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May 17, 2016

Wilfrid Laurier University has been awarded $197,702 to lead a range of community partners in developing a training and awareness program that is intended to increase workplace transportation safety.

Laurier’s Safety, Health, Environment & Risk Management (SHERM) submitted the proposal last fall to the Ontario Ministry of Labour’s Health and Safety Prevention and Innovation Program.

The SHERM proposal, called En Route to Safety, aims to reduce the rate of workplace transportation incidents by providing training and awareness resources to employers across Ontario.

In 2014, motor vehicle incidents were the cause of almost 40 per cent of workplace traumatic fatalities and have remained the leading cause of traumatic fatalities for over a decade.

“This funding will allow Laurier to demonstrate leadership in safety, with visibility across the province, and will help to fund necessary activities of the department,” said Stephanie Kibbee, director of SHERM. “I would like to acknowledge the leadership of SHERM’s Andrew Good and Sarah Lamb in the development of the proposal and the contributions of the entire team. There aren’t many opportunities for securing external funding for safety and I am happy that we were successful in doing so.”

The project will involve a broad range of partners, including the University of Waterloo, the City of Brantford, the City of Waterloo, the Region of Waterloo, the Waterloo Regional Police Service, Brantford Police Service, the Waterloo District School Board, local fire departments, municipal politicians as well as the Brantford Business Association.

The partner collaboration will provide a diverse set of perspectives, knowledge and best practices that will help to make the program comprehensive and effective.

The En Route to Safety project aims to reduce the rate of workplace transportation incidents by providing resources to employers across Ontario. The project will assist in developing a traffic safety program that will promote compliance with traffic laws, create awareness and encourage safe driving, bike riding and pedestrian habits. The project will deliver a guidebook that will assist employers in developing a program that meets the needs of their workplaces. Additional online training modules, videos, brochures and posters will be developed for employers to train their employees in safe behaviours.

Kibbee hopes these resources will make the implementation of this essential safety program less of a burden on employers and help reduce transportation incidents.

To learn out more about SHERM, visit wlu.ca/sherm.

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