CLEVELAND, OH --The Marble Institute of America(MIA) has announced plans to broaden its outreach in Canada with a comprehensive Canadian-centric safety program. The program looks to leverage the success of the MIA's safety program in the U.S. and will include a partnership with Safe at Work Ontario. Safe at Work Ontario is the Canadian Ministry of Labour's compliance strategy. It is designed to improve the health and safety culture of workplaces, reduce workplace injuries and illness, lessen the burden on the health care system, avoid costs for employers and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), and provide a level playing field for compliant companies.

The MIA's safety program in the U.S. has resulted in the creation of an ongoing series of safety meetings (available in the Members' area of the MIA Web site), a video detailing the proper procedures for safe slab handling, a video and technical module on the dangers of silicosis, and much more. Presently, the MIA safety committee is working to create an industry standard for container loading and to design and implement a safety certificate program for companies who demonstrate a base level of safety training at their facilities. MIA's goal with the Canadian outreach is to tailor each of these programs to the various Canadian provinces.

"None of these projects or programs would be possible without the time, energy and capital investment of the MIA Safety Committee," said Mike Loflin, MIA Industry Research & Information Manager. "The committee is happy to welcome several new Canadian members to the team whose goal will be to help drive this initiative in Canada, ensuring the subtle differences in the U.S. and Canadian markets are recognized. We're hoping that a successful program in Ontario will lead to subsequent programs in each Canadian province."

This safety outreach is the most recent development in a series outreach efforts the MIA has made in Canada. Prior to the announcement of this safety initiative, the MIA translated the Safety in the Stone Business technical module into French Canadian, removed U.S. references in the English version of Safety in the Stone Business technical module and replaced them with Canadian ones, opened the MIA Accreditation program to Canadian companies, and held MIA/Stone World education programs in Canada each of the last two years.