www.cos-mag.com
May 27, 2014

Alberta OHS tackles residential construction safety

By COS staff
Alberta's occupational health and safety officers will do focused work site inspections at residential building sites across the province this summer as part of the effort to reduce worker injuries.
Preventing workplace injuries and holding people who ignore health and safety accountable are at the foundation of Alberta's effort to protect workers, said the government.

The residential construction industry has shown declining injury statistics in recent years, but continues to be an area of concern.

"Historically, we issued a lot of orders during these campaigns, and with our new ability to issue tickets, employers and workers have an even greater incentive to work safely. Cutting corners can cost lives and I expect to see an improvement from previous campaigns," said Minister of Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour Thomas Lukaszuk.

OHS officers will look for all infractions and pay close attention to the use of fall protection equipment by roofers and framers.

The 2014 campaign will run from mid-June through the summer construction season. The residential construction sector was also the subject of focused campaigns in 2011 and 2012.

Upon completion of the campaign, a focused inspection report will be compiled. It will include information on the number of sites visited, inspections completed, and orders and tickets issued.

"Infractions can have severe impacts on workers, families and the community and enforcing workplace standards is a powerful tool to protect Albertans," said Jim Rivait, CEO, Canadian Home Builders' Association —  Alberta. "More builders are developing health and safety programs proven to reduce workplace injuries, and combining education with enforcement is the best way to keep safety the top priority."