TTC hires U.S. expert to reduce injury rate

Move could save Toronto Transit Commission $3 million per year in absentee costs

To help reduce an employee-injury rate that has resulted in a one-third increase in days lost over the past five years, the Toronto Transit Commission has hired the company that helped NASA recover from the Columbia space shuttle disaster.

The TTC will pay U.S. consultancy Behavioral Science Technology between $7.3 million and $8.9 million to help reduce injuries by 40 per cent to 60 per cent over the next three years.

The reduction in injuries should lower absentee costs by about $3 million annually, said TTC chief general manger Gary Webster.

There were 20,826 days lost to injuries this year, the equivalent of 90 workers being absent all year, compared to 15,251 in 2002, according to a TTC report.

Behavioural Science consultants will implement safety programs and coach managers on how to take a more people-oriented approach to employees, counselling rather than disciplining whenever possible.

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