THUNDER BAY – NEWS – Ontario is providing $172,912 in support for the Thunder Bay District Health Unit’s Superior Mental Wellness @ Work: Standard to Action Project, which will improve occupational health and safety in Thunder Bay and the District. The Project aims to create workplace environments that reduce psychological hazards and maintain positive mental health for employees in resource based industries and Aboriginal communities that are isolated and underserved in Thunder Bay and across the District.
“Our government recognizes the importance of promoting wellness in the workplace. This funding will help provide the proper support, tools and resources needed to improve mental health for employees in Thunder Bay and those working in our isolated aboriginal communities,” stated Bill Mauro, MPP for Thunder Bay-Atikokan.
“I am very pleased to support the Thunder Bay District Health Unit’s Standard to Action Project that will aim to create positive workplaces environments across the district. By supporting the Occupational Health and Safety Prevention and Innovation Program, we are investing not only in safe places to work, but also investing in our most valuable resources – our strong workers,” commented Michael Gravelle, MPP for Thunder Bay-Superior North.
“The Thunder Bay District Health Unit is pleased to be a recipient of this grant which will allow us and our community partners to advance implementation of the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace in Thunder Bay and across our district. This voluntary standard provides guidelines that will assist local employers to develop and improve workplace environments that reduce psychological hazards and maintain positive mental health for employees. The funding will be used to provide training, resources and expert speaker events. TBDHU recognizes that prolonged workplace stress is an important topic to address, as it is linked to many adverse physical and mental health outcomes like cardiovascular disease, infections, injuries, emotional exhaustion and psychological distress,” said Silva Sawula, Manager of Healthy Living, Thunder Bay District Health Unit.
Every year, through the Occupational Health and Safety Prevention and Innovation Program (OHSPIP), the Ministry of Labour funds innovation projects and collaborative partnerships expected to further occupational health and safety improvements in Ontario by focusing on workplaces where there is a need to improve health and safety outcomes, such as those that employ vulnerable workers.
Additionally, the ministry strategically invests in occupational health and safety research through projects selected through a competitive Research Opportunities Program (ROP). This year the province is supporting research projects related to vulnerable workers, high-hazard activities and occupational disease through the ROP. The knowledge gained from these research projects will strengthen the government and its health and safety partners’ ability to prevent occupational disease and injuries.
The successful projects strongly align with the province’s ongoing prevention priorities and build on work being completed through the Construction Health and Safety Action Plan and Ontario’s Integrated Occupational Health and Safety Strategy.
Improving occupational health and safety is part of the government’s economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest infrastructure investment in hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and transit in Ontario’s history and is investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.
- The 2016-17 funding for OHSPIP is about $1.9 million.
- The 2016-17 funding for ROP is about $2.48 million.
- Funding will support initiatives that aim to improve safety for workers engaged in high hazard activities, protect vulnerable workers, help small businesses advance their health and safety practices, protect young workers, understand and support workplace mental health and put occupational health and safety research into practice.
- Funding applications went through a five-step review process, including an evaluation by an external body of researchers.
- Since 2003, Ontario’s annual rate of workplace injuries has dropped by more than 40 per cent, making the province’s workplaces among the safest in the world.