CANADA: The New Workplace Safety Ads are Revolting. That's Why they Work

Originally posted by Charles Lezette at UBC Newsroom - 12/04/2007

The WSIB campaign also features print and outdoor ads with similar themes. And there's a series of radio ads, one of them featuring screeching tires, screams and a theatrical voiceover about how a speeding delivery driver could have prevented the funerals of a mother and child.

Many people find the ads unsettling, distressing and even offensive. Last week, WSIB chairman Stephen Mahoney revealed that 60 per cent of e-mails received since the latest campaign was launched have been critical. Transit authorities in Mississauga, Windsor and Hamilton have rejected WSIB bus-shelter ads because they are too graphic.

WSIB on YouTube

Full Story at www.ubcnewsroom.com


Anonymous said...

No one would argue that workplace safety is not important. However, these gory ads are an elaborate social marketing campaign orchestrated to manipulate the public into talking about accidents, safety and prevention rather than talking about the failure of workers compensation boards to compensate the victims. WCBs in each Canadian province (and in the US) have come under a lot of scrutiny for their avoidance of paying fair compensation to disabled workers. The fact that people are talking about the ads rather than the dysfunctionality of the WCB system shows that this orchestrated social manipulation campaign is working.

WCBs in Canada and the US represent employers (the only ones paying into the fund). Therefore WCBs will do whatever they can to lower fees for corporations. One way is by denying compensation payments to disabled workers. But this would be socially unacceptable unless the public can also be manipulated into believing that the worker is somehow negligent or at fault for causing the accident. In this social marketing campaign, WCBs are subtly adopting the language of the anti-drunk-driver campaign - " zero tolerance" "negligence", etc. to manipulate public attitudes towards injured workers. They also use the term "accidents" rather than "injuries" to take the focus away from the person and onto the event. These ads, and other orchestrated 'social engineering' techniques lay the foundation for WCBs to justify a reduction in injury compensation payments to disabled workers by manipulating public attitudes toward disabled workers.

Those injured workers in the videos would realistically spend the rest of their lives in poverty fighting the WCB for compensation.

The way to reduce injuries is to make companies accountable for workplace safety violations through realistic fees, not protect unsafe companies from these higher fees by denying disabled workers' claims.

If you think the WSIB's ads are scary, check out the Canadian Injured Workers Society at http://www.ciws.ca for a real eye-opener!

Joe638NYC said...

Thank you Anonymous, I will be sure to keep an eye on these videos, please bring back more info if you come across it

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