The Community Against Preventable Injuries

The Community Against Preventable Injuries

June 02, 2009 08:15 ET

The Community Against Preventable Injuries: "It Won't Happen to Me"

An attitude that leads to 400,000 preventable injuries in BC each year

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - June 2, 2009) - Every year, 400,000 British Columbians are injured, and another 1,200 are killed as a result of a preventable injury. These injuries claim the lives of more children than all other causes combined, and are the leading cause of death for people between the ages of one and 44.

The trouble is these injuries and deaths are not inevitable. They are predictable and preventable. Unfortunately, most of us believe serious injuries only happen to other people, not to us.

Now there is an organization working to change the way we think about preventable injuries. It is The Community Against Preventable Injuries (The Community), an organization established to raise awareness, transform attitudes and behaviours, and ultimately drive down the number and severity of preventable injuries in BC.

"Most of us have no idea of the magnitude of the problem caused by preventable injuries," says Dr. Ian Pike, spokesperson for The Community. "It's an epidemic that is costing British Columbians an estimated $4 billion in direct health care costs, and immeasurable human pain and suffering, and it has to be stopped."

The Community Against Preventable Injuries was kick-started as SafeBC by the provincial Minister of Labour in 2006. The Community has since evolved into an independent nonprofit organization, governed by a board of directors representing organizations including TELUS, BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation, BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit, Insurance Bureau of Canada, London Drugs, WorkSafeBC, Pacific Blue Cross and the Ministry of Labour and Citizens' Services. Its work is made possible through the financial, in-kind and marketing and communications support of a variety of organizations that continue to sign on as The Community's partners.

TELUS Vice-President Tim Draper explains the reasons so many private sector organizations are partnering with The Community.

"Preventable injuries are needlessly draining critical resources from BC's health care system," he says. "This is a concern for TELUS as an employer of 9,000 British Columbians, and also as a company that cares about the communities we serve.

"If we could reduce some of these preventable injuries, we as a province would free up hundreds of skilled health care practitioners and millions of dollars every year. We could redirect these resources to the critically important work of re-inventing our health care system as one focused on preventing injuries and disease," explains Draper. "That's something all BC corporations and residents should get behind."

The Community's strategy is based on two years of extensive research to develop a comprehensive understanding of how and why preventable injuries occur throughout the Province and current attitudes and beliefs of British Columbians toward preventable injuries.

"The Provincial Government along with many other injury prevention organizations have made considerable progress in raising awareness about injury prevention whether you're at home, at work, at play or on the road. However, too many British Columbians still believe they won't get hurt, and that serious injuries only happen to other people," explains Pike.

"We want to challenge that kind of belief in creative and thought-provoking ways," says Pike. "Our strategy will support and complement the work of other organizations in a way that 'connects the dots' between business, government, the injury prevention community, and individuals. By identifying opportunities, and establishing program synergies with our partners and others, all of us involved in The Community know we can, over time, transform societal attitudes toward preventable injuries."

For more information on The Community, visit the website at: preventable.ca.

For more information, story ideas and/or to set up media interviews with our experts, contact us via the contact information listed below.

Contact Information

  • Contemporary Communications
    Gina Vesnaver
    Media Contact
    Direct: 604.637.3041 or Cell: 604.317.6129
    gvesnaver@ccpr.com
    or
    Contemporary Communications
    Dixon Tam
    Media Contact
    Direct: 604.637.3045 or Cell: 604.417.0881
    dtam@ccpr.com