In 1981, a German plastic auto parts firm came to Canada and first located in a 22,000 square foot facility in Kitchener, Ontario. With production expanding, the company set up a second facility in Peterborough in 1986, purchasing a 200,000 sq. ft. metal clad structure, which was expanded in the late 1990s to accommodate its larger thermoplastic injection molding machines and production operations.
In 2004, Sonia Lal, industrial hygienist OHCOW, undertook a detailed retrospective exposure assessment of the production processes at Pebra Inc., (now the Ventra plant), between 1986 and 1996. This involved a systematic effort with the participation of UNIFOR Local 1987 Workers’ Advisory Exposure Committee to collect, document and analyze empirical information about how production was carried out in this complex plastics production operation. This work was undertaken to document the extent and nature of chemical and physical exposures that are possibly linked with the various cancers and other diseases that many employees and their families suffered over the years. Given the complexity of chemical exposures in plastics production processes, the researchers relied upon qualitative research methods to profile exposures, retrospectively.
A Retrospective Exposure Profile of the Pebra Inc. Plastics Plant in Peterborough, Ontario
Prepared by Dale DeMatteo, BA, MHSc and Robert DeMatteo, BA, MA, DOHS, Unifor Local 1987 and Local President, Mark Clapper, Past President, Rose Wickman… and more
Given the rate of research, OHCOW strives to keep stakeholders, especially workers and their families, updated as to the progress and the implications for recognition and compensation. Since 2020, public information sessions have been held virtually to inform workers and their families about the state of research and to provide information on compensation claims with the WSIB. The last information sessions were held on March 8 and 9, 2023.
Information Session for Pebra/Ventra Workers
March 8, 2023
Hosted by: Sarah Rhodes, with presenters David Wilken, Jessica Montgomery, Andrew Zarnke, David Boyce and Paul Sampara.
You may wish to view more information about these related sessions:
- Peterborough Project Exposure Reports
- Using Retrospective Exposure Profiles to Assist in Proving Cases of Occupational Diseases for Workers Compensation Claims
- Using Science in Cancer Adjudication and Policy-Making: Cluster Project Implications