Local woman spearheading effort to help injured workers

Jo-Anne Hearns and Aidan Macdonald of the Ontario Network of Injured Workers (Photo by Kirk Scott)

A Grey County woman is spearheading an effort to help injured workers.

Jo-Anne Hearns hopes to create a Grey Bruce Chapter of the Ontario Network of Injured workers. Hearns developed repetitive strain injury while working on an auto parts assembly line in Brampton. She says a support group would help injured workers negotiate the claims process and aid them in getting their lives back.

“Injured workers are isolated, we lose our friends, we lose our homes,” said Hearns. “We lose our ability to go to work and be of value and the list goes on.”

Hearns says people who have been through the experience of workplace injuries can help others in the same situation.

“It’s a rude awakening when you find out that workers’ compensation, which you’re told all your life is there to support you in case you get hurt on the job, isn’t necessarily there.”

Or if it is, Hearns said, the compensation isn’t nearly enough. She’s getting $125 a week from Workers Compensation after her injury.  Her old paycheque was close to $1,000.

The Ontario Network of Injured Workers recently held a community meeting in Owen Sound to get a Grey Bruce chapter off the ground. Anyone interested can contact gbinjuredworkers@gmail.com.