Hazard awareness training for every construction worker

Ontario Ministry of Labour consults on hazard awareness training for every construction worker

June 2, 2016 by Alec Caldwell

The Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL) is proposing a new mandatory safety program for contractors.

They are calling it “construction hazard awareness” training. It's just in the “consulting” stages right now, but if everything goes according to plan, a new one-day course will be required for every worker on Ontario construction sites (including home renovations). This could happen as early as next year.

Safety in Ontario took a serious turn after the Ontario Criminal Code was changed to criminalize those convicted of not protecting their workers' safety. Vadim Kazenelson became the first recipient of the Code's stricter justice after the deaths of four swing-stage workers on an Ontario high rise, under Kazenelson's direct supervision, who fell to their deaths Christmas Eve 2011.

My question is, do you enter your jobsite every morning assuming you will be going home to dinner at the usual time? Why do you assume that? So did the men on Kazenelson's crew. It took a few seconds for those men to die. Those few seconds changed the playing field for everyone working on construction in Ontario. And the repercussions are still evolving.

How about those working the underground economy? Are they going to get away without taking these new MOL training modules?

You might think so. But they are actually risking more than they believe. One of the typical things that happens on an underground job is that accidents go unreported, or the supervisor lies about where and how the accident happened. Just ask Paul Markewycz, the supervisor of a Brampton, ON roofing company. One of the company's employees fell to this death in 2011 and Markewycz lied about it to authorities. He went to jail for 15 days.

“One second changes lives”:  It's time to incorporate safety, automatically, into all of your projects.

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