‘Employers must be proactive in implementing a diverse and inclusive culture within their organizations to be respectful of human rights'
The Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters NL Division (CME NL) has officially launched Made Safe NL, a provincial manufacturing and processing safety sector council.
WorkplaceNL approved $1.5 million in late 2019 to create the council after data from last year showed that workers in the manufacturing sector experience more workplace injury or illness.
“Made Safe NL gratefully acknowledges all manufacturers and processors that have been on the frontlines since day one of the pandemic. Employers and workers in these vital sectors continue to produce goods and services to keep our economy moving and the people of this province healthy and safe,” said Christina Marshall CRSP, Made Safe NL, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporter. “Our mission is to support them by fostering a culture of safety in the manufacturing and processing sectors across Newfoundland and Labrador.”
At a rate of 2.9 per 100 workers, the manufacturing sector had almost double the provincial lost-time incident rate due to workplace injury or illness in 2019. The fish processing sector’s rate of 2.8per 100 workers showed a similar trend compared to the provincial rate of 1.6.
Made Safe NL’s mandate is to collaborate with sector employers, workers and stakeholders to improve health and safety outcomes and enhance safety culture by bringing together industry employers and labour representatives with a unified focus.
The council also recognized all employers and workers in the manufacturing and processing sectors for their efforts during the pandemic, especially those who kept their shelves stocked and pivoted workflows to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) when it was critically needed.
Made Safe NL’s first order of business was to develop and release the Guidelines for Healthy and Safe Operations During COVID-19 Pandemic, a document that draws on current science, established health and safety processes, as well as industry best practice to give workplaces a practical tool to assist them in managing the difficult decisions they faced each day since early March.
The guideline has been utilized widely throughout Newfoundland and Labrador, and across the country, according to the council.
On Apr. 1, 2020, laid-off manufacturing workers in Ontario were no longer required to search for a job for 26 weeks to qualify for Second Career, a program which aids people who have lost their jobs. They
The creation of the council also drew positive feedback from stakeholders.
“On behalf of the team at Genoa, I want to congratulate our colleagues at CME-NL on the launch of Made Safe NL. Now more than ever, strong safety practices are so important, and this initiative is one we support wholeheartedly,” said Gina Pecore, CEO, Genoa Design International. “We look forward to seeing the impact of this unfold among our province’s manufacturers and processors, and at Genoa, we commit to doing our part for our team, our families and our community.”
“I truly believe that Dynamic Air Shelters and other employers in our sectors will benefit greatly from Made Safe NL’s efforts. We all want the same thing – we are all employees; we want to go to work each day, to work safely and efficiently, and make a positive contribution to the economy of this province,” said Kay Riggs, COO, Dynamic Air Shelters. “I am honoured to be a part of this initiative and look forward to making a contribution by sharing best practices and learning from others.”
Recently, Transport Canada, in collaboration with the Canadian marine community, announced the establishment of the National Seafarers’ Welfare Board to promote maritime workers’ access to recreational, cultural and medical services, as well as shore-based welfare facilities.