The Ontario Ministry of Labour recently established an advisory group to assist them with the development and implementation of a Construction Health and Safety Action Plan. The need for such an Action Plan was set out as part of 2014-15 mandate letter, and it is hoped that such a plan will do a lot to reduce the number of injuries, illnesses and fatalities in the province’s construction sector.
The advisory group includes four employer representatives, coming from various sectors, including large construction, residential building and home renovation sectors, as well as four labour representatives from a broad range of construction sectors, including operators and trades. The group will work with Ontario’s Chief Prevention Officer to provide strategic advice to government on how to best implement the action plan.
The overall goal of the advisory group will be to enhance the overall commitment to health and safety at construction sites as well as to improve training for workers in that sector and create greater health and safety awareness among young workers in the sector. They also hope to make sure all laws and regulations are better understood by all players in the construction sector, from executives all the way down to the newest workers.
The Ministry of Labour hopes that the advisory group’s work will build on actions they’ve already undertaken to improve safety at construction sites. And all of this is part of the Ontario government’s economic plan, which includes one of the largest infrastructure investments in provincial history. Over the last 12 years, the number of workplace injuries in Ontario have dropped by about 40 per cent, and they want that to continue, even in the construction industry.