Friday, February 08, 2008

WSIB Advertising Campaign

Well after attending a local business function last night I thought I'd finally add my 2 cents. While I can appreciate that the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board has a manadate to prevent accidents I am of the personal opinion that the recent advertising campagain is not appropriate.

The premise of the campaign is that there are no accidents. Well, as it turns out - there are. An accident is defined as a chance event with undesirable consequences. This is one of the definitions even accepted by WSIB. It implies that it is not preventable. Sometimes things happen. The other night I was driving home and it became extremely icy and slippery on one section of the road - it was entirely unexpected and unpreventable. Snow plows cannot be everywhere at the same time ensuring that the roads are safe. Even driving at a slow speed (40km/hr)could not have prevented what happened next.... The point is accidents do happen!

The next problem is that the advertising is too graphic, distasteful and does not portray reality. Just look at the WSIB's year end report and statistics. I'm sure most have seen the TV ad where there is an explosion and the worker falls out of a 4th floor window. Well after 20 years working in this area of law I have yet to see or hear this fact situation happen. In fact the number one reported injury in this province last year was a sprain or a strain. In our community and the claims that I see in my office the majority involve repetitive work. These types of incidents are more easily preventable by providing ergonomic workstations, incorporating proper lifting techniques or lifting devices, rotation of jobs, fatigue mats, proper tools... I could go on but I'm sure you get the point. The WSIB instead of helping the public- workers, unions, supervisors and employers learn ways to prevent these more common injuries has decided to sensationalize the Workplace accident. Most people can distinguish sensationalization from reality. We can distiguish war from an action movie. We don't take the action movie seriously and my belief is that we, as a society. won't take the WSIB ads seriously. Why? Because it just doesn't happen that way in real life.

Maybe its time for the WSIB to get a reality check!

No comments: