CNIB celebrates its 100th Eye Safety Workshop with CNA students in Newfoundland and Labrador

1/16/2013

St. John’s, NL – CNIB marked an eye safety milestone in Newfoundland and Labrador as it partnered with College of the North Atlantic (CNA) to host its 100th Eye Safety Workshop today. The event marked the first in a series of workshops being offered by the college to its students across the province.

Since it was officially launched in October of 2010, more than 3,000 workers in Newfoundland and Labrador have participated in CNIB’s eye safety program.

According to statistical data collected by the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission, every four-and-a-half days a worker in this province suffers an eye injury. With proper eyewear, it is estimated that 90 per cent of these injuries could be prevented. In Newfoundland and Labrador, over the last five years, 1,700 eye injury claims were presented to and accepted by the commission at a cost of over $2 million dollars.

“We should never take our eyesight for granted,” said the Honourable Nick McGrath, Minister Responsible for the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission. “With the rapid expansion of industrial work environments in our province today, it is vital that we make every effort to instill a culture of safety and responsibility on the job. These workshops by the CNIB and CNA are extremely well-targeted to make a positive impact on the lives of the newest generation of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians entering the work force.”

CNIB’s Eye Safety Program offers students a 90-minute motivational workshop, featuring real-life stories, impactful visuals and interactive exercises which will help students better understand that they too have a role to play in their own health and safety.

“Through a post workshop evaluation we have determined of the 3,000 workers who participated, 94 per cent said they actively support wearing properly fitted eye protection in the workplace and understand the significance of protecting their vision,” said Warren Spires,  National Director for the Eye Safety Program at CNIB. “CNIB and College of the North Atlantic believe it is important to begin building that culture of eye safety among our students before they begin work in their chosen fields.”

“Today’s presentation to more than 20 students enrolled in the Welder program at CNA’s Prince Philip Drive campus is just the beginning. When we started the eye safety program in 2010, we made the commitment to our partners who support this program to ensure young workers of the future had access to this program and the information that would give them a good understanding of what they need to do to protect their vision. We are so pleased to have College of the North Atlantic on board to support this program, said Spires.”  

“The more encouragement and training they receive as students, the more likely they will be conscious of eye safety and hopefully the less likely to suffer eye injuries when they participate in the workforce,” said Ann Marie Vaughan, President and CEO of CNA. “The visual and emotional impacts of this presentation really make you think about how you conduct yourself in the workplace and even through normal day-to-day activities. CNIB has done a great job in presenting these workshops over the past two years and we look forward to sharing this information with our other campuses throughout the province.”

CNIB’s Eye Safety Program is a partnership with industry organizations, including Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission (WHSCC), Rio Tinto Iron Ore (IOC), Vale NL, Nalcor Energy, 3M Canada, NL Construction Safety Association, NL Association of Optometrists, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Inc., Vivid Communications and The Telegram.

Anyone who is interested in learning more about CNIB’s Eye Safety Program should call Debbie Ryan at (709) 754.1180 x 5811 or email Debbie.Ryan@cnib.ca or visit www.cnib.ca/eyesafety​​​​

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