Skip to Content
View site list


Pre-Bid Projects

Pre-Bid Projects

Click here to see Canada’s most comprehensive listing of projects in conceptual and planning stages

Government, OH&S

CPO review of construction fatalities, injuries a rare opportunity: Moody

Don Wall
CPO review of construction fatalities, injuries a rare opportunity: Moody
Dr. Joel Moody Chief Prevention Officer

Ontario’s upcoming review of the causes of critical injuries and fatalities in the construction sector represents a rare opportunity for all stakeholders to come together to address a stubborn problem in the industry, says the province’s Chief Prevention Officer, Dr. Joel Moody, who will be leading the probe.

The outcome, Moody believes, will be lives saved and a safer, more modern health and safety regime.

The review was ordered by Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development David Piccini as part of a broader construction-focused reform package contained in the latest Working for Workers legislation.

“The minister has asked me to review what are those causal factors, especially when we talk about traumatic construction fatalities, with evidence from our stakeholders and other jurisdictions to help inform not only our current strategies but what are we going to be thinking about in the next two years,” said Moody in an interview.

“It’s a very important exercise and our ultimate goal is the reduction in the rates of injuries and fatalities. That is our north star.”


One death is too many: Piccini

Fatalities in the sector have stayed within a narrow range the last four years — 20 in 2020, 28 in 2021, 27 in 2022 and 24 in 2023, according to the WSIB.

Lost-time injuries in construction in that period have fluctuated — 4,408 in 2020, 5,917 in 2021, 5,742 in 2022 and 5,141 in 2023.

Moody noted given employment in construction has risen during that period, those trends represent an improvement in health and safety in the sector.

“It’s actually getting better when we factor in how much work is being done,” he said. “We do see improvements, but we cannot rest on those laurels. We can’t rest upon that number. We want to continue to strive to zero because that is our goal.”

Piccini said in an interview a major issue is ensuring Ontario construction workplaces are among the safest in the world as the province competes with other jurisdictions.

“One death is too many,” said Piccini.

“It’s always a good time to review fatalities and critical injuries and always a good time to seek out ways we can make our workplaces safer.

“Now’s a good time to make sure we’re constantly examining our procedures, making sure Ontario’s is not only the best jurisdiction to live, work and raise a family, but the safest.”

Moody said it has been a long time since Ontario conducted a holistic review of health and safety in construction. His review will use epidemiology to identify risk factors beyond some of the traditional issues considered.

“How might we bring in other factors of work, shift work, or those types of activities…the seasonality of certain types of work. We truly want to start to use the science to help ground ourselves,” he said.


Minister wants change

The scope of the review is currently being determined, Moody said.

Stakeholders will be widely consulted and a first draft report might be available for internal review by the end of this year or next January. His report may well call for regulatory changes as well as for reforms in workplace practices to be implemented by stakeholders, he said.

“The minister has been very clear he wants to see change,” said Moody.

“Being very purposeful with bringing all of our stakeholders together, doing that good solid evidentiary base around jurisdictional scans, to literature reviews, and working with our partners, it’s so important in order to help paint the picture that will allow us to find what are some additional interventions and initiatives that we can work with our construction stakeholders and partners to ultimately eliminate fatalities and critical injuries.”

Post-COVID, Moody said, the nature of work is evolving.

The review will explore new technology such as AI, new knowledge in ergonomics, new PPE and cameras that might identify tripping hazards to make workplaces safer.

“I think that’s going to be one of the next frontiers as we continue to use data to continue to inform us about what are the opportunities that we have to improve health and safety,” said Moody.

Follow the author on X/Twitter @DonWall_DCN.

Recent Comments

comments for this post are closed

You might also like