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This article was published 14/1/2016 (2316 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Manitoba's manufacturing sector is the latest industry to launch a new initiative aimed at reducing workplace injury and illness.
Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters Manitoba and SAFE Work Manitoba announced Thursday they have formed a new association called Made Safe.
It's dedicated to making it easier for workers and employers to implement relevant safety and health practices and to promoting a stronger culture of safety in the manufacturing sector.
The new association will also provide industry-specific safety and health training for workers and help employers develop safety programs and services in their workplaces.
CME Manitoba vice-president Ron Koslowsky said in an interview after Thursday's official launch manufacturers of all sizes should benefit from the formation of the new association.
He said small and mid-sized firms that previously lacked the resources to develop and manage a comprehensive workplace health and safety program will now have access to the help they need to accomplish that goal.
And larger companies that already have a comprehensive program can get help in making further improvements to their programs. That, coupled with safety-record improvements achieved by other firms within their particular sub-sector, should help reduce their Workers Compensation Board premiums, he added.
Participating firms will have to pay an additional levy on top of their regular Workers Compensation Board premiums -- likely about six per cent. Koslowsky said those added costs should be more than offset by the long-term savings they can achieve on their premiums.
"That could be the biggest opportunity for companies, in my view," Koslowsky said.
The manufacturing sector is the sixth and largest industry in the province to form a safety association, and the third to do so in the last eight months.
Last March, the auto dealerships became the first in 20 years to do so. In September, the trucking industry also got on board.
About 6,000 manufacturing workers become injured or ill each year in Manitoba, a release distributed at the news conference states.