Yesterday, Ontario Waste Management Association (OWMA) representatives Rob Cook (CEO) and Francis Veilleux Chairman, Health & Safety Committee travelled to Waterloo, Ontario to participate in a media event to support a Private Members Bill (Bill 171) that would provide curbside collection workers protection by requiring motorists to "Slow Down - Move Over" when approaching waste and recycling vehicles. The event was hosted by Michael Harris, MPP (Kitchener-Conestoga) and sponsor of Bill 171 and also supported by Catherine Fife, MPP (Kitchener-Waterloo). Geoff Wilkinson (CEO) - Ontario Road Builders Association, also participated. Thanks to Luiza Furtado and Waste Management of Canada Corporation for hosting the event.
In his remarks, Rob Cook stressed that Bill 171 is an important initiative that will save lives and help ensure that waste and recycling workers go home at night to their families. The National Day of Mourning for workers killed or injured in the workplace is the right day to focus on initiatives that lower the risk to workers and create a safer workplace. The support of both Opposition Parties is welcome and OWMA believes that all parties should get behind the Bill and move for speedy adoption.
This Bill is important because every day 1,000‘s of public and private sector workers are out in our communities, often on busy streets collecting waste and recycling materials. Their workplace is a truck and the edge of the road where there is increased safety risk from careless and distracted drivers and rear end collisions.
This increased risk and resultant fatalities and injuries are a problem across North America leading many U.S. states and other Canadian provinces to enact similar legislation. It is time for Ontario to close the gap and provide the protection that waste and recycling collection workers are entitled to.
Click this link to view the first news clip from CTV - more to come. http://kitchener.ctvnews.ca/