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, MLA St. Norbert
May 6, 2013

North American Occupational Safety and Health Week

Mr. Speaker, North America's Occupational Safety and Health Week is being officially recognized in Canada from May 5th to 11th this year. Its purpose is to raise awareness of injury and illness among employees, employers, partners and the public in the workplace, at home and in the community. The Canadian Society of Safety Engineering (CSSE) is leading this initiative in partnership with the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, Human Resources and Skills Canada, Threads of Life and the American Society of Safety Engineers.

Mr. Speaker, NAOSH Week is successful because of its grassroots, community-based approach. All across Canada, NAOSH Week activities and events are organized by regional committees primarily composed of volunteers who desire safer and healthier workplaces and communities. They partner with businesses, suppliers, governments, community health organizations, CSSE chapters and other safety oriented groups. Together these groups provide the networking, supports and resources essential to the success of NAOSH Week.

As a welder, I'm very aware of the risks involved with various trade occupations. That's why I care a great deal about the promotion of workplace health and safety. Last year, I was honoured to bring greetings on behalf of the province at three separate events as part of the NAOSH Week, and I'm keen on participating again this year. Some of this year's events will include a street hockey tournament, a walk in honour of victims of workplace accidents and occupational disease, informational sessions and a safety week fair. I urge all Manitobans to support this important cause by participating in as many public events as possible.

Thank you to the countless volunteers who are working hard to ensure a successful NAOSH Week across Canada and to all other participants who care about the workplace health and safety. A special thank you to the Canadian NAOSH Committee: chair Dawn Perrin, vice-chair Jim Hopkins of BCRTC Ltd.–SkyTrain, Saskatchewan and Manitoba representatives Bob Ocrane of JNE Welding and Jeff Bencharski of Manitoba Hydro and all the other representatives from across Canada. Together we are improving labour conditions across the country.

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.