Manitoba Immigrants’ Safety Initiative (MISI)

The Manitoba Immigrants’ Safety Initiative (MISI) was developed to prevent injury, death, and workplace-related illness for established and new immigrant workers in Manitoba, by using education. The program was funded and supported by the Workers Compensation Board (WCB) of Manitoba via its Community Initiatives and Research Program and developed to address the unique needs of, and produce health and safety education resources for, immigrant workers, their employers, and a variety of community stakeholders including: settlement agencies, government, employment programs, English as an Additional Language programs, Chambers of Commerce, and the Human Resource Management Association of Manitoba. MISI built on four pillars: secondary research development, primary research development, implementation, and evaluation.

 “The Employment Department at the Immigrant Centre (IC), which specializes in lower benchmark clients, had been trying to place clients in a Winnipeg factory. The Human Resources Department and Floor Supervisor were very concerned that newcomers would not fit in, would take lots of time off, and would not be able to understand the safety aspects of working in a factory. Thanks to the MISI material and the hard work and tenacity of the Employer Liaison, they agreed to hire one of our clients. We are very pleased to report that the company has advised us that they are extremely pleased with the client we placed at their company. He is an older skilled worker with low language skills and they are now placing him in a full-time status. They also indicated that they found the MISI material, as well as the ongoing support of our Employment Department, extremely helpful.

The ultimate success is that the company has just asked our Employment Department to find them three more workers. They asked that we find candidates as good as the last employee we sent there. Thanks to MISI and the Employment Department, we are truly making a difference!”

-Linda Lalande, Director General
Immigrant Centre of Manitoba

Accessibility

MISI was developed and implemented with a view to ensuring easy and broad accessibility for all the targeted stakeholders. Outreach and promotion were conducted throughout Manitoba. When the resources were produced, resource sharing events were held for stakeholders. Copies of all resources were made available at these events, which also featured orientation sessions regarding how to use the resources effectively. All of the resources produced under the initiative are available online and downloadable at no cost to end users. An e-newsletter keeps all stakeholder groups informed of the activities of MISI and identifies relevant research articles and information.

Newcomer Involvement

MISI drew on a model of community involvement and participation. Immigrant workers, employers, and other stakeholder groups were involved in all phases of the project. In the primary research phase, focus groups, interviews, and questionnaires were administered with immigrant workers, their employers, and other stakeholders. Client and stakeholder involvement was sustained throughout the project cycle.

Stakeholder Collaboration

Stakeholder groups, including government, participated in all phases of the project. Two advisory committees were formed for the project. The Community Advisory Committee had diverse community representation from government, industry, immigration and settlement organizations, employment agencies, labour, and education. The Project Steering Committee consisted of individuals in senior level positions to assist in the strategic management of the project and in its successful implementation. Four Resource Development Committees, comprised of community stakeholders, worked to develop unique resources in the Language, Culture, Rights and Responsibilities, and Resources.

Accountability

Accountability to WCB as project funder and to other community stakeholders was paramount. Regular project reporting to WCB, including progress updates, issue identification, and financial reporting, was completed on a quarterly basis. Accountability to all other stakeholders was also important as these individuals and organizations "donated" hundreds of hours of time and effort to developing the project. Without the support of WCB and the community stakeholders, the development of this project would not have been possible.

Positive Outcome

From March 2008 to March 2011, there have been 6,379 unique visits to the MISI website. A number of settlement organizations and employment programs have incorporated the project material into their training sessions.

Transferability

It was always a goal and a hope of the MISI program that the model of program development and the educational resources produced could assist other provinces or jurisdictions. Practitioners in other provinces or regions will be made aware of an adaptation or customization strategy for their particular situations.

Background

Service Providers
Safety Services Manitoba and Immigrant Centre of Manitoba
Funders
Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba (WCB)
Scope
Provincial/Territorial
Locations
All communities across Manitoba
Year of Launch
2008
Languages of Delivery
English
Newcomer Groups Served
Immigrant workers and their employers
Expected Results
Language/Skills (Newcomers have language/skills needed to function in Canada)
Labour Market Access (Newcomers obtain the required assistance to find employment commensurate with their skills and education)
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