Introduction Government legislation, regulation and policy are important components of workplace prevention. While many jurisdictions have legislation and regulations that provide direction for workplace prevention, it is also important the government promotes workplace prevention in priority areas. In Ontario the focus has traditionally been on accidents and ergonomic issues. In 2016 the Province of Ontario, Canada initiated an Occupational Disease Action Plan (ODAP) to move the prevention of occupational disease into priority focus. The objective of this session is to describe the process leading to the development and implementation of the ODAP with respect to skin allergens and irritants.
Methods The Prevention Office of the Ontario Ministry of Labour held a meeting bringing together of occupational disease research and data experts and occupational health and safety (OHS) system partners to review and recommend where prevention efforts should be focused. Two lists of potential exposure and disease priorities were developed. A Reference Group was formed of OHS system partners that created a propriety ranking of areas for focus. An Implementation Team and Working Groups were formed to carry each priority area forward.
Results The five priority areas identified included general occupational disease awareness and skin and lung allergens and irritants. A working group for Allergens and Irritants is initially identifying priority allergens and irritants and will then move forward with awareness, resource and training development.
Discussion The development and implementation of the ODAP will see increased government and OHS system partner focus on occupational disease including skin allergens and irritants. Following prioritization of key skin allergens and irritants, resources and training opportunities will be reviewed and gaps filled. In addition, Ministry of Labour operations staff will ensure that the ODAP priorities are included in inspections and other activities.
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