A new organization established to improve health and safety in workplaces across the province is being touted as the first of its kind.

The Ontario Prevention Council will advise the Ministry of Labour through its team of workplace health and safety stakeholders — from employers to non-union workers.

Nancy Hutchison is one of the 11 members on the council and worked in the mining industry for nearly two decades.

She said northeastern Ontario will have a strong voice on the council because she and another member have worked in the mining industry in this part of the province.

"We want to make sure the prevention tools are at these workplaces to eliminate these hazards … [such as] the most recent fatalities at Vale Inco with a run of muck,” she said.

“We know how to prevent it. History doesn't have to repeat itself."

Hutchison noted her group will help a variety of parties form a consensus around issues — something that didn't happen before.

"What this is looking to do is bringing us all together around one table,” she said.

“It's beneficial because, if we come up with a recommendation and everyone around the table agrees, then that has a lot of clout.”

The council will look at issues such as training standards and reducing the number of preventable fatalities.