paperwork for your company; time taken to report the incident to the
        WSIB and meet with WSIB officers; follow-up meetings to discuss the
     -  Damage Costs - time to assess the damage; time to repair or replace
        equipment; time to coordinate repair work; clean up time; cost of
        outside contractors and materials for clean up; cost to dispose of
        damaged equipment; cost of replacement parts, equipment, or lost
     -  Replacement Costs - time to hire or relocate replacement worker;
        relocation or rescheduling of another worker; trainer time for new or
        relocated worker; trainee time for new or relocated worker; cost to
        hire a replacement worker
     -  Productivity Costs - lost productivity due to disruption; time spent
        managing the injury claim; reduced productivity of injured worker
        after they return to work

    While other workplace health and safety calculating tools are available
in Great Britain, the United States, and in Canada in British Columbia, this
is the first time such an option has been available and applicable for small
businesses in Ontario. IAPA's Small Business Safety Calculator is modeled
after one created by WorkSafe BC. With their cooperation, the calculator
methodology was reengineered for use in Ontario and specifically for those
companies that fall within one of IAPA's 12 industry groups: Glass, Stone and
Ceramics; Chemical and Plastics; Food and Beverage; Agri Business; High-Tech;
Industrial Auto Sales; Leather, Rubber, and Tanners; Metal Trades; Office and
Related Services; Printing Trades; Textile and Allied Trades; and Woodworking.
    Based on real life examples, accident scenarios for these 12 industry
groups have been developed and include the applicable profit margins and
industry wage rates related to the cost of a workplace accident. Users can
view these scenarios and modify the values to determine what their last
workplace accident really cost or estimate what an accident could potentially
cost. These scenarios can then be saved within a user's online profile or
printed for future reference.
    Video commentaries as to why industry leaders and other small business
owners feel workplace accidents should be prevented are another feature of
IAPA's Small Business Safety Calculator. These commentaries are paired with
available IAPA resources to help improve workplace health and safety.
    Available online at www.iapa.ca/sbc, there is no cost associated with
using IAPA's Small Business Safety Calculator or any of its resources.

    IAPA is a not-for-profit, member driven organization operating in Ontario
since 1917. Representing more than 50,000 member firms and in excess of
1.5 million Ontario workers, IAPA is Canada's leading workplace health and
safety organization. The association is focused on providing industry-leading
training, consulting, educational products, and informational services that
meet members' needs and the needs of those in their communities. IAPA is also
recognized as a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre in occupational
health and an International Labour Organization - CIS Collaborating Centre.
IAPA is also certified to ISO 9001:2000 for the design and delivery of
training, has been awarded the National Quality Institute's Progressive
Excellence Program Level III for Quality Certificate, and was a recipient of a
Bronze Level Quality Award of the 2006 Canada Awards for Excellence. For more
information on IAPA's products, programs, and services, call 905-614-IAPA
(4272) or toll-free 1-800-406-IAPA (4272), or visit www.iapa.ca.

For further information:

For further information: Jennifer Pugsley, Communications and PR
Specialist, IAPA, Tel: (905) 614-4272, ext. 2233, E-mail: jpugsley@iapa.ca

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