Ontario developing construction health and safety action plan

Ontario has established an advisory group to assist the government in the development and implementation of a Construction Health and Safety Action Plan
“We have to break the cycle of fatalities in our construction sector," said parliamentary assistant Mike Colle. "To be successful, we need to take strong measures — this action plan will require government, labour, workers, owners, supervisors and consumers all work together. We all have a role and responsibility in preventing workplace injuries and fatalities.”

Ontario’s construction industry has traditionally experienced higher rates of workplace injuries and fatalities compared to other workplace sectors. In 2013, the construction sector represented seven per cent of employment in Ontario but 26 per cent of fatalities.

The action plan will strengthen workplace injury and illness prevention for construction workers across the province, said the government.   

The members of the advisory group — which include an equal number of labour and employer representatives — will work with Colle and the province's chief prevention officer on finding best ways to: 

•increase the commitment to health and safety in construction workplaces
•enhance training for workers in the construction sector
•work with other enforcement authorities and municipalities to improve safety
•build an awareness about construction health and safety among young people
•encourage effective supervision of construction workers
•ensure legislation and regulations are better understood by the construction sector
•ensure effective consumer outreach strategies.

The work of the advisory group will build on actions that the government is already taking to improve safety for construction workers including new mandatory Working at Heights Training Standard.