In the 2017 year, there was a total of 22 reported workplace fatalities in Ontario which is almost double the fatality rate of 13 in 2016.
So far in 2018, the fatality rates are also not off to such a great start. From January 1-June 15, 2018 there have been 11 recorded fatalities in Ontario, which is a rise from the 7 recorded for the same time period of the previous year.
A continuing trend seen in these statistics is the amount of fatalities due to falls from height. In 2017, 7 of the 22 recorded fatalities were due to falls from heights; while in 2018, 8 of the 11 fatalities were due to falls from heights… that’s a whopping 72% of the total recorded fatalities for the first 6 months of 2018.
Falls from heights continues to be the leading cause of fatalities and critical injuries in the construction industry in addition to being the #1 Health and Safety Violation in Construction, as reported by the Ministry of Labour. In 2017, the M.O.L issued 8,850 violations for fall protection with 7,438 for the lack of PPE and 4,224 for improper use/maintenance of ladders or scaffolding.
In the July 2018 M.O.L Report to the Labour Management Network, the current data for workplace critical injuries and fatalities are posted. The total year-to-date critical injuries are at 79, which is a decrease from 100 at the same time in 2017.Workplace place accidents are preventable, however it requires commitment from all workplace parties.
Employers must ensure that workers are adequately trained on how to perform their jobs safely and in accordance with regulations, that all equipment, devices and materials are maintained in good working order and used in accordance with the manufacturers guidelines. Most importantly, that employers are taking every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of the workers.
Supervisors must do the same, ensure that all workers work in compliance with the Act and regulations, equipment is used and worn properly, workers are provided with the information on any potential and existing hazards in the workplace and every precaution reasonable is taken in the circumstances for the protection of the workers.
Workers must work in compliance, inspect and use their equipment properly, report any unsafe conditions/acts, injuries and near-miss incidents and exercise their three basic rights.The common mindset of “it won’t happen to me” will not make you immune from the risk of an injury or fatality. Just because it hasn’t happened yet, does not mean it won’t happen in the future.
The most important job, is ensuring you arrive home at the end of each day- safe and sound.
EmployersAs of April 1, 2015, employers must ensure that certain workers complete a working at heights training program that has been approved by the Chief Prevention Officer (CPO) and delivered by a CPO approved training provider before they can work at heights. The training requirement is for workers on construction projects who use any of the following methods of fall protection: travel restraint systems, fall restricting systems, fall arrest systems, safety nets and work belts or safety belts. There is a two-year transition period for workers who, prior to April 1, 2015, met the fall protection training requirements set out in subsection 26.2(1) of the Construction Projects Regulation. These workers will have until April 1, 2017 to complete an approved working at heights training program. This training requirement is in the Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training Regulation, and is in addition to training requirements under the Construction Regulation.
HomeownersDepending on the circumstances, homeowners may be considered constructors and subject to obligations under Occupational Health and Safety Act if they hire multiple contractors to work at the same time. It is in a homeowner’s best interest to make sure workers at their home are safe. This can be as simple as asking contractors if their workers have been trained, and how they plan to keep workers safe on site, before signing a contract. In the case of projects where workers will be at heights, such as repairing a roof, homeowners should ask contractors if their workers have been trained to do the work safely.
Working at Heights Standards where released on April 1, 2015 due to a fatal accident that claimed the lives of four workers and severely injuring the fifth worker on December 24, 2009. The workers were employed with Metron Construction Corporation of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
According to the Ontario Supreme Court Judge Ian MacDonnell, Vadim Kazenelson was aware the fall protection procedures where not in place and he allowed the workers onto the swing stage 13 stories above the ground. The crew was repairing concrete balconies on an apartment building. ” In his failure to act, he showed wanton and reckless disregard,” said judge MacDonnell.
When the swing stage split in two, Kazenelson managed to hold onto the balcony, however four out of the five workers fell 13 stories to their death, and the fifth worker miraculously survived, although has suffered severe injuries as a result. Kazenelson was convicted of one count of criminal negligence causing bodily harm relating to the surviving worker.
The guilty plea was the first by an Ontario corporation charged under the Criminal Code Bill C-45 amendments that became law in 2004, where Criminal liability of corporations, directors, officers, and employees have been established.
Metron Construction Corporation of Toronto was fined $750,000.00 plus an addition 25% for the victims surcharge.
Additional fines where issued to the swing stage Ottawa, Ontario based SWING N SCAFF INC., was also fined $350,000.00 for failing to ensure the platform was in good condition, in addition a company director was fined $50,000.00 and both were also directed to pay an additional 25% victim surcharge.
“This is a tragic event that will never be forgotten” however the sad part is it takes an event like this to change legislation, and still workers are exposed to the hazards of falling each and everyday, they are not trained to protect themselves.
Working at Heights training is available at Paramount Safety Consulting Inc.
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“Your Working at Hieghts Professionals”,. Training, Equipment, Policies, Procedures.
- Are properly informed, instructed and supervised on the job
- Meet the minimum age requirement
- Follow required safety measures and procedures to prevent injuries
- Between 2009 and 2013, 30 young workers aged 15 to 24 died in work-related incidents and more than 30,000 received injuries resulting in lost time at work.
- Many young workers who received lost-time injuries were employed as labourers in processing, manufacturing and utilities as well as food counter attendants and kitchen helpers.
“We need to work together to avoid these incidents from occurring.
Protecting our workers is the responsibility of each employer & supervisor”.
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Are concerned about the safety of your workers?
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then call us today, Let Paramount Safety Consulting take the stress out of your compliance issues……
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