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It was a busy evening on October 3rd for the St. John Ambulance Peel Branch in Mississauga. As the courses finished and the students left, we converted our training rooms into a seminar hall to accommodate 75 people. By 6:00 pm., the place smelled of authentic Indian cuisine and coffee. We were ready to welcome the members of Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce and other community partners at our occupational health and safety seminar focusing on “Return on Investment in Health and Safety at Work”. Our enthusiasm to collaborate with multicultural organizations to create awareness about safety in the workplace was met with reciprocal support from our speakers and exhibitors that ultimately led to the success of this event. Steve Mahoney, President of the Radiation Safety Institute of Canada and former Chair of WSIB, who was the keynote speaker for the evening emphasized upon the role of WSIB in helping business-owners get a return on their investment in health and safety by identifying and controlling safety hazards, and staying compliant with regulations. Steve said, “It’s not about blame, it’s about responsibility. There is no excuse for occupational injuries. The key is prevention.

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Our second speaker for the evening was William Sterritt from 407ETR who made an interesting presentation on health and safety regulations in Ontario. He reiterated, “Don’t be complacent and don’t be afraid. Be proactive. Safety is a behavior and safety should be part of your life every single day.” Steve Horvath, President and CEO of Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety shared a presentation on building an injury-free workplace. The last speaker for the evening was Dianne Rende, Executive Director of the Peel Branch. Dianne elaborated on First Aid Regulation 1101 sharing her concern about its lack of awareness in the workplace. She informed the audience that the branch offers free site assessments for first aid for businesses to help them become compliant with the law and stay safe. Workers Safety & Prevention Services and Workers Health & Safety Centre also participated in the seminar by setting up exhibits.

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Naval Bajaj, President of Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce applauded the efforts of St. John Ambulance and appreciated the affinity program between the two organizations to educate the members about first aid and safety at home and work. He encouraged the South Asian businesses to train in first aid and CPR and learn more about health and safety. Naval Bajaj also assured that Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce will continue to work with St. John Ambulance to further the cause of community well-being.

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The event also included Life Saving Awards for three Mississauga residents who were honoured for saving a life using an AED at work. Marc Dexter presented the awards along with Dianne Rende and ended the evening with a vote of thanks to ICCC and other participating organ

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