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.