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May 2, 2017
WINNIPEG - As part of National Mental Health Awareness Week, SAFE Work
Manitoba is promoting its Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace
Strategy. The strategy is focused on giving employers the tools to improve workplace
psychological health and safety, prevent and reduce psychological injury to
workers, and enhance the culture of workplace safety to include psychological
The strategy is designed to help employers apply the National
Standard of Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace (the Standard) to
their workplaces. The Standard is a set of voluntary guidelines, tools and
resources intended to guide organizations in promoting mental health and
preventing psychological harm at work.
The Standard defines a psychologically healthy and safe
workplace as one that “promotes workers’ psychological well-being and actively
works to prevent harm to worker psychological health, including in negligent,
reckless or intentional ways.”
Jamie Hall, Chief Operating Officer of SAFE Work Manitoba,
said the strategy aligns well with growing awareness of the significance of
mental health as a component of overall safety and health at work. "Physical
health has long been the measure of worker safety and health," said Hall.
"We now recognize that psychological health and safety in the workplace is
also important. Psychological harm can cause just as much pain, suffering and
cost as physical injuries."
The personal and economic cost of workplace psychological
health issues is enormous. In a typical week, 500,000 Canadians are not able to
work due to psychological issues, according to the Mental Health Commission of
Canada. The annual national cost of workplace losses due to mental health
issues is estimated to be $20 billion.
SAFE Work Manitoba's strategy publication outlines work in
three key areas – raising awareness of workplace psychological health and
safety; developing practical tools and resources for workplaces; and building
the capacity of partners to provide services. The publication also features
profiles of two employers that are making strides to improve psychological
health and safety in their workplaces – the Royal Canadian Mint and FWS Group.
Also featured is a profile of a Winnipeg paramedic and his experience with
post-traumatic stress disorder.
To ensure the strategy meets the needs of Manitobans, SAFE
Work Manitoba worked with stakeholders, consulted an advisory group and met with
representatives of workplaces (private, public and high-risk occupations), community
service organizations, safety organizations and labour groups. SAFE Work Manitoba
also consulted with the Workplace Safety and Health Branch, Canada Labour
Program and Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba to support the co-ordination
SAFE Work Manitoba is the public agency dedicated to the
prevention of workplace injury and illness. Working with our partners in the
safety community, we provide prevention education, safety programming,
consulting and strategic direction to create a genuine culture of safety for
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Warren Preece, Director of Communications
SAFE Work Manitoba — a division of the WCB is the public agency dedicated to the prevention of workplace injury and illness.
Working with our partners in the safety community, we provide prevention education, safety programming, consulting and strategic direction to create a genuine culture of safety for all Manitobans.