Keep Occupational Disease in the Limelight Today and Everyday!

Occupational Disease and its Prevention got a double boost on Thursday, April 19th when the Occupational Disease Action Plan (ODAP) and its “occ-omplishments” were shared with a full room at the Workplace Safety North Health and Safety in Mining Conference in Sudbury by OHCOW’s Northern and Eastern Executive Director, Ms. Kimberly O’Connell, and Occupational Hygienist, Dr. Kevin Hedges, with a special guest appearance by Dr. Victoria Arrandale (Occupational Cancer Research Centre) and Ontario’s new Chief Prevention Officer, Mr. Ron Kelusky. The talk included an in-depth look at Noise, and Diesel Exhaust Emission risks, one of the Plan’s key priorities.   

Then in the evening Occupational Cancer in Construction was a feature topic on The Agenda with Steve Paikin with a panel of Occupational Disease experts: Dr. Paul Demers from the Occupational Cancer Research Centre, Mr. Carmine Tiano from the Building Trades Union, and OHCOW’s very own, Ms. Valerie Wolfe, who is also the ODAP co-chair. The show also included a segment on E-waste hazards by Dr. Victoria Arrandale from the OCRC, andis now available in the TVO archives.

Let’s keep the conversation going. Talk about Occupational Disease and look into related hazards at your workplace today and everyday.  

The ODAP was developed in late 2016 to focus Prevention System and other key stakeholder energies and efforts on Occupational Disease prevention. Initial priorities (recently recommitted for 2018/19) are: General Awareness, Noise, Allergens & Irritants (initially Cleaning Agents, Wet Work, Preservatives & Isocyanates), Diesel Exhaust Emissions and Emerging Issues. The plan is meant to be aspirational, yet achievable. For more information on the Occupational Disease Action Plan and its implementation you can review the Plan itself, the Year 1 report, or view a video from a past presentation on the subject by Ms. Wolfe here.

Occupational Disease and its prevention is a challenging and complex problem which requires engagement and action at all levels of the Prevention System and beyond -- from communities, families, workers, managers, safety reps, owners, safety professionals, health care providers and regulators. The ODAP Implementation Team is an orchestra, but what is needed is a choir. Raise your voice and get involved today -- in whatever chorus works for you!

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