The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board distributed a total of $208,468.27 in rebates to 21 district businesses at a ceremony here Tuesday.
“When we started this 10 years, I don’t think people ever thought we would have got to this point,” said Doug Anderson, chair of the Rainy River Valley Safety Coalition.
“The $208,000 that these area business are sharing from the Year 2000 [Safe Communities Incentive Program] is a tribute to those firms which are dedicated to improving health and safety in their own workplaces and this community,” he added.
The businesses, which are members of the RRVSC, received the rebate for collectively improving their workplace health and safety performance through participation in the WSIB’s SCIP program last year.
Each company was presented with a cheque representing its share of the total rebate.
“I feel that this refund is a tribute to how Rainy River District businesses have managed to run their businesses and remain committed to health and safety in the workplace,” said Fort Frances Mayor Glenn Witherspoon.
“It bodes well for any business to think safety first because they are not only thinking of how health and safety improves their business, but also how it acts to safeguard their employees and their employees’ families,” he added.
After speeches by Anderson, Mayor Witherspoon, Tony Agostino, small business manager with the WSIB, and Telford Advent, chair of the Rainy River Future Development Corp., SCIP partners were welcome to drop by the office and pick up their rebate cheques.
SCIP—now in its fourth year here—is a joint venture of the WSIB, local small businesses, and safe community groups. It encourages businesses to reduce WSIB insurance costs through improved health and safety.
The participating firms become part of a group policy, and they receive 75 percent of any savings resulting from combined improvements in their health and safety performance.
To assist employers in making their workplaces more safe, they attend safe workplace awareness training as well as learn how to implement health and safety programs, hazard identification, and return-to-work programs.
Small district business interested in joining SCIP can contact Jeannette Cawston, WSIB community program co-ordinator, at 274-3276.
Recruiting for the 2002 program is underway.