|90 Years of Workplace
Health and Safety History at IAPA
1884: Passage of the Ontario Factories
Act. It sets up a system of inspection to ensure safety
and health standards in factories. The number of hours
that could be worked was set at 72 per week.
1906: Report of the Ontario Inspectors
of Factories notes that Ontario
had 636 industrial accidents, 95 of which were
1914: Passage of the Workmen's Compensation
Act, creating the Workmen's Compensation Board. Ontario
is the first province in Canada to have such an act.
1915: Federation of Safety Associations
(precursor of IAPA). Creation of associations was instigated
by the Canadian Manufacturers Association:
The existence of the provisions
for Accident Prevention Associations in the Act is due
entirely to the Canadian Manufacturers Association.
The development of the Provisions is likewise due to
the Canadian Manufacturers Association. It will depend,
as all such things do, upon the manner in which the
principles of the scheme are applied and adapted in
practice, particularly in the initial stages, whether
the work will be successful and permanent.
233 workplace fatalities in Ontario
July 17, 1917: The Industrial Accident
Prevention Associations (IAPA) is formed with an initial
staff of seven people.
19 safety associations amalgamate to form IAPA, among
- Furniture Manufacturers Safety Association
- Woodworkers Accident Prevention Association
- Ceramics and Stone Safety Association
- Metal Trades Safety Association
- Implement and Vehicle Manufacturers Safety Association
- Chemical Industries Safety Association
- Packers Accident Prevention Association
- Food and Tobacco Products Safety Association
- Leather, Rubber, and Tanners Safety Association
- Textile Manufacturers Safety Association
- Wearing Apparel Manufacturers, Cleaners, and Launderers
- Printing Trades Accident Prevention Association
IAPA’s vision is to “represent and act
for its member associations for accident prevention.”
November 25, 1917: IAPA’s first
annual conference on the subject of workplace health
and safety is held at the Normal School in Toronto and
attended by 250 people.
*In 2007, attendance at IAPA’s 90th annual conference
exceeded more than 6,000 people.
1921: IAPA’s first General Manager
- R.B. Morley:
Safety is not a new idea; it is as old as man. Safety
is largely a matter of common sense. We have heard in
the last few years a very general use of ‘efficiency’
and ‘co-operation’ but it seems to me, we
have to get down to another word in accident prevention
work and that is ‘responsibility.’
1924: IAPA establishes the Essex/Kent
Division – the first group of volunteers that
would assist IAPA staff in the delivery of its services
to the community, as well as the exchange of health
and safety information. More than 20 Divisions across
Ontario would follow.
IAPA’s annual conference becomes a two-day event
and is attended by 400 people.
1925: First health and safety trade
show at IAPA’s annual conference with the introduction
of a safety equipment exhibition.
*In 2007, 410 booths featuring health and safety products
and services were featured on the trade show floor at
IAPA’s 90th annual conference.
1928: Canada, and IAPA in particular,
is gaining recognition in the worldwide community of
industrial nations. At a 1928 IAPA meeting, cablegrams
of good wishes arrive from such cities as Sydney, Brussels,
Geneva, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Budapest, and Tokyo.
1930: IAPA represents 8,000 member
firms, which in turn represent 200,000 people.
1932: Employment and Social Insurance
Act and Minimum Wage Act are passed. Public workers
are limited to a 44-hour workweek and industrial workers
are limited to a 48-hour workweek. Rapid changes in
industry, brought on by mass production and introduction
of new machinery.
1939: IAPA introduces a Certificate
of Merit to be awarded to firms that operate one year
without a lost-time accident.
1940: IAPA has a labour inspection
staff of 16 people, who carry out 11,000 inspections.
IAPA also distributes over a million pieces of accident
1941 – 1945: Prime Minister
Mackenzie King sends message to IAPA:
With the utmost conservation of manpower, essential
to a total war effort, every effort to reduce the number
of industrial accidents is a vital national service.
1946: IAPA launches its first October
Safety Drive - would be an annual campaign for several
decades that advocated general health and safety.
IAPA annual conference attracted 3,000 delegates, 2,000
from outside of the Toronto area.
1949: IAPA’s membership numbers
17,000 firms. As part of its annual October safety drive,
IAPA launches a No Accident Month Campaign and begins
to recognize firms that have operated one million hours
without a lost-time accident.
IAPA General Manager R.B. Morley is one of three Canadian
delegates to attend the Technical Conference on Safety
in Industrial Establishments, held in Geneva, Switzerland.
1950: IAPA staff numbers 57 individuals,
19 of whom are workplace inspectors. A total of 10,419
plant inspections and 18,894 recommendations for the
improvements of conditions found in the plants of IAPA
members are made. A major activity of IAPA at this time
is the publishing of posters, pamphlets, and booklets
on accident prevention. Approximately, 1.5 million pieces
of literature on workplace health and safety are produced.
IAPA General Manager R.B. Morley retires in 1950. A
trophy is named in his honour and awarded to the company
operating for the greatest number of hours without a
lost-time accident. The Campbell Soup Company is the
Gordon Anderson becomes IAPA’s second General
IAPA is educating member firms about workplace health
and safety through literature items, training courses,
plant visits by field staff, safety films, and televised
public service announcements. IAPA inspectors are renamed
“safety counselors,” reflecting the shift
at IAPA from an inspection force to a source of training
1956: IAPA launches Accident Prevention,
a health and safety magazine for its membership.
IAPA’s annual conference attracts 3,928 delegates
who represent 10 provinces and 12 U.S. states.
1961: IAPA initiates request for federal
legislation requiring labelling of hazardous substances.
1964: Amendment of the Workmen's Compensation
Act. It establishes the role of the associations as
education, not inspection.
1965: IAPA opens the Safety Training
Centre, complete with facilities for classroom sessions
and practical demonstrations. The Centre would close
in 1984 and training courses would be offered closer
to participants’ workplaces.
IAPA General Manager Gordon Anderson summarizes the
efforts of accident prevention associations like IAPA:
Ontario has for years had one of the lowest percentages
of compensable serious injury cases in any province
or state. This is a tribute to Ontario’s accident
1967: IAPA develops a new department,
Consultation Services, whose staff will consult with
firms about new equipment hazard evaluation and serious
1969: IAPA’s third General Manager,
R.G. Loftus, begins his tenure.
1970: IAPA changes its name from Industrial
Accident Prevention Associations to Industrial Accident
IAPA finances a study carried out at York University
called Project FACTS to determine the effects of first-aid
training on the rate of industrial accidents. Statistics
showed a strong correlation between first-aid training
and fewer injuries. Supported by IAPA, St. John’s
Ambulance would conduct a test program involving the
training of individuals in the workplace and the Workmen’s
Compensation Board (today’s Workplace Safety and
Insurance Board) would sponsor the initiative.
1971: IAPA’s annual conference
becomes a three-day event.
IAPA General Manager R.G. Loftus is invited by the
Department of Labour and National Service of the Commonwealth
of Australia to address delegates at the National Conference
on Industrial Safety.
IAPA records show the association was visited by occupational
health and safety representatives from Australia, South
Africa, Ireland, New Zealand, and Hong Kong.
1975: IAPA launches concept of loss
control management which sees a change from injury investigation
to looking at the basic cause of accidents, whether
an injury occurred or not, and emphasizing injury prevention.
IAPA’s Loss Control Management seminars would
become the association’s most popular training
session, which had a 46.5% increase in registration
in the first four months of 1976, compared with 1975.
Loss Control Management became dubbed the “hub
of the accident prevention wheel” with other training
seminars complementing it, such as Damage Control, Accident
Investigation, Practical Accident Control Techniques,
Safety Committee, and Safety Co-ordinator’s Development.
1976: J.V. Findlay becomes IAPA’s
fourth General Manager. IAPA would go on to establish
the J.V. Findlay Award – a bursary for students
pursuing studies in occupational health and safety.
1979: Ontario Occupational Health
and Safety Act is passed.
1983: IAPA launches 25-in-5 Program,
aimed at reducing lost-time injuries in Ontario by 25%
in five years.
1984: IAPA reorganizes into five regional
centres to allow for more focused and efficient means
of meeting the needs of its member firms: London, Burlington,
Rexdale, Kingston, and Sudbury.
1987: IAPA launches the School Safety
Awareness Program to introduce health and safety to
secondary and vocational schools. Students receive certification
in recognition of successful completion of an in-class
health and safety program.
R.H. Ramsay becomes IAPA’s fifth General Manager.
1990: IAPA’s staff numbers 230.
IAPA firms targeted by the association and received
its assistance posted a 23% reduction in their injury
1995: The position of General Manager
is replaced with the position of President and CEO and
filled by Maureen Shaw.
More than 14,000 members and customers enrolled in
IAPA courses and another 6,000 completed IAPA's core
certification training, a standardized health and safety
program for joint health and safety committees.
1996: IAPA sets goal of 30% reduction
in workplace injuries by the year 2000.
IAPA offers ergonomics services and physical demands
analysis as part of its consulting services as repetitive
strain injuries become an increasing area of concern.
*IAPA would be part of the health and safety team that
created the MSD Prevention Guideline and Resource Manual
for Ontario, launched on February 28, 2007.
Young Worker Awareness Program (YWAP) is launched.
Developed by IAPA and the Workers Health and Safety
Centre, YWAP is supported by the Workplace Safety and
Insurance Board. IAPA’s volunteers are heavily
involved in the steering of YWAP.
1997: IAPA introduces a new vision
To improve the quality of life in
workplaces and communities we serve by being an internationally
recognized leader in providing effective programs, products
and services for the prevention of injury and illness.
A world where risks are controlled
because everyone believes suffering and loss are morally,
socially, and economically unacceptable.
IAPA and the Occupational Safety and Health Council
of Hong Kong sign an agreement aimed at the prevention
of workplace injury, illness, and death by pooling resources
1998: IAPA’s annual conference
is attended by more than 4,700 delegates.
2000: IAPA is named one of the best
places to work in Canada – Canada’s
Top 100 Employers by Richard Yerema.
IAPA customer value survey finds that 93% of customers
felt their expectations were met or exceeded.
IAPA launches the IMS System™ - the association’s
own integrated management system for safety, health,
and the environment, which offers a unique solution
for organizations wanting to streamline their managed
2002: IAPA is designated as an International
Labour Organization – CIS Collaborating Centre,
one of only three in Canada.
2003: 48,287 young people participate
in IAPA’s youth outreach health and safety activities.
2004: For the first time in IAPA history,
the lost-time injury rate for IAPA member firms drops
below 2.00 (the average number of lost-time injuries
experienced for every 100 workers).
31,431 people participate in IAPA training programs,
a 9% increase over 2003.
IAPA becomes a sponsor of the Workplace Safety and
Insurance Board’s Safety Group program.
Firms in IAPA’s Safety Group experience
a 26.2% reduction in lost-time injuries.
IAPA develops new two-day Certification Part One training
for manufacturing and offices. The manufacturing course
ranks as one of the year’s top five training choices
IAPA is designated as a World Health Organization (WHO)
Collaborating Centre in Occupational Health.
IAPA is the only centre among 56 worldwide to assume
the title of a "WHO Collaborating Centre in Workplace
Injury and Illness Prevention."
2005: IAPA achieves one million hours
worked over 15 years without a lost-time injury.
Member firms experiencing an IAPA training intervention
experience a 17% reduction in lost-time accidents.
The CEO Health & Safety Leadership Charter, an
alliance of business and government leaders from all
regions and sectors across Canada committed to achieving
a Canada-wide breakthrough in health and safety performance,
is launched at IAPA’s annual conference.
IAPA’s President and CEO Maureen Shaw, as well
as other representatives from IAPA, are invited to address
delegates at the International Labour Office/International
Social Security Association XVIIth World Congress in
IAPA collaborates with the Pan American Health Organization.
IAPA co-hosts Pakistan’s first major workplace
health and safety conference.
Statistics from the Association of Worker’s Compensation
Boards of Canada show that every day in Canada three
workers are killed and 926 workers are injured on the
2006: IAPA’s head office moves
to the Centre for Health & Safety Innovation, a
project initiated in 1999.
IAPA develops, in collaboration with the Municipal
Health & Safety Association, Confined Space Entry,
a new training program, which receives the Canadian
Award for Training Excellence for an External Training
Program from the Canadian Society for Training and Development.
IAPA’s training program for new and inexperienced
young workers, First 4 Weeks, receives an honourable
mention in the External e-Learning Training Program
IAPA is certified to ISO 9001:2000 for the design and
delivery of training.
IAPA receives the National Quality Institute’s
Progressive Excellence Program Level III for Quality
IAPA is a recipient of a Bronze Level Quality Award
of the Canada Awards for Excellence.
The International Association of Labour Inspectors (IALI)
holds its annual conference in Toronto – the first
time an IALI conference is held in North America. IAPA
co-hosts IALI Conference 2007 with IALI and the Ontario
Ministry of Labour, in cooperation with the International
Labour Organization, the Government of Canada, and the
Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.
IAPA’s staff numbers more than 210, with offices
in Mississauga, London, Ottawa, Sudbury, and Thunder
IAPA represents more than 50,000 member firms and in
excess of 1.5 million Ontario workers. IAPA is one of
Canada’s leading workplace health and safety organizations.
The association is focused on providing industry-leading
training, consulting, educational products, and informational
services that meet members’ needs and the needs
of those in their communities.
The industry groups that IAPA represents include:
- Agri Business
- Chemical and Plastics
- Food and Beverage Products
- Glass, Stone and Ceramics
- Industrial/Auto Sales
- Leather, Rubber, and Tanners
- Metal Trades
- Office and Related Services
- Printing Trades
- Textile and Allied Trades