Province also updating training standards for working at heights
The Ontario government has allocated an additional $12.5 million to Ontario's six health and safety associations, aiming to provide safety training and resources to businesses and workers throughout the province. This investment will reinforce worker safety in critical industries such as manufacturing and forestry, while supporting organizations like Workplace Safety North, renowned for its role in rescuing 39 trapped miners in Sudbury in September 2021.
Health and safety associations are independent, not-for-profit corporations responsible for delivering workplace health and safety programs on behalf of the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. The associations include Infrastructure Health & Safety Association, Public Services Health & Safety Association, Workplace Safety & Prevention Services, Workplace Safety North, Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers, and Workers Health and Safety Centre.
Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development, emphasized the government's commitment to ensuring the safety of Ontario workers.
He states, "every worker in Ontario deserves to come home safely to their family at the end of their shift. In addition to recently raising fines for occupational health and safety violations to the highest level in the country, our government will continue to invest in education, prevention, and enforcement to ensure every worker in Ontario has the protections they deserve."
The increases to fines and tougher penalties for rule breakers was announced earlier this year.
The province is also updating the standards for mandatory working at heights training, addressing a leading cause of workplace fatalities in industries like construction. These updates aim to enhance the quality of training and safety knowledge among participants working in various settings involving ladders, skylights, and damaged equipment.
Giovanni Cautillo, president of the Ontario General Contactors Association, commended the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development for its investment in the improvement of preventative education and training. Cautillo says, "updating the standards for mandatory working at heights training will directly translate into saving workers from potential exposure to incidents and accidents."
Slips, trips, and falls are one of the leading causes workplace injuries.