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Back Protection Agents


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St. John’s – Calling all workers and employers. The Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission (the Commission) invites every worker and employer in the province to become a Back Protection Agent.  

A new marketing and advertising campaign aimed at preventing back injuries in the workplace kicks off today featuring print, radio and television ads. The television spots begin tonight on television stations across Newfoundland and Labrador.

The ads remind viewers to keep backs healthy by ensuring workstations are set up properly, implementing  proper lifting techniques, avoiding lifting heavy objects and using tools for lifting when appropriate, such as lifts, carts or dollies. Anyone can become a Back Protection Agent by helping ensure these safe practices are followed in the workplace, or by asking for help if a lift or other task seems likely to overstrain the back.

  

“More than 1,000 people experienced lost-time from work because of back injuries in 2011,” said Commission Chief Executive Officer Leslie Galway. “The exciting thing is that back injuries can be prevented in many ways. Learning safe work techniques focused at protecting your back is key. Our campaign is aimed at showing how several of our province's workers have developed effective back protection practices.”   

Back injuries account for more than 25% of all lost-time injuries in in Newfoundland and Labrador. Overexertion, particularly of the back, is the most common cause of workplace accidents.  

The campaign was kicked off today at the Mount Pearl Fire Station, with members of the St. John`s Regional Fire Department demonstrating a new technique for testing ladders. By using a hydraulic tool to test rung strength instead of lifting heavy sandbags, firefighters can protect their backs. Members of the St. John’s Regional Fire Department are featured in print ads as part of the campaign.  

Print ads share stories of local heroes protecting each other’s backs, profiling workplaces in the province where changes were made to protect backs from workplace injury. 

The campaign was developed in a cost-sharing partnership with workers’ compensation organizations in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. 

Serving approximately 12,000 injured workers and over 17,500 employers, the Commission is an employer-funded, no fault insurance system that promotes safe and healthy workplaces, provides return-to-work programs and offers fair compensation to injured workers and their dependents.   

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Chris Flanagan, Director of Communications
Telephone: 709-778-1590 or 709-728-7869 

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