Prevention System Updates

Canadian CEOs exchange views on the economics of a healthy workforce

Release Date:  Apr 12, 2013

April 10, 2013 – Mississauga, ON – Facing significant economic pressures and a transforming workforce, successful CEOs have recognized the correlation between health and safety leadership and business outcomes. Four leading Canadian CEOs will discuss their strategies on reaping the rewards of a safe workplace as part of the Partners in Prevention 2013 Conference & Trade Show on April 30, at the International Centre, Mississauga ( 10:00 a.m. to 12 p.m.), presented by Workplace Safety & Prevention Services in partnership with Health & Safety Ontario

Participating in a panel discussion, Claude Bigras, GDI Integrated Facility Services; Saajid Khan, Compass Group Canada; Greg Nordal, Nelson Education, and Jane Riddell, Goodlife Fitness, will tackle the value of organizational health and safety programs on business and the Canadian economy.

“Strong business leaders recognize that investing in a healthy workforce grows the life of their business,” says Elizabeth Mills, President & CEO, Workplace Safety and Prevention Services. “Increased competition, a global economic crisis and a rapidly evolving workforce have led employers to reassess their business strategies and to hone their competitive edge by making the most of their people – with a focus on boosting employee engagement through a safe working environment.”

Titled, “View from the Top”, the panel discussion brings together a group of senior leaders who have made the connection between these imperatives and health and safety. The conversation starts with the impact of health and safety on business success, and culminates with a robust discussion about the realities in the workplace and the strategies that are proving to be most effective.

Quotes from this year’s panelists:

Claude Bigras, President and CEO of GDI Integrated Facility Services
“I believe that by sharing our philosophies and priorities in these discussions, we set an example within our respective industries. The CEO must take the lead in integrating health and safety into strategic plans and creating a culture of safety. And, it is important that the appropriate resources are allocated to
reflect these priorities. The funds allocated to health and safety speak volumes about the company’s priorities. We are proud to provide safe, challenging and enjoyable work environments for our employees.”     

Saajid Khan, President and CEO, Compass Group Canada
"As a CEO in a leading food services company, I understand the critical role leadership plays in keeping health and safety at the forefront of good business practices and engraining it into day-to-day operations. This forum provides an excellent venue to exchange ideas and inspire new thinking.  I'm really looking forward to discussing best practices and sharing the steps we've taken, and will continue to take, to further embed health and safety into our culture at Compass Group."

Greg Nordal, President and CEO, Nelson Education
“I think it is important to hear different voices speaking about workplace safety, a critical issue too often taken for granted by many senior corporate executives. Behaving as “partners in prevention” is a shared responsibility across and throughout any organization, and it is the most senior leaders who set the tone for the extended teams. A successful CEO understands that they set the example for the organization, and that a safe environment is both an essential right of employees, and  a minimum requirement for a productive workplace.”

Jane Riddell, COO, Goodlife Fitness
“At Goodlife, our vision is to give all Canadians the opportunity to live a fit and healthy good life. A key factor in ensuring that we can execute on our vision is providing a healthy and safe environment for our employees and members, while also educating and assisting other employers across Canada in the creation of a healthy workplace for their employees.  As a part of the leadership team of the largest fitness company in Canada, I feel a particular responsibility to participate in strategic discussions like the View from the Top Panel at the Partners in Prevention Conference to share best practices that will help leaders understand, embrace and prioritize health, safety and workplace wellness.”  

Partners in Prevention 2013 is Canada’s largest health and safety event for business success, bringing together over 4,500 professionals for networking, education and knowledge sharing. It is hosted by Ontario’s Prevention System partners and is the flagship of the Partners in Prevention conference series.  For more information or to register, visit or contact the Customer Care Department: Toll-free: 1-877-494-9777 or

Media contact: 
Jana Manolakos
Manager, Corporate Reputation
(905) 614-2148 or 1-877-494-9777 (2148)