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Ontario appoints province's first chief prevention officer

By Mari-Len De Guzman
George Gritziotis, new Ontario chief prevention officer

On track to implementing the recommendations by the Tony Dean health and safety review panel, the Ontario Ministry of Labour has appointed George Gritziotis as the province's first chief prevention officer. Gritziotis will be tasked to develop a provincial occupational health and safety strategey, among other things.

Ontario Minister of Labour Charles Sousa has appointed George Gritziotis as the province's first chief prevention officer as part of its ongoing effort to implement the recommendations set out by the Tony Dean Review Panel.

According to information posted on the Ministry of Labour website, Gritziotis has played an integral role in facilitating collaboration and partnerships, and advancing workplace safety and worker training, and stakeholder engagement among a wide range of industry, and provincial and federal government organizations. Since 2001, Gritziotis has served as founding executive director of the Construction Sector Council (CSC), a national organization committed to developing a highly skilled workforce that will support the human resource needs of Canada’s construction industry. This includes the development and distribution of apprenticeship, and occupational health and safety-related programs across the country.

Between 1999 and 2001, he was director of human resources and the employability development sector at Tecsult Eduplus Inc., a Montreal-based company specializing in human resources development for major civil engineering construction projects. At Tescult Eduplus, he was instrumental in obtaining a federal government contract to establish a national apprenticeship organization to promote apprenticeship and trades.

Gritziotis holds an MBA from the University of Ottawa and has an economics degree from Concordia University.

As chief prevention officer, Gritziotis will be responsible for:

    •    developing a provincial occupational health and safety strategy  

    •    coordinating and aligning Ontario's workplace health and safety prevention system

    •    providing advice on the prevention of workplace injuries and occupational diseases

The creation of the chief prevention Officer was one of the key recommendations in a December 2010 report from an expert panel mandated to review Ontario's workplace health and safety system.

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