Motor vehicle incidents (MVIs) account for more than 30% of all Ontario worker fatalities (45% when powered industrial vehicles or powered mobile industrial equipment in the workplace are included - Workplace Safety and Insurance Board).
On June 28 to 30, 2011, Health & Safety Ontario hosted a three-day Motor Vehicle Safety Institute with participants from Ontario industry, the prevention system, government, communities and other organizations. The Institute took place at the Centre for Health & Safety Innovation in Mississauga, and was led by Dr. Jeff Linkenbach and his colleagues from the Center for Health and Safety Culture at Montana State University.
Leaders and participants expressed their support for the use of the Positive Community Norms process to address MVIs and other prevention issues, throughout the three days:
- Elizabeth Mills, President and CEO, Workplace Safety & Prevention Services, opened the Institute on June 28, emphasizing the need to undertake a journey of transformation that over time will change attitudes and behaviours, and ensure sustainability. She encouraged participants to build a community that harnesses the spirit behind what makes motor vehicle safety important to us as individuals, before jumping into actions and solutions.
- On June 29, the Honourable Steven Mahoney, Chair of the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB), brought his personal passion and energy, as well as WSIB support, to the cause. He stressed the importance of transforming culture, and encouraged participants to share what they learned about the Positive Community Norms process with their families, children, neighbours, and colleagues.
- The Honourable Charles Sousa, Minister of Labour, expressed his support in a letter addressed to Health & Safety Ontario and Institute participants, thanking them for their continued focus on preventing motor vehicle incidents – a leading cause of fatalities in Ontario. He noted that the Motor Vehicle Safety Institute provided an opportunity for collaborative partnerships to take root and “influence the way all Ontarians think about vehicle safety at work and at home.”
The Motor Vehicle Safety Institute built on the work achieved in 2010, and laid a foundation for participants to
- create a Motor Vehicle Safety Community of Practice to reduce MVIs in Ontario through the seven-step Positive Community Norms process
- deepen their understanding and gain portable skills on how organizations and communities can use the Science of the Positive and the three perspectives of “Spirit, Science, and Action” to address MVIs and other prevention issues
- expand the community of engaged stakeholders, some of whom have joined the Motor Vehicle Safety Action Committee, to continue the work that has been started
Call to Action: Join our Community and Help Make a Difference
If you are interested in learning more about how the Positive Community Norms process will be used to address motor vehicle incidents—one of the top four hazards in Ontario—and its application to other prevention issues, please create an account and join our online Motor Vehicle Safety Community of Practice.
You will be able to
- access the summary report on the June 28-30 Motor Vehicle Safety Institute (to be posted soon)
- learn how Ontario will be applying the seven-step Positive Community Norms model to address motor vehicle safety (and other prevention issues)
- collaborate with a network of engaged stakeholders that form our community
- participate in community conversations through scheduled webinars and discussion forums, and lend support where you are able
The ground truth of the Positive Community Norms model
A pioneer of the Positive Community Norms model, Dr. Linkenbach has conducted research in the US and Canada to successfully change community behaviours related to motor vehicle safety and other health concerns:
- Perkins, H. W., Linkenbach, J., Lewis, M. A., & Neighbors, C. (2010). Effectiveness of social norms media marketing in reducing drinking and driving: A statewide campaign. Addictive Behaviors. Vol. 35, (10), October 2010, 866-874.
This research evaluated the efficacy of a high-intensity social norms media marketing campaign aimed at correcting normative misperceptions and reducing the prevalence of drinking and driving among 21-to-34- year-olds in Montana. A quasi-experimental design was used, such that regions of Montana were assigned to one of three experimental groups: social norms media marketing campaign, buffer, and control. Four random samples of Montanans between the ages of 21 and 34 were assessed at four time points over 18 months via phone surveys. Findings suggest that the social norms media campaign was successful at exposing the targeted population to social norms messages in the counties within the intervention region. Moreover, results demonstrate the campaign reduced normative misperceptions, increased use of designated drivers, and decreased drinking and driving among those young adults in counties within the intervention region.
Social norms media marketing can be effective at changing drinking-related behaviors at the population level. This research provides a model for utilizing social norms media marketing to address other behaviors related to public health.
© 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
To receive a copy of this article, please send an email request care of firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why Driving Motor Vehicles May be the Biggest Risk Your Employees Face
In the past 20 years, the number of Ontario citizens who died or were injured as a result of motor vehicle incidents (MVIs) has been trending downwards, making our province a road safety leader in North America. That’s reason to be proud. And yet, any number of people killed or injured on Ontario roads or in Ontario workplaces is too many.
How motor vehicle incidents affect workers
Motor vehicle collisions on Ontario roads are the greatest single cause of, and accounted for more than 30 per cent of, all Ontario worker fatalities—making MVIs the biggest risk Ontarians face each day they go to work. This number increases to 45 per cent when we include powered industrial vehicles or powered mobile industrial equipment in the workplace; i.e. vehicles used to lift and move material, such as forklifts, pallet trucks, walkie stackers and scissor lifts.
In 2008, according to the Ministry of Transportation Ontario Road Safety Annual Report, 2008:
- 631 people were killed and more than 62,000 injured as a result of motor vehicle incidents on our roads and in our workplaces
- these numbers represent 0.70 fatalities for every 10,000 licensed drivers in Ontario
- on an average day in Ontario, motor vehicle collisions will kill almost two people and injure more than 170 others
The major factors leading to these fatalities are:
- Drinking and driving: 27% of total fatalities
- Large truck crashes: 22%
- Driver speed: 21%
- Unbelted occupants: 20%
The top driver conditions and actions that contribute to fatal collisions:
- Impairment as a result of alcohol or drugs
- Being inattentive (e.g. from fatigue or distractions)
- Aggressive behaviour, such as driving too fast
According to the Enterprise Information Warehouse 2005-2009, Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB):
- Motor vehicle collisions on Ontario roads are the greatest single cause of, and account for more than 30% of, all Ontario worker fatalities—making MVIs the biggest risk Ontarians face each day they go to work.
- This number increases to 45% when we include powered industrial vehicles or powered mobile industrial equipment in the workplace; i.e. vehicles used to lift and move material, such as forklifts, pallet trucks, walkie stackers and scissor lifts.
About Health & Safety Ontario
Health & Safety Ontario (HSO) is the result of a bold move to reorganize the independent efforts of 12 health and safety associations into four streamlined organizations to better serve more than 236,000 Ontario businesses. HSO is comprised of: Infrastructure Health & Safety Association, Public Services Health & Safety Association, Workplace Safety North, and Workplace Safety & Prevention Services.