Ontario Federation of Labour

Ontario Federation of Labour

March 18, 2010 19:49 ET

OFL President Sid Ryan Commends Appointment of Expert Advisory Panel on Workplace Health and Safety

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 18, 2010) - OFL president Sid Ryan welcomed today's announcement of panel members who will conduct a comprehensive review of Ontario's occupational health and safety prevention and enforcement system.

"There is no time to lose in addressing the flaws in the system that allow 350 to 400 workplace deaths and well over 200,000 injuries each year," said Ryan, who has been at the forefront of the battle to launch criminal investigations into workplace deaths.

OFL occupational health and safety director Vernon Edwards is one of three labour representatives appointed to the expert panel which is scheduled to report back to government in Fall 2010 with recommendations for structural, operational, and policy improvements to the health and safety system.

The panel will look at a range of issues, including: the continuum of safety practices in a workplace and entry level safety training, the impact of the underground economy on health and safety practices, and existing legislation.

"I was very pleased when Minister Fonseca called me in January to inform me of the decision and request our participation," said Ryan. "I was even more pleased to hear that he has accepted our nomination of Vernon Edwards.

"I'm confident that the labour representatives will do a superb job of representing the views and needs of working women and men from all types of workplaces. They will be working with other panel members to drive the sort of broad-based, wide-ranging systemic review that workers need and deserve."

Edwards said he is looking forward to working with panel Chair Tony Dean and the other panel members representing labour, employers, and academic institutions.

"We can't fix the problems with just tinkering around the edges. We need to look deeply and broadly at the problems and possible solutions, and the action that's desperately needed."

Ryan and Edwards said it's essential to look at all of the elements in the Ontario system, the role of all stakeholders, and the systems of other jurisdictions.

"Ontario workers and their families deserve better than what's going on in workplaces across the province," said Ryan. "I am expecting great things from this panel, and the OFL is committed to supporting their efforts to help bring about essential change."

Panel members are:

Bud Calligan, retired Secretary-Treasurer, Carpenters District Council of Ontario

Carmine Tiano, Director of WSIB Advocacy and Occupational Services, Ontario Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario

Vernon Edwards, Occupational Health and Safety Director, Ontario Federation of Labour

Joan Eakin, Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Carolyn Tuohy, Senior Fellow, School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Toronto

H. Allan Hunt, Senior Economist, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, Michigan, U.S.

Domenic Mattina, Vice-President of Sales and Estimating at Mattina Mechanical Ltd.

Jattinder Dhillon, VP Health, Safety, Wellness and Business Continuity, Corp. HR, Loblaws Canada

John A. Macnamara, Vice President, Health, Safety and Environment, Hydro One

Contact Information

  • Ontario Federation of Labour
    Sid Ryan
    416.209.0066 (mobile)