New Ontario Construction Workplace Safety Campaign

The Province of Ontario, Canada has announced a new Construction Workplace Safety Campaign this past summer with hopes that a cultural shift will improve worker safety. The slogan focuses on six key words: Work Safe Today – Go Home Tonight. It’s common sense, but so often people neglect this simple fact.

The Canadian Ministry of Labour, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and the Infrastructure Health & Safety Association are sponsoring this increase worker awareness of safety enforcements and rights on construction sites. Accompanying the campaign are graphic images of x-rays of broken hands, limbs and cracked skulls that could occur when one is not careful.

Peter Fonseca of the Ministry of Labour notes that “we have rules and regulations in this province, knowledge of dangers and some of the best safety equipment in the world. However, what we do not seem to have is an everyday commitment to protection and prevention.”

This campaign hopes to create more awareness to workplace safety. Often people understand the rules, but it’s often easier for workers and contractors to take shortcuts and risk workplace related injuries. They tend to forget that at the end of the day, going home safely is the most important thing.

Pat Dillion of the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario states that a “culture shift” is needed to improve safety. He states that workers on construction sites may not raise safety concerns due to fears of being laid off, yet safety is in everyone’s best interest, not just the workers themselves. Some workers are not even aware of their rights, such as refusing unsafe work.

The campaign also includes an increase of full-time health and safety inspectors and enforcement, an awareness program as well as a toll-free hotline to call and report unsafe labour practices in Ontario. Also a worker safety review panel will be established sometime this fall chaired by a former Deputy Minister of Labour. By making it simpler to create awareness and have measures in place to ensure worker safety is a good way to start a cultural shift towards preventing workplace injuries.

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