TORONTO—Ontario has established a Construction Health and Safety Advisory Group to help in the development and implementation of its Construction Health and Safety Action Plan.
Members of the advisory group, states a release, include an equal number of labour and employer representatives, who represent various subsectors of the industry and will work with Parliamentary Assistant Mike Colle and the province’s chief prevention officer.
The four labour representatives from a broad range of construction sectors, includes Joe Dowdall, International Union of Operating Engineers, James Hogarth, Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario, Cosmo Mannella, LIUNA Ontario Provincial District Council, and Mike Yorke, Carpenters’ District Council of Ontario.
The four employer representatives from large construction, home building and the home renovation sectors includes Mike Wieninger, PCL Constructors Inc., Steve Riddell, EllisDon Corporation, Tom McLaughlin, Thomasfield Homes Ltd. and Dave McLean, Mattamy Homes
The group will be looking at 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; and ensure effective consumer outreach strategies.
"While we have made great strides in reducing workplace injuries, the number of fatalities in our construction sector is still far too high," says Minister of Labour Kevin Flynn in a statement. "This advisory group will provide important advice on the occupational health and safety needs of the construction sector and will help us create safer workplaces."
The idea behind the entire action plan is to strengthen workplace injury and illness prevention for construction workers across the province, explains the May 21 release.
"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," the release reads.
"We have to break the cycle of fatalities in our construction sector. To be successful, we need to take strong measures — this action plan will require government, labour, workers, owners, supervisors and consumers all work together," states Colle. "We all have a role and responsibility in preventing workplace injuries and fatalities."
Today’s announcement comes just hours after one worker was pronounced dead and another was seriously injured after aerial work platform toppled over at a site in Markham.