OHS Canada Magazine

Occupational Disease To Take Centre Stage at Forum 2005

October 13, 2004

Health & Safety

HAMILTON, ON (October 13, 2004) – Each year occupational diseases cause hundreds of deaths in Canada, and pain and disabling illnesses for many thousands more. On March 3-4, 2005, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) will host a national event in Toronto to focus
attention on this under-recognized workplace issue that has such an important human and economic impact on Canadians.

With “New Strategies for Recognizing and Preventing Occupational Diseases” as its theme, this first of its kind pan-Canadian forum will not only bring together government, employer and labour representatives – but also provide
an opportunity for researchers, health and safety practitioners, healthcare personnel, and others to exchange ideas, discuss how to improve recognition of occupational diseases, and recommend strategies to prevent disease and
control exposures to hazardous agents.

Topics on the agenda include work-related respiratory illness, cancer, and infectious disease, as well as musculoskeletal and stress-related disorders. Leading experts in a variety of occupational disease fields will share their expertise and discuss:

* Canadian occupational disease recognition and

* International developments, such as stress as an occupational disease

* Emerging occupational diseases of the 21st century

* Lessons learned from SARS as a workplace occupational disease

In addition there will be a “Mock Judicial Inquiry”, workshops on recognition, prevention and control strategies, plus a tripartite – government, employer and labour-led panel that will discuss where Canada should be heading, where to focus efforts, as well as to identify knowledge gaps and goals for the future.

When the Forum concludes, all Canadians will be invited to participate by providing feedback to the CCOHS Forum website which will report on the ideas and recommendations from the workshops and panel discussions. It is hoped
that the Forum will be the start of what will continue to be an ongoing discussion about occupational disease – one that will eventually lead to the eradication of work-related illness in Canada.

Information about the CCOHS Forum 2005 can be found on the website:

For further information contact:
Eleanor Irwin
Manager – Marketing, Sales and Communications
905.572.2981 X4408


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