TORONTO — Six health and safety associations that provide safety training and resources to businesses and workers across Ontario will receive a $12.5 million investment from the Ontario government.
The funding will support organizations like Workplace Safety North, which helped rescue 39 miners trapped underground in Sudbury in September 2021, and strengthen worker safety. It will also support the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association, Public Services Health and Safety Association, Workplace Safety and Prevention Services, Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers and Workers Health and Safety Centre.
Ontario is also updating standards for mandatory working at heights training to address one of the leading causes of workplace deaths in industries like construction, indicates a release, adding the updates will help improve the quality of training and safety knowledge of participants when working in various settings including with ladders, skylights and damaged equipment. Over one million workers have completed this training since it began in 2015.
These changes follow the protections introduced by the government in the Working for Workers Act, 2023, which proposes new health and safety protections for workers, including fines for withholding passports, better protections for remote workers during mass terminations and cleaner, women’s-only washrooms on construction sites, adds the release.
“The government’s continued investment into the upkeep and advancement of preventative education and training ensures that workers are better informed and prepared on construction sites,” said Giovanni Cautillo, president of the Ontario General Contractors Association, in a statement. “Updating the standards for mandatory working at heights training will directly translate into saving workers from potential exposure to incidents and accidents.”