www.cos-mag.com
Aug 2, 2010

Ontario targets construction workplaces in safety campaign

By Workplace Staff
Ontario is launching an eight-week campaign with its health and safety partners to urge workers and employers to put safety first on construction sites across the province.

The province kicked off the campaign at a construction site in Toronto at the end of July, emphasizing the need for everyone on the job to train properly, be aware of dangers and keep everyone safe. The tour will be making a number of stops across the province including Hamilton, London, Kitchener, Sault Ste. Marie, Ottawa, Kingston and Peterborough.

A new workplace safety toll-free phone number is also now available. The public and workers can call 1-877-202-0008 to report labour practices or work conditions that appear unsafe.

Sponsored by the Ministry of Labour, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and the Infrastructure Health & Safety Association, the campaign targets construction sites and local offices with important information that will increase awareness of enforcement and safety.

This campaign follows a recent 90-day safety enforcement blitz of more than 2,800 Ontario construction sites.  During the blitz inspectors found many violations related to missing or inappropriate use of guardrails, scaffolding and fall protection systems and supervisor and worker training.

"Workers, supervisors and employers need to watch out for each other on construction sites. I hope these strong messages will remind them of what's at stake. It's about going home to your family safe and sound at the end of the work day," said Peter Fonseca, Minister of Labour, in announcing the blitz.

Since 2005, Ontario has doubled its staff of full-time occupational health and safety inspectors to 430 - including 157 construction inspectors.
 
This workplace safety campaign has been developed in multiple languages to reach thousands of workers, employers and supervisors across the construction sector.

An expert panel, led by former Cabinet Secretary and Deputy Minister of Labour Tony Dean, is now examining Ontario's occupational health and safety system and will make recommendations this fall on workplace safety issues.

Click here to visit the ministry’s website for more information.