Several years ago, Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board released a series of impactful “Prevent It” commercials that realistically depicted injury-causing workplace incidents. While the commercials each only are 30 seconds in duration, their message lasts much longer.
Many viewers complained to WSIB and the networks about the ads, saying they were too graphic for television. They called the commercials “violent” and “disturbing” and said they didn’t want to see them.
The fact is, injury-causing workplace incidents are painful, disturbing and ugly, to say the least, and as the commercials point out, “There really are no accidents.”
From a fall off a ladder to a forklift crash to a chef slipping and dousing herself with a pot of boiling water, the commercials grab our attention … and are brutally honest. In each commercial, the employee explains what he or she did to contribute to the incident, but they also explain the work conditions – the employers’ responsibilities – that led to the injuries and reinforce the message that all incidents can be prevented through a combination of worker awareness, education, properly maintained equipment and appropriate personal protective equipment.