Follow-up to printing and converting sector training pilot

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

WSN program training specialist Jerry Traer reports on joint Ontario Printing and Imaging Association-Workplace Safety North initiative

Workers in discussion at training sessionLast month,  in conjunction with the industry association Ontario Printing and Imaging Association (OPIA), Workplace Safety North (WSN) piloted a brand-new two-day Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) Basic Certification training program specific to sector hazards. This program “Printing and Converting Sector Specific Training” was designed for the printing and converting sector, which is much different than the pulp and paper sector. Machines are smaller, and workers are more hands-on. 

Thank you to the Ontario Printing and Imaging Association, which provides their member firms with resources including occupational health and safety information. The partnership between the OPIA and WSN allows both organizations to provide accurate and industry-specific information to make industry workplaces safer. 

Hosted by Transcontinental Printing in Vaughan, Roslyn Wright, Health and Safety Advisor was instrumental in providing a training venue for this event.

Health and safety issues specific to printing and converting sector

The training focused on JHSC needs and covered some of the most prevalent issues in the printing and converting sectors with regards to health and safety. Musculoskeletal disorders or MSDs is the number one claim reported to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board within all industries in the province including the printing and converting sectors.

Other topics that were covered included chemical and physical hazards like noise and heat stress. Safe use of machinery, lockout and falls were discussed in the second day of the program. In addition, the new program has an evaluation component similar to Basic Certification – Part 1. Opportunities for improvement were provided by the participants and will be reviewed and, in most cases, adopted into the program. As a developer, this is what you are looking for when you run a pilot program with industry representatives. 

Group provides sector feedback

As a program training specialist, I not only conduct health and safety training, but also help develop the training material. So, when the opportunity came up to conduct this training pilot, I had the chance to instruct the program and review it as a developer. This is great as I get to see how the program works, how it flows from one section to another, and how the participants are engaged in learning. In my opinion, it’s a great exercise and very satisfying.

I’d like to thank all those who took part in the training and offered their valuable feedback. All in all, it was a great experience and we look forward to providing the printing and converting sectors with industry-specific content to help make workplaces safer.

Jerry Traer, Program-Training Specialist, has worked with Workplace Safety North, and its predecessor, the Pulp and Paper Health and Safety Association, for more than 15 years. His background includes 20 years with one of the largest pulp and paper plants in the world, as well as a certificate in Pulp and Paper Technology from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. As a Certified Registered Safety Professional, Jerry has made numerous presentations at safety conferences across Canada, and sits on three Canadian Standards Association technical committees: Confined Space, Risk Assessment, and Machine Safeguarding . He works closely with all firms in paper, printing, and converting sectors in Toronto East and Eastern Ontario. Contact: