Woodstock buses steer away from harsh ads

Thu, December 27, 2007

WOODSTOCK — The graphic and unapologetic Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) ad campaign intended to deter carelessness and injury at work is stirring up controversy in several cities across Ontario.

Recently, transit authorities in Windsor and Mississauga rejected bus shelter ads that depict — in gory and seemingly accurate detail — the deadly consequences of ignoring safety procedures on the job. Other cities have requested modified images.

The ads, such as one showing a construction worker in a pool of blood impaled by a part of his forklift, are not on display in Woodstock bus terminals or on buses, nor are they expected to be.

Rick D’Entremont, superintendent of public works and transit for the city said he has not been approached to advertise and does not plan to seek out the WSIB.

The city must approve all advertisements that run on buses. It rents out the ad space in bus shelters, but holds a veto power.

D’Entremont wouldn’t hesitate to remove an offensive image, even if it had a good message.

“I have the keys,” he said, adding that if an ad or any image offended the community, the issue would be taken before council.

Woodstock resident Debbie Hurley, who works in a factory, said she finds the ads in the newspaper and on TV upsetting.

“Seeing those ads just takes me back, reminds me of when people have been hurt at work,” she said, adding that it is an important message, but not appropriate to expose to young children.

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