The Premier’s “Jersey of Courage” comes to Oakville

formal photo of 50 people around a signed jersey

On the morning of December 18, 2015, the “Jersey of Courage” came to Oakville, with safety leaders signing the renowned symbol of safety in the workplace.

“We are thrilled to see our organization take the lead and sign the “Jersey of Courage” and, once again, commit to enhancing the importance of building a safety culture,” said Rob Lister, President and CEO of Oakville Hydro. “Safety is our top priority and we want to encourage youth to embrace that

Oakville Hydro hosted Rob Ellis, founder of MySafeWork, dignitaries, and safety leaders as Oakville Hydro became the first organization to sign the Premier’s “Jersey of Courage” and add to the thousand of signatures. Mr. Ellis lost his son David in a tragic workplace accident in February 1999. Since the loss of his son, Rob Ellis and his daughter created MySafeWork, a non-profit organization whose goal is to create awareness about the need for employers, as well as employees to ensure work place safety.

“By signing the “Jersey of Courage,” business leaders agree to integrate health and safety into their business strategies, processes and performance measures,” said Kevin Flynn, Ontario’s Minister of Labour and MPP for Oakville. “It is only by engaging the senior leadership that real change can occur and that we can advance toward our goal of eliminating all workplace injuries and fatalities.”

“This important event raises the standard of safety performance in Ontario and saves lives,” said Rob Ellis. “Encouraging courageous leaders across the Province to sign the “Jersey of Courage” begins with tremendous organizations like Oakville Hydro. Great leaders inspire other leaders to be courageous and impact the future of our Province and nation.”

“We must make safety the first priority everywhere – the workplace, in business, in the homes and in the communities. It is imperative we communicate and educate our young people in the schools and help them understand the importance of safety,” said Oakville Mayor Rob Burton.

About the Jersey of Courage from MySafeWork.com

MySafeWork, in conjunction with its partners – employers and schools across Canada – has developed a couple of working documents that help empower employees and students to be safe at work. Members of the MySafeWork team take this Safety Charter with them to the schools and organizations to get buy-in and commitment from students and employees. MySafeWork has had 350,000+ autographs from employees and students signing the Safety Charter in the form of hockey jerseys. The momentum is strong for workplace knowledge and an opportunity to impact the future.

The Jersey of Courage: A Safety Charter

In 2005 Duncan Hawthorne CEO of Bruce Power set out a vision for the CEO Health and Safety Charter. It was founded on the “principle that the effective management and championship of health and safety is essential to the operation of a successful business. Front line leaders, supervisors, management, and senior executives are all encouraged to support the organization’s safety vision by the signing of the Employee Safety Charter hockey jerseys! The principles of the Employee Safety Charter are:

  1. Everyone can personally participate in improving safety performance to meet world class standards.
  2. Everyone can work together to find new ideas and innovations for safety strategies.
  3. Everyone is responsible for transferring knowledge and experience to the next generation and families in local communities.

If everyone in the organization continues to seek and improve their workplace environment they will have a direct impact on reducing risks to all workers, reduce costs and produce better products. Everyone wins when the commitment to success is made by every level of the organization.

Student Safety Charter

MySafeWork introduced the Student Safety Charter to High Schools in 2012. The focus of the Student Safety Charter is to encourage future leaders and school staff to work together and develop a vision for a Safety Charter that was important to young workers and to their specific region. Staff and students could use the Safety Charter as a point of discussion in cooperative classrooms. Students could sign the Student Safety Charter after writing the vision for student safety.

The first Safety Charter Vision was completed by Central Tech High Collegiate in Toronto in January 2012. This Vision has been modified in different regions across Canada. The following is an outline of this first Student Safety Charter:

  1. Safety is our priority.
  2. We ask when we are not certain.
  3. We are responsible for everyone’s safety.
  4. We do not take risks.
  5. We address all safety concerns.
  6. We promote and maintain a safety culture.
  7. We report all incidents.


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