Spreading the Message: A Safe Workplace is Good Business

Businesses with excellent health and safety programs are more productive and profitable, Ontario Ministry of Labour Parliamentary Assistant Kevin Flynn told the Oakville (Ontario) Chamber of Commerce Jan 6, kicking off a provincewide tour to deliver the message to small- and medium-size businesses.

"Businesses can improve their bottom line while making a difference in their communities. Good health and safety is a good business practice and makes good business sense," Flynn said. "The [Prime Minister Dalton] McGuinty government is reaching out to businesses to let them know how they can improve their profitability by improving their health and safety programs."

The government of Ontario has set an ambitious goal of reducing workplace injuries by 20 percent by 2008. That translates to 60,000 fewer injuries a year. The ultimate goal is to eliminate all workplace injuries and deaths.

The government has made a commitment to hire 200 additional inspectors to improve workplace health and safety. Already, 131 of these 200 inspectors are trained and on the job, according to the Ministry of Labour. Hiring of the remaining 69 is currently underway.

"Workplace injuries take a tremendous toll on workers, their families and their communities," Labour Minister Steve Peters said. "In addition, these injuries cost businesses billions of dollars in lost productivity and hurt the economy as a whole."

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