October 29, 2019
The establishment of a manufacturing and processing sector council announced today by the Minister Responsible for WorkplaceNL the Honourable Sherry Gambin-Walsh and WorkplaceNL CEO Mr. Dennis Hogan is being met with approval from the province’s seafood processors.
“This is good news – long awaited news – but welcome news,” says Derek Butler, with the Association of Seafood Producers. “Getting this far has taken some work and compromise on the part of all involved, it has been a great effort. Now we turn to the very practical and real work of improving worker safety in our respective industry sectors.”
Sector councils are business-labour initiatives created under the WorkplaceNL mandate to advance worker safety in the province’s various industries, a model first adopted in the mid-2000s.
Butler says the fish processing sector has made significant progress in recent years, with a 40% reduction in its lost-time incident rate, for example, and a 30% reduction in soft-tissue incident injury rate, but there is more to be done.
“Building a safety culture in our plants – and in all Newfoundland and Labrador workplaces in manufacturing and processing – will have real impacts, real consequences, in terms of costs of injuries, but more importantly, in every worker going home safe each night,” said Butler.