McGuinty Government Launches Online Workplace Health & Safety Training Program For Colleges And Universities

    Program Will Help Make Workplace Safety A Priority For Future Leaders

    BARRIE, ON, March 26 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government is launching an
on-line program called WorkSmart Campus to help make workplace health and
safety a priority for Ontario's future leaders, Labour Minister Steve Peters
announced today.
    "Our government is committed to reducing workplace injuries and
fatalities," said Peters, launching the pilot program at Georgian College.
"One of the best ways of reducing workplace injuries is ensuring Ontario's
workplace leaders, present and future, have the skills and knowledge they need
to ensure the work they provide is safe."
    WorkSmart Campus is an e-learning computer program aimed at preparing
college and university students who will be future workplace leaders by giving
them health and safety knowledge, skills and values. Its goal is to prepare
graduates, especially in business and engineering, to manage their
organization's health and safety program as they would manage other business
functions such as quality and productivity.
    "Safety and commercial success go hand-in-hand," said Duncan Hawthorne,
Chair of the CEO Health and Safety Leadership Charter. "Ensuring our future
CEOs have solid knowledge in safety principles is fundamental to the success
of Ontario's business community."
    The program, developed by the Ministry of Labour with partners from the
Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), Minerva Canada and the Ministry
of Training, Colleges and Universities, will be tested at participating
colleges and universities across Ontario during this winter and the 2007 fall
term. When finalized, the program is intended to be implemented across the
    "Our government is serious about making our places of work safe - that's
why we're making sure students get health and safety training before they
enter the workforce," said Training, Colleges and Universities Minister
Chris Bentley. "Investing in skills and education is the cornerstone of a
prosperous economy."
    "Health and safety must be a total commitment for an organization," said
Peters. "That commitment has to start at the top with the CEO. We are
investing in future workplace leaders because safe workplaces are key to
Ontario's economic advantage."

    Disponible en français



                              WORKPLACE LEADERS

    The WorkSmart Campus program, developed this past year by the Ministry of
Labour with partners from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB),
Minerva Canada and the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, will
be used and evaluated at participating colleges and universities across
Ontario now and through the fall 2007 term.

    The Program
    WorkSmart Campus is an e-learning tool that teaches and reinforces basic
health and safety knowledge for students at the post-secondary level. More
importantly, it is aimed at future workplace leaders and CEOs who are now in
colleges and universities to prepare them to be leaders in workplace health
and safety. Its goal is to prepare graduates who can manage their
organization's health and safety program as they would manage other business
functions such as quality control and productivity.
    The program consists of an on-line course with three parts to be
completed by users: Health & Safety 101, SafeSmart for Workplace Leaders, and
Passport to Safety. Each section must be completed in order and there is a
test at the end. The course can be completed in a matter of hours.
    Results can be submitted to instructors for assignment of a mark, and the
final results can be printed out as a record.
    The program is now being piloted in selected faculties. The current
participants are Canadore College in North Bay, Carleton University in Ottawa,
Fanshawe College in London, George Brown College in Toronto, Georgian College
in Barrie, McMaster University in Hamilton, Niagara College in St. Catharines
and Seneca College in Toronto.
    The WorkSmart Campus will continue to be refined and implemented across
the province in the coming year.

    Benefits to Students
    WorkSmart Campus reinforces and expands on safety information younger
students receive throughout their elementary and secondary years. It follows
the Ministry of Labour's "Live Safe! Work Smart" program for secondary school
students and gears safety messaging to higher levels of learning.
    Student participants benefit by starting off on the right road to
creating safe workplaces, and also by being able to demonstrate safety
knowledge and training they know will be valued by businesses when they seek a
job. Not only will it prepare students to be safe on summer jobs, and make
them more appealing as workers to potential employers, it will continue to
make them attractive candidates in progressively higher levels of
    There is no cost to the school or student for this learning tool.

    Benefits to Business
    Businesses have long recognized the link between safety, productivity and
commercial success. Injuries are expensive. A post-secondary level course that
grounds future CEOs in safety values, knowledge and skills should make
possible a profitable future.
    In 2002, the average lost-time injury in Ontario cost $59,000. In 2006,
the cost was approximately $98,000. A business operating on a six per cent
profit margin in 2002, would have needed nearly a million in sales to make up
for the $59,000 lost that year from a single injury. Today, that same business
would need over one and a half million in sales to recover the costs of a
single injury.
    Healthier workplaces make for healthier bottom lines with lower turnover,
less absenteeism and fewer and less severe workplace injuries. A good health
and safety record leads to a good business record.
    Safe workplaces are key to Ontario's economic advantage.

    WorkSmart Campus Partners:

    Ministry of Labour
    Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities
    Workplace Safety and Insurance Board
    Passport to Safety
    CEO Health and Safety Leadership Charter
    Ontario Colleges and Universities

    Participant Contacts

    Canadore College
    Beth Markham
    Coordinator, Business and Marketing Programs
    Phone: (705) 474-7600 ext. 5824

    Carleton University
    Brian. Laughton, CD PEng
    Academic Support Officer, Faculty of Engineering and Design
    Phone: (613) 520-2600 ext. 5804

    Fanshawe College
    David Belford
    Dean, School of Business and Management
    Phone: (519) 452-4430 ext. 4371

    George Brown College
    Elizabeth Speers
    Chair, Centre for Business
    Phone: (416) 415-5000 ext. 2854

    Georgian College of Applied Arts and Technology
    Bob Emptage
    Dean, Faculty of Engineering Technology
    Phone: (705) 728-1968 ext. 5235

    McMaster University
    Peter M. Smith
    Associate Dean (Academic), Faculty of Engineering
    Phone: (905) 525-9140 Ext. 24646; Fax: (905) 540-1159

    Niagara College
    Bea Clark
    Acting Vice-President, Corporate Services, and Director, Workforce and
    Business Development
    Phone: (905) 641-2252, ext. 4003

    Seneca College
    Laurel Schollen
    Dean, Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering Technology
    Phone: (416) 491-5050 ext.2430 or 3775

    Ministry of Labour Public Inquiries:


    Belinda Sutton
    Ministry of Labour

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For further information:

For further information: Public Inquiries: 1-800-268-8013; Contacts:
Susan McConnell, Minister's Office, (416) 326-7710; Belinda Sutton, Ministry
of Labour, (416) 326-7405

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